Berlin

Berlin

Berlin Including large pull-out map & 80 stickers for individual planning English Edition Berlin Authors Manuela Blisse Uwe Lehmann sst ent hal ...

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Berlin Including large pull-out map & 80 stickers for individual planning

English Edition

Berlin Authors

Manuela Blisse Uwe Lehmann

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SPOTLIGHTS 25

Sightseeing Tours & Trips

29

Children

60

Jewish Life in Berlin

85

Museumsinsel (Museum Island)

110

Potsdamer Platz

135

Memories of the Wall

6

Local Flair

8

Berlin Is Well Worth a Visit! Travel Barometer 50 Things that You… What’s behind it? Berlin Checklist

11 12 19 184

20

Travel Planning & Addresses

22 24 24 28 31 35 41 48 174 178

Overview of the Districts Climate & Best Time to Visit Getting There Public Transport Accommodation Food & Drink Shopping Nightlife Information from A–Z Index

52

Country & People

54 56 58 59 61 66 182

Facts & Figures Brief History Nature & Environment The People Art & Culture Festivals & Events Mini Translator German

FIRST CLASS! 32

Charming Hotels

38

Typical Berlin Cuisine

46

Flea and Craft Markets

93

Nightlife in Berlin

140

All Vegetarian

153

Berlin Free of Charge

GENERAL MAPS 4 54

Chapter Map Berlin’s Geographical Position

DISTRICT MAPS 74

The Historic Centre

104

Tiergarten

121

Kurfürstendamm

124

Charlottenburg

132

Prenzlauer Berg

138

Kreuzberg

145

Friedrichshain

150

Köpenick & Environs

156

River Havel &

162

Potsdam

Wannsee Lake

!

SYMBOLS The Authors’ Top Recommendations

SPOTLIGHT

Special Activities and Unforgettable Experiences

SIDE GLANCE

Entertaining Cultural Insights Top Highlights Highlights of the Destination

68

Top Tours & Sights

70 72 83

The Historic Centre Tour a From Brandenburg Gate to Schlossplatz Tour b Museumsinsel (Museum Island)

88 90 95

Mitte Tour c Around Alexanderplatz Tour d Northern Mitte

100 102 109

In and Around the Tiergarten Tour e A Walk through the Tiergarten Tour f Around Potsdamer Platz

116 118 122

The City West Tour g A Leisurely Stroll along Kurfürstendamm Tour h Around Schloss Charlottenburg

129 131 137 143

Trendy Districts: Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg & Friedrichshain Tour i Prenzlauer Berg Tour j Through West Kreuzberg Tour k From Kottbusser Tor to Friedrichshain

148 149 154 160 167 169 171 172

Excursions & Extra Tours Köpenick & Environs River Havel & Wannsee Lake Potsdam Tour l A Long Weekend in Berlin Tour m Bus no. 100 / Bus no. 200 Tour n The Bridges Tour Tour o The Berlin Wall Bike Tour

TOUR SYMBOLS

PRICE SYMBOLS

The POLYGLOTT Tours

[A1]

Hotel (Double)

Restaurant

Places of interest



up to 50 euros

up to 20 euros

Food & drink stop-off

€€

50–100 euros

20–30 euros

Pointer to 50 Things

€€€

over 100 euros

over 30 euros

The coordinates refer to the the pull-out map

[a1]

Position shown on the back of the pull-out map

3

Brandenburger Tor, the symbol and landmark of Berlin

LOCAL FLAIR

50 Things that You … This is where you can discover, try out, marvel, gather holiday memories, and skilfully avoid any faux-pas. These tips will help you experience what is really typical and make you want to find out more. Have fun!

…Should Do 1 Reunification first-hand As you walk through the Brandenburg Gate, consider the fact that it divided the democratic West from the socialist East until 1989; you can then celebrate the Reunification over a coffee in the luxury Hotel Adlon. › p. 72 2 Popular refreshment Bask in the sun among Berlin’s beautiful people and occasionally take a dip in the swimming pool in the Spree (www.arena-berlin.de, entrance: Eichenstr., 10997, Arena), then while away the evening in the ‘Freischwimmer’ restaurant next door (Reserve in advance! Vor dem Schlesischen Tor 2a, 10997, www. freischwimmer-berlin.com). [M5]

