Milan and Berlin in Winter! Brrr!!!!

Old Nov 26th, 2004, 10:57 PM
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Milan and Berlin in Winter! Brrr!!!!

Help! I have the opportunity to accompany my husband to Milan and Berlin from mid- January through mid-February (he will be there on business). We are expats living in the Middle East so we travel quite a bit but always in warm weather! If anyone has ANY information regarding hotels, restaurants, what to pack, etc. etc. please pass it along! Thanks,
Linda
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Old Nov 26th, 2004, 11:17 PM
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For Berlin hotels, I would strongly recommend the Grand Hyatt, which is a spectecularly modern hotel with great service, lovely rooms, and a divine rooftop pool and spa affording great views over Berlin.
It is on new Potsdamer Platz Square and conveniently located to both city centers: East and West. The Brandenburg Gate is just a short stroll away.
If this is too expensive, take a look at the brand new Marriott next door or at the also brand new Radisson Berlin on Friedrichstraße in Mitte district. It features a huge indoor aquarium and minimalist style yet comfortable rooms.

For a casual meal at night, I like Lutter und Wegner on Gendarmenmakt in Mitte district (20 min. walk from the Hyatt) for its good German/Austrian style food and a decent wine list.
Diekmann's im Weinhaus Huth on Potsdamer Platz would be a good alternative.
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Old Nov 27th, 2004, 01:46 AM
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hsv, Thanks for your suggestions for Berlin - I appreciate your words of wisdom!
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Old Nov 27th, 2004, 08:32 AM
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linda, I've been in Berlin several times in late Jan/early Feb and it was bitterly cold. I was coming from Frankfurt, and the change was noticeable. If you are going to do any walking around, be sure you have warm socks and boots. My feet froze!
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Old Nov 27th, 2004, 08:38 PM
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I stayed at the Berlin Marriott for USD 55 per night for a double in October through Priceline. Lovely hotel in a great area. Go to www.biddingfortravel.com for a tutorial on bidding on PL. I have no connection to either BFT or PL.
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Old Nov 28th, 2004, 04:42 AM
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Milan won't be as cold as Berlin, but may be damp. Dress in layers so that you can peel something off when you go into a shop or whatever, then going back out into the cold again won't be so painful.

In spite of the cold, Milan is fun and there's a lot to do; see http://www.straughan.com/italy/travel/milano.htm for some links and tips.


best regards,
Deirdré Straughan

http://www.straughan.com
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Old Nov 29th, 2004, 08:49 PM
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Marilyn, Betsy, and Deirdre,
Thank you for your helpful suggestions. The weather certainly doesn't thrill me but the thought of shopping in Milan for warm clothes is definitely appealing!
Thanks,
Linda
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Old Nov 29th, 2004, 10:44 PM
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Hi linda_t; My sister lives in Berlin and I have gone many a time to visit her and the children during the Christmas/New Year's holidays. BRRRRR is all I can say. (Milan will be much better). Re: dressing, I have found those silk long-johns from Eddie Bauer to be the warmest and best friend I had during the winters there. I put them on first, then tights, and pants on top of them and my legs stay warm. Layers is the best key to dressing in both cities because you don't want to be so bound up and wrapped that you are like a mummy when going to a restaurant. The cashmere or even thin style sweaters (worn in like 2 or 3 over a turtleneck) work well under a coat without being too bulky.

Germany's famous and delicious gluwhein (sp?) is still served through January and can be purchased from cafes and some street vendors in and around Berlin. It is served piping hot and truly does warm you to your toes. One of my favorite restaurants to go to is "The 12th Apostle" (Die 12 Apostlen or something like that, my sister speaks the German, I don't!). It is a terrific Italian restaurant that serves delicious pasta at reasonable prices. Their pizza and calzones are incredible (as good as those served in Italy!) There is a location in Charlottenburg (where my sis lives) and also one near Humboldt University, off Unten den Linden Blvd (in the center of town).
Also, do go have tea (lunch with sandwiches) at the Opera House. It is both an historical and lovely spot in the center of Berlin and quite fun.

