Weekend Break


Disneyland Paris, Halloween Break, Flights & Explorers Hotel, 3 Nights, 2ad & 2ch, €1138!


Imagine your kids faces light up when you tell them you are going to Disneyland Paris. The journey starts there!


Picture the parades filled with their favourite characters ( frozen no doubt!) and the firework displays over Sleeping Beauty’s castle. Have breakfast with Mickey Mouse, drive Disney Cars or if you are feeling adventurous try the rock ‘n’ roller coaster. This is the ultimate family weekend break away and one that will bring you lots of memories for years to come!  There will be lots of extra spooky characters around at Halloween and lots of festive activities in Disneyland Paris. For more information on Disneyland Paris read my blog here. I found this great deal flying with Aer Lingus and staying in the fantastic Explorers family hotel.

disneyland paris

Not only is this hotel less than 10 minutes from the parks but it has fantastic on site activities as well. A pirate theme runs throughout the hotel and the star of the show is the massive pirate ship in the swimming pool. Complete with numerous slides and an aqua play area this indoor heated pool is a favourite with kids and adults alike. There are large family that can cater for six or if travelling with friends they have even larger rooms accommodating up to ten people. A regular shuttle bus runs from the hotel to the parks, just ten minutes away.

disneyland paris

Fly from Dublin to Paris on the 28th of October and go for the bank holiday weekend or spend Halloween night at home and fly out on the 1st of November  – the price is the same! Price for flights and a three night stay at this hotel on a bed and breakfast basis for only €1138 based on 2 adults and 2 children or €1468 based on 2 adults and 3 children. Use my promo code TRAVELEXP20 to save €20 off this, or any city break with ClickandGo.com. Current price for 4 day park tickets is €174 per adult and €159 per child.


Click here for 2 adults and 2 children :

Click here for 2 adults and 3 children:

Click here to book Disneyland park tickets:


Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Note that some links above are affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.



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A Weekend in Krakow, 17th September, 3 Nights, 4* Hotel, €249!


Krakow is home to Europe’s largest market square. It’s stunning architecture combined with vibrant night life make it an ideal choice for a city break.

The old town is packed with impressive churches and museums with the famous Wawel castle behind it. Make sure you try the basement clubs and enjoy some live music, the back streets are full of them and some cracking restaurants too.  The Jewish quarter, Kazimierz is now buzzing with hundreds of restaurants, pubs and clubs and has a great laid back atmosphere. Take one of the free guided walking tours to discover what happened to the Jews during the second world war, before ending up at Oskar Schindler’s factory. Of course you can also take a trip to nearby Auschwitz if you are feeling up to it.


I found a great deal in the highly rated boutique hotel Ester. Situated in the heart of the Jewish quarter this hotel receives excellent reviews on tripadvisor as well as certificate of excellence. Fly from Dublin on the 17th of September and spend three nights here for only €249 per person.


Click here to book flights:  €102pp

Click here to book hotel: €147pp

Click here to book a choice of transfers:




Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change.


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Top Tips For Discovering Dubrovnik’s Old Town & Cliff Bars


It is impossible not to fall in love with Dubrovnik. It’s old walls and limestone streets are intoxicating. Check out my top Dubrovnik tips and get planning your next break away.

Walking through the streets of Dubrovnik in the blistering heat, I longed for a bar with a sea view. One of the Dubrovnik tips I read on TripAdvisor was to seek out Café Buza, but when I arrived, I was underwhelmed. People were packed like sardines under sweltering umbrellas, fighting for a view of the ocean. Fortunately for me, I didn’t hang around to tick that particular box.

I did however stumble across a unique ‘hole in the wall’. To be honest, it was my son Luke, whose curiosity got the better of him, who discovered it. We followed him through a gap in the ancient stonework. With no apparent signage or indication of what was below, we climbed down numerous stone steps only to discover the coolest cliff-top bar, packed with sunbathers and tombstoners. For those of you who have not come across that term, tombstoners are people who jump off high (and sometimes dangerous) rocks into the ocean.


