On the top of my bucket list was Berlin – I was curious, as everyone, how they rebuilt the city after WW2 and Reunification. A place so rich in history with its sad and bitter past. However, I assumed most have moved on; I am here to share with you the Berlin now!
So thrilled to finally visit Berlin; thankful I got to see and experience it with the whole family. We only stayed for few days, but I believed we covered most of the must-see attractions. If you decide to visit Berlin; stay for at least a week.
We flew from DFW to Berlin via Frankfurt. Our flight was delayed, but we managed to catch our connecting flight just in time and our luggage made it too! Yay…
We arrived at the hotel noontime well ahead of the normal 3pm check-in time but as luck had it there was an available room for us (waiting for a room would have been an extended struggle after our tiring long haul flight). We took a power nap for
1…2… 3 hours and then decided to take a stroll around Alexanderplatz (the place was walking distance from the hotel).
Located in East Berlin, is the major transport hub in the city. Known just as “Alex” by Berliners, it’s one of the busiest squares and major tourist destinations.
Since we are staying only for few days; we decided to take the hop on hop off tour for the day. This is a perfect way to see most of the attractions. It was a gorgeous day!
We first got off the bus at Brandenburg gate.
Finally, we got to see this trademark of Berlin. My girl was looking up the gate and said, “Wow, so beautiful Mommy” while my boy asked, “This is a gate? It’s huge”. I am so thankful to experience this moment with my family. I just wanted to remind everyone that life is short, so enjoy it to the fullest with the people you love.
Brandenburg gate used to be the main entrance to the city, surrounded by the wall for thirty years. Known as a symbol for the division of the city and for the division of the world; the symbol of turmoil and peace.Today, visitors can enjoy a stroll and see this magnificent work of art and look at it up close.
Tips: There are a lot of things to do around the area. I suggest you get here early morning and spend at least half a day. Grab your lunch around here and visit the following walking attractions: The Berlin Wall .04 mi, The Memorial to the Sinti and Roma .12 mi, Reichstag .14 mi, Holocaust Memorial 0.21 mi
Our next bus stop: Charlottenburg Palace
This is a beautiful palace, inside and out, but we didn’t go inside. We had lunch at a restaurant overlooking the palace and then just walked around while my girl was taking a nap; jetlagged.
My girl woke up as soon as we got on the bus; then my boy fell asleep after few minutes. Times like this, you gotta do what you gotta do. Hubby and I decided to take a longer ride to give my boy a chance to sleep for at least 30 min. I could say my kids are awesome travelers. They don’t complain much and they are willing to keep up with Mommy and Daddy. We give them little surprises after a long day.
We got off at the boat dock for a river cruise. My boy woke up just right in time.
Tips: Don’t miss a boat tour while in Berlin; it’s another leisurely way to see and take in most of the attractions at the heart of this bustling city. Food is optional; we had coffee with a cake while cruising. It was a perfect day.
It had been a long day by now so we headed back to the hotel after the cruise to rest a little bit. Then, we went out night time to visit the Berlin Wall. It was nothing but a wall; however, it was full of tragic and traumatic memories. So thankful to finally see it and touch a piece of history.
Checkpoint Charlie the most famous border crossing at Berlin Wall.
Basically our last day in Berlin; our plan was just to take public transportation to places that we want to visit. Berlin’s public transit system works best for Berliners and tourists; easy and simple to understand.
Tip: Download VBB-app “Bus & Train”: route planner and mobile ticketing for public transport. It’s been very helpful to us.
Museum Island, the UNESCO National Heritage Site was designed to be “a sanctuary of art and science”. The island is home to no less than five of Berlin’s major museums. You can easily spend the whole day here if you choose to but for us, we decided to just check out one museum that interest us.
Pergamon museum, where you’ll find a collection of Greek, Roman, and Babylonian antiquities. The highlight of our visit: impressive Ishtar Gate of Babylon. I am speechless!!! The gate was constructed 575 BC by order of King Nebuchadnezzar II.
Tip: The museum has been undergoing staggered renovation work. There is almost always a long waiting line during weekends. Pergamon Altar has been closed since 29 September 2014 and is due to remain closed to the public until 2019
Last night in Berlin, even we are tired we couldn’t just stay in the hotel. We felt that we needed to get the most out of our limited time. So, we headed out to check out some places.
We were taking the city at night by bus. It was too convenient and easy for us.
Tip: Grab a piece of history; you can buy a piece of Berlin wall in almost every souvenir shop. However, it can be difficult to determine the authenticity. A fridge magnet maybe? Why not?
Berlin was so much fun; we enjoyed our stay very much. I hope you find this post helpful when you plan a trip to visit this interesting city. Bring your kids; my kids had a great time and learning so much. I totally understand your concerns and hesitations but let it go and just DO IT. Make every moment spent with your kids count.
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Thank you and ’til next adventure. xoxo