5 Delightful Places to Visit In…..Berlin!

We have finally made it back home from our beach holiday, really hated to see it end this year. I always seem to linger in travel mode for awhile after an extended holiday, and this time is no exception. I delay completely unpacking and filing away the old passport for a few days, hoping that Mr. Lemontree will come home in the afternoon and just whisk me away!
I thought since I haven’t fully unpacked (I know, shame on me!!) and the urge to wonder is still upon me, we might take a little trip together, albeit a virtual one!
The always charming Vir Beatum from Being Manly has graciously offered to be our tour guide of the city he presently calls home-Berlin, Germany. Grab your steamer trunks my friends for a little trip across the Atlantic and the 5 delightful destinations he has chosen for us!

1. Adlon Hotel
The Adlon Hotel, Pariser Platz. Situated right next to the Brandenburg Gate, this old hotel had its glory days in the Weimar years, before becoming a favourite first for the Nazis and then for the Communists. The original was demolished, but after re-unification it was re-built on the same site to a glorious standard. It serves a mean afternoon tea, and is a great place for pre-opera dinner.

2. The Grimm Zentrum
The Grimm Zentrum, Humboldt University Library, near Friedrichstrasse station. I’m a sucker for libraries, but rarely does a reading room wow like this one. Nobody will stop you entering, if you look studious enough and don’t have any bags or coats. The room is five stories high, with a terraced reading level on each side. It’s like being in a giant wooden box, surrounded by books and defined by thinking space. An intellectual’s dream.

3. Soviet War Memorial, Treptower Park
Treptower Park is a giant and sprawling green space to the East of the city, full of scantily clad folks and barbecues in the summer. But the reason for coming here is the giant and imposing Soviet memorial to those who died defeating Fascism. It is propaganda on a monumental scale, as well as being somewhat solemn, and is truly breathtaking to behold. The warrior hero eternalised in bronze tells you a good deal about the Soviet notion of manliness.

Schlachtensee, down in the South West of Berlin, is the venue par excellence for a Saturday retreat. This pretty lake fills up with swimmers and boaters in the summer, and ice skaters in winter. To circumnavigate the lake is pleasant enough, but better still is to find a table in the beer garden at die Fischerhütte, and kit yourself out with Weizenbier and Rostbratwurst.

5. Kaufhaus des Westens
KaDeWe, the high-end department store at Wittenbergplatz, is a must for any elegant shopper. Think Harrods but without all the pomp and circumstance. It’s actually a place where you’ll find Berliners as well as tourists. The place is vast, but head to the sixth floor, which is the international food court. Just to wander this place is a gourmet’s delight, and probably would suit the gourmand too. Sit in the Leysieffer Café and eat Apfelstrudel while gazing across the West.