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Gat Point Charlie, our hotel in Berlin

Berlin 30th November 2021

https://viajeados.com/gat-point-charlie-hotel-berlin/

Are you looking for a cheap and central accommodation in Berlin? Then read this post because we are going to recommend you a great hotel that will make you feel like you are at home, or better yet as if you had a house in the heart of Berlin. The hotel we are talking about is the Gat Point Charlie.


Where is the Gat Point Charlie Hotel?
For the curious you will like to know that it is located in what were the headquarters of the Stasi secret police of the former East Germany.
Regarding its location, it is close to Check Point Charlie, one of the top things to see in Berlin and therefore super central. In just 10 minutes you are at Potsdamer Platz! And you have a subway and bus stop almost at the door.


What are the rooms like at the Gat Point Charlie?
The hotel has single, double, triple and junior suites. All are decorated in a modern and minimalist style, the bed is very comfortable and all have private bathrooms, everything is brand new!


What is the hotel like?
The reception staff is very attentive and they speak Spanish! This is appreciated for those of us who are not exactly bilingual.
The hotel has a bar area where you can have a snack or even a cocktail, they even have happy hour!

What about breakfast?
And here we come to one of our favorite points of any hotel, we love to have a hearty breakfast to kick around the city! The breakfast at Gat Point Charlie is super complete, with cold dishes such as cold meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables and also hot dishes with eggs, bacon or sausage. For those with a sweet tooth there is a wide variety of breads, jams, juices, pastries and even homemade cakes!


I’m sure we have already convinced you to stay at this hotel (you can book your room by clicking https://reservations.hotelgatpointcharlie.com/gat_charlie/en) but if you are not planning to visit Berlin at the moment and you fancy another destination, that’s ok! They have another great hotel in the center of Lisbon, the Hotel Gat Point Rossio.

Featured

The most beautiful national parks in Germany

European Park Day is celebrated on 24 May every year. Its aim is to protect natural areas. We have chosen the eight most beautiful parks in Germany for you.
Black Forest National Park
The forests of the Black Forest are dense and dark. Since the beginning of May 2014, this area in the south-west of Germany has been a fully-fledged national park. Rare bird species such as the capercaillie find refuge in the dense forests of spruce and beech, while its marshes are home to the endangered European common viper.
Jasmund National Park
The Baltic island of Rügen is known for its cliffs. The German Romantic painter Caspar David Friedrich made them a monument in his well-known work “White Cliffs on Rügen”. Add to that the island’s centuries-old beech forests and you have the perfect setting.
Müritz National Park
The Müritz National Park protects part of the Mecklenburg Lake District. In the water-rich landscape, it is possible to see virgin forests and to observe birds such as ospreys on its more than 100 lakes. Much of the park can be explored by boat or canoe.
Hainich National Park
“Jungle in the middle of Germany”. This is how the Hainich National Park in Thuringia is also known. In its forests, visitors can observe wild cats or travel through the treetops on specially constructed hiking trails.
he forests of the Black Forest. Since the beginning of May 2014, this area in the southwest of Germany has been a fully-fledged national park. In the dense forests of spruce and beech, rare bird species such as the capercaillie find refuge here, while its marshes are home to the endangered European common viper.
West Pomeranian Lagoon National Park
Also called ‘Baltic Sea Lagoons’, the islands that make up the park are islands or peninsulas separated from the Baltic Sea. The marshes and waters of the National Park are an important resting place for different types of migratory birds. For example, cranes, which arrive in their thousands every autumn on their way south.

Saxon Switzerland National Park
The rock formations in this park have been a favourite destination for climbers for 150 years. Some of the peaks are reached by stairs, making them easily accessible to visitors. From the heights it is possible to appreciate a wonderful panorama of cliffs, ravines and forests. A real dream.
Berchtesgaden National Park
This is the only German national park in the Alps. Located in southeastern Bavaria, this protected area is marked by the crevasses that characterise its steep rocks, but also offers green meadows and lakes. Marmots, eagles and chamois are native to this area.
Black Forest National Park
The forests of the Black Forest are dense and dark. Since the beginning of May 2014, this area in the south-west of Germany has been a fully-fledged national park. Rare bird species such as the capercaillie find refuge in the dense forests of spruce and beech, while its marshes are home to the endangered European common viper.

