Berlin

Population 3.4 million

Berlin is four times the size of Paris, and even though the city consolidated its 23 districts into 12 in 2001, you’re still left with 23 self contained areas (Kieze) in which Berliners often find everything they need. Public transportation is far-reaching and effective though, and you’ll grow to love it as you shuttle between the four areas with the most sights: Charlottenburg, Tiergarten, Mitte and Kreuzberg. Mitte (MI) Since reunification, Mitte has rightly snatched back the title of most-visited district from Charlottenburg. On and off the boulevard Unter den Linden, whose trees Marlene Dietrich once extolled in song, are baroque and classical monuments to Prussian culture. The proximity of state libraries, the State Opera, Humboldt University, the old Arsenal (now the German History Museum), Gendarmenmarkt, Museum Island, Berliner Dom, and the abandoned East German Parliament building make for more talk, less walk tours. The architecturally humbler area of Mitte is the Scheunenviertel, whose layout looks as if 17th-century planners got interrupted during a game of pick-up sticks. It’s on these streets that the casually chic saunter from courtyard gallery to sidewalk café, pointing out directions to tourists seeking out the latest hotspots or traces of the Jewish community that lived here from the late 17th-century until the mass deportations of the Nazi era. Charlottenburg (CB) If downtown to you means wide, traffic-filled streets, crowds of shoppers, five-star hotels and tall buildings, then Charlottenburg comes closest to fitting the bill in Berlin. Much of what was here was bombed in the war and built anew in the 1950s. The nexus of activity is the knot where Kufürstendamm, Joachimsthaler Str, Bahnhof Zoo and Tauentzienstr. come together. Follow what becomes an increasingly silken ribbon down Kurfürstendamm (Ku’damm) and the setting becomes more genteel where you can’t see the buildings for the trees. Nearby but isolated from the hoi polloi is Schloss Charlottenburg, the residence of King Friedrich I. Tiergarten (TG) Tiergarten is both a district and the name of the 255 hectare park that began as the Great Elector’s hunting grounds in the 1600s and became increasingly more civilised with landscaping in the 1800s. Traffic passes through it, doing a dosey-doe around the Siegessäule (Victory Column). Slicing though the park’s length is Str. des 17. Juni, which leads to the Brandenburg Gate at the eastern end. Just south of it are the museums of the Kulturforum and Potsdamer Pl. Kreuzberg (KB) Thanks to a large Turkish community and more hippies, anarchists and alternative folks than you can shake a didgeridoo at, Kreuzberg feels neither East nor West. It was the black sheep of West Berlin, left alone in its faroff room to play loud music and draw on the walls (literally, it was parked in a dead-end, cornered by The Wall). In 1987 social and economic frustration exploded into violence and vandalism during the traditionally political demonstrations of May Day. Every year since, the city prepares for a long night of stone-throwing and burning automobiles. May 1st is essentially Kreuzberg’s way of reliving its 15 minutes of fame. The rest of the days are marked by backgammon at the men’s clubs, café-sitting on the Landwehrkanal, and ambling down the popular drags Oranienstr. and By the end of WW2 about 70% of the city Bergmannstr. Two major museums, the House at was devastated. Berlin wall was Checkpoint Charlie and the Jewish Museum, are planted in the staid parts of the district. constructed in the night of August th 13 ,1961 during 4 hours only.Its fall in Prenzlauer Berg (PB) Mitte, ‘Prenzl’ Berg’ is an 1989 meant new age, not only for On a low hill northeast of in the former East Berlin old working-class district Germany, but for the rest of the world, too. that came through the war relatively unscathed. Berlin is in elite company of cities with its 3 The best places to soak up the atmosphere are opera houses, 153 museums and 420 Kollwitzpl, Helmholzpl. and along Kastanienallee (all near U-Bahn Eberswalderstr.). Prenzlauer galleries. Museum island is a cultural gem, Berg’s few attractions include the Vitra Design under protection of UNESCO, and you'll museum and a 19th-century brewery complex that find the bust of egyptian queen Nefertiti in is now the Kulturbrauerei culture centre. A good time to visit is Saturday when the ecomarket is Egyptian Museum Berlin collection, open on Kollwitzplatz, or Sunday when everyone (presently in the Neues Museum). Take a sits outside being cool and eating breakfast all walk on Prenzlauer Berg, quarter that lives day. day & night full of pubs, restaurants, Further afield galleries, shops . Pay visit to Districts mostly known for their restaurant and Kulturbrauerai, center of cltural scene on nightlife scene are Schöneberg (SB), the centre of gay Berlin, and Friedrichshain (FH), filled with 25.000 m² (cinema, theatre, galleries, creatively tattered and tattooed students. Berlin clubs). More than a million of fans of has green spots galore, and after Tiergarten the alternative clture and those seeking the most popular getaways are the Grunewald forest freedom of expression visit Berlin in one and lake Wannsee, in the southwest district of Zehlendorf (ZD). year.

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Public transport
Berlin‘s integrated network of S-Bahn (Schnellbahn), UBahn (Untererdische Bahn, underground), bus, and Straßenbahn (tram, in eastern Berlin only) is run by the BVG and the system runs very smoothly, even though they confuse everyone by naming buses and trams the Metro network. If you remember the number (or colour) and end station of the U or S line you want to use, you‘ll soon be navigating the labyrinth-like stations like a local. Signs display the destination of the train, and at U-Bahn stations, display when the next train will arrive. The same tickets serve all BVG services. Vending machines at stations and on trams have instructions in English and accept coins (and on platforms, banknotes too). At larger stations there are S-Bahn information and sales counters. On buses, the driver can sell you a ticket. With a €2.10 Einzelticket (single ticket) you can travel one-way, with transfers, within the AB zone. Buy a €1.30 Kurzstrecke (short distance) ticket if you want to travel up to three S/U-Bahn stops, or up to six stops by bus or tram. If you anticipate a lot of travelling, consider either the Tageskarte (day card, valid until 03:00 the next morning; €6.10) or seven-day pass (€26.20). Welcome Card, which grants one adult and three children three days of travel and the City Tour Card is good for unlimited travel in the AB zone for 48 hours (€15.50) or 72 hours (€20.50), plus you get various discounts. Before boarding the S- or U-Bahn, always validate your ticket by punching it in the machine near the end of the platform. On buses and trams, the machines are on board. Public transport uses the honour system, and there are regular checks by plainclothes inspectors. If you are caught without a ticket (or with an unvalidated one) you‘ll be fined €40 on the spot. You can go play the night owl, as the nightime transport options are excellent and have smooth connections. All U-Bahn trains run every 15 minutes on weekend nights; on weekdays buses marked N travel their routes every half hour. Also, all tram and bus lines starting with M run every half hour at night. The City - Berlin is one of Europe’s most fascinating cities. Its range of culture and sights is astonishing. If anything makes the city unique, it’s the fact that it defies classification. The chic luxury of the Kürfurstendamm stands in contrast with Kreuzberg’s bohemian quarter and the futuristic Potzdamer Platz in glass and steel. In Berlin you can drink cocktails at the top of a skyscraper or red wine in a jazz cellar. It’s a city with something for everyone. Since the fall of the wall in 1989, Berlin has become a melting pot of innovation and futuristic thinking. Architects have been given the space to think new and large. Artists from all over the world come to take in the inspiring atmosphere. Forget the Berlin only serving sausages and sauerkraut. Today you can find the best sushi next to world class Italian cuisine. At the same time as the town breathes life and movement, Berliners have always found time for a ”Milchkaffee und ein Stück Kuchen” – coffee with milk and a slice of cake. Berlin feels welcoming in a way few other cities do.

Do & See Berlin is a huge, fascinating city, but lacks a real Old Town-type area. Attractions are fairly far-flung, so plan your itinerary and get acquainted with the excellent public transporation. If you’re here for a limited amount of time, we recommend you join one of the walking tours to get your bearings and see the main sights. Classic sights include the Brandenburger Tor and the nearby Reichstag with its glass dome, the Berliner Dom (the main cathedral), the museum-churches and concert house on Gendarmenmarkt and the Neue Synagoge. Fans of modern architecture shouldn’t miss the Potsdamer Platz area and the Jewish Museum. Finally, you can’t leave Berlin without a peek at one of the remnants of the Wall and the ruin of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. Main sights
Berliner Dom G-3, Am Lustgarten, MI, Mhackescher Markt, www.berlinerdom.de. This Protestant church dating from 1905 might not look as massive were the Stadtschloss still standing across Unter den Linden (the GDR regime demolished the city castle in 1951). The royal Hohenzollern dynasty worshipped here within the four incarnations of the church. Their places of rest in the crypt are indeed a yawn. The climb up to the dome’s rim is forgiving, with broad staircases, landings, and side exhibit rooms. QOpen 09:00 - 19:00, Sun 12:00 - 19:00. Admission €5/3. Brandenburger Tor F-3, Pariser Pl, MI, MUnter den Linden. Berlin’s landmark building is one of 14 gates completed in 1792 by Carl Langhans. Nike, the goddess of victory, drives the chariot atop the gate, and German armies used to begin their parades here. The proud gate opens onto Pariser Platz, and it may as well have been built by the communists, so linked in people’s minds is it to the double-wall system that essentially bricked it in. Fascists spoiled the gate as well by staging their torch-lit parades through it. Berliners celebrated the Wall’s fall in 1989 by standing on it in front of the gate. Gedächtniskirche (Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church) D-4, Breitscheidpl, CB, MKurfürstendamm, , www.gedaechtniskirche-berlin.de. The major attraction in what was West Berlin is this stark reminder of World War II’s destruction. Kept as an open wound, the severe acknowledgement of German culpability is declared on a plaque near the entrance of the old bell tower: ‘The tower of the old church serves as a remembrance of God’s judgment, which befell our people during the war years.’ Berliners hold little sacred and call the destroyed tower the hollow tooth.

