In paid collaboration with Germany Tourism, programme kindly put together by Visit Berlin.


After two long years of hunkering down in our flat, we took our first trip abroad to the wonderful Berlin. It’s a city we’ve visited many times before but are always happy to return. Berlin, the capital city of Germany, is huge and has so much to offer. Despite having traveled here more times than I can count on one hand, there is always a new area to explore, a different sight to see and a new restaurant to enjoy. This is what I love about Berlin along with the gritty atmosphere and abundance of vegan delights.

Berlin has long been considered the best city for vegans, and while it now has more competition for the title, there is still something special about the city. They have their own vegan supermarket chain called Veganz, vegan shoe shop heaven Avesu and a whole bunch of eateries for any occasion and budget. I’ve covered some of this previously in this post and this one too if you want more after reading this one.

During our visit this time we had a schedule kindly made for us by Visit Berlin and enjoyed trying things we might not have thought to do on our own. I’d say we now have a greater understanding of the city and gathered a bunch of new gems to share with you all so let’s dive right in!


#feelgoodgermany #germanytourism #visit_berlin #berlinized #berlinforfuture

Travelling to Berlin by Night Train and Where to Stay

There is one train that connects Sweden to continental Europe directly and that is Snälltåget which covers rails all the way from Stockholm to Berlin. It is a night train with cosy little compartments that can sleep up to six people, a restaurant carriage that serves food and drinks between Stockholm and Malmö which then becomes a little kiosk during the night and of course offers a sustainable way of travelling.

We boarded the train in Malmö but you can hop on at several different stops in Sweden between Stockholm and our starting point. The departure time for us was 10 pm-ish which is pretty much my bed time so that was a perfect coincidence. So we got on the train, looked out the window as we left the station and then made our beds to snuggle into. It took a moment to fall asleep as these trains are a little old and you definitely feel a few bumps and hear a few noises but eventually we did and when we awoke we were in Germany. Snälltåget stops in Hamburg as well as Berlin which was the final destination for our journey. We arrived at 9 am which gave us the whole day to enjoy the city, another bonus of travelling by night train!

Once we arrived to Berlin Hauptbanhof we took a quick stop at the Tourist Agency to pick up our Berlin Welcome Cards. If you’ve visited any major city in Europe you probably recognise this concept. The Welcome Card gives you unlimited access to public transport, a ride on the hop on/hop off tour bus as well as discounts on multiple museums and attractions around the city. If you are a tourist who likes to get busy and visit many sights then this is definitely a great way of easing the hit to the travel budget.

With our welcome travel cards at hand we walked over to our bus stop to grab the M85 which took us to the curb right outside our home for the next two nights LuLu Guldsmeden Hotel. Guldsmeden is a chain of hotels which originate from Denmark that has an air of cool about them and focuses on sustainability details throughout. The sheets and towels were made from organic cotton and of course the hygiene products were as well and came in large sizes for sharing rather than the regular single use bottles. Even the key cards had been thought through and were made from bamboo.

The interior of the lobby and restaurant is about to change but was already lovely so I’m sure it’s only going to get better and the bedrooms were inspired by Bali interiors. The hotel work closely with traders in Bali who make the furniture and gorgeous art work dotted around the hotel. I kind of wanted to sneak one of the pieces into my suitcase but half of it would’ve been stuck out so I thought better of it, ha!

Day 1: Sustainability, Bike Tour and a Vegan Feast

After a hot shower at our hotel we were ready to explore, so we grabbed the u-bahn to Re’bike to meet our tour guide Emil from Green Bike Tours. Re’bike is a meeting point for the tours but you can also rent bikes there for your own private use for 8 euros per day which is very reasonable. We were kitted out with bikes and helmets and with Emil at the helm we set out to see the city with our sustainability goggles on.

Emil shared interesting factoids about Germany’s and Berlin’s sustainability goals as well as issues the city is facing when it comes to green practices. A positive that stuck with me about the city is that 40% of it is covered in water and green space where parks and other green spaces take up 33% of the cities surface. Emil told us that this makes it the greenest city in Europe. Having been to Berlin previously we have very much enjoyed the parks around the city during our visits which make for a great communal living room in the warmer months.

I liked the fact that the tour covered many facts about the city but also some practical advice of places that might be of interest to a sustainability interested visitor of the city. For example we stopped at Markthalle Neun which is one of few food market halls in Berlin that survived the second world war. It’s a food market first and foremost with a lot of specialty and local food items, cooking equipment and interesting temporary stalls but it also has a few sustainability programs running as well. It’s especially fun to visit on a Thursday when there’s a street food market on in the hall with food from all over the world.

Of course a visit to this market was right up my alley but the next stop was almost even more so as we stopped of at Original Unverpackt. A store that focuses entirely on sustainability products relating to the household and package free foods. It is a place where you can refill your jars and bags with all the foods you would get at the supermarket but without the waste that comes with supermarket packaging. I especially loved how many package free beauty and hygiene products you can find at this store.