Featured

New tourist route of historic gardens

Por TPN/Lusa, in NoticiasTurismoNorte · 13-05-2021 

Northern and Central Portugal now offers 12 “Garden Experiences”, a new tourism product that brings together “29 historic gardens” and helps promote local security in times of pandemic.
The Vale Abraão Forest, the Casa de Mateus, the Vidago Park and Pedras Salgadas, in the district of Vila Real, the Casa do Campo, in Celorico de Basto, the Tibães Monastery, in Braga, the Quinta da Aveleda, in Penafiel (Porto district), the botanical gardens of Porto and Coimbra, the Quinta das Lágrimas, in Coimbra, the Mata do Buçaco, in the district of Aveiro, or the Penha Park, in the district of Braga, are some of the historic gardens included in the 12 tourist routes that are already available and marketed, announced the heads of the Association of Historic Gardens of Portugal, during the press conference to present the 12 ‘Garden Experiences’, held at the Soares dos Reis Museum, in Oporto.

“Gardens are environmental tourism, safe tourism and not mass tourism. Gardens are one of the areas of tourism that can be safely opened [in times of pandemic],” said Manuel Sousa, an architect and specialist in historic gardens in Portugal, during the press conference of the Portuguese Historic Gardens Association.

Manuel Sousa assumed that it is difficult to create a tourism product from scratch, but stressed that the future goal is to “grow with more experiences and continue to develop this product for the rest of mainland Portugal and the archipelagos of Azores and Madeira, as well as to internationalise the product”.

“It was an effort to transform this product [Portuguese historic gardens] into a tourism product with a new dynamic. It was a field study, talking to the owners, characterising (…). It was necessary to create a sellable product for tourists,” he explained.

The “packs” were conceived in a diversified way, with different durations, in a flexible way, as it is the visitor who can add more time or more places to his experience.

The packs include guided tours by the owners or their representatives, but if the visitor wants to explore on their own, there are also suggestions to visit new places or revisit them in a new context,” said Teresa Andresen, in a note handed to journalists during the press conference.

Associated with these tourism proposals are two travel agencies – Club Tour and Travel Tailors – that market the product and can help visitors make reservations, as well as give advice on where to eat or stay.

The Association of Historic Gardens of Portugal, created in 2003, now has more than 200 members who own some of Portugal’s most outstanding gardens.

Also in autumn, the blog goes on a journey. This time: Portugal.

Lisbon: Hotel Gat Rossio and the city lays at your feet by @inberlin.de Fátima Lacerda

The travelogue focus to the most beautiful city in Europe. It was not my first stay there, but the luxury of being able to stay there for so long, both professionally and privately, made it possible for me to better DISCOVER Lisbon. The stay was unforgettable and the choice of hotel played a very important role.

What was new for me this time: in the last 3 years, Lisbon has developed as a party city. The tranquillity, the tranquillity is still there, but it had to be found in the cul-de-sacs, on the grounds of the Botanical Gardens or at sunset on the beach of neighbouring places like Estoril or Cascais. The storm of tourists, especially from Germany and France, has had devastating consequences for the inhabitants and residents of the neighbourhood: The meteoric rise in rents is only one of them. The other side of the coin is that the income that results from tourism benefits the city’s infrastructure and the municipalities. Lisbon has lost none of its charm in a sensual dance between old and modern, even in 2021.

The motto of the documentary film festival “Doc Lisboa” (21 to 31 October) also applies to the whole year:

“Lisbon welcomes the world”. But receiving is one thing. We, from the service desert city of Berlin, are burnt children, but watch out: Lisbon makes being a customer blossom and offers the best example of hospitality and understanding of service. There, the customer, if not king, is a valued contemporary who is treated as an equal. At the Hotel Gat Rossio, all of these characteristics can be attributed in an outstanding way to the hotel manager, Andrea Zurrinho. The team leadership, the communication skills, a lot of sensitivity and empathy in dealing with guests and staff can be seen in the result. The guest, no matter where he/she/it is from and how many quirks may come to light, is met at eye level and with respect.

