Berlin Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

Posted by & filed under Berlin.

One of the most unexpected features on the busy landscape of central Berlin is the bombed out spire of an 1890’s era church – The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. Rising tall into the sky near Zoo Station, the wreckage is incongruous with the modern city around it, a visible reminder of the destruction in Berlin’s recent past. It serves now as a monument to peace and reconciliation, and a testament to the will of Berlin – and of Germany – to rebuild after World War II without forgetting the Holocaust and the violence of war.

+++The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is a 5-10 minute walk away from the Berlin Zoo and from one of Berlin’s famous shopping areas, the KaDeWe.+++

History

Built between 1891 – 1895 to honor the first German Emperor, the church was designed in a Neo-Romanesque style and featured a tall, narrow 113-metre spire that could be seen from miles around. The original structure featured 2740 square metres of stunning mosaic dedicated to the Emperor, details sadly lost on November 23, 1943. Air raids pummeled the church, destroying the main building and damaging its spire, leaving its height only 73 metres.

Make no mistake – this damaged, unrepaired spire’s current presence on the skyline is no accident – the result of citizen outcry in the 1950s when architect Egon Eiermann, hired to rebuild the church, voiced plans to tear down the bombed spire and replace it with a modern building. Visible reminders of the horrors of the Nazi past were rapidly disappearing from Berlin, and the public was uneasy with the complete erasure of these crimes. Maintaining a massive symbol of World War II was seen as a meaningful gesture that would keep the memory fresh while allowing the city to move forward. It is now an iconic feature of the capital.

Eiermann respected the wishes of Berliners, and while he maintained the spire of the church he also built a four new buildings surrounding the ruins. The new buildings are made of steel, concrete and 21,292 panels of colored stained glass – fine examples of 1960’s brutalist architecture. Berliners call the combination of the new and old buildings the “Lipstick and Powder Puff” for their distinctive shapes on the skyline.

The damaged spire was reopened to the public in 1987, and now attracts nearly 100,000 visitors per year. In 2007 Charles Gray, a retired British pilot who had dropped bombs on Berlin during World War II, was dismayed by the rapidly decaying condition of the spire. At his behest, a fundraising campaign was started and the money collected has been used to repair and reinforce the structure.

While closed for extensive renovation throughout 2013, the church is again open to the public. Visitors to the church and the Memorial Hall will see the building’s original crucifix, as well a Cross of Nails composed of wreckage Coventry Cathedral in the British Midlands, bombed by German planes in 1940.

 

 Visiting the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

FREE tours of The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and Memorial Hall are given daily at 14:15, 15:00 and 16:00, with additional tours at 10:15, 11:00 and noon on Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays!!

 

Address:
The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
Breitscheidplatz, 10789 Berlin

Getting There:
Kurfürstendamm, U+S – Zoologischer Garten
Bus M19, M29, M46, X9, X10, X34, 100, 109, 110, 145, 200, 204, 245

Hours:
Open: daily from 9.00 am to 7.00 pm
Services: Sunday 10.00 am and 6.00 pm

 

Berlin Bode Museum

Neues Museum

Posted by & filed under Berlin.

Berlin is a museum-lovers dream. Not only does the city boast unique, small museums like the Bauhaus Archive, the Currywurst Museum and the Museum of Things – it also home to some of the largest, most well-respected institutions in Germany, many of them located on the world renowned Museum Island.

Museum Island’s sheer scale can be overwhelming. Many people head straight for its most famous collection, the Pergamon Museum, and miss out on the four other fantastic museums on site. The Neues Museum houses two collections, and is my top pick for anyone fascinated by Egyptology and/or Stone Age and Prehistoric artifacts.

The “New Museum” was built between 1843-55 to house the surplus of artifacts and classical art then housed in the “Old Museum” (Altes Museum), also on Museum Island. A grand, neoclassical architectural design was chosen, in order to reflect the common nineteenth century belief that museums and other educational institutions were the bastion of the elite, on par with churches and monuments in their significance. It was the first building in Berlin to utilize newly industrialized iron construction methods, and engineers examining the history of architecture often study its foundations.

