Berlin in the Spotlight

The German capital has recently became a really popular traveling destination. Reason enough for HTD to check for you, why Berlin should also be your next destination!

Top Sights: I’ve been to Berlin a couple of times, but I never tire of the usual sightseeing and hotspots. That includes the Brandenburger Tor, the Museumsinsel and the Eastside-Gallery – the longest preserved part of the Berlin Wall, located in Friedrichshain. I think the city is one of the most historical cities in the world, as so much has happened to it throughout history and you’ll find prove around every corner, be it Checkpoint-Charlie or the impressive Holocaust Memorial.

What I love about Berlin’s main sights is that the city feels so international, especially near the Brandenburger Tor, and if you walk down the street „Unter den Linden“, you will find lots of foreign embassies and big news agencies. Berlin has a very dynamic vibe to it. The different parts of the city all have their own flair: In Berlin-Mitte you have that modern, „big city“ flair, while Kreuzberg has more of a shabby-chic to it. I especially like the district „Prenzlauer Berg“, which is a very artsy, hip place to be. You’ll find that almost all districts in Berlin are influenced by gentrification – a fact not all citizens are happy about, as they fear Berlin will lose part of it’s uniqueness. Places that formerly were no-go’s are now becoming hip places to be.

Cuisine: To be honest, I don’t have a lot to say in that regard, as I almost exclusively fed myself on only two things, while I was there: Burgers and Currywurst. Forget Chicago, forget New York: If you live in Europe, you don’t have to cross an ocean to taste a really amazing burger. Berlin is famous for it, only I never knew! There are little Burger places everywhere, but especially in Kreuzberg. I can’t even recommend one in particular, they are all so good. As for sausages, I spent hours in the freezing cold to get a Currywurst at Berlin’s oldest and most famous take-away: Konnopke! It was well worth it. In general, the food in Berlin is inexpensive, compared to other European capitals.

Culture: Obviously, there are a lot of museums in Berlin. The Museumsinsel is probably the most known, but there are also very interesting, smaller museums in Berlin, like the DDR Museum, which I totally recommend. It’s like going back in time and experiencing what it was like to live behind the wall – not only as depressing as it sounds, but really fascinating!

Shopping: In Berlin-Mitte, you have quite a few department stores, some of them on the very expensive side. Nevertheless, it’s nice to just walk around in them and enjoy the interior design and architecture, if nothing else.. Speaking of which, the KaDeWe, Kaufhaus des Westens, is also worth a visit. First opened in 1907, it’s Berlin’s most famous department store and the largest one in Europe. It also has the second largest food isle in the world. In DDR times, it stood for the wealth and plenitude of Germany’s West, compared to the restricted life in East Berlin. Personally, I enjoyed strolling through the different districts like Prenzlauer Berg and Kreuzberg, because there you’ll find more personalized, beautiful boutiques for all tastes.

For the soul: Did you know that Berlin is the greenest city in Europe? More than 30% of it is covered in parks, lakes, forests or waterways. Especially in the summer time, you’ll find many people relaxing in cafés or beach-bars near the river Spree. The Tierpark is not only a zoo, but a huge park, where you can ride bikes or just escape from the hassles of city-life. (Kerstin)

Ladies and gentlemen, ready for such fantastic ‘all in one’ city trip..?

Photo credits: Kerstin 

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