Berlin Journals

The New Berlin

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An October 2000 trip to Berlin by travel2000

Jewish Museum Berlin (Jüdisches Museum) Photo, Berlin, Germany More Photos
Quote: Prior to my visit, I had no strong impression of Berlin, except for images of Berlin Wall and its fall ten years ago. My sister, an architecture graduate, was excited about Berlin-"There's lots to see-it's a brand new Berlin!" She was 100% right.

The New Berlin

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Overview

Brandenburg Gate Photo, Berlin, Germany
Quote:
Brandenburg Gate on Reunification Day (October 3), The Reischtag Dome, Jewish Museum, Potsdamer Platz, currywurst and french fries, Konig Pilsner, KadeWe, Haus am CheckPoint Charlie...For those of you looking for photos, I actually don't have my rolls developed yet. So check back in next week (Nov 13 week) and I should have them posted.Quick Tips: Berlin is HUGE. The eastern part is where all the new buildings, districts, restaurants, shops are coming up. We stayed in the western part, as we wanted to be closer to the Zoo station. Plan to spend at least 2-3 days there as there is much ground to cover.Best Way To Get Around: Transportation is very easy and efficient. Buses take you ev...Read More

Arco Hotel

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Hotel

Quote:
This is in an odd but convenient location. It's about 20 minute walk from Zoo train station, and only 5 minutes from KaDeWe department store and Kurfurstendamm, the main drag on the western side. It's in a residential district-so you feel like you are staying with friends. The rooms are really nice, with comfy down comforters and pillows (i guess standard for German accomodations) and modern clean bathrooms. The best thing is the breakfast. It runs until 11am, and there is a wide selection of cold cuts, cheeses, cereals, yogurt, juices, and more. The breakfast room is big and airy, with an array of newspapers. In the summer, there is a courtyard garden to sit in. There was always a fresh supply of foo...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 1, 2000

Arco Hotel
Geisbergstrasse 30
Berlin, Germany
030-235-1480

Movenpick Marche

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Restaurant

Quote:
This is a typical self-service chain, like a cafeteria. But for us, it was such a nice break from the sausage and beer diet. We just needed vegetables! The salad bar there is really a bargain-you pick the size plate (3 sizes) and you just pile on the salad as much as you can. There is also a meat counter, pasta, asian counter and desserts and drinks. There is alot of seating. We had 2 big salads and a drink, and it was only 22 marks (around $10 at today's exchange rates) If you ever want something fast and good or just need a dose of vegies, this is the place for you!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 1, 2000

Movenpick Marche
Kurfuerstendamm
Berlin, Germany

Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe)

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Attraction | "KaDeWe Dept Store"

Quote:
At the top floor of this department store (supposedly the largest of it's kind in continental Europe) lies the food lover's heaven. Counters and counters of food, cheeses, sausages, pastas, antipasta, desserts, chocolates, you name it, they have it. There is also a supermarket, as well as bars where you can sit and eat. We went to Feinshcmecker-Etage Grill & Pfanne, one such place. We each had a kind of veal cutlet (Paprikaschnitzel and Jagerschnitzel, the latter is veal with a mushroom sauce, delicious! so tender!). Also ordered a Salat der Saison, a huge salad with the kind of tangy, sweet mustardy dressing that I love in Germany. With a drink each, the bill was 46 marks, around $22. What a ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 1, 2000

Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe)
Tauentzienstr. 21-24
Berlin 10789
+49 30 2121 0

Tourist Bus 100 and 200

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Attraction

Quote:
This is the famous bus tour-the Bus 100 is the more popular one and Bus 200 was recently added to include a longer route that covers more of the new attractions. Pick up the "Tourist Information" pamphlet at your hotel or Tourist Information and it will tell you the routing. I recommend getting a day-pass (at any booth, metro station machine) so you can get on and off. These two bus routes combined covers metro Berlin and offers plenty to see. Such attractions as Gedachtniskirche and the legendary Ku'damm, the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag, the Victory Column, Potsdamer Platz, the Berlin Museum, Alexanderplatz, the Volkspark Friedrichshain, the Jewish Cemetery, the Pleasure Garden (Lustgart...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 1, 2000

Tourist Bus 100 and 200
Bus Stops Around Main City Sites
Berlin, Germany

Checkpoint Charlie Museum

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Attraction | "Haus Am Checkpoint Charlie"

Checkpoint Charlie Museum Photo, Berlin, Germany
Quote:
This was one of the highlights of my Berlin trip. I knew about the Berlin Wall and its Fall ten years ago, but I didn't really understood why and how all this came about. I recommend anyone visiting Berlin to first see this exhibit as it will help you grasp the magnitude of turmoil and change this city has experienced this century. The story boards are interesting-they tell both the history of events leading up to the Wall as well as the heroic struggles of the people. There is also a small part of the Wall standing outside the exit, orginal signage from Checkpoint Charlie, and the tools from various escapes. Actual artifacts are on display, such as the hot air balloon, various cars with traps...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 1, 2000

Checkpoint Charlie Museum
Friedrichstrasse 43
Berlin, Germany 10969
+49 30 25 37 25 0

Jewish Museum Berlin (Jüdisches Museum)

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Attraction | "Judisches Museum"

Jewish Museum Berlin (Jüdisches Museum) Photo, Berlin, Germany
Quote:
This is the Jewish Museum. Though this museum is not yet opened to the public, you can still marvel at the architecture of Daniel Libeskind. After an extensive security check, you can visit the Holocaust Tower, the underground floor of the still-empty building as well as the Exile Garden. I recommend first going into the Tower. Try to go in when the room is empty, and let the door slam behind you. Look up and you will see the gleam of light at the lone top window, as well as the ladder before you, just high enough you can't reach it. At that moment, you will learn the definition of desolation. After that, go to the other side and watch the video which explains some history as well as the meaning...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 1, 2000

