With the majority of the country landlocked, a German beach holiday is typically confined to lakeside getaways or riverfront swimming pools, but those staying in Berlin can also make the most of the rugged Baltic coastline, just 2.5hrs north of the capital. Visiting Rugen Island from Berlin has been a popular pastime for city dwellers since the late 19th century, drawing iconic figures like Bismarck, Thomas Mann and Albert Einstein over the years, and with its dramatic chalk cliffs, miles of shaded woodlands and pristine white sand beaches, it offers a tranquil alternative to urban life.
The German capital has a habit of transforming abandoned structures into unique tourist attractions, and today, curious visitors can not only tour the eerie Spreepark, Berlin’s abandoned amusement park, but they can also climb to the top of the Teufelsberg, or ‘Devil’s Hill’ as it is ominously nicknamed, home to a one-time Allied listening post.
With hundreds of cinemas ranging from gigantic multiplexes to tiny independent movie theaters, and the host of one of the world’s top film festivals, film buffs have plenty to get excited about in Berlin, and as the weather heats up, cinema-goers can make the most of the city’s alfresco movie screenings. Whether munching popcorn from a deckchair or cuddling up on a picnic blanket beneath the stars, what better way to enjoy the balmy summer evenings, than catching a flick at one of the many open-air summer cinemas in Berlin?
With its rickety wooden roller coaster overgrown with weeds, the looming Ferris Wheel peeling with paint and once-spinning teacups now hidden among the trees, the Spreepark, Berlin’s abandoned amusement park, is equally eerie and fascinating, and has fast become one of the capital’s most unique (and bizarre) tourist attractions.
Walking around the cultural center of Berlin’s Museum Island, it’s impossible to miss the striking futuristic façade of the Humboldt box, one of the city’s most recent landmarks. The design of architectural visionaries Krüger Schuberth Vandreike, Berlin’s Humboldt Box was erected in 2011 to mark the site of the future Humboldt Forum, an extravagant reconstruction of the Prussian city palace that once stood on the site.
With its beautifully restored Orangery and series of manicured gardens, few venues are as magnificent as the opulent Charlottenburg Palace, the largest and grandest of Berlin’s Royal Palaces. Constructed throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, the palace was first built as a summer residence for its namesake, Prussian Queen Sophie Charlotte, and features an impressive array of rococo and baroque style rooms, alongside the elaborate tombs of the Hohenzollern family. Touring the palace and grounds is a popular activity for visitors to Berlin, but the most atmospheric way to enjoy the stately residence is by seeing a concert at the Charlottenburg Palace.