While waiting for the visa, I think it’s time to see places I want to visit while in Berlin.
I write this based on www.lonely planet.com.
So…here’s some of it…
1. Get high at the TV Tower
The TV Tower is the tallest structure in Germany, soaring 368m above Berlin since 1969. Come early to beat the queue for the lift ride to the panorama level at 203m, where views are unbeatable on clear days. From here and the upstairs café, which makes one revolution in 30 minutes, you can easily pinpoint landmarks and study the city layout.
Address: Panoramastrasse 1a, Alexanderplatz Area
Transport: train: Alexanderplatz
Ticket: full €8, child €4
Open: Mar-Oct 09:00-00:00, Nov-Feb 10:00-00:00
Just north of the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag has been the seat of the Bundestag (German parliament), since 1999 following a complete renovation by Lord Norman Foster. The British architect turned the 1894 building by Paul Wallot into a state-of-the-art parliamentary facility, preserving only the historical shell and adding the glistening glass dome.
The view from the top is one of the highlights of visit to Berlin, as much for the 360-degree panorama of the city as for the close-ups of the dome. From the outdoor viewing platform you can climb the spiralling ramp inside the dome itself. At the top, displays document the building’s history.
The Reichstag has been the setting of numerous milestones in German history: the proclamation of the German republic, the Reichstag fire in 1933 allowing Hitler to blame the communists and seize power, the Soviet attack a dozen years later which destroyed the building, and the enactment of the reunification of Germany on 2 October 1990.
Address: Platz der Republik 1, Tiergarten, 10557
Transport: train: Hauptbahnhof or bus: 100
Open: 08:00-24:00, last entry 22:00
3. Visit the Checkpoint Charlie Museum
The Checkpoint Charlie Museum is all that remains of the famed tower that symbolised East-West tension during the Cold War. The tower itself was unceremoniously craned away a few months after the border reopened. In 2001, a replica guardhouse was returned to the site (the original is in the Allierten Museum in Zehlendorf).
The museum is interesting (if overpriced), with its display of ingenious devices employed in escape attempts from the former East Germany. It doesn’t make it any easier to comprehend that this nondescript urban landscape was one of the critical pressure points in the global stand-off between East and West, and the scene of 80 deaths.
To the west of the museum is the East Side Gallery, a surviving chunk of the real Wall, preserved by the city authorities and decorated by local artists.
Address: Friedrichstrasse 43-45, KreuzbergTransport: train: Stadtmitte or Kochstrasse
Ticket: full 9.50, concession 5.50
4. Catch the art express at the Hamburger Banhhof
Berlin’s premier contemporary art museum has a star-studded collection, including works by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Anselm Kiefer as well as an entire wing of Joseph Beuys. Occupying a cleverly converted 19th-century railway station and adjacent 300m-long warehouse, it also has great temporary exhibits, a well-stocked art bookshop and a popular café called Sarah Wiener im Hamburger Bahnhof.
Address: Invalidenstrasse 50-51, Government Quarter
Transport: train: Hauptbahnhof
Ticket: adult/under 16/concession €8/free/4, Thu last 4hr free
Open: Tue-Fri 10:00-18:00, Sat 11:00-20:00, Sun 11:00-18:00
5. Go tobogganing at Potsdamer Platz
Go for the ride of your life on the mobile toboggan run, or get your skates on and hit the ice rink.
6. See the awe of the Tor
A symbol of division during the Cold War, this landmark now epitomises German reunification. The 1791 structure by Carl Gotthard Langhans is the only surviving one of 18 city gates and is crowned by the Quadriga sculpture, a horse-drawn chariot piloted by the winged goddess of victory.
Transport: train: Unter den Linden
7. Eyeball the Wall at the East Side Gallery
The Berlin Wall East Side Gallery is a 1.3km-long section of the wall near the center of Berlin. Approximately 106 paintings by artists from all over the world cover this memorial for freedom and make it the largest open air gallery in the world.