Berlin

 

Only a 90 minute flight from London – I loved this city – history in abundance from ancient, medieval, WW2, Soviet & 1980’s – there is so much to see and learn in this city

For Berlin photos click here

 

My top sights:

Alexanderplatz – was centre of communist East Berlin – TV Tower & Galeria Kaufhof department store

Altes Museum, Museum Island – houses the Egyptian collection E8 or E14 combined museums ticket (Pergamon)

Berlin Wall Memorial (Gedesnkstatte Berliner Mauer), corner of Bernauer Strasse/ Ackerstrasse – only place in city where wall preserved in entirety with defences and death strip – across the road is Wall Documentation Centre at Bernauerstrasse 11, 10-6 free berliner-mauer-dokumentationszentrum.de the story of the Wall – so hard to believe this only cane down in 1989

Berliner Dom, (Berlin cathedral) Lustgarten daily 9-8 E5 – definitely from outside but in?

Brandenburg Gate

Checkpoint Charlie, Friedrichstrasse

East Side Gallery – largest remaining section of wall – 1.3 section covered in paintings from world wide painters – open air – lots of graffiti

Fernsehturm TV tower – E10 9am- midnight daily berlinerfernsehturm.de -40km view on a clear day – revolving café but long queues – try to work out where Berlin wall split the city – old streets of Marienkirche and Rotes Rathaus

Franziskaner-Kirche – gutted 13th c church – left as ruin due to landmine 1945

Gedenkstatte Berliner Mauer, (Berlin Wall Memorial) corner of Bernauer Strasse 11/ Ackerstrasse – only place in city where wall preserved in entirety with defences and death strip – across the road is Wall Documentation Centre – 10-6 free berliner-mauer-dokumentationszentrum.de the story of the Wall; can climb observation tower

Gedenkstatte Deutscher Widerstand – (Memorial to German Resistance), Stauffenbergstrasse 13-14 – 9-6 or Thurs 9-8 free – huge collection of photos & documents of those actively opposing the Third Reich – free English audio guide (leave ID as deposit) – need about 40 mins

Hackesche Hofe – Rosenthaler Strasse north of city, interconnecting courtyards full of art galleries & trend boutiques (S-Bahn Hackesche Markt); preserve a layout common in prewar Berlin – at some of the entrances find Stolpersteine (stumbling blocks) 9000 laid as memorial to victims of Nazi persecution

Hitler’s bunker – couple of minutes walk from Holocaust memorial on Gertrude Kolmar Strasse – site only – sign at end of Ministergarten, all that remains is steel door in the floor between two trees? 150 m from Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust Memorial – minute walk down Hannah Arendt Strasse from Stasi exhib Tues-Sun 10am – 8pm free holocaustmahnmal.de ?? Blocks

Jewish Museum, Lindenstrasse 9-14 10am – 8pm jmberlin.de E5

Jungfernbrucke – bridge to Museum island – oldest in city with drawbridge

Kaiser-Wilheim-Gedachtniskirche, Breitscheid platz – destroyed by British bombing but left as memorial 9-5.  on square outside, street vendors, caricaturists & Street musicians, fairs & festivals; Europa Centre shopping & Berlin tourist office

Marienkirche – Karl-Liebnecht Strasse 8; daily 10am – 6pm free –oldest parish church gothic – outside only Neptune Fountain in front of it

Mauer Museum E9.50, Friedrichstrasse 44 – museum about the wall; mauermuseum.de ?? Museum Haus am checkpoint charlie

Mauerpark

Missing House, Grosse Hamburger Strasse –

Mitte area – old east bit

Monbijoupark – nice park along River Spree – has footbridge to Museum Island

Museum Blindenwerkstatt Otto Weidt, Rosenthaler Straße 39 10am – 8pm free blindes-vertrauen.de exhibition on factory that held Jewish in secret during war – all in German but ask for the free English translation on entry

Musuem Island (Museumsinsel) – one museum ticket is E10 or one day ticket (Bereichskarte) for all museums on island is E14 or 3 day pass is E19.50 & covers 70 museums. Entry to state museums is free last four hours on Thursdays smb.museum