Choosing the right hotel for a holiday, in general but especially for Lisbon, should not be underestimated, because a lot depends on it: How well do I sleep? How good is the breakfast? How quiet is the room? How nice is the view from the window? How do I get that balcony feeling where you don’t have to be outside to feel the vibrancy of the city? How courteous is the staff? How prepared is the city of Lisbon with information and information stands to welcome guests from all over the world? For good preparation, check the multilingual website of Visit Lisboa: visitlisboa.com.

Hotel Manager Andrea

Elena /Head of Housekeeping

Mara from the Front Desk

The right attention

Those for whom the choice of a hotel is a secondary consideration will find something in Lisbon in any case. Even at astronomical prices, with a blatantly unequal price-performance ratio. But for those who are of age, who don’t shy away from the effort and have the ambition to perceive the hotel as a place of contemplation and pause after days full of experiences and impressions, will find the perfect choice at the Hotel Gat Rossio. In short: a carefree package. There, guests are not only formally received at the counter and the formalities are clarified. This is the difference to other middle-class hotels in the sunny city. Instead, the versatile team knows the art of welcoming, catching and always taking the guests’ moods into consideration.

For requests such as room changes, tips on restaurants serving traditional Portuguese cuisine nearby or tips for excursions; the front desk team is always approachable and always at your service. The housecleaning staff is remarkably accurate and discreet at the same time.

Nothing escapes the eyes of the head of housekeeping, Elena. Originally from Russia but at home in Portugal for a longer time, she scrutinises the rooms after cleaning. Then she sends the approval by radio to the reception and only then can the guest move into the room. Elena insists on high standards of cleanliness, thorough and daily disinfection, and does not forget the delicious chocolate on the pillows and the elegant bottle of mineral water and ice cubes for the Vip guests.

Rooms of all kinds

Lisbon has become a hotspot for all kinds of target groups in the last 5 years. Congresses and, as recently, the technology fair “Web Summt”, private holidays, business trips bring very different audiences to the sunny city with a permanent feeling of spring. In addition, the Hotel Gat Rossio offers a wide variety of rooms (in different price ranges and sizes) for business people, married couples, couples (gay-friendly), for singles who deliberately travel alone or also for groups of older people who come to Lisbon from all corners of Europe as a place of enjoyment.

During the Web Summit fair, which is an important economic factor, men and women came from all corners of the world. Also the nice Robert Smith from San Francisco, who missed his check-in by one day but (and to his relief) was received by the receptionist Mara in an understanding, courteous and result-oriented way. The man had been travelling for over 2 days and was completely jet-lagged. Confronting him with annoying bureaucratic hurdles would be anything but a welcoming gesture. When he then found out that he would get a room after all and also only had to pay for the one night (as a side effect for arriving too late), it was a load off his mind. It was hard to miss. I happened to be standing next to him at the time, checking my mails and struggling with a Macintosch calculator.

There is something for every stay at Gat Rossio. Rooms in the Superior category, of course, are more comfortable and therefore perfect for those who want to be more refined and prefer a larger room with plenty of space to relax, laze around, let time pass by. For business travellers, there are smaller rooms with a single bed and very spartan furnishings.

The front desk is manned 24 hours a day and those who don’t want to take their laptops with them can check their mails on the large computer (beware, it’s a Mac!!!) at reception. And if you have your darling with you and want to work in peace, you can either sit on the terrace, which is open 24 hours a day, or in the conference room.

Absolute peace and quiet is guaranteed there. Let’s not fool ourselves: Lisbon is noisy. You can’t escape the rubbish from the glass bottles here. At 6 o’clock the time has come. The sinphony of a big city. You have to know that. But instead, a morning and afternoon light to fall in love with, a sunrise to marvel at and when the moon appears, then it is finally beautiful to melt.

