How to upgrade your hotel room and explore Berlin in one day!
In the winter of 2019, the three of us took a trip to Copenhagen, Sweden, and then ended with a night in Berlin, Germany.
The whole trip was a bit spontaneous as Copenhagen was the only sure thing we wanted to do, but then when we were looking at prices for coming home, we thought, “why not take a detour and experience more?” and so we did.
If I’m honest, we didn’t do much research into Berlin or what we wanted to experience. We knew we were there for one day and night, and we knew about the Brandenburg Gate and thought it would be cool to see, but other than that, we winged it. This is what we learned.
UPGRADE YOUR ROOM FOR FREE
Everybody would love to upgrade their room for free, more room, bigger bed, maybe some freebies? There are two ways to try and upgrade your room. One is to complain and make a fuss – I’m not that kinda girl. The other is just to be nice and offer them a reason for an upgrade – I am that kinda girl. Let me explain.
As we were staying in Berlin for one night, we booked with an Ibis hotel, and we booked based on price more than anything.
We weren’t particularly looking forward to Berlin because, at this point, we were exhausted from traveling and just wanted to get home. We were dreading sharing another small bed with a baby squeezed in, but it ended up being one of the best nights we experienced.
How we upgraded our room (for free)
We emailed the hotel ahead of time, on the night we booked and mentioned that we were on our honeymoon and kick-starting it off in Berlin.
This is a little white lie, we were married a couple of months earlier, but it was a little white lie that wouldn’t hurt anyone and was completely open to accepting or not. We didn’t receive a response, so we just brushed it off and said: “it was worth a try.”
Honeymoon suite, y’all
Upon arriving at our hotel, we had to wait as they prepped our room, then ten minutes later, we were given a key. As we went to the top floor and opened the door, we realized we were staying in the honeymoon suite. It was huge!
A big comfy bed sprinkled with rose petals, champagne on ice, a huge bathroom, and a glorious view of the city below. It was the perfect spot to sit, and people watch, and boy we did (with a German kebab and beer – read on).
My advice to anyone wanting to try their hand at a free upgrade would be to simply ask (extremely nicely – sell yourself for the upgrade people!) or give a reason.
I honestly think that we were able to upgrade because we were only staying for one night. It probably wasn’t much of a loss to them, and they would receive gracious reviews. It will be harder to get an upgrade if you are staying for longer than one night, as it will be at a loss to the company.
Talking about upgrades, I would like to make a note for those of you that love to complain for freebies.
Don went to Florida for two weeks once and his friend found fault in everything and just simply complained. She complained about the standard of drinks, she complained about her experiences. She complained about her life at a Disney resort, and she ended up getting her ‘Disney card’ bills wiped. The good old folks at Disney want you to experience perfection, no matter what.
TRAVELING BERLIN, YOU SAY?
Oh, my goodness. Berlin is a pretty massive place to navigate if you’ve never been there before. All the landmarks are dotted about, so you will have to do a bit of traveling to see all the cool tourist stuff. Also, we’ve heard that taxi prices are bumped up for the tourists.
Berlin Welcome Card
I have three words for you, my friend – Berlin Welcome Card.
It’s a great idea to get one of these cards to travel unlimited around Berlin (including to and from the airport). You can jump on buses, trains and underground tubes all the time, at any time. The card starts at a minimum of 48hrs to 6 days.
As I said, the landmarks are dotted about, and if we sat down and split up our day, we must have spent ⅓ of it traveling.
There’s cool stuff to the west, cool stuff to the east, and if you want to fit it all in, well, you need to spend more than just one day there.
WHAT WE VISITED + OUR THOUGHTS
We based our itinerary on the quickest route from our room as we had to fit as much in as possible before it got too late. What could we visit on one strip before doubling back on ourselves? To start, we visited the Berlin Wall.
The Berlin Wall
The Berlin wall is a small section of the wall with a small memorial and some cool, relatable graffiti. It’s not really what I expected, but it’s a very important part of history none the less.
Afterward, we visited Checkpoint Charlie, which is a famous former border crossing between the west and east Berlin. This is another very important part of German history, and you can try currywurst here!
Next, we visited the Brandenburg Gate, and it is so beautiful. We reached the gate during twilight, and it was pretty casual, not too busy. A few tourists, a few horse carriage rides, and a musician. We took some pics and then went into Starbucks for a coffee. We also used the free wifi to refresh our maps.
After our coffee, it had gotten darker, and a few coaches full of people arrived. The place quickly went from relaxing beauty to chaotic Snapchat selfie central. Still, it was beautiful.
Just up from the Brandenburg Gate is the Reichstag building which we were hoping to visit. Unfortunately, the queues were massive (along with major security checks), and it was getting late. Just be prepared to queue if you decide to visit the Reichstag.
Memorial Jewish Cemetery
On our way to the underground, we stumbled across the Memorial Jewish Cemetery which was interesting, but it would have been much better to visit during the day time.
The main intention of our trip was to experience some of Berlin. We were aware that due to the size of Berlin and how little time we had, we wouldn’t be able to fit in as much sightseeing as we would have hoped.
For next time, we have found a good in-depth article on the top places to visit in Berlin.
Upon heading home to our hotel, we decided to get some alcohol and a German kebab for the room. We ended the night eating the most amazing waffle kebabs, drinking great beer, and watching people share moments in the city below. I recommend it!
I’d definitely go back to Berlin. It was a great experience in just one day. I can only imagine how much fun it would be if we had more time there. Have you ever been to Berlin? What are your thoughts?