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Visiting a city such as Berlin, that is so full of culture and history, it may be difficult to know where exactly to begin. With its turbulent past and still largely in development, Berlin is one of the world’s most dynamic cities. Here are some suggestions of how to make the most of a weekend in the German capital.

See

berlin
berlin (Photo credit: zoetnet)

Any new visitor to the city should be sure to see all the major sights of the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, Berlin Wall, TV Tower and Holocaust Memorial. On a clear day the TV Tower (Fernsehturm) can provide a great view of the city. However, it can be a long wait to get up there and on a short visit you should consider alternatives. The victory column (Siegessäule) provides a spectacular view as well, albeit not as expansive, but at a cheaper price. Another alternative is to head up to the viewing platform situated on the Park Inn Hotel Terrace in Alexanderplatz for fantastic views of the city.

If you would like to learn about the terrors of the past in the city; The Topography of Terror is a museum to visit. It contains a preserved section of the Berlin wall along with both an outdoor and indoor museum, and documents some of the worst Nazi crimes, as this was also the location of the SS and Gestapo headquarters.The largest remaining section of the wall itself has become the East Side Gallery, the biggest open air gallery in the world which showcases a variety of artists and their interpretations of its meaning in the context freedom.

Do

A walking tour can provide a great introduction to the city and some of the free tours offered can be just as good, if not even better than a paid tour. There are many different ones to choose from, such as those that take in all the main sights, alternative ones and night-time tours. An afternoon can easily be spent at the abandoned Tempelhof airport, where you can run, walk or just relax on the runway. If it’s warm why not take a picnic or have a barbecue? It is well worth making a trip to one of Berlin’s many markets such as Mauerpark, held on a Sunday, where you can search for hidden gems or take part in some of the infamous karaoke that takes place in the park.

If you would like to discover Berlin in a more relaxing and different way, then taking to the water on a boat tour could be an ideal way to do this. Boasting one of the most active techno scenes in the world, Berlin’s nightlife reputation precedes it. Clubs such as Berghain and Tresor should be visited if techno is your scene. In a large city such as Berlin though, there are clubs to cater for any taste of music.

Other Options

Be sure to explore Berlin’s many lakes and parks which provide a break from the hustle and bustle of city life – it is one of the greenest cities in Europe after all! A trip to the beautiful city of Potsdam makes for a great day trip – here you can find impressive palaces, immaculate parks, numerous churches and an old town. As well as this there is the Glienicke Bridge which was the scene of spy exchanges between the east and west during the Cold War.

Charlie Beeny currently lives and thrives in the city of Berlin, where he is working on a two month internship at GoEuro.

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