Monday, November 28, 2022

Malaga's Roman Theater, or Teatro Romano de Málaga, is the archaeological remains of Malacca's ancient theater that dates back to the first century while Emperor Augustus was in power. Located at the foot of the Alcazaba fortress, it is one of the city's main tourist attractions. A modern interpretation center is next to the remains, reviving the customs and life of theater in Roman times.


Old monument in Malaga
The Roman Theater in Malaga is a beautiful place to sit & enjoy the view.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ARŪNAS / WANDERINGWITHTHESUN.COM

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Featuring a grand entrance, an orchestra, tiered seating, and some columns and sculptures, the theater represents an example of classic Roman architecture. By its dimensions and characteristics, the site is reminiscent of the theater prototype advanced by Vitruvius, a Roman writer, architect, and engineer of the first century BC.



Built during Augustus' reign in the first century, the theater was in use until the third century. In the Al-Andalus era, the Moors used the site as a stone quarry for their buildings; for example, nearby Alcazaba fortress horseshoe arches over the doorways ornamented by Roman capitals and column shafts.

The first archaeological hints at the theater's existence came to light when the construction of the House of Culture exposed it buried beneath rubble for nearly five centuries. The site had been the archaeologists' workplace during the excavations and later restoration. At the theater entrance stands a long box-shaped structure – an interpretation center built in 2020, providing a base for archaeologists and information for visitors to the site.


Old Malaga
Good to have a stop-off at the theater while in the center of Malaga, with free admission, taking a little time to explore it.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ARŪNAS / WANDERINGWITHTHESUN.COM

Restored meticulously, the theater is a beautiful central spot in front of the Alcazaba. Semi-circular in shape, it has three sections: Cavea (the stands), Orchestra (the seats), and Proscaenium (the stage). The theater sometimes hosts theatrical performances, particularly in summer.

The Roman Theater is Malaga's oldest monument. I visited the site several times while living in the city for several months. Incredible to sit within the curved structure of the ancient theatre and let your mind wander, thinking about the past. If you plan a trip to Malaga, the Teatro Romano, an incredible tourist attraction, is a must-see.



The theater and its interpretation center are free to enter. Family-friendly. Pets are not allowed. Visitors are also not allowed to eat or smoke inside the premises. If you want to see the ruins of the Roman Theater and explore the palatial Alcazaba with an official guide, book this tour, which has received positive feedback from Viator travelers.

Schedule: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Tuesday to Saturday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays and holidays; closed Mondays, 1 and 6 January, 1 May, 24, 25, and 31 December.

Address: Alcazabilla, 8, Málaga, 29015
Official website: Junta de Andalucía




Looking for a place to stay in Malaga? For my trips, I use Booking.com, a well-designed website that helps me find everything from small B&Bs to large hotel chains, vacation rentals, and homestays.

Have any questions about visiting Malaga's Teatro Romano? Planning a trip to Spain? What about other suggestions? Feel free to leave a comment below.




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Saturday, November 26, 2022

Iberia, along with the Balkans and the Italian Peninsula, is one of three peninsulas in Southern Europe. In the northeast, the Pyrenees separate it from the rest of Europe; in the south, the 14-kilometer (8-mile) wide Strait of Gibraltar separates it from Africa. The Atlantic Ocean washes its shores in the north, northwest, and southwest, and the Mediterranean Sea in the south and southeast.


Madrid Skyscrapers
Skyscrapers in Madrid's Cuatro Torres Business Area are the tallest buildings in Spain.
PHOTOGRAPH BY ARŪNAS / WANDERINGWITHTHESUN.COM

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

With a population of 53 million and an area of about 583 000 square kilometers (225 000 sq mi), Iberia is Europe's second-largest peninsula after the Scandinavian Peninsula. SpainPortugal, Andorra, British Gibraltar, and France's Cerdagne occupy the territory. What is the largest city in the Iberian Peninsula? The following is a list of the ten most populated cities in the land of the Iberians.



