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Germany Vacation / Netherlands Vacation

To Really Experience a Destination, You need a Local

Netherlands Sreet View

Being married to a Professional European Basketball Player made me instantly connect with your request. My job is always to schedule great sights, tours, eats, and trendy night spots, around his games, and time schedule.

We have been living in Europe now for 8+ years and Germany for 2+. We are curently less than 2 hours from each of your travel destinations and have lived, and traveled extensively in all 3 three locations. Amsterdam, Berlin, and London are three amazing cities that need an insider to really get the true feel of the city! Each location also has their own set of museums, shows, walking routes, markets, and quirky cool places to see off the beaten path, which I have personally explored. For example, Hitlers Bunker is a must see in the undergournd of Berlin. Of course, you have to know where is the best food, and the coolest places to unwind with a martinin overlooking all of Berlin 60M up. I have some outstanding recommendations on accomodations, all with gym access, that fall within your price point. I am an expert, because I have not only visited these places, but have lived them! I look forward to hearing from you.

3 days in Amsterdam

What an amazing city! Since you are staying and seeing the sights around your working schedule, I decided to write you more of a list of things to see and do instead of an actual itinerary that you must follow on a daily basis. This way you can pick and choose the sights that are most attractive to you and can gauge the time it will take to see each site.

Museums

If you are a history buff, or artsy person, Amsterdam has a lot of to offer. Here are my top 3 picks you should stop by while you are in the city.

#1 The Anne Frank House:
The Franks’ were a Dutch family that were hidden away for 2 years in a secret annex, so as to not be persecuted by the Nazi’s for being Jewish. Eventually her family was caught and sent to the death camps. Her Father Otto Frank was the only one to survive the camps. To read about their life, history, and the death camps –> go here Location: Center of Amsterdam at Prinsengracht 263-267. The museum is open daily (except some holidays) from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, and longer on Sat nights. Purchase Tickets: Online or directly at the museum. Cost: 9 Euros. Time needed: 1.5-2 hours. Best Time To Go: Morning to beat the crowds, or late afternoon

# 2 Rijks Museum:
If you are an art lover this is the place to be. The museum has just undergone a full renovation. You can see over 117 art masterpieces, including The Battle of Waterloo, by Jan Willem Pieneman, 1824, and the self portrait of Vincent Van Gogh 1887. Hours: 9:00 to 17:00. Location: Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam. Cost: 15 Euros, + reserve an audio guide for 5 euros to help you navigate the museum. If you want a guided tour they can also accommodate you. Book your tour online and buy tickets to avoid the queues. Time: 3-4 Hours

#3 Diamond Museum:
See the world’s most beautiful and expensive diamonds. Many of the world’s best diamonds are still cut and polished right in Amsterdam. The museum takes you through the 400 years of diamond history. The journey takes you 200 feet below the earth’s surface where the diamonds begin to form, and takes you through the whole life of a diamond. You can view and see how the most beautiful diamonds in the world are made, cut, and polished. Location: Paulus Potterstraat 8, Amsterdam. Hours: Daily from 9:00 am to 5:00pm. Cost: 8.50 Euros per person. The museum offers a workshop that teaches you to cut and polish your own diamond. This is very pricey at 475.00 Euros per person, but you do get to keep your own diamond.

Coffee Shops

You will see many, many coffee shops all throughout Amsterdam. Walk in and look around, before you get in the door you will be hit with the strong odor of weed. Feel free to walk in and loudly holler, “I want some weed!” It is the only place in the world that you can do this! Ask for a menu, yes the menu, and pick your poison. Rookies coffeeshop is a nice and friendly coffeeshop on Korte Leidse-dwars-straat 145 and is open from 10-1am. However, they are on every street corner.

Hash/Weed comes in two forms blonde or black. Black is much harsher and the local Nederland weed is the strongest.

The joints are all rolled in with tobacco, but it is much stronger than most people are used to ~ so if this is your “cup of coffee” beware so you don’t end up sitting on the street with your head in your hands!

Walking the Red Light District: Prostitution is the oldest profession still alive today. There are over 290 red light windows in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, and over 900 Prostitutes. Each Prostitute pays 150Euros per day to rent a window. The average price for a prostitute is 50Euros for an hour, however you can negotiate, especially since the average time spent with the prostitute is only ten mins. Just walk up to a window and pick a girl. Be careful if you are trying to take photos, most of the red light district has a ban on filming, and photography. The best time to go is after dark; during the day light hours most of the windows are covered and closed up. Go after dark any night of the week. Even if you do not partake, it is quite a sight to see and experience.

On Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday there is a Red Light District Walking Tour. It starts at 8:00/20:00 the tour guide will lead you through the red light district and tell you all the inside secrets. The Tour also includes a visit to the prostitution museum for 25.00 euros. You can purchase tickets here.