I asked the barman if he had a card or even an address. He looked at me perplexed and said that the less people who found the bar, the better. An unusual form of marketing, I thought! It’s called Café Bard, but keep it to yourself… Everyone was chilled out sitting on cheap white plastic chairs, or sunbathing on the rocks with towels they clearly brought from home.


The bar reminded me of a scene from my student days. For an hour or more, we sat back and enjoyed a few beers and watched the daredevils jump from crazy heights. I wondered, with some trepidation, if that would be my children someday.

Cafe Bard, Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik had been on my wish list for many years. Finally this year, I got there. I have visited many walled cities and towns before, but Dubrovnik is special – it looks like something straight out of a film set. When you consider the walls were constructed between the 12th and 17th centuries and were bombed as recently as 1992, the town is remarkably well preserved.


The surrounding walls are one of the main attractions – you have to climb them. If you are not feeling energetic, or like me, have small kids with you, you can choose to climb one half. This takes about thirty – forty minutes. Dubrovnik Tips: Enter at the gate beside the port and exit at St Saviour’s church – this is less strenuous than the other half.


The full loop will take ninety minutes to two hours so make sure you have comfortable shoes! One of my top Dubrovnik tips is to walk the walls between 6pm and 8pm – after which they close entry. The hoards that descend on Dubrovnik from the visiting cruise ships will have more than likely left, so it should be less crowded. You may be lucky to get the sunset over the terracotta rooftops too.

The terracotta roof tops of Dubrovnik
A trip on the cable car is also worthwhile. A three minute ride will bring you to the top of Srd Hill where you can get a view of the city and the neighbouring islands. On a clear day you can see up to 60 km, hence the fortress was built here as a lookout point.


This fortress is now a museum depicting the Homeland War. Although many of the articles are in Croatian only, it was very moving. To think this war happened just over 20 years ago is staggering. Watching news footage of the war from the BBC made you appreciate how much has changed in 20 years. The vibrant city below shows no outward signs of the atrocities that took place.


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Next to the museum there is a modern outdoor café. This is a good choice for lunch or a snack, with good food and spectacular views. On a hot day, the cool breeze makes the al fresco dining much easier to bear, than the narrow side streets of the old town below.

Dubrovnik, Croatia as seen from the cable car on top Srd Hill

Discovering Dubrovnik is not only about the paying attractions – wandering through the old town is an attraction in itself. Built on a grid system with one main street through the centre, it is very easy to navigate. The side streets are crammed with eateries and souvenir shops and the atmosphere is electric.


There are street artists performing on the main street and the whole place just feels alive. The town has two drawbridges, numerous turrets and lots of places to explore. Although it houses plenty of designer boutiques and modern ice cream parlours, it still feels medieval throughout.

An evening in Dubrovnik's old town.
My advice would be to avoid visiting for long periods during July and August, or stay in one of the resorts close to Dubrovnik rather than in the city itself. Some days there could be three cruise ships moored. That could mean 10,000 tourists walking through this small city, in soaring temperatures.


There are some beautiful resorts close by, all of which offer water taxis to the harbour. I stayed in Cavtat, which you can read about by clicking here. We visited Dubrovnik in the evening and early morning when temperatures were cooler and the city was less crowded. Croatia tours are the specialists to Croatia and they have many accommodation options available close to the old town.


Top Dubrovnik Tips: Check out the monthly cruise schedule that the Croatian Port Authority publish. If you are staying outside the city walls you can choose the days which won’t have as many cruise ships docked. Click here. 

The Croatian currency is the Kuna. Most places do not accept euro and many places do not accept credit cards either. You can however, withdraw money from cash machines in the airport or in most villages.



I hope you enjoyed my top tips for discovering Dubrovnik and that they help you with your travel plans. Dubrovnik is one the most spectacular cities in Europe, you can not help but be in awe of the place. Go see it.

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5 Star Lisbon Weekend Break, Valentines Weekend, 3 Nights, €293!


A beautiful coastal city renowned for great sightseeing and a great food scene, nothing ticks all boxes like a Lisbon weekend break.

