Top 5 sunsets in Berlin

Berlin TV Tower

The Berlin TV Tower (Fernsehturm) is probably the most recognisable icon in the city’s skyline. Berliners nicknamed it the Alex Tower and it receives more than a million visitors annually.

Today, it is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the German capital, standing out from the rest of the buildings with its large steel dome and its skyward pointing antenna.

It is located in the central Mitte district and is just a stone’s throw from Alexanderplatz.

It was built during the times of the GDR, and nowadays the best thing to do is to enjoy its panoramic terrace, with one of the best views of the city while you visit the bar and restaurant.

The Reichstag dome

The main advantage of going up to the Reichstag dome, (the German parliament building) is that it is free, and the main disadvantage is that you have to book in advance, and considering the fast changing weather in a city like Berlin, it can be a bit tricky to schedule your visit on a clear day to appreciate the views and take good pictures.

However, since it’s free, there’s nothing to lose by booking in advance and going up to have a look at the government district and the centre of Berlin.

If you haven’t been able to book in advance, don’t worry: you can sign up for the tour on the day if there are still places available, otherwise you can always wait at least two hours or two days later. Your booking will only be accepted if it is for the same day or the following day at the latest.

-The dome is open daily from 08:00-00:00 hours and can be accessed every 15 minutes (the last entrance is at 22:00 hours).

The Kolhoff Tower (Panoramapunkt)

This building of curious architecture, located on Potsdamer Platz, stands on one of the places where we used to find the division of the famous wall. If you look up, you will see that the perimeter of the old wall is marked with pebbles.

The main interest of the Kolhoff Tower, apart from the building itself, is that on the 24th and 25th floors it houses Panoramapunkt, an open observation deck that offers the best panoramic view of the centre of Berlin. It has a café and a small exhibition that reviews the history of the reconstruction of the area.

Since this terrace was inaugurated in 1999, the Panoramapunkt has become one of the most visited tourist attractions in Berlin, and no wonder: from its viewpoint we can see the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Cathedral, the television tower, the Reichstag… a complete panoramic view of the most significant buildings in the German capital from a building that boasts the best sunset in Berlin.

– The observation deck is open daily from 10:00-20:00 and costs €6 (€8 if you don’t want to wait in line), making the Kolhoff Tower a cheap alternative to the TV Tower (and just as good).

The Weltballoon

Operated by the company Air Service Berlin, this helium balloon is attached to the ground by a steel cable and rises to a height of 150 metres for a breathtaking view of Berlin.

The downside? It’s the most expensive viewpoint in Berlin, costing around €19.90 per adult and €6.90 for children between the ages of 3 and 10.

If you decide to visit it you have to choose the right day to go up, as the views are very good as long as the sky is clear.

There are rises every 15 minutes, and it operates every day from 10:00-22:00 hours (between April and October) and from 11:00-18:00 hours (between November and March).

It is located next to Checkpoint Charlie, at Zimmerstraße 95-100, so you can take advantage of your visit and try to find our Hotel Gat Point Charlie. In the rooms at the back you can see the balloon as it rises.

Kreuzberg Hill in Victoriapark

The highest hill in Berlin (over 65 metres high), it is clear that Kreuzberg Hill offers one of the best views. It is located in the Victoriapark, (a park located in the heart of Kreuzberg, a very trendy neighbourhood in recent times).

Once at the top you have to walk up to the highest part and you can admire the views of the Kreuzberg district and the centre of Berlin, and even catch a glimpse of the old Templehof airport, which has been converted into a park open to the public (and quite curious, as you can imagine). A romantic spot from which to watch the sunset over Berlin is a real pleasure.

-To get there, take the metro to Mehringdamm (lines U6 and U7) and walk about 10 minutes to the park entrance, which, of course, is free.

Teufelsberg. Devil’s Hill

Our last viewpoint takes us to the outskirts of Berlin… and we assure you that, if you like to get away from the typical tourist sites, this tower, almost 50 metres high, will not leave you indifferent.

It is a former spy station used by the American secret services for eavesdropping during the Cold War, and abandoned after the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is not surprising that David Lynch himself (yes, the film director and creator of Twin Peaks) noticed this place, which he tried to turn into a kind of esoteric university (something that was obviously not allowed by the Berlin City Council).