Cassa Rossa: is the oldest erotic show theater in Amsterdam. You can find it in the center of the Red Light District, on Oudezijds Achterburgwal 106-108, Amsterdam. It is known by its mascot the Pink Elephant. You can purchase a ticket to watch the full hour+ show and have a cocktail at the bar. The seating is theater style, and you can sit anywhere there is a free seat, including one level up on the balcony. You can purchase tickets directly at the theater, or if you buy them online you get a 2Euro Discount. Cassa Rossa Group also owns the Banana Bar, which is entertainment that is all about using bananas, you can use your imagination but we are not talking about drinks! There is also the Erotic Museum that has a whole floor dedicated to Sado Masochism.

Red light secrets – Museum of Prostitution: This is a museum dedicated to the profession of prostitution. It gives you the inside scoop on what it feels like to work in the red light district, directly from some of the girls behind the windows. You can ask any questions that you want during the visit, nothing is off limits, and they even have a confessional so you can confess your sins. Location: Oudezijds Achterburgwal 60H, Amsterdam. Hours: You can visit daily from 12:00 – 0:00h. Cost: € 7,50.

Yab Yum Brothel Museum: Yab Yum is Amsterdam’s oldest and most famous Brothel, opened again as a museum. This museum will take you behind the scenes of this historic building, and show you the world famous waiting bar, and caviar room of the brothel. This is a very old historic building and there is no elevator, you will have some stairs to walk. Location: Singel 295. Hours: Wednesday- Sunday 11am – 6:00pm. You can buy your tickets online or at the museum door for 17.50 Euros.

Monuments, Squares

I am 🇳🇱 #amsterdam #holland #rijkmuseum #iamsterdamsign

A post shared by Andrea Serrano Martínez (@andddrea2) on

Central Train Station: This beautiful building was built in 1881 and completed in 1889. It was built around the same time as the Rijkmuseum, and the Central Post Office, and is built in the Neo-Gothic and Renaissance styles. The station itself was designed and built by Petrus J.H. Cuypers, who was one of the most famous Dutch architects. Cuypers received the Gold Medal award from the Queen for outstanding design and architecture. The station itself is built on 8067 piles of wood. The piles were made into 3 artificial islands and the station was built on top of the islands. The locals call it the Island Station. The roof is made from cast iron and was constructed in Derby, England. The station is decorated with beautiful paintings and iron works throughout. In the eastern part of the station has a waiting room for the queen, and is adorned in beautiful gold and iron gate. Stop by and take a look.

Dam Square & Freedom Monument: Dam Square is the cities jewel and sits right in the center of Amsterdam. The Dam Square is just that ~ the dam that was built to block the Amstel River from flowing directly through the city. This Square, once formed was the center of market places and the cities activates. In the 60’s it was a hippie hang out, today you will see all kinds of people relaxing in the square.

The Phallic Freedom Monument is also in the Square, and is a tribute to the fallen victims of WWII. Inside the monument has 11 urns, which hold soil from WWII, from all the provinces in the Netherlands. The pillar is 22 meters high and is covered in travertine. The front of the monument is 4 males chained together to represent the suffering endured in the war. There are weeping dogs at their feet, and above them is a woman holding a baby with doves flying around ~ representing victory, peace and a new life.

Koninklijk Palace: This is directly in Dam Square and was originally built as the first town hall. In 1808 it was transformed into a palace by King Louis Napoleon, the brother of Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte. The palace is full of beautiful sculptures and paintings throughout, from the most important artists of their time, including Ferdinand Bol and Govert Flinck. Some of the original Emperor Furniture, clocks, and chandeliers are on display to the public, and are some of the best preserved artifacts in the world. Location: Royal Palace Amsterdam, Dam Square Amsterdam. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 11am – 5pm. Buy tickets at the Palace, or online Cost: 10 Euros

Skinny Bridge: The real name of the bridge is called the Magere Bridge, and is built across the Amstel River and connects the bank of the Kerkstraat (Chruch Street) and the Keizersracht (Emperors Canal) and Prinsengracht (Princes Canal). The bridge is only large enough for pedestrians, thus the skinny bridge. It is made of white painted wood and has two stories that surround it. One is that there were 2 wealthy sisters who lived on each side of the canals and wanted to visit each other and did not want to go around to the main bridge. The other story is that they wanted to build the bridge, but ran out of money and so the bridge is so skinny because the builders used just what material they had left over to finish it. Either story, it is something that you should walk by on your stay in Amsterdam.

Zaanse Schans Windmill: Just on the edge of Amsterdam is a working windmill that grinds grain, and that you can go inside to see how it works. There are some cool old houses out there, a restaurant and a great place for some photos. It is normally windy so take a jacket. You can take the train from central station heading towards Uitgeest, getting off Kohg Zahn-Dike. The train leaves at 17 and 47 after each hour, and returns at 23 and 53 after. The train is 2.90 each way, a fun way to spend a few hours.

Tours

Canal Cruise is a must in Amsterdam. There are many boats and you can jump on any of them to take an hour tour around Amsterdam to see the city from the water. My preference is Canal Company of Amsterdam. They are friendly, reasonable and have a multitude of boat rides, from an hour long trip to dinner and cocktails rides.

