ASK THE CONCIERGE

No­body knows the city bet­ter than your ex­pert concierge. Thomas Munko, pres­i­dent of the Ger­man So­ci­ety of the Golden Keys and Chief Concierge at Ritz- Carl­ton Berlin, is here to help.

Where Berlin - - ESSENTIALS -

It's cold out­side: where can your guests warm up?

At a heart­warm­ing per­for­mance in one of Berlin’s var­i­ous opera houses.

Your guest is look­ing for ideas for a mar­riage pro­posal: any sug­ges­tions?

I'd rec­om­mend they ask the ques­tion dur­ing a ro­man­tic horse car­riage ride through the city, or right be­fore kick­off at a soc­cer game of Berlin’s team, Hertha BSC, in the mid­dle of the Olympic Sta­dium.

Can you tell us the five sights not to miss in Berlin?

The Berlin Wall Me­mo­rial on Ber­nauer Straße, the for­mer Stasi Prison in Ho­hen­schön­hausen, the Re­ich­stag build­ing, Mu­seum Is­land, Gen­dar­men­markt.

A re­ally un­usual place to visit?

Beelitz Heil­stät­ten. It's an aban­doned clinic and sana­to­rium that served as a mil­i­tary hospital dur­ing the First and Sec­ond World War. Hitler and Ho­necker were its most fa­mous pa­tients.

What's a great place for a quick bite?

The Street Food Thurs­day event at Mark­thalle Neun (Eisen­bahn­str. 42- 43), ev­ery Thurs­day be­tween 5 and 10pm.

An in­ter­est­ing Berlin story?

Did you know that Berlin has an aban­doned air­port? Lo­cated right in the mid­dle of the city, what once was one of Europe´s most iconic air­ports was closed to air traf­fic in 2007, and turned into a park in 2010, when it be­came Berlin´s big­gest pub­lic space. It's even larger than New York ´s Cen­tral Park! To­day, Tem­pel­hof is a popular spot for fam­ily gath­er­ings, mu­sic events, and sports.

What do you like about your job?

The peo­ple I meet. Their dif­fer­ent back­grounds and per­spec­tives.

Why should one visit Berlin?

To catch the spirit of an evoca­tive past and to be in­spired by art, de­sign, and mu­sic. And to meet Berlin's mix of cul­tures.

The best thing about Ber­lin­ers?

That they come with dif­fer­ent fill­ings – if you mean the pas­tries [ Ber­liner is also the Ger­man word for donut]. That they wear their hearts on their sleeves – if you mean the peo­ple. Im­ages: Clock­wise from left: The Berlin Wall me­mo­rial; Gen­dar­men­markt; a scene from Don Gio­vanni (Deutsche Oper).

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