As my final month in Berlin has started, it is safe to say that my parents have been my most loyal visitors. Even though they had seen Berlin’s highlights long before I decided to move here, they didn’t hesitate to visit me time and time again. In fact, my mother might know more about Berlin than me by now. With Mother’s Day only a few days away, I want to dedicate this post to my mother and share some of her favourite things to do in Berlin.
Image courtesy of Anastasia_Panait / shutterstock.com
My parents in a real Berlin Photoautomat. Image courtesy of Daphne Damiaans
My mum loves the creative vibe in Berlin, but is still a bit disappointed about the graffiti on all those beautiful buildings. It’s true, Berlin can be a bit schmutzig at times. If you want to compensate for all that, there’s the always perfectly clean and tidy Schloss Charlottenburg. This palace is the biggest in Berlin and was built for the Prussian emperors between 1695 and 1699. After careful renovation, it now feels like a little bit of Versailles in equally beautiful Charlottenburg. I also loved walking through the many rooms, each of them even more lavishly decorated than the last one, and imagining what life must have been like here.
Spandauer Damm 20-24, Charlottenburg
Image courtesy of Schreib-Engel / pixabay
Breakfast at ALEX
Even though she wouldn’t easily admit it, I know my mother isn’t too happy with having breakfast on a sagging couch or accompanied by techno music. She is open to all types of adventurous dishes (see ‘Dinner at Soy’) and avocado on toast or pancakes with buttermilk and blackcurrants certainly don’t scare her. But in the end, what she really likes for breakfast is a nice atmosphere, a good seat at a normal table and a big buffet that offers everything from croissants to eggs and from dessert to cheeses. And this is exactly what you get at ALEX, plus a unique location directly underneath the Fernsehturm.
Panoramastraße 1A, Mitte
My mother in ALEX. Image courtesy of Daphne Damiaans
Walking Along the Landwehrkanal
I’m not sure my parents really got the charm of the crowded, loud Turkish market on the Maybachufer. But one lovely autumn day, we went for a walk along the canal again, far from the market, on one of the many quiet stretches. The classical facades were covered in many shades of yellow and red, the sun was warming up our faces. We walked into a little courtyard and discovered a small urban paradise, suddenly so far away from the noise of Kottbusser Damm. All rosy, we entered Kaffee A.Horn to eat one of my favourite cheesecakes in Berlin, and my parents finally understood why I wanted to live in Berlin so badly.
Kaffee A. Horn: Carl-Herz-Ufer 9, Kreuzberg
Landwehrkanal in autumn. Image courtesy of Daphne Damiaans
On their first visit to Berlin – long before I dreamed about living here – my parents ended up at a market in Prenzlauer Berg that they loved. They bought coffee at one stall and a good piece of cake at another and enjoyed both in the sunshine while watching the fascinating people of Berlin pass by. On their last visit, we finally went back to this market on Kollwitzstraße. It was rainy and it was cold, but the market is still one of the prettiest in all of Berlin. Not just because of the stalls filled with vegetables, flowers, scarves (my mum loves scarves) and wines, but also because of the unbeatable setting, surrounded by the beautiful buildings and many trees of Kollwitzstraße.
Thursdays (12.00 – 19.00) and Saturdays (9.00 – 16.00)
Dinner at Soy
“Have you ever tried Vietnamese food?” I asked my parents when they first came to visit me in Berlin. My mum looked a bit worried. She’s not a big fan of the usual greasy Asian food in Holland that is called ‘Chinese’, though it doesn’t resemble anything any Chinese person would recognize. I managed to convince her to come to Soy, one of my favourite Vietnamese restaurants in Berlin. She shared a banh xeo with me, a crispy pancake filled with all sorts of vegetables and herbs, tasted real spring rolls (not the huge ones that are sold at weekly markets in Holland) and had some of the best summer rolls ever. Until this day, she’s looking for a good vegetarian Vietnamese cookbook – and keeps wanting to go back to Soy.
Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 30, Mitte
Thank you so much for ALL your visits, papa en mama – I love you!