Iberia's 10 Largest Cities


10. Bilbao

Population: 346 000
Country: Spain

Bilbao is the largest city in the Basque Country and the tenth largest in Spain. It has changed its image from an industrial town built on the iron trade to a city that combines art, culture, and tourism. Bilbao is home to some of the world's most renowned architecture, like Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum and Norman Foster's Subway.


9. Sintra

Population: 385 000
Country: Portugal

Sintra, the second most populated city in Portugal, is 23 kilometers (14 miles) northwest of Lisbon. It is on the UNESCO World Heritage List because of its distinctive architecture. Sintra's landmarks include the medieval Moorish Castle, the Romanticist Pena Palace, and the Portuguese Renaissance Sintra National Palace.


8. Murcia

Population: 460 000
Country: Spain

Murcia is a Spanish city and the capital of the Murcia Region, located 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Mediterranean Sea. Among the city's attractions are the magnificent Cathedral Church, numerous Baroque buildings, local cuisine, Easter processions, and works by 18th-century sculptor Francisco Salzillo.


7. Lisbon

Population: 545 000
Country: Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal's capital, sits on seven hills at the wide mouth of the Tagus River, where it meets the Atlantic Ocean. Alfama is the oldest neighborhood in the city, with typical Arab and Medieval architecture and narrow streets, and it was one of the few places in Lisbon to survive the 1755 earthquake. The city's traditional music is fado, a nostalgic song accompanied by the Portuguese guitar. Most fado houses, where you can enjoy various live shows, are in Alfama.


6. Malaga

Population: 577 000
Country: Spain

Malaga, located in the south of the Iberian Peninsula, is the second most populated city in Andalusia after Seville. It is the birthplace of Pablo Picasso, one of the twentieth century's most influential artists, and Antonio Banderas, an actor. Winters in Malaga are the warmest in mainland Europe. With a history of around 2,800 years, the city is one of Europe's oldest.



5. Saragossa

Population: 675 000
Country: Spain

Saragossa is a city in Spain's northeastern region. Because of its strategic location, it is an important logistic and communication hub between Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Bilbao, and Toulouse (France). Several Mudéjar-style buildings in Saragossa are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In addition, the city is well-known for its folklore and regional cuisine.


4. Seville

Population: 684 000
Country: Spain

Seville is the capital of Andalusia, a Spanish autonomous community. It is Spain's only inland city with a port, located about 90 kilometers (56 miles) from the Atlantic Ocean. There are three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Seville that you should not miss when in the city: the General Archive of the Indies, the Royal Alcázars, and the Cathedral with its Giralda.


3. Valencia

Population: 789 000
Country: Spain

Valencia is the capital of the same-named Spanish province, located 350 kilometers (217 miles) southwest of Barcelona. The city has over 300 days of sunshine per year. Aside from its historic center, one of the largest in Spain, Valencia is also home to many scenic and cultural spaces, making it one of the country's most popular tourist destinations.


2. Barcelona

Population: 1 636 000
Country: Spain

Barcelona, located on the coast of northeastern Spain, is Catalonia's capital. It is the most populated city in Catalonia, the eleventh in the European Union, and the second that is not a capital after Hamburg. Barcelona is known as a city of modernism, with jewels like the Hospital of the Holy Cross by Spanish architect Lluís Domènech, the Palau Macaya by Josep Puig, or the Basílica de la Sagrada Família by Antoni Gaudí.


1. Madrid

Population: 3 305 000
Country: Spain

Madrid is Spain's capital, Iberia's largest city, and the European Union's second-largest city (after Berlin). It lies in the central area of the Iberian Peninsula, 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) north of the peninsula's geographical center, Cerro de los Ángeles. Although Madrid is not as charming as, for example, Andalusia's picturesque cities, it has a royal atmosphere, vibrant nightlife, and café culture. Its renowned Prado Museum houses numerous masterpieces from Spain's Golden Age, and its Royal Palace is comparable to France's Palace of Versailles.




