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Berlin • Top 10 • East meets West

Berlin is Germany’s largest city and at the same time one of Europe’s great metropolises with lots of history. It is the old residence of the Hohenzollerns and for centuries the center of the great German cultural nation that has given the world numerous famous artists, thinkers and scientists.

You can experience much of the buzz of history by walking around the streets and indulge the centuries through architecture and famous events that have happened right here. You can, for example, follow the traces of Frederick the Great’s Berlin, the Third Reich, the East German capital or David Bowie’s environment from his music. You will definitely find something you find exciting and visit the world class museums if you want to see even more.

Berlin was in many ways the center of the world through the 20th century. It was here that the Cold War was at its warmest with the United States and the Soviet Union on either side of the Berlin Wall. The wall is gone today, but you can see preserved parts around the streets of Berlin, and then you can imagine what it was like to live on one side or the other of the dividing line. You can also just enjoy the capital of the day with lots of new construction since the reunion.

Here are 10 things that can make your trip to Berlin even better…

Berlin Brandenburg Gate

1. Go through the Brandenburg Gate
Few places are as well known as the Brandenburg Gate, which was the focal point during the Cold War. Friedrich Wilhelm II’s old gate was located almost exactly on the border but in the GDR, so after the construction of the Berlin Wall you could see it, but not get to it from the West. It was here that Ronald Reagan gave his famous speech, and it was here that the German reunion festivities culminated. Think of the story the gate has seen as you walk through it. And if you have time, then continue along the magnificent street Unter den Linden to Berlin’s rebuilt city castle. It’s a nice and historic walk.

 

2. Visit Nefertiti and her friends
If you could choose one place in the world to go and see exciting art treasures, then Museum Island in Berlin is good choice. Choose between Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Bodemuseum and Pergamonmuseum, and wherever you go, there are fantastic items and works on display. Most people probably have the beautiful bust of Nefertiti on their bucket list, and you should go and see its splendor. The impressive Pergamon altar and the old Ishtar Gate are also on display here. Imagine that the gate was built in the 500s BC. in ancient Babylon.

 

3. Take a seat in Erich Mielke’s office
East Germany was a country known for many things, and one of them was the state security service named Stasi. Erich Mielke was at the end of the table from 1957 to 1989, and that was by far the majority of the country’s history. But what did his office look like, and how did the Stasi, which was famous and infamous throughout the GDR, function? Well, you can find out for yourself by visiting the Stasi Museum. Check the service’s history, methods and goals. And see how the Mielke, whose work was unknown to the West for many years, sat in his office.

 

Berlin Olympic Stadium

4. Watch football at the 1936 Olympic Stadium
Image the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Hitler’s summer games in newly built stadiums with visitors from all over the world. A colossal event that you can still be a part of. The Olympic Stadium is still here in all its glory, and why not watch a football match when you’re in town? The stadium is home to Hertha Berlin, and with approx. 75,000 spectators, there is probably also a seat for you. If you want to see a little more of the athletes’ conditions in 1936, go to the Olympic village in Wustermark. There is still a good deal left today.

 

5. Enjoy the architecture from Alex to Frankfurt
Berlin Alexanderplatz is perhaps the city’s most famous square, and you must see it. After World War II, the GDR built the square in a good socialist spirit with world clocks, friendship fountains, Marxist art and a width necessary for a parade ground. Most things are still there, and then it’s about walking the stretch along Karl-Marx-Allee, which ends in Frankfurter Allee. Monumental socialist boulevards, which were flagships in the reconstruction of the GDR, and which bore Stalin’s name for the first years. Incidentally, he himself regarded the whole thing as a statue that is not preserved to today.

 

6. Taste a Berliner Weiße on Kurfürstendamm
How does a sour wheat beer mixed with raspberry juice or woodruff flavoring sound to you? And what if you suddenly have a red or green beer standing in front of you? It is a Berliner Weiße believed to have been served since the 16th century. And you should try it. A really nice place to enjoy the Berlin drink is on the beautiful Kurfürstendamm boulevard, where you can easily find an atmospheric café. Sit down and enjoy the Berlin life, that passes you between the plane trees of the street.

 

7. Get Impressed in Treptower Park
When the Red Army conquered Germany and Berlin, it happened with colossal losses. In the battle of Berlin alone in 1945, about 80,000 Soviet soldiers fell. In 1949, the magnificent monument in Treptower opened, commemorating the fallen. Enjoy the silence of the park, and see the monument in devotion. You come past 16 stone sarcophagi, which represent the 16 Soviet republics that were then. The road leads you to the monumental center in the form of a large statue of a Soviet soldier with a German child on his arm.

 

Berlin Wall

8. Lean up against the Berlin Wall
Imagine that not so many years ago there was a wall that divided Berlin. It was a different time that you can experience here and there in Berlin to this day. East Germans could not approach the wall, and you can see why on the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer. You can try to be a border guard on this part of the preserved border. You can be a little more relaxed along the Spree, where East Side Gallery is located with i.a. the famous mural depicting Brezhnev and Honecker in a fraternal socialist kiss. There were also crossings in the wall, and you should see that at Checkpoint Charlie and Tränenpalast.

 

9. Travel back to the GDR
The time with two Germany is a long time ago, but you can actually take a leap back in time to a typical day in the GDR. You can start with a morning walk in eg Marzahn, where the East German buildings of prefabricated concrete slabs are many. Take the S-Bahn to the city center, because now the day begins, where you have planned both a visit to Café Moskau and a cinema trip in Kino International. Both located on Karl-Marx-Allee. Along the way, of course, you keep an eye on Ampelmann, who shows a green light with a hat. Finish at the GDR Museum, where the good old East Germany is shown today.

 

10. Take a trip to Potsdam
You certainly enjoy Berlin, but why stop there when you can see a gem like Potsdam just southwest of the German capital? The S-Bahn trains quickly take you to the town, where lakes, parks and stunning sights await. Frederick the Great’s summer palace was located here, and of course you should take a trip to the rococo castle Sanssouci and the magnificent Neues Palais. But you also need something else. You are going to the Russian village, Alexandrowka, you are going to see the church St. Nikolaikirche, and maybe you should play spy games on the Glienicker Brücke.

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Experiences in Berlin

Berlin is Germany’s largest city and at the same time one of Europe’s great metropolises with lots of history. It is the old residence of the Hohenzollerns and for centuries the center of the great German cultural nation that has given the world numerous famous artists, thinkers and scientists.

You can experience much of the buzz of history by walking around the streets and indulge the centuries through architecture and famous events that have happened right here. You can, for example, follow the traces of Frederick the Great’s Berlin, the Third Reich, the East German capital or David Bowie’s environment from his music. You will definitely find something you find exciting and visit the world class museums if you want to see even more.

Berlin was in many ways the center of the world through the 20th century. It was here that the Cold War was at its warmest with the United States and the Soviet Union on either side of the Berlin Wall. The wall is gone today, but you can see preserved parts around the streets of Berlin, and then you can imagine what it was like to live on one side or the other of the dividing line. You can also just enjoy the capital of the day with lots of new construction since the reunion.

Here are 10 things that can make your trip to Berlin even better…

Travel guide Berlin: vamados.com/berlin

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