Things To Do In Berlin
Berlin is a city that explodes with art, culture, raw history and a lot of tragedy. From the Prussian Wars to World Wars, Cold War to the fall of Berlin Wall, this city has borne pain like no other in the world has perhaps. Yet, Berlin rises like the phoenix from its charred history, and spreads its wings to welcome tourists into its unique paradise. It is no wonder then that there are so many things to do here in Berlin!
Photography on the East Side Gallery
The East Side Gallery is that long stretch of the Berlin Wall that still survives and is christened in various paintings, murals, graffitis and abstracts; painted and marked by so many artists from around the world over three decades. Located in Friedrichshain, the wall is like an open-air gallery with paintings dating from the 1990s, created to make a monument out of this tragedy. You will find old as well as contemporary murals here, political satire as well as rebellious slogans, each depicting a story of Berlin. Go for a guided tour and walk around clicking as many photos as you can. This is beauty in suffering at its best.
Climb the TV Tower
The Television Tower of Berlin lies in the Eastern Block of the city, erected by the then Soviet power to showcase their stronghold on this side of Berlin. The TV Tower, though not as intricate is the Eiffel Tower, is still as dear to the people of Berlin. You must climb atop the tower, enjoy a few cocktails at their exclusive bar and immerse yourself in the gorgeous city views from the top. There is also a restaurant here where you can reserve a table for your meal.
Relax in Tiergarten
Berlin can be hectic with its history and quite heavy and dark with its tragic past. So if one day you feel a little too drained from all the World Wars and holocausts and walls, then do head to the Tiergarten, a peaceful little paradise with trees, quiet paths, benches and grassy landscapes. It has thick foliage in some parts and is fringed by the Landwehr Canal. This city park invites you to pack a lunch and sit at a bench, enjoying the quiet right in the middle of Berlin’s chaos. You can also visit the Bismarck memorial, the Luiseninsel and rose garden here.
Visit the Berlin Cathedral
It is technically not a cathedral as a Bishop hasn’t inhabited it, but the structure is glorious. Located on the Museum Island, the Berlin Cathedral is a Protestant church, known for its beautiful ice-green coloured dome with a profusion of intricate mosaics, gold work, sculptures and marble pieces. The Hohenzollern Crypt below the cathedral is the mausoleum of German and Prussian Emperors.
Explore the Pergamon Museum
Museum Island is a mine of museums in itself, but the highlight is Pergamon Museum, encompassing three small museums in its premises; namely - the Collection of Classical Antiquities, the Museum of Islamic Art and the Museum of the Ancient Near East. What sets these displays apart from the usual is that they are not only paintings but also reconstructed gates, setups and antiquities from the Babylonian era. You will find the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, Aleppo Zimmer, a Syrian merchant’s house and much more here.
See Berlin in a Trabi
Trabi is an old noisy car, a symbol of Eastern Block Berlin. The car, also known as Trabant was popular during the Soviet era in East Germany, a product of their everything state-made policy. Today you can take a unique tour of Berlin by driving around town in one of these. A guided tour will include a guide who drives ahead of yours in his own car, pointing out landmarks. Rental and tour bookings are available near Check Point Charlie.
Pay your Respects at Holocaust Memorial
One of the most tragic parts of German history is the Jewish extermination and holocaust, the concentration camps and merciless experiments and killings of a race by the Nazis. To honour their deaths and remember them, Berlin has the Holocaust Memorial. You must visit the place for the chills that its concrete grave-like slabs give you. The slabs are arranged in a wave like pattern and the paths cutting through them are like a labyrinth.