The best advice I can give...
The best advice I can give about when in Berlin is take Brewer's Best of Berlin Day Tour - See Web Site - http://www.brewersberlin.com/.
This is really amazing. The person who gives the tour is an Englishman has lived in Berlin for over 30 years plus. He really knows his stuff and makes the tour an enjoyable experience. The tour starts each day at 10.00 am and goes on for over 9 hours (YES 9 HOURS). The cost is 15 DM which is very cheap.
Places visited on Tour:
The New Synagogue,
The Victory Column,
The Reichstag building,
The Brandenburg Gate,
Hermann Göring's Air Ministry,
St. Hedwig's R.C. Cathedral,
The old National Library,
The Humboldt University,
The State Opera House,
Berliner Dom, the Lutheran Cathedral,
The Spree and Museum Island,
The Red Town Hall,
Alexander Platz + TV Tower and much more....
New Architecture -- Sony Center
It's a badminton birdie! It's the glass ceiling of the grand courtyard at Helmut Jahn's Sony Center!
Helmut Jahn is German-born but Chicago-based, and has already left a considerable imprint on that US city through structures such as the United Airlines terminal at O'Hare Airport and the State of Illinois Center, which is a kind of prototype for the Sony Center, designed nearly 15 years earlier.
The Old Synagogue
Jews moving north from oppression in southern Germany reached the Berlin area in the 13th Century, only to find more of the same. Blamed for everything from the Black Plague to host desecration, they were persecuted frequently and expelled completely on several occasions over the next several hundred years. Between expulsions, they were primarily lenders of money and small businessmen living in the area that today centers on the northern Mitte area. After a 100 year exile, in 1663, a single court Jew was invited back to Berlin to be followed by 50 families from Vienna in 1671. By paying heavy taxes they were allowed to run businesses and gradually built a cemetary, hospital, and ritual bath. In 1714, this synagogue was built on Heitereutergasse in Mitte. Paricipating in banking, jewelry and precious stones, and merchants, the Jews prospered and numbered over 2000 by 1750.
The synagogue was not allowed to exceed the heights of the adjacent Christian-occupied buildings -- to accomodate the religious requirement of separating the sexes during prayer, the ground floor was lowered below street level. When the new synagogue was built on Oranienburger Strasse, it became known as the Old Synagogue. In use for over 200 years and surviving Kristallnacht essentially intact, the building was destroyed in 1945 by bombs. In 2000, the brick ruins below ground level were uncovered as pictured here. Location is just south of the Hackescher Markt S bahn station.
It's the Federal State which surrounds Berlin and the one I live in *g*, offers a variety of sights which are easily accessible for a day trip. Easily to say for me when I already live here, but it's really close ;-)
The State of Brandenburg covers an area of 29,056km² (11,218 miles²) and stretches between the rivers Elbe and Oder. There are 3000 rivers and lakes in this area - with Havel and the Spree as the main rivers.
With 500 hectares of parks and 150 palaces constructed between 1730 and 1916, the complex of palaces and parks of Potsdam are worth a visit. Voltaire stayed at Sanssouci Palace, which was built under Frederick II between 1745 and 1757.
Königs Wusterhausen is located southeast of Berlin in the state of Brandenburg. The surrounding countryside including forests and lakes has been popular among Berliners since the early 20th century.
If you have some time, you could visit the Königs Wusterhausen Palace which was originally a medieval castle. It was the favourite haunt of Frederick William I, who used it as a hunting lodge and held his famous Tabakskollegium or 'tobacco round' here.
Königs Wusterhausen is an important transport junction. The A10 and A13 motorways pass close by and the town is also crossed by the B179 linking Berlin to the area. Berlin's Schönefeld airport is only 15km away.
Late night lounging whisky bar.
"If I'd gone home then, I would have got just enough sleep, and would have been sober enough to avoid a hangover of any note. This would have left me perfectly placed for the long action packed day ahead of me. Instead, Hanno's friends were up and active, and we were soon sat down, drinking beer and pretending to read from the tatty-edged German pulp-fiction romance booklets scattered about, with names like "Der Pirat und Die Dame". "One beer", I tried to tell myself, "just one more beer and no more." But soon the complimentary schnapps came out, plus the complimentary free beer and more free beer, and the “boy was I going to have a headache the next day” free beer. Craig and Martin had a glass of burning absinthe each, because they just didn't care." - from my travelogue
It was very late when I got to this bar, and so it wasn't very full, but the staff were extremely friendly. The place had an interesting 50s style to it, and was a very comfortable place to sit down and enjoy a late drink, after a hard night clubbing.