3 Spectacular Karl-Marx-Allee Admire the ‘Workers’ Palaces’ in Stalinist Gingerbread style on the magnificent former socialist boulevard stretching from Strausberger Platz to Frankfurter Tor. › p. 93 4 Start Saturday evening in a good mood Listen to German authors reading their texts in the Alte Kantine of the KulturBrauerei › p. 65 and then at the same location sway to hand-picked pearls of music history in the Megapearls Disco (www. alte-kantine.de). 5 Beach with backdrop Sit down on a deckchair and take time to relax after two rounds of beach volleyball on Berlin’s coolest beach  – in the Metaxa Bay Beach Club – before the evening beach parties get going. › p. 176

6 Berlin from above Climb up the 258 steps to the viewing platform of ‘Gold-Else’ › p. 108, as the Berliners call the Victory Column and you will be rewarded with a magnificent vista of the green capital.

Urban beach experience: Metaxa Bay

12

7 Film metropolis Berlin Take the videoBus to original shooting locations of well-known films: at the relevant places, you will see excerpts

50 Things that You…

from i. a. The Legend of Paul and Paula, Run Lola Run and Goodbye Lenin (Tour: Movie City Berlin, every second Saturday in German; on request also in English, Unter den Linden 40, 10117, videobus tour.de). [H3]

8 Berlin swings Take a short introductory course to swing at Clärchens Ballhaus, and then sweep your partner onto the dance floor and get jiving (Auguststraße 24, 10117, www. ballhaus.de); it is even more fun if you wear clothes in 1930s style, e. g. from Marlenes Töchter (Große Hamburger Straße 19a, 10115, www. marlenes-toechter.de). [H2] 9 Paddle Paradise Discover the New Venice, the romantic waterway system between the two lakes of Müggelsee and Dämeritzsee. Boats can be hired from 13 Kanus (Am Küstergarten 18A, 12589, www. 13kanus.de).

and hearty version with its Kohlroulade à la Heini Holl. › p. 38

12 Berlin with chopsticks Just thinking about Dim Sum probably makes fans’ mouths water. The stylish Long March Canteen is the stronghold of Chinese Dim Sum variations (tapas), from € 5. Tip: Order a selection and share them. › p. 38 13 Traditional Middle Eastern dish The vegetarian alternative to a Kebap is Falafel. These deep-fried chickpea nuggets are available as a Falafel dish or with sesame sauce in pita bread, are freshly made and particularly good at Sufis (Yorckstr. 82, 10967, sufis-berlin.de). [G5]

…Should Try

14 Popular doner kebab No, it was not invented along the Bosphorus but near the station at Berlin Zoo. In 1972, Kadir Nurman was the first person to put the meat from the revolving spit into pita bread and add onions, salad and sauce. Bagdad, for instance, is open 24/7 (Schlesische Str. 2, 10997). [L4]

10 Currywurst is the capital’s classic snack. Brühwurst  – depending on your devotion – is eaten with or without the skin, with spicy onions and, of course, curry sauce. Unbeatably tasty at Curry 36 (Mehringdamm 36, 10961, daily 9–5). [H5]

15 Chill with Berliner Weiße The top-fermented beer tastes particularly refreshing flavoured with a red raspberry or green woodruff syrup in beer gardens like Prater › p. 40, 132, or Loretta am Wannsee (Kronprinzessinnenweg 260, 14109).

11 Tastes great! Kohlroulade (stuffed cabbage) is a classic Berlin dish and appears on the menu in numerous restaurants. The Altes Zollhaus offers a particularly tasty

16 A fistful of meat Freshly prepared hamburgers with high-quality ingredients and in countless variations – from chilli burgers to vegan burgers – are all the rage. Popular: 13