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The erection of the once enormous church dedicated to the German emperor had been a feat of national pride: even synagogues contributed to its funding, and it was first opened in 1895. Inside is a gilded mosaic of the Hohenzollern dynasty. The modern chapel and tower next door were completed in 1961, and are worth entering on sunny days for the amazing blue stained glass windows. Q Old tower open 10:00 - 16:00, closed Sun. Memorial church open 09:00 - 19:00. Gendarmenmarkt F-3, Charlottenstr, MI, MFranzösische Str.. Twin cathedrals-turned-museums (dating to the early 1700s) and the Konzerthaus (from 1818, by Carl Langhans) make up this classic square in Berlin. It’s so classic Berlin that with the adding of a lion statue here, a fountain there, the film production team of Jackie Chan’s Around the World in Eighty Days turned it into 19th-century London in 2003. Luxury hotels use their position bordering it as their drawing card. The square’s name stems from the mid-1700s when military regiments were stationed here. The Deutscher Dom (tel. 22 73 04 31) is home to a museum on the development of the German Parliamentary system, not dull at all if you’re a politics buff. You’ll have to read German or French to enjoy the Französischer Dom’s (tel. 229 17 60) exhibit on the contributions of French Huguenots to Berlin’s development, beginning in the late 1600s. Q Deutscher Dom open 10:00-18:00, closed Monday. Neue Synagoge F-3, Oranienburger Str. 28-30, Though not worth the extra admission charge or the wait to stand inside it, the gilded cupola of the New Synagogue is one of the most eye-catching sights in Mitte. Exhibits strikingly balance the restoration of the Alhambra-inspired synagogue from 1866, with preserved evidence of its destruction, first on Kristallnacht on November 9, 1938, and then through Allied bombs. Documents and photographs remember the thriving Jewish community of the neighbourhood, many of whom worshipped here in what was the largest synagogue in Germany. A subtle but effective sound installation adds to the experience. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00, Fri 10:00 14:00. Closed Sat. Admission €4.60/3. Nikolaiviertel G-3, Between Rathausstr. and Mühlendamm, MI, MAlexanderpl., www.stadtmuseum.de. Berlin’s tiny medieval heart is the Nikolai Quarter, whose only truly medievallooking building today is the Nikolaikirche (the twin-spired, stone church). The church dates to 1230 and was rebuilt along with the entire quarter in the mid-80s to mark Berlin’s 750th birthday in the area in which the fishermen’s settlement first began. No one was trying to outdo Walt Disney here, and many of the buildings have the simple, concrete facades that the Communist government could afford. The small shops in the area mostly deal in toys and souvenirs and tourists gladly fill the sunny tables at the restaurants that face the Spree River. On Rathausstraße, there’s a row of restaurants that flaunt old-fashioned Berlin cuisine and atmosphere. Other rebuilt historic buildings in the area date to the 1700s, such as the Ephraim-Palais and Knoblauchhaus. Both have changing exhibits related to Berlin. Potsdamer Platz E/F-4,, MPotsdamer Pl.. Once the modern heart of a thriving metropolis, this urban centre was heavily damaged in the war, and suffered again when remaining buildings were pulled down to make way for the Wall’s death strip. After years of construction in the mid-90s, skyscrapers have added a cosmopolitan and glassy edge to the city. The literal Potsdamer Platz is an intersection, and the east side of it, known as Leipziger Platz, is slowly building up in height as well. Potsdamer Platz’s most popular public space and architectural attraction is The Sony Center, with its huge atrium and tent-like roof. It’s best to view at night for its impressive lighting. The neighbouring DaimlerChrysler complex holds architecture by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, and the Arkaden shopping mall, with rather humdrum shops, but the best gelato café in the city.
Discounts are a welcome relief, so if you are planning on seeing more than one museum, pick up one of these reduced rate cards. CityTourCard, www.citytourcard.com. The CityTourCard is good for unlimited travel in the AB zone or ABC zone (including Potsdam) for 48 hours (€15,50/17,50), 72 hours (€20,50/23) or 5 days (€28,90/33,90). It offers discounts of 20% or more at over 50 tourist attractions like sights, museums, tours, and theatres. Buy the card at the CityTourCard online shop, or at any BVG or S-Bahn ticket machine or counter; if you use a machine, collect the booklet free from any other salespoint. For free admission to all museumson the Museumsinsel(Alte Nationalgalerie, Altes Museum, Bodemuseum, or Pergamonmuseum), buy the CityTourCard Museumsinsel (€29,90; valid 72 hours, AB zone). Also includes the benefits of the standard CityTourCard. Get2riCard, tel. 438 09 80, www.get2card.de. A card that allows you to get two for the price of one, whether it’s the admission to a club, museum, cinema or to a show, nights at a hostel or hotel, or food and drinks at a wide range of bars and restaurants. Check out the possibilities online. The tourist version of the card is valid for seven days and costs €20. State Museum Card, www.museen-berlin.de. The Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (state museums) have several ticket options for their permanent collections. A single ticket ranges €4-8. You can buy a €19/9.50 Schaulust three-day ticket valid for all state museums (but remember all are closed on Mondays). There are groups of state museums in several neighbourhoods, and a Bereich-karte (area card, €6-12) grants admission to those near each another; a ticket for all the museums on the Museum Island costs €14/7. Admission is free for under-16s and for all visitors during the last four opening hours on Thursdays. Welcome Card, www.btm.de. The WelcomeCard is a combined transport and reduction card valid for zone AB or zone ABC (includes Potsdam and both airports) for 48 hours (€16,50/18,50), 72 hours (€22/25) or 5 days (€29,50/34,50). The card offers reduced admission to several museums, bike tours and rental, boat tours, etc. The Welcome Card is sold at tourist offices, S-Bahn offices, hotels and kiosks. Students/youths may get better reductions at museums using their student cards.

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Reichstag/Bundestag F-3, Platz der Republik 1, TG, MUnter den Linden The name together with its monumental size make most people associate Germany’s neoclassical parliamentary building with the Nazis, but Hitler and his party have little history here. After hosting parliamentary sessions since 1894, one month after Hitler was appointed chancellor in January 1933, it was set on fire by Dutch communist Marinus van der Lubbe. In the years during which it abutted the Wall as a conference centre, West Berliners played football on its lawn, while later artist Christo famously wrapped it in cloth. It did not serve as parliament again until a reunited German government returned to Berlin in 1999. Renovated by Sir Norman Foster, this building is perhaps the most public federal building in the world through its glass-dome tourist attraction. On the rooftop, photographs documenting the building’s history circle the rim above the parliament chamber. Two ramps spiral up the side of the dome, an engineering feat even more fascinating than the panoramic view from the top. Avoid long queues by arriving early or late, or by booking at the Dachgarten restaurant. QOpen 08:00 - 24:00. Last admission at 22:00. Admission free.

Museums
Because of its long period of separation, Berlin in effect has two cities’ worth of museums, and the quality is proportional to the quantity. The state museums, many clustered on Museumsinsel (Museum Island), at the Kulturforum next to Potsdamer Platz, and near Schloß Charlottenburg, include audio guides and have a combined ticket system (see the ticket options). The free Museum infoline (tel. 90 26 99 444) has all details about all Berlin museums.urist information Bauhaus Archiv D-4, Klingelhöferstr. 14, TG, MNollendorfplatz, Sick ofcenturies of decorative design, a group of young architects in Dessau under Walter Gropius started the Bauhaus movement, believing firmly that by bringing design (and foremostly the architecture and furnishing of homes) back to the basics would improve life. The group was joined by big names such as Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and was influenced by Piet Mondriaan and Marc Chagall. Bauhaus’ top years were in the late 1920s. Soon after, Nazi politics put an end to the liberties of the group, which was branded ‘culturally bolshevistic’ and it was forced to move to Berlin. Many members emigrated to the USA before the war broke out, and work was continued there. This museum holds a large room with examples of Bauhaus interiors, models of buildings and a collection of original furniture, including Marcel Breuer’s famous 1926 steel tube chair. Bauhaus’ influence on everyday design is immense – after a visit here, you’ll start noticing it everywhere. QOpen 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Tue. Admission Wed-Fri €6/3, Sat- Mon €7/4 (including audio guide in German, English, French, Italian or Spanish). Berlinische Galerie G-4, Alte Jakobstr. 124-128, KB, MHallesches Tor,. This museum for modern art, photography,architecture, and artist archives concentrates 120 years worth of creativity forged in Berlin. Artists represent the Secession, Expressionist, Dada, New Objectivity movements, and those representing divided Berlin. Giants of German art include Heinrich Zille, Otto Dix, George Grosz, Hannah Höch and Wolf Vostell. A much-needed addition to the museum scene. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Tue. Admission €6/3. Every 1st Monday of the month: €2. Bröhan Museum B-3, Schloßstr. 1a, CB, MSophie- Charlotte-Pl.www.broehan-museum.de. A stellar collection of art deco, art nouveau, and art and craft design awakens post-modern sensibilities, blunted by so much IKEA and minimalism, to craftsmanship, whimsy and indulgent beauty. In addition to the permanent collection (spanning 1889-1939) of porcelain, lamps, vases, and furnishings, are paintings, including those by Peter Behrens and Bruno Paul, as well as special exhibitions. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon. Admission €5/4. Deutsche Guggenheim F-3, Unter den Linden 13- 15, MI, MFranzösische Str. www.deutsche-guggenheim-berlin.de. Distancing itself as far as possible from the conservative financial image, Deutsche Bank in a unique joint venture with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, hosts world renowned contemporary artists in solo shows in this exhibition space designed by Richard Gluckman. Four annual art exhibitions span classic modernism to contemporary works. QOpen 10:00 - 20:00,Thu 10:00 22:00. Admission €4/3, free Mon. Free guided tours at 18:00. Deutsches Historisches Museum F-3, Unter den Linden 2, MI, MHackescher Markt, www.dhm.de. Who’d have thought to look for a Prussian war chest in this early 18th-century building sitting pretty-in-pink by the Spree? This former arsenal houses the German History Museum, with its dazzling new extension designed by architect I.M. Pei. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. Admission €5. Gemäldegalerie E-4, Matthäikirchpl. 8, TG,MPotsdamer Pl., www.museenberlin.de. Berlin’s largest art museum has 72 rooms full of works spanning the 13th to 18th centuries. German masters include Dürer, Cranach the Elder, and Holbein. The Italian works of Botticelli, Titian, Raphael and others are from the 13th to 16th century, those of the Dutch from the 15th and 16th centuries. The Rembrandt collection, one of the world’s largest, has 16 works. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00, Thu 10:00 - 22:00.Closed Mon. Admission €8/€4. Hamburger Bahnhof E-2, Invalidenstr. 50-51,TG, MLehrter Bahnhof, www.hamburgerbahnhof.de. I f trains still s topped in this conver ted station, now a modern ar t museum, i t surel y would have more visi tors. Bu t those curious about the expressi veness of a sculpture made of animal tallow (Joseph Beuys) or urban d wellers fi xated by bars of neon lightin g (Dan Flavin) should make the effor t to get h ere. Andy Warhol and Marcel Duchamp are the other familiar stars of this post-1960s collection. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00, Sat 11:00 - 20:00, Sun 11:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon. Admission €8/4.

