Posts Tagged ‘Brandenburg Gate’

TOP 10 of things to do in Berlin, for FREE!!

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

 

Summer Berlin

We have made a TOP 10 of amazing things to do in Berlin, all free of charge!!

Berlin is an amazing city, and it doesn´t need to be to expansive to have a good time in Germany´s Capitol! If you are traveling on a budget there are still plenty of cool things to do, that are totally free of any charge!!! Read on and we will give price some of the best things to do, for free!

Here is our TOP 10:
1.Tacheles – One-time department store then SS headquarters in the heart of Berlins
former Jewish quarter, the Tacheles was taken over by squatters in 91. Behind the
buildings bombed out façade is a wealth of art studios.  Just opposite youll find delicious French fries served from a dodgy looking
trailer called Beckers Fritten
2.Gendarmenmarkt – Touted by many guidebooks as the prettiest square in Berlin,
Gendarmenmarkt is famous for its two churches – one Protestant, one Catholic – each
built opposite each other by the opposing religion. Not often that happens. TIP:
Fassbender & Rausch, possibly the worlds greatest chocolate shop, is on the corner of
Gendarmenmarkt
3.Kollwitzplatz – Käthe Kollwitz, the famous left-wing, anti-war artist, would no doubt
take great pride that not only is there a square named after her (complete with bronze
statue) but that its one that was once a meeting point for intellectuals and artists during
Prenzlauer Bergs nasty East Germany days. Dont miss Kollwitzplatz`s famous market on
saturdays
Enjoy amazing cakes and delicious coffee at the Anna Blume café on the corner of
Sredzkistrasse and Kollwitzstrasse.
Just round the corner is Rykestrasse Synagogue, Germany’s largest synagogue.
4.Topography of Terror – Back in 1987 a group of students excavated, with little more than their bare hands, the cellars of Berlins former Gestapo and SS headquarters. The Topography of Terror is the fruit of their labour, an open-air exhibition documenting what happens when a totalitarian regime tortures its people to death for fun.
TIP: Pickup a headset from the reception for English audio commentary.
TIP: Next to the Topography of Terror is an excellent art museum called Martin-Gropius-Bau
5.Reichstag- The German parliament building, re-opened in 1999 after the government
and most of the ministries moved from Bonn to Berlin. British architect Lord Norman Foster
redesigned this place, complete with a huge glass dome with public access, so you can
watch the politicians at work.
You can get in for FREE. Try to avoid the queues at the Reichstag, make a reservation at
Kaefers restaurant at the top of the glass dome. This should get you in the side door.
6.Holocaust Memorial- Berlins ultra-controversial memorial for the murdered Jews of
Europe, 2,711 concrete blocks jutting off at offensive and suffocating angles.
Co-incidentally only a stones throw away from the site of Adolf Hitlers former underground
lair, the Führerbunker.
Walk through the memorial, youll quickly realise its not the kind of place you want to have
a summer picnic at.
7.Free Dinner Party at EastSeven Berlin Hostel

Every Monday an Wednesday we cook a vegetarian meal for all our guests, and it is for free!! We even have a happy hour for beer!!
8.Volkspark Friedrichshain -A beautiful park, excellent for jogging or having a picnic or
barbeque. In the middle you’ll find Friedrichshains highest hill, which provides a 78-metre
high view over Berlins flat terrain. The hill was actually man-made to cover up a destroyed
anti-aircraft bunker from World War II, as well as several tonnes of bombed out rubble.
Also you can play beachvolleyball for free here. They have a special area reserved for
beachsports. Its free to use for anyone but you´d have to bring your own equipment.
9.Fleamarket -Sunday is fleamarket day. Close to the hostel (500 m) you find the
Arkonaplatz Fleamarket and the famous Mauerpark fleamarket. If you don´t want to buy
something – no problem, you first of all go there to see all kind of urban subjects with
hangover and even sober ones. Berliners go there – you should as well, and ofcourse
there is no entrance fee here!
10.Brandenburg Gate -Every 10, 20 and 50 cent German Euro coin is minted with a
picture of this big city gate on its reverse side. Stranded in a lonely no-mans land between
1961 and 89 thanks to the East German government, no other structure in Berlin better
symbolises the temporary division of the city. Just go to foot from Unter den Linden and
take a closer look at this immense Gate. This Beautiful sight in Berlin is also admission
free to visit.
Have fun exploring Berlin on a low budget! If you are still looking for a cheap bed in Berlin you are welcome to stay at our cozy hostel in Berlin Prenzlauer Berg!


