THINGS TO DO IN BERLIN

The first destination for most tourists to Germany is Berlin.  There is a lot to see and do while there.  One thing not to miss is the Berlin Wall. The Wall was mostly demolished between June and November 1990 although a restored stretch remains along the southern border of Wedding and Mitte.  Checkpoint Charlie, the famous east-west border control during the Cold War and now a tourist centre, and has comprehensive display boards telling the Wall’s story. For more of a visual history, take a walk along the Wall by the Spree, where it runs between the Freidrichshain-Kreuzberg districts.

Museum Island – Museum Island is home to five of Berlin’s most important museums: two not to be missed are the Neues Museum, home to the Egyptian bust of Nefertiti and the spectacular Pergamonmuseum –  one of the world’s major archaeological museums. Within it you walk through a series of astounding structures, from a partial recreation of the Pergamon Altar (170–159 BC) to the two-storey Roman Gate of Miletus (29 metres wide and almost 17 metres high) and the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, dating from the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar (605–563 BC). The Islamic Art collection is also held there. A day ticket is available permitting entrance to each museum.

Grunewald is Berlin’s largest forested area, to the south-west of Charlottenburg and is easily accessible via S-bahn. Pack a picnic and head down here for a day of tranquility away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Venture through the woods by foot, bicycle or on horseback Teufelsberg, a man-made hill rising above the woodland, constructed by the Allies after World War II from the city’s rubble, is a great outside attraction. Although there is no general access to the hill, you can get to the top of the hill by going on a guided tour.

There are plenty of history museums in Berlin and a good reference to find them online can be found at: http://www.timeout.com/berlin.  There are also more than 20,000 castles dotted across Germany, with rich tradition and stories, each ready to be discovered.

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