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MuseumInsel museums
<<3-Day-Ticket Museums of Berlin

19,00 Euro, discounted admission 9,50 Euro (not including special exhibitions), Thursday: four hours before regular closing the visitors have free admission at all permanent exhibitions. Mo-closed,Tu/We/Fr/Sa/Su 10am-6pm,Th 10am10pm
Jewish Museum F-4, Lindenstr. 9-14, KB,MHallesches Tor, , www.jmberlin.de. The famous zinc-plated for tress designed by Daniel Libeskind contains a moving perspective on the many ways in which German life and Jewish history are in tricatel y interwoven. The in terior contains dark ‘voids’ for contemplation, but the exhibi ts cover much more than the Holocaust chapter of Jewish history in Germany. All texts are also in English.QOpen 10:00 - 20:00, Mon 10:00 22:00. Admission€5/2.50, changing exhibi tions €4/2; combined ticket €7/3.50. Kennedy Museum F-3, Pariser Platz 4a, MI, Munter den Linden, www.thekennedys.de. On 26 June 1963, US President John F. Kennedy visited Berlin. He peered over the Wall at Brandenburger Tor, and, impressed after looking totalitarianism in the eyes, scribbled some last-minute amendments to his famous speech. This note with the phonetically spelled words Ish bin ein Bearliener is now on display, together with the suitcase he held when he was shot in Texas a few months later, and hundreds of photos documenting the Kennedy family’s history. Qopen 10:00 - 18:00. Admission €7/3,50. Märkisches Museum (City Museum) G-3, Am Köllnischen Park 5, MMärkisches Museum ww.stadtmuseum.de. Berlin’s city museum is set in an impressive purpose-built complex emulating local architectural styles and donned with a brick tower. Inside, Berlin’s cultural history with exhibitions about diverse aspects of life in the city is displayed in 50 rooms. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00, Wed 12:00 20:00. Closed Mon. Admission €4/2, Wed free. Martin-Gropius-Bau F-4, Niederkirchnerstr. 7, KB, MPotsdamer Pl ww.gropiusbau.de. Dusty pink brick, gilded mosaics, stucco work run riot - this is the work of Great Uncle Gropius, not Walter ‘Bauhaus’ Gropius. Completed in 1881, the beauty once held an arts and crafts museum and nothing on the touristy block can hold a candle to it. Today the Martin-Gropius-Bau hosts excellent touring shows. QOpen 10:00 - 20:00. Closed Tue. Admission €7.50/6. Museum für Asiatische Kunst (Asian art museum) Lansstraße 8, Berlin- Dahlem, MDahlem-Dorf www.smb.museum. Alongside special exhibitions dealing with everything from Qing-dynasty painting to archi-tecture, this museum has an impressive permanent collection of Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Korean art and archaeology. Each tradition has its own gallery, and in the centre, a room dedicated to Buddhist art. Chinese and Japanese painting and calligraphy are of special interest, as well as Japanese woodcuts. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon. Admission €6/3. Museum für Film und Fernsehen E-4, Potsdamer Str. 2 (Sony Center), TG, MPotsdamer Pl. www.filmmuseum-berlin.de. Hooray for Hollywood, but remember that some of the personalities that gave it glamour and style came from Germany. Actors Marlene Dietrich and Peter Lorre, directors Billy Wilder and Josef von Sternberg came out of a country with a strong film-making tradition. Photo stills, footage, set designs and costumes provide glimpses of the familiar, and exhibits on Leni Riefenstahl’s shooting of Olympia (1936) and Nazi entertainment c.q. propaganda films will impress ‘seen-that’ film buffs. The museum ends with special effects and science fiction. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00, Thu 10:00 - 20:00. Closed Mon. Admission €6, audioguide free.

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Naturkundemuseum (Natural history museum) F-2, Invalidenstr. 43, www.naturkundemuseumberlin.de. All the wonders of nature under one roof; a grand collection illustrating the evolution of life as well as the diversity and beauty of nature. Due to renovations, the largest mounted dinosaur in the world and some of his friends are off-limits, but then there’s still the aardvarks, the early 20th-century dioramas, meteorites, the most famous fossil of Earth history (the ancient bird Archaeopteryx lithographica), giant shells and the gorilla Bobby from the primates hall. QOpen 09:30 - 17:00, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon. Admission €6/€3.50. Neue Nationalgalerie E-4, Potsdamer Str. 50, TG, MPotsdamer Pl., www.museenberlin.de. You’d think that the art world had gone to minimalist extremes when passing Mies van der Rohe’s empty glass box of a museum; the 20th century treasures are all underground. It was here that the wildly successful “MoMA in Berlin” exhibit was on view 24 hours during its last three days. Now that the guest exhibit is gone, the permanent collection greats: Otto Dix, Georg Grotz, Paul Klee, Wassily Kandinsky, Picasso and Leger, among others, can make themselves at home again. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00, Thu 10:00 - 22:00, Sat, Sun 11:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon. Admission €6/3. Photography museum (Helmut Newton Stiftung) C-4, Jebensstr. 2, CB, MZoologischer Garten, The late fashion photographer Helmut Newton fled Berlin with his Jewish family in the 1930s but his love for his hometown remained. Berlin has the honour of giving him his final resting place this year, as well as opening this new museum made up of 1,000 photographs he donated to the city before his death. Only 250 works will be on view at a time. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon. Admission €6. Sammlung Berggruen B-3, Schloßstr. 1, CB, MSophie- Charlotte-Pl.,www.museenberlin.de. Picasso fans should not miss this collection. The artist’s blue and red periods are well represented, as are portraits of his lovers. Providing variety are works by Matisse and Klee. After the audio guide’s voice gives the interpretation of a work, you sometimes hear the brittle with age, German accent of collector Heinz Berggruen himself, sharing an anecdote regarding the artists he knew personally. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon. Admission €8/€4. The cluster of majestic nineteenth century neoclassic buildings on the tip of the island in the Spree makes the trip worthwhile in itself, although the works inside are not to be missed. Whether you want to visit one or all, Museuminsel offers the avid or the temperate museum-goer a number of impressive collections of art, history and ethnology, covering many facets of ancient and oriental culture, as well as their cross-overs into modernity. One of the museums is closed for long-term renovations,but the Bodemuseum has been gathering interest since its reopening in October 2006. Admission to the museums is free during the last four hours on Thursday. Alte Nationalgalerie G-3, Bodestr. 1-3, MI, Mhackescher Markt, www.smb.museum. Cézanne, Rodin, Monet, Degas and Liebermann are some of the artists whose works hang around this museum of 19thcentury art. Head to the top floor for the German Romantics. The temple-like structure itself was built in 1876, and is surrounded by a beautifully battered collonade. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00, Thu 10:00 22:00. Closed Mon. Admission €8/4. Altes Museum G-3, Am Lustgarten, MI, Mhackescher Markt, www.smb.museum. This neoclassic building by Prussia’s star architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel was custom-made for the art collection of the royal Hohenzollerns of Berlin in 1830. Classical antiquities became the focus in 1904, and today the ground floor of the museum uses pottery and sculptures to take you on a wellpresented tour through ancient Greek history. Upstairs is the temporary home to the Egyptian Museum (same ticket). QOpen 10:00 - 18:00, Wed 10:00.22:00. Admission €8/4. Bode Museum G-3, Monbijoubrücke, MI, Mhackescher Markt, www.smb.museum. After a long restoration, the opulent Bode Museum has reopened, once again making available a variety of beautiful artifacts ranging from sculpture and European painting collections, many religious and/or morbid, to the Byzantine wing, which offers insight into the daily life of a disappeared culture (including a popular contemporary gambling machine). QOpen 10:00 - 18:00, Thu 10:00 - 22:00. Admission €8/4. Egyptian Museum G-3, Am Lustgarten, MI, Mhackescher Markt, www.smb.museum. Until the adjacent Neues Museum is finished in 2009, the excellent Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection are housed on the top floor of the Altes Museum building (ticket valid for both). The best and most spectacular Egyptian finds are displayed here, including the famous busts of Queen Nefertiti and King Echnaton. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00, Thu 10:00 - 22:00. Admission €8/4.

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Pergamon Museum G-3, Am Kupfergraben, MI, MHackescher Markt, www.smb. museum. The Pergamon has the best of Berlin’s classical antiquities: the Greek Pergamon Altar, the market gate of Miletus and the blue-tiled Ishtar Gate and Schloss Charlottenburg is a magnificent baroque castle built in processional way from Babylon. 1701 (subsequently rebuilt and extended several times). There is a The Pergamon Altar’s enormous beautiful garden and several museums in the vicinity. The largest frieze depicts the battle between the gods and the giants, with gals palace in Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg is a jewel of baroque like Athena, Aphrodite and architecture. Completed in 1699, the palace was commissioned by Artemis wiping out their Prussia’s first king Friedrich I as a summer house for his wife Sophie opponents like robed Charlie’s Charlotte. Initial plans consisted of only a single wing and central Angels. Near-East antiquities, cupola, but following architectural developments elsewhere in Europe with an emphasis on Assyria and (particularly Louis XIV’s Palace of Versailles), the palace was enlarged Iran, and Islamic art, including the great Mshatta palace facade by two large side wings enclosing a central courtyard and an exquisite round out the museum’s treasure 135-acre garden. chest. The audioguide has an One of Berlin’s favorite attractions, the palace offers the largest instructive 30-minute highlights collection of 18th century French paintings outside of France, tour. QOpen 10:00 18:00, Thu reflecting the Prussian royalty’s fascination with their creative 10:00 - 22:00. Admission €8/4. neighbors. Architecture fans can also examine work by Prussia’s most Schloss Charlottenburg Asignificant architects; Andreas Schlüter’s equestrian statue of Friedrich 3, Spandauer Damm 20- 24, Wilhelm I, a belvedere designed by Carl Gotthard Langhans, and Karl CB, MRichard-WagnerFriedrich Schinkel’s designs for the mausoleum of Berlin’s beloved Platz, Sophie-Charlotte-Pl. Queen Louise. www.museen-berlin.de. The Spend the afternoon wandering through the palace’s baroque interiors largest royal residence in Berlin and gamboling through the splendid greenery and you might even feel is Schloss Charlottenburg, a bit like royalty yourself. named for Prussia’s first queen. Though it began as a modest summer palace in 1695, today’s version, distinguished by its 505-meter length and central tower, took its final form in 1790. You can tour the luxurious and largely Rococo and Baroque apartments where an eye-glazing number of royal Friedrichs and Wilhelms resided. Also here is the largest collection of 18th century French painting outside France plus a beautiful Baroque garden landscape, mausoleum, and Belvedere teahouse with a porcelain exhibition. Arriving via bus N°109 or 210 will save you a 15-minute walk from any of the nearest S- and U-Bahn stations. Q Open Old Palace 09:00 - 17:00. New Wing 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon. Admission Old Palace €10, New Wing €6. Spectrum Science Centre F-4, Möckernstraße 26, KB (Technical Museum), MGleisdreieck ww.sdtb.de. Four floors of science within the Technikmuseum complex. Great for inquisitive children who can do 250 hands-on experiments with sound, light and air, answering questions like why the sky is blue, what happens if you stand between parallel mirrors, and how to play a laser guitar, and more. Q Open Tue-Fri 09:00-17:30, Sat, Sun 10:00-18:00, Mon closed. Admission (with Technical Museum) €4,50/2,50. Story of Berlin C-4, Kurfürstendamm 207-208, CB, MUhlandstr., tel. 88 72 01 00, www.story-ofberlin.de. For those whose eyes glaze over every time they step into a museum, the bells, whistles, films, and original artifacts of this multimedia museum are sure to engage your attention and leave you better informed about the city’s turbulent history. In the corridors covering the Nazi era, you walk over book bindings, hearing footsteps tread on broken glass.Lest you end on the positive note of Berlin’s reunification, you can take a guided tour of the functional nuclear fallout shelter beneath the complex, built to shelter 3000 people for 14 days - there were no plans for what to do after that period. Though pricey, this is probably the best museum to visit with children, though mind to leave the bunker before they play the recording of a WWII bombing-raid. QOpen 10:00 - 20:00. Admission €9.80/€8. Last admission and bunker tour at 18:00. Technical Museum (Deutsches Technikmuseum) F-4, Trebbiner Str. 9, MGleisdreieck, tel. 90 25 40, www.dtmb.de. Unmistakably recognisable from the U-Bahn by the Douglas C-47 plane suspended above the new aeronautics building, this is a huge complex set in and around an old freight station rail depot, with technical exhibitions, the Spectrum science centre with 250 hands-on experiments, and a park with a Dutch windmill and a brewery. QOpen 09:00 - 17:30, Sat, Sun 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Mon. Admission €4.50/2.50. Temporäre Kunsthalle Berlin G-2, Schlossfreiheit 1, MI, MAlexanderplatz, tel. 25 76 20 40, www.kunsthalle-berlin.com. The temporary blue-and-white hall on Berlin’s historical Schlossplatz square is Berlin’s foremost location for international exhibitions of contemporary art for the next two years. Apart from offering exhibition space, the cube can be used as a projection screen - both inside and out. Inside, there’s also the Fiedrichs restaurant and the König bookshop, selling art-related publications. QOpen 11:00 - 18:00, Sat 11:00 - 21:00. Admission €5/3.

