I immersed myself in the fascinating—and at times, heart-wrenching—history of Berlin by taking a four-hour English language walking tour through Insider Tour. Many of the sites that were bombed during WWII were restored—but I appreciate that the effects of the bombing were left untouched as a constant reminder of the tragedies war causes.
After the tour, I paid a visit to Museum Island, a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. Right in the center of the city, this island is home to five institutions: Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Pergamonmuseum and Bode-Museum. I bought a ticket to Neues Museum which boasts an impressive Egyptian sarcophagi and papyrus collection, among other classical antiques.
Reflecting on all the history I learned, I spent most of my next day strolling through the expansive Tiergarten, a park in the Mitte borough of Berlin—west of the city center. The park views and food at Café am Neuen See made it a great lunch spot!
The spring flowers were in bloom at Cafe Wintergarten at Literaturhaus Berlin. It’s the perfect place to go and read, write or enjoy brunch with friends.
Another great spot is Tadshikische Teestube, a cozy second-floor tea house that you’d never even realize you’re passing by at the street level.
In seeing the old side-by-side with the new, my time in Berlin felt like a time warp. Some of the beautiful old sites include Hackescher Markt and Brandenberg Gate, the most important site in Berlin. If you want to see the new, modern Berlin, visit the Sony Center at Potsdamer Platz!