Last year, Brian and I travelled to Germany for three weeks in the summer. It was an amazing trip and we are itching to go back! We budgeted spent $3000 each, including all accommodations, food, flight, and spending – not bad! We spent some money on attractions and events, but there are there are lots of free tourist options for seeing Germany as well.
This landmark, the Brandenburg Gate, stands between what was once East and West Berlin. It is a massive structure, formerly a city gate, and later recommissioned as a neo-classical triumphal arch. It is simply awe-inspiring. To me, North American architecture just does not compare to the size and grandeur of old Europe. When we were in Berlin, a massive festival was being held on the grounds surrounding the gate with music and performers.
And if the Brandenburg Gate failed to impress you, head over to the Reichstag. This even more massive structure is the traditional seat of the German Parliament. The top of the building features a glass dome. If you register ahead of time, you can tour the building and make your way to the top of the dome.
Literally – museums on an island. How could it get any better?! Located on an island in the Spree river, it is a great area to spend a few hours. If you have the cash, check out at least a few of the many museums. But even if you don’t, take a walk around. Beautiful columns, carefully landscaped grounds, arching bridges and roadside cafes abound. Face it – even the outside of the museums are more attractive than many structures in North America! Brian and I went to the Pergamon and the Altes Museum.
The Holocaust Memorial is a staggering 4.7 acre site with more than 2,500 obsidian pillars of varying heights, representing the murdered Jews of Europe. Many of the pillars tower over the average person and it is very easy to get lost within the memorial’s depths. By the way – It’s frowned upon to leap frog from pillar to pillar, so don’t do it! There is also an underground museum on site which lists the names of all known Jewish Holocaust victims.
The Tiergarten was one of my favourite parts of Berlin. It was founded in 1527 as a royal hunting area. Today, it is more than 500 acres of landscaped gardens, verdant lawns, waterworks, and even beer gardens! The garden also features numerous sculptures of historical figures, so it’s a great sightseeing excursion as well. At the center, is the Siegessäule (Victory column). When we visited, we simply picked a trail and started walking.