Before becoming a spy stronghold, the site was once a training centre for Nazi soldiers, which the Americans covered with tons of rubble at the end of World War II to build this tower on the promontory, which stands 115 metres above the outskirts of Berlin and is not only a great view of the city but an attraction in its own right.

Today, Teufelsberg is home to graffiti artists, street art photographers and the occasional tourist with an explorer’s soul who comes here to see what is undoubtedly one of the strangest, most ghostly and fascinating places in Berlin.

The most beautiful national parks in Germany

European Park Day is celebrated on 24 May every year. Its aim is to protect natural areas. We have chosen the eight most beautiful parks in Germany for you.
Black Forest National Park
The forests of the Black Forest are dense and dark. Since the beginning of May 2014, this area in the south-west of Germany has been a fully-fledged national park. Rare bird species such as the capercaillie find refuge in the dense forests of spruce and beech, while its marshes are home to the endangered European common viper.
Jasmund National Park
The Baltic island of Rügen is known for its cliffs. The German Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich made them a monument in his well-known work “White Cliffs on Rügen”. Add to that the island’s centuries-old beech forests and you have the perfect setting.
Müritz National Park
The Müritz National Park protects part of the Mecklenburg Lake District. In the water-rich landscape, it is possible to see virgin forests and to observe birds such as ospreys on its more than 100 lakes. Much of the park can be explored by boat or canoe.
Hainich National Park
“Jungle in the middle of Germany”. This is how the Hainich National Park in Thuringia is also known. In its forests, visitors can observe wild cats or travel through the treetops on specially constructed hiking trails.
he forests of the Black Forest. Since the beginning of May 2014, this area in the southwest of Germany has been a fully-fledged national park. In the dense forests of spruce and beech, rare bird species such as the capercaillie find refuge here, while its marshes are home to the endangered European common viper.
West Pomeranian Lagoon National Park
Also called ‘Baltic Sea Lagoons’, the islands that make up the park are islands or peninsulas separated from the Baltic Sea. The marshes and waters of the National Park are an important resting place for different types of migratory birds. For example, cranes, which arrive in their thousands every autumn on their way south.

Saxon Switzerland National Park
The rock formations in this park have been a favourite destination for climbers for 150 years. Some of the peaks are reached by stairs, making them easily accessible to visitors. From the heights it is possible to appreciate a wonderful panorama of cliffs, ravines and forests. A real dream.
Berchtesgaden National Park
This is the only German national park in the Alps. Located in southeastern Bavaria, this protected area is marked by the crevasses that characterise its steep rocks, but also offers green meadows and lakes. Marmots, eagles and chamois are native to this area.
Black Forest National Park
The forests of the Black Forest are dense and dark. Since the beginning of May 2014, this area in the south-west of Germany has been a fully-fledged national park. Rare bird species such as the capercaillie find refuge in the dense forests of spruce and beech, while its marshes are home to the endangered European common viper.

The good times will come again

The COVID-19 virus pandemic caught us by surprise here at Gatrooms, during a period of high occupancy, investments and improvement projects. Things were going smoothly, but then all of sudden our world changed. Like everyone else, we have reacted as quickly and efficiently as possible to the current situation.

People say that change is good, but it can also be painful.
In our case, the Gatrooms philosophy has taught us a valuable lesson: you can always be more flexible than you think. Until now, we believed that being flexible was making sure our guests had everything they needed during their stay. Recently, all that has changed: guests can now cancel their reservation if they are unable to travel and rebook their stay for whenever they think they will finally be able to make it to the city.

If there was any room for improvement in terms of cleanliness and hygiene, we have made changes; we have doubled down on cleaning measures in the rooms; and dispensers filled with hand sanitizing fluid have been installed throughout the hotel. We also make sure that the safety distance of 1½ meters between staff or guests is maintained in the communal areas such as Reception or the breakfast room. Perhaps, after all this, people will continue to use sanitizer and take more care to wash their hands thoroughly.

We have also changed the way we work: the team at Head Office currently work from home and the hotel staff take every precaution to avoid spreading or being infected by the virus, following the safety guidelines published by the World Health Organization to the letter.