Planning a trip to Iberia? Have any questions about visiting the peninsula's cities? What about other suggestions? Feel free to leave a comment below.




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Friday, November 18, 2022

Paris

The Luxembourg Garden, with its hundred stunning sculptures and various species of beautiful plants, is an open-air museum with plenty of green space for relaxing. Originally a hangout for Parisian intellectuals, bourgeois, and nannies, it now welcomes everyone, from regular locals playing chess here to children riding carousels and tourists from all over the world.

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By garden style, the Jardin du Luxembourg divides into two sections: French on the axis of the 17th-century Luxembourg Palace and English on the Rue Guynemer side. The quincunx geometric forest stretches between the two. South of these three distinct areas, opposite a French public secondary school on the Rue Auguste Comte, are lawns and a conservatory orchard of old fruit tree varieties, primarily apple and pear trees. The 18th-century Luxembourg Museum – the oldest public museum in France – stands in the park's northwestern corner, near the palace.



Paris is a metropolis full of traffic and polluted air. Sometimes it may tire. A park or garden in a big city is a delightful place to get some fresh air and relax by listing fountain sounds, birds chirping, or leaves rustling in the wind. The Luxembourg Garden, located on the left bank of the River Seine in one of Paris's oldest neighborhoods, is a green oasis where I could take a relaxing stroll while admiring nature's beauty and exquisite sculpted works.


Luxembourg garden Sculptures in Photos


Paris sculpture
One of the gardens' numerous beautiful sculpted works

Statue in Paris
Statue of Marguerite d'Angoulême, Queen consort of 16th-century Navarre

Statue in Paris
Statue of Blanche de Castille, Queen of 13th-century France

Luxembourg Garden
Statue of Liberty; first model, by Frédéric Bartholdi, 1870

Lion sculpture
Lion stone sculpture by Jean-Baptiste Henraux

Statue in Paris
Statue of Valentine de Milan, Duchess of 14th-century Orleans

Statue in Paris
Statue of Anne de Beaujeu, Regent of 15th-century France


History of the Luxembourg Garden

Early in the 17th century, French Queen Marie de Medici, the widow of King Henry IV, created a garden around her new palace (a replica of  Palazzo Pitti in Florence, Italy, where she grew up) outside the city at the time. Although the Luxembourg Palace changed hands several times after Marie de Medici's death in 1642 and even underwent significant alteration in the 19th century, it retained its light Italian flair. The garden itself underwent several changes over time. Initially, the area covered 8 hectares (20 acres); now, it covers 23 hectares (56.8 acres).



How to Get to the Luxembourg Garden

The garden lies in the heart of the Latin Quarter, in the 6th arrondissement (neighborhood); it has several entrances: Boulevard Saint-Michel, Rue Auguste-Comte, Rue Guyenemer, Rue Médicis, and Rue du Vaugirard. There is no admission fee. Wheelchair access is available at all garden entrances and along many paths. Open year-round from 8:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the winter and from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the summer.

Train (line B) station: Luxembourg
Bus (lines 21, 22, 27, 38, 84, 89) stop: Luxembourg
Metro (line 12) station: Notre-Dame des Champs



Where to Stay in Paris

Unsure of where to stay in Paris? For my trips, I use Booking.com, a well-designed website that helps me find everything from small B&Bs to large hotel chains, vacation rentals, and homestays.




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Have any questions about visiting the Luxembourg Garden? Planning a trip to Paris? What about other suggestions? Feel free to leave a comment below.




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Wednesday, November 16, 2022

L'Alcúdia

La Alcudia is a town in the autonomous Valencian Community of Spain. It began in the 13th century as a small rural community of houses built by a few families to exploit the surrounding land. Located on the left bank of the Júcar River, La Alcudia extends southwest to the foothills of the Sierra de Tous.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on one, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

In contrast to other Valencian cities, La Alcudia does not celebrate the Falles (a celebration honoring Saint Joseph) or the Moros y Cristianos (a festival commemorating Christians' victory over the Moors). In town, the most famous festivals are the Honoring the Our Lady of Loreto, held from September 1 to 8, and Holy Week. Sunday traditions include eating "rosca amb all" (toasted bread with garlic and oil), which is why residents are called "roscans."