Heineken Museum and Experience: It is not just a museum but it is an experience. The whole museum has been very well thought out and is interactive and energetic. You will have a beer tasting class, a chance to make your own postcard, test your beer pouring skills, bottle your own beer and personalize the label and finally taste some beer in the bar. It is a lot of fun and a cool place to see. You can also take a peek at the Heineken Horses who are housed in the stables. You can buy tickets online, or at the door. Go early to avoid the lines. Located at Stadhouderskade 78, open 11-6:30.

Cool Places to eat and drink:

Albert Cuyp Market Rotisserie Chicken $
Cuyp-Straat 163, 4 Euros, open until 5:45pm

Grasshopper $$$ This cool 3 story green house, is a fun place to go for multiple reasons. The house boasts a sports bar, and is always full during soccer matches, a steak house and a dance club. You can get food in the bar, and I would recommend the Tapas Variadas filling, and tasty. The burgers are good and a fun loud place to hang out for food and drink. Located Oudebrugsteeg 16, 1012 Amsterdam, Netherlands. Phone:+31 20 626 1259

Cafe Heffer $ Home to the 4 Euro Pannini and Fries if you are looking for a quick bite on the cheap. They also have great local beer, service is only Ok ~ but hey the sandwich is cheap and tasty. The inside is gorgeous and they have a nice patio to sit outside. Oudebrugsteeg 7, 1012 JN Amsterdam, Netherlands
+31 20 428 4488

Oriental 128 $$$$ High end Chinese, excellent food and voted one of the best restaurants in Amsterdam by the locals. Amstelveenseweg 128, tel 0206392090.

Los Pilones Mexican $$ Two Mexican guys created this Mexican kitchen – Pedro and Hector and they boast the best Tex-Mex in Amsterdam. Chips and salsa are free, great soft tacos and over 100 kinds of Tequila. Kerk-Straat 63 (near the Anne frank house) open daily 4-11:30.

Semhar, Ethiopian $$ If you want something different this is the place. They have different kinds of meat and stews (and vegetarian if you want) for a reasonable price. The meal usually comes with pancakes of sorts, and try a beer in a Mangoza shell to finish off your night. Marnix-straat 259, tel 020638163 open daily 4-10pm.

Red $$$$ Steak and Lobster anyone? This is a high end steak and lobster house, that has both beautiful people and food. It is on the high end of food, but is totally worth it on a night out. Reservations are recommended, or go early or late for a table. Keizers-gracht 594 tel 0203201824

Boom Chicago Comedy ~ Stand-up ad lib comedy show, all in English. This show is hilarious and a lot of fun to see and enjoy on a night out in Amsterdam. You can reserve tickets here they also have dinner with the show. They have multiple themes played out on stage each week so check the website and find you might like. Reservations are a must.

3 days in Berlin

Places to Stay

Andel’s Hotel: My #1 Pick and Favorite Place to stay! It is large and comfy 4 star hotel, with excellent customer service and a wonderful Breakfast Buffet. There is a gym for your use, free Wi-Fi, and it sits directly on the Tram Line that runs into Berlin Center and Alexander Platz. It is has a wonderful sky bar to unwind and have a cocktail overlooking the city of Berlin. They have 24 hour room service, and a very helpful concierge staff. The rooms start at 94.00 Euro per night including breakfast.

I3L Hotel #2 Great little hotel, has beautiful lobby bar and restaurant, as well as free WIFI, sauna and fitness center for your use. Breakfast buffet is included, as are free mini bar soft drinks in your room. The hotel is beautiful cozy and high tech throughout. The Hotel right in the center of the city near many local bars and restaurants. They also have a fantastic concierge service that can help you with anything you might need. Rooms start at 95.00 Euro per night double occupancy.

Adina Apartment Hotel ~ #3 This is an apartment style hotel right near the main train station in Berlin. This gives you easy access to everything. It has a full breakfast buffet and a check in desk for your convenience. The Apartments also have an indoor pool and fitness center for your use. The 1 bedroom Apartments (sleeps 2 with separate beds) also have small kitchenettes for your use. I book mine apartment through booking.com and the apartment’s page is here. The apartments start at 139.00 per night for 2 persons.

Day 1: Check out all the best things around Berlin

Alexander Platz (Platz means square in German) anytime you see a Platz there will be a lot of activity. The Square was once used as a cattle market, now it’s a bustling city within a city, boasting great bars, restaurants and sights. This square was also the sight of the largest anti-government protest just before the Berlin Wall came down. In November 4th 1989 over 1 million people gathered here to protest the government and push for the wall to come down. In the square you will see the World Clock, and the International Fountain of Friendship that were both built in 1969.

The World Clock stands on a column of 2.7 meters high and is 24 sided. The 24 sides represent the 24 different time zones in the world. On top of the clock is a representation of the solar system.

The International Fountain of Friendship was designed by a group of artists. The circular fountain has a radius of 23 meters measures 6.20 meters in height and consists of copper, glass, ceramics and enamel. The water runs in spirals over 17 bowls spanning 2 meters wide. The fountain is a protected historical site and was just renovated in 2002 and lighting was added for viewing at night.

