Weekend breaks in Berlin

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Berlin

A city that has been the centre of European and world history -its seems that the past has simply rolled over Berlin. The imprint of the past is everywhere -visit Norman Foster's dome at the top of the Reichstag, the Television Tower, Checkpoint Charlie, Libeskind's Jewish Museum, Postdamerplatz, the Zoo or many other Museums, Galleries and Concert Halls.
 

Getting there and getting around:

As befits a city whose history has been much influenced by flight, Berlin has two airports -Berlin Brandenberg in Schonefeld and Berlin International in Tegel -see the Berlin Airport website (www.berlin-airport.de) for more information. Direct flights are available from Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, London (Gatwick, Heathrow, Luton, Stansted), and Nottingham with British Airways, Easyjet, BMI, Ryanair and Lufthansa.
 
For rail travel to the rest of Germany, see the national railway Deutsche Bahn (www.bahn.com).

Sightseeing, events, tours and information:

Hire a solar boat at Berlin Köpenick from Solar Water World (www.solarwaterworld.de) who offer a range of small self drive boats for hire by the hour. Alternatively you can charter a solar powered passenger catamaran, the Solon (www.schiffskontor.de), that can accommodate up to 60 people for an alternative silent view of the city thanks to its 24 roof mounted solar panels. Passengers can also enjoy a range of snacks in the elegant lounge bar in this emission free boat.

For walkers who want to explore the countryside around the city, the 'route of 66 lakes', circles the city, taking in forests, lakes, villages, castles and country houses -the start and finish of each section can be reached by public transport -maps at www.wander-bahnhoefe-brandenburg.de
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The are a some really awesome music venues in the city. The state opera house, Staatsoper Unter den Linden (www.staatsoper-berlin.org) is currently undergoing a three year renovation programme, but the Berlin Philarmonic (www.berliner-philharmoniker.de) which performs under the leadership of Simon Rattle in Hans Scharoun's stunning concert hall is well worth an evening out.
  • Berlin tourist information - Tourist information bureau online.
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  • The Tempodrom - The Tempodrom is a cultural arena set in a circus tent that offers a varied and constantly-changing programme of events.
  • The Reichstag - The German parliament building -visit Norman Foster's glass dome at the top of the meeting chamber.
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  • Berlin television tower - Fantastic building offering views over Berlin with a revolving restaurant
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  • Potsdamerplatz - Ultramodern complex of shops, cinemas and bars in downtown Berlin
  • Olympic stadium - TThe Hertha Berlin stadium built in 1936 has been completely refurbished ahead of the 2006 FIFA World cup of Football and now features 75,000 covered seats while retaining the famous Marathon Gate.
  • Berlin Zoo - One of the world's largest and oldest zoos featuring one of the most important animal collections in the world.
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  • Botanical Garden - Huge botanical gardens featuring over 20,000 species of plant.
  • Berlin Concert hall - Major concert hall originally designed as a theatre but now featuring over 500 performances a year!
  • Insider tours - Walking and cycling tours around Berlin
Museums and Galleries -
  • Berlin wall Eastside gallery -The worlds largest open air gallery with 106 graffiti artists from 21 countries featured on a stretch of the wall.
  • The Grunewald Tower - Museum in the tower built for the first Kaiser Wilhelm with an observation platform, which offers a panoramic view of the Havel landscape.
  • Jewish museum - incredible museum in the shape of a broken star of David showing aspects of Jewish history as well as the holocaust exhibition.
  • Mauer Museum -small museum of the Berlin Wall located near Checkpoint Charlie
  • Staatliche Museum of Berlin -listings of exhibitions in a variety of galleries and museums.
  • Tacheles art house - Formerly an abanndoned department store now a modern art house featuring contemporary art, cinema and design

Hotels, Bed & Breakfast:

Open Summer 2012, Almodovar Hotel, (www.almodovarhotel.de) on Boxhagener Straße in the District of Friedrichshain is the first vegetarian organic hotel in Berlin. It offers 60 rooms, suites and apartments individually decorated in a modern style using natural materials. Food is served from the organic kitchen and they offer a Wellness and Spa area high above the rooftops of Berlin in the sauna or Japanese-inspired Onsen bath.
 
Circus Hotel (www.circus-berlin.de) is a centrally located hotel with a strong corporate social responsibility policy that centres around supporting local business and operating in an ethical way.This is backed up with green measures, including generating some of their own energy and using natural products.
 
Bleibtrau (www.bleibtreu.com) modern hotel on the Kurfürstendamm in the heart of Berlin.
 
Künstlerheim Luise, Berlin (www.luise-berlin.com)
Located near to the Reichstag, the design of this hotel has been fully integrated with the display of art work. It offers 50 individual rooms in a mixture of classical and modern accommodation, and also has its own gallery for functions. It has a fantastic history -this extract from the website "We had the idea even before the Berlin Wall fell: starting as an artists' hotel in the center of Berlin, a place where artists and friends of art could live and work, where people play music and gather."
 
For a different (and fun) experience, the Hüttenpalast Hotel (www.huettenpalast.de) gives you a choice -set in a former vacuum cleaner factory, you can spend the night in an old caravan, a wooden hut or slightly more conventionally, in a room!
 
Loock Hotels -(www.loock-hotels.com) the amazing designer 'Q' Hotel and Hackesher Market in Berlin.
Mitart (www.mitart.de) a central Berlin hotel and café in a listed building, with easy access to the cultural life of the city. The café serves organic food, sourced locally, and they support local artists, whose work is on display in the hotels 30 individually styled rooms.
Propellor Island (www.propeller-island.com) describes itself as a habitable work of art......

Hostels and budget accommodation:

Die Fabrik, Berlin -http://www.diefabrik.com
Hotel for backpackers, offering rooms for 7 or 8 persons, set in a restored turn of the century factory in Berlin Kreuzeberg. The hotel maintains a quiet atmosphere with no tv or phone in the rooms. Solar collectors on the roof of the hotel provide hot water and support the heating system.
 
JetPak Hostels, Berlin -http://www.jetpak.de
2 environmentally run and extremely popular (No. 4 in the world) hostels in downtown Berlin, family run and offering great access to all of Berlin's attractions and nightlife. The power all comes from renewable sources, the heating is co2 neutral, solar panels heat the water and all waste is separated.

more Hostels in Germany

Holiday cottages and Apartments

  • Apartments and Holiday homes in Germany
Restaurants, Bars and Clubs:
  • Eat the World -offers culture & food tours -guides traverse the legendary, multi-cultural Kreuzberg taking their guests through the authentic Berlin far from the well-beaten tourist track. Each tour includes delightful samples of classic restaurants and smaller diners, plus an insight into Berlin life -history, culture, architecture and entertainment.


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Coop City Breaks
Featured books:
The Rough Guide to Berlin
Christian Williams
Paperback - 20 Jan 2011)
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Berlin: City Guide (Lonely Planet City Guide)
Andrea Schulte-Peevers and et al.
Paperback -Mar 2009
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Time Out Berlin 8th edition
Time Out Guides Ltd Paperback -Jan 2009
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