Berlin, the capital of Germany, is the largest city in Germany which known by its rich history, museums, street art, clubs, bars and diversity of its population. The city's architecture is mixed like its population, due to World War II and the Cold War. The city got damaged from the war quite a bit but it rebuilt itself right after and faster after the fall of Berlin Wall in 1989. In this marvelous city, you can find much interesting stuff from different historical eras.
We can divide the city into 6 different areas to understand better. From north to south, the first part is North where you can find cute old towns, Mitte where you can find the historical sites, popular cafes, bars, museums, gallery -where the magic happens-, East Central where the young people live, you can find artists, cafes, shops, bars and lots of Turkish people, City West where you can shop for luxury items, East where you can find dull buildings, museums and anything related to Soviet army and lastly the South where you can find the rich and poor living together, the green and nice old towns!
Berlin is definitely not just 2 days trip if you want to get to know the city better, in my opinion, you should have at least 4 days to be able to say "I went to Berlin.". Before you go, better get a map and try to understand the roads when traveling. You can reach the city from its two airports -depends on where you are coming from-, by train, by bus or by ship. I guess now you are wondering what I am talking about by saying "by the ship", the thing is Berlin doesn't have any seaport since it is 200 km inland, but you can sail to Rostock-Warnemünde seaport and then have 2,5 hours of train ride to arrive Berlin. The public transportation system works perfectly in here so all you have to do is get a ticket and validate it using the machines near the U- and S-Bahn or in the bus. If you don't validate your ticket, it has 60 Euro fine so better don't forget that.
It is going to be a very long blog, so get yourself a cup of coffee or tea or glass of wine -if you feel fancy- OR beer (the list will go on, so just grab something for gods sake :D ) and here comes *drum voices* the ultimate survival/fun/artistic guide for Berlin!
I don't know where to begin! There are lots of amazing places to see but the first stop must be the "Berlin Cathedral" or "Berliner Dom" in German. This impressive church was built at the end of 19th Century, is definitely a landmark of Berlin. The entry of this amazing church is 7 Euros and you can get to see the amazing view of central Berlin from the top of the dome.
You can find the well preserved "Berlin Wall" on the east side of the city. As well as, you can check the "East Side Gallery" to see a section of this historic wall as well. You should also check the "Berlin Wall Memorial" or "Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer Hohenschönhausen". This spot mostly missed by tourists since it has a dull looking with absolutely no attractive part but in order to understand the cold era of Germany, there is no better place. Also, you can check out the Documentation and Visitors‘ Centre as well as the Memorial site for free!
Another landmark of the historical site of Berlin is the "The Checkpoint Charlie" which is a crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. This border crossing point was used for only permitted foreigners, residents of East and West Berlin were not allowed to use it. If you want to get to know more about it, you have to check the "Checkpoint Charlie Museum".
If you can catch your breath easily and want a nice panoramic view of the city, you have to visit the "Victory Column" or "Siegessaeule" in German. This 60-meter high tower has no elevator but it is blessed with :)) 285 steps! So better be prepare yourself mentally and motivate yourself thinking about taking lots of nice pictures of this charming city!
For more cold war era history, you should check "The Soviet War Memorial" at "Treptower Park". This memorial and military cemetery was built by Soviet architect Yakov Belopolsky in order to commemorate 7000 soldiers who fell in the Battle of Berlin in 1945. This memorial is one of the three Soviet Memorials in Berlin, the other ones are the Tiergarten Memorial at Tiergarten and Pankow district.
If you want to visit the governing mayor of Berlin, you should go to the "Rotes Rathaus". This "Red City Hall" is located in the Mitte district very close to Alexanderplatz. It was built between 1861-1869 by Hermann Friedrich Waesemann and gets its name from its red bricks!
The "New Synagogue" is the center of Judaicum foundation which is an institution for the preservation of Jewish memory and tradition. This amazing synagogue was built between 1859-1866 and heavily damaged on Kristallnacht -very basically its a pogrom of Nazis- and during the World War II, but it was rebuilt again and now it stands with its glory.
"The Pariser Platz" is a square located by the "Brandenburg Gate" after you take a walk on the "Unter den Linden" street. This square is named after Paris to honor anti-Napoleon allies. The neo-classic "Brandenburg Gate" was built around the 1790s and today it is a symbol of German reunification. The "Unten den Linden" street/boulevard is named after the lime trees that lined the pedestrian carriageways. If you find here, you can reach plenty of landmarks of Berlin. It is a great walking path from Berliner Dom till Brandenburg Gate and Tierpark.
