berlin

Berlin: Follow in Kate and William's footsteps discovering the German capital

Enjoy your staycation on a budget with Holiday Inn Express

by Hanna Fillingham

Berlin was recently visited by Prince William and Kate during their royal tour of Poland and Germany this summer – and if it's good enough for them, it most certainly is great for us. The culturally-rich German capital has something for all, especially when the sun comes out, with its abundance of historic sites, rich café culture and tasty street food from all corners of the world.  

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Kate and William enjoying the sites and sounds of the German capital 

Berlin will spoil you for choice when it comes to major landmarks, many of which are in a short walk or train ride away from each other. Must-see iconic landmarks include the Berlin wall, Brandenburg Gate and for stunning nighttime views across the city, the Fernsehturm TV tower.     

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Holiday Inn Express is the perfect cost-friendly hotel in the centre of Berlin 

WHERE TO STAY:   

If you are looking for a place to relax after a long day exploring the city, especially if you are only visiting for a few days, then you will no doubt want to be choosing a centrally located base. Holiday Inn Express in Alexanderplatz is the ideal choice for those wishing for a comfortable place to stay on a budget. The recently opened hotel boasts a modern, minimal interior, with rooms featuring mod-con facilities including smart televisions - ideal for linking your phone to and catching up on your favourite Netflix shows when your feet can’t walk anymore. What's more, a continental, all-you-can-eat breakfast is included in the price. Think pretzel bread, fruit, Swiss style muesli and make-your-own pancakes for a hearty and wholesome first meal of the day.  

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Rooms are modern - and even feature smart TVs

Holiday Inn Express is within walking distance to Alexanderplatz, the city's most popular square and shopping district. Stores include TK Maxx and Primark – handy for picking up purse-friendly essentials. Its central location will see you at any major attraction in under 40 minutes – making it a breeze when it comes to getting around the city.    

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The hotel offers an all-you-can-eat breakfast included in the price

WHAT TO SEE:    

Berlin is such a vast city to explore and has something for all ages and interests. For families, the Ritter Sport chocolate museum is great to visit, close distance to landmarks such as Checkpoint Charlie. There, you can get creative making your very own chocolate bar, enjoy a chocolate exhibition and indulge in a chocolate fondue at the café.   

The Clärchens Ballroom, where Kate and William visited in July is also another must-go destination come the evening. One of Berlin’s oldest ballrooms, the stunning interior will take your breath away, with the venue open for concerts, dining and even dance classes.

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Venture to the city's oldest ballroom, Clärchens Ballroom, just like William and Kate

On a Sunday, take a stroll to the city's famous Mauer Park, famed for karaoke and flea markets, with vendors selling everything from bicycles and second-hand clothes to tasty street food.     

WHERE TO EAT:    

Berlin is far too modest about its abundance of eateries – and locals are far too spoilt for choice! Whatever you fancy to eat, at any time of day, the city is almost guaranteed to have it. If you are looking for something slightly special and away from the tourist crowds in the city centre, head over to Bar Tausend, situated under behind an unassuming "hidden" door – that results in you ringing a bell on arrival. The trendy bar is dimly lit and offers a fine dining experience with food from Lima and Berlin with an Asian twist. NB. It is best to book in advance to be sure for a table. 

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A lot of cheap eateries are located in the centre, close to the famous TV tower

You should also make sure to try the famous currywurst hotdogs while you are there. Curry 36 is great for quick, grab-and-go convenience food, and can be found in historical West Berlin next to Berlin Zoologischer Garten station and outside Mehringdamm station in trendy Kreuzberg. Of course, going to the capital wouldn’t be complete without an authentic German meal. Tried and tested Lemke Berlin has a tasty selection of salads, schnitzels and flammkuchen – a pizza style bread topped with meats, cheese and salads. Recommended is the freshly baked pretzel – as when in Berlin…     

GETTING THERE:  

Berlin is well-connected with two airports – Tegel and Schönefeld and easy links to your destination are made possible with the city's efficient public transport.

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