The House of the Teacher: The first high rise building in Alexanderplatz was built between 1962 and 1964, it is called “House of the Teacher”. It is adorned with a beautiful colorful mosaic and is 12 stories tall and 54 meters high. It was built by the architect Hermann Henselmann. The foundation stone was laid on 12-12-1962. The “House of the Teacher” was built on the exact spot where the Berlin teachers? community home had been built in 1908, which was destroyed during the World War II.

TV Tower, this is a 365 Meter high tower, topped with a globe, and is the tallest building in Europe that is open to the public for viewing. . You can go to top of the tower and view Berlin via rotating Platform at 203 Meters above the street. You can just visit and have a drink or make reservations for dinner. You can reserve tickets here to go up to the platform start at 13.00 Euros, and go up depending on if you want to skip the line. The best time to go for the view is sunset, however it will be crowded, so plan accordingly. The web site will tell you what the wait time is at the tower during the day. If taking public transport, use all stops for Alexander Platz on trams and subways.

Day 2

Berlin Dome: (or Church) is the largest and most protestant church. Germany was the first countries to rebel against the Catholic faith and start the Protestant religion. The famous German Monk who started the protestant movement, Martin Luther fought for years with Rome, even being excommunicated from the Catholic Church for starting the Religion. This church was one of the first and largest to be built and represent the Protestant religion, which is still very prominent in Germany today. If you want to go the top of the Dome, you can as long as you don’t mind walking 270 steps to the top. The walk is worth the breath as you can see all of Berlin from the top of the church. You can have a guided tour if you choose, or just pay the entrance fee and this includes an audio guide. It is open Monday to Saturday 09.00 – 20.00 Sundays and holidays 12.00 – 20.00 Cathedral Tours – Registration tel: 030-20269 119 Box office: Tel 030-202 69 136. Price is 7 euros, and an addition 3 euros for the guide.

Museum Island: Is a world UNESCO site of the most important museums in Berlin. Below is a quick description and link to each Museum.

Altes Museum (Old Museum) Antiques, old Roman and Greek artifacts, old coins

Neues Museum (New Museum) finished in 1859, Destroyed in World War II, reopened in 2009 inside are 3 exhibitions ~ the Egyptian Museum of Berlin, Ancient artifacts, and the Museums of Prehistoric time.

Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery) completed in 1876, contains 19th-century art donated by banker Joachim H. W. Wagener

Bode Museum on the island’s northern tip, opened in 1904 and then called Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum. It exhibits the sculpture collections and late Antique and Byzantine art.

Pergamon Museum, the final museum of the complex, constructed in 1930. It contains multiple reconstructed immense and historically significant buildings such as the Pergamon Altar and the Ishtar Gate of Babylon. If I could only go to one this would be the one I would choose.

Brandenburg Gate: The Gate was originally built in 1788-1791 by Carl Gotthard Langhans, the sculpture were completed by Johann Gottfried Schadow. The square it is in is called Pariser Platz or Paris Square. The Gate is the symbol of Berlin and a must see for anyone in Berlin for the first time. The gate was originally built as a part of gates around the city leading to the center, the Brandenburg Gate was the main Gate leading to the City. The gate is also known around the world as the symbol of division and reunification between east and West Berlin. On the top of the gate is a statue of the Goddess Victory representing peace and the reliefs around the gate are of Hercules 12 labors around the world to represent what Germany has been through to gain peace. Napoleon, notorious for collecting art and buildings after he conquered cities, took the statue and moved it to Paris. After Germany overthrew Napoleon they had the statue returned and placed back on the gate.

During the Cold war and division of East and West Berlin the gate stood in the middle of both countries, in the no man’s land in the middle and was neglected and overrun. Now it is again the symbol of the city. If you look closely around the square you can still see the path where the wall once stood in the cobblestones. Address is Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin, Germany

Holocaust Memorial: This memorial is 1 block away from the Brandenburg gate, with the gate to your back walk to the left with the street on your right and you will see the memorial directly in front of you. A large area of concrete blocks. The site is open 24 hours a day and is free of charge. Underground is an information center that explains the memorial and gives you information about the site. It is located to the left back side of the memorial, near the row of restaurants. Please resist the urge to jump on top of the blocks or walk on them, as the site is a memorial. Location is Cora-Berliner-Stra?e 1, 10117 Berlin. There is additional information at their website

Reichstag Building: The parliament building is a beautiful building in Platz der Republik. It was originally built in 1871 and has a huge history after that. It lied in the middle no man’s land of West Germany when the wall was up and was set on fire by unknown sources in 1933 causing West Berliners to grow nervous and watchful for communists. The building became a target during WWII for its symbolic value and was nearly destroyed by the bombing of the allied forces. The building has been restored and you can walk in and around the building today. Location is Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin, Germany and is open normally Monday – Friday 8-12:00

Victory Statue: The statue was completed around 1870-1871 and was used to commemorate the Prussian-Dutch and Prussian-French wars, that were thought of as reunification wars. The sculpture s bronze, stands 8.3 meters high, 35 tons and is a beautiful sight. The locals call is Goldelse – or Golden Lizzy. It is free of charge, and is open daily from 9:30 – 6:30. Also in the Platz der Republic.

