Aug 07

June 2017: Berlin Trip Report


Day 1:

There are many places in Berlin where you can still see the remnants of the Berlin Wall but the two most popular ones among them are the East Side Gallery and Berlin Wall Memorial Park. We wanted to start our Berlin trip with East Side Gallery and took S-Bahn to Ostbahnhof station. After coming outside the station, within about 5 minutes walk you get to the wall.

Berlin Wall, East Side Gallery

Me and Karen @ East Side Gallery, Berlin

One of the most famous Berlin Wall artwork

After walking along the wall by the river Spree, we reached Oberbaum Bridge.

Oberbaum Bridge, Berlin

After crossing the bridge we walked to Markthale Neun market. I had TripAdvisor reviews about the place and we mostly went there because it was in the neighborhood.

Markthale Neun Market

After spending half an hour in the mostly empty market (we arrived too early), we took the train back to the hotel.

After a few hours rest, we took the U-Bahn to Kochstrasse stop. From there we walked to the Topography of Terror Museum. This site used to house the offices of the infamous Gestapo and the SS. Outside the museum are the exhibits showing the rise of the Third Reich.

Topography of Terror Museum, Berlin

Inside the building is a huge collection documenting the history of the Holocaust along with the persecution of other minority groups in the hands of the SS and Gestapo.

Exhibits @ Topography of Terror Musem (outdoor section)

After spending a couple of hours in the museum we walked to the highly touristy Checkpoint Charlie.

Me @ Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin

Next we had dinner at one of the many restaurants in Alexanderplatz train station.

Day 2:

We took the U-Bahn to BrandenBurg Tor station. Right outside the station is the historical Brandenburg Gate which has witnessed many a memorable events in German history.

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

From the Brandenburg gate we walked the street towards the Berlin Victory Column. On the way we passed by the Soviet War Memorial in Tiergarten.

Soviet War Memorial, Berlin

Walking further along the street past the Soviet War Memorial is the Berlin Victory Column.

Berlin Victory Column

After walking back to the Brandenburg Gate we walked to the nearby Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.

Holocaust Memorial

This memorial has a very unique architecture, the columns start short on the outside and grow taller and taller to the middle. It was quite interesting to walk through the entire length and see the difference.

Memorial to Murdered Jews of Europe

After spending some time in the memorial we walked to the Fuhrerbunker, where Hitler and Eva Braun took their lives. The location is a parking lot with buildings around it but there are couple of boards there that show the layout of the bunker before it was demolished by the Russians after the war.

Fuhrerbunker (Now just a parking lot)

Next we walked over to the nearby Mall of Berlin for some lunch.

Mall of Berlin

After lunch we took the U-Bahn to Bernauer Strasse stop. We walked for about 5 minutes to Berlin Wall Memorial park.

Berlin Wall Memorial Park

Chapel of Reconciliation constructed over demolished remains of Church of Reconciliation

Next we went back to the hotel for some rest. After a couple of hours rest we took the U-Bahn again to Bundestag stop.There are two choices for visiting the Bundestag. A guided tour of the German Parliament which includes a visit to the dome at the top or just a visit to the dome. Both of these require reservations which can sell out months early. By the time I tried to book an appointment the guided tour was sold out for the day. So it was just a visit to the dome for the 4 of us. Passports are required to make the booking and the actual visit.

Bundestag, Berlin

After checking in and passing through the security we were taken inside the Bundestag and rode an express elevator to the top. There are complimentary audio guides available and I would highly recommend these. They were very well created and I thoroughly enjoyed the commentary.

Interior of the Bundestag Dome. These are mirrors for reflecting sunlight

Day 3:

This was the last day of our Europe trip. We took the M5 from Alexanderplatz to Freienwalder Strasse to visit a Stasi prison, officially called Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen. This used to be a post second world war Russian prison for German prisoners which was later taken over by the East German Communist Ministry of State Security, the Stasi.

Newer section of Stasi Prison

There is a daily guided tour at 10 AM in English. The tour started with a short 30 minutes documentary about the prison and then our guide took us through various sections of the prison.

Prison Cell – Newer section of prison

Interrogation Room

The guide was very knowledgeable and overall it was a very memorable experience.

After spending about 2 hours in the prison we took the tram back to Alexanderplatz. In the late afternoon we stopped by Berlin Cathedral and walked around the Museum Island for about an hour.

Berlin Cathedral

Berlin Cathedral

One of the many statues in Museum Island

We had dinner at Alexanderplatz Station and left for Tegel Airport early next morning.


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