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07-28-2014, 01:53 AM   #1
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Visiting Berlin next week, what to do/see?

The last time I visited Berlin was just after opening the wall. Most of the wall was still there but the gates were open. I guess things may have changed since then a bit. Next week I'm visiting the city for a short holiday trip. Any suggestions what to do or see there? Photographywise or else. I have checked the event calendars but they don't seem show any major event next week. But on the other hand, in a city as big and busy as Berlin, I bet there are things happening allover all the time.

07-28-2014, 09:16 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Raffwal Quote
The last time I visited Berlin was just after opening the wall.
Would you happen to have any photos? I would have loved to be there November 9, 1989 to take photos but I wasn't born at the time.
07-28-2014, 10:46 PM   #3
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Sorry, no. What I do have however, is a small piece of the wall that I removed with my own hands (after somebody had hammered it).
07-28-2014, 11:09 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Raffwal Quote
Sorry, no. What I do have however, is a small piece of the wall that I removed with my own hands (after somebody had hammered it).
That's awesome! Was this around 1990?

07-28-2014, 11:22 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Berlin is an interesting city. I've been there twice, and there's still a lot to see, once you accommodate the fact that something like 95% of the buildings in it were destroyed by the end of WW2 and, while some important ones have been rebuilt, much of what we see today is a potted history of post-WW2 architecture, both Western and Soviet era. If you look at the historical photos of the Potsdamer Platz, you get an idea of what was lost as a result of the Nazi-era madness, but the new buildings are interesting in their own right (there is one rebuilt café there that's a relic of the old, and its coffee and cakes are worth sampling, as well as the ambience).

The Reichstag is an interesting building, but it's advisable to book tickets to get into the building, in advance. You can book online. The recent Norman Foster dome is probably worth a visit by itself. Charlottenburg has been rebuilt really well, after being nearly obliterated in the war, and a must if you're a history buff. Add to that the good public transport system, reasonably-priced accommodation near the city centre and the fact that most Berliners I've come across in my visits speak English better than most English people I know, and you have the makings of a good holiday there.

If you want some gloomy but fascinating history, you can take the Topography of Terror tour and stand on the carpark that's built over the old Fuhrer Bunker. If you take the metro, in the Eastern stations you can see the red granite walls there, which used to clad the Reich chancellery building (it was never hit by the alleged "pinpoint precision" bombing of the Allies).

Oh, and I should add that the Unter den Linden will be much changed (as in expensive and upmarket) since your last visit, but of course, the Brandenburg Gate is (and should be) on every visitor's list.

Last edited by RobA_Oz; 07-29-2014 at 10:35 PM.
07-29-2014, 12:08 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ASheffield Quote
to take photos but I wasn't born at the time
Nothing like rubbing it in to us older folk.
07-29-2014, 10:29 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ASheffield Quote
That's awesome! Was this around 1990?
Yes, probably summer 1990.
07-29-2014, 05:13 PM   #8
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Wasn't the wall falling down overshadowed by the first (gulf)war?

I barely remember the fall.

But I sure remember the war.

07-31-2014, 04:48 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by condor27596 Quote
Wasn't the wall falling down overshadowed by the first (gulf)war?

I barely remember the fall.

But I sure remember the war.
I wasn't alive at the time but I would imagine that'd be the case here in America.

Also, hi from Raleigh, the big city.
08-03-2014, 08:27 PM - 1 Like   #10
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Take the s-bahn out to Potsdam and see Schloss Sanssouci, it's worth the effort.

Schlösser & Gärten > Schlösser & Gärten im Überblick > Objekt

Phil.

---------- Post added 08-03-14 at 08:34 PM ----------



QuoteOriginally posted by ASheffield Quote
Would you happen to have any photos? I would have loved to be there November 9, 1989 to take photos but I wasn't born at the time.
I took these in 1976:







Phil.

