Five Top Places To Visit In Berlin

My name is Vicky and I blog over at Being Tillys Mummy, you can also find us on FacebookYouTube, Instagram and Twitter. When I was a child I grew up in West Germany for part of my childhood, so I knew first hand of the great divide between East and West. But I had never got round to going to Berin until last year when I took my 6-year-old on a trip to Europe. We took a train from Prague and arrived at Berlin Hauptbahnoff, a fantastic glass structure. And we stayed in a little guest house, just outside of the center.  We enjoyed Berlin and wanted to share our top 5 things to do.

The Berlin Wall

You cannot go to Berlin and not visit the Berlin wall, although most of it came down in the late 1980’s, there is still a memorial, where part of it still stands. It is surreal seeing the wall and trying to understand what it was like for the East and West Berliners to be separated and live completely different lives. The memorial can be found in Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer, Bernauer Straße 111,
13355 Berlin 
and there is an open air memorial for everyone to visit that has stories of the war, right up to the building of the Berlin Wall. Reading stories of the Holocaust is heart breaking and even though we learn about it from school, it was surreal standing in the city that it happened and knowing how far the city has come these days.

Berlin Wall

The Olympic Stadium

This was built for the 1936 summer Olympics and has made a major part in the sports area of Berlin and also with the entertainment and pop concerts that happen in the Berlin today. The stadium is beautiful and has lasted well when you think it is nearly 100 years old. You can book an online tour in English or German here. I personally didn’t do the tour because we were on a bus tour and didn’t have enough time. But we did do climb to the top of the Glockenturm bell tower by paying a separate entrance fee and you get a great view of the stadium. This stadium played a big part with Hitler using it for his Rallies, but now you’re more likely to find Ed Sheeren or Helene Fischer using the stadium for their pop concerts.

olympic-stadiumCheck Point Charlie

This border crossing is probably the most famous of the three allied forces border crossings between East and West, we never hear about Check Point Alpha or Beta, do we? Although nowadays it is more of an attraction and they charge you to have a picture taken at Check Point Charlie with some actors dressed in an American outfit. This kind of cheapened the experience for me. There is also a small outdoor exhibition that shows pictures of how Check Point Charlie looked during the separation and it is full of stories of people desperate to escape. As a child, I never understood, why a person couldn’t simply drive through the border crossing. I found out when I was 43 years old! The were concrete bollards on the road and it would have been impossible to cross. Check Point Charlie is an important Cold War memorial to visit as it shows us the desperation of some of the people wanting to cross.

Check Point CharlieThe Reichstag

The Reichstag bears silent witness to the turbulent history of Berlin and is one of the city’s most significant historical buildings. It is the current home to the German government and each year you will see 1000’s of people booking a visit to it. The Reichstag was severely damaged in 1933 by a fire and it was even more damaged in WW2. After the war, the German government relocated to Bonn and that became the new capital of West Germany. After Reunification of Berlin, the Reichstag again became a prominent part of Berlin and played host to the Reunification Ceremony. There is a beautiful green garden out the front of the Reichstag that is a perfect place to meet friends or enjoy a picnic, having lunch with such a magnificent building in front of you is lovely.

reichstag-buildingThe Brandenburg Gate

This historical monument was built in the late 1700’s and has been a centerpiece of Berlin ever since. It played a big part in the separation of Berlin in the cold war and in 1988 Ronald Reagan shouted with in ear shot of East Berlin to tear the wall down. This helped to trigger the reunification of Berlin. Now The Brandenburg Gate stands for peace and tranquility with in the city center and is visited by millions of people every year. The Brandenburg Gate border crossing was  officially reopened when, the West German chancellor, Mr. Helmut Kohl, walked through it and was greeted by The East German Prime minister Hans Modrow, We took a visit to it and the Brandenburg gate and we were enthralled by the beautiful building and how well it had survived such harsh treatment through the history of Berlin Especially with Berlin being bombed in WW2. You can find the Brandenburg Gate at Pariser Platz 1, 10117 Berlin.

brandenburg-gateYou will find all of these place easy to get to if you walk (except for the Olympic Stadium). We used hop on/ hop off bus company to get about as we found the public transport quite expensive.  The hop on/hop off bus usually drops you right at the visitor attraction or place of interest. You will find loads of stalls selling food as you venture through Berlin and it is a great option for people on a budget.

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