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Day by day trip report. ( also pasted to sticky)

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Berkeley, California
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Day by day trip report. ( also pasted to sticky)

So here is my trip report of the first three days of our Berlin trip. I thank all of you at TA for the help you give us travelers. Used everything you told me! Or tried to. Been too tired to write anything up prior. Our first vacation week was in Italy where we had fun till we ran into transit strike. It took 12 hours, three cabs, two trains, and a plane to get out of Italy. We lost our first day of Berlin. But we have caught up.

We arrived at midnight to our hotel the Aldon. The festival of lights was displayed right outside and on the gates next door. Amazing!! -the Brandenburg Gate is cool just on its own.

So here's the blow by blow day by day. We bought a welcome card for five days and a museum pass for three days ( I'm sure we save money). We mostly used the public transportation which we found surprisingly confusing. Hard for us to figure out which directions the trains were going and there was a break in the line we needed a lot (u6) causing us to get off and change trains a lot!

Saturday - 19th - we did half day tour overview to get oriented with our very nice guide Yonatan Weizman (weiz2707@gmail.com) of the historic sites starting with Parizer Platz, which included the Brandenburg gates and The Reichstag (the house of parliment) and the Chancellors office, as well as the memorial for the murdered Roma and Sinti.The outside of memorial for the murdered Jews of Europe and the LGBT memorial.We went by the site of Hitlers bunker, where he finally ended his life. We walked through the Potsdamerplatz and the Kulturforum and The Topography of terror museum, and the Berlin wall. Check point Charlie was amusing. Friedrichstr and the place where the books were burned. Learned a lot of history and made plans to return to see the insides of several places we passed. We ended up at the Museum Island where we went on to see the museums ourselves- Got to the AlteNationalgalerie where we enjoyed the Impressionists. and the Pergamon Museum for the Great Altar of Pergamon the Great Market Gate of Miletus, the Ishtar Gate(my favorite) and the collection of ancient Persian carpets and tapestry. We tried to finish it off with the Berliner Dom but it was closed! We returned to our hotel to check out the spa (crowded ) and then headed out to a delicious dinner at Katz Orange Bergstrasse22; (49-30) 983-208-430http://katzorange.com/. Foolishly we tried to see some more of the festival of light shows and ended up wandering all over town. We were rewarded with some amazing shows but ended up crawling home and into bed at midnight. Fit bit recorded us at 12.5 miles. My poor feet.

2-Sunday- 20th – first we went to a private (Boris) collection of modern art in a real bunker. It was the best tour I've ever taken in my life. Fantastic combination of history and art. Highly recommended. Next we took a walk through the park to the NeueNationalgalerie” (New National Gallery). The museum building and its sculpture gardens were designed by the Bauhaus architect LudwigMies van der Rohe. The museum was supposed to feature modern 20th century painting, but it's regular collection was closed. Big bummer for us! Instead there was a special modern collection that was ok. Caught the special Picasso exhibit in the exhibition hall next door which was great and went over to the inside of the museum of terror and the memorial to the murdered Europeans. Left in tears. Excellent museum. One of the most moving treatments of real people and their families. The attitude in Berlin seems to be let us face everything we did and figure out how it happened so it won't happen again. Everywhere it's discussed. Headed home for a massage and drink. Then a great dinner at Noto 55 Behrenstraße 10117 Tel: +(0)30 2749-2940

3-Monday the 21st - first we went to the Berliner Dom which had been closed the day before and climbed up to the top (247 stairs) and were rewarded with a great view. The weather has been very good. We did a half day tour with Yonatan of the Jewish sites end up at the Jewish Museum. Learned a lot about the history of the Jews in Berlin. Saw the remains of the first and second synagogs. Visited a wonderful brush factory where the owner saved many Jews set up by one he saved. Had a yummy falafel lunch at dada. Then took the u to The Jewish Museum ( open till 10pm on Monday 8pm other days ) with exhibits and architecture, by Daniel Liebeskind. We had heard that the especially moving architectural spaces evoked an emotional response: The Garden of Exile and small angled dark area depicting Holocaust, narrow angled corriders zigs and zags. We learned that shape represents a broken star of David and also saw the special exhibit, Memory Void( creepy). Well I'm sorry to say this museum was not our favorite. It was too remote and impersonal. I couldn't get it! I preferred the murdered Europeans museum. Just my experience. Maybe it was something we'd needed to start with.

