Berlin offers the keen traveller so much. A city break in this magnificent city will fulfil your every travel desire. It caters for everyone, as it is a city with a culture that is diverse and varied. Whether you love food, dance, art, museums or history, Berlin really does have it all. Explore the tempestuous past of this city if that is your thing. You can take things easy in the café's or immerse yourself in the culture of this beautiful city.
Anyone who heads to Berlin has to visit the Reichstag. Built by Sir Norman Foster, the impressive glass dome will capture your imagination. The interior is lined with mirrors that capture the light and giving you the chance to experience stunning views down into the Bundestag. There are also striking views over the city. A tour will enable you to find out all there is to know about this imposing building. This is a real insight into the workings of the German Government, the history, and the architecture.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews
This is a slightly more harrowing and haunting thing to do but it is an absolute must. This controversial memorial consists of 2,711 concrete slabs arranged in a grid. They are designed in a way that makes visitors feel disorientated and confused. It pays tribute to the horrid past of Berlin. The personal stories are poignant and will pull at your heart strings but this is part of the history of the city.
Museum Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is certainly worth a visit. It is home to five museums, all of which will capture your imagination. Exploring this area of the city will require around half a day but it is worth it. You will come across treasures from the Ancient Near East. Also, there are Egyptian and prehistoric artefacts to marvel at while the sculptures will certainly set your mind wandering.
This is the oldest zoo in Germany and is home to some stunning animals. There are Pandas, Polar Bears and hundreds of birds flying free at the treetop canopy trail. An Antarctic-style Penguin World gives you an insight into their bizarre world. Narrated feedings make it possible for you to get up close and personal with the likes of elephants and hippos.
While the River Spree wins the awards for the most famous waterway in Berlin, the Landwehr Canal comes close. Constructed in the 19th Century, it passes through many areas of the city. Over seven miles, you will see the café lined embankments, the ShellHaus Building and the Bauhaus Archiv. This is a leisurely way of seeing some of this magnificent city while sitting back and feeling relaxed.
The Iron Curtain separated West and East Germany. Those who want to cross to East Berlin had to do so through the main entry point called Checkpoint Charlie. You will find fake border guards and exhibitions that describe fascinating stories of escapees. The Mauer Museum can prove busy at times but it is worth a visit.
The Brandenburg Gate
This is considered to be the most famous historic landmark in Berlin. It once symbolised a divided nation but now it stands for unity and peace. Commissioned by King Frederick Wilhelm II in 1788 the design inspiration was taken from the Propylaea in Athens’ Acropolis. It stands at an impressive 26 metres tall it is a stone’s throw away from the Reichstag building. Playing its part in the Cold War the monument was a physical and symbolic position and was often the location of demonstrations. In recent years it has played a part in US President Ronald Reagan’s calls for Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev to bring the wall down.
This striking landmark simply cannot be missed thanks to its Zinc panelling. It was designed by architect Daniel Libeskind and is home to a number of historical artefacts and collections. Everything you see inside this marvellous building is designed to explain the struggle of Jewish Germans. This includes the Middle Ages right up to the present day. There is a huge array of artwork and religious objects as well as preserved and recovered photographs. It contains a vast library while the museum galleries consist of sections that are dedicated to anti-semitism, Middle East Conflicts and the History and Culture of Jerusalem.
The Berlin-Dahlem Botanical Garden
This was once known as the kitchen and herb garden of the Royal Palace. The Berlin-Dahlem Botanical garden was first built in 1679 following the orders of the Grand Elector. It sprawls across an impressive 126 acres and is one of the biggest in the world. Here you will find a vast selection of plants, 20,000 to be precise. This covers the flora of Europe but also tropical and subtropical environments. All of this can be found in the Great Tropical House. Marine and marsh plants can be found in the large pond while there is a garden of medicinal plants. The Electoral Garden is worth a visit as it has been created around 17th-century plants. It houses a garden restaurant and the Botanical museum along with the herbarium with more than two million plants.
Map of Berlin
History and Culture of Berlin
Berlin was founded in the early 12th Century. During the 14th century, the Prince of Germany decided to make Berlin the Capital where it began to grow. As the 1700's and 1800's arrive, Berlin was known as the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia in Germany. However, it soon became the capital of Germany before entering the war years. During the Second World War, Berlin was heavily attacked. It was almost destroyed during bloody battles and heavy bombing. This tough period did not set Berlin back as it rebuilt and turned itself into the stunning city you see today.
Events In Berlin
The Berlin Festival of Lights is one of the largest and most renowned light festivals in the world. Artist use lights to tell stories and transmit messages to the crowds by projecting light shows onto buildings, famous landmarks and squares all across the city. The event brings in, on average, hundreds of thousands of additional tourist to the city to enjoy the spectacle. Usually held at the start of October, what a perfect way to start the Autumn months.
Berlin International Dance Festival
Whether you are a lover of dance or not, this is a festival that should not be missed. You can see every type of dance you can think of. In late August, for 15 days, some of the biggest names in dance come together. They put on a display of spectacular performance while you get the chance to see the global dance trends. This is an event that will leave you amazed and in awe.
Berlin International Beer Festival
If you are a beer lover then this is the festival for you. If you are not a beer drinker then it is still a festival that you can embrace. Every August, German people and people from around the world come together to embrace beer. It offers over 2,000 brews from 60 countries giving you variety and the chance to take your taste buds on the trip of a lifetime.
This is not just about drinking beer. The atmosphere and energy around the event are inspiring at the very least. Therefore, this is an event that you should get excited about.
Carnival of Cultures
This street festival has taken place in Berlin for 22 years. Every year, it brings colour and an atmosphere that swallows you up. There is always a lot going on with music, stages, and acts from around the globe. There is an amazing vibe that comes with the carnival while the food stalls and arts and crafts give you plenty to try and buy. However, the street parade will leave you in awe. As 5,000 participants from 80 countries take over the streets, the city really is awash with colour.
It seems as though every large city has a marathon but the Berlin marathon is impressive in every way. Places are snapped up quickly but even if you are not participating, it is well worth a watch. It covers 42kms of the city and many famous athletes take part. The event builds up over a few days prior to the race, but pick the right spot on the day and enjoy this prestigious event.
It seems as though cities such as Berlin come alive during Christmas. The cold weather, the stalls and the smell of Christmas spices fill the air at the Christmas Garden Berlin. This takes inspiration from Christmas in Kew in England, giving visitors the chance to immerse themselves in the spirit of Christmas. You can walk through the Botanical Garden while the million light spots and colourful illumination prepare you for this magical time of year.
There are warming fireplaces dotted around where you can stop and explore the culinary treats on offer. For the adventurous type, there is a huge ice rink where you can work up an appetite.
Pictures of Berlin
Hotels In Berlin
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