Potsdam Platz, original Stop light: This Square lies 1 kilometer south of the Brandenburg Gate. It also has the Teirgarten Park and the Reichstag Building in close proximity. The Square was once a major crossing to the North of Germany and when the wall went up it was a major dividing line between the east and west. When the allied forces came in many of the Allied forces were housed around the Platz. The large original stop light in the center of the square is said to be one of the first stop lights in Europe.

Teirgarten Park: This is a large city park that was once used a hunting ground for royalty. It is also said that often Hitler would walk through the park to think prior to WWII. Now it is a nice park for relaxing and you can find many embassies, government buildings and UN buildings in the vicinity as this once was the heart of Berlin.

Charlottesburg Palace: On the West of Teirgarten Park you will see Charlottesburg Palace. It was built for Prussian Queen Sophie Charlotte as a summer residence. The palace was severely damaged in WWII but has been restored. You can just walk by or take a tour of the residence and more information is here. The price is 12Euros with an audio guide and is open Tuesday-Sunday 10-6pm.

Night Event Day 2

O2 arena and a basketball game: The Berlin Basketball Team, ALBA Berlin is going into the National Semi Final Round in Germany and will be playing in the O2 Arena in Berlin. The stadium Seats 14,500 people and normally sell more than 10,000 tickets for basketball games. The Arena itself it beautiful and has bars and snack places inside. Even if you don’t get to game, stop by and take a look at the beautiful building. The website for basketball tickets is here

Day 3

Berlin Wall, East Berlin Gallery ~ directly in front of the O2 arena is the East Berlin Wall Gallery. This is a piece of the wall that is still standing, as a memorial and is decorated and painted from artist all of the world. You can simple walk down the street and marvel at the amazing artwork that was painted just as the wall was coming down. Located outside the O2 arena on MuhlenStrasse (Mill Street). At the end of the wall gallery is the East Berlin Train station which you can jump to take you back to the center or onward to other locations. Free and time needed is around an hour.

Check Point Charlie Checkpoint Charlie was the border checkpoint that was most frequented and well known to the allies, between West and West Berlin. There is still a sign there today that lets you know you are leaving the American Sector of the City and crossing into Communist territory. This was also once a point of a tense tank standoff between the USA and the Soviets in October 1961. Now remaining is a small guard shack, manned by two men dressed as military and willing to take photos with you for a few euros and to stamp your passport with the original stamps that they used during the cold war. The cost of the stamps depends on how many stamps you want from 5-10 stamps for 5-10Euros. Free to look at, but there is always a crowd. Watch out the street is a real one and cars drive on it so don’t stand in the middle of the street without looking both ways.

Berlin Wall Museum: Or Museum Haus at Checkpoint Charlie ~ This is the museum directly across the street from Checkpoint Charlie, it houses a huge museum of the history of the Berlin Wall and the history of cold war. The first floor starts off with the history and then you can wander through floors and hours of artifacts, items and stories of the Berlin wall. The museum tells how people lived, escaped and their fate. The Museum is full and can take hours upon hours to walk through and is not for the faint of heart. It’s nice to walk through but can get tedious and long (and warm) inside. Best left for true history buffs, and for those who have hours upon hours to spend. Located on Fredrichstrasse 43-45, D 10969 Berlin, it is open daily from 9-22:00 and the cost is 12.50Euros, per person, and an additional 3.50 for an audio guide. They also offer guided tours which may be less overwhelming. However, in a time crunch of if hours of history is not your cup of tea, there are some great colorful pieces of the Berlin Wall hanging all around the street, worth looking at, and a Starbucks on the corner if you need some coffee.

Story of Berlin Museum & Underground Bunker: The Story of Berlin Museum is located at and is a 6000 square feet museum, with 800 years of history packed into 2 hours of time. The museum is fun and interactive and has a lot of information both in German and English. You can walk through the museum and see how Berlin was formed, grew made it through the war and where it stands today. At the end of the museum you can opt to take a tour of the underground atomic bomb shelter. This is a live shelter and would still be used today if you a bomb were to be dropped. Sadly it only hold about 3000 people so most of the Berlin Population would be left out. The tour is guided and cool to see. Leave yourself 2-3 hours to get through the museum and bunker. The Museum is inside of mall and you will see the big red airplane wings on the street in front. Go inside the mall and follow the red painted footsteps on the floor to the museum door. The cost is 12.00 Euros per person, including the bunker tour. The museum is open Mon-Friday 10-8pm. The address is Kurfurstendamm 207. More information here http://www.story-of-berlin.de/

This is also on a great shopping street, full of Bars and restaurants, including the Berlin Hard Rock Cafe.

