Berlin, Germany has been on my travel radar for a while now. On a previous trip, I had visited Munich and the Black Forest region of Germany (Bavaria, as they call it), loving every moment of my time there. I was eager to check into Berlin, notably to know more about the rich history and heritage of this great city. I fell in love with Berlin – lapping up every bit of this wildly fascinating metropolis. Here are my top picks for fun and interesting things to do:
1. History hopping at Bradenburg Gate: It is the most iconic monument, representative of the city and all it has gone through. It is also the most photographed monument in Berlin! Inspired by the Acropolis entrance in Athens, the Bradenburg Gate is located in Pariser Platz, one of the city's most famous squares. During the years of a divided Germany, the structure sat in "no man's land" between East and West Berlin. The area around the Bradenburg Gate is extremely historic and fascinating. Sign up for one of the free walking tours that starts from the square in front of the Gate.
2. Say cheers in Berlin: Taste some of the freshly brewed beers that the city has to offer (be warned, the serving sizes are massive!) Some great picks include Vagabund Brauerei (a brand new microbrewery), Privatbrauerei Am Rollberg (located in an abandoned building, seriously!), Heidenpeters (great vintage style) and Brauerei Eschenbräu (one of Berlin’s oldest microbrweries with a lovely beer garden). There are also some lovely drinks that you can sample in Berlin including Gespritztes – a very local mixed drink containing beer, soda, fruit and spices. Accompany your drinks with a wholesome serving of savoury pretzels.
3. Picnic in Tiergarten: This is Berlin’s most popular and well known inner city park – 520 acres large. The park is sprawling and wooded, a great place to walk, picnic or relax. The park is also dotted with charming beer gardens, so you can enjoy a drink with a beautiful view! Tiergarten is especially beautiful in Autumn, when the trees change colour.
4. Go back in time at Clarchens Ballhaus: The last surviving ballroom in Berlin – this is a time warp in the modern landscape of the city! Saunter in for some breezy ballroom lessons (no kidding) or stand by and watch others dance. The compound of the ballroom functions as a beer garden. The service is slow, but the ambience makes up. Don’t forget to wander through and appreciate the classical décor.
5. The Berlin Wall: It’s perhaps the most controversially famous wall in the wall – and ironically, it isn’t even standing any longer! Portions of the Berlin Wall have been preserved for visitors to see, with the longest stretch (called the East Side Gallery) acting as an international memorial for freedom. The Gallery consists of 105 paintings by artists from all over the world, painted in 1990 on the east side of the Berlin Wall. Also, it is possibly the largest and longest-lasting open-air gallery in the world.
6. For plane junkies: If you love airplanes, Berlin has two exciting adventures for you. Firstly, visit Berlin Tempelhof Airport – a former iconic airport that has now been converted into a gigantic park. You can go for a jog down the former runway, true story! Secondly, check out Kurt Schumacher Platz (located very close to the main Tegel Airport) for some seriously hardcore plane-spotting.
7. A quirky museum about East Germany: If you love museums, don’t miss visiting Museum Island – a UNESCO World Heritage Site with five museums devoted to archeology & art. Located close by is my favourite museum in Berlin – the DDR Museum, which is dedicated to life in East Germany. This interactive museum is wildly interesting and full of interesting nuggets and anecdotes.
Photo credits: The Telegragh, thechicfish, Trip Advisor, getyourguide
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