Day of German Unity – Celebration in Berlin this weekend!!

Monday, September 27th, 2010
Berlin

Berlin


Come to Berlin and celebrate with us!!

The 3rd of october, the day Germany was officially reunified is now a public holiday. This reunification is of course a good reason to throw one heck of a party! If you want to celebrate together with the Germans you must head to Brandenburg Gate. Here you will find live entertainment, music, dancing food and drinks.

The celebration is not only for the locals, who have been sperated for over 40 years by the  Berlin Wall. The organisers of this big celebration empashize the pan_European dimension of 1989,when the breaching of the Wall showed that the cracks in East European Communism were starting to split wide open, letting unity between East and West flood through.

Festivities will be organized from october 1st till october 3rd. The party is on all day and free of any charges!

What is to be expected? There will be a huge stage at the Brandenburger Tor. On this stage some really cool artists from all over Germany will perform!

For more up-coming events and insider tipps please check out our online staff-recommendations.

Hope to see you soon in Berlin!


Free events in Berlin, this winter. EastSevens TOP 20!

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Reichstag

Reichstag

EastSeven made an amazing top 20 of events and museums you can visit without paying for it, nice :).

1. Topography of Terror – Back in 1987 a group of students excavated, with little more than their bare hands, the cellars of Berlins former Gestapo and SS headquarters. The Topography of Terror is the fruit of their labour, an open-air exhibition documenting what happens when a totalitarian regime tortures its people to death for fun.
You can pickup a headset from the reception for English audio commentary.
Next to the Topography of Terror is an excellent art museum called Martin-Gropius-Bau.
2. During the cold Berlin winter we like to provide our guest with a nice warm meal, every monday. It´s a Free Dinner Party for everybody staying at the hostel. Our cook Florian prepares delicious vegetarian meals, every week something different. Its a nice opportunity to meet up with other travelers.
3. Every sunday it is Fleamarket Day in Berlin. Close to the hostel (500 m)you find the Arkonaplatz Fleamarket and the famous Mauerpark fleamarket. You don´t want to buy something – no problem you first of all go there to see all kind of urban subjects with hangover and even sober ones. Berliners go there – you should as well.
4. The Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum.
When visiting Berlin, you should visit some historical sites aswell. for instance the sachsenhausen concentration camp. It’ s not going to be a fun trip, but you will learn so much more about the terrible second world war and its victims.
Opening Hours in winter: 15 October until 14 March: daily 8:30 – 16:30 To get there, take the S1 (S-bahn Wannsee to Oranienburg) until Oranienburg station. This is the last stop and the journey takes around 45 minutes from Berlin-Friedrichstraße station. Trains leave every 20 minutes. You need an ABC-ticket.
There is no entrance fee. Of course you pay when you want to take a guided tour, it costs €15 for up to 15 people, and €25 for up to 30 people.
5. Take the subwaytrain u2 from senefelderplatz to Potsdamer Platz – Potsdamer Platz was the glitzy centre of Germanys debauched 1920s metropolis, and the site Europes first traffic light system. Smashed into rubble during WW II, its now home to Europes fastest elevator and a mass of steel and glass buildings said to represent the future of Berlin.
If you´re there you should definately check out the Sony Centre and Cinemax cinemas for films in their original language (e.g. English).
6. Also a most visit when you are in Berlin : Checkpoint Charlie. This is Berlins most famous crossing point between East and West and a lasting symbol of the citys fragile Cold War relations. Commemorated today by an ersatz replica of the original American checkpoint and two historically inaccurate pictures of Soviet and American soldiers.
Do avoid the museum, its disorganised, expensive, and there is way too much information.
7.Reichstag – The German parliament building, re-opened in 1999 after the government and most of the ministries moved from Bonn to Berlin. British architect Lord Norman Foster redesigned this place, complete with a huge glass dome with public access, so you can watch the politicians at work.
8.The Berlin Wall Documentation Center is one component of the memorial site ensemble at Bernauer Strasse. The ensemble consists of the Berlin Wall Memorial, the Chapel of Reconciliation and Documentation Center. The Documentation Center is officiated by the Verein Berliner Mauer – Gedenkstätte und Dokumentationszentrum, which is supported by an advisory council and bears responsibility for the project content.
The Documentation Center on the history of the Berlin Wall provides historical information and educates the public. It makes information and in-depth programs available to the interested public. Beginning with the historical, political events that occurred at Bernauer Strasse, an area situated at the border between East and West and hence a focal point of German postwar history, the center researches and presents the history of the division of Germany.
The Documentation Center opened on November 9, 1999, the 10th anniversary of the fall of the Wall, with a workshop exhibition titled “Grenzblicke. A new exhibition titled “Berlin, August 13, 1961” has been on display since August 13, 2001. The exhibition, presented in both English and German, was designed by the Berlin company gewerk.
The Documentation Center is housed in a section of the Evangelical Reconciliation Parish. The rooms, provided rent-free, are to be used for documentation and for an exhibition.  NO entrance fee! Yeah!
9. Holocaust Memorial – Berlins ultra-controversial memorial for the murdered Jews of Europe, 2,711 concrete blocks jutting off at offensive and suffocating angles. Co-incidentally only a stones throw away from the site of Adolf Hitlers former underground lair, the Führerbunker.
10.Viktoriapark Kreuzberg
Viktoriapark is one of Berlin’s oldest and prettiest parks and offers a great view from the top of Kreuzberg. Have a delicious and cheap vegetarian lunch at Seerose (Mehringdamm 47) and then have a coffee or some ice cream at one of the plenty cafes in Bergmannstraße. Kreuzberg/Viktoriapark @ U-Mehringdamm.