Places to eat and drink

Hard Rock Cafe: Kurfurstendamm 224, 10719 Berlin, Germany +49 30 884620 1 block from the Story of Berlin Museum open daily, hours vary

Yaam Beach Bar: fun in the sun and beach. Well not really the beach but a fun place to hang out on the river with cool drinks and island music. The bar was undergoing renovation and will be reopening in a few days. Fun Place for a lazy afternoon.

Sky Bar and Sky Cafe Andel’s Hotel: Great place beautiful bar and view. Service is a bit slow, but the drinks are food are good. The sky bar closes at 2am so you will have to move on to another spot after 2am.

Monkeys Bar: for the coolest new kid in town the Monkey Bar located in the 25 Hours Hotel is the newest hotspot for the beautiful people in Berlin. Perched high above the hotel with cool drinks and a snacks menu. This also has a new hotel that seems to be up and coming, however I have never seen it or stayed there so I have no recommendation on it.

Haus am See: Always open around the clock and hip spot for music art and chillaxing Is the hauss am see. It’s not a bar, not a club but something sexier in between. If you want a table reservations are a good idea and the link is here to check it all out.

Bar Tausend: is a nightclub/lounge and is open Tuesday-Saturday at 7:30 till the wee hours. It does have a lax dress code, be sure to dress properly, or they will turn you away at the door. Reservations not needed.

Saphire Bar $$ Located at Boetzowstrasse 31, Berlin, Germany, has the best cocktails and martinis in Berlin. The service is often slow (but not a lot of service is fast in Germany) but the drinks are worth the wait. Great atmosphere $$.

Jolesch German food $$~ Located Muskauer Stra?e 1, 10997 Berlin, Germany
+49 30 6123581, This is local German at its best, it has both a lunch and dinner menu and has a pie shop for your sweet tooth.

The Bird $$ Steakhouse, Burgers & BBQ. They accept cash only located at Am Falkplatz 5, Berlin +4903051053283

Restaurant Aigner, $$$ Frankzosische Str 25, Berlin +49 030203751850 Beautiful place and garden, with great German Ingredients.

Grill Royals Friedrichstrasse 105b, 10117 Berlin +49 03028879288 This is a steak and wine house and one of the most famous in Berlin.

Things to eat while in Germany:

Schnitzel ~ Pork steak, with breading, pan fried normally served plain or with a mushroom sauce.

Spatletese ~ Half pasta half potato noodles that are usually served as a side dish or with goulash stew.

Bratwurst ~ traditional Germany pork sausages

Blood Sausage ~ is mixed meat and dried blood sausage that is very famous in Germany. Hey, when in Germany.

Sauerbraten ~ Horse meat sausage that taste similar to venison.

CurryWurst~ Brats with the curry sauce

Berlin Beer

Warm Pretzel

3 Days in London

Places to Stay

For a large hotel with all the amenities the Kensington Hotel London is the top choice. The hotel is centrally located and has everything you could need. There is breakfast included, with free WIFI throughout the hotel. There is also a fitness center and UK plug adapters available for your electronics. There is a concierge service to help with all your needs and the prices start at 117.00 GP per night for Double Occupancy.

10 Pembridge Gardens, This is a cute apartment/hotel, free WIFI, full kitchens and fridge, coffee pot, and iPod docking station. The staff is friendly and helpful, and the apartment is walking distance to all the local sightseeing spots. The closest Subway in Notting Gate, which is a great area for night life and dining. Located at 10 Pembridge Gardens. Rates are approx. 154.00 GP per night double occupancy.

The Hide London, is a boutique hotel also in central London, with free WIFI and breakfast included every morning. There is free parking on site if you need it or the nearest subway is Hendon Central Station. Prices start at 75.00 GP per night for double occupancy.

London tower, Built on orders from William the Conqueror in 1066, the tower was used to keep hostile Londoners at bay. The tower has an amazing and sometimes gruesome history. The tower has been used as a dungeon and prison, housed many of the Royal families and is even a site of a murder conspiracy of the two princes who were murdered by their uncle so he could take over the throne. Great place to visit and walk through. Open Tue – Sat 9:00 am – 17:30 and Sunday and Mon 10:00-17:30. Prices are 22 Pounds (tickets are 2 Pounds cheaper if you buy them online) per Adult and give yourself a good 3-4 hours to get through the entire castle. Located at London EC3N 4AB by underground the nearest station is Tower Hill Station on the Circle Line.

London Bridge: Built in 1824 the London Bridge is by far the most Famous Bridge in the world. Take a drive over the bridge and be sure to stop by during one of the times when the bridge is being raised. Now let’s go up in the bridge to the top floor and see the museum and exhibitions about the bridge and how it works from 42 meter above the river bed. The current exhibitions are The Sixties and Great Bridges of the World both art exhibitions that are fun for all ages. They do offer tours of the bridge and its inner workings, don’t miss the Victoria Engine Room which is the central nervous system for the Bridge. You can purchase tickets online here. They start at 9.00 Pounds per adult, and the bridge is open daily 10:00 to 18:00. You need a few hours at the bridge if you want to go inside. There is an elevator that will whisk you to the top.

