POCKET GUIDE GERMANY
10Best Local Experts take you to the best spots around Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich
GO SEE ... BERLIN 1. Berlin Wall Memorial
The Berlin Wall may be gone, but it will never be forgotten. This outdoor museum, which includes the last remaining stretch of the wall in its original location, explains how the barrier divided a city and its people for 28 years. Bernauer Strasse 119 +49 30 467 986 666 2. Stasi Prison
Former inmates lead tours of the prison where the East German secret police held suspected opponents of the regime — most of them innocent of wrongdoing. Genslerstrasse 66 +49 30 9860 8230 3. Panoramapunkt
For the best bird’s-eye view of central Berlin, let Europe’s fastest elevator whisk you 24 floors to this lofty perch above Potsdamer Platz in a mere 20 seconds. Potsdamer Platz 1 +49 30 2593 7080 4. Schloss Charlottenburg
See how the Prussian kings who ruled much of Germany until 1918 lived at this mini-Versailles, framed by a lovely park perfect for summer picnics. Spandauer Damm 20-24 +49 30 320 911 5. Humboldt-Box
This multimedia exhibit accompanies the ongoing reconstruction of the city’s Prussian imperial palace, which was demolished by the communists in 1950. Humboldt-Box introduces the future tenants and explains how the huge building will fit within the city’s historic center. Schlossplatz 5 +49 180 503 0707 6. Pergamonmuseum
This crowd-pleaser wows with monumental antiquities from Greece, Rome and the Middle East. Star exhibits include the radiant blue Ishtar Gate and the intricate facade of a caliph’s palace. Bodestrasse 1-3 +49 30 266 424 242 7. Neukölln neighborhood
Catapulted from gritty zone to vibrant district, Neukölln is perfect for DIY exploration. Cafes like Katie’s Blue Cat invite lingering between stops at vintage boutiques and hipster bars. Katie’s Blue Cat Friedelstrasse 31 +49 178 806 9701 8. Jüdische Mädchenschule
A former Jewish girls’ school in a Bauhaus-era building has evolved into a cultural hot spot, featuring cutting-edge galleries, a museum about the Kennedys and even stellar restaurants. Auguststrasse 11-13 +49 030 3300 6070 9. Museum in der Kulturbrauerei
This exhibit in a former brewery uses original documents, photographs and objects to peel back the Iron Curtain on daily life in communist East Germany. Knaackstrasse 97 +49 030 4677 7790 10. Bikini Berlin
Browse fashion and design at Germany’s first “concept mall,” in a 1950s landmark building with front-row views of the monkey enclosure of the Berlin Zoo. Budapester Strasse 38-50
GO SEE ... FRANKFURT
Established in 1868, this oasis in the Westend is Germany’s largest botanical garden. Displays include more than 13,000 tropical and subtropical plant species. Siesmayerstrasse 61 +49 69 2123 3939
The busiest train station in Frankfurt consists of a massive main vestibule and two adjoining neoclassical halls made of steel and glass. Inside are a series of platforms, shops and food stands.
Marienplatz, above, has been the main square of Munich since 1158, although New Town Hall dates only to 1874. West of Frankfurt lie the ruins of Rheinfels Castle, left. 3. Museumsufer
A walk along the Main River’s Museum Embankment is a must. Twelve museums sit on a single tree-lined street, the most notable being the Städel art gallery. Städel, Schaumainkai 63 +49 69 605098 232
4. Rheinfels Castle
West of the city, this castle’s ancient stone ramparts rise over the Rhine at Sankt Goar. The ruins recall the Middle Ages, while the restaurant and its lovely terrace herald the modern day. Schlossberg, Sankt Goar
+49 6741 7753
Grand wood staircases take visitors through the reconstructed timbered house where the writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe spent his childhood.
Grosser Hirschgraben 23 +49 69 138 800
After cycling along the Main River, relax in the garden at this 16th-century flour mill renovated as a hotel complex. Gerbermühlestrasse 105
+49 69 689 7779 0
7. Hauptwache Station
This busy rapid-transit station resembles an underground city with its street performers, chalk artists, international markets, dry cleaners and even an entrance to the Galeria department store.
An der Hauptwache 17
This market hall hosts some 60 vendors selling fresh food, wine and flowers every day except Sunday. Locals like a glass of wine in the outdoor garten upstairs. Hasengasse 5
+49 69 2123 3696
Heart of Frankfurt’s old town, this charming central square is lined with reconstructed halftimbered houses. Be sure to visit the Zum Römer, where Holy Roman emperors were coronated. Römerberg, Altstadt
10. Alte Oper
The Italian Renaissance-style Alte Oper is Frankfurt’s original opera house. Can’t make a show? Linger at an outdoor cafe on Opernplatz, the Opera Square. Opernplatz 1
+49 69 1340 0
Munich’s oldest church, “Alter Peter” (Old Peter) is recognizable by its 91-meter tower, offering some of the best views of the city. Rindermarkt 1
+49 89 2102 3776
This used to be part of the royal hunting grounds. Today it’s the site of a family-friendly beer garden (Bavaria’s largest), serving top-notch local food. Hirschgarten 1
+49 89 1799 9119
For photo opportunities, it’s hard to beat this square in central Munich. Odeonsplatz, named for the Odeon concert hall, is bordered by some of the city’s most significant buildings. Odeonsplatz 1
+49 89 222 324
From sausages and fish to exotic fruit, Munich’s open-air food market boasts the highest-quality gourmet groceries in town. At its center lies a beer garden with a lively atmosphere. Viktualienmarkt 3
+49 89 8906 8205
5. Alte Pinakothek
The former royal collection of Old Masters paintings resides here. Dürer, Rembrandt, Peter Paul Rubens and El Greco are among those represented.
Barer Strasse 27
+49 89 2380 5216
Munich’s main square since 1158, Marienplatz is abuzz with activity and a great place for photos, with the Gothic Revival-style New Town Hall in the spotlight.
+49 089 2330 0115
Take a tour of the former main royal palace of Bavaria, with its 130 rooms and 10 courtyards. Residenzstrasse 1
+49 089 290 671
8. BMW Museum
From the earliest BMW engines to modern prototypes, the permanent exhibit here appeals to the car lover in all of us and rolls out fun for all ages.
Am Olympiapark 2
+49 89 125 016 001
9. Nymphenburg Palace
This baroque beauty housed Bavaria’s rulers beginning in 1675. Perhaps more spectacular than the palace itself are the 490 acres of formal gardens.
Schloss Nymphenburg 1
+49 089 179 080
A rococo gem, Asamkirche was built as a private chapel for the brothers who completed it in 1746. Now it’s open to the public. Sendlinger Strasse 32
+49 089 2368 7989 Want even more great ideas? Go to 10Best.com for handy travel lists, cool pics and hot tips by Local Experts in popular destinations around the world.
1. St. Peter’s Church
Narrow slits in barriers at the Berlin Wall Memorial provide glimpses of the “death strip,” where those fleeing East Berlin were often gunned down. 8. Kleinmarkthalle 9. Römerberg