While on vacation in Carlet for a week, I visited nearby La Alcudia (L'Alcúdia in Valencian) and spent an entire day in town. The distance between these two municipalities is only 2 kilometers (2.24 miles), so I happily walked it. Long walks are one of my favorite pastimes, especially in the Spanish countryside, where the cicadas chirp, the sun shines, and the scenery is breathtaking. I enjoyed wandering around La Alcudia and taking in the Valencian atmosphere. My short guide to the best experiences in La Alcudia will help you plan your stay in this town.


The 5 Best Things to See and Do in La Alcudia


1. Learn About the Town's History


Archeology La Alcudia

Due to the creation of pedestrian streets, ruins built from large boulders of river stone along with remains of ceramics, primarily pottery (bowls, plates, and jugs), some with impressive decorations, were discovered in La Alcudia. They are kept in a display case in a cozy tiny square and tell about the town's history.

Address: Plaça País Valencià, 46250 L'Alcúdia


2. Marvel at St. Andrew's Church


La Alcudia

St. Andrew's Church is one of the best and most representative examples of 18th-century Valencian Baroque and Classicism styles. In this building, you can see how Classicism blends beautifully in its floor plans, elevations, and façade and how Baroque features harmoniously in its decorative details. The façade has two sections of architectural orders that originated in Greece: Corinthian in the first and Doric in the second.



Address: Carrer l'Església, 5, 46250 L'Alcúdia

Official website: Parroquia San Andrés Apóstol


3. Stroll Through the Town's Streets and Squares


La Alcudia

Even though the town is small, wandering through it will delight and surprise you. There are numerous iconic spots to experience in La Alcudia, from cozy squares with beautiful trees to old alleys and shopping streets. Don't forget to pay attention to the details: stylish doors, windows, and attractive signs on houses with street names. La Alcudia offers an unforgettable Valencian country atmosphere.


4. See the Convent of Sant Pere d’Alcàntara


La Alcudia

The Franciscan monastery complex, where friars lived under the rule of Sant Pere d'Alcàntara, stood in the present-day Tirant lo Blanc square from 1743 to 1835. Only the ruins of the monastery church, which had a Latin cross plan and a nave with three side chapels, remain today. The City Council is currently restoring the monument, giving it new life.

Address: Carrer l'Església, 5, 46250 L'Alcúdia


5. Unwind in Madera Park


Red flower

There are a few parks in the town. Parque de Madera, close to the Convent of Sant Pere d’Alcàntar, is my favorite. It is shady and very cozy, with a fountain and many benches to sit on, read, or surf the internet because there is a Wi-Fi zone. Its beautiful trees provide a haven for birds that sing all day. The park is also a playground with swings for children.

Address: Plaça de la Diputació, 3, 46250 L'Alcúdia


How to Get to La Alcudia

The town is 35 km (22 mi) southwest of Valencia. To neighboring municipalities: Carlet is 2 km (1.24 mi) northwest, and Alzira is 8 km (5 mi) southeast.

Metro (line 1): Pl. Espanya (Valencia)–L'Alcúdia


Where to Stay in La Alcudia

Unsure of where to stay in La Alcudia? For my trips, I use Booking.com, a well-designed website that helps me find everything from small B&Bs to large hotel chains, vacation rentals, and homestays.




Read More Spain Travel Tips:




Have any questions about things to do in La Alcudia? Planning a trip to Spain? What about other suggestions? Feel free to leave a comment below.




