KIDS & FAMILIES
with the situation, and the result gives onlookers a glimpse of East German life. Daily 10am– 6pm. €10/4. www.asisi.de. Friedrichstr. 205. T: 0341.3555340. U Kochstraße.
Checkpoint Charlie East Side Gallery
Berlin Wall Documentation Center
MUST SEE Walk along one of the few surviving stretches of the Berlin Wall in an area of the city where its impact was particularly dramatic, then delve into its storied history at the documentation center. Documents and original radio broadcasts from both East and West chronicle one of Germany's saddest historical periods. Open-air exhibition: 8am-10pm daily; documentation center: Tue–Sun 10am– 6pm. Free. www.berliner-mauergedenkstaette.de. Bernauer Str. 111. U Bernauer Straße. E2 During the Cold War, Checkpoint Charlie was the main gateway between East and West. Shortly after the Wall went up, US and Soviet tanks faced each other on this spot. Today, the crossing point acts primarily as a backdrop for tourist photographs. U Kochstraße, U Stadtmitte. E3/E4 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 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. The underground information center provides a timeline of Jewish persecution. Accessible 24 hours a day. Free. www. holocaust-mahnmal.de. CoraBerliner Straße. T: 030.2639430. U Brandenburger Tor. E3
MUST SEE One of the city's main attractions and the oldest zoo in Germany includes pavilions that provide ample indoor space, making the venue suitable for rainy days. The zoo boasts the largest number of species and total animal residents in the world. The aquarium, one of the largest in Europe, features large tanks with piranhas, sharks, and alligators. Daily 9am– 6:30pm. Zoo or aquarium: €14.50/ 7.50, under- 4s free. Combined Zoo-Aquarium ticket: € 20/10. www.aquarium- berlin.de, www.zoo- berlin. de Hardenbergplatz 8. T: 030.254010. S+U Zoologischer Garten. C4 Berlin is not only the largest city in Germany: It is also the greenest, with almost 32 percent of the city surface covered in forest and water. Berlin's best example of GDRera Neorealist architecture is a 90m- (295ft-) wide boulevard built between 1950 and 1960 to provide housing for thousands of residents and to act as a backdrop for military parades. The street quickly became a source of national pride for East Germany, due to its residential tower blocks inspired by Moscow and by Stalin's ideal style: nationalistic in form but socialist in content. The boulevard is an important architectural showcase. U Weberwiese, Strausberger Platz. F3/G3
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, known as “the submarine,” were used to inflict psychological torture on the inmates, while the relatively more humane cells are on the upper
Much like the London Dungeon, the Berlin Dungeon provides a terrifying interactive journey through the city's dark past via a sometimesspooky, actor-led experience. Visitors are taken through attractions such as the old library of Berlin, a plague-infected street, a torture chamber, a secret court, and more. Not recommended for young children. Daily 10am– 6pm (winter weekends until 5pm). € 20.50/12.30(discount when booking online). Under-14s must be accompanied by adult. Combined LEGOLAND, Madame Tussauds, and Sea Life tickets available. www.thedungeons.com.
Spandauer Str. 2. S+U Hackescher Markt. F3
Berlin Zoo and Aquarium Botanischer Garten
This large park was designed in the Romantic English style, with hills, lakes, and pretty greenhouses. There is a palm house and a whole section dedicated to exotic plants, including orchids, cacti, and carnivorous plants. Daily 9am– ca. one hour before sunset. Museum closes at 6pm. €6/3. www.bgbm.org. Königin- Luise-Str. 6- 8. T: 030.83850100. S Botanischer Garten. Off Map