Berlin apartments

East Side Gallery: Berlin

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At 1.3m the East Side Gallery is the longest remaining section of the historical Berlin wall and today represents a unique combination of history and artistic expression. It is the largest open air gallery in the world with over 100 paintings from artists across the globe.

The East Side Gallery hosts some of the world’s greatest abstract and political street art and a visit to Berlin is simply not complete without a visit to the wall.

Address: Mühlenstrasse 45-80, Berlin – Kreuzberg
Getting There: Metro Stop “Ostbahnhof” (line S5, S7, S9, S75)
Cost: Free

The Most Extreme Activities for your European Break

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They say that you should do 1 thing a day that scares you. Not only does it build confidence in your abilities, and open your horizons to new experiences, but it will also fill your memories with exciting events to relay to others for years to come. Travelling and new experiences, come hand-in-hand, however many activities that travellers dabble in are often of a more extreme nature…

Nowadays, it’s almost normal practice to venture to new destinations and throw yourself out of a plane, or to entrap yourself in a cage while being circled by the ocean’s most feared creature. There is something incredible, and addictive about the adrenaline rush you get by doing something that is completely alien to your mind, body and soul. Crazy, but true.

Some of the most popular European destinations offer activities that some may consider wild and reckless, while others perceive as daring and adventurous. Often involving tremendous heights and lightening speeds – extreme activities often provide some of the best views of your destination, if your concentration allows it!

If you’re looking for some action for your city break or European tour, then check out our favourite most exhilarating extreme activities around Europe – sure to get your pulse racing.

Base Flying in Berlin
Forget visiting Berlin’s TV Tower for spectacular views of the city. Base flying off the Park Inn Hotel offers a great vantage point to observe this amazing city, and also provides a quick descent back to down to Earth again. Standing tall at 125m, the Park Inn Hotel is the initial launch pad that you propel yourself off, almost reaching free fall speeds, before your safety rope halts your descent. A serious adrenaline rush, and a must for bungee and skydiving fanatics, base flying is available from April through to November and costs €79.

Paragliding in Zermatt
There is no better way to appreciate the sheer beauty of a mountain range than with a bird’s eye view, and paragliding in Zermatt offers just that. Soaring over the spectacular alpine scenery, without the obstruction of windows, or the interference of engine noise, means you can appreciate the peace and tranquility, while your tandem partner guides you gentle back to land. Prices vary depending on the operator, but are around €150 for a 20-30 minute flight.

Bungee Jumping in London
Relish the spectacular sight of London’s iconic cityscape, moments before plummeting 160ft. London’s O2 Arena gives thrill seekers the opportunity to reach new heights, without even having to step foot on the London Eye, or Tower 42. The bungee launch pad is located in the venue’s car park; with the River Thames and Canary Wharf just a stone’s throw away. Make your trip to London a truly memorable and exhilarating experience. Prices are around €94 for a single jump.

Skydiving in Prague
Prague is a popular destination for group travellers, visiting on stag and hen weekends, birthday and family gatherings. An extreme activity, such as skydiving, can spice up even the most already extravagant of trips, and will make your group holiday one to remember. Skydiving is an invigorating activity, providing breath-taking views, and a feeling of absolute accomplishment – once you’ve landed safely on land. Skydiving within a group is the best scenario, as not only do you get to share this incredible experience with your loved ones, but it’s also harder to chicken out when all of your friends have already hurled themselves out of the plane! The ridicule would be never-ending… Prices vary depending on the operator, but are around €146 per jump, with reductions for group bookings.

Whether you’re looking to view Berlin from a completely different view point, or get the most amazing views of Zermatt’s spectacular Matterhorn, book your holiday apartments well in advance to avoid disappointment.

Enjoy a Magical Experience at Berlin’s Christmas Markets

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If like us, you love the run-up to Christmas, and are in your element when surrounded by twinkling lights, sparking Christmas trees and the aroma of mulled wine, then Berlin is the place for you. Although there is a cosy feeling of strolling down the decorated streets of your home town, there are not many cities that can say they have over 60 Christmas markets waiting to be explored.  

Visiting one or more of Berlin’s Christmas markets, you are sure to be captivated by the magical festive atmosphere presented by each, and with many of the markets opening in mid to late November, you may be propelled into the Christmas mood earlier than expected.

Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market is one of Berlin’s most charming and picturesque, with the German and French Cathedral and Berlin Concert House beautifully lit surrounding the market. Located in Gendarmenmarkt Square, in the centre of Berlin, the Christmas Market is conveniently located, and is best explored on a crisp evening, when visitors can enjoy the bright lights and hot refreshments. There are endless market stalls offering traditional souvenirs including wood crafts, jewellery, toys and confectionary, and the market has a performance stage for musicians, jugglers and acrobats. Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market is open from the 21st November to the 31st December 2011, from 11am-10pm, and closes with a New Year’s Eve celebration. Gendarmenmarkt is the only market in Berlin to charge an entrance fee of €1, with New Year’s Eve admission costing an additional €10.

Alexanderplatz Christmas Market is a lovely market for all ages, but children especially will love the fun fair rides, ice skating rink and magical Fairy Forest.  The market is held in Berlin’s most well-known square, which is also home to the iconic Fernsehturm tower, which visitors can ascend for spectacular views of Berlin. Alexanderplatz Christmas Market is open daily from the 24th November through to the 21st December 2011, from 10am-8pm.

Perhaps the most traditional of Christmas markets can be found in Spandau Old Town, and takes about 30 minutes to travel to on public transport from the city centre. Many festive attractions can be explored in this historic district, including a Christmas-themed rock concert, a small animal enclosure, and Christmas garden. Spandau Christmas Market is open from the 25th November to the 23rd December 2011.

Now’s the time to book your Berlin holiday apartment, with fantastic Hot Deals for the festive season. View our selection of budget to luxury Berlin holiday apartments to find your perfect accommodation in Berlin.

The Most Visited Zoo in Europe – The Berlin Zoological Garden

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The Berlin Zoological Garden, or Berlin Zoo, is unique—both in the variety of animal species it possesses and in its fascinating history.

The Berlin Zoo, located in Tiergarten Public Park in central Berlin, houses more than 17,000 animals of 1,500 species. It is the most visited zoo in Europe despite setbacks that occurred during WWII when bombing wiped out over 90% of its animal population. With great support from the German people the zoo was reconstructed after the war and has since developed into a top attraction in Berlin.

The Berlin Zoo is open each day from 9am-5pm.  From March to October hours are extended to 7pm. You can expect to pay €13 for an adult ticket, €10 for students, and €6.50 for children. Inquire about family passes upon entry. If you have several children, it will likely save you a bit of money. The Berlin Zoo also has an impressive three-story aquarium. Tickets for the aquarium must be purchased in addition to the zoo pass. If you buy the aquarium ticket along with the zoo pass, you will receive reduced admission for the aquarium.

The Berlin Zoo is known for some of its famous residents. Whilst at the Berlin Zoo, don’t forget to visit Bao Bao. Born in 1978, Bao Bao is the oldest living panda in captivity and has become quite a legend. The Berlin Zoo is also known for its scheduled feeding times that guests are able to view. Check the zoo website, zoo-berlin.de, in advance for current feeding times. The times are spread out so you are able to check out several animals throughout the day and make the most of your visit.

We are loving the Berlin Zoo and we hope that you do too. Want more information on Berlin attractions? Click here. To explore other European destinations that we love, navigate our homepage. Renting a self-catering apartment is a great way to enjoy a city break—check it out!

We are Loving Reichstag

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We are loving Berlin and its top attractions. Check out the Reichstag building to learn a little German history and discover one of the best locations to view Berlin’s cityscape.

“Reichstag” refers to the building that is currently home to the modern German parliament. Throughout the years the building has seen many ups and downs. The term “Reichstag” once referenced the institution of the German parliament itself. The Reichstag building was constructed, beginning in 1884, for meetings of the Reichstag parliament. The structure opened in 1894 and served as a functioning building until 1933.

In 1933 the building caught fire. Historians still are unsure of what caused the combustion or why it was started. Due to damage the Reichstag building went unused and without restoration from ’33 to ‘45. The few remaining members of the German parliament held meetings in the Kroll Opera House during that time period.

After the war, when Germany split into two, the parliament of each new nation took up residency at a new location. It wasn’t until the reunification of Germany in 1990 that restoration of Reichstag began with plans to move German parliament back in.

Since the reopening in 1999, the Reichstag building has housed the Bundestag, the modern term for the German parliament. The building is admired for its great architecture and vibrant history.

Visit Reichstag and make sure to check out the view of Berlin from the dome at the top of the building. Plan ahead, as entrance into the dome is not allowed without prior appointment. It’s well worth the time as it allows a peak at a spectacular view of the city.

Check out self-catering apartments in Berlin when you’re planning your stay. Search specifically for apartments nearest Reichstag if you’d like to be conveniently located near this top city feature.