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Thursday, November 10, 2022

East Berlin

The United Nations geoscheme for Europe divides the continent into Eastern Europe, Northern Europe, Southern Europe, and Western Europe. According to this intergovernmental organization, Western Europe consists of nine countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. What is the largest city in the region? The following is a list of the top ten largest cities in Western Europe by area.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on one, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.



Western Europe's 10 Largest Cities


10. Munster

Area: 303,28 km² (117,09 sq mi)
Country: Germany

Munster is a German city located in the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia, in the country's northwest. Vegetation covers two-thirds of its total area. The longest line of the urban area extends 24.4 km (15.16 mi) from north to south. The city is well-known for its large number of cyclists and extensive network of bike paths. Its historical center, rebuilt after WWII, has many architectural treasures. Munster is one of Germany's ten largest university cities, and numerous students shape the city's culture.


9. Munich

Area: 310.71 km2 (119.97 sq mi)
Country: Germany

Munich is the capital of Bavaria, a German state. Forests cover 4% of its total area, and the longest line of the urban area extends 30 km (18 mi) from east to west. The city is well-known for its stunning architecture, rich culture, history, and annual beer festival; it has one of the most beautiful squares in the country: Marienplatz, which houses the Old and New Town Halls.


8. Rotterdam

Area: 324.14 km2 (125.15 sq mi)
Country: The Netherlands

Rotterdam is a port city in the Netherlands' west, located at the mouth of the Rhine in the North Sea. Water bodies cover about 35% of the city area. In 1940, bombing attacks by the Germans destroyed Rotterdam's historic center; since then, the city has become a center for innovative architecture, including skyscrapers. As a result, it is modern, in contrast to many other old Dutch cities.


7. Bremen

Area: 326.73 km2 (126.15 sq mi)
Country: Germany

Bremen is a city in northern Germany. It lies on the banks of the Weser River, about 60 km (37 mi) from its mouth to the North Sea. Nature reserves cover almost 7% of its total area, and the longest line of the urban area extends 38 km (15 mi) from the northwest to the southeast. Bremen's historical heart is the 15th-century market square, with two World Heritage Sites: Gothic Town Hall and Roland statue.


6. Dresden

Area: 328.8 km2 (127.0 sq mi)
Country: Germany

Dresden is the capital of Saxony, a German state. The city lies on both sides of the Elbe. Due to its Baroque and Mediterranean-inspired architecture and picturesque river valley, it gained the name "Florence on the Elbe." The longest line of the urban area extends 27 km (17 mi) from east to west. Dresden is one of Europe's greenest major cities, with 63% of its territory covered in vegetation.



5. Cologne

Area: 405.15 km2 (156.43 sq mi)
Country: Germany

Cologne, located on the Rhine River's banks, about 85 kilometers from the border with the Netherlands, is one of Germany's oldest cities. The city is one of Europe's most popular travel destinations, known for its magnificent cathedral, Romanesque churches, medieval monuments, and over 2000 years of history. Cologne has 13% forest cover.


4. Vienna

Area: 414.78 km2 (160.15 sq mi)
Country: Austria

Vienna is Austria's capital, located at the foot of the Alps on the Danube's banks, only 60 km (37 mi) west of Slovakia's capital, Bratislava. Forest cover almost 7% of its total area. Until the early twentieth century, Vienna was the world's largest German-speaking city. Its Old Town and Schönbrunn Palace are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


3. Hamburg

Area: 755.22 km2 (291.59 sq mi)
Country: Germany

Located near the mouth of the Elbe and close to the North Sea, Hamburg is the largest seaport and second-largest city in Germany. It consists of 92% land and 8% water. Because of its numerous bridges and canals, Hamburg might refer to as the "Venice of the North." Green space covers 14% of the total area of the city.


2. Arles

Area: 758.93 km2 (293.02 sq mi)
Country: France

Arles is a coastal city on the banks of the Rhone River in southern France, between Nimes (30 km) and Marseille (90 km). The city's territory includes a vast nature reserve making its area of 758.93 km2 (293.02 sq mi); therefore, it is the largest city in France. Arles' Roman and Romanesque monuments are on UNESCO World Heritage List. Vincent van Gogh, a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter, spent 1888–1889 in the city and created over 300 drawings.