Seconding the poster re: Milan. It will not be as cold and snowy as Berlin but it will be wet. Those handy mini umbrellas are great and can even fit into a large purse (mine does!). A comfortable walking shoe (vs a boot) is what I recommend. After several winters in both Berlin and Milan trying to look chic in my high-ish heel winter boots, I stopped wearing them and opted for a flat, grip bottom shoe for walking around in comfortably. They can be worn with a couple layers of socks to keep you warm, and more importantly, prevent you from slipping should there be snow or ice.

Not sure where your husband will be in Milan, but I would recommend staying close to the Milano centrale Train Station so that you are in the center of town (within walking distance to the duomo, shops, etc); and also could take a train to other cities close by for day trips.

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Old Nov 30th, 2004, 10:49 PM
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Wow Huitres!
Many thanks for this wealth of information!
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Old Dec 1st, 2004, 12:21 AM
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Hi Linda: You're very welcome. I forgot to mention more stuff to do in Berlin...definitely go to Potsdamer Platz. There are a lot of neat restaurants (American ones even - a Tony Roma's too!), Sony, and an IMAX! Also, on the 2nd floor of the mall there, near the Kaiser's grocery store, there is a terrific Italian gelato ice cream parlor. Yum!

The area in and around Berlin's Zooglischer Station is a hub of activity and very central with lots of shops, businesses, and department stores around. Berlin's famous Ku'Damm Boulevard is there. Department stores such as Galleries Lafayette, H & M, C & A are there. You could spend the day shopping while your husband is conducting his business. Also, the famous landmark"lipstick case" church (bombed during WWII) is there too. With all that shopping, you are bound to get hungry.....our favorite restaurant to eat at right there on the Ku'Damm and is called "Marche" - kind of like a Sizzler type buffet restaurant for very reasonable meals (salad bar, chicken, steak, pasta, fruit, etc) that you serve yourself and pay a set price (based on plate size - so get a small plate since you can go back for refills). It's actually a Swiss restaurant chain but has been very popular in Germany.

The Reichstag in the middle of town (near Brandenburg Gate, off Unter den Linden) is worth seeing. It's all glass covered and you can walk up to the top for some great views of the city below. Humboldt University and the Opera House are relatively near here (opposite end of Unter Den Linden Boulevard).

The Egyptian Museum near Charlottenburg is very interesting, they have the famous bust of Queen Nefertiti there. All around that area there are cafes and restaurants too. Also, try to see Sophie Charlotte Schloss (Charlottenburg Palace) across the way from there. While it will be cold, you can still tour the inside of the palace with its art galleries, paintings, and sculptures. You can access Charlottenburg (the palace, Egyptian museum, etc) via the #145 Bus from Berlin's Zooglischer Station in the middle of town. They have double-decker busses too so that might be a fun way to see the city too.

While it may be too cold, you might consider taking a 2 hour comprehensive walking tour with "Berlin Walks" which goes all around Checkpoint Charlie, the museum there, up and down Unter den Linden, Humboldt University, Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, etc. It was very informative and interesting. You can sign up for these and other city type tours at Berlin's Zooglischer Station as there is an information office with details.

I have lots of other places we go to, I just never thought to write them down since we do different things each time I am there visiting....let me know if there is anything else I can help with.
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Old Dec 1st, 2004, 05:26 AM
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I too have been in Berlin in the winter. I needed shoes/boots with good gripping soles for the ice, slacks and silk long underwear for the cold wind. I tried to layer on top with silk, light sweater, etc. under an allweather coat (I too live in warm climate and don't have many winter clothes) and nearly froze out sightseeing. The long length helped with the wind on my legs, but my torso did not have enough insulation, so I resorted to my down jacket--not as stylish, but much warmer--but I did have to shed it quickly indoors. Hat and gloves were essential.
Still had a great time hitting all the usual sights.
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