Last month I had the most incredible weekend in Berlin for my friend Sophie’s surprise hen do.
It was my first visit to the city, having only been to Frankfurt in Germany before. I was so excited before going and it certainly did not disappoint!
I was a little nervous about going on a hen do with a group of girls who I didn’t actually know!
I’d only met a couple of them before so was worried that we wouldn’t get along. Especially as, in my experience, big groups of girls can be bitchy. Luckily I had no reason to be nervous. From the minute we met and had the first drink in the airport, right through to hugging goodbye we had a brilliant time together.
We flew with Easyjet from Luton to Berlin Schoenefeld. I’ve never flown from Luton before and didn’t realise that it was quite a pain to get to! My morning was a bit of a nightmare! Not only was I running late but then a guy dropped his bag on my foot and cracked my toenail open! Thank god for Emmy arriving at Kings Cross when she did – me and blood don’t mix very well so I wasn’t enjoying trying to bandage it up!
Our outgoing flight went smoothly, aided by a few drinks of course!
It’s only a couple of hours flight from London to Berling. At the other end the airport isn’t far from the city and the bridal party had organised a taxi transfer to our hotel. Before I knew it we had arrived at our accomodation.
We stayed at the Meininger Hotel Berlin Alexanderplatz. The hotel is a great mix between hotel and hostel and we had some of the hostel rooms. Our rooms were lovely and well designed. The hotel was clean, functional and perfect for a weekend break. It was much nicer than I had anticipated and I would definitely stay there again. The hotel even has a bar and is in a great location – Schönhauser Allee by subway station Senefelderplatz.
Friday Night in Berlin
After unpacking we had a few drinks and went for a walk to find some dinner. We popped into a place called Scotch and Sofa who, unfortunately, didn’t do food but I’ll be heading back there next time I’m in Berlin. It was beautiful in there and such a lovely atmosphere. We ended up in a local restaurant called Le Bon Coin which served a variety of food. The portion sizes were huge – I ordered the bruschetta as a starter and it could have easily been a sharing course! For the main I went for the pesto spaghetti – it was delicious. The mojitos were great too!
After dinner we went back to the hotel for some pre-drinks and to get ready. Friday night for us was Gatsby Night! Once we were dressed up to the nines in our 1920s attire it was off to The Mad Mansion for the ‘Party Like Gatsby’ event night. I was blown away by how well done the night was. The decor, music, costumes – it was so incredible. We danced to jazzed up versions of some modern classics with a live band and dancers. The prosecco was pouring and we were jazz-handing it up *yeah that’s a thing* all night.
We got home in the early hours after a lot of alcohol and a stop at Macdonalds in an attempt to refuel and then it was off to bed for the hens!
Brunch in Berlin
Let’s just say I didn’t wake up feeling super fresh Saturday morning ahem!
However I did manage to roll out of my bed quite early (still fully dressed from the night before!) and jumped straight in the shower to freshen up. The bridal party (who were fab organisers!) had booked us brunch at Betty n Caty. Luckily the cafe was just a short walk from the hotel and I perked up when we walked in. We were greeted by the scent of strong coffee, fresh pastries and a really lovely waitress.
She sat us at an upstairs table overlooking the rest of the cafe. The whole place was lovely and I wish we had a branch in London!
My stomach was feeling a little tender (not as tender as my head ha!) so I opted for a vegetarian breakfast of scrambled eggs with avocado and cheese topped grilled tomatoes. I also had a pot of breakfast tea which came in the cutest little teapot and a smoothie.
I opted for the large sized Good Karma smoothie which had banana, blueberries, hemp seeds, coconut water, almond milk and cinnamon. It was delicious! The portion sizes were good and the prices were so reasonable too. This was my favourite place we visited in Berlin.
Whilst eating and drinking we played some great hen party games and got to know each other a little more. Am looking forward to seeing this fab group at the wedding!
Beer and Pretzels
If you’ve visited the blog before then you probably know I’m a big fan of beer. After brunch we walked down to the city centre. We had a mooch around Alexanderplatz taking in the Fernsehturm (TV Tower) and the Berlin Cathedral.
Then we stopped at the GeorgBraeu riverside beer garden for some delicious beer and pretzels! I tried a variety of Pilsners whilst in Berlin but my favourite was here. Sat out in the garden drinking mini steins was such a nice moment!
Can you tell I was REALLY excited about those carbs? Warm pretzels = amazing!
Canoeing the City
Honestly my first thought when I was told that we’d been booked on a canoeing tour of Berlin was not excitement. In fact I think I may have swore and wondered if there was a gauranteed-to-stay-dry alternative!
You see, I’m a pretty clumsy person at the best of times. I hurt myself regularly and fall over nothing all of the time. And so the idea of being on a canoe in the middle of a river terrified me. However I, of course, love the bride and so come Saturday afternoon after a bit of dutch courage, I gritted my teeth and made my way towards the canoe pick up.
I strapped into my bright yellow lifejacket and pretty much squealed for the first five minutes of attempting to get in and sit still in the boat. It was interesting trying to keep our balance whilst we listened to our guide’s instructions. I was even more nervous when he started talking about getting out of the way of bigger boats as we went!
Our tour was with Florian from Canoa Berlin who was fantastic and very entertaining. His english was great and he gave us some really interesting information about the city and its history as we rowed.
And you know what? After all my nerves and stressing about the idea of canoeing in Berlin? It was my favourite thing to do! We had such a great time – sipping beers, seeing a whole new side to the city and listening to Florian’s info. It was a great way to spend a few hours. Although my bladder was suffering by the time we headed back!
Saturday Night in Berlin
Our canoe tour ended near Birgit & Bier which is where we spent our Saturday night. The venue is part crazy, part shabby but pretty cool. Although the toilets were pretty nasty (antibac for the win!). The pizzeria there was great aswell (if a long wait!) so we settled in to eat and drink. Of course it’s a hen party so there was lots of fun and games!
A few of us stayed quite late (think we made it til 4am!) and ended up dancing in the techno club onsite too! Was a real laugh and I had such a fun night.
On our last morning in Berlin we packed and checked out of the hostel. Thankfully they allowed us to store our luggage there so we didn’t have to carry it around the city for our final hours.
A few people had to leave to catch an earlier flight so we had breakfast together at a cafe near Alexanderplatz. Then we grabbed coffee in The Barn, a coffee shop so good it deserves it’s own post! Berlin reminded me of Sweden in terms of the design aesthetic. Every space was so well designed and functional whilst being beautiful.
Our final activity in Berlin was to go on one of the hop on/off sightseeing buses. Unfortunately we didn’t have long enough to actually do any exploring but the bus ride was great fun. We got to see lots of Berlin and all of the major sites. All whilst drinking prosecco and, in the bride’s case, taking naps!
It was really surreal seeing the Berlin Wall. I plan to go back to Berlin again and will definitely go see it properly.
Our journey BACK to the airport certainly did not go as smoothly as our inbound one! Our taxi transfer didn’t arrive on time and we ended up running through the airport. We had to beg people to let us through security and finally got to the boarding gate with 2 minutes to spare. What a palavar! At least, once we stopped hyperventilating, we hadn’t missed our flight and had something to laugh about!
And then all too soon I was back in dreary London. However I did bring back some excellent coffee, a three-day hangover and some great memories! Thanks to Sophie’s bridesmaids for organising the spectacular weekend, and thanks to everyone who came for being such fun!
Have you been to Berlin or is it on your bucket list? I get to tick it off mine now! What is the best place you’ve ever been on a hen weekend?