Berlin in one day

I’m in Berlin but on a tight time schedule, I still want to experience some of what this city has to offer.  So this is what we did.

I’m lazy when I arrive at Tegal airport and opt to taxi to the hostel.  I know…lazy.

After ditching the bags, we head to Checkpoint Charlie via the U ban and S ban.

Stop 1: Checkpoint Charlie is a must for your trip to Berlin.  Head into the black box and read about the history of the boundary and the people who lost their lives here.

Stop 2: We walk 10 minutes to the next point, the Topography of Terror.  This is a centre of history, we spent our time at the outdoor information point about the history of Berlin “Between Propaganda and Terror”.  This is very well worth a visit.  We don’t have time to go inside the building but I will definitely add it to the list for a longer visit.

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Stop 3: 15 minutes on foot we arrive at our next stop, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.  This is a stark and striking memorial, like nothing I have ever experienced before.  I walk amongst the stones… it makes you feel small and very human.

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Stop 4: We head on to the next stop on our walking whistle stop tour, is the Brandenburg Gate.  The Gate has been restored and attracts a crowd.  The area around the gate is lovely, and the wide road leading away from the gate is boarded by a beautiful looking park.

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Stop 5: The Reichstag, Germany’s parliament building.  The Reichstag is topped by a glass dome which has a full view of the city.  I would recommend booking tickets in advance if you visit in summer.

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Stop 6: The longest walk of our foot tour, 30 minutes of strolling through the city and we arrive at our next and final stop.  Berlin Cathedral, its full name is: Evangelical Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church in Berlin.   Its 7 euros to get inside and 4 euros for an audio guide.

 

And we are done.

Well not really done.  Obviously there is so much more to Berlin.  We have’t stepped inside a gallery or museum.  But with limited time, I feel like we managed to get a fair amount in and it was light on the budget as well.

Also, if you come across Woop Woop ice cream…try it.  It is worth it, very yum.

 

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Munich Surfers!

Just a little bit of film of those cool surfers we saw in Munich.

Thanks to Mr Elf for his cameraman skills.

Hope you enjoy.

More Munich

Munich has lots to offer for all sorts of travellers, you can make a trip whatever you want.  There are also plenty of options for accommodation, hostels, luxury hotels, mid-range hotels and pensions.  What we weren’t able to find were any Airbnb options that we liked although they might be fine depending on the number of your group.  Below we have chosen some of the things we enjoyed the most during our time in Munich.

For the outdoor person

Munich has a lot to offer and if you are an active and outdoor sort of person I recommend joining a free walking tour.  Most of the hostels are affiliated with a tour which will pick you up from the front door.  We walked with Sandeman’s free walking tour which started at Marienplatz, we walked for a good 2 hours though the different areas of central Munich, history, tales, culture and language all featured on the tour.  We do love a free walking tour (the concept, in case you aren’t familiar is that you tip what you think its worth at the end of the tour, this is how the guide is paid) and this was no exception.  Our guide was brilliant and pointed out lots of good places to eat as well as a few sites to see as well.

Sandeman’s tour information:

http://www.neweuropetours.eu/Munich/en/home?date=14/01/2017&tour=552

For the history person

Munich has looaaaaddddsss of museums.  There is a museum of hunting and fishing! We recommend the Municipal Museum of Munich (Muenchner Stadtmuseum).  The museum has changing guest exhibitions we chose to just see the permanent exhibitions the ticket cost 4 euros (2 euros if you have a student card – well worth taking around with you!) the ticket entities you entrance to ‘Typically Munich’ and an exhibition about the history of Munich as the capital of the Nazi movement.

The ‘Typically Munich’ exhibition stretches over several floors and explains how Munich was settled and grew as well as the culture of Bavaria.  It’s a wonderful exhibition and lots of information about the city and its people.

The exhibition about Munich’s darker past is also worth seeing.  Its illuminating and informative with lots of information available.  It is, in our current political climate in the western world especially worth viewing.

Elf’s tip – hold on to your ticket it gives you 50% of entrance to some of the other museums.

More information on Munich’s museums here:

http://museen-in-muenchen.de/en/home/visitorservices/info-neu-2014/combination-tickets/

For the arty person

There are three main art galleries in Munich all situated close to each other, the Neue Pinakothek, Pinakothek der Moderne and Alte Pinakothek.  You can get a combination ticket to all three which is the cheapest way to see them all.

We head in to the New Pinakothek, the gallery is beautifully laid out, we pass though rooms of wonderful paintings.  I linger in the rooms filled with Van Gogh, Monet and Manet.  There is even a beautiful and unusual Degas that does not feature a ballet dancer.  We spend several hours lingering in front bits of history and I thoroughly enjoy the relaxed and mostly empty gallery.

On this same link is information about the combination tickets:

http://museen-in-muenchen.de/en/home/visitorservices/info-neu-2014/combination-tickets/


Elf’s tip:  the audio guides in all the museums and galleries that we visited are free.

Something completely different

If you want to see something crazy, head over to the English Garden and follow the Eisbach which is a small river channel hat runs though the gardens.  Although you are not allowed to swim in the Eisbach you can…. surf!  A manmade wave has been created and we are told that whatever the weather you will find surfers here.  We head in that direction and to be honest given the -2 temperature and snow everywhere, we did not have much hope.  But, fear not the surfers are there is full wetsuits and boots, bright red faces, and amazing skills.  definitely very cool!

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Bavarian Elf

First adventure of 2017!

I’ve never been to Germany,  so we’re off to Munich. Bring on the sausages.

It’s a wintery picturesque scene and we love it. I’m instantly enchanted as we walk around the beautiful city.  The glockenspiel in Marienplatz plays twice during the winter, 11am and 12pm. Even in winter crowds gather to watch…but I have to say it is slightly disappointing, but cute in a clunky old clock way.

The snow falls and we turn in to kids and spend time in the English Gardens, walking in the wonderful landscaped gardens and throwing snowballs.  The river runs under pretty bridges children toboggan down slopes. The view from Monopteros back towards the city is fabulous.

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Food!  We love our food, especially when travelling. Head to the beer halls or ‘brauhaus’ for a hearty feed and of course beer.  Head down the Salt Road and check out the different brauhau, we particularly enjoyed Paulaner brauhaus for food. It’s a bit more modern inside than some of the other houses, but the food is wonderful. I had the pork belly…YUMMY.

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No visit to Munich is complete with out a visit to the world famous Hofbräuhaus. Head there during the day for a more relaxed atmosphere or after 8pm when almost all the beers are only sold in 1 litre steins,  there is music, dance moves and lots of cheering.