When Gemma Smyth visited Berlin she decided to take a new approach to trip planning by asking Rough Guides' Facebook fans and Twitter followers for their recommendations. With three full days at her disposal she endeavoured to visit a mixture of well known tourist sites and hidden gems, some recommended, some found along the way and most accidentally discovered when in search of a good meal.
Museum of Things
Kreuzberg is home to Berlin's artsy types, with street art, bookshops, cafés, and a definitively eclectic and liberal feel. Hidden away down the side of an apartment building just off Oranienstrasse you'll find The Museum of Things. The museum displays a range of everyday objects from telephones to Casio watches, "documenting modern everyday life characterized by commodity culture". If you are interested in design or art history then this is one for you. If this doesn't sound like your bag then take a wonder down Orainienstrasse anyway and pop into NGBK bookshop and exhibition space.
Wühlischstrasse is choc-a-bloc with shops and restaurants. Pizza Dach is small, cosy, colourful and serves a pretty hearty pizza for a very reasonable price (with two pizzas and drinks costing under €20). The music at Pizza Dach is less background and more really loud Europop, so this is the sort of restaurant you should visit for a quick bite before moving on to a bar, rather than for a romantic meal.
New Berlin Tours
We've mentioned New Berlin Tours before on Rough Guides but they deserve another mention. I took both the free tour and the trip to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. The tour guides bring the city and its stories to life with little known facts and anecdotes, as well as talking about what it was that drew them to Berlin; Lewis was the guide for my free tour, five years or so ago he came to Berlin for a two day trip and loved it so much he never left. Obviously the tour of Sachsenhausen wasn't exactly fun – it was a 'work camp' where thousands of people that the Nazis considered racially or biologically inferior were imprisoned and killed – but it served as an essential and poignant reminder of these horrific atrocities committed during the Second World War. I'd highly recommend both of these tours if you want to learn more about the history of Berlin and the era of TheThird Reich.