International hospitality from Iceland to Bosnia
Roaming, picnicking and carousing in the Tiergarten
Berlin's rulers used the grounds to hunt boar and pheasants before having them shaped into a public park by master landscape architect Peter Lenné in the 18th Century. With its huge shady trees, groomed paths, woodsy groves, lakes, creeks and meadows, the Tiergarten is one of the world's largest city parks and a wonderful retreat from the city bustle. It is popular for strolling, jogging, Frisbee tossing, picnicking, grill parties, sunbathing and even gay cruising (especially around the Löwenbrücke).
Hobnobbing with high society on Kurfürstendamm
No trip to Berlin would be complete without a saunter along Kurfürstendamm (Ku'damm for short) in Charlottenburg. Along with its continuation, the Tauentzienstrasse, it is the city's longest and busiest shopping strip, lined with everything from big department stores to high-street chains and designer boutiques for size zero fembots. Amid all this, the Gedächtniskirche (Memorial Church) stands quietly, if incongruously, as a poignant reminder of the absurdity of war.
Posing for pictures with the Brandenburg Gate
So where were you when the Berlin Wall fell? For tens of thousands the answer is "at the Brandenburg Gate". Who can forget the images of the crowds of euphoric revellers perched atop the Wall, hugging complete strangers and shaking hands with border guards? Amid cheers and champagne, the Cold War was over and a new era of hope and freedom began.