Insider Tips for Luxury in Berlin
In spring, I traveled to Berlin to go on an exclusive tour with the Berlin luxury expert Michael Kern of Luxury Dreams Travel Agency. Two years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Michael, who, like me, hails from the Ruhr Valley, moved to today’s capital. Since then, he has followed the changes in the city and knows the best tips for a short break in Berlin.
I stayed in one of the city’s newest luxury hotels: My Experience Report Orania.Berlin.
Insider Tips Berlin Sightseeing
With a Porsche we go on a private sightseeing tour through Berlin. I particularly appreciate Michael’s anecdotes.
Did you know that the people of Berlin have nicknames for all their attractions? Some are nice, such as “Gold – Else”, as the Victory Column is called. Others are less flattering: The House of Cultures is called the “Schwangere Auster”, the pregnant Oyster.
Michael also tells me about his personal experiences during the fall of the wall. He was one of the first “Wessis”, Westerners, who climbed up and over the wall.
Our first stop is the…
East Side Galerie.
In Berlin, Friedrichshain are the remains of the wall, painted with over 100 works of art on a stretch of wall about 1.3 kilometers long. Many of the motifs gained world fame, such as the “brother kiss” between Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev and Erich Honecker by Dmitry Vladimirovich Wrubel. There are currently new discussions surrounding this piece of German history: A part of the East Side Gallery was planned to be torn down for the coming construction project “Pier 62-63” – luxury apartments. If you are looking for a luxury apartment in Berlin, a new residential area including a hotel and catering concept is being built here on the banks of the Spree.
Berliner Reichstag – Dome & Käfer.
The Reichstag dome and its roof terrace attract more than a million visitors every year. From here, you have a great view over Berlin. Due to increased security measures, prior registration is mandatory. To do this, you must provide your full name and date of birth and bring your ID to visit. It may happen that there is no capacity left for your desired date. In this case, I have a great insider tip for you: the restaurant Käfer on the roof terrace of the Reichstag. Here you may still have the chance to reserve a table for your dream date (at least 24 hours in advance). Of course, the security measures still apply here.
By the way, you can also book the whole restaurant for your personal event. Certainly a spectacular location!
Platz der Republik, 11011 Berlin
On the page of the Bundestag, you get all the information about the tickets and also about the guided tours offered.
Berlin Luxury Shopping Streets.
The KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens – Department Store of the West) is the classic luxury shopping address in Berlin. I really like these traditional department stores. But Berlin has other highlights as well. Again, an insider tip: The Bikini House has a terrace since 2014, from which you can look directly at the monkey cliffs (Affenfelsen) of the zoological garden. Here you can combine shopping and a visit to the zoo. The focus of the shopping center is fashion, design and food.
The KaDeWe on Tauentzienstraße and the Bikinihaus on Budapester Straße are just 10 relaxed minutes apart by foot. Right around the corner is also the famous Kurfürstendamm, home to classic fine designers like Gucci, Chanel and Burberry.
I like to explore cities on foot and I like to combine shopping and sightseeing. Friedrichstraße, where you will also find the Galeries Lafayette department store, can be easily linked with the Brandenburg Gate, the cathedral or museum island, for example.
Special Shopping Tip:
The best chocolate in Berlin can be found in the small chocolate factory Hamann.
Brandenburgische Straße 17, 10707 Berlin
And with that we are already on topic:
Berlin Tips for Gourmets.
Berlin offers innumerable gastronomic highlights from Currywurst to five-star cuisine.
Here, I introduce you to a colorful mixture of some very unusual restaurant concepts that were all recommended to me by Berlin insiders.
- We start casual and go for modern Mexican food at La Luca. Everything from ceviche to tacos and enchiladas to steaks. Really delicious and perfect for an evening, even in larger groups. Definitely book – also during the week!
Paul-Lincke- Ufer 39-41, 10999 Berlin
- It continues with a tip for the brave: Eins unter Null (One Below Zero). The rating of the restaurant is controversial. The cuisine is seasonal, regional and unusual among gourmet restaurants. Here, the craftsmanship and “simple” products are placed in the foreground. Be brave!
Eins unter Null Hannoversche Straße 1 , 10115 Berlin
- Canadian Dylan Watson-Brawn’s restaurant Ernst has only 12 seats. Here, you do not reserve; you buy a ticket for a concert. The event lasts between 3-4 hours and “freshness” is the top priority on the program. Unusual? Yes!
Ernst Berlin Adolfstraße 19, 13347 Berlin
- Not a real insider tip in Berlin is the well-known two-star TV chef Tim Raue and his Asian-influenced cuisine.
Tim Raue Rudi-Dutschke-Str. 26 10969 Berlin
- In the Orania. Berlin, where I stayed overnight, you can also eat excellent food. I particularly liked the open kitchen. Find out more about the hotel and of course the restaurant in my article »Hotel Orania Berlin Experience – Luxury in Kreuzberg«
Orania Berlin Oranienstraße 40, 10999 Berlin
- The restaurant Volt is more classic. There are consistent positive reviews for its interpretation of classic German cuisine.
Volt , Paul-Lincke- Ufer 21 10999 Berlin
- Lode & Stijn: There was much talk about this restaurant when it opened in 2016. The two Dutch chefs serve only one meal. You have to be content with that and the reviews are all positive.
Lode & Stijn Lausitzer Straße 25, 10999 Berlin
- There is a bigger variety in the Spindler. Modern French inspired, it is also on the banks of the Landwehr Canal and has earned a Gault Millau Haube award.
Spindler Paul-Lincke-Ufer 42/43, 10999 Berlin
- A nightcap afterwards? If you fancy rustic, plush and kitsch, Roses Bar is the place for you. You just have to go there.Oranienstraße 187,10999 Berlin
I would like to thank Michael for the wonderful city tour, his insider tips Berlin, the entertaining evening and the many exciting stories.
Do you have Berlin tips and recommendations? Please share them with a comment.
(Translates by Barbara Riedel)
Hamburg – Fan? Check out my Hamburg Tips .