THE historical capital of Germany, Berlin, is one of the must go destinations in 2016.

The city which used to be the symbol of the Cold War has now been transformed to the centre of the arts and culture. A range of museums and galleries welcome you to visit them, along with the irresistible haute couture department stores and shopping centres. Nonetheless, Berlin does not lack in cuisine. It is the city where gastronomic trends are set, offering its visitors a variety of different cuisines and styles, from the gourmet cuisine to the stands selling the well-known German sausages with kraut sauce.

Monuments and Museums to visit

Brandenburg Gate is one of the most important landmarks in Germany. The Gate used to represent the division landmark of the back in the cold war era. However, since 1989 when the wall came down, Brandenburg Gate marks the unity of the city.

Brandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate

Museum Island is a beautiful piece of art in its own right. It consists of five worldwide recognised museums on an island in river Spree right at the heart of Berlin. The five museums on in the island are the Pergamon, Bode, Neues, and Altes museums, as well as the Alte National Gallery.

Alte National Gallery
Alte National Gallery

Käthe Kollwitz museum is definitely worth visiting. A museum dedicated to the German painter and sculptor Käthe Kollwitz, whose art mainly depicts the social injustice, war, and the inhumanity during the I and II World Wars. Really interesting insight about her is unfolded in the book Europe Central by William T. Vollmann.

If you are a modern art’s fan, you must definitely visit Berlinische Galerie, the Museum of Modern Art, where you can find from installation art to paintings and photography exhibitions.

Paintings from Berlin gallery
Paintings from Berli-nische Galerie

Dali Museum is always a good idea to visit if the movement of surrealism that began in the early 1920s fascinates you.

Dali museum in Berlin
Photography lovers must not miss Helmut Newton Foundation. Helmut Newton is one of the most acknowledged fashion photographers of the 20th century. Pictures of his have been published in popular magazines, such as Vogue, Vanity Fair, and other publications, provoking with their erotic context.

Helmut Newton books on postcard
The Jewish Museum offers you strong emotions that at situations are difficult to handle. It’s really famous for its architecture and the breathtaking testimonials of Jewish people. The Gestapo Headquarters, not very far away from the museum, brings up contrasting feelings, nonetheless, both sites are equally educational.

Tips: What else to visit

If you would ask me, Berlin Zoological Garden, which is a part of Berlin’s vast Tiergarten area, is definitely a nice place to visit. It is a really big zoo, where the animals blend naturally in, at the heart of the city.

Giraffe and Elephant collage
A giraffe (left) and an elephant (right) in Berlin Zoological Garden

Berlin Dome is an impressive church and museum highly recommended to be seen. Its numerous stairs take you to a vantage point at the belfry, where you can see the whole city.

View from Berlin Dome
The view of Berlin from the belfry of Berlin Dome

Shopping

Are you ready for shopping? Oh yes! Berlin has big department stores and shopping centres in every single area. KaDeWe is the biggest department store in Europe, where branded clothes and accessories can be found. However, there are many other well known department stores, such as the Galeries Lafayette and Karstadt. If you are a vintage oriented shopper, you can visit the part of Berlin north of the centre for authentic german designers’ clothes.

Food and Drink

Wiener Schnitzel, pork knuckle, and currywurst alongside with Schultheiss, Berliner Kindl, Berliner Pils, and Engelhardt are some of the best-known Berlin dishes and breweries that someone can enjoy.

Where to eat

Some of the restaurants that I really liked had been the Russian-Jewish restaurant, Pasternak, where from its window you can see Wasserturm, the 30-meter high water tower of the region on Knaack Strasse, EinStein restaurant known for its well-cooked schnitzels on Unter Den Linden. The gourmet restaurant, Esswein am Fasaneplatz on Fasanen Strasse, very near Käthe Kollwitz museum and the very cozy Lutter & Wegner restaurants that you can find near Sony Centre and Gendarmenmarkt.

By Zenia Mamaletou

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