Updated: May 8, 2020
I visited Berlin with my parents for the Christmas markets during December. Was this the best time to visit Berlin? I'm not so sure. The problem was that Berlin is a huge city, and trying to fit in the regular sights along with the Christmas markets was no easy feat, especially with my parents in tow who struggled to keep up with my pace. Still, many of the markets were beautiful and there was a real Christmas vibe to the city.
What to see
A popular very landmark in Germany, this gate has special significance throughout the good and bad times of German history. Nowadays it's considered more of a symbol of unity and peace within Europe.
The only problem I had seeing it during Christmas time was the huge Christmas tree in front of it, preventing me from getting a good photo from far away.
East Side Gallery
The attraction in Berlin I found most fascinating was the largest remaining section of the Berlin Wall, now an art gallery. The graffitied images often change but one that has remained for a long time is the "Fraternal Kiss". It's the famous photograph of Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker using a special form of greeting between socialist leaders. There are many other artworks here, many of which encourage peace and love and many depict the history of the Berlin Wall itself.
A replica of the former checkpoint between East and West Germany, it's now a bit of a tourist trap. If you want to have a photo taken you have to pay the men dressed guards around 10 euros.
There is also a museum here which is worth visiting to gain an insight into the history of the Berlin Wall. Also be warned about passport stamps. There are people nearby who offer to stamp your passport with an East or East Germany stamp. But in doing so this could invalidate your passport. If a country were to check your passport and see a non used stamp such as this, you could be refused entry to the country. So if you want an East or West Germany stamp, I suggest bringing an expired passport to get one.
At 368, it's the tallest structure in Germany. Built in 1969 it was originally intended to be a symbol of communist power. It's purpose is primarily as a radio and television tower, but now also a popular tourist attraction.
You can take the 40 second elevator to the top for some wonderful views of Berlin while sipping on a cocktail at the bar. There's also a revolving restaurant here "TV Turm, which is a wonderful idea. As you dine you'll constantly have different views of the city. Obviously dining at restaurant is not advised for those on a budget.
Breakfast at the Reichstag
The Reichstag building is an attraction worth seeing whilst in Berlin, but having breakfast here is a wonderful additional experience.
You'll go to the "Kaefer - Dachgarten Restaurant" and be served a traditional German breakfast. I went for the Bavarian breakfast which included several types of meat and beer, and it was a great energy boost for the day ahead .
You'll get to take in some beautiful views over the city and afterwards you can walk into the famous dome of the Reichstag building.
Currywurst One of the most popular street food snacks in Germany is the currywurst. It's a sausage in ketchup which is then seasoned with curry powder. I really liked this snack, it was particularly good at helping me recover from a hangover. If you're a meat eater then you can't pass up that chance to try one of these.
David Hasselhoff Museum
Yes you read that correctly, a David Hasselhoff museum is located in Berlin. Maybe "museum" is a bit of an exaggeration, as it's more of a large shrine located in the basement of the Circus Hostel.
You'll find various products and photos, as well as a huge mural signed by The Hoff himself. If you're a Hoff fan or just want to see something a little bit quirky, then this is a little different from the regular tourist hot spots.
This bar has a very interesting idea behind it. The beer on offer is sold like you're trading on the stock market. The price of the beers go up and down depending on popularity.
Keep an eye on the screens dotted around the bar to get the best prices. There's also a chance that the market will crash, meaning all the beer will go down in price!