A Guide to Berlin Via Google Maps and Wikipedia

Soon many people will be coming to Berlin for the 2006 World Cup. For many it will be their first time in Berlin, so I thought I’d provide a tour of the places that I’ve found interesting in my 6 years here in Berlin. Some you will have heard of while others may be new. Bold links lead to a satellite map provided by Google Maps while most other links lead to a Wikipedia entry.

Culture:

Sightseeing:

  • The Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) is THE symbol for Berlin. During the Berlin Wall era it lay in no man’s land. You can now move freely (when there is no building) around its pillars.
  • The Reichstag is home to the German Parliment. With the addition of the glass dome designed by Sir Norman Foster it has become a tourist magnet. Go early to avoid lines.
  • The Fernsehturm (TV tower) is the tallest structure in Berlin and has a rotating cafe. It offers the best view of Berlin from above. For the World Cup the sphere at the top has been decorated as a football.
  • Gendarmenmarkt is located in Mitte and is home to the Konzerthaus (concert hall), the Französischer Dom (French Cathedral) and the Deutscher Dom (German Cathedral). A statue of Schiller is the center piece of the square.
  • Potsdamer Platz (Potsdam Square) lay in no man’s land. Once the wall fell the real-estate was the most sought-after in Berlin. It was the largest construction site in Europe throughout the late 90′s and early 00′s. It is now a maze of modern architecture. In the 20′s, it was the busiest place in all of Europe and even had Europe’s first traffic light.

Parks:

  • Tiergarten (Animal Garden) is Berlin’s largest and most central park. It gets it’s name from the Zoo located in the south west corner. It is bordered by many of Berlin’s most visited tourist destinations.
  • Gölitzer Park is located in the multi-cultural borough of Kreuzberg. It’s a great place to relax and people watch.
  • Volkspark Friedrichshain is located on the border of Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain. It is home to an open-air movie theater and is great for taking walks along the tree-lined paths.
  • Mauerpark (Wall park) is located on the border of Prenzlauer Berg and Wedding and was formerly the no man’s land between the Berln Wall and the residential area. It’s were you want to go to hang with the drum-playing, fire-throwing crowd. On the weekends it’s home to one of Berlin’s best flee markets.

Memorials:

Shopping:

  • Kaufhaus des Westens (Department Store of the West) or KaDeWe for short is the largest department store in Europe. It’s located on Tauenzienstrasse, an extension of Ku’Damm.
  • Kufürstenstrasse or Ku’Damm as it’s known is the premier shopping mile in Berlin and one of the most famous in Europe. It’s located near Zoologischer Garten train station. You can find lots of stores from designer labels here.
  • Friedrichsstrasse is quickly becoming the Ku’Damm of East Berlin. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall it has slowly been gaining the prestige that it once had.
  • Hackescher Markt includes Hackesche Höfe, a series of courtyards and it’s surroundings. It’s thriving with trendy shops and galleries. It’s one of the “coolest” places to be.

Sports:

Boroughs:

Excursions:

This is a work in progress. I know it’s missing lots. If you have a suggestion please leave a comment.

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