Europe/ Germany/ Group Travel/ Travel

Berlin with Contiki

On our hugely varied eighteen day itinerary, Berlin was one of the cities that I was most excited to explore with Contiki. I’m completely fascinated by the Third Reich era, having studied a lot of German history at GCSE and A Level, so couldn’t wait to find out more about Germany during the Cold War. Our first Contiki optional in Berlin was a walking tour of the city which was, for me, the most interesting out of them all. And as a nice bonus, our guide had a fantastic Irish accent!

Marx and Engels Berlin

We met at the statues of Marx and Engels and passed the Reichstag (German parliament), Museum Island and Berlin Cathedral before taking a stop at the university.

Berlin University

It was in front of this building where the biggest of the book burnings took place in 1933. Over 25,000 books that were proclaimed ‘Un-German’ – either because of their content or their author – were burned here. Today, an exhibition of empty bookshelves exists in memory of the censorship.

Burning books memorial Berlin

From here, we made our way to the Brandenburg Gate, one of Berlin’s most famous landmarks…

Contiki Brandenburg Gate

…before taking a quick stop at the Holocaust memorial.
Holocaust Memorial Berlin

We were then led to a car park. Slightly odd and not so interesting to look at, sure. But then we were told that underneath our feet were the remains of the bunker where Hitler spent his last days and eventually, committed suicide.

I got a little distracted at this point and decided to make some new friends.

The last leg of our trip was to a portion of the Berlin wall that remains standing today, closer to its original state than the East Side Gallery.

berlin wall
look through berlin wall

From here, we visited Checkpoint Charlie, the best known crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. I even had a page stamped in my passport – a great novelty for someone who has only been outside the EU once!

checkpoint charlie
berlin leaving us
standing over berlin wall

We also checked out the Topography of Terror exhibition before deciding to take a break from history to try our hands at something more fun – chocolate making!
At the Ritter Sport flagship store, you can create your own bar for just under 4 euros and it only takes 35 minutes!

ritter sport chocolate making

I opted for popping candy and mini smarties, coated in milk chocolate and sprinkled in tiny gold stars.
make chocolate berlin

ritter sport chocolate making

Sweet treats complete, we wandered back towards Berlin Cathedral for a closer look inside.

berliner dom
berlin cathedral
berlin cathedral roof

We decided to get up higher for a panoramic view of the city.

tv tower from berlin dome
berlin dom view

With our allocated sightseeing time in Berlin with Contiki over, it was back to the hostel for a quick outfit change before stopping at the East Side Gallery for a photo opportunity.

East Side Gallery Colour Wall

Hackescher Market was our location for dinner where we got started on the cocktails before beginning another of our Contiki optionals – Eye Spy Berlin.
Hackescher Market dinner Contiki
A pub crawl with a twist, we were given a sheet of paper with clues to follow to the next destination. By this point, I was way too far gone to participate followed the dedicated few who managed to figure it out, giggling all the way. By some stroke of a miracle, our team won! I can take zero credit. We were rewarded with pretzels before taking the train to our next destination, Matrix, where we danced the night away.

The night ended with a girly chat at 4am while devouring our newly made chocolate. Oops.
Laura x

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  • Reply
    July 12, 2015 at 4:38 pm

    I love Berlin! This post has made me itch to go back, even though my last trip was only in April. It's such a fun, unusual city. I haven't seen the inside of the Berlin Cathedral yet, but it looks so beautiful that I definitely will next time I'm in Berlin!


  • Reply
    Sophia Cristina
    July 13, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Ooh what a cool idea making your own chocolate bar is!

    I love Berlin, glad you enjoyed it!

    Sophia šŸ™‚ xxx

    Small and Happy lifestyle blog

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