Museums – state museum are open for free last four hours of the day on Thursdays

Neptunebrunnen – fountain near Alexanderplatz

Neue Synagogue, Orienenburger Strasse at corner of Krausnickstrasse – E3 outside only?? 10-6 Fri 10-2

Nikolaiviertel – recreating of medieval Berlin street – backs onto River Spree at point where lots of attractive riverside paths – picture page 91 – original version of the house is Knoblauch-Haus on Poststrasse no 23 – 10am – 6pm free Wed 12-8 – area bordered by Rathaustrasse, Spandauerstrasse & Muhlendamm – good photo from across river with tower in background

Pergamonmuseum, Museum Island 10-6 daily Thursday 10-10 – antiquity museum – looks good E10 or E14 with combined museums ticket for Altes Museum

Potsdam – Belvedere on the Pfingstberg; Schloss Sansoucci – 35 mins on train from Hauptbahnhof from there catch bus 695 or X15 straight to Sansoucci – pg 212-228; Babelsberg Palace? Chinese Tea House

Radisson SAS Hotel – lift to rooms in an aquarium – think can go in for free?, next to Berliner Dom – may now have visitors entrance E4

Reichstag (Parliament Building) – opens 8am – get there early as queues build fast & can be an hour long – cupola open 8am – 10pm – free – viewing deck with great view over city

Rotes Rathaus – Town Hall near Alexanderplatz – from outside – can get TV tower in background

Schloss Charlottenbergspsg.de various parts can be visited and paid separately but best value is E7 combined day ticket – cover all Schloss buildings except tour of royal apartments in Altes Schloss or entry to Museum fur Vor und Fruhgeschicte pg150-153 & Schlosspark – French & English formal garden

Schlossbrucke – bridge to Museum island

Sophienstrasse – best-restored 19th c streets with Sophienkirche city’s finest Baroque church – near Hackesche Hofe

Staatsoper, Unter den Linden

Stadtmauer on Littenstrasse – fragment of orginal 13th c Berlin Wall with Zur letzten Instanz behind it (Berlin’s oldest very atmospheric pub)

Stasi Museum?

Stasi – The Exhibition, Wilhelmstrasse & Hannah-Arendt Strasse or Mauerstrasse 38? Mon-Sat 10am – 6pm – free – bstu.bund.de

Tiergarten, park – bus 100 goes through seeing all main sights – nice walk along Landwehrkanal an inland waterway off River Spree for an hour’s walk to Cornelius brucke – popular beer garden at Schleusenkrug; Siegessaule – in middle of park 9.30-6.30 – shifted here by Hitler – summit offers great views but have to climb 585 stairs – mosaics around bottom; Strasse des 17 Juni then continues on to Brandenburg Gate (although a very long walk); Schloss Bellevue – 18th c guesthouse for Third Reich

Topography of Terror, Niederkirchnerstrasse daily 10-8; free former SS & Gestapo HQ – near Checkpoint Charlie topographie.de – audio guide in English free but need ID as deposit

Wannsee – short S-Bahn ride from centre (S1 or S7 south west) – most popular lake in Berlin – idyllic & picturesque – villa overlooking lake is war museum where Final Solution was plotted, Haus der Wannsee Konferenze 106 free ghwk.de 56-58 Am Grossen Wannsee (get off at S-Bahn Wannsee); Strandbad Wannsee 1km beach (10 min walk from S-Bahn Nikolassee Station) ; Pfaueninsel island with peacocks 9-6 ferry E2 www.spsg.de ferry from terminus of bus 218 from S-Bahn Wannsee

 

For next time:

Anhalter Bahnhof – empty façade of blown-up station – only if passing

Anne Frank Museum – E4?

