Alice-Azania Jarvis: For a slice of life, I'm going to the world's cake capital

In The Red

As of Wednesday, I'm off. Not permanently, of course (although there is more on that theme to unfold). Just for a few days, I am going on what can, I think, be described as my first ever minibreak; which is to say, I'm not going for a week, or 10 days. I'm going for four. To Berlin. And I can't wait.

It's an extravagant thing to do, particularly since, when I booked, I had plans for a long-haul holiday to follow in February (plans which have subsequently been shelved). I was supposed to be existing strictly on a London-only basis. But my boyfriend had been pestering me about it, and we managed to find a deal online.

I've always thought it a waste of an airfare, flying out to visit a place for less than a week. This isn't, of course, entirely logical; after all, the longer you stay, the greater your accommodation costs. But whatever, just this once I've decided to make an exception. That's because I love Berlin. I went this time last year for the first time. There are all kinds of reasons to find the city enchanting: the exceptionally friendly and polite people, the huge volume of trees (it's Europe's greenest city, after all), the glut of quality restaurants, bars and cafes. And, of course, it is a city which loves its cake. And there are few things I love more than cake. So we were meant to be.

Still. It's not just a match of the scenic (or culinary) kind. Berlin, more than any city I've visited, is brilliantly set up for the budget-conscious. That's me. Accommodation is easy. There are hostels aplenty, yes, but far better, and better value, are the series of apartments to rent around the city. Last year, we stayed in a loft in the fashionable area of Kreuzberg. This year, on an even smaller budget, we're renting a room in Prenzlauerberg. We'll have wifi, a mini-kitchen and a balcony! All for less than the YMCA.

And there are plenty of activities to be done on the cheap. On our first day last year we took a three-hour walking tour of the city. For free! Our guide was a font of information, and we needed pay what only we felt able. The public transport system is simple, functional and affordable. Even the taxis cost less than in London. As for all the parks, and street art, well, they're freely available to whoever chooses to look. And, next week, that will be me.

a.jarvis@independent.co.uk

Independent Partners; request a free guide on NISAs from Hargreaves Lansdown

News
A Brazilian wandering spider
news

World's most lethal spider found under a bunch of bananas

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Tim Wonnacott dancing the pasadoble
TVStrictly Come Dancing The Result
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in the win over QPR
footballInternet reacts to miss shocker for Liverpool striker
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
BBC's Antiques Roadshow uncovers a TIE fighter pilot helmet from the 1977 Star Wars film, valuing it at £50,000
TV

TV presenter Fiona Bruce seemed a bit startled by the find during the filming of Antiques Roadshow

News
people

Comedian says he 'never laughed as hard as I have writing with Rik'

Sport
Steven Caulker of QPR scores an own goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Queens Park Rangers and Liverpool
football
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Operational Risk Manager - Asset Management

    £60,000 - £80,000: Saxton Leigh: Our client is an leading Asset Manager based...

    Project Coordinator - 12 month contract

    £27000 - £32000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our large charity ...

    IT Operations Manager - London - £55,000

    £50000 - £55000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: IT Relationship M...

    Banking Solicitor NQ+

    Highly Attractive Salary : Austen Lloyd: NOTTINGHAM - BRILLIANT FIRM - You wil...

    Day In a Page

    Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

    'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

    If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
    James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

    Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
    Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

    Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

    Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
    Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

    Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

    Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
    How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

    How to dress with authority

    Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
    New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

    New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

    'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

    The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
    Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

    Tim Minchin interview

    For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
    Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

    Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
    Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

    Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

    Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
    Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

    How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

    'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

    Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

    Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
    Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

    Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

    After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
    Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

    Terry Venables column

    Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
    The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

    Michael Calvin's Inside Word

    Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past