After the museum we went to the BerlinischeGalerie (open 10-6 wed- Monday) this is a converted glass warehouse filled modern art. They were setting up a great special exhibit on Vienna art that looked great. There were several pieces we liked but not many. Caught a cab back to the hotel just to have an hour to rest before going over our 6:30 apt for a tour of the Reichstag dome (www.bundestag.de/htdocs_e/visits/kupp.html). It was lots of fun and very cool. Great funny guide. Very interesting place. Everything was open. Big on transparently. Kept the Russian graffiti. Once we climbed all over the dome we returned home to the hotel to meet a friend for a light dinner at a nearby cafe. Then crashing walked 9 miles today!!

4-Tuesday- 22nd the sun was spectacular today and we started at the Frank Geary building (the dz bank). It has a huge amazing sculpture inside. We went to see the Charlottenburg palace, and it’s baroque garden by taking bus to the zoo and then catching the u to Sophie-Charlotte-Platz. We are getting the hang of the transportation system. We lucked out with just a lovely warm day. We loved walking by the river and the gardens were beautiful. The palace had several fantastic rooms including one of porcelain. We then went to the two very interesting museums (Open 10-6 Tuesday-Sunday) that are located side by side nearby at the corner where Spandauer Damm meets Schlossstrasse: the Bröhan-Museum (Broehan Museum) and the Sammlung Berggruen (Berggruen Collection). The Bröhan Museum specializes in Nouveau, Art Déco and the Berlin Secession. We saw interior decorations and painting of these stylistic periods. My favorite (maybe ever!!!! ) was The Berggruen Collection which presents classical modern art, e.g. paintings from Picasso, Klee, Giacometti etc. there were two floors of some if the best Picasso's I've ever seen and I've seen a lot!!! Do not miss this one. We ate a snack cause we were just too hungry. Our next stop was the KDW department store cause everyone says you have to see the beautiful floor of food products from all over the world. Ok it's cool but not all that exciting. At least not to me compared to Dora Mar with green nail polish! Took the 100 bus back home and got a bath. Good on the toes. Dinner tonight was at : nearby Cookies and Cream

55 Behrenstraße

10117 Berlin, Germany

Tue. - Sat. 7pm

Tel: +(0)30 2749-2940

( it's vegetarian ). It was edgy , very good, unusual and reasonable priced. Walked home to pack up as we leave for Potsdam tomorrow! 7.5 mile day but I'm not at all as tired as we has a good long break. Tomorrow we go to the “Hamburger Bahnhof” Museum of contemporary art (open 10-6 Tuesday –Sunday located at Invalidenstrasse 50-51, a bit north to the Scheunenviertel )(heard there is an excellent café there, called Sarah Weiner) and the Kathe Kollwitz Museum. And the our last stop is the East Side gallery and a walk through Kroeuzberg. Then we catch a ride to Potsdam. Berlin has been very impressive. Alive, vibrant and filled with art. It's a difficult place for a Jew. At least this one. So much history, so many lost and clearly the people here are trying to face their past openly. You got to give them credit for that.

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1. Re: Day by day trip report. ( also pasted to sticky)

The interruption of the U6 - for building a crossing station with the future U5 line - is scheduled to end on 17. Nov. 2013 7am.

London, United...
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2. Re: Day by day trip report. ( also pasted to sticky)

> It's a difficult place for a Jew. At least this one. So much history, so many lost and clearly the people here are trying to face their past openly. You got to give them credit for that.<

It has been difficult for this one too, and meeting that challenge is partly - maybe even mostly - what has made Berlin so moving, so exciting, and so endlessly interesting for me.

I believe you only walked past the Topography of Terror. Next time you go, spend more time there, and take the full two-hour audio tour of the outdoor site. The very existence of this place is a miracle - an enormous chunk of eminently developable land in the heart of the city, saved from development by the sheer guts and commitment of people who were determined that what was left of the Third Reich should not be buried, but preserved and a memorial site made of it. That it's *there*, that it exists, moves me every time I go to it - quite apart from the astounding wealth of information both outdoors and indoors that I still haven't absorbed after three long visits.

Yes, I think we do have to give them credit for that. My husband, who grew up in Berlin and just made it out in 1939, calls it crocodile tears. Having lost his country, his language, his home, and his family, he can be forgiven for that. But we have arguments about it: I do give them credit.

