Berlin: Things I Saw & Wish I’d Seen

I loved Berlin.  I was lucky enough to find a gracious couch surfing host for my time there. As I mentioned in a previous post, I went on a street art tour where I learned a lot about the history and art of Berlin.  I saw a ton sights on this tour so check out that post if you want more things to do in Berlin.  So for everything else, there is this blog post.  There is so much more I wish I could have seen in Berlin.  I have to tell myself all the time, “You can’t do it all.”  It’s a hard fact to accept.

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Costs:

Berlin is actually pretty cheap.  I expected it to be more expensive that Frankfurt but it was about the same.

Accommodation: Plus Berlin (15 euros a night) & Couchsurfing (bought her groceries for 20 euros)

Meals: 5-12 Euros Beer: 5 euros

Metro is fast, clean and safe. A day pass is 6.90 Euros

 

Museums:  There are tons and tons of museums with odes to German culture, history and random things.  I was only able to visit two.

Jewish Museum:  This museum collected photos, artifacts and stories of the Jewish community before and after World War Two.  This museum is a testament to how the Jewish community survived the Holocaust and now thrives in Berlin.

Metro: Hallesches Tor

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German Film and Television Museum: I chose this museum simply because I wanted a break from World War Two trivia.  I think it was a great choice.  There are no photos allowed in the museum but it is large with a lot of interesting film facts.  I could have probably spent the entire day there because they had several vintage films playing.  There is also a large section prasiing the legacy of Marlene Dietrich.  There are two separate sections of the museum one television and the other film.  The film was by far more interesting and extensive than the television section.

Metro: Potsdamer Pl.

 

Sights:

Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedachnikirsh (Memorial Church):  The church was nearly destroyed in World War Two.  T is still under construction and remains a reminder of the war.  The architecture is beautiful and worth a photo if you are around.  Luckily, the church next door was open and for free of charge I enjoyed the church choir’s show.

On Kurfurstendamm in center of Breitscheidpl

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Memorials:

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe: It’s a large chunk of property in the middle of Berlin with tons of coffin-like rectangles organized neatly at varying heights.  Children played hide and seek and games of tag using the memorial as a maze playground. While this memorial is meant to represent the millions dead, it serves the purpose of being a morbid playground for the Berlin youth.  However, the way the place is designed there’s dead ends and different spots where you can almost get lost, so the game of hide and seek seems intentional.  Although, many say the reason for the design is that the deeper you go into the maze of coffins, the more secluded and silent it is, where I person can reflect on the darkness of the Holocaust.  There is also a small museum that I did not go into because there was a long line.

Metro: Potsdamer Pl.

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Homosexual Memorial: This is across the street from the Memorial of Murdered Jews. The Homosexual Memorial was erected in 2008, three years after the Memorial to the Murdered Jews, and the two were meant to share similar elements.  It looks like a misplaced part of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.  The architect used the grey, slabs to create a giant cube.  When you look through the small window, there is a video of two men kissing on replay.  People put stones and flowers on the small ledge for the homosexual victims of the Holocaust. There is a small plaque with the information about the memorial. It states that many gay men (more often than gay women) were taken to concentration camps during World War Two.  Before and after World War Two homosexuals were heavily persecuted often harassed or murdered.  Berlin, as a city, erected this monument to take a moment and remember the turmoil this group has experienced.

Metro: Potsdamer Pl.

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Global Stone Project: I searched for the Homosexual Memorial and walked a little bit past the memorial into a lovely park.  The park had an open field with large stones organized in the middle.  The stones apparently align into a beam of light on June 21.  This project is meant to be a worldwide peace effort.  There are stones on each continent and each continent is meant to represent a step towards world peace: Europe (awakening), Africa (hope), Asia (forgiveness) America (Love) and Australia (peace).   It’s not noted in many travel guides but if you are by the memorial might as well stroll a bit further.

http://www.globalstone.de/

Metro: Potsdamer Pl.

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Creepy Travel Corner:

Alter Sankt-Matthaus Kirchhof: This is an expansive and old cemetery in Berlin.  You can find Max Burch’s tombstone and there’s a lovely chapel in the back.  I found this cemetery interesting because of the variety of tombstones.  There’s a mix of modern and vintage sculptures through the cemetery.  It’s also interesting to find this quiet place amongst the loud city.

Metro: Yorckstr

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Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral Church):  This church is located on Museum Island and you can climb to the top the building to see the beautiful iron statues and get a bird’s eye view of Berlin.  There is also an interesting tomb underneath with royal coffins available for viewing.  The coffins are these large, intricately carved pieces.

Metro: Alexanderpl

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Where would I go if I went back?

  • Monster Kabinett: An art gallery/ haunted house open all year round with strange robotic creatures roaming through the space.
  • Gay Museum: A small museum with exhibits from homosexual persecution and from homosexual history.  All the exhibits are revolving so it will always be something different,
  • Bebelplatz: a memorial to the books burned by Nazi students in 1933.
  • Design Panoptikum: A surreal museum with art pieces, medical equipment and with a “space carnival atmosphere.”
  • Berliner Medizinhistorisches Museum:  This has a variety of interesting medical specimens.
  • SpreePark: an abandoned amusement park
  • The Bunker Tour: My couch surfing host had suggested it but I sadly didn’t wake up in time to catch the tour.11062034_10202722270176261_8799748498315325612_n

Let me know what you enjoyed in Berlin!

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7 thoughts on “Berlin: Things I Saw & Wish I’d Seen

  1. You definitely saw a lot in Berlin! I now have a little list in the back of my mind of places I’d like to see if I ever get to Berlin. I feel like it would be interesting to sort of put all of the war-specific visits on one day, the Holocaust-type places on another, and find some less morbid things in between. I imagine having that history so constant would be a bit disheartening – and that’s coming from a person who majored in history!

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  2. This is a useful post for me as I am planning on visiting Berlin next year. I am interested in all the World War II in particular stuff, and just general history. Another thing I’ve found on the Internet was about 40 miles away from Berlin there is an indoor water park called Tropical Islands which looks amazing. I really want to go there! It is inside a big aircraft hangar so it looks massive.

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  3. i think my last trip to berlin has been too long ago (except the bus trips where i had maybe 30 minutes before i had to go on to the next bus ^^) looks like you had some great time!

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