To get to know better the great history of Hohenzollern clans who ruled the region between 1415-1918, you should check the "Charlottenburg Palace". In this palace, you will be mesmerized by the interior, the various porcelain ware, paintings from 18th Century French masters and an amazing park that you can enjoy a great weather!
Another amazing palace is "Sanssouci" which was the summer palace of Frederick the Great. This gorgeous Rococo style palace is surrounded by lots of temples and follies in its park. This place is on the world heritage list so it is definitely worth to visit!
If you want to visit more alluring churches, you should visit Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church or " Gedächtniskirche " which is a highly symbolic church, was built between 1891-1895.
In the museum island, you can find the "Altes Museum" which has the Egyptian and antique collection and the "Alte Nationalgalerie" where you can find German paintings from the 19th Century and "Bode Museum" where you can find amazing sculpture collection and Byzantine art!
If you like European Paintings from 13th till 18th Century, you should check Gemäldegalerie at Kulturform very close to Potsdamer Platz.
For science and technology lovers, you should check the "German Museum of Technology" where you can find exhibitions of rail transportation, maritime and aviation!
The "DDR Museum" is a small but yet very crowded museum which is close to the Berliner Dom focuses mainly on the life in East Germany in the former GDR.
If you want to get a better insight of Jewish culture and history, you should check out the Jewish Museum in Berlin. The architecture of the museum is just amazing itself but inside of the museum, you can get to know the German-Jewish history from the Middle Ages till present!
"Kreuzberg" is one of the best-known areas of Berlin, is also one of the cultural centers of Berlin. This district is kind of a music hub of Berlin and also the center of LGBTQ life. Checkpoint Charlie and its museum, German Museum of Technology, Jewish Museum are also located here.
If you want to go shopping you have to check a major culture and shopping street, Friedrichstrasse, and/or the luxurious Champs-Élysées of Berlin, street Kurfürstendamm.
"Alexanderplatz" is the large public square, located in the Mitte region, is a transport hub of Berlin. In this square, you can find the World Clock with "Fernsehturm", the train station and a shopping mall! In the Fernsehturm, you can observe the city from 204 meters high at the observation deck. Inside the observation deck, there is also a rotating restaurant at the top spinning 360 degrees in just 30 minutes and a bar. The entry of the tower is 12.50 Euros.
If you are into techno music, you should check "Kater Blau" club. It is definitely worth your time since it is a very popular club in Berlin!
If you love theatre, go and check out the world's biggest theatre stage and enjoy various famous big shows with over 100 artists in Friedrichstadt Palast Berlin!
The public floating swimming pool, "Badeschiff", allows everyone swim near the river since you can't swim in the river. It is open from 8 am till midnight.
For football fans, the "Olympiastadion" is a must-visit-place. This large sports stadium is used for international football matches in Germany and one of the world's most prestigious venues for sports. Olympiastadion hosted 1974 FIFA World Cup, 2006 FIFA World Cup, 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup and 2015 UEFA Champions League Final.
If you want to have a tropical vacation in Berlin, you should check "Tropical Islands Resort"! This resort has a 6,000 people capacity and inside the hall, the air temperature is 26 °C! You can also enjoy the biggest indoor rainforest in the world, a beach, many tropical plants and a number of swimming pools, bars, and restaurants. And it is open every day!
Get ready to be impressed by the largest acrylic cylindrical aquarium in the world, the AquaDom! This impressive aquarium is located at the Radisson Blu Hotel in the Mitte region. It is filled with 1,000,000 liters of water with 1,500 fish of 50 species!
"The Sony Center" is a Sony-sponsored building where you can find shops, restaurants, a conference center, hotel rooms, luxurious suites, offices, art and film museums, cinemas, Legoland Discovery Center, Sony Store :) and the more important Free Wi-Fi! :D
You think that its over right? OF COURSE NOT!
"Berlin Zoo" or "Berlin Zoological Garden" has the largest range of species in the world. The complex has also an aquarium which hosts an amazing variety of fish, crocodiles and many more! The Elephant Gate is the second entrance which is a perfect photo stop for most visitors because of its architecture.
"Mauerpark" or "The Wall Park" is a public park where you can enjoy a karaoke show and a flea market which is popular around both locals and tourists!
If you have more time, you should visit "The Müritz National Park" located between Berlin and Rostock. In here you can get to enjoy a beautiful lake, forest, and meadows. You can also see the red deer, crane, white-tailed eagle, redshank and many more cute animals!
If you want to visit Berlin -and after all those amazing activities, you kind of should-, find your inspiration on itinari now! *drops mic*
My name is Alara Benlier, I am Turkish but currently living in Germany! I share my experiences in Germany, Turkey and the Netherlands!