11. Brandenburg gate. Every 10, 20 and 50 cent German Euro coin is minted with a picture of this big city gate on its reverse side. Stranded in a lonely no-mans land between 1961 and 89 thanks to the East German government, no other structure in Berlin better symbolises the temporary division of the city.
Of course you should take your camera and get snapping; its not going anywhere anytime soon.
12. Organic market on Kollwitzplatz every thursday and saturday. On a late Saturday morning you should go to where the locals go – the farmer´s market on Kollwitzplatz – 200 Meters from EastSeven. Fresh organic vegetables, varieties of sausages and a lot more of savoir vivre. By your food of the season there, go back to the hostel and prepare it in our fancy self catering kitchen.
13. Turkish market on maybachufer, Kreuzberg. Every tuesday and friday! experience Berlin’s most famous multi-cultural market. Shop for food or even a pretty souvenir. Cafés and bars
are close by as well. Every tuesday and Friday from 11a.m. to 6.30p.m
Get out at U-Bahn Schönleinstraße.
14. Mauerpark – If you are over 20 and still like to play (particularly with beer bottles), then this is your playground. Its the best place in Berlin for relaxed outdoor boozing and there are hilltop swingsets which are a great spot for watching the sun sink lazily in the West.
Dont miss the fabulous flea market on Sundays.
15. Visit one of the many christmas markets in Berlin. Most of them are free of charge. For instance the one at Alexanderplatz  or the one at the Kulturbrauerei, the Lucia Weihnachtsmarkt.
Go here for a stroll, shop to find some more christmas presents, drink mulled wine and eat german saucages! Nice.
16. Museum Island – Surrounded on all sides by the River Spree, Museum Island is literally an island with museums on it, isnt that clever? It is not only home to some of the citys top class museums such as the Altes Museum and the Pergamon Museum, but also the Berliner Dom and the tranquil Lustgarten.
Visit the island on a Thursday between six and ten for free entrance to the museums.
17. Tacheles – One-time department store then SS headquarters in the heart of Berlins former Jewish quarter, the Tacheles was taken over by squatters in 91. Behind the buildings bombed out façade is a wealth of art studios, two cinemas, 3 bars, a beach bar, a café and a newly opened bourgeois restaurant.
Watch out for the fire-breathing dragon in Café Zapata!
Just opposite youll find delicious French fries served from a dodgy looking trailer called Beckers Fritten.

18. Art & antique market on Straße der 17. juni. Every saturday and sunday. Of course there is no entrance fee here aswell. The market is easy to reach with any s-train from platform 4 at Alexanderplatz. Get out at the stop Tiergarten.