Aquarium http://www.aquarium-berlin.de

Arthouse Tacheles, Orienburgerstrasse 54-56 – bombed out department store now still run down but home to artists, bands, drinking den etc

Babelsburg Palace

Deutsches Historisches Museum, Unter den Linden 2 dhm.de E2

Friedrichsharin – low-rent eastern part with ethnic cheap eats

Friedrichstrasse? – Mitte’s main shopping street

Funkturm? E4

Gardens of the World, at Recreational Park Marzahn; Eisenacher Strasse 99?? Chinese, Japanese, Balinese, Oriental & Korean gardens

Gedennkstatte Sachsenhausen – Strasse de Nationen 22; 8.30-6.00 free gedenkstaette-sachsenhausen.de former concentration camp – audio guide E3 or beter is leaflet with camp plan E0.5 (pg 186) – 1 hour out of town; By train:
S-Bahn line S1 (Wansee to Oranienburg) until Oranienburg station. This is the trains last stop and the journey time from Berlin-Friedrichstrasse is 50 minutes. S-Bahn Line S26 (Lichtenrade to Birkenwerde), change in Birkenwerder for the S1. Regional train: RE5 from Berlin-Stadtbahn until Oranienburg station. Journey time from Berlin-Zoologischer Garten is 45 minutes. Regional train RB12 from Berlin-Lichtenberg until Oranienburg station. Journey time 30 minutes. From Oranienburg train station. Bus number 804 from the station in the direction of Malz until the Gedenkstätte or follow the sign posts for 20 minutes.

Gendarmenmarkt, near Bebelplatz – Franzosischer Dom & Deutscher Dom

Gesundbrunnen bunker – can be toured with Berliner Unterwelten berlinerunterwelten.de – ticket office southern entrance hall of Gersundbrunnen U-Bahn station; tickets available from 10.30 on day 90 mins long E9; English Tour 11am Tour 1 Dark worlds

Hackescher Markt – for Hackescher Markt & Sophienstrasse, also shops & cafes

Karl-Liebknecht Strasse? –

Karl-Marx Allee – soviet architecture

Kastanienallee – main fashion street in Prenzlauer Berg, shops cafes and ethnic food, artsy vibe??

Kotbusser Tor – area around scruffy earthy shambles of Turkish street vendors European cooking – Turkn markt Kotbusser Tamm/ Maybachufer Nuekolln with cheese, bread & olives on Fri 12-6; between Neukoli & Kreuzberg; also Orienstrasse?

Kreuzberg area – bars

Kronprinzenpalais, Unter den Linden 3 – outside only

Kurfurstendamm (Ku’damm) – main shopping street, including KaDeWe prestigious department store (great 6th floor food hall) – also off it is Tauentzienstrasse shopping street

Landwehrkanal – canal parallel to Spree river?

Luftfahrtministerium, Wilhelmstrasse – was the Nazi air ministry

Lustgarten – flea market is opposite

Markisches Museum E5

Maybachufer – between Neukoli & Kreuzberg – Turkish quarter –tranquil & idyllic except on Tuesday & Friday when there is a Turkish market from noon – 6pm

Oderberger Strasse – trendy cafes & 2nd hand shops leading to Mauerpark

Orienstrasse – near U-Bahn Kottbusser Tor – Istanbul type market?,café-bars, art galleries & alternative clothes shopping

Plotzensee Prison Memorial – Gedenkstatte Plotzensee 9-5 free gedenkstaette-ploetzensee.de ?on bus 123 from Hauptbahnhof takes 20-30 mins to Gendenkstate Plotzensee walk down wall0sided path of Huttigpfad – request english brochure at desk??

Prater Garden, Kastenienallee 7-9 – stroll while lunch on wok-fried prawns at farmer’s market on Kollwitzplatz

Prenzlauer Berg – stroll down broad avenue

Russian embassy?, Pariser Platz – wedding-cake style?

Sea Life Centre, Spandauer Strasse

Simon-Dach-Strasse – outdoor cafes/ bars

Spandauer Vorstadt?

Takilis area – labyrinth of galleries & bars

Tours – newberlintours.com – free? Or E12? Berlin Underworld Association?; www.berlinwalks.com ; www.insiderberlintours.com; in GDR Trabant car http://www.trabi-safari.de  tour of Old Ost

Treptower flea market – Sundays only?

Treptower park, on Spree River

Turkn Markt, Kottbusser Damm/ Maybachufer Neukolln – cheese, bread, olives Friday 12-6

Unter den Linden (Grand Avenue)

Volkspark Friedrichshain

Wertheim dept store, Kurfurstendamm 231

 

Eats/ Drinks:

40 Seconds, 58 Potsdamer Strasse, Tiergarten – exclusive bar with rooftop pation – great after dark panorama of Berlin – open Fridays & Saturdays and sometimes Thursdays

Ankerklause, Kottbauser Damm 104 – in Maybauchufer district – sit outside overlooking the water on scruffy boat type thing

Bierhimmel, Oranienstrasse 183 – candlelit 1950s cocktail lounge – coffee & cake in afternoon, cocktails in evening??

