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Berlin

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Trip List by TITraveller

Slightly Imperfect Day (that's why it isn't in the "Perfect Day" lists)

11 Jul 2007  
4.0 of 5 stars based on 2 votes

Can you get to see the important sites around Berlin in a day and get a bit of culture as well ? I tried to find out.

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Berlin
  • Category: Recent trip
  • Traveler type: Culture, Sightseeing, Shopping, Never been before
  • Appeals to: Singles, Budget travellers , Tourists
  • Seasons: Summer
  • 1. Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor)
    Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor), Berlin, Germany

    Surely the symbol of Berlin (if not Germany) for over two hundred years having survived wars, a divided Germany and the reunified Germany. Site of a number of historic speeches including Ronald Reagan's 'Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall'. A must-see.

  • 2. Parliament Building (Reichstag)
    Reichstag Building, Berlin, Germany

    The parliament building (the façade of the old Reichstag with the Norman Foster glass dome thing). It's the glass dome thing that everyone comes to see. I got the impression that you have to let them know you are coming - the website states "if you have decided to visit the German Bundestag, please send a letter to the following address". I did that, asked them if I had to pre-register or whether entry / exit was timed and was told "the Deutsche Bundestag does not take bookings" but they didn't exactly say where to go. No matter - there's usually a queue (takes anything from 30 to 90 minutes to clear) just to get to the security checkpoint. Is it worth the wait ? Maybe. It is free and the views are pretty good but it's not a must see / do in my opinion.

  • 3. What remains of the Berlin Wall / DDR / Checkpoint Charlie

    Not a lot now - you couldn't tell. If you have an interest in that area (i.e. 1980s Cold War / Warsaw Pact / Soviet history), then it is definitely worth a look. I'm old enough to remember all too well an East Germany, the fall of the Wall and the rehabilitation of Eastern Europe so its historical significance is not lost on me. Only one part of the original wall remans - unfortunately it is not in good condition as everyone wanted to get their 'piece' of history. You can still buy certified pieces of the wall in your choice of colour from the Museum that is located next to the Checkpoint. You can also buy 'Soviet' military uniforms as well from the vendors just waiting to rip you off.

  • 4. Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe)
    Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe), Berlin, Germany

    A Berlin institution, particularly during the divide. Celebtrating its 100th birthday this year. Supposedly the biggest department store in this part of Europe. I was (naturally) drawn to the 6th floor - billed as 'two football fields of food', it's worth a look around - if you only visited Berlin and you had to pick up something from various parts of Europe, you could do it. All the major lines are here, many gourmet specialist lines are here. Had I the time, I think I could easily have a six course dinner, picking from the amazing offerings from the numerous restaurants that also run alongside the retail. Great stuff.

  • 5. Philharmonie

    This pentagonal concert hall is home to the Berlin Philharmonic and the Deutsches Sinfonie Orchester Berlin. The pentagonal design was quite deliberate - they claim that the sound quality is equally good from any seat in the house. To test that theory, I managed to obtain a cheap ticket to the latter for a programme of Mozart and Bruckner by the DSO-B under the venerable Herbert Blomstedt with Richard Goode as soloist. While the Mozart was not as good as anticipated, the DSO excelled with the Bruckner 4 and was simply marvellous.

  • 6. Potsdamer Platz
    Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, Germany

    The heart of modern Berlin once again but it seems rather sterile. Good for dinner and a movie, however. Home to the Sony Center (which is both simultaeneously gaudy and beautiful both during the day and more so at night), the HQ of Deutsche Bahn, Sony Europe and Sanofi-Aventis.

  • 7. Severin & Kuehn Hop-On Hop-Off Bus (City Circle Tour)
    http://www.severin-kuehn-berlin.de/en/city-circle.html

    You could take the Route 100 hundred bus but the commentary is in German and mine isn't up to it - I went for the EUR 20 all day ticket instead and you can do the roun d trip (without getting off) in less than two hours - coverage is good, if you want to see Schloss Charlottenburg, you can. If you want to walk in Ku'Damm, no problem - stops at all the touristy places. Commentary in 8 languages