Don’t miss these Berlin sights on your trip:
Brandenburg Gate or Brandenburger Tor, Pariser Platz: A triumphal arch conceived in 1791 to celebrate a Prussian victory, was then in the Eastern section in a grim no-man’s land, is now a symbol/icon of German reunification.
Staatsoper: The famous Berlin Staatsoper Unter den Linden is under renovation, but performances of this well-known company are being held at the Schiller Theater.
Explore the galleries of Mitte, the historical city center that was the first area to be colonized by artists and gentrified after reunification. It has a nice mix of contemporary architecture and refurbished 18th to 19th century buildings. There are many galleries on Auguststrasse and Rosenthaller Strasse. At times, all the galleries are open for a neighborhood art walk.
Gedenkstatte Gross Hamburger Strasse: Up until WWII this was one of the main streets of Berlin’s Jewish Quarter. I particularly liked the moving memorial sculpture of Jewish families murdered in the Holocaust. I was there the day after the anniversary of Kristallnacht and there were candles and flowers at the base.
Kreuzberg was once the hangout of left-wing punks and anarchists. The area is now filled with graffiti and street art, galleries, cafes and restaurants.
Prenzlauer Berg is an area being gentrified that may be worth a visit. It will be on the agenda for my next trip.
Neukolin is Berlin’s gritty, working class area that has seen a new wave of international creative types coming in to open artist-run spaces and bar-galleries. A good place to spend a day.
The System of Trams, U-Bahn (underground) and S-Bahn (longer-distance communter service) is easy to use, so get a map and explore.
Tipi Am Kanzleramt: Turns out this is the German spelling of Teepee. Located in a tent at Grosse Querallee in the Tiergarten (huge park) in the center of Berlin, this is a cabaret type venue offering various performances throughout the year. I saw the musical Cabaret (mostly in German) which was really fun to see in Berlin. Hope it is playing while you are there. They serve food and have a full bar.
I just saw that Fat Tire Tours, a popular tour operator, has bike trips in Berlin where you can focus on the highlights of the city, the Berlin Wall, the gardens and palaces of Potsdam along with the Third Reich and Nazi Berlin tour. They even have a food tour by bike!