During World War Two, this impressive structure was destroyed by Allied bombs, leaving a hulking wreck on Museum Island throughout the Soviet period. The Neues Museum was so badly damaged that its only purpose from 1945-1997 was as a storehouse for the other museums nearby. Sadly, during the 1980s, a proposed reconstruction project was halted, but not before significant further demolition occurred. The designers had plans to restore and recreate original details such as an 1850-era Egyptian garden, but during the confusion of the fall of the Berlin War, the original components were lost. In 1997, British architect David Chipperfield commenced the restoration project, and the New Neues Museum was opened to the public in 2009.

You can expect to have your breath taken away by the beauty of the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection, once again displayed in the Neues Museum. Objects are featured from a vast time span, from 4000 BCE all the way until Roman rule in the third century CE. The most famous is a stunning, vividly-coloured bust of Nefertiti in exquisite condition. Scarabs, mummified human remains, intricately designed sarcophagi and the ever-popular mummified cats are all on display, and an audio guide will describe in detail their provenance, significance and meaning.

The other collection housed in the Neues Museum is the Museum of Prehistory and Early History, spanning thousands of years and home to over 200,000 objects mainly excavated from the European continent. Most famous are its replicas of the 2500 BCE Troy horde (the originals relocated to Russia during Soviet rule), the Berlin Golden hat (a 9th century BCE elaborately filigreed gold ornament) and the Stichna Cuirass, a piece of a 7th century BCE suit of armour.

A visit to the museum can take an hour, a day or a week – there is so much to marvel at inside, and the building itself is an important symbol of modern technology and modern history. When you visit Museum Island, be sure not to miss the Neues Museum!

 

Getting There:

  • Bodestraße 1-3
  • UBahn U6 (Friedrichstraße)

 

Admission:

  • For the Neues Museum alone: 12 Euros, Concessions 6 (Purchase online to save 1 Euro)
  • For a Museum Island one-day ticket:  18 Euros, Concessions 9 (Purchase online to save 1 Euro)

Hours:

  • 7 days a week from 10am-6pm (Thursdays open until 8pm)

 

 +++Don’t forget to check out our pay-what-you-like walking tours of Berlin!+++

 

Berlin Bebelplatz

Bebelplatz

Posted by & filed under Berlin.

Walking around Berlin, you will encounter dozens of lovely city squares – but few can rival the fascinating and disturbing history of Bebelplatz. From magnificent opera, stunning architecture, a prestigious college and a unique memorial to a dreadful Nazi book burning, a short visit to Bebelplatz is worth straying from the main Mitte (Central) thoroughfare of Unter den Linden.

+++Combine your visit to the Bebelplatz with other famous Berlin sights. You are a short walk away from the beautiful square Gendarmenmarkt, or the Berlin Cathedral. Within a 15 minutes walk you can be at the Brandenburg Gate, or the TV tower as well.+++

Read more »

Biergarten berlin

Top Five Biergartens in Berlin

Posted by & filed under Berlin.

As soon as the winter weather warms up and the first temperate days of spring emerge, Berliners flock to the hundreds of biergartens in the capital to enjoy the sun, meet with friends, and of course – drink steins of Germany’s best beer.

Originating in Bavaria, beer gardens (translated from biergarten) are large outdoor areas attached to beer halls, restaurants and pubs, the best of which are sunny gardens lined with long communal tables and filled with the sounds of conversation, debate and laughter. A visit to a biergarten can be an afternoon family affair, the start to an intimate date or the beginning of a raucous night out with friends. Usually a few types of beer will be on offer, as well as a selection of simple wursts (sausages), doughy pretzels or cakes. On a pleasant day, nothing is better than a visit to a biergarten – here are five of our favourites.

  Read more »

Shopping

Shopping in Berlin

Posted by & filed under Berlin.

Shop till you drop – this motto, designed for New York City, could be Berlin’s motto as well. Beautiful boulevards, huge department stores, shopping malls and fancy little shops – better arrive with an almost empty suitcase. Here are some tips on where to go shopping in Berlin. If you are more looking for the experience, you might also like our post on Berlin markets and flea markets.

 

Classic City West: Kurfürstendamm and KaDeWe

The City West is the heart of the old West Berlin, when Berlin was still a divided city. The Kurfürstendamm is an upscale boulevard with designer stores, cafes, luxury hotels and expensive restaurants. And, most important: Berlin’s Apple Store is here.