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Memorials
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe F-3, Ebertstr, corner Behrenstr, MI, MUnter den Linden, www.holocaust-mahnmal.de. This bluntly named memorial avoids any vagueness surrounding the term Holocaust. Six million Jews are estimated to have been killed by the Nazis during the Holocaust and this site serves as Germany’s national memorial to those victims. The design by American architect Peter Eisenmann consists of 2,700 The 368m Fernsehturm sprouted upwards in the concrete pillars of varying height, creating an late ‘60s during a particularly turbulent period for undulating landscape that fills two city blocks. East / West relations. Walter Ulbricht, the leader of The memorial has an undergound information the Socialist Unity Party, gave the go-ahead for the centre. Q Memorial open 24 hours. Admission construction of the tower that had been conceived to free. Information Centre open Tue-Sun 10:00stand as a symbol of Communist ideals. However, 19:00 (Oct - March, last admission 18:15) and thanks to some shoddy engineering it failed to make Tue-Sun 10:00-20:00 (April - Sept, last admission the powerful political statement it was intended for. 19:15 After construction was completed, the tower’s Neue Wache F-3, Unter den Linden 4, creators were famously displeased to find that the MI,MFriedrichstr.. Germany’s national war sun’s reflection projected a cross shaped symbol memorial is housed within the former royal guard across its shiny stainless-steel dome. This house of the Prussians. The neoclassic building unpredicted and unwanted optical symbol stood in (1819) was the first commission the famed Karl strong opposition to the atheist ideals of the Friedrich Schinkel received in Berlin. The sole Communist government, immediately earning it the image inside is that of a woman cradling her son, title of ‘the Pope’s revenge’. though the son is an adult and has presumably lost his life on the battlefield. The sculpture is an These days the giant disco-ball-in-the-sky attracts enlargement of a pieta by Käthe Kollwitz, a Berlin over a millions visitors each year, not surprising artist who was the first woman to allowed really since you won’t find a better view of the city membership to the Prussian Academy of Art in from anywhere else. On a clear day visibility can 1919. The inscription in front of the sculpture reach 42km allowing you to see the Hauptstadt in its reads To the victims of war and tyranny. Above it entirety from atop of the fourth highest freestanding is an open skylight that was added in 1931, when structure in Europe. the building first became a war memorial.QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. The dome itself houses a revolving restaurant which takes 30 minutes to do a full circle, but if the vertigo fails to make you feel queesy, then the prices of the Viewpoints drinks probably will. Berlin’s most visited viewpoint is the Reichstag dome (see Main sights). Great views can be had from the casino on the top floor of the Park Inn hotel on Alexanderplatz.For Food with a view see the Restaurants chapter. Fernsehturm G-3, Panoramastr. 1a, MI, MAlexanderpl., www.berlinerfernsehturm.de. The skewered disco ball may well have been Socialist Germany’s most innovative design, as its form predated the light-throwing device of the ABBA era by about 10 years. The 368-metre television broadcast tower, completed in 1969 and 70m higher than the Eiffel tower, even has a restaurant with a rotating floor (phone ahead for a table). Whether one’s in the east or west, the tower’s round head peering over rooftops certainly brings a level of humour to the skyline. Photos circling the enclosed observation level point out the landmarks for you. QOpen 10:00 24:00. Admission €9.50/€4.50. Panorama-Punkt E-4, Neue Potsdamer Str. 1, TG, MPotsdamer Pl., www.panoramapunkt.de. Set your stopwatch: the elevator that rises 25 floors up Hans Kollhoff’s redbrick skyscraper is apparently Europe’s fastest. Button up and walk up one more level for the loftiest view of the modern architecture comprising Potsdamer Platz and everything beyond it. QOpen 11:00 - 20:00. Admission €3.50/€2.50. The Berliner Unterwelten Association allows you to experience Berlin´s history from an unusual perspective, through its underground installations dating back to the Cold War, WWII or earlier. Though predominantly in the spaces below Berlin´s Gesundbrunnen station,tours are also offered in several other complexes usually not accessible to the public. The various tours are held every day, except Tuesday and Wednesday, and most of the tours take place year round. With prior notification, tours can be arranged for groups at other times. Tours in English: Tour 1, Dark Worlds, a bunker from the Nazi era: year round Thu-Mon at 11:00, April to October daily at 11:00. EUR 9/90 min Tour 2, The Flak Tower Humboldthain, buried under rubble; Apr-Oct: Thu at 13:00. EUR 9/90 min Tour 3, Subways, bunkers and the Cold War; Sat-Mon year round at 13:00. . EUR 9/90 min Tickets (no reservations, just show up) and the meeting point are at the southern entrance hall of the Gesundbrunnen station (exit Humboldthain Park, Brunnenstraße). Brunnenstrasse 105

Zoo & Aquarium
Zoologischer Garten C-4, Hardenbergpl. 8 and Budapester Str. 34, CB, MZoologischer Garten, tel. 25 40 10, www.zoo-berlin.de. Visitor numbers to Berlin’s fantastic zoo have rocketed since the bir th of Knut the polar bear rocked the world - and in 2007, over 3 million people visi ted, up 20% from 2006. There’s good reason too, even i f you’ve had enough of cuddly white bears; wi th some 14,000 animals of nearly 1400 species, i t’s the most varied zoo in the world. The kids will have their faces glued to the glass for hours at the separate

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aquarium complex. Here, fish, reptiles and amphibians of all shapes, colours and sizes can be viewed at close quar ters in landscape basins and tanks. Highlights for most children are the blacktip reef sharks and the crocodiles, though the jelly fish, corals and the rare lizard-like tuatara also deserve attention. The kids will love you forever i f their visi t i f i t coincides wi th the dail y feeding times; polar bears at 10:30, penguins at 13:45, wolves and bears at 14:00, monkeys and pelicans at 15:30. At the aquarium, the sharks, rays and other large fish get fed ever y second Mon at 15:00, and the crocodiles have dinner on Mon and Thu at 13:30. QOpen 09:00 - 18:30. Admission €12/9 for zoo or aquarium, combined €18/14.

Cold War Berlin
The physical division of Berlin during 28 years, and the development of two completely separated cities on both sides of the Wall that ran between them, has led to huge differences that cannot be erased in a matter of a few years. Here‘s an overview of sights that give insight into life with the Wall. Alliiertenmuseum (Allied Museum) Clayallee 135, ZD, MOskar-Helena-Heim, tel. 818 19 90, www.alliiertenmuseum.de. The Allied Museum covers 50 years of West German-Allied (US, British, French) relations in the US Army movie house Outpost. The prize exhibit is the original sentry box from the Checkpoint Charlie border crossing. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. Closed Wed. Admission free. Between Oberbaumbrücke (Oberbaum Bridge) Berlin Wall Memorial F-2, Bernauer Str. 111, and the Ostbahnhof, along the former borderline that ended at the Spree and Mühlenstrasse, MNordbahnhof, www.berlinerstretches a unique picture palette that marks a mauerdokumentationszentrum.de. This excellent sign of overcoming inhumanity. After the Wall information centre covers the Wall’s history in film, came down in 1989, hundreds of artists from all slides, and English text. German speakers can listen over the world gathered and transformed the to the propaganda of the Studio at the Barbed Wire eastside of the Wall that had been untouchable broadcasts, which vans blasted via bullhorns to East up to now, with their paintings, giving the Wall a German border guards between 1961 and 1965. The new face in a new time. guards often drowned out the message from the West The part of The Wall (1.3 km) that is still standing by playing music. A graffiti-free portion of preserved between stations S-bahn Ostbahnhof and U-bahn Wall runs along Bernauer Straße; you can walk Warschauerstrasse. (See pictures above.) Bring behind it and peer through a crack to see a preserved your passport to get an inofficial stamp. section of death strip. One stop by tram M10 from the S-Bahn station. QOpen 10:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon. Admission free. Deutsch-Russisches Museum Zwieseler Str. 4 (corner of Rheinstr.), MKarlshorst, www.museumkarlshorst.de. In the utheast, the building where Germany signed its surrender in May 1945 now serves as the Deutsch-Russisches Museum Berlin-Karlshorst. More rooms focus on World War II, but exhibits include Soviet relations to both East and West Germany and ‘the presence of the war following the war’. QOpen 10:00 18:00. Closed Mon. Admission free. Haus am Checkpoint Charlie (The Wall Museum) F-4, Friedrichstr. 43-45, KB, MKochstr.,www.mauermuseum.com. A homespun grt Escape museum of false trunks, tools, videos and stills of tunneldigging - and a submarine - attest to necessity and desire being the mother of invention. Visit this museum for dramatic stories of separated lovers, freedom-seeking families, and fed-up senior citizens in the GDR who eventually breached the Wall. A worthwhile stop, though unfortunately, the poor translations and outdated texts do little to illuminate the events leading up to the Wall’s construction. The museum also has art interpreting the concrete division of the city, an exhibit on human rights movements, and film screenings. QOpen 09:00 - 22:00. Admission €9.50/5.50. Stasi Museum (Forschungs- und Gedenkstätte Normannenstraße) Ruschestraße 103, Haus 1, FH, MMagdalenenstr., tel. 553 68 54, www.stasimuseum.de. East Germany’s State Security Service or Stasi was responsible for intelligence gathering both at home and abroad. It spied on its own citizens, sometimes employing the friends, colleagues, and family of those they wished to keep an eye on. Today, this humble museum shows the office of Erich Mielke, the Stasi minister for 32 years, in its original dull state. In the former cafeteria you can watch a video of Mielke testifying before a panel in 1989. Symbols of Communist kitsch can be found in one room, and documents in German make up the bulk of the exhibits. English tours are available with advance request. QOpen 11:00 - 18:00, Sat, Sun 14:00 - 18:00. Admission €3.50. Trabi Safari F-3, Gendarmenmarkt/Marktgrafenstr., MStadtmitte, tel. 27 59 22 73, www.trabi-safari.de. Eastern Germany’s cuddly two-stroke 26 horse power plastic car, recognisable by the characteristic bembembem sound and the large blue cloud of smoke, has almost been completely wiped off East Berlin’s streets. On a Trabi safari an experienced driver shows you how to operate the machine and then, after a few test rounds, off you go on a 90-minute safari through the eastern part of town in a column of coughing, farting Trabis. The safari fleet (view and book them online) includes 15 Trabis, carrying names like ‘Horst’, ‘Lotti’ and ‘Erich’; there are some cabriolet versions as well as a 5.55m delux streched version. Q Day trips 10:0018:00,Night trips 20:00-24:00. From €25/person. Haus der Kulturen der Welt :Jhn-Foster-Dulles-Allee 10