Lisbon is one Europe’s top city break destinations, and after my recent visit I now know why! It has a beautiful old town, with pastel-coloured buildings with terracotta rooftops as far as the eye can see. Lisbon is very easy to navigate too, but if you don’t fancy walking it, there are fantastic old trams that will bring you around all the highlights.


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The food scene is superb, and a visit to TimeOut Market is a must! I loved Lx Factory too, an eclectic mix of restaurants, bars and shops all in one great open space. 


There is plenty to see in Lisbon itself, but if you want to travel, you can take the train to the coastal towns of Cascais or Estoril, or explore the UNESCO World Heritage City of Sintra, and it’s palaces, castles and museums.


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TAP Air Portugal, Aer Lingus and Ryanair all fly to Lisbon from Dublin airport, so take advantage now and secure flights at a low price.

There are many flight options available so you can choose to fly out with one airline and home with another, depending on your preference of flight times. If you wish to stay longer or shorter, simply edit the dates on the links below.


I found a great deal staying in the 5-star Iberostar, a new luxury boutique hotel located near the Marques de Pombal in Lisbon. With an outdoor pool, wellness centre, spa and state-of-the-art fitness centre, it is not surprising that this hotel receives such excellent reviews on TripAdvisor.


Fly direct from Dublin on the 11th of February and enjoy a three-night stay over Valentines Weekend for just €283. The price I have selected is based on departing early morning with TAP and returning on the night flight with Ryanair, this will give you the maximum amount of time in Lisbon. – you will see cheaper airfares returning at 7 am. 

View flights here €64pp

View hotel here €229pp


Want a different hotel? 

Read: Where to stay in Lisbon – my top 10 Lisbon hotels




Prices are correct at the time of issue but are subject to change. Please note some of my travel deals include affiliate links where I receive a small commission if a booking is made.




Bank Holiday Weekend in Florence, Flights & Hotel, 29th October, €288


Florence, one of Italy’s most beautiful cities is historic, charismatic and of course romantic! Enjoy the bank holiday weekend in Florence from only €288!


Stroll along the banks of the Arno, browse the jewellery shops on the Ponte Vecchio bridge, or marvel at the Tuscan countryside, if Florence doesn’t bring out some romance in you, I’m afraid nothing will!  I love that the city is so walkable, yes there are numerous art galleries, cathedrals and museums to see, but everything is so close together that you will be surprised how much you can manage in a few days.

Duomo, Florence by The Travel Expert

The cathedral or Duomo is one of the most impressive I’ve ever seen. As you climb the narrow staircase the red roof tops peer through the small windows. Once you reach the top, the views of Florence are staggering. The Ponte Vecchio bridge is full of vendors and street artists and for me, is the heart of this great city.  The cities top attraction, the Uffizi gallery has one of the largest collections of art in the world and attracts a huge crowd. Make sure you book tickets online beforehand to skip the queue! If you have the time, take a day trip into the unique Tuscan countryside, visit nearby Sienna, Chianti, San Gimignano and admire the remarkable scenery.

Fly from Dublin to Pisa with Ryanair on the 29th of October and spend three nights in the Villa Lucrezia Firenze for only €288 per person. Rated very highly on tripadvisor and awarded a gold level from Greenleaders, this is the place to stay for a traditional Italian welcome. My advice is to stay longer if you can, and take in the tuscan countryside, but hey if you don’t have the time don’t panic, once you go to Florence once, you will definitely come back for more!


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All prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to availability.



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Prague Weekend Break, Flights & 3 Nights, 4* Hotel, 13th May €297!

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It is hard not to fall in love with Prague. Not only is it visually stunning but with extraordinary cultural sights and great night life, it is not surprising that it is one of Ireland’s top city break destinations.

