48 hours in BerlinĀ 

top tips

Going on a mini-break can be exhaustive; you rush around trying to do / see everything humanly possible with a limited amount of time. You may even end up feeling as if you need a second holiday just for recuperative recovery. Yet we still love mini-breaks! 


The end of October I did 48 hours in Berlin, and when it came down to it I was so under prepared it was slightly embarrassing. I’m going to be kind, and give you a hindsight heads up. So that you won’t waste hours looking for a destination that you are in fact standing in, get on a bus travelling in the opposite direction or, perhaps the worst of my naive mistakes, get caught out shopping in the middle of a dangerous storm. 

1. Weekend blues 

Okay now this one is REALLY vital to anyone planning a trip to Berlin that involves any type of shopping. 

If your trip happens to fall on a weekend, it’s important to know that shops close on Sunday. Yes, no limited hours for retail workers. Completely and utterly closed for the entire duration of the day of rest. It’s better to use this day for exploring restaurants / bars / tourist attractions. 
OH and just as a side note, it’s worth checking local news and weather warnings every day of your holiday. Or you may wind up caught in the middle of a somewhat dangerous storm like I did. It was wet windy and unpleasant. 

2. Research is key 

Of course, we all lead busy lifestyles and it’s difficult to find time to do just about anything. But we all have access to Google on our phones, and a little research before your trip will go a long way. Especially in a huge, diverse city like Berlin. 

I would check: 

The main tourist spots to visit (and how to get there, the Berlin public transport system is just as confusing as the London one, except every mode of transport is exceptionally punctual). 

This research will be vital, the city of Berlin is rather huge and has many central sections (much like London). When you have limited time the last thing you want is to waste time going round in circles. 

3. Dress sense 

You will notice, pretty much as soon as you land in Germany that there is a feeling of conservativeness. To avoid awkward amounts of staring I would suggest the appropriate dress to be casual / smart. If you go around autumn / winter time it’s also blisteringly cold, so you won’t be able to dress up anyhow. I would suggest the good ole trusty ‘nice top and jeans’. A warm coat, a scarf and an umbrella. (Of course I had none of these). 

4. Food is life 

Just a few things to note when it comes to ordering food / drinks. 

  • Typically German people drink sparkling water as a rule, always check your water is still if you purchase bottles from shops (assuming you don’t like sparkling) 
  • Germans have a random obsession with marzipan so if you don’t like it, be careful when ordering cakes from bakeries. Sometimes it’s even hidden underneath icing. They get it in every nook and cranny 
  • If you usually drink Diet Coke, they have Coke Light which is practically the same thing, no need to panic 
  • If you ask in store for chips, you will be handed crisps. Chips are pomme frites (just like the French equivalent) 

Food is life, I thought anyone would need to know these helpful tips. 

And on that note I would like to say that I found Berlin to be absolutely enchanting; there is a huge amount of historical context to be explored. Architecture and art to be viewed, and wonderfully tasty (and fatty) food to be consumed. Enjoy, auf Wiedersehen. 

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Travel bug

opinion piece

It’s cheesy and cliche; and it’s obvious. It’s obvious. Everybody gets that rejuvenating, sense of excitement and new beginnings when they go on holiday. It’s almost like anything could happen; your mood is relaxed, your mind cleared and all your problems seem a million miles away. But I’m not here to discuss yoga, or relaxation tips. There’s also something else which happens (in my case anytime I go anywhere at all, even local); as any retail addict knows very well. Holiday is merely a justification to buy a whole new wardrobe. Even if you’ve only had one two weeks ago. Buy those Tom Ford sunglasses, because, hell your going to wear them anyway.

Here are my top tips for holiday shopping this year;

1. Travel light

This sounds much easier then it is; over-packing comes naturally to me. I need three outfits per day. Plus beachwear and optional shoes and handbags. So I understand how we struggle as females. But you know what? you won’t end up wearing half the stuff you’ll lug halfway across the ocean. So plan and write down what you will definitely wear. Repeating day outfits is fine, especially for summer holidays, it’s hot so you require less clothing. Also, travelling light allows you to take smaller suitcases which are often prettier (how I wish I was able to fit all my junk into my Louis carry-case, instead I got lobbed with a Dunlop suitcase as it was the only thing in my house in which my stuff fitted in).

2. Sale shopping

If, like me, your likely to wear your holiday outfits just once. There’s no point spending a fortune on outfits. Scan sales online, websites like Missguided offer sales constantly (they have brill dresses, casual & party), plus they always have constant student discount. For designer items try an outlet like Portsmouth or Bicester where they have various designer stores with up to 70% discount. This can be handy for finding handbags, shoes, purses, sunglasses for holiday.

3. Shop smart

Depending on where you go, most countries are cheaper then London; and if you buy make-up and clothes abroad. Guess what? That bitch at work in accounts isn’t going to be able to copy your peplum top from the boutique in Crete in a small village on the other side of Europe. You will find unique pieces which you can utilize the whole summer.

4. Research

Before you part, search weather conditions (you don’t want to turn up in Spain expecting blazing heat, and actually the week you go its forecast to rain and you only have short shorts and t-shirts, not ideal). Try to research the culture also, how do the locals dress? I didn’t do this and attended a nightclub in a small town in Crete wearing a bodycon house of CB bandage two piece with nude Jimmy Choo heels; and the amount of stares I was getting – I may as well have been a hooker. Everyone in the nightclub was wearing jeans and t-shirts. It was beyond casual, and it was somewhat embarrassing also. So if you know anyone from the country ask beforehand, and google the place as well.

5. Speculate to accumulate

When you arrive back home, then its time for a clear out. Do a car boot sale (if we ever have good weather in England that is), anything anymore valuable, put on eBay. Seeing as you’ve brought a new wardrobe, you might as well clear out the old one and make yourself some extra pennies too. Every little helps.