To each his own Berlin

Trip description

During this stay, you can spend a day or more on each of Berlin's facets. Feel free to adapt these days to your desires, by extending them or adding a shopping day

Day 1: Classic Berlin

Day 2: Architectural Berlin

Day 3: Berlin of the Hitler years et of the Second World War

Day 4: Berlin in the countryside

Day 5: The Berlin Wall

Day 6: L'Ostalgie

Day 7: A day in Potsdam, the Berlin Versailles

Day 8: Berlin and diversity

Day 1 : Classic Berlin

Day1 : Classic Berlin ©Archive Berlin Zoo

The monuments on Museum Island, Unter den Linden, the Gendarmenmarkt, but also the completely renovated Charlottenburg Castle and its surroundings recall the splendours of the Prussian period. To do this, start your day by visiting the Charlottenburg complex, its castle, but above all the park with its charming buildings. The surroundings of the site are full of imposing bourgeois houses. Then cross the Tiergarten and walk along Unter den Linden to Museum Island. The Deutsches Historiches Museum (Deutsches Historiches Museum) also provides an opportunity to refresh your memory of the country's history. End your day with dinner on the Gendarmenmarkt, one of Berlin's most beautiful squares.

Day 2 : Architectural Berlin

Day2 : Architectural Berlin ©By KaDeWe

The architectural fans will be filled in Berlin, whether by the embassy area at the exit of the Tiergarten, the Potsdamer Platz and Friedrichstraße, or by the main train station, the Hauptbahnhof, inaugurated in 2006. You can climb on the panoramic platform of the Kolhoff building in Potsdamer Platz for the extraordinary view (pay entrance: You can also take a look at the renovations of the Ouvriers Berg workers'barracks, or visit the archives of the Bauhaus movement (in the Klingelhöferstrasse). The ideal way to discover the architecture is not only to be very attentive throughout your stay, but also to take a walk on this theme, whether it is a guided tour or the walks we propose in this guide.

Day 3 : Berlin of the Hitler years et of the Second World War

Day3 : Berlin of the Hitler years et of the Second World War ©Archive Berlin Zoo

There are many monuments in Berlin that evoke this period. The Holocaust Memorial, near Potsdamer Platz, will be your starting point. Behind the Potsdamer Platz, the very complete memorial of the German resistance (Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand) on Stauffenbergstraße, nos. 13-14 (next to the Kulturforum) shows us another facet of the war. While walking down Stresemannstraße from Potsdamer Platz, go to see the exhibition "Topography of Terrors" on repression in Germany, installed along the remains of the former annex building of the Gestapo. In front of the exhibition stands the current Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Aviation at the time of the Third Reich. Finally, three hours will not be too long to discover the rich documents of the Jewish Museum (Jüdisches Museum) which retrace the persecution of Jews since the Middle Ages. A stroll through the former Jewish quarter of Scheunenviertel (S-Bahn Hackescher Markt) will take you through more discreet, but equally poignant, commemorative plaques. Note on the ground the presence of small golden paving stones cemented in front of buildings: they mention the names of the deported and murdered Jews who once lived there.

Day 4 : Berlin in the countryside

Day4 : Berlin in the countryside ©By KaDeWe

The ideal way to discover Berlin's parks is to rent a bike. To visit the parks and lakes further outside the city, it is possible to take your bike in the S-Bahn (with the appropriate ticket). Start with a stroll in the Tiergarten, which will take you to the House of World Cultures, home to various cultural events and nicknamed "the pregnant oyster" because of its characteristic shape. You will also cross the residence of the President of the Republic, Bellevue Castle, then the Victory Column (Siegessäule), made famous by the film Les Ailes du désir by Wim Wenders. Head for the famous Berlin zoo, which has some 14,000 animals and has given its name to the entire Park and Zoologischer Garten station, popularized by the novel Moi, Christiane F., 13 years old, drugged, prostitute (Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo). If you prefer plants, the Botanical Garden is located at the S-Bahn Botanischer Garten station. In summer, go swimming in the city's 45 lakes and finish the evening with a barbecue.