Overview of the Districts Does Berlin have a centre? Of course there is a Mitte district – and the German word Mitte translates as centre, but is Berlin’s Mitte actually in the city centre? From a historical point of view, the so-called historical centre is located to the left and right of the magnificent Unter den Linden boulevard – between the Brandenburg Gate on Pariser Platz and the place where the city palace once stood and is now in the process of being rebuilt. This centre encompasses the UNESCO World Heritage Museum Island, the Gendarmenmarkt and the Friedrichstraße. During the GDR period, the undisputed centre of the capital was in the Mitte district around Alexanderplatz. The contrast between the old architecture, such as the Marienkirche (Our Lady’s Church) or the Nikolaiviertel, and the Modernist (East) buildings, such as the TV tower could hardly be bigger. However, if you ask any of the young visitors to the city where Thought about it? Berlin’s centre is, then you will find that most of them give only one anSimply tick and set off swer: around the Hackescher Markt, prepared in the so-called north Mitte encompassing Oranienburger Straße and Passport the Scheunenviertel (Barn District). Flight/train/bus tickets Here you will find elegant shops and Vehicle registration/driving a pulsating art and cultural scene. licence Trends develop here; people go out Credit card and have fun. It is here that Berlin is Small change for the parkreally cosmopolitan. ing meters (if applicable) Only a few metres from Pariser Hotel reservation Platz is an area that raises a ‘Mitte’ Online tickets for museums, claim. Until the end of the 1980s, it Reichstag dome, and belonged to the ‘death strip’ around plenary session (if booked) Potsdamer Platz, but before the Batteries and chargers for Second World War this was indeed mobile phones and cameras a ‘centre’ of cultivated life. Today, Medicines and plasters for the revived square and its environs blisters including the Leipziger Platz, the If travelling in the autumn Kulturforum and the Ministergärten, or winter, don’t forget an surrounded by the Tiergarten and umbrella. the Regierungsviertel (Government District) have again moved into a 22

Overview of the Districts

Equestrian statue in front of the Altes Museum

central position, as is shown by the many foreign visitors around Sony Center, the Marlene-Dietrich-Platz and the Leipziger Platz. Yet Potsdamer Platz is nonetheless not the traditional centre, at least as far as the people from West Berlin are concerned. For them, the centre is as it always was the Ku’damm, the Tauentzien, the Memorial Church and the KaDeWe  – and thus the intersections of the three areas Schöneberg, Charlottenburg and Wilmersdorf, called City West. From the shopping perspective, Ku’damm and Friedrichstraße seem to be equal rivals, while Schloss Charlottenburg is for the City West what the Museum Island is for the Historic Centre. But what is a centre without the periphery? Based on the definitions of the centre above, Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain and Schöneberg are located on the periphery. Yet, when one looks at Berlin as a whole, they are also ‘in the centre’. So the periphery must be defined differently in Berlin – something a long way out. And even if many people from the inner-city areas are moving to the suburbs, the Prenzlauer Berg area with its beautifully restored old buildings remains one of the most popular residential areas in Berlin with young, affluent families; it has the highest density of prams and pushchairs. Around Kollwitzplatz and Helmholtzplatz, a lively restaurant and pub scene has grown up and there is a wide range of cultural attractions, for example in the KulturBrauerei. Kreuzberg, for some a negative, for others a positive example of a multicultural society, was once the hindmost part of West Berlin and only moved into the centre of the city after the fall of the Wall, where together with Friedrichshain it now forms a lively east-west district, in which there is a lot going on, especially by the Spree. The Mercedes-Benz Arena (originally called O2 World) was opened in Autumn 2008. The surrounding, former industrial area is now in the process of being developed with businesses and 23

Facts & Figures • Geographical

Position: 52°31’N and 13°24’E, 34–60m (112–196ft) above sea level. The highest elevation is the Großer Müggelberg in Köpenicker Forst at 115m (377ft) above sea level. • Area: Total area about 892km² (345mi²), of which 55% is on the west and 45% on the east side of the city. The city extends at max. 45km (28mi) east-west and 38km north-south (23.5mi). • Resident population: 3.5 mill. residents, of which 950,000 are of migrant background and over 500,000 are foreigners from 186 countries (2013). • Population density: The most densely populated area with 12,400 residents per km² is FriedrichshainKreuzberg, the least densely populated area is Treptow-Köpenick with 1,400 inhabitants per km². • Unemployment: 10.7% of the labour force (2015). • Government: Berlin is a city state which has been subject to federal law since 3 October 1990. The Berlin Senate is based in the ‘Red Town

Geography Berlin is the largest city in Germany in terms of area, number of inhabitants and population density, yet it is by no means a concrete jungle. The idyllic landscape traversed by streams 54

DENMARK

Berlin

POLAND

NETHERLANDS

GERMANY BELGIUM CZECH REPUBLIC

LUX.

