I have to be honest. Berlin was not where I wanted to go in Europe. Everything that you read is that it is an upcoming hip city. The place to go! Everything that I did not want. I wanted history, old world not new! If I wanted new I could see it here in the states. Why go to Europe. Let me tell you about the Berlin that we saw.
It is a mix of new and old. History and modern and a must see. You ask what makes it modern is the transportation system and road ways. You can hop on any of the trains/buses or trams to get anywhere in the city. Get a good map study it and within the day you will be amazed at how fast you can get from point A to B. By our 3rd day we were pro's. My suggestion is to pick up a pass upon arrival. We arrived at the main train station and exchanged money and purchased our passes before leaving.
When you are picking your accommodations see how close they are in relationship to the system. We stayed in what would have been considered East Berlin a bit out but very conveniently located to the train system which was only 3 blocks from us and a bus 1 block.
Note: If you purchase a transit pass I suggest that you ride one of the lines around the city on the first day. We did not do this until our 2nd day and we could have saved so much time in learning the lay of the land.
I highly suggest the following Check Point Charlie and the Mauer Museum. There were facts that I did not even remember, like the amount of people that were killed trying to escape. I truly do not believe this was mentioned in school and the number will amaze you.
The Topography of Terror museum, was not on my list but I am so glad that it was raining and we went in. It is the documentation of the rise and fall of Hitler. He did not just get elected and began his terror. It was orchestrated over time. How neighbors and family members turned on each other. They even have reports the marked how many that were reported to the government and for what reason. This is very important for all to remember so that it does not happen again. Interestingly Germany feels this is so important that it is a free museum. So if you go please drop a few coins to help fund it.
The Holocaust Memorial was not open when we were there. We did wonder through for a bit.
With all cities, museums and sites if you really want to see one definitely checkout there hours and be flexible. Remember to be flexible, sometimes they are not open, but you may find something more amazing.
While we did have a transportation pass we did take a Taxi back to the airport. The pricing for the Taxi's on arrival and departure was reasonable. I do recommend it so you do not have to worry about your luggage.
While we were in Berlin we found a cute restaurant that made to order Pasta, Pizza and Salads, a Gyro shop, pastries, and steaks. All very good.
I do hope that you enjoyed Germany.
Lauren and Kim Medelberg's life in travel. We will talk about our trips, thoughts, and experiences in the travel world.