Café am Neuen See, Lichtensteinallee 2, Tiergarten – beer garden next to lake

Clärchens Ballhaus – http://www.ballhaus.de

Diekmann, Meinekestrasse 7 – Berlin bistro E10 3 course lunch

Entweder Oder, Oderberger Strasse 14 – boho brunch nearl Prenzlauer Berg – with outside tables – cheese plate & bread feeds two – £5

Gorki Park http://www.gorki-park.de

Green Door, 50 Winterfeldstrasse – ring a doorbell to get into chic retro bar with cocktails 6-9

Kafer Dachgarten, restaurant on roof of Reichstag – 9.30am – midnight – great views

Lutter & Wegner, Schluterstrasse 5 – atmosphere evokes 1920’s Berlin – Marlene Dietrich used to dine here – near hotel

Orienberger Strasse – lots of restaurants and stylish bars

Schleusenkrug, Muller-Breslau Strasse, Tiergarten – outdoor terrace next to canal lock

Schneeweiss http://www.schneeweiss-berlin.de

Schwarzenraben, Neue Schonhauser Strasse 13 – elegant café with sunny back garden – near Hackesch Hofe

Scotch & Sofa, 18 Kollwitzstrasse, Prenzlauer Berg – in good weather can sunbathe on deckchair in garden with a cocktail

Sisuru, http://www.susuru.de – noodles

Yorckschlosscheb, 15 Yorckstrasse – century old bar home to jazz & blues – live music Wednesday, Friday, Saturday & Sunday

Yosoy, Rosenthaler Strasse 37 – inexpensive tapas bar

Zum Nussbaum, Am Nussbaum 3 – convincing copy of the pre-war bar – old Berlin ambience – opposite the Nickolai Kirche

Zur letzten Instanz, Waisenstrasse 14-16 – berlin’s oldest Kneipe & great beer garden, traditional dishes – 12-11

Zwolf Apostel, Bleibtreustrasse 49 – pizza many varieties E5 lunch menu 12-4 – near hotel

 

Accommodation:

Berlin Plaza Hotel Am Kurfuerstendamm, Knesebeckstrasse 63 Ref no 34429767

Leopold,

Lux 11http://www.lux-eleven.com

Wombat City Hostel – ww.wombats-hostels.com

 

 

Tourist Information:

 

 

Travel: 

Train station adjacent to airport, 5 minute walk (or free shuttle bus taking 2 mins) – Airport Express train departs every half hour via Berlin-Alexanderplatz, Berlin-Friedrichstrasse & Berlin-Zoologischer Garten? Or just go to Hauptbahnhof? Or S-Bahn leaves every 10 mins from Schonefeld – take S9 to Berlin Zoologischer Garten Tickets E2.70 as in zone C, AB fare valid for two hours in one direction, tickets in passageway usually long queues – can get from machines on platform

Take the trains RB14 (direction Nan) or RE7 (direction Dessau) to the train station Zoologischer Garten. From the train station Zoologischer Garten It takes you around 10 minutes to walk from there to the hotel. Leave the station through the main entrance and turn right into Joachimstaler Straße in direction Kurfürstendamm. There you turn right, the fourth cross-road is Knesebeckstraße where the Plaza is situated after 30 metres on the left side of the road.

Travel tickets – travelling to Potsdam or Orienburg need zone C ticket – E2.70 single otherwise most other things zone A&B £2.10 single – but did say was included with hotel – single tickets valid for two hours; Tageskarte day ticket £6.30 for whole network Validate transport tickets at the yellow machines

Bus 100 from Bahnhof Zoo to Alexanderplatz – useful one

City Tour Card E15.90 for 48 hours AB (or E17.90 for ABC) AB zone travel card & concessionary rates at some attractions

 

 

Foods to try:

Apfelschorle – sparkling apple juice

Boulette – meatball

Sauerbraten – marinated pot roast

 

Books:

 

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