Often compared to Paris in terms of beauty, Prague has architectural masterpieces untouched by war or natural disasters.  This is a rarity these days and walking around the city you cant help but admire your surroundings. Wenceslas Square is the main gathering point, full of designer shops, cafes and bars, it’s always buzzing with a great atmosphere. The medieval Charles Bridge connects the old town to the impressive Castle and is filled with artists selling paintings and caricatures. I love the fact that Prague is so compact and easy to navigate. Unlike many large European cities you will get to tick the main tourist attractions off your list and by the end of your stay you will feel like you really know the city. There is plenty of bold to go with the beautiful – it has some of the best nightlife you are likely to find in any European city. And lets not forget the beer – some would say Prague has the best beer in the world, well it’s worth investigating anyway!

Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert talks about Prague

I found a great deal staying in the superb The Lindner Hotel Prague Castle. This Hotel receives excellent reviews on tripadvisor and was awarded a certificate of excellence. It is situated close to Prague Castle and with easy access to all of Prague’s other main attractions. Fly from Dublin to Prague on the 13th of May and spend three nights in this great city for only €297 per person.

Click here to book flights: €124pp

Click here to book hotel: €173pp



Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to availability.



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Barcelona, Easter Weekend, Flights & 3 Nights, 4* Hotel €395


Barcelona is one of those cities where you can almost taste the atmosphere…


The mixture of amazing architecture, mouthwatering cuisine, buzzing nightlife and excellent shopping will leave you wanting to come back for more. And of course, lets not forget its location – situated on the Mediterranean Sea, you can even enjoy a day at the beach, how many major cities can offer all of this? In fact although Barcelona is typically a city break destination, you could easily find yourself spending a week here, and still find you haven’t seen everything.

Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert reviews BarcelonaTake a stroll along the famous Ramblas and watch the street artists perform before stopping at a tapas bar for lunch.  Take a tour of the famous Sagrada Familia Cathedral (Spain’s most visited monument) and walk through the narrow streets in the Gothic Quarter. Explore the Park Guell and see some of Gaudi’s spectacular architecture. Shop at some of Spain’s top high street stores such as Zara, Desigual and Custo at much lower prices than at home.

Of course Barcelona is home to one of the biggest football teams in the world. and for any football fans a trip to Camp Nou will be high on the priority list. You may even be lucky enough to take in a game? Alternatively a trip to Port Aventura, Spain’s largest theme park is just over an hour by train. Now can you see why I said you could easily spend a week here?

I found a great deal in the 4* Abba Rambla Hotel. This hotel is situated in the heart of Barcelona, close to the Ramblas and receives great reviews on tripadvisor. Fly from Dublin on Good Friday, the 25th of March and enjoy three nights at Easter for €395 per person including flights.



All prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to availability. To ensure you receive my weekly best travel deals please click here to sign up to my newsletter.



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Marbella Weekend Break, Flights & Hotel, 19th May, €354!


When it comes to a weekend away in the sun, Marbella is the perfect choice.


Marbella has been a firm favourite with Irish holidaymakers for many years and it’s not difficult to see why. It is the most up market of all the resorts on the Costa del Sol and many Irish families have holiday homes there.

It has a host of top night clubs as well as a marina full of luxury yachts. With short daily flights from Dublin, Cork and Shannon you can however, manag
e a few days away without breaking the bank. Marbella has great nightlife, shopping and beaches so it is probably the perfect choice for a girls weekend away. It’s not only about the bling though, the backdrop of the mountains and the beautiful old town, ensure it keeps some of it’s original charm. There are numerous great restaurant too, so it is safe to say Marbella caters for everyone.
Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert offers a weekend in MarbellaI have chosen the 4* Princessa Playa hotel which is situated right in the heart of Marbella, and only five minutes walk to the beach. It receives excellent reviews on tripadvisor and was awarded a certificate of excellence last year. Fly from Dublin with Aer Lingus on the 18th of May and spend three nights at the Princessa Playa for only €354 per person! Go on, you deserve it 🙂

Click here to book flights: €138pp

Click here to book hotel: €216pp

Prices are correct at time of issue but are subject to availability.



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City BreaksEuropeTravel TipsTraveling With Kids

Top 10 tips for taking kids on city breaks

family matera

Check out my top 10 tips for taking kids on city breaks and get planning your next weekend break away.


