A summer day in Berlin

Berlin-14-Reichstag-Header

After finally posting my post on Leipzig, somehing seems to have clicked and I decided I could as well finally post pictures from my trip to Berlin. Early in July my brother got his diploma in medicine in Berlin so my whole family went their. It has been ages since we all went somewhere together.

Berlin-4-my-family

This screamed for a family selfie and so I think is one of the very few pictures of the four of us together. Well, but getting back to our trip. I’ve been to Berlin several times, mostly job related, in the last six years and always only for a short time. Again this time we actually had just one real sightseeing day but we used it to the fullest. We walked about 4kms that day and saw all the primary sights. The route is easy to follow and went like this:

1. Holocaust Monument

We had an apartment close to the Brandenburg Gate and just around the corner of the Holocaust monument, so we started our tour there. It is a very weird place but I think it is a very good monument. It gives you a claustrophobic feeling when walk through it, a feeling of being lost and alone. And yet it is not only a sad place. People use it, take pictures there, play there and I think this is good. (Pictures are actually from a trip some years ago as I didn’t take pictures there yet)

2. Brandenburg Gate

From the Holocaust Monument we just walked around the corner to get to the Brandenburg Gate. Actually super easy yet when we were there it was still the time of the World Cup and this was were the Fan Mile was. So the view on the Brandenburg Gate was blocked. You could have a look on it from the Unter den Linden Side but the picture I feature here is from last year so you get a better picture of it.

3. Gendarmenmarkt

We headed down Unter den Linden, Berlin’s famous inner city street which is a huge road work and not very nice. But once they are finally done (no idea when this will be) it will be a most amazing street. We actually had breakfast here the next day at Cafe Dressler and except from the view, it was amazing. If you want to have a huge and delicous breakfast, this is your place to go. Next we walked into Friedrichstraße and then turned left towards Gendarmenmarkt. This square is a classic triple with two church buildings and a theatre.

4. Museum’s island

After the Gedarmenmarkt we meandered back to Unter den Linden, passing beautiful university buildings and had a look at the “Neue Wache” a monument against war before moving towards the Museum’s island. By the way: don’t be tempted by the beautiful view from the cafe terrasse of the Deutsches Historisches Museum. Service is  terrible here! We entered the Museum’s island and had a look around, seeing all those imposing museum buildings. One day I want to go to Berlin and finally visit all these museums.

5. Hackscher Markt and Höfe

Next we walked over to the Hackscher Markt with the amazing city train station and into the Hackschen Höfe, the best know courtyard building in the Scheunenviertel in Berlin. It is super touristy there but so beautiful. We actually even shopped there. We went into a cute little hat shop there and my mum and I tried on hats. In the end my father bought us both a handmade hat and we were not allowed to see the amount of money he spend. I hope I find some more times to wear the hat other than my brother’s graduation ceremony.

6.Regierungsviertel

Next we walked along Oranienburger Straße, had a quick look on the new synagoge, passed Monbijou park and then along the spree river until we finally reached the government quarters. Everything, well except from the Reichstag, is new here. When the German government moved to Berlin in the late 1990s they had the advantage of a huge empty space in the middle of Berlin due to the former Berlin wall where they could build a complete new quarter. On the edge of this quarter sits the Reichstag, the well known government building with its new glass dome. By then we were already quite tired and decided to have a break. I was actually aiming for cake and coffee but we ended up at a Bavarian beergarden, next to the Brandenburg Gate, a rather touristy place. It felt a bit wrong to sit in a Bavarian beergarden while being in Berlin on the other side of the country, but service, food and drinks were just perfect. So if you don’t care about were in Germany you are, this place is definitively recommended.

7. Potsdamer Platz

After a short refreshment stop in our apartment we ventured on to find a nice place for dinner. Instead of turning right to the Brandburg Gate we now turned left towards Potsdamer Platz, a surreal super modern square. From my point of view, you can have a look at it, wonder about it and then just leave again.

8. Prenzlauer Berg

To see a bit more of Berlin then just centrally located “Mitte” we then took the subway to Prenzlauer Berg, an trendy squarter to the south east. We got at Senefelderplatz and then walked diagonal to Schönhauser Allee through up nicely gentrified Kollwitzstraße and stoped at Gugelhof, an Alsatian restuarant, were we had a great dinner. After that we only managed to walk to the next subway station (which is there already a Hochbahn, a train on elevanted tracks) Eberswalder Straße and than back to the apartment and off to bed.

With this walking tour you see basically all main sights. You might want to integrate Check Point Charlie on your tour or take the bus 100 or 200 to go around Tiergarten and over to the center of West Berlin, to see 50s style main shopping street Kurfürsten Damm or palace Charlottenburg. But for this you definitively need more days. Writing this, I think I definitively need to do one more trip to Berlin but this time for a longer period so I can finally see more than the main sights.

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