The best cafés in Berlin

Berlin is an amazing city with so many bars, restaurants, and cafés. I’m gonna share my personal favorites with you.

Friedrichshain:

Silo: This coffee place is small but really cozy. They have great coffee, espresso, cappuccino and more. If you are in Friedrichshain I would advise you to get a coffee there.

Gabriel-Max-Straße 4 | 10245 Berlin | Opening hours: usually 8:30 am – 5:00 pm

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Macarons de Stéphane: Ever since I first visited Paris I loved macarons, so naturally I was super excited when I found this macaron store. It’s more of a takeaway place than a café but still, they have the best macarons. They have “normal” flavors such as raspberry, chocolate, and pistachio, but they also have special flavors like lavender, orange petal or rose.

Gärtnerstraße 13 | 10245 Berlin | Opening hours: 12:00 am – 6:00 pm

Macarons

Mitte:

Oliv: Mitte is one of the city centers of Berlin, so if you’re there and you want to grab a coffee and maybe just watch the people of Berlin, Oliv is the perfect place for you. Minimalistic design, good coffee, and great cakes and sandwiches.

Münzstraße 8 | 10178 Berlin | Opening hours: usually 8:30 am – 7:00 pm

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Rose Garden: Rose Garden has amazing sandwiches and cakes, but sometimes it’s really really crowded. Be sure to check in advance if you want to got there on the weekend.

Alte Schönhauser Str. 61 | 10119 Berlin | Opening hours: Usually 8:00 am – 11:00 pm

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Kreuzberg:

Hallesches Haus: The Hallisches Haus is located in an old storage building which gives it little the extra. The café is next to a small store in which you’ll find all kinds of stuff. It’s a really quiet place, so it’s great if you want to read a book or study.

Tempelhofer Ufer 1 | 10961 Berlin | Opening hours: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

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I hope you enjoy these places as much as I do. If you go there share your photos on Instagram and tag me or send them to me, it’s @inacathrien.

Thank you and bon appetit.

 

 

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Merci Paris!

I was quite busy the last few months. But I went to Paris with my boyfriend between the holidays last year and it was incredible.

We decided to go to Paris for 4 days after Christmas. It was a well deserved break for both of us and since he’s never been to Paris before I though it was a good choice.

We arrived in the evening and our hotel was super close to the Panthéon. The first evening we didn’t do much since we were really tired from the flights. The day after we went out to explore the city. I’ve been to Paris before, so I tried to show him all the places I remembered. There was this great breakfast place close to the Panthéon and we had crêpe for breakfast there. We walked from our hotel all the way to the Louvre with little stops in Saint Germain as well as at Notre Dame and on our way back we visited the Eiffel Tower.

On the second day I decided to bring him to the rooftop of the Lafayette. You have the best view there and it’s completely free. It’s sort of a rooftop garden/bar and  you can enjoy some hot and cold drinks up there. During our stay the city was really foggy but the view was amazing anyways.

I have to say that this trip was one of my favorites so far and if you’re looking for a weekend getaway Paris is a great choice.

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A short trip to Milan

 

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Italy – the country of pizza, pasta, and ice cream. How come I’ve never been there?

That’s exactly what I thought when I was looking for short trip ideas. I wanted to escape the usual stress for a while and have some alone time. So I booked a ticket to Milan, found a host on Couchsurfing and went there a few weeks later. It was a really good decision. I met some really nice people and we just had the best time.

On the first day, we went to Lago di Como ( Lake Como), which is roughly an hour away from Milan. The weather was good, so we even went for a swim. Lago di Como was simply amazing – the mountains surrounding the lake were so impressive and the small Italian houses along the lake were just so beautiful. I would definitely recommend going there.

I spend the other two days in the city. I visited the Duomo, the Sforza castle, and the San Siro stadium. I just loved the atmosphere in Milan. I went to see Inter Milan play Hapoel Be’er Sheva in the Europa League for only 10€ (student price) and even though the game wasn’t the best it was still a lot of fun.

One thing that I really liked in Milan was that the city isn’t expensive. I had vegan icecream near the Duomo and it was only 3€ for three scoops. Here in Germany, it’s usually around 1,20€ per scoop and if it’s vegan it’s even more expensive. Also the “aparetivo” thing – you pay for the drink and get the buffet for free. I went to Navigli for having the aparetivo and I paid 10€ for the cocktail + the buffet. The food was super good and the drink was even better.

So if you’re looking for a destination for your next city trip, Milan will be a good choice.

 

 

 

10 Things I learned while traveling alone

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During the last few years I traveled quite a lot. I learned new tricks and hacks on how to make the best out of your trip. Not everything will be as planned, and sometimes that’s a good thing.

I started traveling alone when I was a teenager. Brazil then London, Madrid, and Germany. Nothing really bad ever happened to me and I would definitely recommend traveling by yourself. There are some things you should take care of beforehand like accommodation, Visa etc. Many of my trips were spontaneous and that’s what made them such adventures.

I’ll be going to Milano in two weeks, so I thought I’d share my top 10 travel advises with you

1. Try to book in advance – If you know you have a few weeks off in 3 months, why not book right away? Flights are cheaper and you’ll save yourself a lot of stress. If you book last minute, so flights will be reeeeeaaaally expensive. Same goes for buses, I travel a lot using Flixbus and many tickets are really cheap and then suddenly way more expensive the next day.

