Munich or Berlin?

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Dec 29th, 2004, 06:38 PM
  #1
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Munich or Berlin?

I'd be interested in going to Germany for about 3-4 days in either March or April and am trying to decide between Berlin and Munich. I really like museums, especially 19th Century/Impressionist art and Egyptian, as well as castles, palaces and gardens. I'd also be interested in taking a day trip, and I'd be going to Prague either right before or right after.

It seems that both Berlin and Munich have what I'm looking for. I like Berlin as it is easier to get to from London and easier to get to Prague on the train, and I think being in a capital might be a bit more exciting with getting to see governmental buildings. However, I'm worried that it is more spread out and more difficult to navigate than Munich, and I've heard that Munich is very nice and may be a bit better culturally with the quality of their museums. It also seems like Munich has more, better options for a day trip, although Potsdam seems to have most of what I'm looking for outside of Berlin.

I'm just wondering if anyone has been to both places and has a personal preference between Berlin and Munich?

Thank you.
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Dec 29th, 2004, 06:59 PM
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Have been to both and I prefer Munich. Mostly because tis more "german" - cutesy buildings, old churches, town hall with mechanical clock etc. And a trip into the Bavarian countryside to see some of Ludwig's castles is heaven.

Berlin was so destoyed during WWII that the a lot of the western section is just way too new for me - a lot seems to look like Rte 17 in NJ - with an incredible # of Coke and MickeyD billboards. The former eastern section I found more interesting -and the museums are great - but of the 2 I would chose Munich.
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Dec 29th, 2004, 08:15 PM
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I would choose Berlin not only because there are older section to be seen, but because it accepted the destruction and built modern. What you see in Munich is a reconstruction done after WWII. It's core was as destroyed as Berlin's.
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Dec 29th, 2004, 09:05 PM
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I visited Munich twice last winter, spent 8 nights in Berlin this month. Both are very interesting, but Berlin is much much more exciting,vibrant.

Except impressionist paintings(Munich Neue Pinakothek has excellent collection,Berlin hardly has any), the museums in Berlin are some of the best in the world.

For Egyptian Art, the quality of Berlin Egyptian Museum is perhaps equal to British Museum. For old masters' painting, Berlin Gemaldegalerie is absolutely the best. The antiquities collection in Pergamonmuseum is even more overwhelming.

There are more than one hundred museums and galleries in Berlin, each offer something unique. If you like contemporary art, Berlin Hamburger Bahnhof is more interesting than the new one in Munich, or Tate Modern.

Berlin is much more spread out, but with excellent public transportation, it is very easy and cheap (20 Euro for 7 days 2 zones travel pass) to get around.

For Palaces and gardens, Berlin has more to offer. Berlin doesn't have old town centre, but the 18 century architecture by K.F.Schinkel are very beautiful. The group of 20 century building by H.Scharoun are unique. If you are interested in Modern Architecture, Berlin is The place to visit.

For culture events(music,theatres, operas..), Berlin has far more to offer than Munich, probably the same as London.

With 3-4 days, you would probably have time for day trip from Munich, but not from Berlin. With 8 nihgts,I wasn't able to see every thing I wanted to see-not even have time for Potsdam.
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Dec 29th, 2004, 11:34 PM
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For gardens and PALACES then Potsdam (an easy daytrip rom BERLIN) would fit the bill for you (closer to the city than the three Ludwig castles are to Munich).

The transportation system in Berlin (combination U-Bahn/S-Bahn) is VERY comprehensive and really blankets the city to almost a similar degree as does the Metro in Paris) so it is VERY easy to get around.

Munich is quite nice but I wouldn't agree that it is "more German" but rather that it is "more Bavarian" (obviously) with all the stereotypically classic architecture.

If you do decide to go to Munich be sure to consider visiting the Residenze in the city as well as the close-in Nymphenburg Palace. It is unfortunate IMO that most foreign visitors ignore the largest Ludwig edifice of all, the palace at Herrenchiemsee which has wonderful fountains and is truly a miniature Versailles.

Have a great trip.
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Dec 30th, 2004, 09:32 AM
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Having been to both, Berlin wins hands down!
It is more spread out, but public transportation is very convenient. And you'll get to see Nefertiti in Berlin too!
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Dec 30th, 2004, 10:35 AM
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With only 3-4 days, either city has plenty of high quality sights and activities to keep you interested. Some people like Berlin better, others like Munich better--a matter of personal taste.