Enjoy the terrace

Here, smokers in the otherwise smoke-free hotel can indulge in lung pain as if there were no tomorrow. But even guests who book breakfast can enjoy the day outdoors and have their “Pequeno Almoço” there. Those who decide at short notice can also spontaneously let the reception know that they would like to have breakfast there at the hotel. Everything is very relaxed and according to the wishes of the guests.

Whether it’s Rubem, Ricardo, Mara or Edson, the front office all-rounders will welcome you with Portuguese cordiality and provide information if requested. With this dedication to service, your stay will be a pleasure of the highest order.

Inclusion and participation

Multilingualism (Portuguese, English, Spanish, Italian, French) is a natural part of the Front Desk staff’s portfolio. Even I, with my special requests (you know the drill!), have never fallen on deaf ears. Even when it was a matter of getting a plaster for my damaged foot. No problem at all! Those who love high heels must know: The uneven cobblestones of Lisbon’s streets are a real challenge! Flat shoes are recommended here: sneakears or flip-flops. Anything else is a pain in the ass. I know that now!

The breakfast team deserves special praise. Odete, Ana and Ivanildo work there very early. From 07:30, the breakfast room on the 1st floor, is open.

The hotel’s staffing policy allows Ivanildo, as a deaf-mute, to participate in society. With gestures and his mobile phone in his hand as an aid, he confidently manages to communicate with the guests, who were all very understanding, even if this seems unusual at first.

Breakfast room

Breakfast buffet

Breakfast in Portuguese

In addition to the normal drinks, the range includes delicious Portuguese baked goods such as pastel de nata*, rice cakes or yoghurt cakes.

Guests can run the rolls through the roaster themselves and then, when they are nice and crispy, top them themselves. The traditional “tosta mista” (mixed toast) can also be prepared there on the spot. Cheese and sausage, tomatoes and cucumbers are always fresh and nicely laid out on the platter and are always replenished. The eye also enjoys. The seating is designed for young people. But if the seat is too hard, you can get a cushion in the next room.

Inexpensive culinary delights around the corner

Restauradores square is in the heart of Lisbon and the metro exit is almost on the doorstep. From there, guests can find connections to all the sights. The Lisboa Card (comparable to Berlin’s “Welcome Card”) is the smart option and offers many advantages. It is advisable to buy the “72 hours” model. There are also discounts at museums. https://www.lisboacard.org/de/.

Before taking public transport, however, visitors should take a look at the immediate surroundings on foot. There is a lot to see: The Coliseu Palace of Culture, the Dona Maria II Theatre, the São Domingos Church, the Padaria Portuguesa bakery, which offers a very tasty and inexpensive breakfast and lunch, and the tram, which acts as a lift and leads to the “Mirante”. There, a breathtaking view of the whole city awaits. As if this were not enough, the way to the heart of the city “Praça do Rossio” is a stone’s throw away from the Hotel Gat Rossio. In this square, too, the guest is overwhelmed by tourist offers. Also in terms of football.

Best Location

The Hotel Gat Rossio stands out from the strong competition due to its outstanding location. This aspect is probably the number 1 feature.

Service with the pick-up service

Those who want to be picked up from the airport safely and, above all, without stress, can specify this when booking the Hotel Gat Rossio. This service also applies to the departure The Hotel Gat Rossio works with a reliable, small but fine team, which brings or picks up the guests to the airport for a very good price.

As a travel reviewer and hotel critic, I firmly believe that the choice of hotel on a holiday trip can contribute to the considerable success of the stay. In the case of Hotel Gat Rossio, the team’s care for the guests’ well-being, combined with the family ambience, can contribute significantly to making the stay memorable. The comfort of the superior rooms, the balconies overlooking the Lisbon sky complete the excellent portfolio.

*Pastel de Nata or Pastel de Belém is a puff pastry with custard that was probably made before the 18th century by the monks in Belém, now a district of Lisbon.


Top 5 waterfalls near Lisbon

Nascente do Almonda.