Taking kids on city breaks may not be as daunting as you might think. Airfares are so low to many European cities, so it would be a shame to not take advantage of them – well thats my excuse anyway! Travel broadens the mind and is extremely educational for children. They will learn new cultures, see famous landmarks, try new foods and who knows, may even learn a bit if history too! Hopefully my handy tips and tricks will see you will jetting off on a family city break in no time.


1. Choose your city wisely.

The ideal choice when taking kids on city breaks is to choose a city that you have already been to, and you would like revisit. You won’t feel it necessary to see all the top attractions the second time round and you will have a more relaxed trip. Failing that, choose a small city where you don’t have ten ‘must see’ sights to see, because no matter how well behaved your children are, there are only so many museums and monuments that kids can take…

tips for taking kids on city breaks


2. Get your kids excited before you go.

Find something that you know they would be interested in and focus on that. Perhaps there is a famous landmark, a football stadium, a theme park or an aquarium that you know they would be excited to see. Google famous films made in that city and watch a movie together before you. 


3. Choose good flight times when taking kids on city breaks.

Very early starts are ok if your kids will sleep on the plane, but if this is not likely, then try to choose day time flights. Many hotels won’t have your room ready till 2pm anyway, so arriving at 11 am, after being asked ‘are we nearly there’ ten times, only to be told to come back in a few hours, is not ideal! On your last day all kids want to do is go to the airport, so try to get an early flight home and avoid hanging around. That €20 you think you are saving by coming back on a later flight, trust me you will spend it ten times over!



4. Choose your hotel wisely.

Try to choose a hotel that is centrally located, so you can walk to restaurants in the evening and sights during the day. Kids get tired and bored on buses and trains, so avoid these where possible. If you can, try to get a hotel with a pool. It is a great incentive when out walking all day, to reward your children with a swim in the evening before you go to dinner.


5. Get the kids involved.

Give them maps and let them help plan your day. Try to encourage your children to take selfies front of famous landmarks and bring them back and show their friends or teachers.

Tom ten city breaks for families

6. Choose museums that are interactive or child friendly.

The ‘please do not touch’ museums don’t work out so well! There are usually technology, science or transport museums in most cities, that everyone can enjoy. Boat trips can also be something that will appeal to adults and kids.


7. Plan one thing to do each day that interests them.

Try to fit some sightseeing in the morning while your children are fresh. Plan an activity for them in the afternoon, a visit to a park, zoo or kids attraction.


8. Bring portable toys, buggies or even scooters!

Bring pocket colouring books, lego, smart phones, tablets or anything that fits into a backpack. When you are taking time out for a coffee or standing in line in a queue, they can come in very handy. A Verbatim MEDIA SHARE is much handier than a portable DVD player. It creates it’s own wifi network so kids can watch movies on their tablets or phones, anywhere – just remember to bring headphones! It is great to have on the plane, in restaurants or even in museums where kids usually get bored. Depending on your children’s ages you may want to bring buggies too. If they are old enough a fold up scooter can be a great asset to get around a big city.

tips for taking kids on city breaks


9. Try something new.

Children will visit lots of aquariums, zoos or even theme parks in their lifetime, so do something different that they will remember the trip for. Maybe its something simple like eating the local street food, or taking a tuk-tuk ride around the city, but do something that you would not do in your own home town.


10. Relax and enjoy it!

Don’t stress out if you can’t ‘fit it all in’. Enjoy taking kids on city breaks,and if you love the city that much, you can always come back!



Want to see more travel tips? Click here!




The Travel Expert Sarah Slattery




Berlin City Break, Valentine’s weekend, 3 Nights, €259!


Surprise your loved one with a weekend in Berlin for Valentine’s Day!


The city is steeped in history, there is so much to see and do, and it has some of the best nightlife you are likely to find in any European city. Wander around the historic centre, marvel at the Brandenburg Gate, see the city from Europe’s highest accessible building or chill out on one of its many squares with great German beer! If museums are your thing, there are 175 of them so I think you will find plenty here to satisfy you! Walk along the Berlin wall and meet with the US soldiers at checkpoint charlie, Berlin will astonish you at every corner.