1. Berlin

Area: 891.3 km2 (344.1 sq mi)
Country: Germany

Berlin is in northeastern Germany, lying on the banks of the Spree and Havel rivers and their tributaries, about 90 kilometers (56 miles) west of the Polish border. The longest line of the urban area extends 45 km (28 mi) from east to west. Trees cover 44% of the city area on average, according to statista.com, making Berlin the city with the most forest area in Germany.

Attractions in Berlin: The 10 Best



What is the Largest City in Europe?

London. The city has a total area of 1,572.03 km2 (606.96 sq mi), nearly double the size of Berlin.




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Monday, November 07, 2022

Sé de Lisboa

Lisbon Cathedral, or just the Sé, is the oldest church in the Portuguese capital, and for that alone, it is worth seeing. Although it is not the most beautiful cathedral in Europe, the Sé is an integral part of the city's history – it was built on the site of an old mosque when the crusaders and Portugal's first king, Afonso Henriques, freed Lisbon from the Moors in the middle of the 12th century.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on one, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

The magnificent cathedral has been watching the Lisboners and their daily lives for centuries. Due to numerous earthquakes and renovations, it now blends Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque architectural styles. From the outside, with its defense towers and battlements, the Sé looks like a castle, but the large rose window and bells highlight its true purpose.



My half-day stroll through Lisbon's hilly streets led me to the cathedral, a perfect location to unwind from traffic and crowds and enjoy the ancient interior and stylish details; it felt like stepping back in time – nearly 900 years! The light from the stained glass windows played beautifully in the dark space, making everything inside appear magical. The artificial yellow-orange lighting was also impressive.


Lisbon Cathedral in Photos


Romanesque façade
Main façade from the southwest

Romanesque Interior
Vaults

Romanesque Triforium
A Romanesque triforium gallery

Baroque Chancel
Chancel, with a painted panel depicting the "Assumption of the Virgin" by José Inácio Sampaio (1825)

Baroque Chapel
Baroque-style Blessed Sacrament Chapel

Baroque Chapel Organ
One of the chancel's organs

Rose Window
High Choir, with a rose window

Stained Glass
Two stained-glass windows representing the patrons of Lisbon, Saint Vincent, and Saint Anthony

Baroque & Romanesque Mix
A beautiful blend of 18th-century Baroque (chancel ceiling) and 12th-century Romanesque (transept) architectural styles


Lisbon Cathedral Architecture

The Lisbon Cathedral's original Romanesque design was similar to that of the Sé in Coimbra, also built in the 12th century. Master Robert, of Norman origin, was its first architect.

Exterior

The façade of the cathedral is Romanesque in style. Two twin bell towers with crenelated crowns flank it. With a deep splay, a large circular rose window crowns the portal on the façade. A Gothic cloister stands to the east of the cathedral. The Sacristy, with a Baroque-style interior from the 17th century, adjoins the south side.

Interior

The interior of the building is Latin cross-style, quite dark, with three naves, a transept, and an ambulatory surrounding the chancel. Illuminated by a series of windows in the upper area, the Gothic ambulatory corridor has a ribbed vault. The chancel is Baroque in style; it has two organs, one from 1780 and the other from the 1960s. The original Romanesque vaults remain in the transept area.



How to Get to the Lisbon Cathedral

The cathedral stands in thе оldеst distriсt оf thе сity, Аlfаmа. €5 per person for admission; the ticket includes access to the High Choir and the Cathedral's Treasury Museum. Except for Sundays and Holy Days, open daily from 9:30 (10:00) a.m. to 6:00 (7:00) p.m.

