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Trip Report Berlin: More than just die Mitte

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I've just returned from a 5 day trip to Berlin with a private group of 12 people.

1. We stayed at Ibis Styles Ost and were happy with the hotel. It's very close to the Samariter tram stop on a direct line to Alexandersplatz. It's a basic, quiet hotel with a decent breakfast.

2. We had our own tour guide so we used public transportation and followed her ideas. She did all our reservations in advance so I have no idea how much the entrance fees were.

3. We got the Welcome Card which allowed us to travel anywhere.

Highlights:
1. Doing a short river cruise on the Spree is a great way to relax and see Berlin from the river.
2. The Reichstag government building offers a very interesting tour.
3. We really loved the musical "Hintern dem Horizont" about Udo Jürgens set in the DDR in the 80's. Highly recommended and everything was translated into English on a board.
4. The Jewish Museum is fascinating, especially with a tour.
5. Absolutely loved Potsdam and enjoyed our walk in Sanssouci. Potsdam has been likened to a Preussian Disneyland. An absolutely gorgeous small city. We enjoyed our tour there and saw the Russian area as well as the Dutch one.
5. We went to Rixdorf but found it needed a lot of imagination to understand the history.
6. Loved the Nikoleiviertel.
7. The Fernsehenturm is a must to see the whole city from a bird's eye view.
8. The Blockhaus restaurants are still very popular.
9. The KadeWe is interesting and overpriced but the cafe on top is a fantastic place for a drink.
10. Loved Kreuzberg. It's vibrant Turkish community is an absolute must to see.

The DDR era is disappearing and they're reconstructing the buildings from the 19th century and before. One symbol which will stay is the DDR traffic lights with their cute red and green figures.

We loved Berlin and felt it is a very worthwhile city to visit.

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