Only in Berlin
I am a recent graduate from Queen's University Belfast, where I gained a Masters degree in Modern Literary Studies (with commendation). My passions lie in travelling and language, the written and spoken word and I'm inspired by social culture, music and literature.

In June 2012 I travelled to Berlin to take part in City Travel Review, to create a travel guide about that city. It was a huge challenge to learn about a new city and find my bearings but the results speak for themselves. The guide was a success where we worked individually and as part of a team to visit and review sites, write them up, edit and put them into the layout format. It was an incredibly satisfying process to watch our hard work being turned into a commercial entity where real people might actually buy and benefit from our guide. 

Below are a few pages of Only in Berlin which include reviews i wrote, as well as the introduction to the Restaurants and cafes section, which i edited. 

Here is a link to the finished product, available to buy on lulu:
GDR Museum review.

GDR Museum (DDR Museum).
Karl – Liebknecht Straße 1. 10178 Berlin.
U-Bahn: Alexanderplatz.
Opening times: Mon –Sun, 10.00 – 20.00, Sat,10.00 – 22.00.
Entry: 6€, 4€ reduced.

You will find the GDR Museum opposite theBerliner Dom on the bank of the River Spree. Inside, the curious world of theGerman Democratic Republic awaits you. East Germany remained a mystery towesterners and this museum dispels the myths and highlights the truths of lifefrom 1946-1989. Using interactive displays and objects from that time, the GDRis brought to life, its inhabitants characterised and the policies explained.You can take part in a Russian language lesson and print the characters afterwriting on the touchscreen, sit in the symbolic Trabant cars, or the hugeVolvos driven by the party leaders. You are invited to look inside drawers andcupboards and interact with objects like clothes and toys which depicting lifein this period. The most interesting and disarming narratives are the ingeniousways in which the people rebelled against the communist programme; by takingpart in skinny-dipping and nudism, by wearing faded jeans or listening to popmusic from the west. A visit to the GDR museum is a compelling and excitingchance to delve into the time when Germany was divided.

Jennifer Dunn
Old National Gallery review

Old National Gallery - Alte Nationalgalerie
Museumsinsel Berlin,
Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin
S-Bahn: Friedrichstraße
Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 10.00 – 18.00, Thursday 10.00 – 22.00
Prices: €8/4
+49 (0)30 – 266 42 42 42

Alte Nationalgalerie is home to 19th century paintings and sculptures, including examples of Romantism, Realism and Impressionism. Located on Museum Island, directly off Friedrichsbrücke, the imposing building will draw you inside. The proportions of the Neoclassical portico are breath-taking, with towering columns and a grand fresco above the façade. Inside, the floor, walls and pedestals are bedecked in marble, the perfect setting to showcase the art. Of particular interest is the Neo-Baroque sculpture room with its high domed, aqua coloured roof, painted with stars and shell corner details. Finished in 1876, Alte Nationalgalerie is one of the most important pieces of 19th century museum construction and was designed by Friedrich August Stüler to be like a temple. The gallery features art by such eminent German artists as Adolf Menzel and Karl Friedrich Shinkel, as well as the original “The Thinker” by Auguste Rodin. The impressionist art collection is the oldest and largest in Europe, displaying paintings by Claude Monet, Edouard Manet, Auguste Renoir, Edgar Degas and Paul Cézanne. The three floors are easy to navigate, especially with the audio guide, which comes free with the ticket price. The grandeur of this gallery and quality of the collection makes it well worth a visit and it is easy to lose track of time as you roam the halls. The bookshop come espresso bar downstairs is a great place to relax and enjoy coffee and madalines in majestic surroundings.

Jennifer Dunn.&n
Berlin Zoo review

Zoo Berlin (Der Hauptstadt Zoo).
Hardenbergplatz 8, 10787Berlin. Tiergarten.
Opening times: March –October 09.00 – 19.00 daily, October – March 09.00 – 17.00.
U-Bahn: Zoologischer Garten.
Tel: +49 30 254010
Prices: 13€/10€ for studentsor 20€/15€ for zoo and aquarium tickets.

Berlin zoo is the oldestzoological garden in Germany, located in the western part of the Tiergarten. Itis billed as being the world’s most diverse zoo and is highly regarded globallyas a centre for breeding and conservation. It houses a range of zoologicalrarities including black rhinos and a giant panda (called Bao Bao). Alongsidethese more unusual animals, are those typically found in zoos, such aselephants, bears and penguins. The big cat house has an impressive collectionincluding lions, leopards, cheetahs and tigers. The animal houses are styled onarchitecture from around the world, giving the zoo a fascinating landscape. Thestate of the art enclosures give the best view of the animals in theirreconstructed natural habitat, so it is possible to watch the hippos swim underwater or enter the nocturnal house to see bats.There are kiosks selling icecream and refreshments throughout the zoo, as well as a visitor’s restaurant.It can get extremely busy at the weekend so visit on a weekday to avoid thecrowds.

Jennifer Dunn.
Restaurants and Cafes introduction

Cafes andRestaurants Introduction.

