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Berlin travel guide
Berlin travel guide
Berlin is the city on everyone’s travel list and it’s a city of great history, art, and high culture. It’s also a destination for those inspired by Europe’s hipster and alternative culture. One visit won’t be enough to experience Berlin and all it has to offer, but it will give you a taste of German culture and get you to come back.
Exploring Berlin is best done in your own car since it allows you to take your time and pay attention to the sites you find especially interesting. In order to do so, you’ll need to obtain an international drivers license from IDA officials and to carry your national driver's license with you.
East Side Gallery
Start your trip with a visit to the East Side Gallery, which features the murals painted on what was once The Berlin Wall. It’s a unique way to explore the divided history of the city and how it came to be what it is today.
One of the most fascinating things about the Berlin art world is how much it draws from the difficult and troubled history of Germany and therefore doesn’t shy away from self-reflection.
The German parliament is somewhat symbolic of the German past as a whole. It features layers and layers of history that overlap and together explain how Germany, as it is today, came to be. The parliament itself can be observed from the glass dome symbolizing the building being open to the public to inspect its work.
The building also features artifacts from the World War 2 era and most noticeably signatures of Soviet soldiers storming the building and marking the end of the war with mementos carried to Berlin from battlefields of what’s now Russia and Ukraine.
The Memorial to Jews of Europe
The memorial is dedicated to victims of the Holocaust and represents both a striking and thought-provoking piece of modern art. It was constructed by Burro Happold in 2004. The monument is made out of concrete slabs arranged in a grid pattern. The piece caused great interest and controversy when it was built due to its simplistic form.
The artist wanted for the monument to have an uneasy ambiance to it as to reflect on the guilt and complexity of history behind the Holocaust. It’s the must-visit piece of remembrance art in Berlin and one that will leave you contemplative long after you move to the next item on your travel itinerary.
On a much less solemn note, Berghain is a prime example of Berlin’s clubbing and partying culture. It’s one of the things contemporary Berlin culture is known across Europe and the world and there are plenty of clubs to visit, but Berghain is somewhat different.
The club is known for its ambiance of debauchery and it offers something for every kind of tourist on the lookout for an exciting and risky night out. Keep in mind that the club is rather exclusive and getting in may not be that easy.
In the end, if you’re looking for a place to shop and to experience the artsy and forward-thinking German culture, the Voo Store is the best place to start. The store is hidden in what was once a locksmith business, which is kind of appropriate for Berlin hipster culture.
The overall design and outlook are rather modern and minimalistic taking inspiration from the German history of avant-garde design and innovation, but with a bent towards contemporary eco-friendly ideals. Think Bauhaus but for the modern European and make sure to clear out at least a day to fully appreciate it.