Day 1 in Berlin
Discover the East Side of Berlin
Absolutely, the history of the German capital and its high standard of living are the main things that attract most of the tourists. However, the Berlin Wall put a significant mark on the further development of the city. Nowadays, the East side of Berlin and its West side are two totally different worlds. That’s why divide the time of your trip to visit both sides of the city.
Start your trip in the East side of Berlin, which was the Soviet sector of the capital in 1945.
Visit the Unter den Linden Boulevard and the Brandenburg Gate – probably the most remarkable icons of the German capital. This city gate is a neoclassical masterpiece that was inaugurated in 1795 and its design is similar to the entrance to the Acropolis, in Athens. The sculpture from its top – the “Quadriga”, represents a chariot drawn by four horses and is a symbol of piece for German. The Gate and the square in front of it hosted numerous significant events in German history. From Brandenburg Gate, walk along “under the linden trees”, or Unter den Linden Boulevard. This is Berlin’s most famous boulevard, flanked by a multitude of historic buildings like the Berlin State Opera, Humboldt University, St. Hedwig’s Cathedral, but also the Russian and Hungarian embassies.
Visit the Bernauer Strasse – in 1961, the Berlin Wall ran along this street. Namely here, young people, full of hope, were facing the barbed wire and the guns, were digging tunnels, and were climbing down the balconies by tied up sheets just to escape from the East Berlin. Many of them died… Just the cross that remained after the demolition of the Church of Reconciliation reminds of that painful period in history. But time heals, that is why we advise you to walk along the Bernauer Strasse now and observe the changes that have been made.
Visit Kunsthaus Tacheles – this is today the home of a range of very impressive art studios. It is a place packed with fascinating works of art that represent a slice of history that risks to be wiped out. In the past, the building served as a department store, and it even was a Nazi prison. You can also hop into the famous bar called “Zapata”, which will make you feel what it means crowd hang-out. Besides studios and the bar, the Tacheles comprises workshops, a nightclub, and a cinema. Outside, you can explore the open-air exhibition of metal sculptures. Here is also a part of the garden that is still open to the public.
At dusk, head to Hackesche Hofe – the major Berlin nightlife hub. You will distinguish this complex from the rest of the buildings by its Art Nouveau style. Hackesche Hofe is filled with shops, bars, and restaurants. But there is one more characteristic which makes this fun place different from the other: it follows a pattern of clear separation between residential areas, crafts, trade, and culture, which makes this complex differ from those from the 19th century.