48 hours in Berlin 

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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Five realistic and horrible truths all London commuters know

top tips
  1. Spacial awareness is non- existent

If you have ever had the delight of travelling on the Northern line during rush hour, you will know all too well what a pleasure it is. In fact, any tube line which travels through central London within peak times is despicably bad. Strangers will inevitably touch you, you will have sweaty armpits in your face – your hair may even get caught in someone else’s zip. If you are commute on the tube you learn to accept the fact that personal space disappeared years ago, into the horizon.

  1. Feeling HOT, HOT, HOT

Whether it is 10 degrees outside, or -10 the tubes are permanent furnaces. It’s like venturing into a glasshouse at the height of summer. This can make outfit choices severely challenging; do I bring a coat for after hours, you ask yourself – but then if it doesn’t get colder I’m stuck holding my jacket like a pleb? My advice is to always carry a bottle of cold water, and a cardigan (just in case as British weather is very much bi-polar).

  1. It’s also ICE, ICE baby

Aside from being blunderingly hot in the summer months, the tube is also pleasingly cold during the colder months. I’m almost certain that air-con is on during winter, but somehow malfunctions during the warmer months? This theory is also applicable to London buses.

  1. Fight for your right

If you live / get on the tube anywhere near the middle or end of a line. There is no way you are sitting down, nope. You, my friend, are standing uncomfortably until you reach your destination. It is literally a case of survival of the fittest, London tubes take no prisoners. Furthermore, I have realised when standing, if you move towards the centre of the carriage, you are more likely to get a seat – as people get off gradually, you will be in a prime position to nab their seat. Thank me later.

  1. Strike….a pose?

There will be several strikes throughout the year, despite you paying through your nose for TFL; apparently their workers need more money? So, on these particular days you will struggle to get to work, actually you probably will not be able to get to work whatsoever. Good luck explaining this to your boss.

BUT, despite all of these unfortunate elements, we still continue to pay over the odds for it, we still get where we need to (and pretty fast too by the way).

Five fun things you can do in London for under £20 

top tips

Let’s face it; as Londoners we moan insistently about the god awful weather, the ridiculous queues everywhere you go (even in toilets), and we moan at how bloody (ever increasingly) expensive everything is! BUT did you know there are a lot of things to do in London that are cheap, entertaining and full of culture. 

I’ve been mentally compiling this list for a while as I’ve been on a mission to save money. So here are my hidden gems: 

1. The Tate Modern gallery 

Many of the exhibitions here are free, and often they offer interactive workshops where you can network with industry professionals. And get involved first hand with the art. (I even got to make a key chain for myself and keep it for free). 

They have some amazing exhibitions which are culturally rich and diverse. 

Expenses for the day: 

Museum entry – free 

Food – You need to be organised and prepare a packed lunch beforehand, this way you spend zero on food 

Travel, train fare to the museum return – £7 

That leaves you with a £13 budget to get something from the gift store! Or save the change? 

2. Picnic at Holland Park 

I mean this one is obviously weather permitting. But definetly on a warm(ish) day, this park is lovely to sit have a picnic and a good old chinwag. 

The park itself is absolutely stunning and provides the perfect backdrop for an Instagram worthy photoshoot 💁🏼 

Expenses for the day: 

Return travel for the day – £7 

Food for picnic – £7 

Leaving you with £6 spare – winning 

3. Visit bagel bake @ brick lane 

What do I say in Defense of the shoreditch hipsters ? If you can’t beat em, join em! 

THIS IS BY FAR THE BEST BAGEL PLACE EVER 

Mouth watering salted beef roll with juicy gherkins, Source: Google Images


You have to try their salted beef bagel they are infamous. 

Plus when you arrive in shoreditch there is usually some sort of free entertainment…… believe me you’ll make a day of it! 

Expenses for the day: 

Travel return – £7 

Salted beef bagel – £3.70 

4. Treat yourself 

Why not get a massage and pamper yourself? You work hard you deserve it. And you can still do this on a tight budget. 

Groupon often have deals on massages, I have found one based in London, which includes a 15 minute chair massage, eyebrow & upper lip threading for just £9

Amazing value. 

Expenses for the day: 

Massage – £9 

Travel return – £7 

Lunch – £4 (Tesco meal deal/optional) 

5. Go and see Shakespeare at the theatre

Too expensive?! Never say never. At the young vic in Waterloo tickets start at just £10 

You can be cultural and cheap if you try hard enough! 

Expenses for the day: 

Ticket – £10 

Travel – £3 (going to have to bus it this time as the budget is tight) 

Food – £7 (opt to find a local kebab shop after the show is finished) 
Enjoy London and enjoy saving! 

Common misconception 

opinion piece

So you’ve all heard you can legally smoke weed in Amsterdam right. It’s the fundamental reason most people visit the city. It’s nothing monumental to be told this; however before I visited the city, from some people there is an air of snootiness about the place. Which I think is totally unfair. 

Common ignorance would have you believe it’s the seediest of places, with prostitutes on every corner and so much weed smoking that the whole city is covered by a massive cloud of smoke. In fact the truth is, it’s not like that at all. 

There are sex shops. But they look like Ann summers, it’s nothing new. Of course there are strip clubs etc. IF you go looking for them, which I’m pretty sure is the same in every city. Sex sells and there’s always a demand for it.

Apart from smoking weed and visiting the (most interesting) sex museum, there is so much more to Amsterdam. Everywhere you look there is quintessential European architecture, culturally rich and aesthetically pleasing. There are quaint traditional Dutch patisseries on every corner offering an array of delicious looking pastries (do not expect to be on a carb free diet in Holland). And there is also a more relaxed and neutral atmosphere, especially compared to London. I really entered this city with the wrong attitude, and I do not want others to do the same. It’s a beautiful city – make the most of it. Rather then going and getting stoned 24/7. You will miss out on experiencing a fantastic city. 

Fashion & beauty tips for Amsterdam 

As previously mentioned, everyone in this city is so god damned laid back. When you enter central London you see all sorts of fashion eccentricities and glamour. Amsterdam is nothing like that – over the whole weekend I didn’t see one girl who looked overtly glamorous or dressed up. (I only wish someone had told me all this so I didn’t traipse around the city looking like a tourist attraction dressed to the odds like kendra wilkinson) 

1. Casual clothing rules here. Think jeans with a nice top and boots, simplistic outfits. I honestly saw not one person in heels. 

2. Beware of the cobblestones. The roads here in Amsterdam central are mainly cobblestones so trainers or flat shoes which are easy to walk in are highly advisable. 

3. Make up wise most people look rather natural. So go for nude shades, lipgloss and an overal natural glow. 

4. In terms of hair, anything goes here really. But if you want to blend in and look like a local, bright blonde hair with cute plaits to match! (See below image, I really tried hard to look Dutch)