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The Holocaust Denkmal (memorial) made up of blocks of stone, Ebertstrasse just beside Brandenburger Tor. The Russian Monument along Strasse der 17. Juni not far from Brandenburger Tor (continuation of Unter den Linden) Café Moskau, Karl Marx Allee Flea market, Boxhagenerplatz Maroush Lebanese restaurant,Oranienstrasse Oderbergerstrasse Simon Dachstrasse, Friedrichshain Oberbaum Brücke Kastanienallee Potsdamerplatz: hyper modern architecture, wifi (lots of people using the internet with their laptops). Karl Marx-allee, for the real Ossi feel (former Eastern Berlin). Oranienburgerstrasse and its bars and restaurants. The shops near U-bahn stop Hallesches Tor. The areas called Kreuzberg (Turkish / gay / trendy); Friedrichshain (artistic / squatter atmosphere, for example Boxhagenerplatz for nice bars and a flea market); Mitte (artistic / yuppie); Prenzlauer Berg (laidback urban / yuppie, especially Kastanienallee). All these areas contain You shouldn' miss some local specialties: many nice restaurants, cafes, shops Ochsenschwanz (Oxtail), Schweinsfilet in (second hand stuff etc.). dunkler Biersauce and CurryWurst mit Kartoffeln.

Eating and drinking
 Neue Schönhauserstrasse, Alte Schönhauserstrasse and bars and restaurants and lunchrooms :

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Monsieur Vuong, delicious Vietnamese lunch and dinner. Very popular and queus in the evenings. Alte Schönhauserstrasse. Fridas Schwester buffet lunchroom, U-bahn stop Grünbergerstrasse. Blaues Band for breakfast. Trattoria I Due Forni pizza restaurant, Schönhauserallee, U-bahn stop Senefelderplatz. Run by a gang of bearded Italian squatters. The best pizzas in Berlin, get one with rucola. Maroush, huge and cheap portions of delicious Lebanese food, cosy shared tables in tiny restaurant. Adalbertstrasse, Kreuzberg.

The decision to open a Currywurst Museum tells how much this food is adored and appreciated in Berlin. As favourite dessert Berliners will suggest warm Apfelstrudel with cream/vanilla ice cream. Many people go crazy for Kaiserschmarrn, a light pancake with raisins and chopped almonds, covered with cherries, nuts, plums and/or apple jam and whipped cream. DO NOT leave this wonderful town without trying Berliner Weisse, the very best local light beer, served with a straw.

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Japanese food: Kuchi: Charlottenburg location: Kantstrasse 30 / Mitte location : Gipsstrasse 3
Cocolo: Gipsstrasse 3 Ishin: Mittelstrasse 24 (near S-bahn Friedrichstraße) Sushi Circle F-3, Französische Str. 48, ( Mfranzösische str) Sasaya: Lychener strasse 50 (near Schönhauser Allee) Musashi: Kottbusser Damm 102 (near U-bahn Schönleinstrasse) Go-Ko: Neue Schönhauser Strasse 12 (near U- bahn Weinmeisterstrasse) Kushinoya: Bleibtreustrasse 6 (near S-bahn Savignyplatz) Susuru: Rosa-Luxemburg-Strasse 17

Chinese food:
Yumcha heroes: Weinbergsweg 8 (U/Rosenthaler Platz) Lon Men’s Noodle House: Kantstrasse 33 Good friends: Kantstrasse 30

Healthy food:
Cafe Ribo: Ackerstrasse 157 (U/Rosenthaler Platz) Cafe Bondi : Eichendorffstr. 6 (S/ Nordbahnhof)

Indian food: 10

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Tandur Lasan: Kottbusser Damm 6 (U/ Schönleinstrasse)

Korean food:
YamYam: Alte Schönhauser Straße 6 (U/ Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz)

Middle eastern food:
Cafe Morgenland: Skalitzer Straße 35 (U/ Görlitzer Bahnhof) Knofi: Bergmannstrasse 11 and Oranienstrasse 179 Adonis Falafel: Torstrasse 132 (U/ Rosenthaler Platz)

Sri Lankan food:
Sigiriya: Gruenberger Strasse 66 (U/ Frankfurter Tor)

Thai food:
Dao: Kantstraße 133 (S/Charlottenburg)

Vegetarian food:
Hans Wurst: Dunckerstrasse 2a (U/ Eberswalder Straße) Cookies Cream: Behrenstrasse 55 (S/ Friedrichstrasse) Yellow sunshine: Wiener Strasse 19 (U/ Görlitzer Bahnhof) Manngo G-2, Mulackstr. 29,(M/ MWeinmeisterstr.)

Flea-Markets
Each weekend many flea-markets invite you to look for great bargains. The most popular one is the Kunstund Trödelmarkt on Straße des 17. Juni, but also along the Kupfergraben near the Museumsinsel there are many stalls with art objects, books and records.
Kunstmarkt Straße des 17. Juni, Tiergarten; Sat and Sun 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tiergarten Flohmarkt am Mauerpark Bernauer Straße 63-64, Mitte, Sun 7 am - 5pm Bernauer Straße Flohmarkt Schöneberg John-F.-Kennedy-Platz, Schöneberg, Sat + Sun 9am -4 pm Rathaus Schöneberg Antik- und Buchmarkt am Bodemuseum Am Kupfergraben auf der Museumsinsel, Mitte, Sat 10am - 5pm, Sun 10am - 4pm Friedrichstraße Antik- und Trödelmarkt Ostbahnhof, Friedrichshain; Sat 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Ostbahnhof Flohmarkt Rathaus Schöneberg, Schöneberg; Sat+Sun 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Rathaus Schöneberg Flohmarkt am Arkonaplatz Arkonaplatz, Mitte; Sun 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Bernauer Straße Trödelmarkt Sat+Sun 10a.m.-4p.m., Fehrbelliner Platz Kunstmarkt am Zeughaus Am Zeughaus 1, am Deutschen Historischen Museum, Mitte, Sat 11am - 5pm, Sun 10am - 4pm Hackescher Markt Flea market Boxhagener Platz, Friedrichshain; Sun 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Samariterstraße

Admiralbrücke is a petite Art Noveau style wrought-iron bridge that joins the Graefe Kiez with Kotti across a particularly picturesque stretch of the Landwehrkanal.

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In the summer, the bridge and its adjacent shores come alive with plagues of Kreuzbergians populating every spare cobblestone, all chilling and chatting over some cheap beers from the Spätkauf across the road. An ever changing sideshow of happy-go-lucky buskers—including anything from a Jazz quartet to crazed out maraca shakers—provide an entertaining background scene long into the night. Over recent years the popularity of the bridge as a gathering spot has caused some hangovers for nearby residents, notably the aftermath of broken glass and the inevitable noise pollution. So forgive us for getting all parentish, but if you do take the chance to enjoy a meeting with friends in one of the city’s most atmospheric spots, be sure to take your mess home with you. Frederick the Great built Schloss Sansoucci—from the French for “without a care”—in the 1740’s as a royal hideaway from the stresses of managing his growing empire. The diminutive rococo palace has only eleven rooms, just enough for Frederick and his select companions. Visits by the royal entourage, especially his wife Elisabeth were expressly forbidden, in order that Frederick might relax and revive his spirits with poetry, music and philosophical musing. Voltaire himself was Frederick’s guest for over three years. Today visitors can enjoy tours of Frederick’s finely appointed rooms, admire his collection of French 18thcentury painting and examine the armchair in which Frederick himself muttered his final words at ripe old age of 74. Terraced gardens south of the palace supplied wine and rare fruits for the royal table and looking north one can spy the artificial ruins and Norman tower of Ruinenberg. Elsewhere in the surrounding park one can marvel at the Chinese House, wander through the rose gardens, or take tea at the Dragon Cafe. The entire Sansoucci park is listed by UNESCO as a world heritage site and is a favorite daytrip for Berliners looking to escape the stresses of the city and, like Frederick, feel like a king without cares. The Regierungsviertel, also known as the “government quarter” or “ribbon of government”, is the cluster of buildings stretched one kilometer along the Spree and houses the majority of the German federal government offices. This sort of modern corporate office park includes the Reichstag, the Paul Löbe Building and the Bundestag—all of which ensure the functionality of the Parliament—many embassies, the Federal Chancellery and much more. While some of the buildings are quite the eyesore, it is an interesting take on how to blend historic, turn of the century/early 20th-century architecture with sleek, modern German aesthetics. The Victory Column at Grosser Stern is—after the Brandenburg Gate and the Television Tower—the most well-known landmark of Berlin. The 69 meter high cylinder has partially the Love Parade to thank for its popularity. For many years the end party was celebrated at the plaza and in the park and surrounding streets. The Victory Column, as its name implies, was originally dedicated to triumphs of war. Built by Johann Heinrich Strack (1865–73), the monument celebrates the Prussian victories over Denmark, Austria and France in 1864, 1866 and 1870/71, and for this reason is decorated with gilded cannons. Even Victoria, the 8.32 meter high golden figure crowning the column reveals her military background. Berliners, never impressed by such monumentalist gestures, soon nicknamed her “Golden Else”. She also had a starring role in Wim Wenders’ 1987 film “Der Himmel über Berlin”, (released in the U.S. as “Wings of Desire”). Originally erected in front the Reichstag, the Siegesäule was moved to its present location as part of Adolph Hitler and Albert Speer’s plans to transform Berlin into “Germania”, monumental capital of their megalomaniacal reich. Ironically, the move ended up sparing the landmark from destruction during the final, brutal battle for Berlin. There are 285 steps to climb in order to pay her a visit, but from above there is a fantastic view of the largest park in Berlin, the 203 hectare Tiergarten. 300 years ago the Elector was still hunting animals there. Berin’s most iconic landmark Branderburger Tor was built in 1791 by Carl Gotthard Langhns after Friedrich Wilhem II commissioned the entryway to the Prussian sector. It is located west of the city center, just in front of Tiergarten and the Reichstag. The gates mark the classic period of Berlin architecture; it is inspired after Propylae, the gateway to Acropolis in Athens, and on its top, Viktoria the Roman goddess of victory can be seen driving a chariot of four horses facing east. Unveiled in 1969 as part of the DDR’s plans for a modernized Alexanderplatz, Berlin’s World Clock has become one of the city’s favorite rendezvous spots. At any time of the day or night one can find a few ladies and gents pacing beneath the 16-ton clock with its 24 time zones and orbiting solar system, peering left and right to spot their dates as they make their way across Alex’s concrete expanse. The clock’s atmosphere of longing and expectation is so palpable that even if you don’t have a date for the evening’s extravaganza, hang around long enough and you’re sure to meet someone to drag along! The “Einsteinturm” is the first important building designed by the famous architect Erich Mendelsohn. It was planned and built in the years 1919 to 1924, the main part was finished in 1921. One may argue wether it makes sense to define the building in terms of architectual style. The tower is often called the “main example

