"More than the capital of Germany" Top 5 Page for this destination Berlin by matcrazy1

Berlin Travel Guide: 6,992 reviews and 15,870 photos

Cultural capital of Europe?

I started to put up this mega-page on 6 March 9.30 pm and I finished it just now - 19 April 2004 11.20 pm. Uff... it took me much more time than I spent in Berlin :-). I am going to revisit Berlin hopefully soon that's why I put up the last travelogue - FORUM.

I am going to update/improve my tips and eventually fix up some mistakes. Please, e-mail me whenever you find any.

Thank you for your help and visit on my page! Welcome :-) Enjoy!

Berlin really surprised me, so I started to plan my next visit, although I very rarely come back to larger cities I have already visited (except Krakow, Poland and Barcelona, Spain :-).

I think that with all amazing cultural events which take place in Berlin each week, a lot of cultural traditions, unique character/soul (is it German city? :-), relaxing atmosphere, high tolerance to "strange people", location in the heart of Europe and finally with all that money the German government (= tax-payers) spends for Berlin,
the city will become real cultural capital of Europe soon. The end of Paris ? No, I don't think so but... as I wrote above.

My strong recommendation is to visit Berlin before it becomes more crowded, more expensive and maybe more commercial.

My own small/big highlights in Berlin:
1. Famous Yorckschlosschen Club and Bar in artistic district (Berlin's Mont-Martre) Kreuzberg where famous jazz/blues bands play on each Wednesday, Friday and Saturday (start at 10pm). I met 3 very nice VT-ers living in Berlin who welcomed us very, very warm:
- Gillian (GillianMcLaughlin)
- Karin (Karin1S)
- Dimitris (Dimi1)
Thank you very much my new friends, you made our evening, one never to forget :-)
2. MoMA -
Museum of Modern Art in New York City in Neue Nationalgalerie in Berlin, a must see (till September 2004) - over 200 masterpieces of art including famous paintings of Cezanne, van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse, Dal?, Kandinsky and others.
Shopping (from cheap second-hand stores to luxury stores).
More in my tips.

Time for serious reflection!

I found this place, commemorating people who tried to escape to West Berlin through the wall which was there from 1961 until 1989 and were shot to death by East German guards, close to Brandenburg Gate. For me, it is the special place to reflect on the past !

Unfortunately I was born on wrong side of the Iron Curtain. I am old enough to remember well how hard it was to live and travel at that time - esp. for folks who were "unlucky" to preserve free minds. And there were no opportunities, no hope for a better future and/or freedom except... immigration to Western Europe, USA etc.

It started to change in 1988-1989 in Poland when the first anti-communist government in Eastern Europe was established. And the changes started to be unchangable (back to communism) in my mind just when I saw Berlin wall falling down on 9th Nov. 1989! They were great days/nights for me watching TV showing the last hours of the Wall I hated so much. It was the best thing which could happen in my "wrong" part of Europe.

Standing on that special for me place in Berlin I thought:
- why politicians made so many fatal mistakes (to allow Stalin to divide Europe for many years, I mean), can't they make decisions for a future further than just to next pools ?
- don't they want to build a new wall across Europe, on the eastern border of the European Union? Well, I will be on its "better" side in 10 days but it doesn't change my mind in that matter;
- how many people suffered unbelievable poverty, lack of freedom, prisons, even death before it changed ? how many people still have changed (ill) minds? how long it will take to change their minds back?
- can people (esp. top politicians and those who vote for them) learn something from our not so old history ?

Well, anyway I am much more optimistic about the future since the Berlin Wall was torn down. Although terrorism or better to say not a strong enough will to fight against it, makes me less optimistic.

Pretty modern and old Berlin

I found Berlin the most modern, new and pretty European city in the many parts I was lucky to see. It is still under construction though. There are great jobs for architects there, I am sure.

And Berlin is an old city as well with thousands of well preserved streets full of old buidings, churches, cafes and real pearls of old architecture.

I'd like to say thank you very much to the two American VT-ers who helped me with my English on this page:
- Chris from Atlanta, Georgia (balfor),
- Nat from Mechanicsville, Virginia (b1bob).

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Berliners and VT-ers living there, cultural events (music, art), fascinating history of the Wall, pretty modern architecture, large but not very busy, relaxing at many places, shopping, and many more pro's...
  • Cons:Expensive at... some places, parking a car (but not driving :-) maybe real hell, not clean at few (!) places - disease of all large cities, sudden noise of one bell :-)
  • In a nutshell:Cultural capital of Europe... soon :-)
  • Last visit to Berlin: Feb 2004
  • Intro Updated Jun 17, 2004
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Reviews (318)

Comments (100)

  • goodfish's Profile Photo
    Oct 17, 2014 at 8:43 AM

    Excellent page, Maciek! We're considering Berlin as an add-on to 2015 Euromeet so I'll be reading through your reviews in the coming weeks. It is very good that there is no wall to be on the "wrong" side of anymore: the day that thing came down was a very good day.

  • australia2's Profile Photo
    Aug 27, 2013 at 2:32 AM

    Long time no talk Matt. Good to 'see' you here. And in Berlin! I'm bothered at the moment with an old problem re the famous picture of Soviet Banner on the ruined Reichtag. I have two slightly different ones but I can't work out where they (both) were bravely positioned. I've read all the Wiki etc info. See my pages for some pics. What is the Strasse with the wrecked tram and the buildings.?

  • roamer61's Profile Photo
    Aug 29, 2012 at 6:01 AM

    Good pages on Berlin Matt.

  • joiwatani's Profile Photo
    Oct 6, 2011 at 5:31 AM

    Nice pages on Berlin!

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    May 16, 2010 at 12:24 PM

    Hello, Maciek! I would like to explore Berlin too.... Thanks for your great page!

  • joethew's Profile Photo
    Jan 8, 2010 at 5:31 PM

    Hi there,I would like to ask for your opinion on Berlin transport,I'll be in Berlin only 2days,what type of ticket to buy for convenient & economic?Hope to hear from you soon!Thanks!

  • Aug 29, 2009 at 12:29 AM

    Filing a lawsuit because a bell scared you. This is the most moronic thing I have heard in a long time. Even for an American.

  • edvin_br's Profile Photo
    Aug 23, 2008 at 7:49 AM

    This days im planning a trip to Berlin. Your page is great and gave me a lot of inspiration.. :]

  • nora_south_africa's Profile Photo
    Apr 12, 2008 at 9:50 AM

    great page thanx, really can sit for hours on your pages!!

  • Mar 19, 2008 at 8:51 PM

    it isn't enough to hold your camera still because if there are cars, people and other objects moving a long exposure will just streak the whole picture. You need a fast wide angle lens (like 18mm f/1.8) and those are very expensive.


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