need help selling Berlin

Mar 1st, 2005, 07:53 AM
Original Poster
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need help selling Berlin

i was fancying a 1 week trip to berlin. i am having trouble selling the idea to my wife.

she thinks there is nothing to see in berlin. she suspects i want to go because i am interested in WWII history.

she enjoyed paris,rome and london sites,museums,palaces,walks,boats and shopping.

its hard for me to explain to her that Berlin is a great European city with plenty to do as i have never been there. any help from those who liked it? thanks
ChevyChasen is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 07:56 AM
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Tell her "biggest shopping mall in Europe."
Edward2005 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 08:12 AM
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There is the museum island. There are a couple of imperial palaces that can be visited, including Potsdam. For walking around I recommend the book BerlinWalks.
Michael is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 08:16 AM
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Shopping --

Buy her a copy of the Thames and Hudson/Berlin guide (from the StyleCity series):

I don't own this particular guide, but I've the London, Paris and Amsterdam guides. Beautiful photos throughout.

The Berlin Philharmonic is also widely acknowledged as one of the best (if not the best -- Vienna Phil being its closest competitor) in the world -- the orchestras in Paris, Rome or London can't quite compare with this great orchestra. It'd be interesting to hear them at the Philharmonie, but I've not done so.

111op is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 08:27 AM
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My fiance and I spent a long weekend in Berlin last June. We loved it. We stayed at the very quirky and affordable "hotel room as art installation" hotel, Propeller Island Lodge. It's conveniently located in Charlottenberg, just a few blocks from one of the main shopping streets and the metro. Go to

We visited several art museums, went to hear the Berlin Philharmonic, walked in the park, shopped in a variety of high-end and quirky-unique shops, and went out dancing at a nightclub late one night. We did go to a history museum, which was fascinating, but WWII and Cold War History is only one aspect of Berlin.

The people we encountered were interesting and friendly. It was very easy to get around by metro and bus; there are walkable neighbourhoods and districts, but the distances between them can be deceptively long.

We found that Berlin was a great mixture of "efficient/safe/clean" and "edgy/quirky", as well as being extraordinarily historic and modern/dynamic. It's at the top of my list of favourite cities I've visited (along with Barcelona). I can hardly wait to go back.
Kate_W is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 08:28 AM
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I think Berlin is one of the most alive, vibrant cities in Europe (granted my sample size is not that high compared to some). Get her an Eyewitness Guides guidebook. She can take a boat cruise on the Spree River, which runs through the city. There are a bunch of very impressive palaces in Potsdam, a short train ride away (and I'd recommend taking Terry Brewer's tour of Potsdam - an excellent deal). There are also one or two palaces right in Berlin. Daniel Liebeskind is a very hot architect nowadays, and his Jewish Museum is quite new and very interesting architecturally (sadly I didn't see it on my visit to Berlin).
WillTravel is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 08:28 AM
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Berlin has all she liked in the other places. For palaces, try San Soucci Palace. An amazing amount of museums all walk able to one another on museum island. Churches in every style. Great shopping. Wonderful restaurants. I think it is one of the best cities in Europe actually.
Cicerone is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 09:00 AM
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She'll love spending a full day at Potsdam where you can visit five or so palaces in one huge forested park.

Spend a day to go to Spreewald, where they pole boat you through tiny winding waterways to picturesque "villages" and you eat great pickles.

We first went for five days and ran out of time. Went back two years later for five more days, and still need to get back!
Patrick is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 09:12 AM
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I haven't been yet but am very much looking forward to a 5 day visit next month (& am starting to think 5 days isn't long enough). We are interested in opera, the visual arts and architecture (particularly contemporary) and are especially looking forward to :

-going to one opera in each of the 3 opera houses

- Daniel Liebeskind's Jewish Museum

- Norman Foster's remodelled Reichstag

- the Sammlung Hoffmann contemporary art collection

- Potsdam

- just wandering round & seeing the rest of the architecture.

