Planning a trip to Berlin? Let Queen of Jet Lags show you around her favourite spots.
Meet the influencer
Noor de Groot is the stylish Amsterdam-based jetsetter documenting her busy lifestyle on Queen of Jet Lags. Known for her personal, diary-style posts; Noor keeps her passport close and her followers closer. Her outfit posts are organized by location and boast an impressive catalogue of cities from St. Petersburg to Dubai. Noor is the final word in trendy travelling.
For me, growing up in the Netherlands, I always thought of Berlin as one of the most stigmatised cities in Europe. In the Netherlands it's known for its crazy party scene, the infamous hipsters and its cultural heritage. As a Museology (no, not Musicology) student, Berlin was always on display during ethic classes and we did quite some case studies on the heritage and history of this city. So much that our university had a course where we were required to go on a field trip to Berlin. I ended up as the only one not going, but a year after I graduated I had to go to Berlin for fashion week and other work related things every now and then. I still never had time to fully discover the city though! When Samsonite asked me to discover Berlin in a new way, I decided to fill the day with some cultural trips and fun things I’ve always wanted to do.
Of course the first must see in Berlin is the Brandenburger Tor. Probably the most iconic landmark in Europe that we all know from the postcards. During my travels I always try to visit touristy places early in the morning so you have more space to see it and are not competing with other tourists to take the best shots :-)
Checkpoints and cheesecake
Another impressive thing I wanted to see is Checkpoint Charlie. It was a crossing point in the Berlin Wall between East and West Berlin during the Cold War, where it today is still a symbol for. Hope you don’t mind these FYI’s as I like to teach a little history here and there. This day we also had to make sure to get our food fix in and the first way to break up the day was a little stop at Princess Cheesecake. If I say Instagram heaven you know I’m not lying. So many cute yummy cakes!
Vietnamese street food in Berlin?
Another great thing we did was a lunch at District Môt, a very funky place which serves scrumptious Vietnamese street food! It’s by far the most authentic place in town right now, with a not-so-average menu to match. Even though the pho bo is excellent, take a walk on the wild side and treat yourself to the mouth-watering lemongrass chili frog legs!
Food for the soul
If you want something a little fancier, La Soupe Populaire might just be your thing. It is located in the former private beer brewery called Bötzow Brauerei, which houses several restaurants and art galleries. In an inspiring industrial-chic setting with a view on monthly changing art exhibitions, chef Tim Raue lets you taste his unique style of new-German home cooking, which also takes inspiration from Asian cuisine. Do make sure that you’ve booked a table a few weeks in advance, as this place is on top of every food lovers’ hit list.
Happiness in a mug
Wondering where all of Berlin’s baristas hang out in their free time? Try stopping by Companion Coffee. If that doesn’t convince you, they share their space with a lovely boutique called Voo Store, which is filled with really cool clothing. Having said that, it’s still the coffee you don’t want to miss. Go for the flat white, best you can get this side of the galaxy.
Photography and karaoke
If you love to be inspired by amazing photography, you have to stop by C/O Berlin. You can easily spend an afternoon at this museum admiring the work of renowned artists and also catch a glimpse of some very talented young upcomers.
If the weather is nice, you should definitely visit the Mauerpark, which is located on the border of where the Berlin wall used to be. On Sundays it can get quite busy, but boy is it a must-see. Mauerpark is a lovely public park which is home to a famous flea market. Looking for some nice old cameras or vintage clothing and furniture? On Sundays the karaoke sessions draw a huge crowd for hidden talents and hilarious show ponies.
Bikini Berlin, even if you're not looking for a bikini
After browsing all the cultural spots it was time for a bit of shopping. I got suggested to visit Bikini Berlin for all the cool shops so of course I had to check it out for myself. It’s a great concept where you can find cool new pop-up stores but also well-known brands like Ganni.
Cocktails with a view
A big plus of Bikini Berlin is that it’s situated right next to the Monkey Bar where you have a panoramic bar and thus a gorgeous view over the city! It's the perfect spot to unwind and have a nice cozy evening. Berlin to me is a city where you have a really nice balance between cultural heritage and cutting edge art and fashion. It’s a short trip from Amsterdam so I’m sure I’ll be back soon!