2. Try to book carry on luggage only –  This will save you time, money and stress. If you go somewhere for seven days or less try to fit everything in a carry-on suitcase. Most times it works and it’ll save you about 50€ per ticket. It’s also a lot easier to only carry one suitcase instead of two and you won’t have to wait for luggage drop off etc.

3. Bring an empty water bottle and baby wipes – While you can’t bring a full bottle of liquid through security, you are allowed to bring an empty plastic bottle. Just fill it up at the next bathroom (if the water is drinkable) or at the next fountain. This will save you about 3€ each time since drinks are really expensive once you’re through security. Another thing I always carry with me while traveling are baby wipes. You can bring them through security without problems and use them for cleaning your hands, refreshing your face or just as make-up removal wipes. They’re super cheap and super convenient.

4. If you get stranded somewhere go to places such as McDonald’s – Just buy something cheap like a coffee and sit down. This happened to me a lot, I missed my bus/train/whatever and had to wait some hours for the next one. McDonald’s has free wifi for 3 hours, so you can watch a movie, listen to music or whatever else you want to do. If you’re a girl it’s also a lot safer than waiting alone in the dark or at some random train station.

5. Bring a blanket – Most airplanes and buses use AC and I tend to get really cold. I try to always bring a blanket to wrap myself in. Baby blankets are the perfect size since normal blankets are rather big and hard to fit in your bag. If you’re not cold you can use it as a pillow and save yourself some neck pain.

6. Make a playlist for traveling – Background noises can be super annoying. I had people snoring, talking or listening to their music, while I wanted to sleep. So I decided to make myself a “sleeping” playlist and it worked really well. Just listen to some calm and relaxing music and you’ll find sleep way sooner. I personally really like Bon Iver for this kind of playlist.

7. Bring your own food – Airplane food can be gross and you wouldn’t want to be hungry for 5 hours or more. Just prepare some food at home. As long as it isn’t liquid, meat, dairy or egg it shouldn’t be a problem to bring it through security. I like cookies and pasta for long trips. It’s also a lot cheaper than buying food out of convenience while at the airport or train station. You wouldn’t want to pay 5€ for a sandwich.

8. Buy a colorful suitcase – If you own a black suitcase the chances of it getting switched are quite big. Most people have black suitcases and they all look the same. If you don’t want to buy a new suitcase, put a colorful ribbon or belt on it, so you can spot it right away.

9. Send yourself a copy of your passport – Before you start your trip you should take a photo of your ID, passport or Visa and send it to yourself via email. This will help you a lot if you lose your passport or if it gets stolen. You can access your email from every computer and you will get a new one a lot quicker.

10. Be nice to the people at the airline counter – Even if your flight is delayed or canceled, it’s not their fault. Stay calm and be nice. They don’t want to help you if you scream at them. Tell them your problem and ask them for a sollution. They’ll be a lot nicer if you don’t yell and get angry.

 

 

 

 

A day in Sankt Peter-Ording

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It’s August 18th which means summer is nearly over – well, here in the north of Germany summer didn’t even arrive – but none the less yesterday was quite a sunny day. One of the best things about living in the north is that I live close to the ocean. The northern sea is about 6km away from me. So today my mother and I thought why not go to the beach. It wasn’t really hot but it was warm enough to go out in a t-shirt and a pair of shorts. We packed our things and drove off to a place called Sankt Peter-Ording. “Sankt Peter” as we call it is famous for being the largest beach in Germany. People from all over the country come here to have some days at the beach. Located at the end of the beach is the famous Westerhever lighthouse, which is featured in many advertisements in Germany.

From where we live it’s half an hour drive. You can either park in the town, in the marsh or directly on the beach. During summertime you’ll have to pay a small fee to enter the beach. It’s allowed to bring your dog as long as he’s on a leash. When we went there, there were many dogs. From small pugs to big labradors or Rhodesian ridgebacks, it’s a paradise for all of them.

Buying food at the beach or in the area can be quite expensive, so you should bring your own food. Another thing that I have to mention is that there are only a few restrooms, and the ones available are often really crowded and you’ll have to wait.

For me as a local SPO isn’t that fascinating, but I love to go there every once in a while. It’s nice to spend the day with your toes in the sand.

 

A trip to Nuremberg

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Last week I went to Nuremberg, it was my second time there. I already visited the city when I was a child, even though I don’t really remember it.

For those of you who don’t know, Nuremberg is located in the south of Germany, in the state of Bavaria. Even though it’s in the same state as Munich the two cities share few things. Well, the food is similar, same goes for the beer – but otherwise they are really different. Munich is known for it’s chic and sort of posh people and environment, where as Nuremberg is a lot simpler and more practical than elegant. I certainly do recommend visiting Nuremberg  – the city has many things to offer as it’s really old and has a lot of stories to tell. Around the city are several castles, some are even located within the city. So if you’re into history and old buildings Nuremberg is perfect for you. For shopping however I personally prefer cities such as Munich or Hamburg, the stores are bigger and the shopping streets offer a bigger variety of brands. One thing I really liked in Nuremberg though was the market in the middle of the city – you can buy local, seasonal and fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as bread, honey or dried fruits. But be sure to look at the little signs telling you where each product is from. During summertime it’s possible to buy many fruits and vegetables such as berries, apples or mushrooms from local farmers, they often taste better and aren’t much more expensive than “foreign” greens. If you drink beer you should definitely stop by a so-called “Biergarten” (beer garden) and enjoy one or more pints. My personal favourite is alcohol free “white” beer mixed with sprite or other lemonade. Sure, they serve these drinks with “normal” beer too, just ask for a “Radler”