Abroad Bites: Berlin & Amsterdam
Okay, so this post is a little long-time coming, but things have been crazy hectic and I just had not had time to roundup my Berlin & Amsterdam trips yet! These trips are combined into one post, because they were all together in one week. They happened during my school’s Reading Week…you know, the one they give you to study. Oops. When in Europe, I’m taking all given time off to travel!
I had been to Amsterdam before, when I was about 12, with my mom, sister, and aunt, but Berlin (and Germany in general!) was an entirely new experience for me. And I loved them both.
Berlin is a city unlike any other I’ve ever been to. It has such an eclectic, interesting mix of grungy, graffiti-ridden walls, combined with gorgeous historical buildings. Of course, the history is also fascinating and is evident all of the city, with memorials everywhere, and the Berlin Wall. The nightlife was insanity as well – they start to party at 2 AM. It was overwhelming/exhausting, but when in Berlin. Thank goodness we were only there for 3 nights, because one can only rally so many days in a row! We also had quite a few interesting food experiences, not all of them particularly favorable. More on those below!
Amsterdam was also incredible, and just as precious and charming as I remembered it being. We had some REALLY good food in Amsterdam, and had a wonderful time exploring the city. Of course, we had to check out the Anne Frank House, which is a must see when in Amsterdam. I had been the first time I went, but I’m glad I went again. Seeing it through older eyes was a must different experience. The Red Light District (which I have no pictures of – they aren’t allowed) was another very fascinating experience, and led to a dinner/movie night with some friends to watch a documentary about twin prostitutes who had worked there for 50 years (Meet the Fokkens, if you’re interested)!
Amsterdam and Berlin were both incredibly unique and exciting cities, and I’m so glad I got to experience both of them. I highly recommend them if you get the opportunity – there truly isn’t any place like either of them. Now, for a plethora of food/scenery pics, just keep scrolling :) First up, Berlin!
This picture was taken from the top of Bundestag Building in Berlin, which houses the Parliament. The inside was really cool as well, and had gorgeous views of the city. When you got to the top, there was an opening in the ceiling where we laid and looked up at the sky! Pretty awesome, and free! Always nice when traveling on a budget :)
This was our first meal in Berlin and it was DELICIOUS. It’s a currywurst, which is essentially a sausage topped with a curry-flavored ketchup. Those are potatoes and onions on the side. It was from a little restaurant/cafe across from the Bundestag, and I have no idea what it’s called, but currywurst is everywhere in Berlin, and for good reason. Yum.
Dinner was at Mustafas Gemuse Kebap. This place got a lot of hype, and I mean A LOT. Enough that we waited in line for AN HOUR for our food, outside, in the freeeeezing cold. Such commitment, considering we couldn’t feel our toes or fingers by the time we got our food. We all ordered the doner kebab wrap. It was really good, and I would definitely get it a lot if it were convenient and in my city, but after the misery we felt from waiting, I’m not sure I would do it again. If you’re there in the summer though – definitely check it out if you want a good doner wrap. The sauces were amazing, and it had grilled veggies in it which added such a delicious touch.
We stumbled upon this little place, called La Vespa, and decided to stop in for lunch. It was a total locals joint, and the pizza slices were HUGE and absolutely delicious. One of my favorite pizza slices I’ve had in a while (and I eat a lot of pizza). The sauce and crust were amazing, which is essential for a good pizza (obvs). The caprese salad was also delicious, but pretty standard, as caprese usually is.
This is the Berlin Television Tower, and it is HUGE. So tall, and you can take an elevator to the top from incredible city views. We didn’t, because it was expensive and we were trying to be budget travelers, but this building came in handy everyday because it was right near our hostel. Because it was so tall, we could look up anywhere and follow it home.
The following are all pictures from the Berlin Wall. It was so incredible to walk along it and see all of the art that was put up following the collapse of the wall. These are some of my favorite murals.
This place was seriously chocolate heaven. They had soooo many flavors, and all the chocolate was so cheap! I filled up a bag with lots of minis so I could try all of the flavors. :)
This woman was packaging all of the custom chocolate bars. We were waiting impatiently for ours. Yum!
This chocolate bar was what dreams are made of. Apparently it was brought out for the Olympics one year as a special edition, but people demanded it be brought back because it was so good. Let me tell you, it is. It’s milk chocolate with yogurt, honeycomb, hazelnuts, and honey. It was AWESOME.
This was one of our appetizers. It sounded amazing – bread with fried onions and other good stuff. Reality: cold bread with a weird fatty substance, topped with too-hard, weird onion bits. Not good. Our other appetizer was too unappetizing to put a picture of. That was supposed to be a cheesy spread that was in reality and lumpy cheese mixture that was placed in scoops on a plate with pretzel sticks. Appetizer round: 0 points.
The pretzels were slightly redeeming, but in Germany, I expected amazing pretzels, and these were just decent. In comparison to everything else though – pretty darn good. In that pot was white sausages which we were supposed to suck out of the casing. Ummm…no thanks. They didn’t have much flavor, and eating them was quite an awkward experience. When our waiter was picking up our food, he told us he hated this meal because it was so weird to eat. Could you have told us that when we ordered three of them?!?!
Finally, this is the Berlin Cathedral. Absolutely gorgeous building, especially all lit up at night! Overall, Berlin was an incredible city, and I highly recommend visiting if you can! Now onto Amsterdam…
Our first meal in Amsterdam was falafel pitas, from a little hole in the wall place near our hostel. I have no idea what the place was called, but it was delicious!! I’ve only recently discovered falafel, and I’m now really into it. Yum.
We were determined to get pancakes, so one morning for breakfast we went on a mission to find them! Izzy got strawberry and whipped cream (yuuuum), but I decided to go savory with bacon and cheese. Hers is definitely prettier, but both were majorly delicious, depending on what you were in the mood for :)
Quite a few people told us that the Heineken Experience was a must do! It was really cool to see how the beer was made, and the whole thing was really interactive (and you get beer!). Pro tip: no taking small sips of beer, you need to “chug like a man” (tip your head back far and get a big ole’ mouthful of beer + foam) for the full flavor experience.
Edit: I originally forgot the put in this waffle when I posted this, but I had to come back and add it. OMG. This place was really close to our hostel, and every time we would walk by it the smell would have us all gazing inside, so one day we gave in and all got waffles. I got mine topped with Nutella, strawberries, and whipped cream. It was heaven. It almost tasted like a sugar cookie in fluffy waffle form…oh so good.
On our last full day, we woke up late and had a huge breakfast/lunch. I got this burger, and omg. The bun was what dreams of made of. I’m big on crunch, and this burger bun was deliciously crunchy. The burger itself was absolutely amazing, and everything is made better with cheese, fried onions, and bacon. It’s from an adorable restaurant called Brasserie Luden.
There it is, folks! Berlin and Amsterdam, all wrapped up into a super-picture heavy post. Hope everyone’s Monday’s weren’t too bad, and have a good week! Next up on Abroad Bites…Budapest!