Hey everyone...I will be traveling to berlin in at the end of oct. and I need things to do other than the usual touristy things. Any suggestions? My boyfriend and I are under the age of 26 if that helps. Thanks!
Without knowing anything whatsoever about what you enjoy or what things you are already planning to see, your question is almost impossible to answer very well. The things I like to see and do may not be what you like to see and do. How about telling us a little bit more about your interests. The more information you give us, the more we can give you helpful answers.
Sounds good. Well my boyfriend and I are under the age of 26. Love art, architecture, museums, history and exploring. I myself enjoy the history of germany especially the horrific holocaust era. We also like doing other things that do not include the tourist traps. Our hotel is near the tegal airport so we are not exactly in town. We plan on taking the U and S bahns everywhere. We will be in town for 3 nights and want to get as much in as possible without killing ourselves!
Check out one of the walking tour groups which does the Third Reich tour (I think the company is called Berlin Walks). Any walking tour of Berlin cannot fail to expose you to the history of WW2 and the mark it left on the city.
I loved Berlin, it's one of my favourite cities in Europe.
Not sure what is wrong with visiting popular tourist attractions. They are usually popular for a reason. There are any number of good walking or bike tours you could go on to get a good overview of Berlin or that cover specific themes - Cold War, 3rd Reich, Jewish Experience, Underground, or Stasi stuff. There are flak towers to visit, Stasi prisons, and all kinds of interesting museums and memorials. I enjoyed climbing up into the dome of the Berliner Dom. Great view of the city and it is interesting being inside of a dome. Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp is near-by as is Ravensbruck, which was the camp for the women. The Soviets used Sachsenhausen after the war ended and probably killed just as many people there. Many of the buildings are original and it is quite a moving and emotional experience to be there. This was a political prisoner camp, so many of the inmates were Communists, Homosexuals, or from various religious groups, like the Jehovah Witnesses or ministers and priests who protested againgst the nazi regime. I like Potsdam, both the town and the palace. This is also near Berlin. If you want to do something a bit different, then consider going on a cruise through the Spree Wald, a marshy forest.
There is a very moving and surprisingly large exhibit on the Holocaust underneath the large Holocaust memorial near the Brandenberg Gate, which is free to enter.
If you like museums, you shouldn't stay away from Museumsinsel just because it's touristy. The Pergamon Museum, with its ancient sculpture and walk-through architecture brought from Greece, Turkey, and the Near East, is unparalleled. I enjoyed a walk through the old Tempelhof airport. It's no longer an airport but people still gather there on the vast field for picnics, bicycling, kite-flying, etc. You can go up to the top of the parliament building for a panoramic view of the city, and you can also go up inside the glass dome (it was closed when I was there, unfortunately).
Walk around Checkpoint Charlie, where there is a large exhibition, on billboards about the Berlin Wall. I thought the Wall Museum there was overpriced and overrated. On the other hand, the DDE Museum, across from Museum Island, was very interesting. Definitely, the Pergamon.
Hey thanks everybody but I think you took my reply wrong. I want to do everything in berlin, touristy or not. I'm not saying I don't want to do any of those things, I was just saying I want to do everything plus the none touristy things. I am a tourist! I just was hoping to be able to do things that are not in travel books too, like what Berliner's do for fun too, thats all. Thanks again everyone.
How about a visit to the Pfaueninsel - Peacock Island. Also, Jo's suggestion of a boat tour to the Spreewald, just south of Berlin is excellent. In some places, the mailman still brings the mail per boat. And there is, of course, Potsdam with the castle, the park, and like at every other scenic destination in Europe, there are good restaurants nearby.
I really liked the Jewish Museum in Kreuzberg, and the German History Museum on Unter den Linden. Both museums were really not packed and both were reasonably priced.
Make sure to get out to Prenzlauer Berg and/or Fredrichshain for good food at lower prices and fun pubs and music. Both are easily accessible by the U-Bahn.
I'm not sure if its in all the guide books, but check out the East German Secret Police (STASI) prison in Berlin. (Gedenkstatte?) (I didn't see it in the 2010 edition of Rick's book, for example.) It isn't on the beaten path because it is away from Museum Island and is out in what feels like an old suburb of East Berlin. You have to take a bus and then walk about six blocks or so to get there. If you don't speak German, find out when the English tours take place. Most of the German-language tours are conducted by people who spent time there as prisoners. One of the English-language tour guides grew up in East Germany, but wasn't a prisoner. She also conducts some of the Berlin Walks tours. It is an experience.