The Almonda spring cave stretches over more than 15 km and is a real national speleological sanctuary as it represents the most extensive karst network currently known in Portugal. It is made up of various underground streams which give rise to the source of the Almonda river.

The Almonda spring cave is home to unique species adapted to life underground, such as the cave beetle Trechus lunai.

Regarding the cultural heritage, the existence of several archaeological deposits stands out, ranging from the Lower Palaeolithic to Roman times.

The cave was classified as a Property of Public Interest on 30 November 1993.

Located in Vale da Serra, in the area of the Serras de Aire e Candeeiros Natural Park, the Interpretation Centre is a support structure for the Almonda cave, which promotes programmes oriented towards ecological and cultural tourism. It has an interpretative museum space, auditorium and accommodation.

The programmes available include preparation for the visit to the cave with an introduction to speleology, progression techniques and use of equipment, and underground diving.

Tahiti Waterfall

A few kilometres from the Arado waterfall and at the foot of the road from Ermida to Fafião is the Tahiti waterfall or Fecha de Barjas. It is not a single waterfall, but a succession of waterfalls formed by the river as it flows over the granite rock. When we visited it, the force of the water generated a thunderous sound that added to the beauty of the surroundings. Although there are areas set aside for bathing in some of the pools, you have to do so with great caution due to the dangerous terrain and the currents. In fact, a sign next to the road warns of this, reminding us that there have been fatal accidents in this place. To contemplate the succession of waterfalls, all you have to do is go down a flight of steps and walk carefully along the path that allows you to contemplate them without getting wet.

Cascata de Pinçâes

Due to its rare beauty, the Pincães Waterfall certainly deserves to be among the best waterfalls in Gerês. You should leave the car in the village of Pincães and follow a trail for about two kilometres, passing by an old oil press and some water mills. After this trail, the waterfall is easily accessible and the landscape will make you think you are on an island paradise.

Fraga da Pena

If the Serra da Estrela is unknown to many Spaniards, even more so is the Serra do Açor, also located in the Centro region and in the district of Coimbra. Cruelly punished by fires in recent years, one of the areas that has preserved its vegetation intact is the forest park where the Fraga da Pena waterfall is located. It is a 20-metre waterfall hidden in a leafy forest where walkways have been installed and a picnic area has been built. All this at the foot of the road and it is only a few metres walk. The origin of this waterfall is a geological accident and its waters are cold and crystalline, ideal for a swim when the heat is on. Fraga da Pena is only 22 kilometres from one of the most beautiful villages in Portugal, the village of Pioado.

Cascata do Mourao / Cascata de Fervenca

If you think that only in Gerês can you find dream waterfalls, you are not familiar with the Sintra waterfalls. Cascades near Lisbon may seem like a lie, but it’s really true. Only 40 minutes away from Lisbon are two true treasures of nature: Cascata do Mourão (or Cascata de Anços) and Cascata de Fervença (or Cascata da Bajouca).

Both waterfalls are located about 20 minutes from Sintra and less than 10 kilometres apart. So it is perfectly possible to visit these two fantastic natural spots in the same day.

But the best thing is to spend a weekend exploring the region, combining a visit to the waterfalls with a trip to the beaches of Colares, Sintra or Mafra. It makes an excellent weekend getaway for those living in the greater Lisbon area.

It is true that the two waterfalls are quite hidden, but following our tips you will get there without any difficulty.

Top 5 sunsets in Berlin

Berlin TV Tower

The Berlin TV Tower (Fernsehturm) is probably the most recognisable icon in the city’s skyline. Berliners nicknamed it the Alex Tower and it receives more than a million visitors annually.

Today, it is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the German capital, standing out from the rest of the buildings with its large steel dome and its skyward pointing antenna.

It is located in the central Mitte district and is just a stone’s throw from Alexanderplatz.

It was built during the times of the GDR, and nowadays the best thing to do is to enjoy its panoramic terrace, with one of the best views of the city while you visit the bar and restaurant.