Follow the Kurfürstendamm East and find big clothing shops of the more affordable kind and two large department stores: Karstadt and the KaDeWe. KaDeWe, founded in 1907, is the second largest department store in Europe (second only to Harrods in London). The store is famous for its delicatessen in the 6th floor. For example 3,400 wines and 1,300 different kinds of cheese from all over the world are offered. It’s like a museum of gourmet eating. The KadeWe is in walking distance to the Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church, which is worth a visit and FREE.

 

Bikini Berlin – the Concept Mall

In the same neighborhood, close to the station Bahnhof Zoo, find the “Bikini Berlin”. In this mall they sell European designer brands and rather original stuff. On the ground floor are the so-called “pop-up stores” where retail start-ups can test the market. From the rooftop you can look down on the Berlin Zoo – the baboons will be happy to entertain you. Why is it called Bikini? The fourth floor of the landmarked 1950s commercial building was open to mark the line between retail and offices – so people called the two-part building the “Bikini”.

 

More Malls

Germans love shopping malls.  So, in Berlin, you’ll find one in every neighborhood. More often than not they are called “Arcaden”. The beautiful thing is: When you know one, you know them all. Even if you don’t want to shop, you’ll find everything a traveller might need: clean restrooms, ATMs, good quality fast food, a shoe repair service and sometimes a possibility to buy theater tickets.

Berlin’s newest mall is the “LP 12 Mall of Berlin” at 12, Leipziger Platz, next to the more famous Potsdamer Platz in the very center of the city. With more than 270 shops and service providers it is by far the largest mall in Berlin.

 

Upscale Shopping in the Friedrichstraße

From Checkpoint Charlie to the station Friedrichstraße is a long street that used to be the amusement strip of the late 19th and early 20th century. Today, this is one of Berlin’s fines addresses for shopping and dining (especially at the nearby beautiful square, the “Gendarmenmarkt”). Don’t miss the “Galeries Lafayette”, a branch of the famous department store from Paris. For books, CDs and DVDs, check out the Kulturkaufhaus Dussmann close to the Friedrichstraße Station. They carry everything you ever wanted to read about Berlin in German and English and a special English department as well.

 

The Center in the East: Alexanderplatz

Next to the TV tower, Alexanderplatz offers a wide variety of shopping opportunities: First, the Galeria Kaufhof, a department store in the former “Centrum Warenhaus”, the biggest department store in the German socialist state, the GDR.  Second, another mall, the “Alexa”, and all the rage: “Primark”, the affordable clothing warehouse for young shoppers. The TV tower is right next to the Alexanderplatz, and a great way to see Berlin from the top.

 

Fancy little shops in the neighborhoods

The former working quarters of the late 19th century like Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg are now the hippest neighborhoods in town. Check out the little shops around Kastanienallee-, Helmholtz- and Kollwitzplatz or in the Oderberger Straße (vintage clothing) in Prenzlauer Berg. Or explore the Boxhagener Platz neighborhood in Friedrichshain. In Kreuzberg, you might want to walk the Oranienstraße and the Bergmannstraße. In this neighborhood with its long tradition of immigration from Turkey, enjoy a certain exotic atmosphere as well.

 

Last but not least: The Spandauer Vorstadt and the famous “Hackesche Höfe”

The Spandauer Vorstadt is north of the S-Bahn stop “Hackescher Markt”. In the Oranienburger Straße, Rosenthaler Straße, Neue Schönhauser Straße and Münzstraße you’ll find the trendy international (namely American) brands and also Berlin designer labels. And do not miss the “Hackesche Höfe”. The regular Berlin worker used to live in a tenement that consisted of multiple inner courtyards. The Hackesche Höfe is a more beautiful version of this style, conceived by reformers in the early 20th century. Inside, you find a variety of interesting shops and cafes.

 

+++And, don’t forget:  Shoppers from outside the European Union can get tax refund at the airport (check out the service desk in the department stores and malls)!+++

 

Brandenburger Gate Berlin

Live Music in Berlin

Posted by & filed under Berlin.

