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Berlin

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Planning on going again this summer - just dp and I. Any tips for places to stay/eat/things to do that are not the most obvious ones?

Last time we stayed near Checkpoint Charlie and did a lot of the key tourist stuff, including the Jewish museum (brilliant and would go again), Holocaust Memorial, Reichstag dome (amazing - would like to do this again), Topographie of Terror, DDR musuem (hated this), river boat trip (brilliant), Hackesche Höfe, Tiergarten (only a bit of it), Hitler's bunker.

We stayed almost entirely in the old East side, as all the books said this had more character - is there anything in the West side that we should definitely do?

Do people recommend Mitte as the best area to stay, or should we look elsewhere?

East Side Gallery is on the list for this time, and maybe the Stasi prison.

Bumpety bump.

One last bump for this. Have booked so don't need area/hotel recs, but would love ideas about what we might do or where we might eat!

Makemineacabsauv Mon 11-Apr-16 22:32:31

Not being much help but where is Hitlers bunker? We asked and no one wanted to tell us! One place I wanted to see but couldn't. Have to say I would probably recommend most of the places you have already mentioned! Why don't you try a forum on trip advisor? Have a lovely time!

Thanks for popping in anyway!
Hitler's bunker is v difficult to find but is in a sort of estate off of Wilhelmstrasse, in a carpark. You have to walk through some little gardens to blocks of flats to find it. All that there is to see is a sign - which is as it probably should be. They certainly don't advertise it and the only way we managed to find it was by looking at a modern map alongside a historical plan of where key Third Reich buildings were.

Did you go to the East Side Gallery? Is it a bit of a trek to get to? Also want to go to the wall museum on Bernauer Strasse.

Makemineacabsauv Thu 14-Apr-16 00:01:25

Ah will bear that in mind for the next time. We didn't go to the east side gallery but found the wall museum interesting.

Thanks - wall museum definitely on the list.

It's such an amazing city - my bucket list is growing longer every day!

traceyinrosso70 Sat 23-Apr-16 17:27:58

If you are in the KuDam area you must try Luardi's Italian restaurant !! Amazing !! Reasonable prices, excellent food, great atmosphere ! OP can I ask why you didn't like DDR museum as I wanted to go there this time when I'm in Berlin

traceyinrosso70 Sat 23-Apr-16 17:29:54

Also, can I ask about the river trip - can you remember roughly how much it was ? Is there commentary ?

The DDR museum was really small, and insanely crowded. I hated it.

The boat trip had commentary in English. Can't remember how much it was, but we thought it was good value.

traceyinrosso70 Sat 23-Apr-16 17:34:16

Thank you !

Thanks for the Italian rec. We haven't been in the KuDam area yet - is it somewhere we should go?

Is it just a shopping area?

LittleRedTealight Sat 23-Apr-16 17:37:57

Repke Spaetzlerei is an amazing Swabian restaurant near Savignyplatz station, if you're out near Charlottenburg. The Maultaschen and Kaiserschmarrn are to die for. grin

Thanks, Tealight. I'm veggie though!

tethersend Sat 23-Apr-16 17:43:30

You should go and eat pizza here after a wander around museum island.

If you're there on a Sunday, there's a fab flea market in Boxhagenerplatz in Friedrichshain, then have a lazy brunch and a mooch around the record shops.

I would stay in Friedrichshain actually, it's great- although might be a bit gentrified since I last went a few years ago.

tethersend Sat 23-Apr-16 17:46:44

Ku'dam is worth a visit, even just for KaDeWe. Go to the top floor and eat lunch at the potato bar, delicious! Then swing by C&A.

tethersend Sat 23-Apr-16 17:47:26

Am v v envy

C&A?!

That pizza place looks good. We've booked our hotel - staying near-ish to Topography of Terror/Potsdamer Platz.

Sorry, Teths.

I think it is my spiritual home.

tethersend Sat 23-Apr-16 18:00:11

Actually, you've strengthened my resolve to go back grin. Am getting married in October, so hopefully will have enough 'gifts' cash to book a honeymoon (well, a few days. With the kids grin) there.

That is so exciting! I doubt dp and I will ever bother getting married now, but if it meant returning to Berlin again (again!), I might consider it.

I'd love to rent an apartment there and stay for several weeks one summer. Maybe in a couple of years!

What are you going to wear, more importantly? grin

dottygamekeeper Sat 23-Apr-16 18:12:49

We did a cycle tour, that took us to Hitler's bunker and also to a brilliant cafe by the canal in the Tiergarten for lunch, plus all the other sights.

We did dinner at the Reichstag as a special treat on our last night (you need to book in advance) - great to watch the sun go down from the restaurant at the top and the best bit was going up the dome at about 10.30 pm after we had finished dinner - it had shut to general public by then, so was empty, and brilliant view over the city at night.

Day trip out on train to Potsdam - lovely little town and great to walk round the various palaces/grounds and see the bridge of spies. We did the tourist bus but hopped on and off and walked quite a lot too, taking a picnic. The train trip out is good, you go past lots of little 'summer houses' outside Berlin itself.

We were a little disappointed in the East Side gallery.

Stasi museum (not the prison, we didn't have time to get there) was excellent - out in the East side, we spent half a day there, I could have spent longer. Very sinister feeling to the whole area around there, as it used to be Stasi housing, and fascinating exhibits, including how the government used various surveillance methods. Some of the rooms have been kept exactly as they were.

Day trip out to Sachsenhausen concentration camp - again take the train, then walk, takes the whole day and is emotionally exhausting - don't miss the medical bit near the end (even though it is very harrowing). Just the walk out to the camp from the station is very sobering and makes you really think how these awful places were so near to 'normal' villages and towns and yet everyone was ignoring what was going on inside them. This camp was one of the prototypes and continued to be used after WW2 for other prisoners.

Visit a market (we were staying near Winterfeldstrasse in the west side and there is a good market near there on a Saturday and at least one weekday).

There is a lovely street full of Bohemian cafes and shops and lovely houses which is good for a mooch and some people watching - I will try and find a map and work out where it is

Climb up the dome of the cathdral and do the whole circuit of the roof. Also see the crypt where all the emperors and their children are buried.

We wanted to go up the Television tower and ran out of time - it is supposed to be good to have breakfast up there. We also never made it to the Tempelhofer park which is on the old airport site, from where they did the Berlin Airlift.

Visit KaDeWe (Berlin equivalent of Harrods) for the Food Hall - you can try loads of the food and get given free fabric shopping bags to take your purchases away. Good place for lunch or early supper - just go and sit at all the different counters where you can buy food to eat there.

I always try to read novels set in the city that I am visiting whilst I am there: I can recommend:

Alone in Berlin
The Innocent
Book of Clouds

all set at slightly different time periods within the last 70 years or so.

NapoleonsNose Sat 23-Apr-16 18:17:47

Super-jealous! I went to Berlin before the wall came down old and would love to go again. Both DC have been there with the school and have come back saying how much they loved the city. Maybe next summer.

We did the latest public dome tour last summer - was excellent. Loved seeing the sun go down over the city.

I've crossed East Side Gallery off the list, having read a fair few negative comments on it lately.

My problem is that we're only there for four days, and my list gets bigger every time I read about the city (ie pretty much constantly!).

I didn't like 'Alone in Berlin' much tbh, but have been lapping up loads of non-fiction.

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