How to get the most out of your City Break

I started writing this post on the plane on the way home from Berlin.  Visiting the city gave me an influx of blog post ideas which I am sure you will all see around these parts in the not too distant future.  I have never fell in love with a city as quick & if I could drop everything and move there tomorrow I would in a heart beat.  We visited for 4 short days and crammed a lot of sight seeing, eating and travelling around various parts of the city in & I thought I would share with you all some tips on how to get the most out of your short break away.

East Side Gallery


Research
I am slightly obsessed with researching a city before I visit.  I get so excited and have to plan out everything before I go.  Youtube vlogs are a good place to start, as is checking out The World of Wanderlust and the Lonely Planet blog posts.  You will get an good idea of what you 'must see' a long with what really interests you and you can jot down what you want to see and do whilst away.  This will save you a lot of time figuring out what you want to do once you are there, and also means you get to see all the hot spots and won't leave disappointed.

Public Transport
This is going to be a saviour especially if you are visiting somewhere as vast as Berlin.  Often attractions are spread out across the city and can take an age to walk to.  Me & Simon both were convinced we had no bums left after cycling for 8+ hours, but the amount we got to see of the city and the experience itself of feeling like one of the locals as we cycled amongst those going to a fro their daily life.  It also obviously allows you to get to places ALOT quicker than walking.  We hopped on and off of buses, trams and metros on our travels - trust me they are a lot easier than you can imagine and we saved a fortune on taxi's from the airport and back and if you get lost it just adds to the fun.  Google maps is a great tool for figuring out trains to take, or streets for short cuts and with free roaming throughout Europe now it also won't cost you a bomb!

Talk to a local
If you are staying in a hotel or apartment make sure to ask the receptionist for recommendations.  They will be able to advise on where is really worth visiting, or places to visit that are not well known.  They have often suggested the best times to visit for great photo oppurtunities and to beat the crowd.  No one knows a city as well as someone who lives there!  I also found some Facebook groups for Vegans travelling to Berlin and was able to get loads of suggestions on places to visit and eat.
Brandenburg Gate
 Purchase Tickets Online
Whether these be for the local zoo, or local transport you will save yourself having to stand for ages in queues to purchase when you get there and also you tend to save quite a bit of money too.   You can often find websites selling tickets in your own language so if communicating or figuring out how to buy a ticket in a station abroad scares you it can be a lot easier to do before you leave home. 

Create an Itinerary
As I mentioned earlier I love to research where I am going to visit once I get there.  I often type in their location into Google maps and figure out what site is close to a restaurant I want to visit or another tourist attraction. This allows me to create an itinerary of my trip and means I am not trekking half way across a city, only to find myself in the same spot the follow day visiting another attraction.  You might also end up visiting somewhere you would not have necessarily visited too.

Berliner Cathedral
Check out the Train lines
If you are travelling in Europe especially it can be really easy to get to other countries using their train lines.  You could turn a 4 day trip to Berlin into 2 days there and 2 in Amsterdam as getting across the countries via train is very easy.  Also check out near by cities or towns to where you are staying and visit those if they intrest you.  I visited Ghent last year but also got to see Bruges which I absolutely loved.  It is such a great way to get the most out of your visit and your money!

Tours
Most cities have a free tour that you can join.  These typically start early in day and walk you through all of the main attractions and places to visit.  They are usually city-in-a-day style and involve a lot of walking or cycling, they can be really useful if you only have a limited budget or time in a city.  If like us in Greece last year you have a few days of awful weather and a couple great days you could book a tour like this on a better day and not feel like you done nothing on your holiday away.  We ended up on a 12 hour tour of Zante island and squeezed in just about everything worth seeing.