Since the fall of the Iron Curtain, no city in Europe has seen more development and change than Berlin. Divided for more than 40 years by the wall, this year the city celebrates the 20th anniversary of its fall. For those who've yet to see Berlin, now is the best time to pay a visit. The city is surprisingly affordable and full of magic, thanks to HolidayCheck's tips. What are you waiting for?
History and culture
Escape tunnels have become one of the most popular attractions for locals and international tourists alike. After World War II, hundreds of captives from East Germany took advantage of the soft soil beneath Berlin to tunnel their way under the wall. Some of the tunnels were like small tubes, barely big enough to crawl through, while others were tall enough to stand up in. It's estimated that about 300 people managed to escape through the tunnels.
More history can be found at the Museum Haus (Wall museum) at Checkpoint Charlie (Friedrichstrasse 43 45), which displays a permanent exhibition on the history of the Berlin Wall and on the international fight for human rights. The exhibit includes many objects used by fugitives in their escape. This well-known crossing point in the Berlin Wall between East and West Germany became a symbol of the war and a gateway to freedom for East Germans.
The old Stasi Headquarters are also worth a visit, which chronicles how the secret police of the GFR conducted surveillance on its citizens. Most of the guides are former prisoners, arrested while the Communist Party was still in power, so you can be sure to receive insider information.
The East Side Gallery is an international memorial for freedom. It is a 1.3 km long section of the Berlin Wall located along MÃ¼hlenstrasse, and consists of approximately 100 paintings by artists from all over the world. It was painted in 1990 on the eastern side of the wall. Even though it's not the original wall, small authentic remains are still preserved in a church on Bernauer Strasse.
Eat and Drink
One cannot truly experience Berlin without sampling some of its famous fast foods. Look for Imbiss (snack) kiosks throughout the city selling Bouletten or the ever-popular Currywurst. Berliners love this spicy combination of fried sausage covered in curry powder and ketchup.
Be sure not to miss Konnopke, which has been serving its legendary bites since 1930. They can be found under the Eberswalder Strasse subway station arches, and are renowned for their tasty Currywurst. Whatâ€˜s so special about the sauce they serve? Itâ€˜s a secret! Preparations begin at 6 a.m, so if youâ€˜re stumbling around Berlin in the early hours and looking for something special to satisfy your hunger, head to Konnopke.
To experience a perfect mix of luxury and tradition, sleep at the Adlon Kempinski. Our users simply love this 5-star hotel located right in the very heart of Berlin, by the Brandenburg Gate. It opened for the first time in 1907, hosting political leaders and celebrities for years. In 1945, a devastating fire almost entirely destroyed the magnificent building. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the people in the reunified city of Berlin refused to be without their legendary hotel, and few years later the New Adlon reopened.
Different in every aspect is the Kuâ€˜Damm101. Located in the district of Charlottenburg on the western end of KurfÃ¼rstendamm (also known as Kuâ€˜Damm) this hotel features modern luxury, harmonic colours, high-quality materials and high-tech communication. Last but not least, breakfast is served seven stories high, above Berlin's rooftops.