Birtchnell enjoys 48-hours in Berlin
you visit Berlin for a week-end break, you’ll
wish you had more than 48 hours in Berlin….”
over 146 million visitors annually, and growing,
Berlin now ranks among the top three most popular
European city breaks after London and Paris.
city’s compact historical districts and excellent
transport system, along with the relatively late opening
hours of many attractions, will allow you to get a great
taste of the city in a weekend. Just make sure you save
some stamina for Berlin’s legendary nightlife!
Berlin Tourism Office is an invaluable
resource when planning your visit. They offer valuable information
on location and contact details for each of the Berlin Info
stores. Nevertheless, a fantastic way for first time visitors
to start their exploration of Berlin is to get hold of WelcomeCard
and then take a guided tour of the city. Whether on
foot, by bike, or sightseeing bus, these tours will give
you an overview of Berlin’s fascinating and complex
history and point out some of the cultural and architectural
highlights, of which there are many!
with a WelcomeCard, you will find that Berlin is a
haven for lovers of art, history, antiquity, and so
many amazing museums. The Berlin WelcomeCard is a
discount card offering unlimited travel on public
transport for either 48 or 72 hours,
in and out of Berlin’s barrier-less train stations,
and discounts on 130 tourist attractions.Nevertheless, the
pass excludes several of Berlin’s most notable Museums,
including the Pergamon and the wonderful museum of contemporary
art, Hamburger Bahnhof. It is therefore recommended that
culture buffs purchase the Berlin WelcomeCard Culture+ which
gives all the benefits of the WelcomeCard in conjunction
with a three day Berlin Museum Pass, allowing additional
free access to over 70 of Berlin’s museums and galleries.
has a choice of around 350 hotels and guesthouses
but our choice hotel is Rocco Forte’s Hotel
because of its exceptional location in the historical
heart of Berlin on Bebelplatz, off Unter den Linden.
de Rome provides both the perfect base from which
to explore the many delights of Berlin, and a welcoming
place to return at the end of the day. Like each
of the properties in the Rocco Forte Collection,
the Hotel de Rome strikes a balance between comfort,
elegance, glamour, and contemporary design.
here to read our full review of the hotel.
Allow at least a few hours on Museum Island to take in the
highlights of the Pergamon, Bode Museum, Old Museum, Old
National Gallery, and the New Museum which will be opening
in 2009 to house the Egyptian collection.
Ascend the Reichstag, seat of Germany’s federal parliament,
for sweeping views of Berlin. Allow plenty of time to queue
for the free climb to the dome! An alternative viewpoint,
at 203 metres, is Berlin’s landmark TV Tower.
Walk the line at Checkpoint Charlie to enjoy a recreation
of the infamous allied checkpoint. There is a museum
attached, but for a good overview, visit the adjacent
free open air exhibition which has a chronology
of the Wall and the political situation which spawned
it, along with an examination of its impact on Berlin
and its people.
Pose at the superbly reconstructed Brandenburg Gate to keep
a souvenir of one of the most recognisable symbols of Berlin.
is the only remaining gate of a series through which one formerly
One block to its north lies the Reichstag. The gate
was once the monumental termination of Unter den Linden,
the renowned boulevard of linden trees which led directly
to the royal residence. It
was commissioned by Friedrich Wilhelm II as a sign
of peace and built by Carl Gotthard Langhans from
1788 to 1791. It is today one of Europe's most famous
Visit the Memorial of the Murdered Jews of
Europe in Friedrichstadt. This holocaust memorial which
was designed by architect Peter Eisenman and opened in 2005,
demonstrates how powerful abstraction and symbolism can
be. Menashe Kadishman's installation, Fallen Leaves, in
the Jewish Museum Berlin also portrays a moving expression
of the loss of so many lives during the Holocaust.
Sadly, the permanent exhibitions in the Jewish Museum fail
to provide a truly comprehensive and coherent interpretation,
despite a collection which includes some fascinating contemporary
and historical pieces.
Visit East Side Gallery, one of the longest stretches that
has been preserved of the Berlin Wall, and a huge street
canvass for artists then stroll down the monumental boulevard
Karl Marx Allee, built between 1952 and 1960 by the German
Democratic Republic as a showcase for Socialist architecture
and post-war reconstruction.
Admire the ambitious contemporary architecture commissioned
at Potsdamer Platz to fill the huge voids of no-man’s
land in Berlin post-unification. Potsdamer Platz has
its own unique atmosphere: This is the place where
modern architecture and a lively metropolitan ambience
meet Berlin history.
If nightlife is your thing, then Berlin’s streets
are perfect night walks because one restaurant is next to
the other. The city also has stylish lounges which are very
popular to enjoy a drink before or after hurling into the
nightlife. There is also clubbing, fun bars and singles
parties, dancing, live music, gambling halls and adult venues.
Finally, you cannot complete your weekend break without
soaking up the splendour of Stattsoper, Berlin’s grandest
Opera House on Unter den Linden, adjacent to the Hotel
de Rome. Originally constructed in 1743, the opera house
is very much like Berlin’s notable architecture, destroyed
in World War II. It was rebuilt in the 1950s to the original
designs of Georg Knobelsdorff and today presents opera along
with ballet and concerts. Click
here for a production calendar.