Stop at a Red Phone Booth ~ they are all over the streets, originally designed in 1924, the bright red phone booths were made red so they would be easy for people to find. Step on in a get a photo of these cool phone booths that actually still work.

Have a Beer in an English Pub ~ My vote after checking out the Bridge and the Tower is the Anchor Bank Side Pub, only about 500 or so yards from the London Tower you can walk on over and belly up to the bar, that was built in the 1600’s. Some say it was once a death pit for those with the Plague. Now it is a cute and fun little pub with good food and great beer. So go on stop on in. Open Daily from 11:00 to 11:00 and midnight on Saturday.

Saint Paul’s Cathedral ~ The present Cathedral, was built by Britain’s most famous architect Sir Christopher Wren, between 1675 and 1710. It was built to replace the previous church was destroyed in the Great Fire of London. You can enter the cathedral and view the amazing site and look towards the huge west doors that stand 9 meters tall and are only used during special occasions. You can also climb to the Dome, which happens to be one of the largest domes in the world, 111.3 meters high and weigh in at 65,000 tons. You can count the 528 steps to the top, if you haven’t had your workout for the day this is the perfect place to do it. Once you reach the top you can see amazing view of all of London. Enjoy the sights of the church. Open Mon to Sat 8.30am – 4pm.The price of admission includes entry to the cathedral floor, crypt and the three galleries in the dome (Whispering, Stone and Golden). Admission also includes multimedia guides and guided tours (for individuals and family visitors). Tickets are 16.00 Pounds per person to enter, your tickets can be booked online to fast track the line.

Have some dinner over at Piccadilly Circus, which is full of bars restaurants and night clubs. After dinner walk the street and see the sights, restaurants, clubs, lights and music.

Try the Temple Bar and Restaurant The food in international and has breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. More of Deli place that serves great food. Located at Temple Station, Temple Place, London, WC2R 2PH

If you are into some great French Food like Beef Bourgogne French Onion Soup or Tartare is your place ~ Boulevard Brasserie, Located on 40 Wellington Street near the Covent Garden. Tel 020 72402992

Day 2

LONDON 🇬🇧 #uk #london #bigben #westminsterabbey #crewlife

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Westminster Abbey: the Grand Church of the Royal Family, Chaucer is also buried here along with the two little princes who were murdered in the Tower of London. The queen has her royal seat here and if you peek around the corner you might be able to jump up in it and pretend to be King or Queen for the day. The Abbey is open from 9:30 am to 6:00pm daily and is 18.00 Pounds per person to enter, unless you want a tour or audio guide (highly recommended to learn its secrets) The Westminster Abbey is in the heart of London – next to Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. The Nearest underground is St James’s Park (District and Circle Lines) and Westminster (Jubilee, District & Circle Lines).

The Houses of Parliament are located in Westminster in the center of London (postcode SW1A 0AA) and are well served by all forms of public transport Visitors travelling on the London Underground can use the District, Circle or Jubilee lines to get to Westminster station, which is fully wheelchair accessible. You can walk through parliament and some of the Palace with an audio guide, or have a guided tour which takes place on every Saturday (with a few exceptions) This is a great way to hear the history and see the inside of the beautiful buildings. If you opt out of a tour, walk around the buildings to the river and the Gardens you won’t want to miss the beautiful views.

Elizabeth Tower & Big Ben Clock: Next to Parliament and the Abbey is the Great Tower of Elizabeth and Clock of Big Ben. The tower is over 96 meters high, and 12 meters square. The Elizabeth Tower, which stands at the north end of the Houses of Parliament, was completed in 1859 and the Great Clock started on 31 May, with the Great Bell’s strikes heard for the first time on 11 July and the quarter bells first chimed on 7 September 1859. They do have tours of Big Ben and the Tower, but only to UK Citizens, whether you would qualify for this tour my guess would be yes, but I cannot promise.

London Eye: Take a ride on the London Eye, on a clear day you can see 25 miles out on all sides of London even out to Windsor Castle. The London Eye is not an actual Ferris wheel but a viewing apparatus that takes 30 minutes for one evolution. Each glass capsule weighs ten tons and can hold up to 25 passengers. It is 135 Meters high and is one of London’s tallest structures. The Eye is open daily Monday –Friday from 10:00 to 9:30pm. Tickets start at 19.95 Pounds per person, and if you buy them online for a discount of 2.00 Pounds.

River Thames Cruise: Finish your second day in London with a sunset cruise along the River Thames. Get a different perspective of the city and take a cruise underneath the London Bridge. There are many companies who operate trips, and often you can find a package deal for a trip around the London eye and a river cruise or the Hop on Hop off bus tour offers a free river cruise with their trips. If you want to book it separately you will normally pay 33.00 Pounds per person. I would advise a package deal with your eye tickets you can book it here or the London Hop on Hop off bus tickets offer a free river cruise with the tickets.