Tell us about your trip. Join the conversation on Facebook or tweet @lovingapts. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

Celebrate Summertime at the International Berlin Beer Festival

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There’s nothing better than a spontaneous weekend getaway. Here’s our idea: come to Berlin for this year’s International Berlin Beer Festival.

Berlin Beer FestivalEach year this fantastic beer festival in Berlin brings in over 700,000 guests from around the world to sample 2,000 unique types of beer along the “beer avenue” between Strausberger Platz and Frankfurter Tor.

The 2011 International Berlin Beer Festival is from August 5-7th. The festival runs all day, open Friday from noon to midnight, Saturday from 10am to midnight, and Sunday from 10am to 10pm. Not only will there be beer, but free entertainment. German and international performers will perform throughout the weekend on the 18 stages that surround the festival.

This year’s International Berlin Beer Festival marks the 15th edition and will bring in 300 breweries from nearly 90 countries. In honour of this milestone there will be an attempt to create the world’s longest line of beer tables. In order to succeed, the line must reach 2,000 metres. Come for the attempt on Sunday, August 7th from 11am-1pm. If successful, the celebration is sure to be a blast.

Admission to the festival is free—just pay for the beer. No worries, it’s reasonably priced and well worth tasting the exotic brews from around the world. Trying only one variety just won’t do.

Stay in Berlin for the long weekend in a self-catering apartment. Come and go as you please as you enjoy your own personal space. Loving Apartments has recently introduced our portfolio of Berlin apartments on lovingapartments.com, convenient for festival attendees.

Come to the International Berlin Beer Festival this summer and enjoy a spur-of-the-moment weekend break.  Check out the full listing of Berlin apartments or search for those nearest the festival. Have a fantastic stay.

Explore Berlin’s Striking Art Gallery—Gemäldegalerie

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GemäldegalerieOur journey in Berlin continues at Gemäldegalerie. This gallery, loved by art fanatics worldwide, exhibits the best collection of 13-18th century European art in the world, including the works of Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and Vermeer.

History junkies will also take interest in the collection, as it has a unique past. Several of the pieces were actually acquired through wartime burglary, many of them coming from Poland. During World War II the collection had to be hidden in remote locations in order to keep it protected. Some 400 pieces were too large to veil and became victims of the violence. The remaining works were split between East and West Berlin at the end of the war, but have since been reunited at Gemäldegalerie.

The Wine Glass by VermeerAmong the near 1,600 treasures spread throughout 72 rooms in the Gemäldegalerie are the popular rooms of Rembrandt and Raphael, the latter of which contains five of his Madonnas. Other gallery must-sees include Vermeer’s Woman with a Pearl Necklace and The Wine Glass.

Follow the horseshoe shape of the building to view the works in chronological order. The gallery is open from 10am-6pm with extended hours on Thursday from 10am-10pm. Avoid Mondays when Gemäldegalerie is closed.

Admission for adults is €8. Reduced prices may be available –call 030 – 266 42 42 42 for more information. Audio guides come with the admission fee.

We hope you’ll love Gemäldegalerie as much as we have. Start planning your holiday to Berlin today! Search for self-catering apartments on lovingapartments.com.

Loving Apartments is Saying Hello to Berlin… & its World Famous Department Store, KaDeWe

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That’s right—we are currently working on developing our portfolio of apartments in Germany’s capital city, Berlin! We are so excited that we are diving right in and are exploring some of Berlin’s greatest features.

Kaufhaus des Westens, commonly nicknamed KaDeWe, has the best shopping in Germany. The only larger department store in the world is Harrods in London. KaDeWe has 60,000 metres of selling space spread over seven floors. The daily visitor count generally hits over 40,000 people.

Consolidate a successful shopping trip in Berlin by spending a day at KaDeWe and exploring the luxury products on each floor. The store has over 380,000 individual items—everything from furniture and gourmet food to designer clothing. Hundreds of well-known brands including Chanel, Dior, Prada, and Gucci are available for purchase. Be sure not to miss the top floor as well, which houses a winter garden. KaDeWe is also a lovely venue for lunch or dinner.

KaDeWeKaDeWe is open from Monday to Thursday from 10am-8pm, Friday from 10am-9pm, and Saturday from 10am-9pm. The store is located on Tauentzienstraße, Berlin’s main street for shopping. Take the Metro to Wittenbergplatz station from your Berlin apartment for greatest convenience.

Find out more about apartments in Berlin located near Kaufhaus des Westens by visiting lovingapartments.com. We hope to see you there!