26 January 2017

Written by Kirsty Hanson
for Daily Focal

with Original Photography by Kirsty Hanson

In the summer of 2016, I went with my family to Berlin. It was a place that had never really crossed my mind as a 'holiday destination' before my Dad suggested it to me. After a week of being there and absolutely loving everything about it, I genuinely cried when I had to leave the hotel. It's such a historic and breathtakingly beautiful place that I want to keep going back to.

Because I loved Berlin so much and because now is the time to start booking your holiday destinations, I decided to compile a list of the top five things to see/do in Berlin! Think of this as a kind of travel guide…
Brandenburg Gate
So many historically moments have happened in front of this monument and it's amazing to get to walk underneath it as you are overwhelmed with how famous the building is.

© Kirsty Hanson
Topography of Terror Museum
This museum is based both inside and outside and gives you a detailed history of World War II. It shows you the horrors that occurred during the time and outside, you get to see a massive part of the Berlin Wall.

© Kirsty Hanson 
© Kirsty Hanson
The Holocaust Memorial - Memorial to the Murdered Jews
Now in my opinion, this isn't the greatest looking memorial ever, but it's still very very important. You can walk through the rows and columns of the memorial and for me, whilst walking through them, I felt the horror of what had happened. The stones tower over you and you feel closed in. It's something that you have to do when you get to Berlin. In the park opposite this memorial is also a statue commemorating the homosexuals that were killed during the war.

© Kirsty Hanson 
© Kirsty Hanson
The Victory Column
This column is in the middle of the Tiergarten and you can climb to the very top of it and overlook the beauty which is Berlin. It’s very very tiring to get to the top, but it's worth it!

Potsdamer Platz
This is an amazing, cultural area that is full of things to do such as shopping, restaurants, cafes and museums. When I went there, I went to the film museum and then stopped off at Starbucks. It's a beautiful area that has great architectural buildings.

Checkpoint Charlie
It may only be a sign in the middle of the road, but it holds such great historical significance that it would be stupid not to go there. It symbolises where the Berlin wall used to be.

© Kirsty Hanson
Berlin Story Bunker
This is going to be one of the things that I will remember for the rest of my life. This museum, like the Topography of Terror, goes into great depth of the history of Berlin. I learnt so much whilst walking round there as each room is decorated with historical artefacts. I recommend using the audioguide as w`ell, as it gives you a lot more information than what’s on the boards. Now… one of the brilliant things about the Berlin Story Bunker is that there is also a chamber of horrors. This is a whole floor that is pitch black, has creepy things in each room and there's a man that pretty much follows you around and scares you. The chamber of horrors has nothing to do with World War II, it's just a touristy thing to do. But let me tell you, I squeezed my Dad's hand so hard whilst walking round the chambers that I thought I was going to break his hand. I genuinely nearly wet myself. I was petrified. I came out and my throat was so sore from screaming and I was shaking for about ten minutes. But, it was absolutely amazing!

There are so many more places that I could suggest that you go. Berlin is an absolutely amazing place and I really couldn't recommend it enough. It's a place that is so important, it's so beautiful and there is so much to do. There are loads of bookshops, museums, coffee shops, restaurants and cities.
Take me back there please? 

We'd love to know...
Have you been to Berlin?
What is your favourite place to visit whilst visiting?
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