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for architectual expressionism”. Its general design is very harmonic, however, and Mendelsohn’s own perception oppose was different. In this aspect, everybody has to find his own answer. Unusual are also the other parameters of the building’s past: The Einstein tower is a functional building, a solar observatory and until the second World War the most prominent research institution of that kind in Europe. The tower is therefore also an example for the very few connections between science and art, as Mendelsohn fulfilled the conditions for the scientific use as well as his own concepts of form. Due to Mendelsohn’s interest in Einstein’s work, some of the spirit of the exciting developments in modern physics are also captured in the building. A substantial overhaul of the Einstein Tower started in November 1997. The re-opening ceremony took place on July 1, 1999. Der Einstein Tower is part of the Astrophysikalisches Institut Potsdam based in the Babelsberg Observatory today; the area on Telegraph Hill (Telegrafenberg) is used by GeoForschungszentrum Potsdam and other institutes of climate and polar research. The current Reichstag dome is an iconic glass dome constructed on top of the rebuilt Reichstag building in Berlin. It was designed by architect Norman Foster and built to symbolize the reunification of Germany. The distinctive appearance of the dome has made it a prominent landmark in Berlin. The Reichstag dome is a large glass dome with a 360 degree view of the surrounding Berlin cityscape. The debating chamber of the Bundestag, the German parliament, can be seen down below. A mirrored cone in the center of the dome directs sunlight into the building. The dome is open to the public and can be reached by climbing two steel, spiraling ramps that are reminiscent of a double-helix. The glass dome was also designed by Foster to be environmentally friendly. Energy efficient features involving the use of the daylight shining through the mirrored cone were applied, effectively decreasing the carbon emissions of the building. The futuristic design of the Reichstag dome makes it a unique landmark, and symbolizes Berlin’s attempt to move away from a past of Nazism and Communism and instead towards a future with a heavier emphasis on a united, democratic Germany. The Schaubuehne was founded in 1962 as a private theater with a politically and socially engaged playing schedule and has put the cat among the pigeons ever since. Design sofas are likely to be affected on stage and the audience is involved into the happenings. Nowadays the house stands for an experimental and contemporary theater which likes to provoke. Bebelplatz was once the infamous location where the Nazis burned more than 20,000 books in 1933—and is home to one of the most impressive and artistic memorials in Berlin. Designed by Micha Ullman in 1995, the empty subterranean bookshelves pay homage to the piles of books burned by the Nazis here in 1933, an event eerily eerily touched upon by Heinrich Heine’s famous 1820 quotation: “Wherever they burn books, eventually they will burn people too.” Among the books burned in the large pyre were titles by Marx, Freud, Thomas and Heinrich Mann, Kästner and Heine. Nicknamed “the pregnant oyster” for its crustacean-like facade, this diverse museum regularly houses some very pearly exhibitions. With a distinct focus on shining a spotlight on artistic and cultural movements within non-European cultures, Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of World Cultures) presents a rather left-field take on contemporary society. Whether presenting a historical snapshot of Caribbean music or an exploration into the bright-eyed doodles that permeate television, advertising and graphic design, each exhibition is meticulously researched and curated by artists, scientists, professors and other leaders of various fields. Thai Park on weekend afternoons: One only needs to set foot outside to witness the staggering popularity that Thai cuisine has amassed over the years in Berlin. Noted lovers of the curry and coconut-heavy dishes will find a haven at Preußenpark on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, when the local Thai community congregates here in greater numbers than at any Buddhist temple. Though the so-called Thai Park’s beginnings are hazy (and ambiguously legal, as public outdoor grilling is considered a fire hazard), what is clear is the beloved ritual of preparing authentic eats: locavores dutifully schlep fresh fish, meat, vegetables and pungent Asian spices to the fields every weekend the weather permits. So bring a blanket and a gas cooker and start your own grill party, or just come and pilfer from your neighbors, likely middle-aged Thai ladies who gladly welcome the extra company. Even a man-biting catfish can’t keep the sun-starved away from Schlachtensee, one of Berlin’s most beautiful lakes resting on the fringes of the Grunewald forest. At a mere 30 minutes away on the S1 line, Schlachtensee is certainly a popular refuge from the city, but wander round the banks at leisure and you’re sure to find the

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perfect picnic spot. It is excellent for swimming in the calm, clear waters and also just as idyllic to rest on its grassy banks under the shade of the trees. A restaurant nestled in the trees near the metro stop begrudgingly opens its doors for the closest bathroom break; grab a beer here and enjoy it on the hilly lawn out front to admire the view. And if that’s not enough, rowing boat hire is also available for €8 per hour. The Tiergarten (“animal garden”) is for Berlin what Central Park is for New York, both a large park in the center of Berlin and a locality within the borough of Mitte. Before the German reunification in 1989, the area belonged to West Berlin. Up until the 2001 Berlin administrative reform, Tiergart was the name of a borough, consisting of the current locality of Tiergarten (formerly called Tiergarten-Süd) plus Hansaviertel and Moabit. The Tiergarten’s proximity to historic German landmarks—numerous embassies, the Reichstag and the iconic Siegessaule statue—right around the corner, making the park the perfect place to rest and relax. For those interested in a bit more activity, paddle boats are available for a ride along the Spree and a large beergarden is nearly always full. The Grunewald is 3,000 hectars of forest west of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and Steglitz-Zehlendorf. Escape the city and take a deep breath among the greenery. Grunewald is extensive, but has specific sights within. Here’s where you’ll find the highest peak and best kite flying in Berlin—the Teufelsberg—a grassy plateau grown over a massive pile of wreckage from WWII standing 120 m above sea level. Plenty of other sights await unannounced as well, like the old abandoned Berlin headquarters of the U.S. spy program, or more organic landmarks like the rich composition of plants and trees. In Berlin the process of construction always begins with destruction! The most celebrated architectural controversy in a generation, the removal of the DDR era “People’s Palace” is the prelude to the construction of a replica of the original Prussian Royal Palace here on its original location. Severely damaged by Allied bombing and the final battle for Berlin, the palace was pulled down by communist authorities after the war’s end in hopes of establishing a new architectural era in the city and to remove a landmark of hated Prussian imperialism. The new structure combined parliamentary chambers with cafes and bowling alleys for residents and was an East Berlin hotspot. Shortly after re-unification, however, the building was shut after it was found to contain hazardous levels of asbestos. After the toxins had been removed the gutted palace was used for concerts and art exhibitions while awaiting the verdict on its eventual fate. As hoped by many (and feared by many others) a decision was made to remove the hulking remains and “rebuild” the original Prussian palace, which would now be used to house cultural and academic institutions. Today the remains of the communist era architecture are being dragged away slowly, piece by piece, while funds are being collected to offset the ever inflating cost of building the city’s new / old pretend Palace. Gardens of the world @ Eisenacher Strasse 99 (hrs 09-20) : Get lost in the exotic maze of gardens, enjoy an authentic tea-ceremony or just walk the lush 20-hectare park with its unique collection of garden styles from Bali, China, Japan, Korea and the Middle East. In 2008 an Italian Renaissance garden is due to open. Bauhaus-Archiv / Museum für Gestaltung Klingelhöferstraße 14 , U-Bahn Nollendorfplatz , Wednesday, Thursday and Friday 6,- € Wednesday to Monday 10am - 5pm, closed on Tuesday

POTSDAM:
Part of Berlin’s charm is its proud grittiness, but don’t chide yourself for being bourgeois if it gets to you - it got on the nerves of Friedrich der Große (Frederick II the Great), too. The ruler of Berlin (and all of Prussia) from 1740 to 1786 built his favorite abode Sanssouci, outside Berlin in the town of Potsdam. Without a worry was the French name of his palace, though thanks to considerable care taken by its architect Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff, craftsmen, and artisans, it is hailed as the Versailles of Germany. Sanssouci was intended as a summer residence, and though Friedrich stretched out the seasons he spent here, tourists don’t have the same privilege: many buildings close between mid-October and April. The best attractions are open through winter – Park Sanssouci’s Schloss Sanssouci and Neues Palais; and the Neuer Garten’s Marmorpalais and Schloss Cecilienhof. Besides the palaces and parks, the compact town’s centre, half faded and half restored, makes for a pleasant stroll. The Kolonie Alexandrowka is in a park along Puschkinallee, south of the rise to the Belevedere. Quaintly enough, the log cabins here were built in 1826 for a 12-member Russian choir who had helped the Prussians fight Napoleon. Most of the boys got homesick and eventually left. The redbrick Holländisches Viertel (Dutch quarter) is another failed settlement, but a great place to get a meal and browse in some shops. Friedrich Wilhelm I built the small district in the 1730s to attract Dutch craftsmen. Potsdam basics