After your cruise enjoy some great food and drinks around the city for dinner. London is known for its great Chinese food in Chinatown,

For Budget $ Chinese food try Baozi Inn, is true Sichuan food and large portions of noodles. The price can meet any budget. Sometimes the order are wrong but the food is usually good. Located in China town on 25 Newport Court, WC2H 7JS

For higher end and quality hit up the New China London Sichuan Restaurant They serve both lunch and dinner. You can call ahead for reservations. Their best dish is Sichuan hot pot Chilies. 48 Gerrard St. London Chinatown, W1D 5QL T: 020 72879889

New Loon Fung Chinatown; this place is very consistent, the food is all around good and you can eat anything on the menu. The restaurant is open daily and the service is ok ~ you will not find great service anywhere in Chinatown so don’t expect it! 42-43 Gerrard Street, London W1D Tel 0207 287 9026

After dinner stop in at Nicholson’s Pub just a quick walk from Chinatown. Here you will find great people and good beer, tasty wine all with a lively atmosphere. Open daily until 11:30 pm address: 93 Charing Cross Rd, London, WC2H 0DP t: 020 7494 0338

Day 3

Buckingham Palace: A visit to Buckingham Palace is a must for anyone visiting London. The beautiful palace and grounds are those made of fairytales. There are many things to do and see at the palace and you should allow yourself at least 3 hours to visit the palace, rooms, and a walk through the grounds. From visiting the state rooms to watching the changing of the guard you will feel like royalty at the Palace. Photos are allowed and guided and audio tours are available depending on which parts of the palace you wish to see. The official website is here and it is best to check if your date of travel and times of the changing of the guards.

Hyde Park: One used as hunting grounds for the royal family now is an open air park for all the people of London to enjoy. It has a beautiful lake in the center called the Serpentine, and restaurants, ice cream shops, and beer gardens spread throughout the park. You will see people sunbathing and relaxing all over the park. There is a Princess Diana memorial walk through the park, with 90 plaques lined up to memorialize Princess Diana. Walk the park on a sunny day, it’s a great way to see the people.

Marble Arch: Walk through Hyde Park and you will come out to the Marble Arch that sits at the end of one of the biggest shopping streets in London Oxford Street. Take a gander at the marble Arch and its beauty. The arch was built in 1827 and was originally an entrance into Buckingham palace and then it was relocated. Afterwards was only the royal family who was allowed to cross under the arch, now anyone can pretend to be royalty and walk on through.

Oxford Street: After your walk through the Marble Arch you can take a walk along Oxford Street which is the biggest shopping street in London. On Oxford you can find anything you fancy from clothes, knickknacks, fast food to trendy coffee shops.

Harrods: Although Not on Oxford Street, The most famous store in London, known all over the world for its famous caviar bar and seafood bar inside the department store. You might also see a Swarovski studded Ferrari in the model car section for the kids. There is really something for everyone here. You can find it at 87-135 Brompton Road, Knightsbridge London, SW1X 7XL, United Kingdom

Take in a show: London is second only to Broadway NY so the theater shows are top notch. Here is a link to the great shows playing all over London If you are a rocker We will Rock You with Queens is amazing. There is always Thriller Live, or the Phantom of the Opera. Many shows offer a dinner package check out all the shows here.

If you don’t go to a show but want to treat yourself to dinner here are my top picks for the best places in London to eat.

10 Greek Street ~ Ranked one of the best restaurants in London, international elegant food. The bill will run your about 75 Pounds per person with dinner and 2 drinks ~ but well worth the price. They have a no booking policy; it is first come first serve, so get there early or skip dinner and go for lunch. 10 Greek Street, London W1D 4DH Tel: 020 7734 4677

If you are looking for some finger foods, than Tapas is the way to go and the best Tapas restaurant is Salt Yard authentic Spanish tapas with an Italian twist. The price is great you are looking at 5-9Bp for a Plate of Tapas. It is located at 54 Goodge Street, London, W1T 4NA Tel: 020 7637 0657 and they do take reservations.

My personal Favorite is Fish Works. You will only know about this place from the locals, the front is a store front of fish and you have to walk through to the back to find the restaurant. The place is a little bit out of the way, but worth the trip. You can pick your fish or seafood fresh from the window and they will cook it up for you. All the fish and seafood is fresh, and brought in daily. 89 Marylebone High Street, London W1U 4QW 020 7935 9796 It is best to call ahead for a table. They have daily specials and also run pre-theater menus that are 15.95 GP per person for 2 courses.

Takeways

Buy Museum tickets online There is often a long line waiting to get inside. This is at no additional cost, and your hotel can print your tickets for you.

Getting Around Berlin Getting around is very easy by public transport, but for the sights you can get to all my suggestions via the hop on hop off bus, which not only drops you at the door step but gives you a full day of free transport. Some days it is fun to be a tourist 🙂 http://www.hop-on-hop-off-bus.com/ and look up Berlin. You can buy tickets online or at any bus stop or at your hotel.

In Amsterdam all the water levels in the canals are very tightly controlled. All of the buildings are built on piles of timber, due to the soft ground and changing water levels. The country controls the water levels in the canals to keep the wet wood wet and the dry wood dry to avoid any rot or crumbling of buildings.

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