Day 5 : The Berlin Wall

Day5 : The Berlin Wall ©Baxpax Hostels

Follow in the footsteps of a wall that has marked the history of Berlin. There are still some vestiges of it - material or behavioural - more than twenty years after its destruction. To recall the history of the Berlin Wall and the Cold War, the Wall Museum in Checkpoint Charlie (U6 Kochstraße) is a must. The explanatory panels are also in French. The Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer Memorial (U8 Bernauerstraße) faces a piece of Wall listed by the Historic Monuments. For educational purposes, it has been restored to its original state, doubled by the "protective" wall built on the East German side, and thus strikes the imagination with its austere appearance. Remember to go around the Wall to see the initial configuration: between the two walls was the "dead zone" (Todestreife) patrolled by VoPos and their ruthless dogs, when it was not simply mined. Also worth visiting is the Chapel of Reconciliation, just next to the memorial. Finally, the East Side Gallery (U1 Warschauer Str. or S-Bahn Ostbahnhof) is an even different testimony to the Wall, reminding us that after its fall, artists from East and West expressed themselves together on this more than one-kilometre stretch.

Day 6 : L'Ostalgie

Day6 : L'Ostalgie ©By KaDeWe

Search for traces of the GDR. Start with two open-air museums of the East Germany regime. First, the (long) Karl Marx Allee (SBahn Schillingsstr.), huge symbolic avenue of East Berlin. The plan went through its army every year. A small museum is dedicated to the Café Sybille at 24 of the avenue (free entrance). Then go on the side of the Soviet memorial, an impressive esplanade in Treptow park (Sowjetisches Ehrenmal, SBahn Treptower Park). In the afternoon, take a tour at the QUOTIDIENNE Museum of Daily Life, at the end of Alexanderplatz, at the Karl-Soviet bridge level, then visit the famous Ampelmann boutique in the S Höfe (S-Bahn Hackescher Markt). Further away from the centre but still accessible by public transport, the Gedenkstätte Hohenschönhausen (tram 6 or 7 until Genslerstr) offers the visit of the Stasi prisons by former inmates. In the evening, enjoy a drink at the Die Tagung bar, a true Communist era bar (Wülichstr. 29, Ubahn Warschauer Str.).

Day 7 : A day in Potsdam, the Berlin Versailles

We go there with the S7 - stop Potsdam Hauptbahnhof. Walk for a long time in the Sanssouci park. You will naturally find here its charming castle, but also other less well-known and equally attractive buildings, such as the Orangery and the Chinese House. You will even see the buildings of the University of Potsdam behind the New Palace (Am Neuen Palais). Have lunch in one of the many cafés in the charming Dutch district and enjoy a variety of souvenirs in the many craft shops. To see for the afternoon, the Filmmuseum, in the Breite Strasse in the city centre, which traces the history of the Babelsberg studios, where the great German expressionist films were shot, among others. The studios, nearby, are not open to visitors; however, a theme park dedicated to cinema can entertain children

Day 8 : Berlin and diversity

Day8 : Berlin and diversity ©By KaDeWe

It is difficult to claim to discover Berlin's diversity in one day, but you will feel it during your stay. However, it may be a question of discovering alternative places, such as the RAW-Gelände cultural complex (Revaler str., U- or S-Bahn Warschauer Str.), which, in former buildings of the Berlin rail transport company, offers various bars, concert halls, sports classes and nightclubs. Also discover the concept of the Weinerei, of which only the most famous remains today, at the crossroads of the Veteranstr and the Fehrberlinerstr. (U8 Rosenthalerplatz): for one euro, you get a glass of wine and drink at will. Before you leave, you must deposit in a vase the amount you think you have been drinking for. Also go for a visit to the Turkish market in the Landwehrkanal (U-Bahn Kottbusser Tor) on Tuesday or Friday in the late afternoon. The variety of products presented and languages spoken illustrates Berlin's cultural mix. Buy a snack on one of the African or Turkish stands and sit by the water to listen to the street musicians.

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