I’m not quite sure why we put Berlin on the list of cities to visit or if we just needed a stop in between Krakow and Prague (which is our next stop) but I grabbed us an AirBnB downtown and started compiling a list of tourist stops that we should see.
We landed in Berlin late on Weds around 10 pm. I spent the next hour plotting out a walking route. Yes I’m that much of a planner, but then it leaves us more time to relax once we’re done. We spent 3 hours in the AirBnB on Thursday just chilling and napping cause it was too hot to walk around outside.
Where to Stay:
Our AirBnB: While it was lovely, it’s hard to enjoy a place during a heat wave, with no AC (spoiled North Americans). The bed was lovely, but we were given 2 single bed duvet covers (no fighting for the sheets) and the pillows were a bit lumpy but otherwise a great location to get downtown.
Places to See:
Brandenburg Gate (Top Left of Map)
Reichstag (Above Gate – Not on Map Image)
Hitler’s Bunker Location (Right By Steel Vintage Bikes where we had breakfast)
Topography of Terror (Near Bottom Left)
Checkpoint Charlie (Middle of Map)
Ok so first stop was the Brandenburg Gate.
Up next, the parliament building, Reichstag…
We passed through the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe.
And found ourselves at the Topography of Terrors, including part of the Berlin Wall!
We found 3 really good places to eat. As we were really only there for 1 day, we needed breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Places We Ate:
Steel Vintage Bikes – We both had the drip coffee and eggs, bacon and beans bowls. I was able to order gluten-free bread here!
Chipps – I had a chia bowl with fruit and a green smoothie. My body was craving greens so this was a perfect stop for lunch.
Zur Kleinen Markethalle: We wanted authentic German food for dinner so we headed here after a nice siesta all afternoon. Mike ordered the crispy chicken specialty and I had blood sausage with sauerkraut (I won’t post a pic as it’s just not pretty to look at).
While a great place to visit, I wouldn’t jump at the chance to tell someone they MUST visit.
I’m going to try my hand at travel blogging and hopefully share what we saw and ate in each city on our honeymoon for anyone looking for travel ideas! Our European adventures started in Krakow, Poland.
Krakow, you surprised us and were simply delightful. You were a perfect start to our honeymoon and your city is absolutely gorgeous, your people are welcoming and your food was amazing.
We landed on a Monday mid-afternoon and left on a Weds in the evening so we had basically 2.5 days in the city and here is how we decided to spend it.
Places to Stay
Our AirBnB was affordable and in a great location. We didn’t love the loft even though it seemed like a good idea at the time of booking. Our biggest complaint that in this heat wave it was too hot with no AC but definitely a great place to stay in the city.
Things To Do:
Visit Auschwitz-Birkenau (Not on Map – 1.5 Hour Drive)
Visit St. Florian’s Gate (Near Top) & Town Square (See where St. Mary’s Basilica is on Map)
Visit Schindler’s Factory (See Bottom Right of Map)
Visit Historical Museum of Krakow (See Top Left of Map)
Visit Wawel Castle (See Bottom Left of Map)
We chose Krakow as our first stop because it was the furthest most country from France and we wanted to end our trip in Paris. Mike has always wanted to visit Auschwitz-Birkenau (Concentration Camp outside of Krakow) and while I’ve never put it on my bucket list I’ve wanted to pay my respects to those that suffered in this place and understand a bit more of history that we just simply can’t be ignorant or indifferent about.
Early on in trip planning, I booked a tour through Discover Krakow through Expedia and then we planned the rest of our trip around this.
After dropping our bags at our AirBnB (booked near Wesola Cafe) we wandered into the city to see the streets, checked out the Town Square and found food. We ate an early dinner at Pijarska 17 Bistro which included meat perogies for Mike and ox tongue and boiled beets for me.
Tuesday we walked over to Discover Krakow early for a 6:15 am start time and loaded into an air-conditioned bus with 12 other people (we booked a small group tour specifically) for the drive to Auschwitz. We had an absolutely amazing tour guide who met us there. We were given headsets to hear him speak and off we went on the tour of Auschwitz 1.
I can barely explain the thoughts and emotions that came over me while on the tour of Auschwitz 1. We walked in and out of buildings, learned about living conditions for the first camp, where prisoners were held, where role call took place, where hospital buildings existed, where the kitchen was located, where the crematorium on site was built and so many more details I simply can’t recount in one blog post.
As we passed through rooms filled with possessions of those gone I was simply overwhelmed and tried to simply absorb everything my eyes were seeing. As we walked into the hair room and then shoe room I couldn’t contain the tears and let them freely flow for the lives of those who were subject to these atrocities. We learn about the Holocaust in school but do we actually try and understand how this atrocity was allowed to occur. Do we take a moment to understand if our country knew about it and did nothing? I truly urge you to seek the information. It’s eye-opening.
From Auschwitz 1 we returned to the bus and proceeded to Auschwitz 2. Before researching this trip I had no clue they were 2 separate locations. I was taken aback and quite shocked at the size of Birkenau.
We stood on the very platform where they were unloaded, selected and then walked the same road to the crematoriums. I could not contain tears of grief. The air felt so heavy.
Europe is in the middle of a heat wave, but we could only begin to picture what living conditions might have been like in the middle of summer and not even begin to understand what it would have been like in the middle of winter. I honor the memory of over 1.1 million men, women and children who lost their lives here. I am educating myself and will not turn a blind eye to what happened to you and what is still happening today in this world.
I found this quote from Elie Wiesel, the Holocaust Survivor, and the Nobel Peace Prize Winner and it struck a chord with me.
And that is why I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must – at that moment – become the center of the universe.
On the bus ride into the city, we were lucky enough to pass by Cakester Cafe. I really hadn’t done too much research on gluten-free places to eat and saw no gluten in the window. We popped in for a late lunch (I had gf pancakes with fruit) and then we came back for vegan ice cream later after dinner.
After our late lunch, we walked the length of the city to see Wawel Castle, went back to the AirBnB to shower and then I found gluten-free perogies at Pod Baranem so we headed there for a fairly early dinner again followed by vegan ice cream at Cakesters.
On our last day, we left the AirBnB after breakfast at Wesola Cafe and locked up our luggage at the main train station.
We then took an uber to Schindler’s Factory (our legs and feet were quite done from all the walking the day before) and paid for an English guided tour.
We then took another uber to the Historical Museum of Krakow. While we learned some new information there it wasn’t worth it as it was only a 1 room building. We grabbed lunch at Glonojad and then headed down to Cafe Bar Magia for some sorbet for me and coffee for us both before heading to the airport.
Places To Eat:
Wesola Cafe (See Top Right)
Cakesters (See Middle of Map)
Glonojad (See Top Middle of Map)
Pod Baranem (See Bottom of Map)
Pijarska 17 Bistro (See Near Top of Map)
Cafe Bar Magia (Right Above St. Mary’s Basilica)
The start of the trip was absolutely amazing. If you haven’t put Poland on your bucket list. Go add it now, I’ll wait 🙂