FRANCE AUSTRIA SWITZERLAND

Hall’ (Rotes Rathaus). The Senate comprises of the governing mayor – since 2014 Michael Müller, SPD – and a maximum of eight senators. • Abgeordnetenhaus: The Berlin State Parliament has at least 130 elected members who directly represent the people of Berlin. Its members meet in the building that formerly housed the Prussian Parliament. • Administration: Until 2000, Berlin consisted of 23 administrative units that had developed gradually over a period of time. As part of an administrative reform programme in 2001, they were reorganised and reduced to twelve in total. • Partner cities: include Los Angeles, Moscow, Paris, Madrid, Brussels, Istanbul, Budapest and Mexico City.

and full of woods and parks took shape during the Pleistocene ice ages. For thousands of years, the lowland plain of the Berlin-Warsaw glacial valley has largely consisted of marshy and sandy ground.

Facts & Figures

Murals at the East Side Gallery: a Trabant, still affectionately called a Trabi

On sunny weekends, the innercity’s green oases, such as the Tiergarten, provide leisure and recreational opportunities for the city’s residents. Just a few miles north, Lübars offers nature at is best, and on spring days the woods of Spandauer Forst and the Wuhlheide heath near Köpenick are ideal for getting away from it all.

Economy Large companies, such as Siemens, Borsig and Osram, used to have their headquarters in Berlin. The Second World War brought about a massive economic downturn. After 1949, Berlin’s isolation made economic recovery even more difficult. Many companies left altogether after the construction of the Wall. One exception was Axel Springer who had his new publishing house (1961–66) built directly next to the Wall in Kreuzberg. Industrial investment was also subsidised by the government. (West) Berlin was the largest industrial location of the federal republic until the Reunification in 1989. East Berlin was home

to many of the GDR’s major industrial companies, too. In both halves of the city, disproportionate numbers of people were employed in government administration.

Since the Reunification The economic situation of the metropolis has shown a significant improvement since the Reunification. Its geographic position makes it the hub between east and west, especially for trade purposes. The movement of the official seat of government to the reunited capital city accelerated the development of the infrastructure. Nevertheless, Berlin, together with the new federal states, has the highest level of unemployment of all the major German cities. The capital is losing further ground as an industrial location. The high property prices in the city area play an important role in this respect. However, the income generated by the service area is growing. Tourism is booming in the capital: in 2014 over 11.8 mill. people visited Berlin, an increase of about 5.6% compared with the previous year. 55

The U1 line on its way over the Oberbaumbrücke bridge towards Kreuzberg

TOP TOURS & SIGHTS

THE HISTORIC CENTRE A Little Inspiration • Spend some time on Pariser Platz and take photos of the

Quadriga, the four-horse chariot atop the Brandenburg Gate › p. 73 • Look down from the viewing platform of the Französischer

Dom onto the Gendarmenmarkt › p. 78 • Visit the Old National Gallery and admire the paintings of

Caspar David Friedrich › p. 84 • Sit back in the well-heated Märchenhütte and sip on a glass

of hot punch while you enjoy a wintertime performance of the Brother Grimm’s tales › p. 87

Map p. 74

Tour 1 | 2

The Historic Centre

This is where you will find the architectural treasures of the city; Brandenburg Gate, the Gendarmenmarkt and Museum Island all enjoy world renown.

Berlin’s historic centre is teeming with such magnificent, world-class architecture that it is one of the highlights of a visit. One day should be set aside for exploring the heart of the city, which even today throbs with urban vitality, and if you want to visit the museums allow at least one extra day. Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate), the entrance to the historic centre is one of the must-see sights in Berlin as is Pariser Platz, the location of the Hotel Adlon, the American and French Embassies and the Academy of Arts. From Brandenburg Gate, the famous boulevard Unter den Linden leads towards Schlossplatz. Friedrichstraße has almost reattained the status of its heyday as a shopping and recreational mile. An increasing number of high-quality businesses have set up here over the past few years and enjoyment is also high on the agenda. Friedrichstadtpalast and Admiralspalast, two famous temples of entertainment can be found in the north of Friedrichstraße. There are some fine restaurants in and around Gendarmenmarkt which, with the Französischer and Deutscher Dom, arguably ranks as the city’s loveliest square. Museumsinsel (Museum Island) is the name given to the north section of Berlin’s island on the Spree,

the half a mile or so between Lustgarten and Monbijoupark, due to its five internationally acclaimed art temples. This little world of its own in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city traffic exudes an air of calm and dignity. Many of the buildings are surrounded by scaffolding, and the renovation work will continue for some time. In 1999, Museum Island was declared a world heritage site by UNESCO. The adjacent green oasis of the Monbijoupark offers a wonderful recreational spot in the summer.