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Potsdam is just a thirty-minute ride on RE train N°1 or 3 from central Berlin. From Potsdam’s Hauptbahnhof station take bus N°695 to get to the city centre and Sansoucci park. More information: Postdam Tourist Information, Am Alten Markt 5, Park Sanssouci, , www.spsg. de. The low-l ying rococo Schloss Sanssouci has a gorgeous terraced approach. I ts Bildergalerie wing features works by Rubens, Van Dijck and Caravaggio. On the opposite side are the Neue Kammern’s guest apartments. The palace sits within the 290 hectares of Park Sanssouci, which among other sights holds a botantical garden, the Orangerie, Roman baths, the Chinese House, the Neues Palais, and Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s Schloss Charlottenhof, whose interior is perhaps the best preserved example of Schinkel’s work. Each sight has its own separate admission charge and changing exhibits. A general information office can be found at the historic windmill, between the Orangerie and Schloss Sanssouci. The hilltop Belvedere auf dem Pfingstberg (open 10:00 - 20:00) is a romantic folly lookout tower built according to plans of Friedrich Wilhelm IV and completed in 1863. QOpen 09:00 18:00. Closed Mon. Schloss Sanssouci is open 09:00 - 16:00, closed Mon. The guided tour costs €8; entrance to the park (open from dawn to dusk) is free. Neues Palais, , www.spsg.de. Friedrich II preferred the simpler Schloss Sanssouci, but this was the palace in which his descendants Wilhelm I and Wilhelm II razzled and dazzled guests. Use the Englishlanguage text (€10 deposit) as you follow the German guide through studies, bedrooms, and party rooms. The stone- and shell-encrusted Muschel Saal is like a grotto from The Little Mermaid, and amongst so many chandeliers on two floors, it’s Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s ‘crown of kings’ that stands out. QOpen 09:00 16:00. Closed Fri. Admission €5. FLUXUS+ Museum Schiffbauergasse 4f, Potsdam, www.fluxus-plus.de. A new museum displaying changing exhibitions of private collections and local artists, varying from books, prints and paintings to video art. There’s a café with pleasant views of the park from the terrace in summer. QOpen 12:00 - 20:00. Closed Mon. Admission €7.50, Tues half price. Marmorpalais, www.spsg. de. First built in 1791 by the man who would next design the Brandenburger Tor, this early classicist palace on the shore of Heiliger See was fussed over one last time in 1848. The fine furnishings and wares on exhibit include Wedgewood ceramics. Q Open Sat, Sun 10:00 - 16:00. Admission €2. Schloss Cecilienhof, , www.spsg. de. Twentieth-century history was made when Stalin, Truman, and Attlee decided the future of postwar Germany during the August 1945 conference at Schloss Cecilienhof. This half-timber mansion between two lakes in the Neuer Garten was finished in 1917. In the same park is the Marmorpalais. QOpen 09:00 - 17:00. Closed Mon. Admission €5 including Marmorpalais (open from 10:00). Filmpark Babelsberg Großbeerenstr., MBabelsberg, www.filmpark.de. Over 3,000 films have been shot at the famous Babelsberg UFA/DEFA studios, including Fri tz Lang’s Metropolis (1927). The themepark surrounding the studios is great for children and adults. Though the topics may be unfamiliar to foreigners, there’s enough action to keep you amused, including stunt, animal and pirate shows, studio tours and ‘behind the scenes’ insights into special effects through the years. QOpen 10:00 - 18:00. Admission €17/15,50. Tickets for Sans Souci Castle must be bought in the morning to get entry in the afternoon(in peak season). I would decide for "Neues Palais" as it is much bigger. If it is warm: You can have a swim in the "Heiliger See" next to Cecilienhof Castle(where the allies devided Germany) and in parc Babelsberg next to Flatow Turm (tower). It's impossible to see all sights on one day. Focus maybe on two or three spots except you got bikes and only watch the castles from outside. When walking you could use the train station Nautiker suggested (line RE1 from Berlin direction "Brandenburg"once/hour, all other trains (Re1+S7) only to mainstation)and walk Neues Palais(visit?)-garden main path towards huge fountaine near sanssoucimarylgarten/friedenskirche(good place for a rest)-luisenplatz-brandenburger straße-dutch quarter If time is left: alexandrowka and Cecilienhof/Neuer Garten (use tram 92/96 and/or bus 603), if not that much time is left: to Freundschaftsinsel near mainstation and home to Berlin. Hidden gems: Freundschaftsinsel - Friendship Island directly next to main station, entry from "Long Bridge" -Lange Brücke Neuer Markt - Nice square behind the film museum, but no shops etc Church "Friedenskirche" and Marylgarten west of church ; situated betweeen sanssouci and city center; Swimming with castle view: Heiliger See, swimming allowed at norther end. Reachable by bike or bus 603 to Cecilienhof+walk Stasi+KGB museum(KGB only at weekend): original prisons for political prisoners of the GDR and of Stalin era (KGB) Climbing the tower of Nikolai Kirche, costs: 5 Euro Roman Baths in Parc Sanssouci If you got to Potsdam main station and don't want to ride by bike, just take either bus 605/695 to Neues Palais or 606/695 to Sanssouci Castle or tram 91 to Luisenplatz for parc sanssouci and old town or tram 92/96 to "Brandenburger Straße" for old town only. The mentioned lines can shorten your walks in Potsdam a lot. Good signing at main station.

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River tours
After flowing a bucolic 400km from the Czech border region to Berlin, the Spree River goes out with a bang before disappearing into the Havel River in the Spandau district. Cutting a southeast to northwest passage through the city, the river provides tremendous views of the urban landscape, including the Berlin Cathedral, the Reichstag and government district and the Berlin Wall between Ostbahnhof and Warschauer Straße. Some of the Spree is diverted along park-lined canals and the city has more bridges than those boastful cities Venice and Amsterdam. Taking in the city from the top deck of a cruise boat is a great way to spend a few hours. A waiter takes orders for beer, meals, snacks and ice cream. The captain or a guide narrates (often in German only), but you’ll get the idea when passing a great-looking building. Boats offering similar 3.5-hour “Brücke” (Bridges) tours leave from various landing spots. To reach the Märkisches Ufer landing (G-2), take the U-Bahn to Märkisches Museum, walk to the water and turn right; the landing is by the Angolan and Brazilian embassies. Similar tours start from the bridges Jannowitzbrücke (H-2; S- and U-Bahn Jannowitzbrücke) and Kottbusser Brücke (H-4; next to café Ankerklause, near U-Bahn Schönleinstraße). Tours lasting 1 to 1.5 hours depart regularly from two boat landings near Hackescher Markt (G-2), on the east side of Museum Island. Another company leaves from the west side of the island, opposite the pink-coloured German History Museum (G-2). A third place to begin a short tour is behind the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (E2), which has its own bus stop in Tiergarten.

Books
Berlin Story F-3, Unter den Linden 26, MI, MFriedrichstr., tel. 20 45 38 42. The city is the muse of Berlin Story, which has souvenirs in addition to books about and guides to the city. A 25-minute film on Berlin, a 1930 city model, and a history exhibit are part of the free exhibition upstairs. Those interested in the film The Downfall, about Hitler’s last days in his bunker, should take a flip through the book The Führer Bunker, available in English only here. QOpen 10:00 - 22:00, Sun 10:00 - 20:00. Books in Berlin C-4, Goethestr. 69, CB, MErnst- Reuter-Pl., tel. 313 12 33, www.booksinberlin.de. A nook devotedly entirely to English-language books. QOpen 12:00 - 20:00, Sat 10:00 - 16:00. Closed Sun. Dussmann F-3, Friedrichstr. 90, MI, MFriedrichstr., tel. 20 25 24 10. Four floors make Dussmann the biggest bookstore in Berlin. The English-language section is limited, but music and DVDs are for sale on the ground floor, there are comfy balcony areas for reading upstairs and there’s a cafe on the top floor. QOpen 12:00 24:00. Closed Sun. Marga Schoeller Bücherstube C-4, Knesebeckstr. 33, CB, MUhlandstr., tel. 881 11 12. A tightly-packed shop of English-language literature, as well as academic books. QOpen 09:30 - 19:00, Thu, Fri 09:30 - 20:00, Sat 09:30 - 16:00. Closed Sun.

Trips from Berlin:
Fast motorways and speed trains to Hamburg and Dresden(one of my favourite towns in Germany and a stunning landscape south of it !!! ). 2-3-hour train trip to medieval (UNESCO heritage) towns at the Harz mountains like Quiedlinburg !!!, Wernigerode with steam strain onto the top of the mountain Brocken, being subject of action in Goethe's Faust, Goslar and Braunschweig together with the cathedrale of Magdburg forming the powerhouse of the early "Holy Roman Empire of German Nation" founded in 962. Erfurt and Weimar in Thuringia are worth to visit, but 2.5 hours away by intercity train. Leipzig, town of Bach, demonstrations against GDR and lots of alternative culture south of the inner centre. 1 hour from Berlin by car/fast train. The advantage of a stay in Berlin is, that it is big enough for not getting bored within 2 months. There are 150 museums(free entry once a week, mostly thursday afternoon,evenning expect Museumsinsel), hundreds of concerts etc. Modern history can be experienced where it took place. The disadvantages, which are not that upsetting: If you'd like to see some medieval buildings, you will have to go on a trip to the countryside. Most buildings here are not older than 300 years, most houses are from ~1900 ~1970 or >1990 Berlin is surrounded by pine forests, hundreds of lakes und a rural area. Trips to other big cities(Hamburg, Dresden, Leipzig, Braunschweig, Hannover) will take 1 to 2.5 hours using a car or a high speed train. TIP: For all trips around Berlin, take a Schönes-Wochenende-Ticket by Deutsche Bahn:The ticket is valid for up to 5 persons travelling together and for parents travelling with their children aged 14 or younger. The ticket is only valid on either Saturdays or Sundays (one day only) between midnight and 3 a.m. of the following day. Tickets are just €40 when you buy them online!

