Trains, Planes, Boats, Buses and Bicycles = Germany:
If you haven’t been to Berlin, Germany, put it on your bucket list. I loved Berlin. Not only is it a beautiful city, but it’s a healthy city with big fabulous parks and bicycle lanes on all roads – with people – lots of them – actually using them.I suggest that your first day in Berlin you should get a guide and tour by car, bus or bicycle to get the lay of the city before you venture out on your own. Many of the main sights are close together so if you like to walk, it’s super pleasant to just stroll around and ogle the sights. Some of the buses are “hop on, hop off” – a great way to get around.
The River Spree has many touring boats – we took a relaxing 3 hour ride around the city and were amazed at the spectacular architecture all along the route. Tip: most of the boats are pretty big with 2 levels and no canopy on the top where the views are the best, so if it’s sunny, bring a hat and an umbrella. Of course you can sit underneath where it is more like a restaurant, but the views are best up top. All of the big boats have restrooms, bars and waiters who can serve you drinks and snacks on both levels.
Lots of the Germans speak English and many of the menus in restaurants are in both German and English — the weiner schnitzel,asparagus, spaetzle, sausages and sauerkraut is a must try – pork and beef is excellent as well. And of course, you’ve got to try the beer, although German wines, especially Rieslings, are delicious. Have your concierge at your hotel make reservations at the better restaurants for dinner as they can get very busy. Our favorite was the Grill Royal.
A stunning restaurant on the river with some of the most beautiful people you’ll see in Berlin dining beside you. Their specialty is steak and they are done to perfection. A trip to KaDeWe (pronounced COD deevee) is a must. It is the largest department store in Europe, full of fabulous goods from all over the world. However, the best thing is the food court on the 6th floor and the glassed in restaurant on the 7th floor. The food court is arranged in areas for almost every kind of food with places to eat all through the floor. We gobbled down pastries and chocolates but really wanted to try everything there.
You will see, as you go about sightseeing, life-size fiberglass bear sculptures everywhere all painted differently. They are in front of hotels, restaurants, office buildings, museums and are great fun to see.
And of course, you must see the Berlin wall, most of which is in disrepair, but some parts have been painted with various cool murals. All of the historic monuments, museums and memorials remind us of WWII and the horrors of war. The Holocaust memorial sculpture and museum is definitely worth seeing and close by is the marker over the bunker where Hitler shot himself.
There’s an awesome new major train station, the Hauptbahnhof, in the heart of the city making side trips to Potsdam or Dresden a snap. The station is a shopping mecca in and of itself and very easy to find your train platform and your car.
Make reservations before you go – your hotel concierge can help. You will get both a paper reservation and a paper ticket – confusing if you don’t know how to read which is which, but you don’t want to get thrown off the train if you don’t have the right one!
I know all you Prime Women will love Berlin. Happy travels.
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