Berlin is truly one of Europe’s great cities, and even when it was cut in two by the Berlin Wall, the city lost none of its mystery. Today, and as it was in the first few decades of the 20th Century, Berlin is a magnet for people interested in the arts.
Whether it’s art, music, theatre or cinema, there’s a wide range of places to visit in the German capital. The SO36 and Berghain clubs will appeal to music fans, with the Berghain having an impressive reputation worldwide regarding techno music. Though it has a strong focus on punk, the SO36 club in Kreuzberg also specialises in hosting Turkish-related music nights. As for serious clubbers, Friedrichshain is the place to head for. Classical music fans are also well-catered for in Berlin, and the Gendarmenmarkt is home to the world famous Berlin Symphony Orchestra.
For art enthusiasts, Berlin’s East Side Gallery is a unique type of gallery to visit in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, as the artwork here is displayed on a wall that is a mile long! Much of the work on the wall deals with Berlin’s recent past, and since the city became re-unified. This gallery will be appreciated by visitors who like artwork with a political bent, and by those who like the idea of viewing art in the open air.
Movie fans and theatre-goers are also spoilt for choice in Berlin. For instance, there are over 100 cinemas in the city, while there are well over a thousand theatres/stages to choose from, which put on the likes of cabaret, satire and experimental shows.
One place that should be high on any list of places to visit in Berlin is Museum Island. A World Heritage Site, this area is not only home to Berlin Cathedral, but also to five important museums. Also, by way of a Berlin Pass, you can visit all five museums for free. It’s advisable for visitors to acquire a Berlin Pass when looking both to save money and to visit many of the city’s cultural attractions, as the Pass allows free admission into dozens of art galleries and museums across Berlin.
Charlottenburg Palace and its surrounding area is another cultural highlight. There are two art-related museums close to the Palace, while the Palace itself also has a museum that houses prehistoric items. The Palace Gardens are stunning and they stretch almost as far as the eye can see. Visitors are allowed to see some parts of the Palace interior for an entrance fee.
One of the most fun ways to discover some of Berlin’s delights is by travelling around the city on a bike. Berlin is a cycle-friendly city, and you will able to see many of the city’s most significant landmarks while getting around on two wheels. Some of the sights to see include aspects of the Berlin Wall and one of the world’s great urban parks, the Tiergarten.
Tim Aldiss writes for Holiday Taxis