19. Kastanienallee – Dubbed Casting Alley by the locals, this long strip of little cafes, indie fashion designers trading their wares and tasty restaurants is the ideal place to hang out and watch the surprisingly large number of beautiful faces walk by at all hours.
Kastanienallee is home to Berlins largest and oldest beer garden – the Prater.
Recommended Berlin souvenir shop: Luxus International

20. Zionskirchplatz – Life in a resistance group fighting either the Nazis or East German government was often a dangerous affair. Finding somewhere quiet and warm to hold your secret discussions therefore being a number one priority = PBergs 19th century Church of Zion. It is now surrounded by small cafes and restaurants.

When you´re there go  also to the Weinerei, where you can pay for a glass of wine what you think its worth.
Okay, that´s all for now! Hope you have a great time when you visit Berlin. For more nice events in Berlin check our blog and our staff-recommendations.


Our top 10 of Events for this Week

Monday, November 9th, 2009
Party at East7

Party at East7

Check out our amazing top 10 of cool events for this week.

1. Today its the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Check out the  Festival of  Freedom at the Brandenburg Gate. Or be part of the Mauer Mob.

2. Also today, there will be a delicious free vegatarian meal cooked at the EastSeven Kitchen! Sign up at the reception and join the cooking party at 19h in our Kitchen!

3.  Pay a visit to the Museum of communaction. On permanent exhibition are tools of the written word – wax seals, postcards and stamps (such as the famous Blue Mauritius), agents of the spoken and visual word – telephones (including some of the first), radios and film, and of the virtual – telegraphs and computers.

4. Go to the Bang Bang Club on thursday night to see some nice bands performing live. This thursday:
MJ HIBBETT & THE VALIDATORS (UK)+ DJ Martin Petersdorf

5. Experience Kreuzberg! Take a walk in gorgeous Viktoriapark and enjoy the great view from the plateau and then have an exquisite, but very cheap meal at either (vegetarian) Seerose or at Mutti’s (Großbeerenstr. 36). Then have drinks at one of the many nice bars/cafes at Bergmannstrasse.

6. Wintertime-Saunatime, YES! Warm up at the Olivin Welness Sauna just around the corner from the EastSeven Berlin Hostel. With its Finnish sauna and the successful
blending together of a ‘lounge’ and ‘sauna’ into one environment, OLIVIN Wellness Lounge close-by the EastSeven is a true wellness oasis. Especially now in the long and cold Berlin winter time….

7. On saturday night, go to the St. George Klub in Berlin Kreuzberg to dance to some fine beats!!! Yes YES, Paul White, Pete from BBE, Suffdaddy, Stevo, Michael Rosen, Dirk Markham

8. What? It´s raining, again?! Good excuse for visiting all Berlin museums…. For instance the Jewish Museum or the New museum on the Museum Island.

9. Shopping makes Happy…go to the kastanienallee (a 3minute-walk away from the EastSeven Berlin Hostel). You´ll find some nice souvenir/second-hand/vintage/designer shops here.  You´ll have fun!

10. Last but not least, you must be hungry by now?!! Try the german food at Zum SchusterJungen, it´s the real stuff, from bratwurst to schnitzel to sauerbraten. Even as a vegetarian you can enjoy this restaurant, try the senf eier, yummie!!

Hope to see you soon in Berlin!


‘Festival of Freedom’ to Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

Berlin Brandenburg Gate

Berlin Brandenburg Gate

At the Brandenburg Gate on the 9th of november ….

…. dominos will feature in a live performance, which will include the designers of the Domino Action, politicians, contemporary witnesses and guests from all over the world. The former German Foreign Minister, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, and the Nobel Peace Laureates Kofi Annan, Muhammad Yunus and Mikhail Gorbachev will be among the guests.
Almost one thousand dominos have been designed by youths so far, most of them by pupils from Berlin schools. On international level, the co-operation partner Goethe-Institut has sent several dominos into the world which are designed by students as well as artists and intellectuals. This ‘Mauerreise – the wall in the world project’ aims to raise awareness of walls around the world that continue to exist.