Once we had finished our tour we had a little rest at the hotel before we got dressed up to visit vegetarian cocktail bistro Bonvivant. The Schöneberg district is home to this swanky restaurant which offers a tasting menu of 4 or 6 courses that can all be made vegan with minor adjustments. At Bonvivant drinks are their thing so instead of a wine pairing there is a cocktail pairing to go with the innovative dishes. There is even a fabulous non-alcoholic pairing menu which I can wholeheartedly recommend. I have never had such interesting non-alcoholic cocktails.

The food at Bonvivant is sourced locally and the menu follows and changes with the seasons. Chef Nikodemus Berger told us about their foraging excursions to nearby parks where they find wild garlic, rose petals and fir tree shoots. They use these ingredients both in their food and drinks at the restaurant which lends for really interesting and fresh flavours.

Some of our favourite dishes were lightly battered jerusalem artichoke with pickles and vegan beurre blanc, a layered potato dish with wild garlic as well as the dessert which had the most lovely combination of beetroot ice cream, rooibos tea foam and an absolutely fantastic tuille. If you are looking for a dinner experience which takes your taste buds on a walk about in German terrain with creative drinks that will surprise you on the side then this is the place for you!

Day 2: Hotel Breakfast, Gardens of the World and Vegan Food Walking Tour

After a seriously delicious sleep at the hotel we rose to a feast of a breakfast prepared fresh by the resident chef. While the kitchen and dining room at the hotel is undergoing some updates they pulled out all the stops to make us an interesting and yummy breakfast. There was cooked spinach and green beans, potato salad, a green salad with hazelnuts, soy yogurt with fruits and muesli, vegan croissants with freshly made apple compote and bread galore as you’d expect in Germany. And yes, we rolled out of the hotel onto our next adventure!

Which happened to be a public transport journey of about 45 minutes to reach the Gardens of the World or Garten der Wält in German in the Marzahn area of the city. An area that was heavily bombed during the war and rebuilt post war as part of the GDR (German Democratic Republic) which resulted in a rather stark look with rows of apartment blocks. In the midst of this concrete jungle we find a huge green park with little gardens inspired by different countries around the world. But before I tell you more about the gardens I want to give a little appreciation to public transportation in Berlin.

We found it so easy to get around using the different trains, buses and trams available to us through our Berlin welcome card and thoroughly recommend taking advantage of the system when visiting the city. You even get a view on some of the u-bahn lines which is the equivalent to a subway in other cities as it’s build above ground here and there. From the windows you can often see the many beautiful murals that decorate buildings dotted around the city. There is also the s-bahn which covers more ground to connect the sprawling city and when there is a gap you’ve got a bus or tram to get you to where you need to go. Apart from this it is also a pretty bike friendly city and you can definitely cover a lot of ground on two wheels as we discovered the day before.

Anyway! The Gardens of the World is a fun fair for anyone who loves parks and gardens. You can spend hours exploring the different countries represented here through lush plants and traditional architectural features. We especially enjoyed the Chinese garden with the beautiful tea house as well as the Middle Eastern inspired garden with its gorgeous tiled plaza. There really is something here for everyone though and I am sure that families with children would have a great time in the park.

During our visit there was the annual Japanese cherry blossom festival that is a big event with stage performances and even a cosplay fair. We were lucky enough to see many interesting characterisations during our day at the gardens as well as a whole lot of gorgeous blooming trees of course. We also enjoyed some onigiri from Nigi who had a market stall at the fair as well as some fusion kimchi tacos. On any other day there are not that many options for lunch at the gardens but you can find a vegan soup at the Warung Bali restaurant.

I almost forgot to tell you about probably the most stand out feature of the park which is their cable car which will transport you up the hill to a look out view called the cloud. While the cloud is not part of the entrance fee to the gardens the cable car is and if you are into different modes of transport it’s definitely worth a go and again I think kids would love it. Personally I was a bit scared as it was very windy on the day of our visit but most people would say I’m scared of everything so it’s nothing to base your own experience off of, haha!

Once we were back in the city we took a quick stop at vegan supermarket Veganz to stock up on all the treats before heading to the Neukölln. When we arrived we took a short walk through this buzzling area which reminds us of our own home town area in Malmö as this is a place that really feels like a melting pot of different cultures and influences. Finally outside a chain sports store on Karl Marx Straße we met our guide Holger from Fork and Walk Tours and we embarked on our four stop (actually five in the end) vegan food tour for the night.

The tour took a slightly different shape than it would normally as it turned out we’ve visited a few of the regular stops previously. Holger wanted us to have novel experiences so he tailored the tour to us which was lovely. Otherwise there is a program for the regular vegan food-walking tour that has more stops and covers a lot of food cultural specialties in Berlin including drinks as well as some anecdotes about the history of the city.

