Historical city of Berlin. Without a doubt, the Brandenburg Gate is Berlin’s signature attraction. Built in 1791, it was just one of many old city gates around the city of Berlin which, at that time, was still a manageable size. The decorative Pariser Platz was laid at the foot of the gate and is now home to many of the city’s important buildings, for example, the Hotel Adlon with its wealth of history and the Akademie der Künste (Academy of the Arts). The magnificent Charlottenburg Palace is located just out of the centre of the city. The beautiful palace hosts fine collections of china and paintings and is situated in the middle of a picturesque palace garden right next to the river Spree. If you don’t fancy a walk in the park, you can feed your mind instead in the Charlottenburg museums located directly opposite. The Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall Memorial) is located between the districts of Wedding and Mitte on Bernauer Straße, consisting of the Memorial to the Victims of the Wall, a Documentation Centre and the Chapel of Reconciliation. The surviving section of the wall and watchtower enable visitors to get a real feel for the reality of the border facilities.
Often overshadowed by Berlin, many people think of Munich as just the home of Oktoberfest but there’s so much more to see and do in Bavaria’s capital. As well as the many beautiful sights and museums in the city, it also makes the perfect base for exploring southern Germany and its many Alpine lakes. Whether you just want to relax with some locally brewed beer, or hear up-and-coming musicians at a festival, Munich has something for everyone.
There are over 80 museums to choose from in Munich. You’ll find everything from stark modern art galleries that are home to some of the most famous modern masterpieces to a museum solely dedicated to the humble potato! Highlights include the Glyptothek with its extensive collection of ancient sculpture, and the State Collection of Egyptian Art whose collection covers over 5,000 years. For more ideas on which museums to start with, check out our article on Munich’s must-see museums.
At the heart of Bavaria, Munich is the best spot for exploring the beauty of the area. Using the city as a base, you’re spoiled for choice with the different day trips you could take. One of the most popular is to Neuschwanstein Castle; the inspiration for the archetypal Disney castle, it’s perched on a mountain about an hour from Munich. If you’re not into channeling your inner princess, there are a whole range of beautiful lakes within an easy S-bahn ride of the city centre.