Berlin is a gorgeous city, deep in culture and history wherever you walk. It´s shocking how many times it was almost burnt to the ground and re-built from the ashes, turned into what is it nowadays: probably one of the most influential cities in EU.
It won´t be a foodie paradise just like France or Italy, but the best beer in the world? Just for some coins? I can live with that!
Similar to Holland, most people adopted English as their second language… you shall not worry at all if you speak no German!
In my honest opinion, Berlin has the most efficient Public Transport network from Europe, the train, metro, monorail will take you anywhere you want, fast and cheap, even to Berlin´s surroundings.
Oh! Get ready for an important tip! It´s mandatory to stamp your ticket once you get in the public transport; remember to check if the machines are inside your transportation or at its stop. For eg: Metro stamping machines are located in the station but the tram ones are on every wagon.
Agents are everywhere and they have no mercy for dreamy tourists, avoid getting a beautiful welcome card a.k.a fine.
Berlin has a lot to see and enjoy, particularly during this trip I have learnt a lot about its History, details that I wouldn´t even think about.
Despite its excellent and varied museums, this city talks by itself.
What to do?
AlenxanderPlatz and Tv tower
This square nicknamed Alex by the locals, is located the center of Berlin, surrounded by massive buildings, malls and food stands… of course, train station, metro station, tram stops, etc.
There´s a great daily fair where you can find clothes, souvenirs, novelties, food stands with the world-famous wursts ! During the night it´s time for music and shows!
The TV tower is one of Berlin symbols, on its top there´s a viewpoint and a 360 restaurant, spinning every 30min letting you have a complete glance of Berlin. In order to avoid long queues I suggest you get your ticket online, prices depend on the timetable: Early morning tickets and noon ones are the most expensive.
MUST! This beautiful cathedral was built between 1895 and 1905, it´s a stop that´s well worth it… just walk around it and appreciate it´s perfect architecture. Of course, there´s a 7 euros entry fee, but gives you access to its dome as well.
MUST! Following Berliner Dom, next to Spree River, there´s the magnificent Museum Island, a unique area in downtown Berlin which shelters some the world´s most famous museums.
I can say without hesitation that the island´s rock-star is the Nefertiti Bust, this iconic and beautiful work of art is 3.300 years old! Currently exhibited in Neues Museum; also the home of the mysterious Gold Hat, you can´t miss this!
Pergamon Museum exhibits massive buildings from different places of the world which were re-built on its inside, for e.g.: The monumental Pergamon Altar and Ishtar Gate among others.
Every one of the 5 museums has a 12euros entrance fee. However, Berlin Pass holders may enter for free or access to a 18 euros ticket that allows you to go to all of them. Do some research!
Tiergarten, Brandenburg gate and the Reichstag
You finally got to Berlin most famous postcard! The Brandenburg Gate is the most iconic place in the city, this arch witnessed some of the most critical historical events… It was the city´s main entry to the Royal Prussian Palace.
This entry will get you to the astonishing linden trees boulevard and the Tiergarten on the left, Berlin´s lung, a huge park to walk around, escape from the city noises for a while and enjoy a picnic!
Around its surroundings you will find many touristic spots just like Postdamer Platz, the German Chancellery, Berlin Victory Column and the Reichstaf (German Parliament).
East side gallery and Oberbaum bridge
MUST! This is a 1.3KM gallery painted on the longest section of the Wall that is still standing nowadays; artists from all over the world came here to express their feelings, in tribute to freedom and the end of WW2.
By the end of the gallery, there´s the Oberbaum Bridge on the back… another city icon keeping the both sides of the city as one.
Walking into history of Berlin
The first stop should be The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Holocaust Memorial) by the American architect Peter Eisenman, located in the heart of the city standing as a massive concrete square; solid blocks of all the sizes rising in the irregular ground representing the horror lived during those years.
Not far away you will run into The Topography of Terror Museum, for free! It teaches us some history, milestones and facts from the Nazi era. Moreover, there´s a walkway with a standing section of The Wall with pictures, framed newspapers and magazines. Don´t miss it!
Another historical spot to visit it Checkpoint Charlie, the most famous border-crossing, scenario of many critical events!
Some meters away the Jewish Museum rises with a 8-euros entrance free… If you are short on time, you won´t miss anything crucial there, many other places like the ones listed in this article are better worth of your precious days in Berlin!
Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp
The concentration camp is located in Oranienburg, Berlin suburbs, built by the Nazis around 1936 to imprison jews, gypsies, homosexuals, party-opponents… You know the story!
I may be a place to attend with caution, strong and deep feelings arise! But of course is part of the WW2 history and a way to understand its horrors.
There is no entrance fee, free! The easiest way to get there is taking the RE5/RB12/SBahn S1 trains up to Oranienburg Station and after that catch any of the buses like the 804. Look at the billboards, you won´t get lost! I promise!
You can check the opening hours in the web site Memorial and Museum Sachsenhausen.