The Reichstag dome

The main advantage of going up to the Reichstag dome, (the German parliament building) is that it is free, and the main disadvantage is that you have to book in advance, and considering the fast changing weather in a city like Berlin, it can be a bit tricky to schedule your visit on a clear day to appreciate the views and take good pictures.

However, since it’s free, there’s nothing to lose by booking in advance and going up to have a look at the government district and the centre of Berlin.

If you haven’t been able to book in advance, don’t worry: you can sign up for the tour on the day if there are still places available, otherwise you can always wait at least two hours or two days later. Your booking will only be accepted if it is for the same day or the following day at the latest.

-The dome is open daily from 08:00-00:00 hours and can be accessed every 15 minutes (the last entrance is at 22:00 hours).

The Kolhoff Tower (Panoramapunkt)

This building of curious architecture, located on Potsdamer Platz, stands on one of the places where we used to find the division of the famous wall. If you look up, you will see that the perimeter of the old wall is marked with pebbles.

The main interest of the Kolhoff Tower, apart from the building itself, is that on the 24th and 25th floors it houses Panoramapunkt, an open observation deck that offers the best panoramic view of the centre of Berlin. It has a café and a small exhibition that reviews the history of the reconstruction of the area.

Since this terrace was inaugurated in 1999, the Panoramapunkt has become one of the most visited tourist attractions in Berlin, and no wonder: from its viewpoint we can see the Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Cathedral, the television tower, the Reichstag… a complete panoramic view of the most significant buildings in the German capital from a building that boasts the best sunset in Berlin.

– The observation deck is open daily from 10:00-20:00 and costs €6 (€8 if you don’t want to wait in line), making the Kolhoff Tower a cheap alternative to the TV Tower (and just as good).

The Weltballoon

Operated by the company Air Service Berlin, this helium balloon is attached to the ground by a steel cable and rises to a height of 150 metres for a breathtaking view of Berlin.

The downside? It’s the most expensive viewpoint in Berlin, costing around €19.90 per adult and €6.90 for children between the ages of 3 and 10.

If you decide to visit it you have to choose the right day to go up, as the views are very good as long as the sky is clear.

There are rises every 15 minutes, and it operates every day from 10:00-22:00 hours (between April and October) and from 11:00-18:00 hours (between November and March).

It is located next to Checkpoint Charlie, at Zimmerstraße 95-100, so you can take advantage of your visit and try to find our Hotel Gat Point Charlie. In the rooms at the back you can see the balloon as it rises.

Kreuzberg Hill in Victoriapark

The highest hill in Berlin (over 65 metres high), it is clear that Kreuzberg Hill offers one of the best views. It is located in the Victoriapark, (a park located in the heart of Kreuzberg, a very trendy neighbourhood in recent times).

Once at the top you have to walk up to the highest part and you can admire the views of the Kreuzberg district and the centre of Berlin, and even catch a glimpse of the old Templehof airport, which has been converted into a park open to the public (and quite curious, as you can imagine). A romantic spot from which to watch the sunset over Berlin is a real pleasure.

-To get there, take the metro to Mehringdamm (lines U6 and U7) and walk about 10 minutes to the park entrance, which, of course, is free.

Teufelsberg. Devil’s Hill

Our last viewpoint takes us to the outskirts of Berlin… and we assure you that, if you like to get away from the typical tourist sites, this tower, almost 50 metres high, will not leave you indifferent.

It is a former spy station used by the American secret services for eavesdropping during the Cold War, and abandoned after the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is not surprising that David Lynch himself (yes, the film director and creator of Twin Peaks) noticed this place, which he tried to turn into a kind of esoteric university (something that was obviously not allowed by the Berlin City Council).

Before becoming a spy stronghold, the site was once a training centre for Nazi soldiers, which the Americans covered with tons of rubble at the end of World War II to build this tower on the promontory, which stands 115 metres above the outskirts of Berlin and is not only a great view of the city but an attraction in its own right.

Today, Teufelsberg is home to graffiti artists, street art photographers and the occasional tourist with an explorer’s soul who comes here to see what is undoubtedly one of the strangest, most ghostly and fascinating places in Berlin.