Live music flourishes in Berlin, with hundreds of venues showcasing every genre of music imaginable on a nightly basis, often with much cheaper cover charges and tickets than in other European cities. Here are our top five choices for unique live music venues where you are guaranteed to have a good time, whether you live for punk bands, only love reggae or can’t get enough indie!

 

Wild At Heart
Wienerstrasse 20 +49 30 610 747 01.
Rockabilly aficionados the world over regularly list Wild at Heart as their favorite music venue. For twenty years, this Kreuzberg boozer has hosted bands visiting from all four corners of the globe, specializing in punk, psychobilly, garage and surf. The décor of the bar itself is as much of a draw as the musical acts – bedecked with tschotskes and midcentury knick-knacks with a special emphasis on Elvis memorabilia. If you don’t fancy having your eardrums blasted by rock n’ roll, you can always spend time at the Tiki Heart nextdoor, a café and clothing shop from the same owners.

The Lido
Cuvrystraße 7, +49 30 69 56 68 40
Love indie rock music, but can do without the ‘billy?’ Then don’t worry – you are spoiled for choice in Berlin, particularly Kreuzberg. This neighbourhood was home to David Bowie and Iggy Pop in the ‘70s when they were producing some of their most acclaimed (and drug-addled) work, and so it is no surprise that today’s alternative musicians flock to the many live music gigs in the area. The Lido is located in a converted 1950’s cinema, and is always a safe bet for a great night. Saturday nights’ Karrera Klub is an institution, a live rock gig followed by an indie electropop dance party that rages until the sun comes up. Regular gigs can be anything from the avant garde spoken word of Lydia Lunch to the modern freak folk of Kurt Vile, and the crowd is cool, stylish and lacking pretention.

Urban Spree
Revaler Straße 99, +49 30 74078597
 If the idea of partying all night in a cramped rock bar sounds less than fun, a nice alternative is Urban Spree, a converted warehouse area that houses art galleries, food trucks, community gathering spaces and live music. You’ll be rubbing elbows with some of Berlin’s most exciting young artists and musicians, but the crowd skews slightly older (it is not unusual to see young, hip families here for a wholesome evening out). Concerts, both inside and outdoors, are regular occurrences, and can be treated as the main attraction or a backdrop to the other activities onsite. You’ll love the music – as long as your mind is open! The genres of choice do tend to be experimental (think ‘electro acid jazz world noise music’), but occasionally a chart topper is on the bill.

A-Trane International Jazz Club
Pestalozzistrasse 105, +49 30 3132 550
Now for something completely different – jazz. You may not associate Berlin with the music of the American South, but jazz lovers often cite the A-Trane as one of the best jazz clubs on the planet. This is a venue for serious music lovers, and the heaviest hitters of the modern jazz world have graced its stage: Diana Krall, Ray Brown and Arthur Blythe. A-Trane hosts jam sessions on weekends, and live music 7 nights a week – their website notes that while on Sunday to Thursday they are open until 2am, on Friday and Saturday they stay open “late” – this is a big night of music with the best in the business. Best of all? The drinks are affordable and there is no cover charge for jam sessions.

Bohannon
Dircksenstraße 40, +49 30 69505287
Describing their club as “Funk, soul, hip hop, rap, disco, reggae and soca – Black music in Berlin Mitte,” Bohannon (named after Stevie Wonder’s legendary drummer) is the place to head if you want to hear live hip hop from both international artists and from the burgeoning Berlin scene. It’s a small and intimate place, with only a 100 person capacity – a personal vibe that makes it even more special when huge acts such as KRS One take the stage. There are DJs and dance parties every night, but check their calendar for the most up to date live music listings.

+++Don’t forget to check out our pay-what-you-like walking tours of Berlin!+++

Written by Jessica O’Neill

Berlin potsdam brandenburg gate

Best daytrips from Berlin

Posted by & filed under Berlin.

There are more than enough activities and attractions to keep you busy in Berlin for years, but if you are visiting for more than a few days, you may want to take a short journey out of this bustling metropolis to see some of the surrounding areas. Here is a list of five suggestions for daytrips from Berlin!