The Travel Expert, Sarah Slattery, Berlin Wall

With a city as big as Berlin it is important to stay central, although it has a fantastic public transport system, you don’t want to spend all your time on it. I found a great hotel, well located in trendy East Berlin, the Best Western Hotel City Ost. This gets great reviews on tripadvisor and was awarded a certificate of excellence.  The total price including flights and three nights accommodation on the 12th of February is only €259 per person.

Berlin is superb, I can’t say enough good things about it, go see it!


Click here to book: (Price shown is total cost for two people)


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City BreaksDestinationsEuropeTravel Guides

My City Guide to Berlin


Berlin, I finally got around to visiting a city that has been on my wish list for many years and boy was it worth the wait!


The atmosphere in Berlin is almost palpable. Walking around the city you cant help but be taken by the enormity of what happened here. The Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, all the various memorials and of course the numerous museums are all fascinating, even to someone who is not that up on her history! It is also renowned for amazing nightlife and must rival New York for the title of ‘the city that never sleeps‘. There are basement nightclubs, cocktail bars, craft beer houses and even beer cabins. You name it, Berlin probably has it.

What to see:

So where do I begin, there really is so much to see, I had four full days and really could have done with another four. Before you do anything, buy the Berlin Welcome Card. This allows you free transport on all buses, trains and the underground. It also gives you 25-50% off many top attractions and even some restaurants. If you are smart you can even use it to get to and from the airport to save on taxi fares. The train system is great and you will use it, as the city is too large to navigate on foot.

I would start at the Brandenburg Gate, it is the only remaining city gate which used to represent the separation of the city between east and west. It is extremely well kept and was one of the highlights for me. From there walk to the Reichstag building (German parliament) which has a spectacular glass dome with incredible views over the city. TOP TRAVEL TIP: You need to register to do this online to gain access otherwise you will have to stand in line for over two hours.

From here you can walk to the Jewish Holocaust Memorial complete with 2,711 concrete slabs, arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field. Then on to the west side of the Berlin wall. Depending on energy levels you may be able to continue on to Checkpoint Charlie where you just have to get the obligatory photo with the American ‘GI’s”! Incidentally Check Point Charlie was the name given by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War.

The Travel Expert, Sarah Slattery, Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie

Would you believe there are 175 museums in Berlin so I think it is safe to say you won’t get to see them all! The visit berlin website is worth checking out as it is best to try to plan what museums you want to see before you go. Museum Island has five world renowned museums and is considered part of UNESCO world heritage and that is probably the most popular choice. However if you are looking for something a little different try the museums of technology, science, the spy museum or the interactive DDR museum.

One of the things most people do when they tour a city is find a high point to get an aerial view. In Berlin there are several of these. The TV tower is the most popular. It is now an icon for Berlin and is the highest publicly accessible building in Europe. Try to book online for the best choice of tickets. Failing this you can see a similar view from “Panoramapunkt” at Potsdamer Platz – it’s outside so might be windier than the TV tower, but still very nice. It’s also only  €6.50 to enter, so also cheaper than the tower which starts at €13.00. The view from the dome of the Reichstag is very impressive too so try to plan in advance which one you want to see and it may save you some time and money.

The Reichstag Building, Berlin, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert
The Reichstag Building

The east gallery of the Berlin wall for me was another of the highlights. It is a 1.3 km-long painted stretch of the former Berlin Wall and is the largest open-air gallery in the world, with over one hundred original mural paintings. The murals represent freedom and reconciliation and it is well worth a visit. I really enjoyed the experience and the combination of the bright coloured murals and the riverside setting makes for superb photographs.

The Berlin Wall, Sarah Slattery, The Travel Expert, Berlin
The East Berlin Wall

Berlin is full of wonderful squares too or ‘Platz’ as the locals call them. Alexanderplatz has plenty of market stalls and a typical beer house with outside tables and sometimes, live music. It is a great spot to relax and enjoy a German beer and take in the atmosphere. On the quieter side is Gendarmenmarkt, a square with stunning buildings and remarkable architecture. There are plenty of good restaurants here and lots of places to enjoy an alfresco coffee. Last but not least if you get nice weather, a boat trip along the Spree river is a nice way to see the city from the water.

