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Berlin, Germany: A quick tour

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Berlin, Germany’s capital, is an attraction for history lovers thanks to its many museums, memorials and sights. Berlin’s history is fascinating, starting with the Prussian Empire, rising nationalism under Hitler’s rule and then the Second World War. Then came the Cold War which saw the Berlin Wall fall in 1989.

Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate is easily found. Follow the 1.5km-long Unten den Linden boulevard, which is a popular avenue in central Berlin, to reach the famous structure.

Brandenburg Gate

This magnificent, classical archway is the city’s most prominent sight. It was built by King Frederick William II between 1788-1791. It became a symbol for reunification after the fall of Berlin Wall. As I passed through the arch, I was able to see the historic German Parliament Building with its glistening dome of glass, which is just a stone’s throw from me.

Holocaust Memorial

The guide led me through the maze-like Holocaust Memorial. I felt a chill run down my spine, as the 2,711 gray columns towered over me, casting long shadows each step. The guide continued on, but we stopped at an ordinary parking lot, which was located above Hitler’s bunker. This is where he is believed to have died.

Holocaust memorial

Berlin Wall

The Berlin Wall, a short wall of iron bars and barbed wire, with huge gaps and missing cement chunks, was a notorious barrier that blocked life for nearly three decades. It divided East and West Germany, with opposing political ideologies, and created a barrier. It turned out that the Wall was capable of much more than this, shaping the course and history of our world.

Brandenburg GATe

Half-day tour of Berlin – P17.65 inl map

This half-day guided walking tour takes you through Berlin’s Mitte district. You will see landmarks from Berlin’s Imperial, Nazi and Cold War eras. Stroll along Berlin Wall and Brandenburg Gate. Check out the Reichstag, the Holocaust Memorial, and listen to stories about Cold War Berlin at Checkpoint Charlie. Included is a city map and guidebook.


Berlin’s culinary scene

Berlin has many Michelin-starred restaurants like Restaurant Facil or Tim Raue. But it also has great street food.

“Curry at the Wall” is a place that serves both traditional and vegan currywurst. This Berliner staple is made of sliced up German sausage or wurst and then topped with ketchup and sprinkled with curry powder. It was warm, tangy and served with fries.

Mustafa’s Gemuse kebap, a famous kiosk that serves hearty meats and falafel kebabs along with grilled vegetables, is open until the early hours of the morning. One night, I emerged from Mehringdamm metro station.

The Doner Kebab, which is believed to have been created in Berlin by one of the first Turkish immigrants in the country in the 1970s, uses seasoned meats that are shaved from vertical rotisserie. It’s similar to the Arab Shawarma or the Greek Gyro.

Although the origin story is still a mystery, it is undisputed that the beer has been wildly popular in Berlin and throughout the country. It is a beloved cult.

Take an Ethnic Eats Tour starting at PS76.77

This walking tour will show you the best of East Berlin. It includes a mixture of traditional German dishes and ethnic food. You’ll pass hip galleries, communist-designed boulevards and kebab shops. There will also be boutique bakeries, German sausage sellers, and kebab shops. All food samples and bottled water are included in the guide. Explore East Berlin’s art galleries, Soviet-era boulevards, and street murals.

Multiculturalism in Berlin

Germany, and Berlin in particular, are home to the largest Turkish community outside of Turkey. There are many other nationalities. The vibe, graffiti-covered buildings and pavement cafes that serve traditional water pipes, as well as thrift shops and trendy boutiques, is what attracted me to Berlin.

These areas are home of some of the most exciting projects in the city such as the Markthalle Neun, a successful indoor food hall that serves global street food under one roof.

I spent hours wandering the streets of the vibrant city, checking out the weekly markets along the Spree, and admiring the many scenic bridges. My personal favorite was the Oberbaum Bridge, a stunning two-towered structure from the 19th century.

I could see the 368-meter tall Berlin TV Tower from here. Further still, the Ku’damm shopping promenade and luxury mall KaDeWe are visible.

Berlin’s unique museum landscape

It measures 1.3km and is, in addition to being the longest continuous section at Berlin Wall, also the longest open air gallery with over 100 works of art. This graffiti was taken from a 1979 photograph.

The Museum Island in Berlin, Unesco World Heritage Site, is home to five museums of international standing spread over an extensive area. The Museum Island houses some amazing artifacts that are unique to its location.

It was incredible to see the Market Gate of Miletus, which is 17 metres high, in the Pergamon Museum. Also, the 3000-year-old bust of Nefertiti, in the Neues Museum was amazing.

Later, I crossed the bridge that connected Monbijoupark to the northern tip of the island. It was located across from the Bode Museum at the banks of Spree. It was a popular spot for locals, but it was a peaceful place to take in the stunning view, see boats go by, and just breathe. For those few minutes, I felt like a Berliner.

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