1. Potsdam

A world class city in its own right, Potsdam is just thirty minutes from Berlin. Historically a hub for trade and immigration, the architecture and attitude of Potsdam reflects this past, with its parks and palaces officially listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List for their outstanding contribution to the world’s culture. With one day in this rich city, you will want to rent a bicycle, for around 11 Euros for the day. Stops at the stunning 18th century rococo Sanssouci (French for carefree) Palace and Park are a must, as is a visit to the 19th century Chinese Teahouse and a stroll through the Dutch Quarter’s picturesque redbrick houses.

Getting there:
The S-Bahn S7 train makes regular stops from central Berlin to the main Potsdam Hauptbahnhof station.  A regional train, while more expensive, is faster and can take you directly to Potsdam-Charlottenhof and Potsdam-Sanssouci

 

2. Szczecin, Poland

Let’s be honest – sometimes we just want to rack up a few extra stamps in the old passport with a short daytrip, and so if you want to visit not just a different city but also a completely different country, then Szczecin (known as Stettin in German) is for you. Located on the Oder River in the vicinity of the Baltic Sea, Szczecin is the seventh largest city in Poland and a popular daytrip from Berlin. At various times in its history, Szczecin has been under Dutch, Swedish and German rule, and its architecture and culture reflect this diversity. Visitors enjoy strolling through the medieval centre, visiting the white city castle and sampling Polish perogies – all in time to get back to Berlin by evening!
Getting there:

Regular regional trains depart from Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof. Blogger RJ at coolblueice has clear instructions on how to save loads of money and get your ticket for less than 20 Euros roundtrip!

 

3. Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

While a visit to a former concentration camp may not top your list of enjoyable daytrips, it is impossible to deny the popularity of tourism to these sites of terror. A visit to Sachsenhausen, a Nazi concentration camp in Orienenberg, is a harrowing and sobering experience, but one that many people find important and meaningful as they try to reconcile the horrors of the Holocaust with the modern state of Germany. Guided tours of the site, audio guides and guidebooks are available, and come highly recommended to provide interpretation of the exhibits and grounds.

Getting there:

A combination of train, bus and walking is required, but total time should take less than 90 minutes. Check Google maps for the most convenient routing from your hotel.

 

4. Spreewald Forest

If you tire of Berlin’s urban jungle, a trip to the remarkable beauty of Spreewald Forest may be the perfect daytrip for you. Located 50 miles away, this UNESCO designated biosphere consists of alder forests, grasslands and a series of 200 small channels and waterways stretching over nearly 500 square kilometres.  Canoe rentals are possible, as are guided gondola tours (if you would like an English guide, alight a barge in the most touristed areas of Lübben or Lübbenau), but most of the forest area is accessible only on foot. This non-motorized transportation zone provides tranquil calm along with excellent exercise (perfect to work off all of that wurst and beer). If you decide to spend the night in the area, be sure to learn more about the area’s Sorbian culture, one of Germany’s two recognized ethnic minorities native to the country.

Getting There:
Take the hourly regional train RE2 from Zoologischer Garten, Hauptbahnhof, Friedrichstraße, Alexanderplatz, or Ostbahnhof to Lübben or Lübbenau

 

5. Best on a Budget – Kladow
If you are after a day of complete tranquility on a shoestring budget, a visit to Kladow might be what you are after. Swim in the lake, gaze at squirrels and explore popular walking trails across the Havel River. Despite the fact that Kladow is technically a part of metro Berlin, the ferry trip across the river makes it feel like much more of an intrepid journey, and the scenic natural setting will make you forget the urban centre mere minutes away.

Getting There:
Get the S-Bahn to Wannsee. At the ferry port catch the BVG-Fähre ferry to Kladow, which leaves on the hour (and is no additional charge, providing your S-Bahn ticket has not expired).

 

+++We’ll offer walking tours around Christmas time. Check out our Berlin pay-what-you-like walking tours!+++  

 

Written by Jessica O’Neill

How to get to Hitler’s Former Bunker

Posted by & filed under Berlin.

This post is a guide to finding the location of Hitler’s last bunker in Berlin with a brief history of the bunker, which today is a parking lot in the middle of unremarkable residential apartment buildings.  This location is a part of just about every walking tour that covers downtown Berlin. We also provide you with additional resources concerning World War 2 and Third Reich sights in Berlin and the surrounding area.  (en español)

Where Is Hitler’s Bunker?