Bus (line 737) stop: Limoeiro
Tram (lines 12E, 28E) stop: Limoeiro
Metro (lines Az, Vd) station: Baixa-Chiado

Official website: Sé de Lisboa



Where to Stay in Lisbon

Unsure of where to stay in Lisbon? For my trips, I use Booking.com, a well-designed website that helps me find everything from small B&Bs to large hotel chains, vacation rentals, and homestays.




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Saturday, October 22, 2022

Berlin Attractions

Berlin, the capital of Germany, is a popular tourist destination. Modernism and history coexist in the city's boulevards, neighborhoods, and architecture. Its dark recent history, excellent nightlife, impressive street art scene, and unique vibe make it an ideal spot for gourmands, hipsters, and historians.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you click on one, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Located in northeastern Germany, Berlin lies on the banks of the Spree and Havel rivers and their tributaries, about 90 km (56 mi) west of the Polish border. According to statista.com, trees cover 44% of the city area on average, making Berlin the city with the most forest area in Germany and the fourth greenest city in Europe, after Oslo, Bern, and Ljubljana.



Personally, Berlin is a city for a one-time experience. Looking at old photographs, it appears to be a stunning city before WWII. Nowadays, Berlin is full of Soviet-era buildings and monuments resembling a Russian metropolis. Still, every city has something interesting to offer, and Berlin is no exception. Here is my list of ten Berlin attractions I found the most interesting. Perhaps you might want to put some or all of them on your bucket list for your visit to Germany's capital.


Top 10 Berlin Attractions


1. Reischstag Building


Berlin Attraction

A historically significant government building, the Reichstag, was built at the end of the 19th century when Berlin became the capital of the German Empire. Today, it houses the German federal parliament, the Bundestag. The building, in the style of historicism, features elements of Renaissance, Baroque, and Classicism.

The Reichstag is now Germany's second most-visited attraction and the world's most-visited parliament. Its dome is an incredible glass structure with a helix walkway inside and spectacular views; there is also a lovely rooftop restaurant where guests can enjoy a delicious breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Visits to the dome and roof terrace require prior registration; online registration is available at www.bundestag.de. Don't forget to bring your passport. Admission is free. When the Reichstag is not in session, various 90-minute tours are available.

Address: Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin


2. Brandenburg Gate


Berlin Best Attraction

The Brandenburg Gate, located in the western part of Berlin's city center, is an impressive 18th-century neoclassical monument and one of Germany's most well-known landmarks. After the 1961 construction of the 155 km (96 mi) Berlin Wall, it stood in a restricted area and was not accessible by either East or West Germans. Following the fall of the Wall in 1989, the landmark became a symbol of German unity.

A popular attraction for locals and tourists all year round, the Brandenburg Gate never closes. Admission is free. The nearby cafés and restaurants invite visitors to stay and enjoy the unforgettable atmosphere.

Address: Pariser Platz 1, 10117 Berlin


3. Berlin Cathedral


Berlin Landmark

Its ornate interior, gorgeous façade, and series of music concerts make the Berlin Cathedral a popular tourist attraction. The building, featuring Neo-Renaissance and Neo-Baroque styles, is not so old; 1894–1905 is the date of its construction. It stands on Museum Island in the Mitte district.

The Berlin Cathedral is one of the German capital's most prominent landmarks. Its panoramic platform at the top of the 270-step climb offers spectacular vistas of Berlin as you get a full 360-degree walk around the dome outside.



Address: Am Lustgarten, 10178 Berlin
Official website: Berliner Dom


4. Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church


Berlin Landmark

A British bombing raid in November 1943 significantly damaged the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, built in the 1890s. As a symbol of Berlin's rebirth from the ashes of war, the building became a popular tourist attraction during the post-war years. Berliners have dubbed it "der hohle Zahn," which translates as "the hollow tooth." Since 1963, a modern belfry has stood nearby.

The Romanesque Revival-styled church stands on Breitscheidplatz and is West Berlin's most famous landmark. A Christmas market takes place around the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church every year, allowing visitors to enjoy festive foods and shopping, all while listening to Christmas music.

