5 tips for Berlin

Berlin Cathedral
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Berlin is the capital and the biggest city of Germany as well as one of its 16 constituent states. With a population of around 3.7 million, Berlin is the second most populous city and the seventh most populated urban area in the European Union.

Berlin is a city of culture, politics, media and science. Its economy is centered on high-techfirms and the service sector, covering a varied spectrum of creative industries, research centers, media organizations and convention sites.

Modern Berlin is home to internationally famous universities, orchestras, museums, entertainment venues and is host to major athletic events. Its metropolitan environment has made it a sought-after site for international film productions.

Tip 1: Brandenburg Gate

The Brandenburg Gate is one of Berlin’s most recognized historical sites. Located at the Pariser Platz in Berlin Mitte, which is considered one of the most beautiful squares in the capital. Around Pariser Platz were built posh city villas, embassies and the noble hotel Adlon. The Brandenburg Gate has stood through over 200 years of Berlin history. Once a terrifying reminder of political separation, the Brandenburg Gate is now a symbol of Germany’s strength and unification after Soviet domination.

Brandenburg Gate Berlin
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With its extensive history, the Brandenburg Gate is more than simply a tourist attraction. The gate remains as a reminder that despite a violent history, Berlin is today a symbol of unification and peace.

Tip 2: East Side Gallery

The longest remaining fragment of the Berlin Wall, lying between Ostbahnhof and Oberbaumbrücke, is known globally as the East Side Gallery. After the Wall collapsed, 118 artists from 21 nations recreated 1.3 kilometers of the old barrier into the longest open-air exhibition in the world. The East Side Gallery stands both as a sign of jubilation over the end of Germany’s separation and as a historical reminder of the inhumanity of the GDR border system. Today it is one of Berlin’s most famous tourist attractions.

East Side Gallery in Berlin
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The most popular artwork is “My God, Help Me Survive This Deadly Love” by Dmitry Vladimirovich Vrubel. It shows Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker sharing a “brotherly kiss” – the painting reproduces a photo from 1979.

Tip 3: Museum Island

The world-famous Museum Island in Berlin stands on the Spree River, quite close to the core of the city. It is one of the most recognized museum complexes on the planet.

The enclave, recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, has five famous institutions that showcase valuable archaeological and art collections.

Museum Island Berlin
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During the Second World War some of the island’s structures were damaged horribly, and required years to rebuild, such the Neues Museum, reopened in 2009.

This globally unique synthesis of the arts offers an immeasurable wealth of art and cultural treasures. In the Pergamon Museum, the collection of antiquities includes the reconstructed Zeus Altar from Pergamon in Asia Minor. The section of the Museum of the Ancient Near East houses the imposing Ishtar Gate with Processional Way and parts of the Crown Hall façade from Babylon from the time of Nebuchadnezzar II. Another highlight of Museum Island is a visit to the New Museum, which houses the famous bust of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti. The main wife of King Akhenaten captivates with her extremely realistic, portrait-like style, which contrasts charmingly with her mysterious aura.

Tip 4: Berlin TV Tower

The Television Tower, unveiled to the public in 1969, was the pride of the German Democratic Republic for years. The tower was meant to symbolize the strength of communism and as a symbol of East Berlin.

Built in the midst of Alexanderplatz, the most important plaza in East Berlin at the time, measured 368 meters high. This means the entire tower up to the top of the antenna. The viewing platform for visitors is at a height of 203 meters.

Berlin TV Tower
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From here you have a 360-degree view over the whole of Berlin and Brandenburg. On a good day, you can see up to 70 kilometers away.

At the summit of the tower is a steel framed sphere coated in glass that interestingly creates a cross when the light falls on it, particularly during the morning. This incident was nicknamed by the West Berliners “Pope‘s Revenge”, undercutting the Communist propaganda.

Tip 5: Gendarmenmarkt

In Berlin Mitte, what was originally called the “Friedrichstadt”- next to the station Bahnhof Friedrichstraße- you’ll discover a stunning plaza, the Gendarmenmarkt. It is home to Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s Schauspielhaus, now used as a concert hall, and Carl von Gontard’s German and French Cathedrals. Gendarmenmarkt is considered the “most beautiful square in Berlin”.

Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin
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Throughout the year, there are markets and cafés to visit, street music and free performances going on. You could simply want to roam around and snap some fantastic shots. Gendarmenmarkt is called after the stables of the “Corps des gens d’armes”, a cavalry unit of Frederick William I, which were stationed on the location. His son, Frederick II, had the stables removed later.