I have been in Berlin a couple of years ago with ‘the girls’. I liked it very much, far more then I thought I would, so I convinced my husband that he needed to see Berlin too and that I wanted to go once more, so a couple of weeks ago we went on a city trip to Berlin.
Berlin is a fascinating city with loads of history. Although Berlin's history is a black page in our history books, it is good to visit; important to know and learn from. Apart from history, Berlin is very trendy at the moment and the place to be for artists. This shows in all the fantastic street art to be seen in Berlin. I guess this also has to do with the fact that the eastern part of Berlin still has a lot of eastern European architecture and these buildings have a lot of big blank walls screaming to be painted.
We find it best to explore a city by doing a guided tour on the first day. After that, one knows where all the interesting places are, so the next days one can go back to interesting places and explore them further. Friends had advised us to take the guided tour on bike. Now, unlike all the Dutch, I am not really very fond of long bike rides. But the weather was nice, too nice to sit in a bus, Berlin is flat, the traffic is okay for bikes and all the sightseeing venues are quite close to one another. So we decided to give it a try and headed to the bike tour meeting point first thing in the morning. It turned out all the bike guides were English speaking, in fact one was Irish, two were American and one was an Australian. It started in the morning, round about 11 with some instructions about the bikes and the traffic. The bikes were really comfortable, with big saddles and fat tires. After that we were divided into 4 groups of about 10 to 15 people. In the group a volunteer was asked to help. Her job was to stay at the back of the group to make sure no one got lost. And off we went. It was wonderful. Each stop was only a five minute bike ride away from the previous one. Each stop we'd step from the bike, have time to take pictures while the guide told us what we were seeing, including the history lesson. The guide would point out the museums and tell what's inside, the entry fee and whether he thought it was worth visiting. After a couple of stops the guide took us through Tiergarten, Berlin's park. On the other end of the park we sat down for a lovely lunch and after that the tour continued. We were back at 4 o’clock having had a wonderful day and with all the information we needed to decide how to spent the next couple of days.
I highly recommend visiting Berlin. It is a fascinating city with friendly people.