The peaceful revolution which toppled the Berlin Wall in 1989 was one of the major good-news stories of the 20th century, and its 20th anniversary was marked by the likes of Mikhail Gorbachev, George Bush (Sr.) and Hillary Clinton in pouring autumn rain last year, with the Brandenburg Gate as a backdrop.
Berlin’s sheer size and vast number of attractions can be overwhelming for the first time visitor, but don’t worry – traveling around the city is an easy task. Here’s a few tips to get you started.
1. Make the most of the public transport system
Berlin’s public transport network is extensive and includes buses, trams, the U-Bahn (subway) and the S-Bahn, Regionalbahn (RB) and Regionalexpress (RE) trains. Public transport tickets are priced by zones, with single fare tickets valid for two hours including unlimited transfers between lines. Alternatively get a Tageskarte (day pass) or a 2-5 day Berlin Welcome Card, which offers flat-rate fares on all public transport, along with discounted entry for many of Berlin’s museums.
One of the few remaining sections of the Berlin Wall is under threat from developers who plan to tear it down to make room for luxury riverfront condos
With the weather warming up and the days getting longer, springtime in Berlin is the perfect time for taking a walking or cycling tour of the city and exploring the city’s many parks and gardens. It’s also the time of year when Berliners send off the winter with a number of festivals and events.
Earning UNESCO World Heritage status back in 1999, Berlin’s Museum Island is renowned for its unique architecture, holding the crème of the city’s world-class museums. The man-made islet encompasses a 1 square-kilometer mass, set on the Spree River and reachable by bridges from the Kupfergraben.
Turkish people represent one of the largest ethnic groups in Berlin. In the 1960′s, there was a shortage of workers needed to construct the infamous wall, so guest workers were recruited from Turkey. Many of these workers decided to stay after the work was done, and over the years the Turkish population continued to grow. As a result, there’s a lot of excellent (and inexpensive) Turkish food to be had in Berlin.