The Palaces of Berlin

Packing Berlin into 4 days was a challenge, especially when we had planned a day trip out to a Schloss- which is a castle or a Palace. Perhaps it was just my ignorance, but I hadn’t expected quite so many beautiful and grand buildings when I first imagined Berlin. There are so many, in close proximity to the city centre, and further out.

As written about in a previous post- we visited the Presidents Palace.

Bellevue

Bellevue

The building was huge, set in some beautiful gardens where people could picnic and relax. Whilst it wasn’t possible to enter, it provided a great background for a little relaxation time. It is situated in the city centre, in Tiergarten park.

The next castle we visited was Charlottenburg. We had seen photos, and it has amazing gardens. It is also in the city centre, so easily accessible by public transport.

Charlottenburg

Charlottenburg

The downside of Charlottenburg was the cost. We had to weigh up whether it would be worth it to go in. We had planned other things to do on this day, so to pay 10€ entry and not make the most of it seemed pointless. It was still nice to see the exterior.

There was also an outdoor market with a live concert right next to it, which apparently goes on a lot. This provided a great atmosphere around the area!

The main palace we had planned to visit was called Schloss Sans Souci. It is in the South East of the city in a place called Potsdam, and took us around 1 hour to travel to from the centre of Berlin using public transport (metro then bus).

We were lucky enough to be there in a clear and very hot day, which I find always makes scenery look even more impressive. We were welcomed by a large windmill coming into the area.

Windmill

Windmill

Large columns arranged into a semi-circle welcomed us into the palace.

Entrance to the castle

Entrance to the castle

The palace was built in 1745 for Frederick The Great- King of Prussia.

First impressions on the building were fantastic. It was so clean and well-kept. The architecture was amazing, considering how old the building was!

First impressions

First impressions

The detailing on the palace was impeccable, the many sculptures were incredibly well done.

Detail on the palace

Detail on the palace

The gardens were really something special. There was a great view looking down from the palace over the fountain and the gardens beyond.

View over the gardens

View over the gardens

The steps up to the palace from the fountain added to the grandeur of the entire place.

View from the fountain

View from the fountain

We continued to explore the gardens, which many people seemed to miss out on. We are glad we did as we came across many smaller but still very grand buildings. Whilst we did, we took some photos for Garance’s fashion blog.

Hidden buildings

Hidden buildings

There was a possibility to visit inside, but we decided against it, and just to make the most of the beautiful weather outside.

So there we have it, the beautiful Palaces of Berlin. Do not miss out on them if you come to visit this magnificent city!

Avignon

Things to do: 

  • Walk around and on the old city walls
  • Visit the Palais des Papes
  • Have a coffee on one of the terraces 
  • Walk on the Pont Avignon
  • Visit the many beautiful parks and gardens

 

Avignon is situated in the Provence region in the south of France. It is easily accessible from Southern cities like Marseille and Montpellier, and via the North by TGV.

Map of France

Map of France

Avignon is genuinely one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. As soon as you leave the train station, you are confronted by the old city walls, which are not ruins, but have been magnificently restored. Entering the city, you are given the impression of a very small typical French town. There was the sweet smell of the freshly baked baguettes from the boulangeries, as well as an old man playing his accordion under the burning sun. It was a hot August day and the temperature reached 36c!

The office de tourisme is conveniently located in between the train station (that is Avignon centre, Avignon TGV is situated about 6km away) and the main city centre. Staff were friendly, providing maps and offering advice. It also gave us the opportunity to eat lunch in what was one of many beautiful gardens.

Place Agricol Perdiguier

Place Agricol Perdiguier

After this, to head to the main town centre, continue up Rue de la République until you reach Place d’Horloge, a large square with many restaurants and bars. Although many can be very expensive, no doubt aimed at tourists, there are many other streets off of here that are cheaper and offer more traditional French food. The square also contains the city hall, and like most city halls in France, it lived up to the grandeur that I have begun to expect!

Hôtel de Ville

Hôtel de Ville

Continuing down the road, and you soon reach the Place du Palais, featuring the incredible Palais des Papes. Before going to Avignon, it is important to know a little history about the city itself. In the 14th century, it was home to several popes, having moved the Papacy from Rome to Avignon. The Palais des Papes was built during this time, and is now a museum.

Palais des Papes

Palais des Papes

Reduced price for entry to the museum plus the Pont d’Avignon was 11€ and is available for students, children and people aged 65+. Normal entry is just a couple of euros extra. It is well worth it, as the museum is huge. There is also the option of getting an audio guide, and there is a place to leave luggage.

The museum is massive, and it took us about an hour and a half to walk around the entire thing.

A courtyard inside the Palais des Papes

A courtyard inside the Palais des Papes

There are various things to see, including the old Pope’s bedroom, with some incredibly old art murals.

Sculptures of the former Popes

Sculptures of the former Popes

There is also lots of modern day art, situated throughout the museum.

Modern Art

Modern Art

One of the things that I personally enjoyed most about the Palais des Papes were the views that it offered over the city of Avignon and beyond. Get up there and have a look. There is a café at the top to reward you for all those stairs that you have climbed!

Tip: Make sure you visit all of the rooms in the museum, there are many hidden away and you may easily miss something!

Just next to the Palais des Papes is a beautiful church- Notre Dame des Doms. Whilst rather small inside, it is well worth a look to see the mosaics and the small chapels.

Notre Dame des Doms

Notre Dame des Doms

Leaving the church, we passed by the gardens just to the right of it. They really were beautiful, and provided the perfect scenery for the summers day.

Les Jardins

Les Jardins

It is well worth going into the gardens to have a look, or even better, for a little picnic in the shade. The views of the Provence region are incredible. Beyond the river Rhône, you will see vineyards, castles, and the mountains. It is a very picturesque view. You will also see an overview of Pont d’Avignon from there.

The views from the gardens

The views from the gardens

Of course, you cannot come to Avignon without walking on the Pont d’Avignon. There is a small room that tells you a little bit about the history of the bridge, and of course a history of the song.

Pont d'Avignon

Pont d’Avignon

I only had a short time to spend in Avignon, but the city was very easy to view in 5 hours, without being too time-pressured. Although we saw the main things, there are also many other museums to see, and no doubt more beautiful scenery to explore!