In the context of the series of events called MUR|MURS|MAUER|ECHO by the Institut français, German and French students have been enabled to design a total of 15 dominos in workshops together with artists. On 9 November those dominos as well as those of the Geothe-Institut will become part of the performance at the Brandenburg Gate.
The ‘domino effect’ stands for many brave people as well as contemporary witnesses of the Peaceful Revolution in the late 1980s. The protests of some individuals had grown to a strong-willed but peaceful mass movement. The ‘Festival of Freedom’ on 9 November also wants to convey that the events of 1989 and the fall of the Wall not only influenced Germany, but also changed Europe and the world – “German history with a domino effect”. Already on 7 and 8 November, the Domino Gallery made up of around 1000 over-sized dominos will cover a route of around 1.5 kilometres from the Reichstagsufer via the Brandenburg Gate to Potsdamer Platz and will create unique images and impressions close to where the Berlin Wall once stood.

Further information: Hotline +49 (0)30-443 123 330, dominoaktion(at)mauerfall09.de and www.mauerfall09.de/dominoaktion

The Festival of Freedom will begin with an open-air concert at Pariser Platz by the Staatskapelle Berlin conducted by Daniel Barenboim. After the concert, the fall of the Berlin Wall will be symbolised by knocking over the designed dominos, which will be broadcast live in ZDF from 19.25 until 20.15. Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to attend this extraordinary event.

Under musical direction of Daniel Barenboim the Staatskapelle Berlin and the Staatsopernchor (choir study: Eberhard Friedrich) play the following programme:

* Richard Wagner: Lohengrin, Prelude to Act III
* Arnold Schönberg: A Survivor from Warsaw, op. 46 (Speaker: Klaus Maria Brandauer)
* Ludwig van Beethoven: Symphony No. 7 A major, op. 92, IV: Allegro con brio
* Friedrich Goldmann: Es ist, als habe einer die Fenster aufgestoßen (Fragment, 2009)

(tekst: mauerfall09.de)


MTV Europe Music Awards 2009 in Berlin

Monday, November 2nd, 2009
Berlin

Berlin

In 2009 the MTV Music Awards are back at the place where it once all started…Berlin!

This thursday this amazing event will take place at state-of-the-art O2 World with amazing artists and amazing live performances by for instance Green Day, Shakira, Foo Fighters, Tokio Hotel, Leona Lewis and Jay-Z.  Some of this years´ presenters of the awards: Boris Becker, Backstreet Boys, Jean Reno & Juliette Lewis.

And this year the Europe Music Awards will also be a big part of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

15 years ago, the Brandenburg Gate was the stage for the first ever MTV EMAs and now it will be the backdrop for a short but exclusive set by U2 on 5th November. As part of the EMA´s global music icons U2 are going to give a spectacular perfomance at the Brandenburger Gate. All free tickets we´re sold out in a few seconds. But if you want to see this performance tune in to the EMA on your TV at home.

For more information check the MTV EMA website!

If you don´t have tickets for the EMA, no worries just tune in on thursday at 8pm. Or check out the EastSeven staff recommendations to find another nice event for this thursday!


10 things to do for free in Berlin

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

 

A piece of the Berlin Wall

A piece of the Berlin Wall

10 cool tips to have an amazing time in Berlin and save some money!!!!!

EastSeven Berlin Hostel recommends some cool activities and sightseeing, all for FREE.
We have listed up 10 interesting things to see and do in the exciting metropole Berlin.

If you want more insider tips you can also always ask us at the reception or check out our online city info and our online staff-recommendations.

Have fun exploring berlin on a low budget!

Here is our TOP 10:
1.Museums on Thursday night for free: NO ADMISSION FOR ALL STATE MUSEUMS

don’t pay money for culture! most of the state museums are admission free on Thursdays. Simply ask at the reception where to go!

2.Alexanderplatz; 20 Jahre Mauerfall: an Open-Air-Exhibition

The exhibition tells the story of the Peaceful Revolution and its main participants. It documents this exciting time and invites discussion of the results. Free Entry! (text:www.mauerfall09.de)
3.The Gedächtniskirche or Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

is the symbolic centre of West Berlin, an anti- war memorial to peace and reconciliation. Following allied bombing during WWII, the original, west Tower has remained standing as a ruin and is hauntingly named the “hollow tooth” as it is literally an empty husk. Immediately recognizable and located on the Breitscheidplatz at the start of the busy shopping district which includes the Tauentzienstrasse and Ku’damm, this is the only building on the square which was spared by the bombing and deliberately preserved as a part ruin. (text: Berlin.de) A visit to this church is definitely worthwhile and also complete FREE!

