point acts primarily as a backdrop for tourist photographs. U Kochstraße, U Stadtmitte. E3/E4
East Side Gallery
While West Berliners loved to express their creativity by drawing graffiti and painting on the Wall, East Berliners were never allowed to use the dividing structure as a canvas. To make up for all the artless years, artists from 21 countries were called upon in 1990 to decorate one mile of the Wall's eastern segment with their work, creating what is now known as the East Side Gallery. Mühlenstraße. S+U Warschauer Straße, S Ostbahnhof. G4
Berlin is one of three fullyfledged states of the Federal Republic of Germany, the other two being Hamburg
and Bremen. MUST SEE Berlin’s tribute to the victims of the Holocaust is as big as a soccer field and consists of 2711 tombstone-like slabs of equal size and varying heights, placed on uneven ground to convey a sense of claustrophobia and disorientation. Accessible 24 hours a day. Free. www.holocaust-mahnmal.de. Cora- Berliner Straße. T: 030.2639430. U Brandenburger Tor. E3
MUST SEE Between 1945 and 1989, more than 20,000 people suspected of opposing the East German political system were arrested by the Stasi (secret police) and brought to this custody building. In its first and darkest years, the prison’s cellars were used to inflict psychological torture on the inmates, while the relatively more humane cells are on the upper floors, next to a seemingly never- ending corridor lined with interrogation rooms. Tours in English on Wed, Sat, and Sun at 2:30pm in winter, daily at 11:30am and 2:30pm in summer. € 6/3. en.stiftung- hsh.de. Genslerstr. 66. T: 030.98608230. S Landsberger Allee, then Tram M5 to Freienwalder Str., 10-minute walk. Off Map
These luxury tour agents specialize in “urban lifestyle guidance,” introducing their clients to exclusive locations, people, shops, and clubs. Offerings include a “Pimp Me Up” spa and makeover tour, culinary experiences, private house visits, limo tours, and – for an authentic urban experience – a graffiti workshop. From €300. www.berlinagenten.com. Bornholmer Str. 4. T: 030.43720701.
Berlin Music Tours
Choose from a score of music-themed tours, including a visit to the famous Hansa Studios, a musical walk through Prenzlauer Berg, a David Bowie journey, and a classic trek through the colorful history of Berlin music. Booking required. From €12. www.musictours- berlin.com.
Since 1997, the Berlin Underworlds Association has been offering regular tours of underground structures and subterranean complexes that are otherwise inaccessible. Adventures on offer include Cold War nuclear shelters, Hitler’s underground fortress, escape routes to the West, and WWII bunkers. From €10. www.berliner- unterwelten.de. Brunnenstr. 105. T: 030.49910517.
For a quintessential Berlin tour experience, hop inside real Trabants, the iconic cars of the former GDR. Visitors drive their personal Trabis, while, via the car’s radio, the group leader provides historical and quirky facts. Three different tours available, lasting one or two hours. € 30- 50. www. trabi-world.de. Zimmerstr. 97. T: 030.30201030.