Berlin, anyone have any non-WHS recommendations for that city?
Ah Berlin is great! Though I admit to being a little biased as I come to it as someone who specialised in 20th century European history and there aren't many other cities that show it actively.
If you want those Cold War aspects then finding the remnants of the wall are good ways to go, personally I think the most interesting section was the Berlin Wall Memorial
on Bernauer Strasse, as it comes with the additional interpretation of the documentation centre, as well as sign posts showing the development of the wall. Though the East Side gallery
has the more photogenic section.
To be honest, I wouldn't really bother with Checkpoint Charlie, unless you are desperate for a specific photo of it. I would recommend Tränenpalast
as a great place to understand the issues relating to moving across the wall, also it is a beautiful building.Alexanderplatz/Karl Marx Allee/ Frankfurter Allee
, is a great walk to get a feel for the influence of Soviet town planning, but it also contains a few beautiful buildings, Kino International
and Cafe Moskau
opposite each other are my highlights.
But if you carry on along you end up in Kreuzburg and a slight bend to the right puts you in Boxhagener Platz
and that is when Berlin starts to really shine as it is the non showy, fun neighbourhoods, full of bars restaurants and activity. Kreuzberg and Neukoln were the best parts when I last visited, though things change a fair bit so I'm sure there are new upcoming areas that have stolen a march on them.
If you do want to visit a housing estate I think Britz
is the most worthwhile to visit.
Enjoy your time in the EU's new largest city!