Where to stay:

One thing that I did underestimate was the size of Berlin and how much there was to see. Yes, the underground system is remarkable and the S and U Bahn trains take you all over the city. For me though, I like to walk around a city and discover places that are not always in the guide books, I found it difficult to do this in Berlin. The tourist area close to the Brandenburg Gate is walkable and I would recommend staying near here if sightseeing is your main objective. Likewise if you are visiting for nightlife stay in east Berlin, Mitte, Friedrichshain or Kreuzberg are the most popular choices. I stayed in West Berlin near the famous Kurfurstendamm shopping district but I felt it was too far out of town, if I was to return, I would choose to stay in a more central location. The Adina Apartments at Checkpoint Charlie are a good choice, they are spacious and come with a kitchenette and have an indoor pool too.

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Brandenburg Gate, Berlin by The Travel Expert
Brandenburg Gate

What to do with the kids:

This was the first ‘proper’ city break that I have brought my kids on and although I would definitely do it again I would probably resign myself to the fact that you wont get to see everything you want to see. My kids are 7 and 4 so I couldn’t exactly drag them into the holocaust museum and there is only so much sightseeing kids can take!

On the other hand if you are looking to bring kids to a city, Berlin is a great choice as there is plenty for them to do too. Choose a hotel with a swimming pool, it is a great start to the day or else a great way to finish off a days sightseeing. The Lego discovery centre was a big hit with my two, mind you they are lego fanatics! You could not compare it to Legoland though, it is really only somewhere to spend one and a half to two hours at a maximum. Don’t bother with sealife and the aquadom, the one in Bray is just as good!

The aquadom is one of those things that sounds great in theory but is really just a lift that lasts five minutes so trust me, don’t waste your money! The DDR museum is a good choice as it is an interactive museum so unlike most museums, kids are encouraged to touch things and interact! The National History Museum has three huge dinosaur skeletons,  including the largest skeleton in the world, and let’s face it, kids love dinosaurs! The Zoo is one of the most popular in Europe and there are numerous technology and science museums that are very child friendly. My kids loved the Holocaust Memorial, obviously not for what it represents but because it is maze-like and they navigated their way through it.

Lego Discovery Centre, Berlin by The Travel Expert
Lego Discovery Centre

Where to eat:

There are numerous eateries all over the city but as I had my kids with me, we probably played it a little safe. Vapiano is a place you have to try, there are lots of them in Berlin, it is fast food but with an edge. There is a strong emphasis on fresh food with pasta, pizzas, antipasti and salads all ordered directly from the chefs in front of you, and prepared as you watch. Ask for your favourite dish and they will try to provide it. The modern interiors make you feel like you are somewhere special but the prices certainly don’t. A great choice for a quick stop or a leisurely lunch.

Another good find was Amici on Gendarmenmarkt square, excellent value for such a prime location and the food and design was very good. If you are short on time and trying to fit in some extra sightseeing you could try a currywurst (like a hotdog but with tomato /curry sauce), they are on every street corner and are the staple street food in Berlin! The 12 Apostles, close to museum island is a nice family restaurant if you have kids with you, good pizza, pastas etc. Just be aware that the 12 Apostles and other restaurants we found only accept cash and no credit cards! If you are planning to visit the Reichstag building the roof top restaurant here is excellent and is a good way to gain access to the dome, you will need to book in advance.

Vapiano, Berlin Restaurant by The Travel Expert
Vapiano Restaurant

Berlin has so much to offer that I can safely say I would recommend it for everyone. Over the last one hundred years, this is a city that has seen the rise and fall of the Nazis, was destroyed, rebuilt, and then divided into two very different ‘cities’. You get the distinct impression that the residents of Berlin both past and present can handle anything that is thrown at them, they just live for the moment and enjoy life. That is something that will resonate with me for a long time to come.



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