I don't like the Jewish Museum either. In fact I dislike it. We first visited it 13 or 14 years ago, when the building had been completed and was open to the public, but before the exhibits were installed. I thought the Holocaust Tower was presumptuous in the emotional response it purported to evoke. To suggest that the emotional experience of being in that tower can even remotely compare to that of being in an extermination camp is the ultimate in chutzpah (particularly for a Jewish architect). Subsequent visits haven't changed my mind, though some of the material inside is interesting.

The museum under the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, on the other hand, is a truly moving, genuine experience. And the Otto Weidt Memorial - and the Silent Heroes Memorial next door. And the stolpersteine.

Thanks for your report!

Edited: 22 October 2013, 23:40
Berkeley, California
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3. Re: Day by day trip report. ( also pasted to sticky)

Thanks for sharing your reactions. We went back and into the terror museum. It was overwhelming. But what a collection of their truths and our history. My family shares your husbands reaction. Which I understand. But I have to hope for a better future. I'm glad I came. I'll have a lot to think of. You are a great resource to visitors. Your posts helped me plan my trip.

London, United...
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4. Re: Day by day trip report. ( also pasted to sticky)

Thank you. I'm glad I was able to help you plan.

And I'm glad you got back to the Topography of Terror. Yes, we must hope for a better future. Sometimes I wonder, though. It was a antisemitic remark made on this forum a couple of weeks ago that decided me to resign my Berlin DE-ship, and I've been more or less keeping away every since. Your trip report resonated, though, and prompted a post. :-)

A book you might enjoy is "Ghosts of Berlin: Confronting History in the Urban Landscape" by Brian Ladd. I've copied the link from the Amazon co.uk site, but I'm sure it will be available on the US site:

amazon.co.uk/Ghosts-Berlin-Confronting-Lands…

Edited: 23 October 2013, 08:14
Berkeley, California
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5. Re: Day by day trip report. ( also pasted to sticky)

Oh dear that's very sad to hear. I most of missed it. But surly others stepped forward to stop the forum from losing you. You were the best expert they had. What was it about? We walked the east gallery today. The exhibition of walls around the world was perfect. We all have a lot work on. I thank you so much for all you did to help me plan my trip.

Edited: 23 October 2013, 13:17
London, United...
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6. Re: Day by day trip report. ( also pasted to sticky)

Thank you. The offensive post and the exchange that followed it was removed by TA at my request, and I won't repeat it. Only one other person noticed it, and as it was quickly removed iit didn't flare into a mammoth altercation. But it disgusted and soured me, so I asked to be relieved of my DE spurs. I haven't mentioned it until now, so no, it wasn't noticed. It doesn't matter. I enjoy helping people like yourself who are really interested and obviously do their own research and planning, but the responsibility of answering the same, endless "how do I get from A to B" and "what is there to do in Berlin?" questions time after time is not one I want. I did it for quite a while, and don't want it back.

You're still in Berlin - how nice. I hope the weather is lovely, and that you enjoy the rest of your stay. You're certainly covering the ground!

Edited: 23 October 2013, 16:48
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7. Re: Day by day trip report. ( also pasted to sticky)

Alabastron, I'm very sorry to read this. You were very helpful on our recent first time Germany trip. You are the best of what makes TripAdvisor work. People who devote time and infinite knowledge they are willing to share.

I didnt see the comments made, but I wonder why people with such ignorance and prejudice travel if they hate their fellow man so.

i try to do my own research and reading but am so grateful for yourself and all the DE's and regulars throughout the Europe forums who have opened doors for me.

Perhaps in time you will return to help

more travelers who will appreciate it.

Best wishes

Berkeley, California
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8. Re: Day by day trip report. ( also pasted to sticky)

We left today for Potsdam where my husband will be working. Ill tour on my own. Again I hate that there was ugliness on the forum. I can easily understand having enough of the reptitive questions. But I must say that you always took such care with your thoughtful answers. I hope to meet you on another forum. I always try to witw a detailed report as a thank you and hope it will help others. Sure has helped me!

London, United...
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9. Re: Day by day trip report. ( also pasted to sticky)

Thanks very much, flannan. That's very kind of you. I expect I'll continue to read and post occasionally here, but I'm glad to be relieved of the responsibility of responding several times a day to the same questions. It was tiring! And it's liberating not to feel that I have to.

And thank you again DrJessB. Your report is detailed and very interesting, and this off-topic sideline is detracting attention from it. Sorry! Please do continue your report - with Potsdam!

scotland
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10. Re: Day by day trip report. ( also pasted to sticky)

alabastron sorry to hear you have decided to leave the berlin forums as you have been so helpfull to myself and so many outhers will catch u fopfully on the greek forums regards martin