Feel the magic of Berlin
Despite its often hectic pace, Berlin functions on an exquisitely human level. Traffic flows freely, public transportation is brilliant, you can walk without fear at night, clubs have no velvet ropes and your restaurant bill would only buy you a starter back home. Come and join the party and be swept away by the riches, quirks and vibrancy of this fascinating city. Here are some tips to add to the top of your “must-see in Berlin” list.
While in Berlin you should certainly look out for the Brandenburg Gate, which has become one of the city's most recognisable and photographed attractions. Designed in 1791 by Carl Gotthard Langhans, a detailed sculpture of the beautiful goddess 'Victory' resides at the top of the structure. When Napoleon occupied Berlin in 1806 he stole this statue and took it back to Paris, but it was returned to its rightful home again in 1814. When the Berlin Wall was erected in 1961 the tor became a symbol of the division and when the wall was finally destroyed in 1989, Berlin held its main celebrations around the building. Over the years the Brandenburg Gate has been the backdrop for many protests and rallies by political groups and now, after two years of restoration, it stands majestically in the centre of Berlin.
A symbol of Germany's past, present and future, the Reichstag is likely to give you more flashbacks to high-school history than any other Berlin landmark! This grand old building designed by Paul Wallot (1894) is where the German parliament, the Bundestag, has been hammering out its policies since 1999. This followed a total makeover by Lord Norman Foster, who preserved only the building’s historical shell while adding the striking glass dome, which is accessible by lift. You can tour the Reichstag's dome (its newest addition) for free, but you should probably make a reservation in advance since it's a popular stop for tourists. Circle your way up the dome on foot, or use a lift to reach the top for a stunning view of the city below.
Potsdamer Platz and the New Centre In the 1900s this was one of the busiest squares in the whole of Europe and when the Berlin Wall was built it had a platform that allowed Westerners to look over the wall and into the eastern part of the city. After many years of neglect, recent restoration and renovation has created a wonderful new, vibrant area, full of shops, bars, cafés, restaurants and many other venues for entertainment. Once again it is a thriving square and is rapidly becoming the heart of the city. For some of the best views in the city, visit Panorama-Point, which is situated at the very top of the tall Kollhof building. A lift is available and it is thought to be the fastest one in Europe!
Television Tower (Fernsehturm) The Fernsehturm television tower is the tallest structure in the whole of the city and features both an observation platform and also a restaurant, which revolves slowly. This incredibly tall structure is 368 metres (1207 feet) high and there is a lift that takes you up over 200 metres, (660 feet) to a viewing platform and the restaurant. From here you can see all across the city and there are spectacular, panoramic views, probably the best in East Berlin.
An Aladdin’s cave of treasures from ancient realms, the Pergamon Museum is an essential entry on any list of must-see sights. Inside the vast complex, custom built on Museumsinsel (Museum Island) in 1930, is a feast of classical sculpture and monumental architecture from Greece, Rome, Babylon and the Middle East that will amaze and enlighten. Most of it was excavated and spirited to Berlin by German archaeologists at the turn of the 20th century.
The Oranienburger Strasse located in central Berlin was before 1989, a fairly quiet and desolate street. More recently it has become a busy and trendy place to visit and is full of bars, cafés and many other stylish food and drink outlets, both there and in the surrounding area. This part of the new eastern Berlin has become a lively and popular place to visit for shopping and fancy dining. Berlin's food options are wide-ranging, with an abundance of traditional German cuisine as well as a thriving ethnic food scene. Meat is the main ingredient in typical meals, but there are also several vegetarian-friendly options. A "must-try" in Berlin is the famous currywurst, a bratwurst with ketchup and curry.
Another event which may grab your attention while in Berlin is the ITB - without a doubt the largest travel trade show in the world, which takes place every year in March in Berlin. The show is enormous, and covers pretty much every aspect of tourism, with trade visitors from every sector of the tourism industry. The exhibitors at the ITB come from all sectors of the international travel and tourism industry and include government tourism offices, national and regional tourism organizations, tour operators, hotels, airline carriers, insurance companies, communication and information systems, travel agencies, publishing, and dot com companies. The ITB also has consumer days where consumers are allowed in to see what the worlds travel industry has to offer.
HOW TO GET THERE
Berlin has two main international city airports, Tegel (TXL) and Schönefeld (SXF). Berlin's Tegel is a convenient, recently revamped, passenger friendly airport within easy reach of services, while Schönefeld is situated approximately 18 km south-east of the city centre. You can get to Berlin directly from Lviv (flights 3 times per week, ticket price 400USD) via transfer in Istanbul.
Turkish Airlines’ representative office in Lviv is located at 4 Mickiewicza Sqr. and is open every weekday (closed Saturday and Sunday). For further details please call + 38032-2970849.