Last year, my fiancée granted my wish to travel to Berlin by offering me an all expenses paid trip to Germany. After months of preparation, we took our thirteen-hour flight to Berlin and arrived through the Tegel airport. The airport was so busy that we spent another two hours clearing with the customs department before taking a taxi to Mitte apartment in the East of Berlin where we had reserved our accommodation. On our way I could not help but notice the old Mitte buildings that blend in so well with the modern Reichstag.
Mitte apartment is tucked in a prime area between Prenzlauer Berg and Berlin Mitte. It is also close to restaurants as well as a shopping area that make it such an interesting district. The beautiful Kollwitzplatz city square is also not very far from here. The staff at the apartment helped us to check into to our cozy and quiet home that is furnished well and has an awesome interior. The apartment has a living room that also doubles up as a bedroom, a bathroom and a kitchen even though we never got to prepare any meals here. Some of the amenities that we had access to include a hair dryer, a washing machine, a plasma TV, internet connection, a table, three chairs, wardrobe, a spacious sofa and a shower. Towels and Bed linen are also provided at this homely apartment. Since we were both tired from the long flight, we took a shower before heading to the nearby restaurant for dinner.
We woke up early the next morning and got ready for the day before stopping by the restaurant for some continental breakfast. Our itinerary was full of places that we had hoped to visit but we did not manage to exhaust them all. One of the places that we went to was Brandenburg gate that is served as no man’s land during the Cold war. This was a truly breathtaking moment because the gate is amazingly beautiful and defining symbol of Germany. We went round reading the informative boards for full history. As a history lover, it was quite fulfilling to see stuff I have only read about come to life. Even then, you will still enjoy sightseeing without necessarily being history lover hence I recommend that you begin a tour of Berlin here.
Charlottenburg Palace whose history dates back to 1695-99 is another place worth visiting when you travel to Berlin because it has stunning baroque architecture drawn from a couple of centuries back. This palace is elegant and charming. We relied heavily on audio guides that were quite informative and gave us a feel of what happened in this palace. To access this palace, you will need to pay some admission fee. The palace is also surrounded by beautiful gardens that will definitely appeal to you. We had also made reservations for a candlelit dinner and concert that was held in the huge elegant hall. The waiters and waitresses were all dressed in costume to complete the theme. It was simply amazing and far beyond my expectations. I captured every moment spent here on camera.
We also went to the Television Tower that offers some of the best views of Berlin. This is worth visiting by every first time visitor to Berlin because the panoramic views are out of this world. Moreover, you also get an opportunity to snap away these unparalleled views of Berlin. As you would expect, there are usually many people queuing up to get a ticked thus, you will do well to get yours online. You can also have an opportunity to dine at this icon of Berlin City. The meals at this restaurant are equally good therefore; you will not regret the decision to dine here.
Another must visit attraction when you travel to Berlin is Alexanderplatz. It is here that you will find the world time clock that shows time around various parts of the globe. This square is frequented by people of all ages thus families, singles as well as couples can come here and still feel comfortable. There is also a host of activities taking place that include Ferris wheel, train rides and merry go-rounds. There is also plenty of music and you can also purchase some great food here. The place is lovely and simply pleasant to be.
If you are interested in enjoying some great German cuisine within an authentic space then you need to go to Zur Letzten Instanz. It is a great place for couples. However, you will require to make a reservation especially if you are looking to surprise your partner as was the case for me. We both enjoyed the delicious meal as we recounted the events of the day. Later as I took my desert, my fiancée pulled another surprise on me by presenting me my second birthday gift that was a beautiful jewelry set. Ultimately, the restaurant offers value for money.
The Berlin Cathedral is another beautiful landmark that you need to visit as it is not only an imposing figure on the outside but it also does not disappoint on the inside. Besides the breathtaking architecture, we also found a fine choir rehearsing. I definitely recommend that you tiptoe in to enjoy their performance. You also need to get to Pergamon museum that houses some fantastic artifacts among them the altar of Zeus as well as the famous Ishtar Gate from Babylon. The religious and historical collection at this museum is quite impressive and worth seeing. I can guarantee you that you will be mesmerized. Another excellent sightseeing sight is Unter den Linden that is a street packed with various historical sites and interesting attractions. This place is one of the most charming streets and is very good for window shopping and strolling.
For more of incredible architecture, you can also visit Deutscher Bundestag even though you must be willing to stand in a queue, as there are usually throngs of people coming here. While here, we treated ourselves to a sumptuous meal at the café that is situated at the top of the building even as we enjoyed the beautiful views of Berlin. You need to bring your passport here for security reasons. We also bought some delicious cake that we took away and later ate when we got back at the apartment. A visit to the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church was equally exciting as we got to see the ruins of this building that was destroyed during WWII. In fact, this church is one of the most beautiful things along Kurfurstendamm. It was truly a nice classic stop.
If you love portraits, then you must visit the Picture Gallery that has one of the greatest collections you may want to skip the fillers and go straight for the killers. These include the five stunning portraits of Hans Holbein the Younger in room 1, a wall of Durer’s in the next room and two small and extremely rare Jan Van Eycks, the beautiful Hans Memling portrait, two vermeers, one top work of Caravaggio and works of Rembrandt.
I am sure you are wondering why I have not mentioned the Berlin Wall so far. The truth is we could not leave Berlin without visiting the Berlin Wall and Museumsinsel/museum Island. Museumsinsel is one of the many World heritage sites in Germany and comprises of five great museums as well as galleries. On the other hand, the Berlin Wall that was constructed to serve as a barrier between the East and the West Berlin. It is a great old spot but also a chilling reminder of what is bound to happen when those in power use their authority to intimidate, frighten or even punish others. Although some of the walls have been destroyed, this is one piece of history that you cannot afford to miss because the impact of this wall can still be felt and seen in this city. We wrapped up our adventure in Berlin by having a special dinner at the Heising restaurant. It was a truly awesome way to end the trip. Later we left for the airport since we had a night flight. Not only am I grateful to y fiancée for making my dream to travel to Berlin come true but also have many memories that I will cherish forever.