Would not have missed it
The Reichstag is a wonderful building.
Arrive very early to avoid the queues and have it more or less to yourself. No good going on a bad day as you want to enjoy the views and the wonderful light that comes into the building.
June 17 Street
The street is leading to Western Berlin from Brandenburg Gate. The street has the name after unsuccessful try of revolution in Eastern Berlin in June 17, 1953. Nowadays it is the main street for fun during New Year Eve celebration.
Make sure to take an umbrella or rain coat when you go to Berlin. For several months in the fall, I had to take mine every time I went out, even if the morning was sunny. Berlin never gets too cold in the winter, but it can stay cold well into the spring. My birthday (mid-April) was chilly, in spite of the bonfire we made.
(7) - The 16 Marble Sarcophagi
The 16 white marble sarcophagi – eight on each side – along the boundaries of the Soviet War Memorial complex in Treptower Park impressed me most.
As said earlier, some of the stories on those sarcophagi are ridiculous if you know how history went on. But at the time they were created they were the perfect description of war and peace, of grief and hope, and above all, they still reflect the feelings of the ordinary people who lost their homes and many loved ones.
I think they are impressive pieces of this kind of bombastic monumental art. Walking along the sarcophagi you can read the history of the war even if you do not understand neither Russian nor German. The reliefs tell the war history of the Soviet peoples.
The quotations of Stalin – in Russian on the inside towards the central Grove of Honour, in German towards the boundary – have caused political controversy, and I also wonder if the quotations of such a tyrant and murderer should be left at such a spot, even if it is testimony of an historic era. Stalin was no better than Hitler, and I imagine which protest it would cause if comments of Hitler’s Mein Kampf had been incorporated in a war memorial. I think this Stalin memory is politically too correct.
Each of the 16 sarcophagi has its own theme, for example: Germany’s attack, destruction and suffering in the Soviet Union, sacrifice of the Soviet people, support for the army, heroic army, heroic battle, sacrifice and agony of the army, victory and heroic death.
Between the streets Puschkinallee and Am Treptower Park, 12435 Berlin-Treptow
S-Bahn S41, S42, S8, S85, S9, station Treptower Park
Buses 166, 265, 365, stations Sowjetisches Ehrenmal and Herkomer Straße, also N 65 Klingerstraße and Rethelstraße
The Real Berlin
Tacheles/Zapata is located in a huge semi-legal squatted building. Zapata is the alternative art-bar on the groundfloor. Tacheles is the nightclub situated on the 4th floor with a magnificient view over huge cinema screens displayed in a park on another building in the backyard of the Tacheles/Zapata building. Tacheles is also the name of the art collective situated in the same building and responsible for organising events in Zapata (bar) and Tacheles (nightclub). Opened 7 days a week and until 1Am possible to visit the galleries in the building, hosted by the squatters. This is only possible in Berlin.!
Besides the magnificient view, grafittied walls, ceilings and even floors the beer prices are reasonable (1,50-2 E for half a litre) and there are couches from the seventies where you can sit in, smoke some .... or talk to other people (50% tourists, 50% berliners).
Music in Zapata Bar is mostly alternative and they charge a cover, Tacheles, however usually doesn't charge a cover. The building stands out because it is grafitti-sprayed and looks like it has just been struck by a bomb. (it is safe to enter though). Anything goes, try to dress a bit alternative (worn-out sneakers, old shirt, messy hair). Suits and fashion-dolls are out of the question here.