Our guide Holger was incredibly knowledgeable about Berlin’s history as well as food culture and spots. It really was a joy walking with him. The first place he took us to was tucked away in a relatively unknown neighbourhood called Richardkiez. The restaurant; Aviv 030 is run by a handful of passionate owners not much older than me which gives the place a rather lovely atmosphere. The interior is very Berlin I would say and by that I mean it is good looking without trying too hard, or at least it looks like it didn’t try to hard if you know what i mean. Either way it really was a beautiful place full of friendly staff in a neighbourhood that felt a little hidden from the hustle and bustle of the area at large.

The food was Israeli and delicious. We had the smoothest most airy hummus, deliciously savoury oyster and king trumpet mushrooms on a herby jerusalem artichoke cream as well as grilled red cabbage with tahini, coriander gremolata-ish and herb oil. The bread was super fresh, house made and light as a pillow and this Holger said is the true marker of a good place and I tend to agree. I loved the food and atmosphere at Aviv and wholeheartedly recommend it if you are visiting Berlin.

But that was only the starter because when we had taken a little pit stop in the jungle rest room of Aviv, yes rest rooms are really a thing in Berlin and crazy too, we caught the u-bahn to Schönleinstraße where we found hole in the wall currywurst kiosk Ketels Wurstspezialitäten. Holger told us the story of how currywurst was invented post war as British soldiers influenced a woman working in a sort of fast food kiosk to create this concoction of sausage, tomato sauce flavoured with worcestershire sauce and curry powder. It is a Berlin classic and while it is not entirely my cup of tea I must say that the vegan sausage at Ketels is delicious and it is always fun to try a local institution of a dish.

After Ketels we just swung around the corner to Tsu Tsu for a Japanese classic in the form of kara-age. Kara-age is Japanese style fried chicken and at Tsu Tsu you can try it vegan style. It is again a tiny little place but very stylish with light wooden paneling and red details throughout. The vegan fried chicken was yummy and worth a taste if you are in the area. It does contain seitan so for all my gluten intolerant friends this place is unfortunately not for you. I am pretty certain also Ketels sausage contains gluten just to let you all know.

The last stop on our tour took us up Oranienstraße which is very alive and kicking at night and home to many bars and eateries. We stopped at Goldies for some more fried food and this time it was french fries done with an abundance of delicious toppings. the place is run by two guys who used to work in a michelin starred restaurant in sleepy Volkswagen who decided to do something entirely different and so Godies was born in the heart of the Kreuzberg night life scene. However Goldies closes at 10 pm so it’s a place to hit up before you go to the bars rather than after making it a nice and chilled atmosphere to enjoy.

Goldies has three vegan options for their decadent fries: Odessas beeten, el gringo loco and the truffle. We tried the first and last in that order and had a very good time eating this last part of our dinner experience in the shape of a walking tour. Odessas beeten is topped with beetroot, vegan sour cream, dill and is probably as close as french fries will ever get to salad. The truffle was on the other hand probably as fancy as french fries will ever get with fresh truffle shaved over a mayonnaise dipping sauce. I am glad we didn’t order all three options because our tummies were entirely spent after these two plates but this means we can come back and try the Mexican inspired el gringo loco combo next time.

At the end of our meal Holger suggested we finish with a drink and gave us a few options on where to go. Did we want a sophisticated cocktail bar with a Berlin twist or would we rather visit a local institution with a rather eccentric interior a la Berlin? Well I thought let’s do as the Romans or in this case the Berlin residents and go for the latter and so we took our tired feet and walked over to Roses. The walls were pink and furry, ornaments of varying amounts of kitsch everywhere and the atmosphere surprisingly friendly and relaxed. Of course there was the obligatory Berlin techno beat and even though I don’t particularly like techno or drink alcohol I enjoyed myself completely. Going to Berlin I think one must have some sort of night life experience seeing as this is one of the top things the city is known for so it seemed just right that this is how we should end our visit.

Bye Berlin and Hello Bremen

The next morning, after a sleep that was way too short in my humble opinion, we packed our bags and set off back to Berlin Hauptbahnhof to catch our train to Hamburg and then on from there to Bremen. Before I leave you and this post about our 48 hours in Berlin I wanted to let you know where you can get some vegan breakfast in the central station if you like us end up train hopping through this station.

First of all there is a supermarket called Rewe tucked away in a quiet area of the station where you can get lots of vegan goods, both prepared wraps and sandwiches as well as everything else you can get in a supermarket. We also found some onigiri in one of the little shops that unfortunately can’t remember the name of but it seems onigiri is a thing in Berlin. What I really want to let you know though is that you can find the best selection, even if a little sparse still, of prepared food at backWERK as well as at Pret A Manger. We got tea with soy milk, an avocado and sundried tomato sandwich as well as bircher muesli at backWERK and it hit the spot even though it wasn’t necessarily a culinary experience of note.

With this I will leave you for now. Don’t forget to click play on the video to see the whole trip in motion and my in the moment reactions to our program. Our next video and post will be from Bremen, a German city with an entirely different flavour, so see you there!

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