Free sights in Berlin
If you're on a tight budget try the following; they are all free:
1. Brandenburg Gate
2. Reichstag Dome
3. East Side Gallery
4. Topographie des Terrors
5. Bernauer Strasse Wall Museum
I have more detailed tips on each of these in the Things To Do section.
Other free things in Berlin that I didn't get the chance to visit include:
Houseboats on the Spree
As Berlin has nearly 200 kilometres of waterways it is also called “Athens on the Spree”. This is more than in any other European city. It even has more bridges than Venice – more than one thousand.
The main waterways are the rivers Spree and Havel, the canals Landwehr- and Teltowkanal, and the lakes Tegleler See, Wannsee and Müggelsee. The lakes and rivers are connected by many canals, the boats are lifted up and down at about 80 locks.
For people in Berlin the abundance of waterways means many live in houseboats on the water. We walked past some very good examples of such lifestyle choices on our way from Treptower Park to Molecule Man, next to the S-Bahn station Treptower Park and a bridge named Elsenbrücke.
Those stationary houseboats are like homes taken from the tiniest villages in the most remote rural areas you can imagine. They are decorated with flowerpots, and have locked gates at the piers, so not everyone can visit them. Mailboxes are attached to the gates (as you can see on photo 2). Somehow like from yesteryear, suggesting a relaxed and alternative lifestyle, but also less luxurious and closer to the elements. And when they have enough of it all they can just detach their boat and travel on the river.
For you as a tourist the huge net of waterways means that you can hire a houseboat and explore Berlin, the region of Brandenburg and the Mecklenburger Seenplatte from the water. If you start a houseboat tour you do not need a licence, you get a thorough instruction, and off you go. If you want to travel within the city limits you need a licence, in Germany called “Binnen” which means a licence for inland waterways. -
If you are interested in houseboat tours in or from Berlin, this looks like a good website – and this is the English version:
Soccer Worldcup 2006
Germany will host the soccer Worldcup in 2006. 32 teams will compete and the opening game is to be played on 9 June in München with the Final taking place a month later on 9 July 2006 in Berlin's Olympiastadion.
The other Host Cities are Dortmund, Frankfurt, Gelsenkrichen, Hamburg, Hannover, Kaiserslautern, Köln, Leipzig, München, Nürnberg and Stuttgart.
On the photo you can see the ca. 15m high soccer globe that stood until November in front of the Brandenburg Gate. It will be taken on a tour of the other 11 FIFA World Cup host cities as well. Inside of the globe you'll find interactive games, panoramic projector shows etc. The admission fee was 2 EUR.
Atreet Art is very popular in Berlin. On my way to Alexanderplatz by train from the airport, I remember seeing a bizzare looking statue of two figures. In the Kulturforum there were these red and blue figures - not sure what they signify. Is it the amalgamation of East & West?
Cafe Burger holds the so-called "Russendisko" once per month, an event which is based around Wladimir Kaminer, a DJ/writer of Russian descent who has lived in Berlin for a long time.
This event will make you discover the Russian culture in Berlin. Casual