See Inside the Bunker

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

 

 

HOW TO FIND THE BUNKER

We recommend using this Google map for exact directions to the bunker location.  The bunker was located between Potsdamer Platz and Brandenburger Tor.  Today, you will find some typical 1980’s East German concrete slab residential buildings. The more privileged citizens of the German Democratic Republic, particular members of the higher administration of the GDR, used to live in these buildings.  If you come during the day, you will likely find a walking tour group standing in the parking lot, all trying to get a glimpse of an information board. The board was installed by “Berliner Unterwelten”, an NGO that provides visits and information about NS architecture in Berlin, during the lead up to the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

Under the parking lot was one entrance to Hitler’s former bunker, the so-called “Führerbunker” (“Leader’s bunker”). There are no signs or plaques installed because there is nothing worth commemorating. It’s just there, underneath the ground, inaccessible for good reason. There are, however, other bunkers throughout Berlin, which can be visited on a tour. Check out our post on Berlin Bunker tours.

 

 


BRIEF HISTORY OF THE BUNKER

The Hitler bunker was completed in two phases, 1936 and 1944. This air-raid shelter was the center of the Third Reich’s government from January 16, 1945,  when Hitler retreated into the bunker, until Mai 2nd 1945, when General Helmuth Weidling, commander of the Berlin Defense Area, surrendered to General Chuikov of the Soviet Army. Read more »

Berlin Bode Museum

Pergamon Museum

Posted by & filed under Berlin.

Often listed as one of the most impressive collections of antiquities in the world, Berlin’s Pergamon Museum is well worth a visit – whether you are a seasoned archaeologist, a complete classical arts novice or any interest level in between. Filled with breathtaking monuments of massive scale, a trip to the Pergamon will humble you in the face of history.

Located on the UNESCO World Heritage designated “Museum Island,” the Pergamon Museum consists of three collections – the Antiquity Collection (also partially housed in the Altes Museum and the Neues Museum), the Middle East Museum and the Museum of Islamic Art – each impressive enough to warrant its own internationally renowned museum. Built in the turbulent years between 1910 and 1930, the building was designed specifically to house the plethora of archaeological treasures that German teams were excavating in the Middle and Far East. Construction continued even during the years of World War One and the period of massive instability and inflation of the 1920s, opening to a fascinated public in 1930.

This public adoration would be short lived – the massive Romanesque structure was badly damaged during World War Two air bombings, and was then looted by Russian soldiers in 1945 (many museums pieces are still housed in Russian museums). Thankfully, quick-thinking curators saved many antiquities before the bombings began, and the most famous monoliths were walled in and reinforced to protect them. The museum re-opened in the ‘50s, and has been a world-class institution ever since.

The Pergamon Museum, like so many museums of antiquities in Europe, faces ethical dilemmas owing to its nineteenth century history of imperialist plunder from poorer nations. Turkey has long called for the return of the Pergamon Altar, something that the namesake museum is reluctant to provide. It will be interesting to follow these debates over the coming years, and it is something every visitor should think about before their visit.

The main attractions of the Pergamon are its legendary reconstructions of monolithic archaeological antiquities. The eponymous Pergamon Altar, a forty metre wide 2nd century BCE structure excavated from what is now Turkey, features a detailed frieze depicting a battle between Gods and Giants. The Grecian 2nd century-era Market Gate of Miletus is another famous draw, having been destroyed in an 11th century earthquake but completely excavated, restored and reconstructed in 1901 in Berlin. The use of modern materials to construct missing components continues to be a controversial practice to this day.

The Mshatta Façade, located in the Museum of Muslim Art wing of the Pergamon, is from the eighth century Jordanian Palace of Umayyad, one of the country’s Desert Castles. The façade is decorated in fine, detailed carvings, depicting animals and filigree patterns, and was damaged badly in World War Two. It has since been repaired, and remains one of the most celebrated pieces in the collection.

For many, the most impressive site contained within the museum is the Ishtar Gate, a processional corridor and massive arch excavated from the ancient city of Babylon (in modern day Iraq, near Baghdad). It was constructed in 575 BCE to honor the goddess Ishtar, and features stunning glazed tile-reliefs of fantastical creatures such as dragons, as well aurochs and lions. The vivid colours of these 2600 year-old blue, yellow and green tiles leave a lasting impression on guests, and people travel the globe for a chance to walk through the gate. This is museum-going on a grand scale!