4.Brandenburg Gate

Every 10, 20 and 50 cent German Euro coin is minted with a picture of this big city gate on its reverse side. Stranded in a lonely no-mans land between 1961 and 89 thanks to the East German government, no other structure in Berlin better symbolises the temporary division of the city. Just go to foot from Unter den Linden and take a closer look at this immense Gate. This Beautiful sight in Berlin is also admission free to visit.
5.Reichstag

The German parliament building, re-opened in 1999 after the government and most of the ministries moved from Bonn to Berlin. British architect Lord Norman Foster redesigned this place, complete with a huge glass dome with public access, so you can watch the politicians at work.

You can get in for FREE. Try to avoid the queues at the Reichstag, make a reservation at Kaefers restaurant at the top of the glass dome. This should get you in the side door.
6.Holocaust Memorial

Berlins ultra-controversial memorial for the murdered Jews of Europe, 2,711 concrete blocks jutting off at offensive and suffocating angles. Co-incidentally only a stones throw away from the site of Adolf Hitlers former underground lair, the Führerbunker.

Walk through the memorial, youll quickly realise its not the kind of place you want to have a summer picnic at.
7.Potsdamer Platz

This was the glitzy centre of Germanys debauched 1920s metropolis, and the site Europes first traffic light system. Smashed into rubble during WW II, its now home to Europes fastest elevator and a mass of steel and glass buildings said to represent the future of Berlin.
Check out the Sony Centre and Cinemax cinemas for films in their original language (e.g. English, this is not for free of course!)
8.Volkspark Friedrichshain

A beautiful park, excellent for jogging or having a picnic or barbeque. In the middle you’ll find Friedrichshains highest hill, which provides a 78-metre high view over Berlins flat terrain. The hill was actually man-made to cover up a destroyed anti-aircraft bunker from World War II, as well as several tonnes of bombed out rubble. Also you can play beachvolleyball for free here. They have a special area reserved for beachsports. Its free to use for anyone but you´d have to bring your own equipment.

9.Fleamarket

Sunday is fleamarket day. Close to the hostel (500 m) you find the Arkonaplatz Fleamarket and the famous Mauerpark fleamarket. If you don´t want to buy something – no problem,  you first of all go there to see all kind of urban subjects with hangover and even sober ones. Berliners go there – you should as well, and ofcourse there is no entrance fee here!
10. East Side Gallery

The East Side Gallery is a 1.3 km-long painted stretch of the former Berlin Wall along the Mühlenstrasse in former East Berlin. It is the largest open-air gallery in the world, free of charge,  with over one hundred original mural paintings. Galvanised by the extraordinary events which were changing the world, artists from all around the globe rushed to Berlin after the fall of the Wall, leaving a visual testimony of the joy and spirit of liberation which erupted at the time.(text: www.berlin.de)


Sightseeing in Berlin-Our Top 20

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
Reichstag

Reichstag

How to spend a day in Berlin? EastSeven Berlin Hostel made a top 20 of popular sights.

Down below you find an overview of  some of the most beautiful and amazing sights in Berlin.  If you´re not sure jet how to spend your day in Berlin, just check out the top 20, with our recommendations on some of the coolest buildings, museums and parks Berlin has to offer! Some of the attractions are even for FREE!!!

For an in-depth look at all of these sights, and many more besides, join the Brewers Best of Berlin Day Tour. Brewers Berlin also offers a free sight seeing tour, which covers most of these sights. Tours also begin at our wonderful hostel.

OUR TOP 20:

