Sunday, January 11, 2015

Berlin days

So just before new year, we spontaneously decided to drive over to Berlin for a quick visit. I had never been to the German capital and only heard good things about it, so I was excited to see this 'new' city. Berlin is a city which has so much to offer cultural-wise. So this trip was one with a lot of museum visits, which was good since it was absolutely freezing outside. Berlin has some excellent museums so I'll share the ones we visited and will write separate reviews of the restaurants we went to, so stay tuned for more Berlin-food-related posts, if that's more your cup of tea!

First of all I recommend getting a three day museum pass if you plan on visiting a couple of museums. With the pass you get access to all major museums, and for students it's only 12 euros (24 for non-student). If you visit two or more museums it's already worth it.

We started the first day at our spacious apartment that we rented at Mondrian Suites. It's located in East Berlin, the rooms are big and clean, there's Molton Brown products in the bathroom and internet (for €1 for your whole stay) and there's an excellent breakfast. The sofa bed is also comfortable and it's very quiet since the apartments are in between two other buildings, and not at the street. Generally very good price/quality and I'd stay here again. 

Neue Nationalgallerie
This museum closed on the first of January, which was also the main reason why we went to Berlin, to see the galerie before it would close. The minimalist steel and glass structure was designed by Mies van de Rohe and is now going into restoration for 3 to 5 years. Inside was a huge art installation by David Chipperfield with pine wood trunks. Downstairs is where the main exhibitions are: 20th century modern art with my favourite works being the ones by Roman Opalka, Magritte, Picasso and Gerard Richter. Pictures below were taking on two different days, so that's why there's snow on some ;)

In this museum quarter (or museum island) in the centre of Berlin you'll find a few of the best museums in the city (Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Pergamon Museum, Altes Nationalgalerie, Bode Museum) and the Berliner Dom, one of the city's major landmarks. 

On busy days there's a huge queue to get tickets for the museums, so we skipped this and got three-day passes at the Altes-museum. 

Berliner Dom
The Berliner Dom is right next to the Altes Museum. A seriously massive and impressive cathedral, especially in the snow. I almost felt like I was in Russia or somewhere else far away. Right behind you can see the famous TV tower Fernsehturm, which stayed hidden in the mist for most of our stay. 

Altes Museum
This museum is filled with Greek and Roman antiquity. I love Greek statues so took a million photos in here. How cool would it be to have one of those statues in your home? So beautiful!

I found these really cool erasers, they actually look like real walnuts! They also had peanuts but they looked less real. 

Neues Museum
Overall this was my favourite museum. The Neues Museum is - as you can guess from the name - brand new. It was restored by David Chipperfield and re-opened in 2009. The building is so well done and restored on the inside, and in my opinion matches the Egyptian collections which you'll find inside. In this museum you can also find the famous Nefertiti, which I'm sure you're familiar with. Love this museum, a must-visit when you're in Berlin!

Pergamon Museum
This museum is the most visited museum in Berlin, but unfortunately a big part of it was closed, so we didn't get to see Pergamon Altar. We did see the Market Gate of Miletus and the Mshatta Facade, which you can see below. I must visit again when it's in full operation again, I heard that the Altar is beautiful. 

Holocaust memorial
This is something everyone visits when they're in Berlin. It felt strange to walk through this memorial, but I also thought it was so beautiful due to the water droplets which covered the walls. A must-visit when you're in Berlin, it's really quite impressive. 

This museum is close to the Neue Nationalgalerie. It holds an enormous collections of European paitings ranging from the 13th to the 18 century. Rubens, Rembrandt, Dürer, van Eyck, Vermeer... you name it, they have it. This museum is huge so take your time to plan a good visit. 

So that was a lot of culture in one post, but I hope it helps you visit your next trip to Berlin. My favourites were the Altes Museum, Neues Museum and the Gemäldegalerie. I will tell you about some food hotspots I discovered next week!

© whiskers & lions

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