Looking for go exploring for the weekend?
The sensational city of Berlin is an unreal place to start. Here you have everything - from shopping (they even have a Penneys) to history to curry covered sausages to art.
There is something to suit everyone here, my friends, and here's why we couldn't recommend it more...
1. The food
Berlin is a wildly international city - with everything from bougie Japanese cafés to gluten free European spots.
Veganism is a big thing in Berlin culture right now - so finding a dish to suit every pallet is super simple.
The national dish is currywurst which is basically a frankfurter covered in curry sauce. Bizarre but also great.
I went to Commonground on Rosenthaler Straße 1 for grub - and let me tell you, I would 100% return to this Williamsburg-esque café should I get the chance.
2. The nightlife
Famed for its endless techno scene and often pictured as the city of punk, Berlin boasts an impressive array of pubs, clubs, raves and secret parties.
The most famous of which, Berghain, is known for its strict entry policy and whole weekend long raves.
Another famous one is Watergate, an electric music hub famed for its waterside location and LED ceiling.
End up in either of those, and you're doing pretty well. Especially if you get in.
3. The markets / charity shops
Fan of picking up one-of-a-kind pieces? Then Berlin is your absolute mecca, bud.
As most shops are closed, Sundays are spent roaming from market to market here, picking up everything from fresh fruit to hand-painted jackets to homeware to paintings.
The Flea Market at Mauerpark is on every Sunday and it has absolutely everything.
4. Street Art
It's no surprise that street art fans flock to Berlin in their thousands - the city is literally an art gallery in itself.
Paved by the so very recent destruction of the Berlin Wall, the East Side Gallery is one of the most incredible sights I've ever seen. Miles of hand-painted artwork depicting creatively everything from modern society to politics to human nature.
Beware, the road is littered with bloggers trying to get the money shot - so at peak times, patience is definitely needed here.
Worth the trip alone.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that Berlin is the grunge capital of the world, considering its techno-heavy scene and graffiti laden streets - but the German capital boasts some of the most beautiful buildings in Europe, would you believe.
A walking tour showcases these and their surroundings in all of their beauty - including, but not limited to: The Brandenburg Gate, Bebelplatz, TV tower, Reichstag The Berlin Wall and so on.
History always hits us in a certain way when it's so recent - that feeling happens in Berlin in droves.
Considered a new city in every way, with the Iron Curtain only coming down in 1989, Berlin's history is as lengthy as it is fascinating - giving you some real perspective on human nature and the power of dictatorship.
I would wholly recommend a Sandeman's specialised walking tour, where they can go into detail on absolutely everything. They're just incredible.
Oh, and keep an eye on the traffic lights...
At the end of the day - Berlin is cool as f*ck.
A European city that never sleeps, there's a certain sense in the capital that literally anything goes. As liberal as you could imagine, Berlin is a city for everyone.
The locals are friendlier than you think, and its a much more chilled out place than Germany's stereotype would have you believe.
8. Holocaust Memorial And Museum
However vibrant the city of Berlin is today, it's past is filled with discomforting facts and horrifying tales - all of which can be put to words perfectly by the Holocaust Memorial and Museum.
Just around the corner from the Brandenburg Gate - the memorial was put together by an artist who's main aim was to make the viewer feel ill-at-ease. And he certainly succeeded in that.
There's also a museum just behind it for those looking to find out more about an incredibly intense and harrowing time in history - but be warned, it's not for the faint of heart.
9. The weather
Hitting a balmy 30°C+ in Summer (despite the odd shower) and boasting snowfall like no other during winter months (just think of the Christmas markets covered in snow), Berlin gets the best of both worlds where Ireland generally just gets wet.
It's as ideal for a weekend of sunbathing as it is for a weekend of snowmen assembling - no mean feat.
10. Karaoke in Maeurpark
Run by a quick-witted Irish lad and his long-suffering techie brother, Sonntags Karaoke im Maeurpark is an unmissable Berlin experience for anyone keen for a laugh.
People sign up to sing their heart's away - and enjoy basking in the reflected glory of their loving audience.
Booze sellers flood the audience with as many options as you can ask for - and it's generally a bit of a wile ride from start to finish.
11. The unexpectedness
Berlin boasts something new around every corner and a new experience available to try every night of the week.
As we said before, anything goes, so rather than making plans - just let the city be your guide.
The things you stumble upon in Berlin are unlike anything you'll see anywhere else - so soak it all up, because you'll only miss it when you leave...