Wednesday, 8 June 2016


Hi, it's Anne H here with my brief travel guide to Berlin. I was there last week with my daughter Lizzy who was meeting with Zalando.  And who are they I hear you ask. Just the biggest on-line fashion retailer in Germany and a big name in Europe generally. They are also available in the UK - well worth a visit as they feature loads of big name brands, but more importantly they also stock European brands that we would struggle to access otherwise. So go take a peek at their site using this link - Zalando.  

Because Lizzy was there for work we only had a couple of days to take in the city, but we made the most of our time and covered quite a bit of ground.  The weather was very mixed - incredibly hot and muggy, with sunny afternoons and some heavy downpours.  But the last day was just beautiful and we had that to ourselves.

Berlin was not at all what I was expecting - I had visions of heavy Baroque and Gothic architecture interspersed with traditional Germanic style buildings. Berlin is a very diverse  and expansive city which is split into boroughs and being four times the size of Paris takes a bit of working out. Of course the East:West divide has had a major impact, but what I came away with the most was how young and vibrant the city is, with an incredible buzz and edginess. I was also surprised by the amount of graffiti - it is absolutely everywhere and brings a gritty yet artistic vibe to the city.  

Berlin Graffiti


I will split the guide into two posts - covering our hotel and some shopping tips in this post and places to eat and visit in the next.  So will start here with the hotel:


Located in the Friedrichshain area of Berlin the independent Michelberger is a budget hotel looking to provide a home-from-home in a cool and creative environment.  And it really pulls this off.  The decor is an eclectic mix of industrial and edgy in the common areas of the hotel but our room really reflected the underlying fairytale theme of the hotel. We had one of the four Luxus rooms and it was called The Golden One.  And my goodness it was gold floor to ceiling and so so pretty.  Definitely not a budget hotel experience by British standards - having a sunken bath in bedroom, TV hidden behind a mirror and some lovely lights and decorative touches.  The staff couldn't have been more helpful and friendly and they make a mean Gin and Tonic in the bar.  If you are looking for a more traditional, formal hotel then this is not for you but if you love mixing with young people in creative, cool and relaxed surroundings then look no further. And please note the amazing music playing in the bar and reception which is really carefully curated.  There is even whale music playing in the ladies and I presume the gents too.  Just one of the careful touches that make this place so special. 
Michelberger Hotel
Relaxed lounge area. 

Michelberger Hotel Bar
Above and below the bar area


Of course we could not be in a city and not do some shopping and Berlin has such a lot to offer.  As ever, we will not dwell on the usual high street names that obviously are here and most of you will know about, but will highlight some of the more unusual and often independent stores that we came across.  Starting with The Corner Berlin on Franzosische Strasse in the Mitte area of the city. An upmarket, light and airy store stocking a range of designer brands including accessories, shoes and clothing.  Definitely worth a look in if you are after some designer names. Lizzy purchased some beautiful Valentino sandals which were heavily discounted, so quite a bargain.  

The Corner, Berlin

Next up is the Voo Store, which is in the Kreuzberg district on Oranienstrasse. Hidden in a little courtyard off the main street, it is worth seeking out as it features a range of high end designers and streetwear including Acne, Helmut Lang and Jil Sander combined with home accessories, gifts, stationery and magazines.  A really exciting mix of goods that encompasses men, women and the home in a really cool atmosphere in what was once a locksmiths shop. This is my favourite type of store, where you can really find some exciting and unusual things.  

And the icing on the cake is the Companion Coffee shop that shares space with the Voo Store and serves amazing coffee and tea in a relaxed, stylish environment. 

Victoria met Albert on Dunckerstrasse in Friedrichshain is full of gorgeous gifts, homewares and accessories combined with men and women's clothing lines.  A really pretty store with friendly and helpful staff where you can be sure to find some unusual things. 

Victoria met Albert 

Just a ten to fifteen minute walk from the hotel, Friedrichshain abounds with speciality stores and quirky cafes and restaurants.  The whole area has an amazingly youthful, vibrant air and is buzzing with activity day and night.  I think this and Mitte were amongst our favourite areas of the city.



  1. Very similar shopping to Frankfurter judging by the 2 shops I managed to sneak into when I was over there last year for work. Bring bank Tchibo to the UK I say. I think they were German.

    1. Sounds like I need to add Frankfurt to the bucket list - good to have an expanding list.

  2. Beautiful photos and thanks for the shopping tips! Always useful :)
    Julia xx


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