berlin City Breaks
East meets west, old meets new; this bubbling metropolis has a past to intrigue and a future to excite, grand buildings, momentous history, legendary nightlife and a compulsive café society, whilst the extensive parks and lakes will surprise and delight many.
Undisputed emblems of Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate, the grandiose avenue of Unter den Linden and the nearby Reichstag parliament building which symbolise the momentous past and modern resurgence of the city. Of course a visit to remnants of the infamous wall and Checkpoint Charlie border post is a must, as is a pause at the poignant Gedaechtniskirche memorial church left as ruined by Allied bombing. Yet modern Berlin is essentially forward looking and the dynamic developments in the Mitte (downtown) quarter where once Communism held sway are redolent of this outlook. So spend some time here exploring the sleek modern facades and trendy interiors of shops, cafes, museums and cathedrals alike and for a fabulous view across the city take a ride up the Alexanderplatz TV tower at its heart. On a fine day you must also take a stroll in the Tiergarten, reputed to be Europe’s largest city park and a delightful green lung at the heart of the bustling capital.
Gendarmenmarkt, perhaps the city’s finest square, hosts the Opera and both “French” and “German” Churches and nearby Museumsinsel with its five fine museums is unmissable. The Pergamon’s antiquities, the New Museum’s bust of Nefertiti and the superb Byzantine art on display at the Bode top the bill. The Kulturforum, set up in the west to balance the “loss” of Museuminsel behind the Wall, is a must for art lovers whilst the classical and contemporary music venues and theatres abound.
Eat and Drink
Try local Berliner specialities like simple yet tasty Currywurst , (sausage with curry sauce) & Buletten (meatballs) or be tempted by one of the many fine restaurants offering cuisine from around the globe. Sunday Brunch and Kaffee und Kuchen (coffee and cakes) are true Berlin institutions and cafes vie for the most impressive cake displays, whilst Berliner Weisse is a refreshing wheat beer traditionally mixed with fruit syrup.
In the classics of former West Berlin along Kurfurstendamm and at Ka De We department store with its legendary food hall. Trend setting boutiques abound in Mulackstrasse and head to the stylish store lined mecca of re-envigorated Friedrichstraße for a wide range of glamorous shops and designer outlets rivaling the likes of Oxford Street and the Champs Elysées.
The Topography of Terror is a thought provoking museum built on the site of the former Gestapo HQ, whilst the aura of world history even extends to the Olympic Stadium where Jesse Owens’ win famously infuriated Hitler. Don’t miss the glorious royal palace of Charlottenburg and to get you there why not take a relaxing ride on the main east west S-Bahn train from Ostbahnhof with its fascinating and ever changing vista as it winds above the city centre.
Just 24km to the west is Berlin’s smaller “twin” city – Potsdam – where Frederick the Great’s magnificent palaces and glorious parks and gardens continue to wow visitors to this day. Oft described as the German Versailles, UNESCO listed sights abound and you’ll marvel at the celebrated Roccoco Sans Souci Palace, the 16th century Cecilienhof where Churchill, Stalin and Truman determined the map of post war Europe, and much more!
A temperate climate with warm summers and cold winters with moderate rainfall throughout the year.
Any time of year, but November to March get the best deals. Gets very busy and expensive around certain major events.
Goes Well With
Dresden and/or Prague, both easily reached by rail.
Excited and energized by a vibrant and dynamic city…
In Our Opinion
Any city that has been torn apart and pieced back together again is going to have a tale or two to tell… Berlin is no exception. Ruth Nicolosi, Cities Direct
I would recommend Cities Direct to friends & family. In fact, I already have...Berlin
Combining with a stay in Dresden and/or Prague