What to do on short trips to Berlin
Berlin is an ultra-modern city yet still holds onto the very history that made it so important throughout time.
A weekend in Berlin can be filled with sightseeing or with just ambling around enjoying the unique atmosphere this vibrant city offers. If you plan on sightseeing, you can get a WelcomeCard, which acts a transport pass for your 2 or 3 days in the city and gives discounts on 200 museums and attractions.
Here is just a handful of sights and places to see to whet your appetite to visit Berlin:
The Brandenburg Gate
One of Berlin’s many famous attractions; the Brandenburg Gate is located at the junction of Unter den Linden. At one stage, this was an actual city gate and is now the only city gate left in Berlin. The gate also represented the entrance and exit to and from East Berlin during the Cold War.
Close to the Brandenburg Gates is the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. The 2,711 concrete slabs are meant to represent how an ordered system can lose touch with humanity. It’s a haunting experience and worth walking through. If you want to learn more about the Holocaust and its victims, there’s an extensive underground information centre.
The Berlin Wall
For decades, this wall divided Berlin into East and West. While the wall itself no longer stands, sections are still on display in many parts of the city. The largest section of the wall still intact is known as the East Side Gallery and it’s a concrete canvas adorned with murals.
If you want to learn more about the Berlin Wall, you can visit the Wall Museum at Checkpoint Charlie. It’s a fascinating museum that shows the impact the wall had on the city and the lengths people went to to cross it.
The Berlin Story Bunker
The Berlin Story Bunker tour takes you into a 6,500 square-meter WWII bunker, recreating Hilter’s Führerbunker. This guided tour is a haunting experience that takes you through the events that led up to Hitler’s suicide in 1945, ending WWII.
Television (TV) Tower
Piercing the sky within Alexanderplatz, Television Tower looks like a metallic olive on a cocktail stick. Similar to the CN Tower in Toronto or the Space Needle in Seattle, it is essentially a viewing platform and allows for amazing views of Berlin. It’s a great point of reference whenever if you get lost.
The Sony Centre
This impressively modern plaza is found in Potsdamerplatz. A bustling area full of restaurants and a cinema, it’s crowning glory (and I mean that literally!) is the massive iron ‘umbrella’ perched atop the roofs of the buildings within the plaza. At night, the ‘umbrella’ is illuminated a beautiful blue and pink.
A UNESCO World Heritage site and home to five museums, Museum Island is a must-see for those with an interest in art or historical artefacts. Entry to most museums in Berlin is free and those on Museum Island also have free entry with the exception of the Old National Gallery.
The above is just the tip of the iceberg of what there is to see in Berlin. With so much to do and see, Berlin almost has a personality uniquely its own and there is something for everyone of all ages.