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Going Down Under doesn’t always mean you have to backpack across the desert or take part in a walkabout of self-discovery. For those looking to get lost in the outback without leaving the comforts of …

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A Capital Vacation: Berlin, Germany

Submitted by zackbeseda on March 9, 2013 5 Comments

On top of being a premier vacation destination for history buffs, the German capital of Berlin is a well-rounded European getaway option with a extensive nightlife, great shopping hotspots and tons of hidden eateries where you can explore all kinds of native German cuisine.  At eight times the size of Paris, visiting Berlin does require a little extra planning, but there’s no shortage of fun options, no matter if you’re visiting with the family, a significant other or on your own.  With a few choice tips in mind, you’ll have an itinerary packed with plenty to do during your stay.

If you’re in the city for only a short period of time, you can pretty much get the full effect by keeping to the Mitte district, located smack in the middle of Berlin.  Here you can find restaurants, museums, cafes, galleries and clubs along with historic landmarks like Brandenburg Gate, the Berlin Wall Memorial and Nikolaikirche, Berlin‘s oldest church.  If artifacts and art are of particular interest to you, be sure to stop by Museum Island which houses five internationally significant museums mainly dedicated to archeology and the art of the 19th century.  Afterwards, plan on attending the neoclassical Staatsoper, a lavish concert hall where you can enjoy live classical music.

From here, each district has its own flair so where you go next depends a lot on knowing what you’re looking for.  The City West district is known for high end shopping along with great (although high priced) restaurants and hotels.  You can venture off to some side streets though where you’re likely to find some good deals and equally good dishes.  If you head into North Berlin, you’ll find a much quieter area with spacious and beautiful old towns that won’t leave your ears ringing from the noisy crowds.  You can also take a relaxing stroll through Greenvitch Promenaid, a lake-side path named after Greenwich, London.

However, if you’re looking for a bit more excitement during your Berlin adventure, East Central is a trendy, artsy district with a more eclectic population than the rest of Berlin.  This area has changed drastically since reunification in the 90s and is now considered a lively neighborhood for artists, students and younger people.  There are lots of great shops, restaurants and cafes down pretty much any street, especially Oranienstrabe and Bergmannstrabe.  If East Central is on your Berlin activities list, then you’ll definitely not want to miss Karl-Marx-Allee, the main street of former East Berlin, which features neoclassical buildings, fountains and eye-catching lakes.

Berlin is a very large city, even by national capital standards and you’ll have plenty of options to keep you busy while you’re visiting Germany.  You’ll want to save time for seeing some of the more well-known landmarks as well as experiencing some of the hidden surprises along the way.  Because of a tumultuous past and a multicultural background, the many boroughs inside Berlin remain distinctive and provide a different aspect of Germany to visitors willing to explore them.

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