If any changes are made or new orders given by the authorities, we will be sure to accept them fully and put them into place at Gatrooms immediately. But we will worry about that if and when the time comes‒for now, let’s all keep positive and look forward to when the lockdown is lifted, and we can greet and hug each other freely again.

Cool, alternative neighbourhoods in Berlin

There is plenty of contrast in our selection of alternative neighbourhoods in Berlin that are well worth discovering: some have a revolutionary punk past, while others are defined by their Art Nouveau architecture from the early 20th century. What makes them all interesting is the way they have capitalized on their history and adapted to become modern communities with plenty to offer.

 
Friedrichshain

@shellfish

Traditionally the epicentre of alternative culture in the German capital, this area is famous for the riots that took place here after the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989. The buildings that were once occupied by activist squatters have now been converted into elegant boutiques and coffee shops. However, the neighbourhood’s revolutionary vibe can still be found in places such as the RAW complex, a collection of artistic spaces and events venues with an industrial flair.

Kreuzberg

@artejulia

Kreuzberg was the heart of West Berlin punk with squats such as Kopi and SO36, which are still standing today. While the neighbourhood still has a slightly non-conformist feel, it is very much part of the hipster scene. The indoor Markthalle Neun offers food from around the world on Street Food Thursdays.

For more on Friedichshain and Kreuzberg, visit https://whereis.gatrooms.com/travel-smart-in-berlin-friedichshain-kreuzberg/

Graefekiez

@culturetrip

At first sight, this looks like a bohemian neighbourhood that has rigorously preserved its historic buildings. When you dig deeper, you learn that behind the Art Nouveau façade lies Berlin’s tech centre, packed with startups and bars that accept bitcoin as payment. The Admiral Bridge is the perfect spot for a picnic.

Treptow

@stewi

This neighbourhood is a green paradise thanks to its numerous parks, including Planterwald and Treptower Park. If you take a stroll down streets like Lohmühlenstraße, you are likely to come across new-age nomadic workers bent over their laptops in hipster coffee shops. At night, the indoor Treptow Arena hosts concerts and parties, making it the hottest venue in East Berlin. 

Don’t forget about other cool neighbourhoods such as Kreuzberg, Rixdorf, Schillerkiez and Neukolln. You can read all about them here: https://whereis.gatrooms.com/kreuzberg-and-rixdorf-and-schillerkiez-in-neukolln/

Healthy Brunches in Berlin

@koppsberlin

Berlin is a trendsetting city. When the brunch boom hit a few years ago, eateries here quickly found a way to offer a new type of customer‒ “those who brunch” ‒extensive options for high quality, healthy and locally-sourced food.

Kopps

@koppsberlin

According to The New York Times and CNN, this is one of the best vegan restaurants in the world. According to us, it’s a place where whatever you order, it’s bound to be delicious!

Brunch served: Saturday 09:30-16:00 and Sunday 09:00-16:00.

Hallesches Haus

@hallescheshaus

Located on Tempelhofer Ufer in the Kreuzberg district, Hallesches Haus is an eye-opening event space with a modern, industrial vibe that serves locally-sourced organic cuisine.

Brunch served: Saturday 10:00-18:00. Enjoy a cup of local roasted coffee, too.

Isla Coffee Berlin

@Islacoffeeberlin

This city oasis with a zen vibe set in the midst of a sometimes hectic Hermannstraße in Neukölln features a minimalist decor, locally-produced furniture and an abundance of plants. The brunches they serve at this “island” of calm are based on a no-waste philosophy: leftover milk foam is used as ricotta to make their bread pudding.

Brunch served: Weekends, 10:00-16:00.

Fine Bagels

@finebagels

This bakery produces traditional New York bagels in the heart of the Friedrichshain district. Perfect for enjoying lunch after browsing the extensive collection of English books at the Shakespeare and Sons bookstore, where it is located.

Open: Monday to Sunday 08:00-20:00.

Brammibal’s Donuts

@Brammibalsdonuts

Accompany these marvellous, homemade vegan doughnuts with a great cup of coffee after devouring a freshly toasted bagel. When it comes to brunch, anything goes. Open: Monday to Saturday 10:00-20:00. Sunday