Berlin: A Big City

Berlin is the most populated city in Germany and as the capital of Germany, it is extremely diverse, wild, and untamed. There is just too much to do and see in this city. A super metropolis and home to the Chancellor of Germany, it’s not only a political hub but also a tourist one. Tons of well-curated museums flood the city streets, varied architecture with old styles and new combined into a single landscape is sight to be seen, and a robust, healthy nightlife keeps the energy flowing. It’s unfortunate we only stayed in Berlin for two days because it was absolutely not enough.

Be careful of tourist traps, gypsies, pickpockets, and scammers; they’ll come up to you to ask for donations but really are trying to distract you and get your wallet. One of the two high school aged girls came up and had the audacity to literally put her hands in my wallet. Crazy! Good thing my boyfriend was there to defend me.

What to Do | What to Eat | Where to Stay | Transportation | Resources | Map

What to Do

1. Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor)

Free to visit, the gate is one of Berlin’s most important landmark monuments. A former symbol of the divided city, it was a part of the Berlin wall, standing between East and West Germany. Now, it has turned into a symbol of unity.

2. Museum Island (Museumsinsel)

Alte Nationalgalerie – Old National Gallery

Museum Island is the name given to a group of five museums nestled together on a small island in the Spree River between 1824 and 1930. Due to its cultural and architectural monument, it was awarded the UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1999. Its museums are famous for housing the legendary bust of the Egyptian queen Nefertiti, the breathtaking Pergamon Altar, and the stunning Ishtar Gate. The Pergamonmuseum is the favorite among the five.

Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral Church) – the biggest church in the city

3. Reichstag (and Bundestag)

Reichstag
Reichstag
Reichstag is the building and the glass observation/viewing dome is the Bundestag

The home of the German Parliament this unique building is available to the public for observation tower/dome (Bundestag) visits upon reservations much ahead of time. If you can’t make a reservation, visiting its outside lawn is a good enough to take a decent picture.

4. Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

This memorial piece takes the form of 2,711 blocks of varying heights arranged across the area of a housing block (some measure up to 6 feet tall) made to memorialize the 6 million Jewish victims of the Third Reich.

5. Berlin Wall

The Wall was mostly demolished between June and November 1990 but there is a restored stretch. Visit Checkpoint Charlie, the famous east-west border control during the Cold War and now a tourist center. Be careful! You do have to pay the actors wearing the uniforms if you take pictures with them.

Checkpoint Charlie. The soldiers cost money to take pics with.

6. Berlin Bike Tour

Bike tours will probably do a pit stop here at the concert house
biketour
Bike Tour
biketour
Victory Column

See the sights by bike! Good way to secure all the big monuments and enjoy the Tiergarten. Just Google one and use one with excellent reviews.

7. Tiergarten

Tiergarten or “Animal Garden” used to be a hunting ground for select Germans in the 17th century. Now, it’s just a giant park in the big city. It’s 630 acres and sprawls from central Berlin westward.

8. Potsdamer Platz

Originally, Potsdamer Platz was Berlin’s main plaza. Now, it is a public square with shopping and restaurants and big buildings.

8. Currywurst Museum


A museum about delicious currywurst. Man, I love currywurst. Ticket comes with currywurst at the end of the museum trip. Fun photo ops everywhere. I learned a lot about spices.

Currywurst
Sauce
Currywurst
Fries
Currywurst
Delicious
Currywurst
Currywurst

9. TV Tower (Fernsehturm)

For 360 degree view of Berlin, you have to go to the Fernsehturm (TV Tower).

10. Charlottenburg Palace (Schloss Charlottenburg)

The baroque and rococo styled royal palace built at the end of the 17th century an expanded during the 18th century. It has a large formal garden, a belvedere, a mausoleum, a theatre and a pavilion.

11. Konzerthaus Berlin

A pretty concert house in a pretty plaza near Rausch chocolate shop.

What to Eat

1. Rausch Schokoladenhaus

Covered in chocolate, chocolate sculpture of Berlin icons, and littered with chocolate gifts, Rausch is a great place for buying chocolate and gifts. There is a cafe upstairs with chocolate desserts that I highly recommend.

chocolate bear
Berlin Bear
ice cream
Ice cream

2. Ritter Sport Berlin

Yes, you’ve seen it everywhere. You can buy it everywhere, like every country, but you gotta check out home base. Take a break and a seat at the cafe for some desserts.

Ritter Cake
Cake
Huge stack of ritter sport
Choco tower
Cake shaped like Ritter Sport! Adorable

Where to Stay

Pension 1A Apartment, Berlin

We stayed at the Pension 1A for 2 nights for $150 USD and it was fine. It was more like a well-run Airbnb. If you’re okay with a super spacious, older apartment building, then definitely check this place out. My only thing was the bathroom was a disappointment – the rest of it was awesome and the service is impeccable. I love the homey, sweet hospitality vibe.

Transportation

Berlin Train Station
Berlin Train Station – Berlin Hauptbahnhof – lot of scammers nearby so be careful

We took the train everywhere. I think we also took some Ubers.

Resources

Dope architecture

Map

Click here for the JoYo Germany map.

German Chancellery

JoYo Germany Guide

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