Berlin: Highlights

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It’s been two months since my wonderful trip to Berlin and yes, I am feeling slightly guilty for not having posted this earlier…

The work/eat/sleep/repeat lifestyle sucked me back in for a while, and then the Easter holidays happened (yay!), I feel alive and inspired again. I was also so, so lucky and managed to experience a whole new country: Japan. I can’t wait to share that with you, it was a truly incredible country. My only regret was having to come home! But first things first…

Berlin Highlights

The low-down:

Your euros can go a long way in Germany’s capital! The majority of my highlights cost us a grand totaly of 0€. Berlin was, shockingly, a very affordable city to visit; I completely over-budgeted and have leftover euros I will have to spend at some point in the future.

There are so many places worth visiting to discover the diverse and rich culture and history of Germany’s capital. After 6 days, there was still so much more to see, but we will have to wait for our next trip. Luckily, Berlin in summer has a completely different vibe, so I look forward to experiencing the city without frozen limbs in February..!

If you still need to catch up on the first post in this series, you may find it here:  Berlin, Berlin!

Brandenburg Gate at night

This photo pretty much speaks for itself. It was a great view! In summer, I believe there is a nice park to explore just behind it.

Recommended duration of visit: 15-30 minutes

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Brandenburg Gate

Look down

Berlin has its fair share of rooftop bars, but on a rainy day, Monkey Bar was a nice way to shelter from the rain/cold while spying on some of the Zoo’s inhabitants below!

Recommended duration of visit: Under 1 hour

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Monkey Bar, view of the Berlin Zoo

Jewish Museum

I highly recommend the Jewish Museum which was nothing short of an experience. The exhibits to the architecture of the building were really powerful and thought-provoking.

Recommended duration of visit: 1-2 hours

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Jewish Museum

Walk, just walk

The public transport in Berlin was really impressive, and we were able to get anywhere by bus, tram, or U-Bahn/S-Bahn so easily. What I really loved though was getting off in a neighbourhood and just exploring.

 

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Berlin streets

The Holocaust Memorial

This is free so there is no excuse not to do it. There is an indoor exhibit underground, below the memorial which has a collection of a range of testimonials and collections from victims and survivors of the Shoah.

Recommended duration of visit: 1 hour

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Holocaust Memorial

Visit the Bundestag

The roof terrace and dome of the Reichstag Building offer great views of the city. A free audio guide is also included (who doesn’t love a free audio guide?) which lets you brush up on your knowledge of the Reichstag Building and its surroundings, the German Bundestag, the work of Parliament, and the sights you can see as you walk up and around the dome.

Remember to book in advance online to be able to take advantage of this free activity!

Recommended duration of visit: Under 1 hour

berlin1Walk the Berlin Wall memorial

The East Side Gallery is an interesting walk where you can see the open air art ‘gallery,’ but to better comprehend what life was like during this time, The Berlin Wall Memorial, located on Bernauer Strasse, gives a powerful insight into this historic moment. It highlights what this particular street and its residents experienced divided by the Berlin Wall.  It gives visitors an impression of the fortifications on the Eastern side but also the events which took place there. I recommend visiting during the evening which is when we went; the darkness envelopes your surroundings, allowing you to visualise what this street might have looked like not so long ago.

Another interesting exhibition nearby which is worth seeing is the Ghost Stations Exhibition, “Border Stations and Ghost Stations in Divided Berlin,” which can be viewed at Nordbahnhof S-Bahn station. It gives an idea of how the underground transport system worked during the Berlin Wall.

Recommended duration of visit: 1 hour

 

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

One of my colleagues encouraged me to ‘go to the church, which has stained glass everywhere – it is really beautiful to look at.’ Not a lot to go on, but luckily my friend Kam, who I was visiting, knew exactly what my colleague was talking about – the Kaiser Wilhelm, Memorial Church. This Church, was built in 1959-1963 in what was West Berlin, after the original 19th-century church was bombed during WWII. . The damaged spire of the old church remains, which is adjacent to the new-build and its ground floor has been made into a memorial hall (which is so beautiful!!). It’s free to enter both and it’s really amazing to see the new and old standing harmoniously together.

Recommended duration of visit: 30 minutes

 

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What are your Berlin highlights? Let me know in the comments!

Robyn

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