Berlin is becoming a top destination for all walks of life. Here are 5 reasons for planning your visit!

Berlin Wall

Enjoying the art of The East Side Gallery, former Berlin Wall

1. Recent and Relevant History We Should Know

So much of what shaped Europe’s 20th century history is entrenched in the capital city of Germany. It’s impossible to visit Berlin without learning the impact this city had.

From the onset of WWI to the rise of Hitler and Nazism, to the Holocaust, WII, the Cold War, the division of the country to East and West, then to its reunification in 1990 – the streets of Berlin today are both reminiscent reminders of its turbulent past while accompanied by the indicative signs of its promising future.

Interesting Books

Though I’m no history buff, here were some interesting books I read that inspired me to visit Berlin.

  • In the Garden of Beasts, by Erik Larson: A nonfictional account of the US Ambassador (William Dodd) to Nazi Germany in 1933 and his perspective on this turning point in history.
  • Churchill’s Secret Agent, by Max & Linda Ciampoli: Novel based on a true story about a French spy working for Churchill during WW2…riveting and so engaging it’s difficult to believe the book is based on true events!
  • If you love historical fiction books and particularly about the world wars, I highly recommend Ken Follett’s first two books of his Century Trilogy, Fall of Giants and Winter of the World. Follett does an incredible job depicting the great wars through vivid fictional characters. Don’t be intimated by the number of pages, they read fast!

 

2. Impressive Monuments and Heart-Felt Memorials

Stroll down the Unter der Linden, visit the East-Side Gallery (the 1 km painted stretch of the former Berlin Wall), check out Checkpoint Charlie, the Holocaust Memorial, the Brandenburg Gate, Hitler’s Bunker (now just a parking lot) and the Reichstag Building – to name a few highlights. It’s a city full of significant sights that will inspire you to learn about where it’s been and where it’s going.

Brandenburg Gate

The Brandenburg Gate

Berlin Wall 2

Superhero Mike at the East Side Gallery, former Berlin Wall

Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

Holocaust Memorial

Taking a moment at the Holocaust Memorial

Reichstag building

Inside the Reichstag Building – make sure to get your tickets to visit the dome online in advance. Otherwise, be prepared for a long wait!

3. Museums, Museums, Museums

There are over 200 museums in Berlin – from the collections of Classical art to the Natural History Museum to the Jewish Museum and even the Currywust Museum! There is something for everyone.

 

Fernsehturm

View of the Bode Museum and the Fernsehturm (TV tower) in the background

Museum Island

On Museum Island

4. This City is Cool  

Berlin is today noted as one of the world’s coolest cities. With its eclectic and lively atmosphere, its many art galleries and fashionable boutiques, its inventive clubs and music scenes, this capital city gives an edgy vibe that attracts the young and the old.

It’s no wonder Berlin is home-away-from-home for Hollywood’s biggest celebs, including Johnny Depp and Brangelina.

5. Great Food & Restaurants

Berlin has some great restaurants and you can enjoy delicious and varied cuisines no matter what your budget. Try La Focacceria for pizza; Monsieur Vuong for delectable Vietnamese and the BEST ice coffee; Rosa Caleta for Jamaican; Borchardt for schnitzel and people-watching; try the infamous Berlin curry wurst; and have a drink at the historical Hotel Adlon. Your taste buds will thank you 🙂

Schnitzel at Borchardt

The delicious schnitzel at Borchardt 

Lisa and I at the Hotel Adlon

Having a drink at the historical Hotel Adlon with my friend Lisa

Curry wurst

Curry wurst

 

Don’t know where to start? One good way to take in much of the city is to take a river cruise down the Spree if the weather is nice. You’ll get a good glimpse of the city’s attractions and map out where you want to go.

 

River cruise

River cruise down the Spree