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Dresden and surrounding area offer enough to see for several days. Besides the old town with town castle and castle in the "Großer Garten" there are (some vineyard topping) castles in Dresden and nearby(Moritzburg+Pillnitz+vineyard topping castles in Radebeul). Spectacular hiking area "Sächsische Schweiz" http://www.nationalpark-saechsische-schweiz.de/startseite/index.php?lang_id=2&version=0 http://w ww.wandern-saechsische-schweiz.de/ Good starting points are train stations "Rathen" with hike to Bastei(http://www.tourismusverein-elbsandsteingebirge.de/Bilder/Impressionen/Basteibruecke.jpg), "Königstein" with hike to Pfaffenstein and fortress and "Bad Schandau". Also good for half day trips. Quarter for clubs/bars in Dresden: Neustadt. Famous opera, famous museums of art http://www.skdmuseum.de/en/museums-institutions/index.html and human biology(Hygienemuseum) http://www.dhmd.de/neu/index.php?id=211 More tourist attractions: Steam boat cruises on the Elbe River to Pillnitz or Rathen, Panometer, fortress Königstein,... enough for two days :-> If you don't want to hike but see some castles a nice town and rocks, rent a bike and follow the river to Pillnitz, old town of Pirna, Wehlen and Rathen; 35 kilometres. One direcetion could be done by train. Dresden is a very beautiful, lightspirited city, especially in summer, when you can appreciate the serene setting of the historic center. Although Dresden is larger than Munich when measured by area, the historic center is quite compact and walkable. Be sure to check out these places while in Dresden.  Zwinger Palace The baroque palace features a nympheum, many sculptures of Permoser, a bell pavilion and famous art collections. Do not miss the "Alte Meister" - you'll find the famous Madonna Sistina of Rafael there including the well known angels. There is also a very nice museum on the arms of Saxon kings, the "Rüstkammer". Entry is free to the palace but some collections like the porcelain exhibition have an entry fee.  Semperoper The building is well worth visiting, as it is one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world. The acoustics and the orchestra, the Staatskapelle, are marvelous. Its history saw many operas of Wagner and Strauss having their first nights there. Nowadays productions are of lower quality and follow the German "Regietheater" fashion. Make sure to inquire about the production in advance, or you might have unpleasant surprises. Make sure to also book tickets in advance. Some last-minute tickets are available from the box office shortly before the performance starts. Seats which do not have a good view are very cheap, and you can sit on benches behind the seats, right at the top of the auditorium, for free. When there is no rehearsal or performance, the opera offers an interesting tour behind the scenes (7 euro, €3.50 reduced and a €2 photography pass  Frauenkirche The reconstructed Church of Our Lady was completely destroyed during WWII, and has now been reopened. The City of Coventry, which was raided by the Luftwaffe in WWII, donated the golden cross for the dome of the church. Check out some ruins in the basement. Do not miss the tower visit and bring good shoes to climb in (otherwise you will not be admitted in!).  Fürstenzug This biggest porcelain painting of the world shows (almost) all Saxon princesses and kings on their horses and splendid parade uniforms. It leads to the "Stallhof" - the last preserved tournament place contained in a European castle. In Winter, Fürstenzug is the location of a very romantic Christmas market with a big fireplace.  Albertinum Museum . The collections of "Neue Meister" feature a wonderful collection ranging from romantic painters (Caspar David Friedrich etc.) up to Rotloff and Van Gogh.  Gläserne Manufaktur Lennestr. 1, 01069 Dresden, Mon-Sun 8AM-8PM, tel. 018-05-89-6268, infoservice@glaesernemanufaktur.de. The transparent factory is the site where Volkswagen builds its luxury sedan Phaeton. There is a tour (English language) offered by Volkswagen (4 euro, €2 reduced).  Schloss und Grünes Gewölbe . The Green Vault is Europe's most splendid treasure chamber museum. You can see the biggest green diamond and the court of Aurengzeb and its precious crown jewels.  Staatliche Kunstsammlungen This website provides a comprehensive overview of all important museums in Dresden:  Kassematten under the Brühlsche Terrasse (the terrace at the Elbe river) are the remains of the old fort. Gives you a glimse of what a fort in a medieval European town was like.  Schwebebahn Dresden - a unique aerial tramway.  Museum of MineralogyOne of Dresden's most important museums.  Dresden History Museum  Neue Synagoge, Hasenberg 2.  Elbe valley This used to be on the UNESCO World Heritage List, until the government decided to build a four-lane highway Waldschlösschen Bridge through the heart of it . So now it is known as "one of only two un-UNESCO'd sites in the world" still a tourist attraction. Goslar is a medieval town in Lower Saxony and serves as a regional hub to the wider Harz area. It lies at the foot of the Harz Mountains (highest elevation 3,744 feet). Goslar is situated some 150 Miles West of Berlin. The nearest cites are Brunswick, Hanover, and Magdeburg. Actually Goslar is much older than the German capital Berlin and thus worth a visit. If you are a more spiritually minded traveller interested in history, outdoor pursuits - most notably rambling - tranquility and nature, then Goslar is just the right spot for you.  The Kaiserpfalz (Emperor's Palace)  Norwegian-style wooden church in Hahnenklee-Bockswiese erected in 1907/1908

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Wernigerode was the capital of the medieval County of Wernigerode and Stolberg-Wernigerode. In 1815, after the Napoleonic Wars, it became part of the Prussian Province of Saxony. The Hasseröder brewery was founded in Wernigerode in 1872. Wernigerode contains several interesting Gothic buildings, including a fine town hall with a timber facade from 1498. Some of the quaint old houses which have escaped the numerous fires through the years are elaborately adorned with wood-carving. The GerhartHauptmann Gymnasium[2], occupying a modern Gothic building, is the successor to an ancient grammar school in existence until 1825. Brandy, Hasseröder lager, cigars and dyes are among the products manufactured in Wernigerode. The castle (Schloß Wernigerode) of the princes of StolbergWernigerode rises above the town. The original was built in the 12th century but the present castle was built between 1862 and 1893 by Karl Frühling and includes parts of the medieval building. Quedlinburg is known since at least the early 9th century, when a settlement known as Gross Orden existed at the eastern bank of the river Bode. As such the city is first mentioned in 922, as part of a donation by Henry the Fowler. The records of this donation were collected at the abbey of Corvey. After Henry's death in 936, his widow Saint Mathilda founded a religious community for women ("Frauenstift") on the castle hill, where daughters of the higher nobility were educated. The main task of this collegiate foundation, Quedlinburg Abbey(where the Annals of Quedlinburg were compiled), was to pray for the memory of King Henry and the rulers that came after him. The first abbess was Mathilde, granddaughter of Henry and Saint Mathilde. The Quedlinburg castle complex, founded by Henry the Fowler and built up by Otto I the Great in 936, was an imperial palatinate of the Saxon emperors. The palatinate, including the male convent, was in the valley, where nowadays the Roman Catholic church of St Wiperti is situated, while the women's convent was located on the castle hill. 963 a Canon's monastery was established in St. Wiperti, south of the castle hill. It was abandoned in the 16th century, and at one time the church, which boasts a magnificent crypt from the 10th century, was even used as a barn and a pigsty before being restored in the 1950s. In 973, shortly before the death of emperor Otto I the Great, a Reichstag (Imperial Convention) was held at the imperial court in which Mieszko, duke of Poland, and Boleslav, duke of Bohemia, as well as numerous other nobles from as far away asByzantium and Bulgaria, gathered to pay homage to the emperor. In the occasion Otto the Great introduced his new daughter-in-law Theophanu, a Byzantine princess whose marriage to Otto II brought hope for recognition and continued peace between the rulers of the Eastern and Western empires. In 994 Otto III granted the right of market, tax and coining and established the first market place to the north of the castle hill. The town became a member of the Hanseatic League in 1426. Quedlinburg Abbey frequently disputed the independence of Quedlinburg, which sought the aid of the Bishopric of Halberstadt. In 1477 Abbess Hedwig, aided by her brothers Ernest andAlbert, broke the resistance of the town and expelled the bishop's forces. Quedlinburg was forced to leave the Hanseatic League and was subsequently protected by the Electorate of Saxony. Both town and abbey converted to Lutheranism in 1539 during the Protestant Reformation. In 1697 Elector Frederick Augustus I of Saxony sold his rights to Quedlinburg to Elector Frederick III of Brandenburg for 240,000 thalers. Quedlinburg Abbey contested Brandenburg-Prussia's claims throughout the 18th century, however. The abbey was secularized in 1802 during the German Mediatisation and Quedlinburg passed to the Kingdom of Prussia as part of the Principality of Quedlinburg. Part of the Napoleonic Kingdom of Westphalia from 1807–13, it was included within the new Prussian Province of Saxony in 1815. In all this time, great ladies ruled Quedlinburg as abbesses without "taking the veil", they were free to marry. The last of these great ladies were a Swedish princess, an early fighter for women's rights, Sofia Albertina. During the Nazi regime, the memory of Henry I became a sort of cult, as Heinrich Himmler saw himself as the reincarnation of the "most German of all German" rulers. The collegiate church and castle were to be turned into a shrine for Nazi Germany. The Nazi Party tried to create a new religion. The cathedral was closed from 1938 and during the war. Liberation in 1945 brought back the Protestant bishop and the church bells, and the Nazi style eagle was taken down from the tower. Quedlinburg was administered within Bezirk Halle while part of the Communist East Germany from 1949 to 1990. It became part of the state of Saxony-Anhalt upon German reunification in 1990. During Quedlinburg's Communist era as part of the GDR (1949–1990), restoration specialists from Poland were called in during the 1980s to carry out repairs on the old architecture. As in all German cities the Altstadt old city medieval sections, are the most popular attractions of any town. Now Quedlinburg is a center of restoration of Fachwerk houses. During the last months of World War II, the United States Military occupied Quedlinburg. In the 1980s, upon the death of one of the US Military men, the Theft of medieval art from Quedlinburg came to light. In the innermost parts of the town a wide selection of half-timbered buildings from at least five different centuries are to be found (including a 14th century structure one of Germany's oldest), while around the outer fringes of the old town there are wonderful examples of Jugendstil buildings, dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Since December 1994 the old town of Quedlinburg and the castle mount with the collegiate church are listed as one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.[2] Quedlinburg is one of the best-preserved medieval and renaissance towns in Europe, having escaped major damage in World War II. In 2006 the Harzer Schmalspurbahnen Selketal branch was extended into Quedlinburg from Gernrode giving access to the historic steam narrow gauge railway, Alexisbad and high Harz plateau.

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The castle and the cathedral still towers above the city the way they dominated the town in early Middle Ages. The cathedral is a prime example of German Romanesque style. The Domschatz, the treasure containing ancient artefacts and books, was stolen by an American soldier and finally bought back to Quedlinburg in 1993 and is again on display here.

Berlin Top 10
Here are ten of Berlin’s gold nuggets. 1. Museuminsel.Spare one full day for it.

2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Amrit and Mirchi , indian and singaporese food.Oranienburger Straße 50. Nikolaiviertel for some time traveling Prenzlauer Berg, buy some art, crystals and eat vietnamese Alexanderplatz, to understand DDR aesthetics Reichstag/Bundestag/Kanzleramt to see why Germans always believe in tomorrow Potsdamer Platz & Sony center, to imagine how city grows from a flat plot CurryWurst & Berliner Weisse. Apfelstrudel with vanilla ice cream. You'll know why AFTER you had it Walk on the Unter dem Linden Allee/Hotel Adlon Kempinski:The view from the 7,000 €-suite is said to be lovely. Watch people. Eat sushi at Ishin, Mittelstraße 24 Get a new tattoo in one of parlors, and visit KaDeWe, a department store with 100 years of history, known for its champagne-drinking clientele. Go to Berghain for a crazy night-out.

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