Jewish Museum Berlin (Jüdisches Museum)
Lindenstrasse 9-14
Berlin, Germany 10969
+49 (30) 25993-300

Topographie des Terrors

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Attraction | "Topography of Terror Foundation"

Quote:
Website: www.topographie.de. This is an outdoor exhibit, trailing the terrors of the Nazi's and the happenings in the Gestapo (the headquarters being the building next to this exhibit). Look out for parts of the Berlin Wall at the back of the exhibit. It is on the site of the Gestapo Prison, where reports of mass murders were sent and compiled. This is ground zero. Don't make the mistake we made-start at the right entrance, and stop by the information trailer to purchase a history brochure. Everything is in German so you need some information to understand it. Though it's in chronological order, I wish I could understand the captions.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 1, 2000

Topographie des Terrors
Niederkirchnerstrasse 8
Berlin, Germany 10117
+49 30 254 86 703

Potsdamer Platz

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Attraction | "Info Box at Potsdammer Platz"

Potsdamer Platz Photo, Berlin, Germany
Quote:
This is a temporary building with documentary and excellent models of the new construction in Potsdammer Platz. When the Wall came down, the land on each side was completely deserted and undeveloped (please see entry on Potsdamer Platz for full history.) I say this building is temporary because the structure is to be moved to a new location in the area when all the construction is finished. Inside this bright red building (you can't miss it), there are exhibits, some interactive and computerized, to show the history of the site and the process leading up to the new construction. Most of the explanations were bilingual. On the top floor, there are many beautiful models of the urban planning of t...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 1, 2000

Potsdamer Platz
Public Square, Center of Berlin
Berlin, Germany 10785

Brandenburg Gate

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Attraction | "The Brandenburg Gate"

Brandenburg Gate Photo, Berlin, Germany
Quote:
Built in 1791, this is the only surviving gate of the old city. It was also part of the Wall dividing East and West Berlin, as well aa the site of numerous photos on that triumphant day on November 9, 1989 when the Wall came down. When the Wall was still up, this was the place where politicians visiting the West would take photos with the Gate elusively on the Eastern side. As with the Reichstag, the Gate is strung with a long history. It was built as a gate and a triumphant arch and has been a symbol of German solidarity throughout the centuries. Napolean marched under the arch in 1806 and took with him the horse-drawn chariot that sits on top of the Gate. (It was returned several years later.)...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 17, 2001

Brandenburg Gate
Pariser Platz
Berlin, Germany

Unter den Linden

Attraction

Quote:
Unter den Linden starts at the Brandenburg Gate and used to be one of the grand tree-lined boulevards of Europe. This is in the heart of what used to be East Berlin and it has since been rejuvenated. In the 17th century, royalty built their palaces here and in the 15th century, this was a horseway leading to the King's palace to the hunting lodge. Before the days of Hitler, this used to be the most prestigious boulevard. During the days of Hitler's reign, he replaced the thousands of beautiful trees with Nazi flags. However, due to popular demand, many of the trees were replanted. Unter den Linden is now a wonderful walk. It is like the Champs Elysee of Berlin, a wide tree-lined boulevard filled...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 17, 2001

Unter den Linden
Schlossplatz
Berlin, Germany 10117

Potsdamer Platz

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Attraction

Potsdamer Platz Photo, Berlin, Germany
Quote:
Before World War II, the land Potsdamer Platz sits on was one of the busiest squares in the whole of Europe. However, when the Wall was built, it was divided right in the center and was left deserted for many years. Now that the Wall is down, this has been a prime development area. About US$4 billion have been spent on this makeover and the results are impressive. Many famous architects, including Renzo Piano, RIchard Rogers and Arata Isozaki, have left their marks here. It is now a vast modern district and remains one of the most active construction sites ever. This is worth seeing to marvel at how quickly things can change in the new Berlin. Of course, the architecture is top-rate modern and ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 17, 2001

Potsdamer Platz
Public Square, Center of Berlin
Berlin, Germany 10785

The Reichstag/German Parliament

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Attraction | "The Reichstag Building"

The Reichstag/German Parliament Photo, Berlin, Germany
Quote:
The Reichstag is one of the most recognized buildings in Berlin. It has survived over a century of war and destruction. The history of this very important building is long, tragic and significant. The building itself has been rebuilt by British architect Sir Norman Foster, known for his clean and modern designs. It recently re-opened to great fanfare in the spring of 1999. It is now also the new parliamentary home of the Bundestag. Before the recent construction began in 1995, the artist Cristo wrapped it up the entire building in white polypropylene and deep blue rope. The effect was stunning and the Reichstag regained international attention and was visited by about million people that summer....Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on July 17, 2001

The Reichstag/German Parliament
Platz Der Republik
Berlin, Germany 10557
+49 30 2273 2152

Europa-Center

Attraction

Quote:
This is a 22-story building that was built in the mid-1960's and is located in the midst of what used to be West Berlin. This was one of my first stops in the city since it houses one of the larger tourist information centers in the city. The building looks very outdated, especially against the backdrop of the new developments on the east side of the city. You can easily spot the building from its Mercedes logo sign rotating at the top of the roof. When it was first built, it was intended to encourage development of a new downtown. It was also one of Berlin's first skyscapers. Now, it is nothing more than a big outdated mall with a hundred stores and restaurants, a few cinemas, Irish pubs, the H...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 19, 2001

Europa-Center
Breitscheidplatz 5
Berlin, Germany 10787