 

Tickets:
Adults 12 Euros/Concession 6 Euros (book online to save 1 Euro)

Also available as part of the Museum Island ticket: 18 Euros/9 Euros (book online to save 1 Euro)

Hours: 7 days a week 10am-6pm (except Thursdays 10am – 8pm)

U-Bahn/S-Bahn: Friedrichstaße, Hackescher Markt, or Oranienburger Strasse

 

 +++Don’t forget to check out our pay-what-you-like walking tours of Berlin!+++ 

Berlin new years

New Year’s Eve in Berlin

Posted by & filed under Berlin.

You’re in Berlin over the holidays and don’t know what to do at New Year’s Eve? Celebrate the new year with Berliners eating their name-sake donut cakes, melting metal for good luck, partying till dawn, with fireworks and a lot of fire crackers in the streets. New Year’s in Berlin’s city center can be pretty wild and noisy. Berliners will do their own fireworks and firecrackers all day on New Year’s Eve…. just letting you know in case you tell us we did not warn you.  There’s a lot to do in Berlin for New Year’s. And if you have not found your house party at a friend’s place where you can watch the fireworks from the rooftop, here are some other ideas.

 

Enjoy Music and Theater

Check out the concert halls, opera houses, theaters and cabarets. Many of them have special shows on New Year’s Eve. You’re not likely to find the heavy stuff on that special evening, rather the pleasant, funny music and plays.

 

Visit the biggest Party in Germany: New Year’s Eve at the Brandenburg Gate

Every big city has its iconic place to spend New Year’s Eve. In Berlin, Germany’s biggest party is traditionally at the Brandenburg Gate. Where else could it be after all? Berlin is expecting around one million people to greet 2015 here. On the traditional “Party Mile”, the “Straße des 17. Juni”, between the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column (Siegessäule), three stages for shows and music from Pop to Classic, party tents and a lot of food and drink stands are waiting for the party goers. At Midnight a spectacular firework will be in display – clink your Champaign glasses, it’s legal!  Admission is free, the entrances open at 10 am on December 31st, from 2 pm through 6 pm you can listen to the rehearsals, the program starts at 6:30 pm. There will be a security check at the gates, weapons and all objects that can be used as such (e.g. glass bottles) and fireworks are strictly prohibited. Check out more info on the program etc. here.

Check out the old warehouse: Universal Osthafen Spreeterrassen

The party near the beautiful Oberbaumbrücke is at a terrific location: a former cold store for eggs (yes!) made of yellow bricks, the headquarter of Universal Entertainment in Germany.  Dance on two floors to House, R’n’B, Disco Classics and the music of the 80s, 90s and today. At midnight, enjoy the fireworks at the Oberbaumbrücke.

 

Party in the transformer: Umspannwerk Alexanderplatz

The Umspannwerk (transformer) is an industrial building from the 1960s close to the TV tower.  Two dance floors, a live act and a lounge to chill are waiting for the guest. And at midnight, there are fireworks at Alexanderplatz.

 

Be a hero for one night: in the Monkey Bar

A David Bowie theme party in the 25hours hotel at the Bikini Berlin concept mall.        Enjoy music and drinks with a view over the City West near the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche.

 

Party as much as you can: Get the Silvester Ticket for 6 locations

You don’t know yet where you want to go, only that you want to party? You think it’s a pity to spend this special night in one location only? The, get the “Silvester Ticket”, it’s like a city pass for 6 different parties in town:

  •  “Alte Münze Berlin” (near the Nikolaiviertel) Am Molkenmarkt 2,
  • “Columbiahalle” Columbiadamm 13-21
  • “ewerk “(close to Checkpoint Charlie), Wilhelmstraße 43
  • “Postbahnhof” (close to the Ostbahnhof and the East Side Gallery) Straße der Pariser Kommune 8
  • “Umspannwerk” Alexanderplatz
  • “Spreegalerie” Alexanderplatz

 

Or you can always take it easy and go out only at Midnight to watch the fireworks and drink Champaign: “Prosit Neujahr!” as the Germans say.

HAPPY NEW YEAR’S!!!