City Travel Guide: Berlin

Berlin stands out among European cities as it is the only one to have ever (quite literally) been divided in half with a very unique culture on each side.  Berlin for many represents one of the most politically important cities of the last century, firstly thanks to World Wars 1 and 2 and secondly to the Cold War and the infamous Berlin wall that formed the frontier divide between the USSR and the USA.

Since the fall of the wall in 1989 Berlin has become one of the most culturally rich cities in Western Europe with its curious mix of history and modernisation and a unique culture. With that in mind we’ve decided to put together a list of the highlights of Berlin for you. So grab yourself single trip travel insurance, a cheap flight and a cheap hotel or hostel and get going.

Highlights of Berlin

Berlin is steeped in history and on top of the historical agenda has to be the site of the Berlin wall. Die Mauer is the half a mile of the Berlin wall that now remains standing after it was destroyed almost completely in 1989. Part of it now forms an art gallery but it is still impressive to see where the huge 100 mile divide once ran.

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Next up has to be the Reichstag which burnt down in 1933 and was not re-built until the 1990’s after the re-unification of Germany. With its impressive dome and towering screens this is an absolute highlight of any trip to Berlin and well worth a few hours visit — especially as it’s free.

Near the Reichstag is the Brandenburger Tor which is a towering gate; topped with statues. Originally commissioned as a symbol of peace with Prussia the gate leads out onto the entrance to the city’s most famous street the Unter den Linden. The Unter den Lindenn stretches from the Tor all the way to the opera house, cathedral (the Dom) and guardhouse. Lined with beautiful trees a walk down this street offers you the chance to see some of Berlin’s finest architecture. After the Tor comes the Reichstag but further down we have the Humboldt University and the opera house which are exquisitely beautiful. The cathedral is truly superb and one of a few in Berlin that are beautifully preserved.

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With this thoroughfare done you’re going to want to visit the Gendarmenmarkt which is the city’s prettiest square. It features two spectacular cathedrals — the German cathedral and the French Cathedral — both of which were built in the 18th century. You can take a trip up to the dome itself of the French cathedral which offers some stunning views out over the square and the surrounding city.

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For true Berlin opulence though you have to visit the Schloss Charlottenburg which is one of the most decadent palaces in Europe. It displays the grandeur of the Prussian royalty like no other and has some of the best parkland in the city. The treasures, paintings and tapestries the palace contains make it easily worth a full days visit.

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Berlin also has a whole cacophony of museums and there are some to suit all tastes. Whilst many people would choose the Jewish museum, which we won’t deny is excellent; the highlight has to be the Pergamon museum for its incredible collection of classical sculptures and cultural objects which easily rivals the British museum’s own.

Finally whilst there is a myriad of places, buildings and activities we haven’t even begun to cover we’re going to end with some of the easiest highlights to experience — the food and drink. Food in Berlin is amazing with some of the best greasy food anywhere in the world — try some deep fried meat balls from a street vendor trust us. When it comes to drink you’re going to need to visit a beer hall or twelve just to get the feel for the truly unique pub culture Germany has to offer.

 

About the author
Mike is a travel writer for sites such as Columbus Direct, covering European destinations, budget travel and tips on how to find the right travel insurance for your holiday.





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