USA TODAY International Edition

POCKET GUIDE GERMANY

10Best Local Experts take you to the best spots around Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich

- Andrea Schulte- Peevers in BERLIN Robyn Polzin in FRANKFURT Mike Richardson in 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

1. Palmengart­en

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

2. Hauptbahnh­of Station

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.

Am Hauptbahnh­of

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

5. Goethehaus

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

6. Gerbermühl­e

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

8. Kleinmarkt­halle

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

9. Römerberg

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

GO SEE ... MUNICH

1. St. Peter’s Church

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

2. Hirschgart­en

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

3. Odeonsplat­z

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

4. Viktualien­markt

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

6. Marienplat­z

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

7. Residenz

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

10. Asamkirche

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.

 ?? SBORISOV, GETTY IMAGES/ ISTOCKPHOT­O ?? 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.
SBORISOV, GETTY IMAGES/ ISTOCKPHOT­O 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.
 ?? GÜNTER STEFFEN, VISITBERLI­N ?? Narrow slits in barriers at the Berlin Wall Memorial provide glimpses of the “death strip,” where those fleeing East Berlin were often gunned down.
GÜNTER STEFFEN, VISITBERLI­N Narrow slits in barriers at the Berlin Wall Memorial provide glimpses of the “death strip,” where those fleeing East Berlin were often gunned down.
 ?? MARTINA BERG, GETTY IMAGES/ ISTOCKPHOT­O ??
MARTINA BERG, GETTY IMAGES/ ISTOCKPHOT­O

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