I'm in the Munich group, but you can't go wrong with either city.
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Dec 30th, 2004, 10:37 AM
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Another vote for Berlin. I would go back to Berlin anytime. I found the city interesting and there was plenty to do in the evenings. Berlin is quite a raw city but given it's history, that's not surprising and also made it very interesting.

Despite being a much bigger city than Munich I found Berlin very quick and easy to get around with all the transport options available. Individual areas of the city were very walkable too.

In terms of things to see and do, Berlin will keep you easily occupied for your time. I had 3.5 days there back in early October and wished I'd had more to fit everything in. Still, there's always next time.
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Jan 1st, 2005, 08:41 PM
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Another vote for Berlin. I was there for three days in July and I had a wonderful time. It is a beautiful city and area. Have also been to Munich, and would much rather go back to Berlin. There is so much to see and do in Berlin. Have fun where ever you decide to go.
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Jan 25th, 2005, 04:23 PM
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Any more takers? Thanks.
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Jan 25th, 2005, 04:49 PM
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I like both places and have found Munchen to be a friendlier place, overall. But that goes for the southern part of the country which is (IMO) warmer and friendlier than its colder northern counterparts. However, my sister lives in Berlin and I like the city for the cultural things it has to offer a tourist. Why not split the time between the 2 cities? You can fly down to Munchen in about 1 hour and spend an entire day/night there, see the city centre, take the train out to Neuschwanstein castle in nearby Fussen, then eat dinner in a wonderful restaurant ("weisswurst" is a Munchen specialty and my favorite amongst the "bratwurst" varieties).

Besides the wonderful Sophie Charlotte schloss in Charlottenburg (my sister lives across the street), the Egyptian Museum next door, and the many other cultural treats that Berlin has to offer; it is also close by to Potsdam and Sans Souci, you could easily make that a day trip on the S-Bahn. Wittenberg (Luther's town) is also close and feasible from Berlin on a day trip. Despite its size as a big city, it is very easy to get around in Berlin. The #145 bus operates out of Berlin Zooglischer station and takes you out past Richard Wagner platz, Charlottenburg, even out to Spandau. Along with the S and U-bahn lines, Berlin's transportation system is excellent and efficient.

Also, Berlin's city centre, focusing around Unten den Linden boulevard, is easily walkable. I would recommend taking those great "Berlin Walks" tours that take about 3 hours and you go see Checkpoint Charlie, the adjacent museum, the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, Opera House, Humboldt University, etc. The "walks" really give a sense of order and structure to this once-divided city and provided an invaluable historical insight to the monuments, places, etc.

The train to Prague takes about 6+ hours and is long. I don't think I would try to do that trip this time.

FYI, British Airways has lots of promotional offers and incentives between London's Heathrow and Berlin's Tegel Airport, so you are right, it is very convenient to get between the 2 cities.
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Jan 25th, 2005, 10:19 PM
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hsv
 
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Huitres,

all of your suggestions make perfect sense, but never have Weisswurst for dinner!
A proper Weisswurst may not get to hear the church bells ringing at noon (for whatever reason, i.e. I believe because they need to be eaten absolutely fresh). Thus, you can have Weisswurst for breakfast, bruch or an early lunch, but not for dinner. The latter would be completely inacceptable for the locals - but then again, if you aren't local... ;-)
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Jan 26th, 2005, 03:13 PM
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Hi hsv: Perhaps I have committed a culinary error but I have eaten weisswurst in many a Munchen restaurant, along with a plate of sauerkraut and potatoes. However, I have eaten them more often from those open carts/vendors. True enough, it is a very informal food!
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Jan 26th, 2005, 10:31 PM
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Huitres,

my former post was a bit tongue in cheek, no offense intended. Although Weisswurst indeed is usually only eaten by the locals for brunch or lunch.

This brings me to my question: Are you sure you are talking about Weisswurst here? The combination with Sauerkraut and potatoes rather sounds like it's Bratwurst you're talking about (possibly Nuremberg style Bratwurst), which indeed is a lunch or dinner dish.
Weisswurst is usually eaten with sweet mustard and a "Brezn" (salty pretzel) only. Best accompanied by a Wheat Beer (or an Export style one). Any other combination really would appear odd.

And one last thing: JoeTroe, apologies for hi-jacking this thread in this respect !
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Jan 27th, 2005, 09:01 AM
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I've noticed that Delta has some specials on flights to Berlin this spring. If I weren't going to Turkey in April I would take advantage of them. Berlin sounds very interesting from these posts.
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