Off to Berlin for 4 days at Easter. Never been before. What you be your top must see/do activities.
Sorry.. What would be your top must see/do activities?
Are you going with children or adult only? We went last easter with Dc and loved the Reichstag ( free but do book online before and the restaurant at the top is great and reasonable), also a river cruise was good to get your bearings. Television tower is worth a trip too for the view as is the museum of the Berlin Wall, and of course Brandenburg gate.
As we had DC with us we also took in Berlin Zoo, legoland, teirgarden on bikes and the museum of transport. It would is a very easy city to navigate and hotels were very cheap.
I loved the Reichstag, too. Also the river cruise, and an open top bus tour.
I went to the Alte National Galerie, because I wanted to see the Caspar David Friedrichs in particular, but I have also visited cities specifically to see galleries, because I'm into art like that. The MuseumInsel is worth wondering round anyway.
I found the Neue National Galerie quite moving, too, because they've got B&W photos of some works which were destroyed by the Nazis as degenerate. There are loads of other museums - I enjoyed the Bröhan-Museum, which has a lot of Art Nouveau and Art Deco (and was just round the corner from where I was staying. And the Bauhaus Museum.
The Historical Museum is good, too, because it covers a lot more than just the 20th century - I did a fair bit of 20th century German history at university, and you can have your fill of the Third Reich and East Germany, and it was good to find out more about the Prussian side of things. Though I did also do Checkpoint Charlie and the Wall and the DDR museum. Berlin was at the centre of so much 20th century European history.
I missed out on some of the other museums like the Currywurst Museum...
I also liked going up the Alexander Platz tower. Friends had a day trip to Potsdam, which they really enjoyed.
I think you need to work out what most interests you - there's no way you can do everything, so you need to pick and choose. Some of it is better only in good weather - I wouldn't bother with a river cruise if it's driving rain and grey and miserable. If you're not into museums and galleries, then there are things like the zoo and aquarium. There's also loads of shopping. If the weather's good, there's loads to see just walking round - we followed a couple of trails from the Rough Guide/Lonely Planet (whichever one it was we had.) You can also do stuff like Segway tours.
All EBearhug says! We went to Charlottenburg Palace too. We found the German History Museum a great place to visit. If you do only one serious museum, do this one. It does not shy away from the Nazi era but it has some wonderful displays of German manufactured items and takes you through German history in an interesting way.
You can also see sections of the wall and we also went to a modern art gallery in a converted railway station. Just walking where the wall used to be near the Brandenburg Gate was such an odd feeling. It was still there 25 years ago! Amazing. Have a great trip.
So many brilliant things in Berlin. If you are interested in the Cold War era and the wall then the DDR museum is a must (especially if going with kids) also the Checkpoint Charlie museum very quirky and chaotic with lots of details about escapes. For WW2 I'd go to the Topography of Terror in the old Gestapo headquarters basement though quite graphic so not that suitable for small kids. Also the Holocaust memorial which is incredibly moving. Definitely do a river trip also take the 100 bus from Zoo station to Alexanderplatz (top deck, front seats - great city tour!) Revolving restaurant at top of Fernserturm is surprisingly good value also make a reservation in restaurant at Reichstag to jump queues (unless you have a pushchair in which case you can jump the queue anyway).
Oh yes, we did queue for about two hours for the Fernsehturm, because we hadn't booked. So you might want to take that into account.
We took our kids to the Technisches Museum and ended up regretting it. You think its a science museum and it is, but it also has a great big Nazi steam train and some cattle trucks that took people to death camps. Right there and you can go up into them. It was hideously horrible. I think because we were not expecting to see these things. Our kids were too young to understand though.
We found a brilliant soft play indoor place, that had a nice cafe for adults. kinderwelt I think it was called.
Thanks for all the feedback. It is myself and 13 year old DS who are travelling. We are staying near the zoo for 5 days.
So far I have booked a walking tour to get our bearings, Reichstag, and thought about the underground tunnels, palace of tears and Stasi prison.
I will look into the river cruise. Thanks
The Jewish museum is really interesting -both as a fascinating and beautiful building to walk around and as a way for you and your son to discover Jewish history www.jmberlin.de/main/EN/homepage-EN.php Currently it has an exhibition called ´Snip It´which is about male circumcism!
The fernsturm (sp.?!) has a revolving restaurant where you don't need to queue...checkpoint Charlie museum is interesting but looonnngggg, reichstag is fab but book to save queuing, the museum under the holocaust memorial is amazing...if you want to you can visit sachsenhausen which is a concentration camp, take the train about an hour birth then walk through the village. It is very thought provoking but well worth a visit. The 1936 Olympic stadium is also worth a visit, and out that way is the house at wannsee which is an interesting museum too. Finally the tour of the tunnels used for air raid etc in WWII is fab!! Hope these ideas help...we interspersed all this history with kaffee und kuchen, and visits to Potsdam plaza and the big dept store - kadewe??!! ...
Lots of great ideas. The concentration camp sounds like a very moving but worthwhile visit looking at the website. I went to Dachau 20 odd years ago, and still remember it vividly.
Zoo, tower and a river cruise were my favourite things. The East Side Gallery (remaining section of wall) and check point Charlie were interesting as was the Jewish memorial. River cruise was pretty cheap, something like 10 Euros. You don't necessarily need to book the tower, you can buy a ticket on the day for a later time slot and then pop back. Cocktails in the tower were very reasonable at 6 Euros. The zoo is great (I had no kids with me!) But the food wasn't great so take sandwiches with you.
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