Last edited by gofour3; 08-03-2014 at 08:35 PM.
08-04-2014, 10:10 AM   #11
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Oh my goodness. I lived in Berlin for two months, and I loved it. It's one of my favorite cities. I mean, it has all of the spectacular museums and buildings and major tourist attractions, but my favorite part of Berlin was that you could read the history of the city so clearly, if you knew what to look for. So, I would take long walks around different parts of the city, and look at the different architecture from the grand palaces and monuments of the 18th century to all of the new growth in the Industrial Revolution, to areas of newer construction where that all must have been destroyed in WWII, and remnants of the Berlin Wall and Soviet architecture, and all the gleaming new office buildings. And, on these walks, sometimes I would run across a school that was built during the 1910's and was still in use, or a marker showing where a Jewish synagogue used to be, or a quiet cemetery with row upon row of graves with identical headstones, all for 20-30 year olds, all dating to WWII. Really a remarkable place.

I won't run through all the major landmarks because I think any guide book will hit on them, but feel free to ask me about this or that. But, here are some of my favorite and more off-the-beaten path things:

When I lived in Berlin, I was working in Dahlem, and I love it for its leafy greenness and rich scientific history. It's the home of the Freie Universität Berlin, several Max Planck Institutes, and Harnack House, a guest house and conference center which hosted pretty much everyone who was anyone in science ca. 1929-1945. There's also the Ethnological Museum, the Museum for Asian Art, and the Berlin-Dahlem, all of which I enjoyed (and that's not even all the museums there!).

I love the Käthe Kollwitz museum-- it's probably my favorite museum in all of Berlin, which is saying a lot. She was a German artist who lived during the first half of the 20th century, and depicted the suffering of people in poverty and war. I find her work deeply moving.

Also, on the weekends, Berlin has a ton of really great flea markets.

But, first and foremost, don't just run through the city trying to check off the major tourist attractions on your list. Take some time and wander through the neighborhoods and explore the area.

Oh, yeah, and since I work on Classical/Near Eastern archaeology, I would be remiss not to recommend the Pergamon Altar and Ishtar Gate at the Pergamon Museum. The Humboldt Museum also has a fantastic Brachiosaurus skeleton, and the best-preserved and most well-known specimen of Archaeopteryx on display (or, at least it did when I was there).
09-01-2014, 07:47 AM   #12
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Go see Checkpoint Charlie (lots of tourist stuff here), the Brandenburger Tor and Reichstag and Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (these three are relatively nearby), Fernsehturm Berlin (needle tower), the wall (lots of interesting graffiti and memorials).. there are a lot of museums, but google them before going in. I was in the DDR museum and it was not very good, quite crowded and expensive.
There are some castles near the city (or in, like Charlottenburg Palace), you might find a trip there worthwhile. There is also a Zoo in the city.
Feel free to try the local specialty - Doner But no, its best to avoid the fast food other than German sausages (Bratwurst, Currywurst, you should try some of these if you haven't before). And try some German beers (Paulaner, Franziskaner). Avoid restaurants where the waiters are pushy and too welcoming. I ate with a group and the waiter put a big tip on the bill, much more than 20%. We refused to pay for that, because his service was not good at all and then he started saying how this its typical for our nationalities (and we were an international group). But this is just usual big city, tourist trap stuff.
From my experience, Berlin is quite hectic with a lot of things happening everywhere. Since its a huge city, it has a dark side, too. Just don't strut around the bad part of town with a big camera bag in the middle of the night.
Hope you have good weather when you visit

Last edited by Na Horuk; 09-01-2014 at 07:58 AM.
09-01-2014, 08:04 AM   #13
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lots of good stuff mentioned by everyone already. i can only offer that if you see some place that interests you on my flickr stream (https://www.flickr.com/photos/dmoch/sets/72157624072068523/), i can tell you where i took the picture if you want. anyway, enjoy berlin

ps you could check out the abandoned US radar station on Teufelsberg

Last edited by Alcazar; 09-01-2014 at 08:05 AM. Reason: wrong link
09-01-2014, 11:30 PM   #14
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Thanks for the suggestions, but the trip was already nearly a month ago.
09-06-2014, 07:08 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Raffwal Quote
Thanks for the suggestions, but the trip was already nearly a month ago.
Well, then it's time for payback. Post some pictures from the trip!
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