Getting to Berlin and taking a boat ride on the River Speer is a wonderful experience as you see much of the city from the boat, both ultra modern buildings and old factories that give a special air to Berlin, also the parks. If you're staying for several days it would be interesting to do on arrival as you'll get an overview of the city.
A true icon of Classical Greece, the totem of philosophers, as I love Greek art and studied philosophy I was doubly impressed! It's not a question of artistic genius, or of knowing that originally this bust was at the entrance of the Acropolis, Athens. It's that we see the man who revolutionized understanding in the West with his fifth century BC cultural revolution and the man who conceived what we understand by science, art, philosophy, city and citizen. Europe, especially Latin Europe, owes much to Mr. Pericles. The statue (in the Altes Museum) is the only remaining copy of the lost Greek original and it's worth a few minutes to stop and look, its cultural influence is so strong that it shudders a little.
The Gendarmenmarkt was initially the central market square of the city of Friedrichstadt. It is now in the center of Berlin, and is one of the most beautiful squares in the city. The French church, built in the eighteenth century by the French Protestants, is opposite the German church. Both have beautiful domes. In the square there is a slightly bohemian feel, with terraces, accordions and street singers. It is a nice place for lunch.
The bus 100 is a convenient and cheap way to explore Berlin, beginning in Alexander Platz and going all over the city, passing by the door of Brademburgo, Parliament, the Tiergarten and ending at the famous Zoo station. The ticket is the same as that of a normal bus, 2.10 euros or 5.60 for a ticket for the whole day, get on and off as you wish. We aim for the front rows of the top floor, but many tourists mean it is not always easy to find a place.
Undoubtedly the most trendy area of Berlin, and it's very famous for many reasons. This square holds the Berlin Film Festival, better known as the Berlinale, which hands out the Golden Bear for best film of the festival. As a curiosity, this place was where the first traffic light was installed in Europe. You can also see the dome of the Sony Center, designed by Helmut Jahn, a landmark of the new Potsdamer Platz, and visit the Sony Style Store, a multi-storey building with the brand SONY reserved for exhibitions and sales of all its products. You can also enjoy the tower Sony, IMAX 3D cinema and a film library.
This place is in the Jewish quarter of Berlin. Just outside the entrance also can enter (I forget the name) that have patios shops in every yard, between the blocks. There is an exhibition on mechanical machines like metal bird that move, the entry is 8 € but if you are a group of people, the price will drop to 5 €. You can also enter a building that has a couple of shops, and whose stairs are full of graffiti.
The history of Germany has called my attention for years. It's incredible that a country that was totally destroyed, is now up and really a powerhouse. The Berlin Wall is awesome and now only remains as a representation of that story (a story that hopefully won't happen again).
The name name Lustgarten means leisure gardens. It is a park situated on the Museum Island, near where once stood the town hall of Berlin. The garden was then part of the palace and was used for military parades and rallies. The site was created in the sixteenth century as a part of the palace of the kings of Prussia. The gardens were formalized in the seventeenth century before being converted to an army camp in the eighteenth century. Now it is surrounded by museums, built during the golden era of the kingdom of Prussia. The place was almost completely destroyed during World War II. On one side is the Berliner Dom, the cathedral city evangelical, the other the old National Gallery, and amid people come to play ball or have a picnic.
It is the oldest zoo in Germany with the largest collection of species. They have anything you would want, as you'll see in the photos. It is ideal for spending an afternoon watching all kinds of animal. Admission is $12 and for children $6. There is a subway line (U2) that stops right at the door. For fans of U2 that has great significance, since the song "Zoostation" from the Acthung Baby album was recorded in Berlin. The relation between them: U2 subway line, song: Zoo Station.
If you fancy being surrounded by Communism, this is your tour. During one of my stays in Berlin we ran, it was an extrasensory experience, with their wide streets, their huge roundabouts and with the flavor of some of the bars, theaters and libraries. By the way, if you like the film The Lives of Others, you'll find many of its locations here. Also for dwellings Wedekindstrasse Street is very close to this avenue.
The tour was excellent, interesting, fun, entertaining and full of anecdotes. I was walking around the city and suddenly I heard a Spanish speaking guide with a group saying interesting things. I decided to add me to the group with my kids, the tour lasted almost 5 hours all the way to Berlin and the whole family enjoyed it. I really enjoyed watching my teenage children focus on explanations and the comments on history, art and on political and sociocultural considerations, we all learned a lot. Our guide was called Eduardo and he was a great professional with great knowledge of history and German culture, another day we repeated the experiment but this time we went to see a concentration camp, Santi was another great guide My summary is therefore excellent, really go with a guide, it's better than going on your own.
Nikolai Church is the oldest religious building in the historical center and, although closed in 2008 for renovations, it is worth visiting just for its surroundings. You can go back to a small German neighborhood of the Middle Ages. The current building is from the fifteenth century, but the towers are medieval effectively. Unfortunately it was destroyed during the bombings of World War II and had to be rebuilt again. Currently, the interior houses a war museum which will reopen in 2009. One of the most romantic and charming building of Berlin. Its small garden with wooden benches is the perfect place to relax.
If you like to party and you like good electronic music, I recommend visiting "Weekend" in the heart of Berlin, right on Alexander Platz. Once inside, you have 3 options: Floor 12, 15 or the roof (I recommend you check their website to see what you are going to find on the day you go). One of the most important clubs in the Berlin electronic scene, and also with an atmosphere and a stunning view of the city. Audience: It caters mostly to students (from 20-30 years) and oddly enough, most of them happen to be tourists.
If you're in Berlin, it is best to book a morning or afternoon for a walk in the Charlottenburg Palace. It is very different from the modern Berlin we are used to .. When the city was largely destroyed in World War II, it was an old summer house, with well preserved gardens, ideal for a picnic, exercise, walking for a couple of hours or admiring its beauty. There is no charge for access to the gardens, but you must pay to go inside the palace.
Very close to the East Side Gallery, on the Spree River (which divides western and eastern Berlin) is this beautiful nineteenth century bridge. Its structure was concrete, but the red bricks that cover it give it a Moorish and Gothic style. Before Berlin unified, the bridge was closed to traffic for more than 12 years and used only by people with the necessary documentation. After the fall of the Wall, the bridge re-opened and is now a symbol of freedom and brotherhood. It is worth spending a little time on the western side of the wall for a view of the river Spree.
Mitte (German for "center") has many surprises. They say that the rapid growth of the Berlin population back in the late nineteenth century meant that buildings inside the large courtyards sprung up, creating these authentic neighborhood "micro-cities". There are many shops, bars, restaurants and even theaters and cinemas. This neighborhood has a great spirit.
As our visit to Berlin was in February, we found Unter Den Linden covered in snow. We read many references on the boulevard and, despite the weather, we enjoyed its charm and beauty. Absolutely recommended!
In plain parisian Berlin, which at the time was the area of french occupation after the war, you will find the Lafayette Galleries, which was built in 1996 by Jean Nouvel. The visit is interesting from an architectural point of view.