Berlin is a gastronomic melting pot with avibrant and fast paced approach to food. Split personality establishments,where food and drinks are not the only things on offer have flourished, such asreading lounges, flower shops, furniture shops and games rooms. Berlin’sidiosyncratic style and tastes ensure a relaxed and enjoyable time, whether you’resitting on up cycled furniture, and eat off kitsch crockery. Traditional Germanfayre is becoming few and far between as international tastes take over fromthe old favourites. Food and drinks here are generally cheaper than in the restof Western Europe and with a bit of planning, your time in Berlin will be ascheap as chips.
Caféculture extends from gourmet coffee shops with expert baristas to Berlin’s owncoffee shop chains, such as Einstein Kaffee, which offer an alternative toStarbucks. Coffee shop/book lounges are springing up, where you can relax foran afternoon with a borrowed book, magazine or newspaper. Café Anna Blume is amore traditional German coffee shop, offering “Kaffee und Kuche” and doublingas a flower shop. Turkish cafes cater to the shisha aficionado, while in Spielweiseyou can play board games while enjoying a drink.
Berlin’sstreet food is wide and varied, and with an Imbiss food stall ten to the penny,you’ll never be caught with an empty stomach. Typical fast food is epitomisedby the infamous currywurst where now some establishments like Curry 36 andKonnopke’s have attained must-see status for their longevity and popularity.Yet recently, international and gourmet flavours have crept into the Berlinpalette like Asian, Mexican and Italian cuisine. Turkish döner kebabs remains afirm favourite among Berliners (Mustafa’s is a must try) and vegetarians arewell catered for in the fast food department, notably with delicious falafelburgers and kebabs.
You canexpect to enjoy good quality, freshly made food at a bargain price. Burger barsare mushrooming around Berlin and you’ll find new and interesting foodinventions in trendy areas like Kreuzberg and Charlottenburg. Something alittle different could be a trip to the Nordic Embassies canteen, serving topclass French-German dishes to hungry diplomats at rock bottom prices. AuthenticGerman restaurants and beer houses aren’t as popular in Berlin’s buzzingcultural boom but there are some real gems to experience, with home-brewed beerand hearty, home cooked food in the Brauhaus Lemke.
Andif you only want a snack or treat? Berliners are obsessed with ice cream, andin summertime ice cream parlours open their doors to flocks of parched patrons.But don’t make do with a boring vanilla cone, Berlin’s Eismanufakur industryhave developed unique flavours, and most use organic ingredients.

Jennifer Dunn
Bonanza Coffee Heroes review

Bonanza Coffee Heroes.
Oderberger Straße 35. 10435 Berlin.
U-Bahn: Ederswalder Straße.
Opening times: Mon – Fri 08.30 – 19.00, Sat& Sun 10.00 – 19.00.

This little coffee shop in Prenzlauer Berg isa mecca for caffeine fanatics and arguably has the best brews in Berlin. Behindthe unassuming grey shop front lies a miniature coffee factory, with sacks ofcoffee beans taking up most of the floor space. Heavy machinery to grind thebeans into rich coffee can be heard whirring constantly at the back. There arenone of the usual sofas or retro coffee tables in this café. The inside isaustere in concrete and stainless steel as the space is dedicated to processingthe coffee beans that are sourced directly from the growers. The staff is keptvery busy with the constant stream of customers and a few minutes wait for yourorder is normal. Take a seat outside on one of the benches and relax with theyoung, stylish crowds quietly gossiping over macchiato. The boutique coffeelives up to expectations, strong and satisfyingly bitter. Bonanza Coffee Heroesalso package their house ground, single source coffee beans for purchase. Along coffee costs 2,60€ and as their slogan states, “Don’t die before trying!”

Jennifer Dunn.
Cache Coeur vintage shop review

Cache Coeur
Prenzlauer Berg
Schönhauser Allee 174, 10119 Berlin.
Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday, 2-8pm. Friday 12-6pm.
U-Bahn: Senefelder Platz.

10+ (price for the most expensive items is in theirhundreds...)

At first glances this quirky vintage shop appears disorderedand chaotic. Without any signage or conventional shop fittings you would beforgiven for thinking you had just stepped into a teenager’s bedroom. Howeverbeyond the general disarray of boxes and piles of clothes there are some hiddengems to be found. Costume jewellery like 70s broaches or beaded bracelets are astar buy at €10-12. Clothes are apparently chosen on their flamboyancy and youmight just come away with a one-of-a-kind-dress or designer shirt. Topdesigners clothing is available in Cache Coeur but with a price tag to match. AVivienne Westwood trouser suit will set you back over €500. Jennifer Dunn
Mauerpark Flea market review

Mauerpark Flea market
Every Sunday, 08.00 – 18.00
U-Bahn: Eberswalder Straße

Prices - 50cents to €20 for a majority of things on offer.

Mauerpark flea market is a popular haunt for Sunday shoppersconveniently located close to Eberswalder Straße station in Prenzlauer Berg.The site had been part of the death strip during the Berlin wall years when thecity was divided but in 1990 Mauerpark was opened as a public space for locals.The flea market opened its gates in 2004 and entrance is free. Spend the dayshopping and mingling with the crowds of eclectic visitors and you never knowwhat you might find. Stalls sell second hand jewellery and clothing likevintage coats and dresses as well as kitsch earrings, furniture, and, of course,the outright bizarre. No doubt you will spend your day wondering, “who wouldbuy that?” every time you pass a basket of broken ice skates or a table ofunidentifiable debris. Aside from the trinkets are independent artisans whosell homemade products, like arty t-shits and gourmet honey, which will makethe perfect souvenirs. Food and drink stalls are plentiful and well priced fora budget traveller with the vegan burgers and fresh fruit juice proving mostpopular. It is a good idea to go early to get the best of what is on offer,especially if you hope to catch the Bear-pit Karaoke next door in Mauerpark,which begins at 3pm. Jennifer Dunn

Only in Berlin

Only in Berlin

City Travel Review Berlin, a travel guide written for the budget traveller, delving into all that Berlin has to offer from shopping and cafes to Read More

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