Address: Breitscheidplatz, 10789 Berlin
Official website: Evangelische Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche


5. Berlin TV Tower


Explore Berlin

The tallest structure in Germany and the third-tallest in the European Union stands at 368 m (1,207 feet) tall. Any trip to Berlin is incomplete without a visit to the tower's observation deck, home of a revolving restaurant, which offers incredible views of the Berlin skyline. Tickets are easy to obtain from the machines outside, but there may be a line; pre-booking is advisable.

The Berlin TV Tower, built in the 1960s, stands near Alexanderplatz in the Mitte district.

Address: Panoramastraße 1A, 10178 Berlin
Official website: Berliner Fernsehturm


6. Potsdamer Platz


Berlin Travel

With the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961, Potsdamer Platz became a massive wasteland and delineated the boundary between the British, American, and Soviet sectors. Berlin and Germany's reunification have led to many redevelopment projects in and around the square. Since 1990, Potsdamer Platz has become one of the city's most striking features.

The Potsdamer Platz is approximately one kilometer (0.6 miles) south of the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag Building. The square, dominated by several skyscrapers and imaginative structures like the Sony Center, has many shops, restaurants, bars, and cafes.


7. Holocaust Memorial


Berlin Attraction

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is a Holocaust memorial composed of 2,711 concrete slabs of different heights arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field. Between them are long, straight, and narrow alleys.

Before WWII, Berlin had one of the largest Jewish populations in Europe. The memorial commemorates six million Jews murdered during Adolf Hitler's and the National Socialists' rule. It's a thought-provoking experience to walk among these massive, stark grey slabs (there is also a museum).

Address: Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin
Official website: Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe


8. Alexanderplatz


Discover Berlin

Alexanderplatz is worth a visit, whether for dining, shopping, or strolling. It's also an excellent place to stay because the central station is nearby. Here, you must see the world clock; the TV tower and the gorgeous Town Hall stand nearby the square.

The site bears the name of Russian Tsar Alexander I. With the completion of the central market hall in 1886 and the opening of the Tietz department store in 1911, the square became the city's main shopping center. Allied air raids severely damaged a significant part of the surrounding buildings during WWII. During the GDR era, the square served as the artificially created center of East Berlin, housing important government buildings and prestige projects such as the hotel Stadt Berlin (now Park Inn by Radisson).


9. Berlin Zoo


Rhino

Opened in 1844, the Berlin Zoo is Germany's oldest surviving zoological garden and the ninth in the world. It also has the highest species diversity of any zoo on the globe, including the only giant pandas in Germany. On an area of 33 hectares, the zoological garden houses over 20,000 animals representing approximately 1,100 species.

You could easily spend the entire day at the Berlin Zoo because it's so large. The zoo also features two fantastic adventure playgrounds for children to burn off some energy, next to cafes and restaurants for adults.

Address: Hardenbergpl. 8, 10787 Berlin
Official website: Zoo Berlin


10. Victory Column


Berlin Monument

After Prussia's victory over Denmark in the war of 1864, the idea of erecting a triumphal column in Berlin arose. 1873 saw the construction of the Victory Column after Prussia defeated Austria and France in 1866 and 1871, respectively. The three original segments of the column and the bronze sculpture of the goddess Victoria at its top represent Prussia's three military victories. After the column was moved from Königsplatz to its current location at the Großer Stern by Adolf Hitler in 1938-1939, the fourth segment appeared.

The Victory Column is a popular tourist spot in Berlin. Its ticketed viewing platform provides a panoramic view of the city. The climb to the top is self-guided: 285 stairs; only 12 people can fit on the top circle.



Where to Stay in Berlin

Unsure of where to stay in Berlin? For my trips, I use Booking.com, a well-designed website that helps me find everything from small B&Bs to large hotel chains, vacation rentals, and homestays.




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Have any questions about things to do in Berlin? What about other suggestions? Feel free to leave a comment below.




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