Above: Französischer Dom with Schiller Memorial Left: Neues Museum – a treasure house of ancient gems

71

Map p. 74

Tours in the Historic Centre

A

From Brandenburg Gate to Schlossplatz

Route: Brandenburg Gate › Holocaust Memorial › Pariser Platz › Unter den Linden › Friedrichstraße › Gendarmenmarkt › Staatsoper › Schlossplatz Map: page 74 Duration: 4 hours Useful Tips: • The starting point is Pariser Platz in front of Brandenburg Gate, which can be comfortably reached with the 𝖲 1 or 𝖲 2, 25 (Brandenburger Tor Station), or with the sightseeing buses no. 100 and 200. • It is also easy to get back from Schlossplatz to Pariser Platz with these two bus routes (direction Zoologischer Garten).

Tour Start: Brandenburg  Gate 1 A [G3] For many years, people could not pass through here; the Berlin Wall ran just behind Brandenburg Gate. When the first piece of Wall fell two days before Christmas in 1989, the triumphal arch became a symbol of the reunified city. At its inauguration in 1791, the edifice was called Friedenstor (Gate of Peace): Johann 72

Gottfried Schadow’s goddess of victory brings peace into the city with her Quadriga. A relief shows Zeus’s son Heracles as the mythical benefactor of humanity. The political reason for the depiction was to pay homage to Friedrich II (Frederick the Great) as a victorious commander and king of peace. Architect Carl Gotthard Langhans based his design for the sandstone gate on the model of the Propylaea (gate) on the Athenian Acropolis. His work marks the beginning of Neoclassicism in Berlin, which Karl Friedrich Schinkel would later propel to glamorous heights. Napoleon was so enamoured with the Quadriga that he had it taken back to Paris as part of the booty seized after his victory over the Prussians in 1807. In 1814, during the Wars of Liberation, it was returned to Berlin. King Friedrich Wilhelm III (Frederick William III) commissioned the addition of the Iron Cross and the Prussian eagle. Since its renovation, the Gate has remained closed to vehicles in both directions, including taxis and buses travelling east. It is open to pedestrians and cyclists (50 Things 1 › p. 12 ). Anyone seeking respite from the bustling city centre can retreat to the ‘Room of Tranquillity’ (Brandenburger Tor, north wing; Pariser Platz, 10117, tel: 030 305 95 83, www.raumder-stille-im-brandenburgertor.de, March–Oct 11–6, Nov, Feb 11–5, Dec, Jan 11–4).

Tour 1: From Brandenburg Gate to Schlossplatz

The Historic Centre

Inside the DZ Bank on Pariser Platz is an accessible sculpture by Frank O. Gehry

Holocaust Memorial 2 B [G3] Germany’s central Holocaust memorial to the Jews murdered in Europe was opened in 2005. Designed and reworked many times by the American architect Peter Eisenmann, the ‘Field of Stelae,’ comprising around 2,700 concrete slabs spread over 19,000m², is open 24 hours a day. The adjoining Information Centre, located in subterranean rooms, documents the Holocaust (Ebert-/Wilhelmstraße, 10117, tel: 030 28 04 59-61/60, April–Sep Tue till Sun 10–2, Oct–March Tue till Sun 10–7, admission free; www. holocaust-denkmal-berlin.de). Since May 2008, there has been a  commemorative stone in the south of the Tiergarten opposite the

Holocaust Memorial dedicated to the homosexuals persecuted by National Socialism. It is the work of the Berlin

artist duo Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset. A film projection inside the large stone shows a couple of the same sex kissing; the male and female couples alternate in a two-year cycle (www.stiftung-denkmal.de).

Pariser Platz [G3] Pariser Platz stretches out in front of the Brandenburg Gate. While the buildings surrounding the square uphold the traditional architectural style, the interior styles are all very different, examples being the Haus Liebermann, once the residence of the German artist Max Liebermann, now the office of the Stiftung Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg 73

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Discover the main sights and local culture with unique tours and tips! Developed by the travel expert since 1902

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