  1. TV Tower – Built in 1969 as a symbol of East German socialism, this 368m tower, the largest structure in Germany, even has its own revolving café/restaurant. A trip to the top also offered a rare chance for East Germans to see what life on the other side of The Wall was really like.
  2. Reichstag – The German parliament building, re-opened in 1999 after the government and most of the ministries moved from Bonn to Berlin. British architect Lord Norman Foster redesigned this place, complete with a huge glass dome with public access, so you can watch the politicians at work.
  3. Brandenburg Gate – Every 10, 20 and 50 cent German Euro coin is minted with a picture of this big city gate on its reverse side. Stranded in a lonely no-mans land between 1961 and 89 thanks to the East German government, no other structure in Berlin better symbolises the temporary division of the city.
  4. Berliner Dom – Perhaps the most over-decorated protestant church in the world and once home to the Nazi partys Reich church. Bombed out during WW II, the Berlin Cathedral was restored to its current glory in 1993 – complete with a whopping great 7,200-pipe pipe organ.
  5. Jewish museum – German-Jewish relations have had their bad times, and surprisingly, although the exhibition names wouldnt give it away, their good times. Daniel Libeskind, the architect behind New Yorks Ground Zero memorial, designed this Museum.
  6. Museum Island – Surrounded on all sides by the River Spree, Museum Island is literally an island with museums on it, isnt that clever? It is not only home to some of the citys top class museums such as the Altes Museum and the Pergamon Museum, but also the Berliner Dom and the tranquil Lustgarten.
  7. Lustgarten – Dont be confused by the name, Berlins naked people are running around the citys 500acre Tiergarten just down the road. The Lustgarten started its life as a cabbage patch for the nearby city palace, later used as a military parade ground, now a grass garden.
  8. Holocaust Memorial – Berlins ultra-controversial memorial for the murdered Jews of Europe, 2,711 concrete blocks jutting off at offensive and suffocating angles. Co-incidentally only a stones throw away from the site of Adolf Hitlers former underground lair, the Führerbunker.
  9. Potsdamer Platz – This was the glitzy centre of Germanys debauched 1920s metropolis, and the site Europes first traffic light system. Smashed into rubble during WW II, its now home to Europes fastest elevator and a mass of steel and glass buildings said to represent the future of Berlin.
  10. Topography of Terror – Back in 1987 a group of students excavated, with little more than their bare hands, the cellars of Berlins former Gestapo and SS headquarters. The Topography of Terror is the fruit of their labour, an open-air exhibition documenting what happens when a totalitarian regime tortures its people to death for fun.
  11. Checkpoint Charlie – Berlins most famous crossing point between East and West and a lasting symbol of the citys fragile Cold War relations. Commemorated today by an ersatz replica of the original American checkpoint and two historically inaccurate pictures of Soviet and American soldiers.
  12. Gendarmenmarkt – Touted by many guidebooks as the prettiest square in Berlin, Gendarmenmarkt is famous for its two churches – one Protestant, one Catholic – each built opposite each other by the opposing religion. Not often that happens.
  13. DDR Museum – Using the paraphernalia of shopping, fashion and family life Berlins DDR museum attempts to introduce visitors to what for millions of East Germans was once everyday life. Play Hausfrau in an authentic DDR kitchen and living room, or experience first-hand what it was like to be spied on.
  14. Tacheles – One-time department store then SS headquarters in the heart of Berlins former Jewish quarter, the Tacheles was taken over by squatters in 91. Behind the buildings bombed out façade is a wealth of art studios, two cinemas, 3 bars, a beach bar, a café and a newly opened bourgeois restaurant.
  15. Hackescher Markt – Hackescher Markt was once home to booming businesses during the Industrial Revolution. Its now famous not only for its attractive station, but as a jumping off point to the nearby Hackescher Höfe complex.
  16. Karl Marx Allee - Rent a bike at the reception and explore this sweeping communist boulevard where the GDR Government used to proudly present their weapons of mass destruction at their May Day parades.
  17. Raw Temple – An alternative entertainment hub including an indoor skate hall, a former Nazi hide-out used now for freestyle rock climbing, an open air cinema and regular live music.
  18. Volkspark Friedrichshain – A beautiful park, excellent for jogging or having a picnic. In the middle youll find Friedrichshains highest hill, which provides a 78-metre high view over Berlins flat terrain. The hill was actually man-made to cover up a destroyed anti-aircraft bunker from World War II, as well as several tonnes of bombed out rubble.
  19. Stasi Headquarters – Take the U5 subway at Alexanderplatz to Magdalenenstrasse and visit the former headquarters of the Stasi – East Germanys cruel and meticulous secret police – in Normannenstr. The building has been transformed into a museum and you can walk through the preserved offices of some of the GDRs most powerful men. A disturbing look at Berlins very recent past.
  20. Schloss Charlottenburg – If you are interested in Prussian architecture and history but dont have time to travel to Potsdam, then Schloss Charlottenburg is the perfect inner-city alternative. This outstanding palace and its surrounding gardens are not only visually stunning, but will also give you a detailed insight into the lifestyle of the Prussian emperors.