This is Hae-In’s last Field Trip Friday! To mark the occasion, we are switching things up for today and posting the last segment of the Germany trip re-cap in the form of a mini guide to Berlin. If you have been to Berlin recently, hopefully you recognize some of these sites, and if not, go soon. This will come in handy!

Berlin

Berlin is a cool city, pretty hipster. Lots of sights, beer gardens, and art.

While you can easily walk everywhere, the trains and trams are all amazing: clean, efficient, on time, oh-so-German. If you are there for several days, buy the Berlin CityTourCard, which is valid for all public transport services and available for 48 hours, 72 hours, 5 days, etc.

You have to validate your ticket (with the tour card you do it just once) at the train or on the tram/bus. Actually a plain-clothes officer did ask for our tickets on the train once in three days, and if you don’t have it, it’s a 40 € fine (and they will mail it to NYC…happened to a friend!).

A lot of people bike to get around and there are bike lanes on every street.

It’s also worth noting that building numbers don’t necessarily run in one direction, up or down, and on a lot of streets they are completely different on one side and the other.

Also the Berlin CityTourCard gets you admission to all museums on Museum Island (although it doesn’t include the Gemäldegalerie, which was my favorite…see Sights).

Nice neighborhoods to explore:

Prenzlauerberg: pretty streets, cute cafes and trendy shops, lots of families (think Park Slope)

Mitte: lots of galleries and bars, for design-minded hipsters (think Williamsburg)

Kreuzberg: diverse and mostly Turkish, really good for döner kebab (see Food/Drink)

See & Do

Brandenburger Tor: Brandenburg Gate, a symbol of Berlin, at Unter den Linden / Ebertstraße.

Reichstag: German Parliament building with a glass dome, at Platz der Republik 1.

Museumsinsel: Museum Island, on the Spree river, has the Alte Nationalgalerie, Altes Museum, Bodemuseum, Neues Museum and Pergamonmuseum. The Pergamon was definitely the highlight, with the Pergamon Altar and the Market Gate of Miletus recreated inside.

Gemäldegalerie: a museum dedicated to portraiture, some of the great masterpieces are here. Check out the early German and Italian Renaissance painters, located on Kulturforum.

Tiergarten: Berlin’s Central Park, nice to bike and walk though to get to Café Am Neuen See (see next page).

Potsdamer Platz: an ultra-modern city center, walk around and see.

Frank Gehry’s DG Bank: located next to the Brandenburg Gates, looks ordinary from the outside, but inside it mirrors the shape of a giant whale.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe: Peter Eisenman’s controversial Holocaust memorial with a field of concrete slabs or “stelae” (I liked it), south of the Brandenburg Gate.

Badeschiff: a shipping container dropped into the river in the middle of the city with a makeshift beach and food, in the East Harbour of the Spree.

Food & Drink

Clärchens Ballhaus: an historic dancehall that has old-fashioned dance parties, pizza in the outdoor garden and great beers, at August Strasse 24

Café am Neuen See: a biergarten in Tiergarten (rhymes!) with great food — pizza and German classics — as well as lovely lake where you can rent a rowboat and watch ducks.

Currywurst: a cut-up sausage with ketchup and curry sauce poured on top, to be eaten with fries and a beer, preferably late at night. Curry36 is the famous hot spot, but I went to one in Mitte (simply called CurryMitte) and had a good experience.

Tekbir Döner: this Turkish döner place in Kreuzberg came highly recommended, “it looks like the kind of place that would give you food poisoning, but it won’t, I promise.” Try the Durum döner, which is more of a wrap. The meat is savory and delicious.

Prater Biergarten: the oldest biergarten in Berlin with great beer and classic German food. Try Radler, a mix of beer and lemonade, or a Berliner beer mixed with apple flavoring (it’s green!). Located in Prenzlauer Berg at Kastanienallee 7 – 9

Schwarzwaldstuben: a cute and kitschy restaurant with tasty dishes from the Black Forest region of Swabia, like Maultaschen (German ravioli) and Flammekuche (very thin and crispy pizza), located at Tucholskystrasse 48

Ankerklause: or Anchor Bar, right on the canal that runs through Kreuzberg and appropriately decorated with lots of sailor themed kitsch. Great spot for people watching.

Kimchi Princess: in case you get tired of German food, try this Korean BBQ place in Kreuzberg, with bulgogi and bibimbap, at Skalitzer Strasse 36

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