Obama visit to cause Berlin sights closures

On Tuesday and Wednesday, June 18-19, US-President Barack Obama and his wife will be visiting Berlin. Starting today the entire area around the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstags building and the Holocaust memorial have been closed today already. Visitors can get into the security zone only after thorough security inspections, it was reported. So if you are in Berlin this week and you want to visit the area just don't bring any bags, backpacks etc. The President - like his predecessor, Michael Jackason and many other top-ranking politicians and celebrities, will be staying at the Adlon Hotel just across from the Brandenburg Gate. Please rest assured in the next couple of days it will be close to impossible to enter the building as a non-hotel-guest. On Tuesday and Wednesday residents will have to show their ID card to enter the security zone and police will escort them to their residence then. On Wednesday also Charlottenburg castle and the surrounding streets will be closed to the public as the President and his wife will be visiting the sight. It's also important to keep in mind that for a certain time before and after his flights in and out of Berlin Tegel airport the entire Berlin airspace will be closed - so expect delays throughout those days.

Posted by Richard
Lafayette, LA, USA
147 posts

Imagine those who had a trip planned for Berlin next week, especially those on cruise excursions.
Andreas, a great heads-up. My only question concerns the hotel where Obama will be staying. I think it might be the Ritz-Carlton, rather than the Aldon, which is where he stayed in 2008 when he spoke in the Tiergarten.

Posted by Andreas
Frankfurt am Main, Germany
2511 posts

You are right. It IS the Ritz-Carlton - quite to my surprise as the presidents' suite at the Adlon is the official residency of guests of the Federal Government and is equipped with state of the art security and even defense mechanisms. Anyway, the Ritz-Carlton is on the other side of the same area, on Beissheim-Platz half way between Potsdamer Platz and the Brandenburg Gate... this means tourists will "lose" even more areas... I'm in Berlin every other week - and fortunately this week was one of those ;-). If I was a tourist in Berlin next week I'd go out to Potsdam for the day. Actually the downtown area of Potsdam (the Dutch quarter) is so lovely with all the coffee places, real handcrafted arts shops etc... I strongly recommend the coffee shop on the Eastern side of Nauener Tor. All of their food is organic and they make the best... breakfast, lunch and dinner. Don't know why it's called a coffee shop ;-)

Posted by Ms. Jo
Frankfurt, Germany
4755 posts

Thanks for posting the info, Andreas. Frankfurt had really hoped that Pres. Obama would visit us too, replicating the visit here of Pres. Kennedy 50 years ago.

Posted by Andreas
Frankfurt am Main, Germany
2511 posts

Jo, I guess you've got a typo there. The word you're looking for is "feared", not "hoped". Traffic was a pain for almost half a week when Bush Junior was here a couple of years ago. The visit of a US president doesn't do anything for a city, it doesn't bring any more tourists or any more money. It just causes expensive interruptions of business people's lives - and it consumes huge sums of tax money. This is different when heads of states that need less protection come over - including e.g. the King and the Queen of the Netherlands (last week), the French president or even the Queen of England. So everyone in downtown and the Westend of Frankfurt I spoke with is most happy President Obama focuses on Berlin. Don't get me wrong. The US-German friendship means most to me and I've always done everything I can to help every single American to have just a great time in Europe. I myself love coming over to the States... and I absolutely support Angela Merkel and Barack Obama spending as much quality time together as possible. But it doesn't have to be in "my backyard".

Posted by celeste
ATL, GA, USA
30 posts

I know exactly how you feel, Andreas! I've lived in places here in the US that have hosted the Masters golf tournament (I rented my house and left town), and the Super Bowl (went on vacation to Ireland). We've gotten tied up in traffic in Atlanta when the president has been in town, too (as if traffic here wasn't enough of a nightmare on a normal workday). I always think, "Can't they just have a teleconference?" :)
Best of luck.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9094 posts

"The President - like his predecessor, Michael Jackason and many other top-ranking politicians and celebrities, will be staying at the Adlon Hotel just across from the Brandenburg Gate. " Is that the one they had the miniseries about a few months ago on ZDF?