Looking for Ideas in Berlin

Feb 12th, 2012, 12:01 PM
  #1  
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Looking for Ideas in Berlin

We're going to be taking our teenage boys to Berlin at the end of March to visit family. We're taking a side trip to Rome while we're there, but I need ideas for things to do while we're in Berlin. So far, I know we're going to go to Checkpoint Charlie and Sachsenhausen concentration camp, but I need more to do. I've heard of castles in the area. Does anybody know? Any other ideas?

Thank you.
birdofsong is offline  
Feb 12th, 2012, 12:05 PM
  #2  
 
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I think teenagers would really enjoy Kunsthaus Tacheles in Mitte. Don't be intimidated by the looks of the place. Go up to the top floor and work your way down.

It's a unique experience.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kunsthaus_Tacheles

Another suggestion is a bike tour. We really enjoyed this one: http://fattirebiketours.com/berlin

Enjoy Berlin!
Gekko is offline  
Feb 12th, 2012, 12:34 PM
  #3  
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Kunsthaus Tacheles looks like a winner. It's exactly the looks of it that intrigue me. Thank you!
birdofsong is offline  
Feb 12th, 2012, 12:40 PM
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Maybe you should give us a bit more info on your and your boys' interests and age. A 13yo teenager might have other interests than an 19yo.

Just for starters:

The underground tours of old bunkers (WWII, Cold War) are usually a safe bet with (older) kids.
http://berliner-unterwelten.de/home.1.1.html

For a good view:
http://www.air-service-berlin.de/ind...n-hiflyer.html
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Feb 12th, 2012, 12:48 PM
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They are 13 (turning 14 after we get there) and 17. The younger is a social kid who has most of the same interests as his peers. The older kid is very serious and introspective. He's the one who will get the most from the bunkers/camp type of visits.

Oh -- I looked into the Kunsthaus Tacheles and it looks like it is closing down and has had some problems with seedier elements. Unfortunately, that takes it off the "family tour" list. What a shame.
birdofsong is offline  
Feb 12th, 2012, 01:37 PM
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Sans Souci in Potsdam?
Michael is offline  
Feb 12th, 2012, 06:51 PM
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A bike tour and a walking tour or two will give you the most memorable visit to Berlin. Plenty of different themes to choose from. The Sony Center is cool, or a trip to the top of the TV tower. A climp to the top of the Berliner Dom could be interesting.
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Feb 13th, 2012, 08:39 AM
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Checkpoint Charlie is just another street intersection except for a fake border kiosk with actors pretending to be guards. It can mean very little to kids born after the end of the Cold War. However, a good walking tour as soon as you arrive will fill in the context for them and set up possibilities among the many museums, art galleries and wartime memorials. Simple things, like riding the elevated S-bahn trains, should keep them interested in this fascinating city. Tell them the top gourmet treat is curry hot dogs from street vendors everywhere.
Southam is offline  
Feb 13th, 2012, 10:24 AM
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tn
 
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Make sure you stop by the Pergamon Museum. Really amazing architecture and relics from the distant past, such as the gates to Byzantium and, of course, this is where the Great Alter of Pergamon is now located.

It may also be a bit chilly for this, but you can take a boat trip through the many canals in Berlin. It is a nice way to see the city.

There is also a German History Museum that is worth the visit, if you kids are inclined at all toward history. There is a section on Nazi Germany, which your kids will likely be familiar with. But I would make sure your kids are interested. I will bring mine to Berlin later this year, and will likely skip this one.

As noted, Checkpoint Charlie likely won't mean much and it is not all that grand. But you should go. And the Sony Center is cool, but it is largely a shopping area. The Brandenburg Gate and the Tiergarten are great. A walk to the top of the Reichstag is also something you should do. In the center city there are a few glimpses of the Berlin Wall, especially at Potsdamer Platz and near the Jewish Memorial. But you can talk a taxi -- or perhaps a city tour -- to longer lengths of it further out from the center.

Finally, I would consider a tour of one of the Stasi Prison Camps. From my perspective, it was a very powerful tour as it was given by a former prisoner in that camp.

And don't forget to have the curry wurst.
tn is offline  
Feb 13th, 2012, 02:00 PM
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My niece did the bike tour and said it was great. But one thing to consider beyond the tour, is to rent bikes from Fat Tire at Zoo for a day and follow your nose (with a good map to refer back to now and then). Berlin is a city of broad streets and long city blocks, where meandering through back streets can be more atmospheric and make you enjoy the city more than the big sights - - but those distances can get monotonous to walk. With a bike you can follow your nose and be constantly delighted and surprised for a full day or two of exploring. Berlin is a fabulous city for bikes (because of the wide streets, and a great bike culture, and it is flat); you will find a constantly stimulating vista, virtually where-ever you go (and if you get too far afield, you can take the bikes on the S-Bahn; you can get a bike day-ticket for public transportation) the Fat Tire bikes are big, solid, and easy. Maybe pick a few key sights and currywurst stands as loose goals, and then just enjoy every moment in between.

I did this tour last summer, visiting places I knew from my youth, but it did not matter what directions I went - - everything was a joy:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPzT0...lRvL2LrYoBelks
dfourh is offline  
Feb 13th, 2012, 07:30 PM
  #11  
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Thank you. I truly appreciate the suggestions.
birdofsong is offline  
Feb 13th, 2012, 07:45 PM
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Make sure the curry wurst comes smothered in ketchup and other mysteries.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8hi15...feature=fvwrel

For me, it's an acquired taste.
easytraveler is offline  
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