What makes you love traveling to foreign places? For me, it’s the different gaze that I adapt: everything becomes new, even the mundane. An advantage of living in a big city like Berlin is that you don’t have to travel far away to get into this peculiar mode of being. All it takes is leave your neighborhood for a little bit and open your eyes up wide.
As I’d wanted to explore Charlottenburg and the West Side of the city a little bit, it made sense to plan a 24h Charlottenburg staycation. I stayed the night at the Sofitel Kudamm, who were kind enough to let me test their hotel for free.
On my way to the Kurfürstendamm, I made a little detour through the Tiergarten and the Hansaviertel.
After arriving at the Sofitel on Kudamm, I checked into my room and looked out at the wonderful view over Berlins West Side. I have to admit that I am not a big fan of the typical chain hotels, but the Sofitel manages to bridge the gap between business and leisure very well. It’s a great stay if you’ve got family or business contacts visiting, and even better if your guests like to be close to the shopping districts.
As much as I like ordering room service and watching TV, I was eager to explore my new neighborhoods. I took a walk over Kudamm to Kantstraße and back, discovering a few things here and there I hadn’t noticed before.
Kantstraße is well known for its lively Asian food scene, with plenty of Chinese, Taiwanese, Japanese and Thai restaurants to choose from. Whenever I get the chance, I grab a snack from Lo-Men’s Noodle House, a Taiwanese hole-in-the-wall that is quite popular among Berliners.
In the evening, I returned to Kantstraße to indulge in some proper German “Hausmannskost” at Dicke Wirtin. The area around Savignyplatz is beautiful, especially in the passage between the S-Bahn station and the little park. There’s not much to do here, unfortunately, so I come back to the only place I know: Schwarzes Café. Open 24hours and an icon of the West since before the Wall came down.
I dedicated the next day to an extensive personal educational program. Finally I had no more excuse not to visit the Schloss Charlottenburg. Alas, I was too cheap to pay the 20 Euro entrance fee and decided to spend the money on snacks from the famous Russian supermarket (it appears every now and then in documentary programs about Berlins Russian influences). This supermarket is open 24/7 and offers everything from caviar to candies.