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.
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).