Europe: Berlin; a cultural hub

Since the fall of the iron curtain, Berlin has inspired travellers becoming one of the most visited cities in Europe. The city offers much to do and is alive with both culture and history, you’ll find diversity in various forms, from the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie to the Alexander Platz shopping.

20140218-212031.jpg

20140218-212134.jpg

Here’s my top tips on how to send a couple of days in the city.

The Berlin Wall: arguably the most iconic landmark of the city, the Berlin Wall was a barrier constructed by the German Democratic Republic in 1961 that completely cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany and from East Berlin. I spent my afternoon enjoying the graffiti and murals that adorn every inch of space. I also checked out the East Side Gallery, which is a section of the Berlin wall that has its most beautiful murals. Also, the Berlin Wall Memorial is also well worth visiting. It is a memorial to those who were killed when they attempted to cross the wall and provides a haunting insight into how life in Berlin must have been like when the wall was still in use.

20140218-212250.jpg

20140218-212331.jpg

Fernsehturm: The Fernsehturm is a television tower in central Berlin, Germany. Close to Alexanderplatz in Mitte, the tower was constructed between 1965 and 1969, visitors to the city are able to go up the tower to absorb city views. From the tower you gain a 360 panorama of the city and all its iconic buildings. It also revealed how much of the city is now a building site; with cranes and pipes in all directions. Fernsehturm has a restaurant at the top, reserve a table for breath taking views of the city at dusk.

20140218-212446.jpg

Checkpoint Charlie: Checkpoint Charlie was the name given by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War. Located opposite the Berlin Wall Gallery there is much to see and do in this part of the city. Photographs with the guards cost, but if you stand forward a little, and angle your camera just right, you can get a cheeky freebie.

20140218-212556.jpg

It shocked me somewhat to discover that Germany is known for its relaxed attitude towards nudity; most German saunas are nude and co-ed, topless sunbathing at swimming pools is pretty common, and you’ll find many designated nude beaches where you can sun your buns. Berlin homes the biggest public park, the Tiergarten, where sunbathing in the nude is allowed. As always, be respectful of the culture and don’t take photos. I must admit, I did find myself having a little giggle!

20140218-212654.jpg

20140218-212732.jpg

Leave a Reply