TRAVEL REVIEW: Doncaster to beautiful Berlin

By Adele Forrest | 15/07/2016 0 comments

TRAVEL REVIEW: Doncaster to beautiful Berlin

WITH flights from Doncaster to some of Europe’s trendiest destinations for just £29.99, Adele Forrest couldn’t wait to jump on the big metal bird to Berlin.

AFTER four days at a Scottish music festival I was straight onto an early morning flight from Robin Hood Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) to Berlin.

I was sleep-deprived, all be it self-induced, and the prospect of airport stress I was not looking forward to or had the mental capacity for.

But thank the Lord for DSA and its staff who held my hand throughout it all, smiled at me in a motherly way as I accidentally tried to check in for a flight to Warsaw and fed me baked beans on toast and tea in the quiet Premium Lounge (shout out to Di Lawton).

My car was even parked for me after I was able to drive up to the main entrance via the new Meet and Greet lane, where I was met by a very friendly man who already knew my name.

I'm pretty sure we had never met before, but he helped me with my bags and I glided to the queue free check-in desk - was I in a parallel universe?

Airline Flybe has launched eight new routes from DSA in March, including Berlin from £29.99 one way, and the flight took around 90 minutes - the perfect power nap time to recharge for a day of sight-seeing.

Other new routes include Paris, Amsterdam, Jersey, Newquay, Malaga, Alicante and Faro.

Our hotel, The Weinmeister, is just a short taxi ride from Berlin's Tegel airport and is nestled in the Mitte district, one of Berlin's most dynamic and hippest areas.

Push through a wall of graffiti and you will find the reception area of the boutique hotel.

The oversized giant chairs which fill the lobby invite guests to snuggle in and feel looked-after.

The 84-room hotel is aimed at business travellers from the film, music, fashion and other creative fields, as well as leisure travellers, so you never know who you might bump into.

The hotel is around two-years-old so feels very fresh and modern and even has a dogging station - a bowl of water laid out for dogs to rehydrate, what else did you think it was?! 

The huge double beds overlook the bright skyline, while behind the giant headrest is a bathtub just as big - even the toiletries are giant size, so there's no chance of getting these in your suitcase.

There are also six signature rooms that have been designed in conjunction with music labels, bands and artists, including UK duo Hurts.

Rooms start from around 100 euros per night, so if you're looking for something extra special for a short city break it's a hotel that would certainly impress (visit www.the-weinmeister.com for more information)

Our first stop was lunch at the German Bundestag, the only parliament building in the world housing a public restaurant. 

The rooftop garden eatery sits next to the glass-domed roof of the power house and offers a small, but perfectly formed menu of German cuisine, all under 20.

The high-end-looking restaurant was impressive and the food was hearty, fresh, delicious and, best of all, reasonably priced.

But two tips before you visit the Kfer restaurant  - book ahead and take your passport as there are security checks on the way in.

After lunch, we enjoyed a walk around the glass dome and took in the 360-degree view of the city, a perfect way to get our bearings. 

A stone's throw away from parliament is the world-famous Brandenburg Gate which, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, became a symbol of German reunification.

But behind it lies one of the city's newest attractions called THE GATE.

From the outside it looks like a trendy coffee shop, but its basement houses a gigantic panoramic cinema screen that takes viewers through 300 years of Berlin's history in 20 minutes -  now that's my kind of history lesson.

The 34-metre screen multimedia experience (priced from 5-12 euros) is a treat for the eyes and ears, and viewers can sit through as many of the screenings, which are played on a loop, as they want.

I certainly needed more than one to take it all in.

Seeing the historical highs and lows, from being the capital of the Third Reich to the German World Cup celebrations, left me feeling quite emotional.

I emerged from THE GATE (www.thegate-berlin.de) feeling like a time traveller and felt more of an affiliation with the huge iconic gate in front of me.

We then met our local tour guide for a walking tour of the city and were able to hear first-hand what life was like pre- and post-Wall.

We took in a huge amount of Berlin's impressive architecture and history, including the huge maze-like Holocaust Memorial and Hitler's Bunker, which he used during the first British bombing raids in 1940.

I was three when the Berlin Wall came down so I was eager to learn more about the momentous occasion.

The Berlin By Bike Wall Tour (from 18 euros) was a highlight of my trip and I got to feel like a native as I joined the hordes of city cyclists breezing through the traffic.

For once, I found the cycling fun as this city isn't built on seven hills!

We took in border crossings, Wall remainders, successful and tragic escape attempts and parked up our bikes to enjoy the free Berlin Wall memorial and museum - another highlight.

Avoid the nearby coffee bars for lunch and head just down the road to The Beach Bar where I discovered Berliners are keen volleyball players.

With beach huts, deck chairs, cocktails and high-rope adventure - this place showcases the other side of the city as urban beaches and floating pools are dotted around the capital.

Berlin is such an intriguing city, steeped in history and with ground-breaking architecture, every turn of your head provides another wow moment.

The only thumbs-down for me was the national dish, currywurst, which is pretty much just chips and ketchup.

Now who would have that as their signature dish!?


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