The Time Out guide lists lots of galleries & other contemporary art spaces, and also quite a few great sounding restaurants.

caroline_edinburgh is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 09:20 AM
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Its a fabulous city with so much to see and do. (I just heard that Delta is going to have a nonstop to Berlin from JFK starting May 1st so that would be an easy travel?)I spent a week there by myself back in the"Checkpoint Charlie" days and never ran out of anything to see,do or shop.My son spent the year abroad last year and that was the one city he really wants to go back and spend more time in after being all over Europe.
dutyfree is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 09:20 AM
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Speaking of architecture -- the embassies in Berlin are quite interesting to look at.

And the NYT had an article on this over the weekend:

Neue Nationalgalerie is a Mies building.

And if I remember right, DG Bank on Pariser Platz is a Gehry building. The outside looks rather harmless (for Gehry) as construction on that table is subject to strict regulations, but the inside is supposedly very interesting (though I didn't go on). And, of course, the construction of the US Embassy has been subject to delay and intense scrutiny.

Then there's the Palast der Republik (sp?) constructed the former East Germany (a palace was torn down to build it). The building has asbestos problems and I'm not sure what Berlin ultimately decided to do with it -- did they finally decide to tear it down?
111op is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 09:21 AM
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oops -- construction on that *square* -- wonder why I wrote "table"....
111op is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 09:35 AM
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Berlin has become the new vogue city of Europe over the recent years, there are very few vestiges of its war-time past and links to the former Eastern bloc. My sister has lived in Berlin for over 10 years and loves it there.

Here are some ideas of where to go, what to do, what to see:

Do make it a point to visit the Sophie Charlotte schloss (castle) in Charlottenburg (former W/French sector), it is easily accessible via the #145 bus from Berlin's Zooglischer station (there is even a double-decker version for sightseeting). The world-reknown Egyptian Museum is located across the street (the bust of Queen Nefertiti is there). If you are in the castle-seeing mode, you could take a convenient S-Bahn or train out to nearby Postdam and see Sans Souci, the resident of Frederick the Great and home to his famous 'Midnight Suppers'. Likewise, Wittenberg (Martin Luther's town) is also close, interesting, and very feasible to visit from Berlin on a day trip.

Despite its size as a big city, it is very easy to get around in Berlin. Along with the S and U-bahn lines, Berlin's transportation system is excellent and efficient. Most everything generates in and around the Zooglischer Station.

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, the Memorial Kirche (called the "lipstick case" because of the Allied bombing of it), 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.
Huitres is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 09:36 AM
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She liked Paris? Tell her there's a branch of Galleries Lafayette in Berlin.
Betsy is online now  
Mar 1st, 2005, 09:44 AM
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To me, Berlin is one of Europe's underrated cities that doesn't seem to get talked about anywhere near as much as many other cities.

It's one of my favourite cities in Europe and I was amazed at just how much there was to do there when I first went. The city has a real energy that is not found in a lot of other cities. Some people may not like it because it's bigger and more spread out than they imagined but if your wife likes Europe's big 3 (London, Paris and Rome) she, then the size of the city won't be a factor.
Where2Travel is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 09:44 AM
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Tell her it has the largest department store in Europe AND you'll let her go there any buy anything she wants to..for you!!!
Intrepid1 is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 11:13 AM
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we are going AGAIN to berlin.
i guess if she can realize the metamorphis this city is/has gone through in such a short time, it would appeal to her more.

i doubt there is anywhere at this moment with such an important architectural statement outside of manhattan /chicago.Potsdamer platz was the largest building site IN THE WORLD.

the food is good, and since it is such a visually impacting city, she will not be bored, whether she likes to shop or not.

potsdam is a must. good luck convincing.

lincasanova is offline  
Mar 1st, 2005, 02:43 PM
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To add a few more suggestions:
During our first trip to Berlin , my wife and I took an early morning jog thru the Tiergarten. It was very foggy and still dark with soft haze coming from the lampposts. We soon realized that each lampost was different. On further examination we noticed that each lamppost had a plate denoting which international city it was from. We were soon jogging from lamppost to lamppost.
Consider a short UBahn trip to Spandau, get off at the Zitadelle and tour the historic fortress. Then stroll along the lake into the town of Spandau, and enjoy the typical German feeling of the old town square.
Berlin remains my favorite European city.
CharlieB is offline  
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