Search Results for: Berlin

WWII and Cold War sites in Berlin
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WWII and Cold War sites in Berlin

Berlin is a wonderfully diverse and dynamic city, and especially intriguing to visit as a tourist with an interest in history. In particular, Berlin is the place to go if you like learning about 20th century history, and, more specifically, World War II and the Cold War. I’ve written about a number of Berlin’s WWII…

Touring Reichstag Dome for a Wider View of Berlin
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Touring Reichstag Dome for a Wider View of Berlin

It’s not the kind of sightseeing I usually do, but touring the Reichstag dome was so highly recommended by a friend that I decided to do it anyway. It was also a bit of a relief after all the grim history I’d been learning about at the DDR Museum, the Stasi Museum, the Berlin Wall…

Stasi Museum Berlin: The Dark Heart of East Germany
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Stasi Museum Berlin: The Dark Heart of East Germany

At both the DDR Museum and the Palace of Tears, I learned about the kind of everyday surveillance that East Germans endured in Cold War Germany. To find out more, I went to the Stasi Museum as well. Disclosure: As at all the museums I visited in Berlin, I received free admission. Nevertheless, all opinions…

The Jewish Museum in Berlin
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The Jewish Museum in Berlin

After my experience at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, I was apprehensive about visiting the Jewish Museum in Berlin. This, I thought, is something they will have to get right. After all, Berlin was Hitler’s capital city, the place where leaders managed the bureaucratic tasks necessary to carry out the genocide he planned. You…

Street Art in Berlin with Alternative Berlin Tour
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Street Art in Berlin with Alternative Berlin Tour

The meeting place for the street art tour by Alternative Berlin Tour was easy for me to find. I looked for the guide at the base of the Berlin Television Tower in front of the Starbucks. I loved the irony of starting an alternative walking tour in front of a Starbucks. Ben from New Zealand, our tour guide…

Berlin’s Palace of Tears
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Berlin’s Palace of Tears

Walking into the Palace of Tears is stepping back in time. The floor tiles, the wall clock, the “modern” design of the building: all hearken back to a 1960s aesthetic in interior design. Standing on East German territory since 1962, the Palace of Tears was an addition to the older Friedrichstraße train station. This station…

The Berlin Wall Memorial Illuminates Berlin’s Divided Past
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The Berlin Wall Memorial Illuminates Berlin’s Divided Past

The consequences of the division of Berlin by the Berlin Wall (1961-1989) are visible all over the city. The Wall was a wide, empty gash through the city, and that gash has, ever since the Wall “fell” in 1989, been repurposed in a variety of ways. In some places, buildings encroach on the space: Potsdamerplatz is a…

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin
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The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin

The night I arrived in Berlin was full of color and light: the annual Festival of Lights was underway. A light show projected onto the Brandenburg Gate kept the crowds entertained in the cold autumn air. Walking the short distance from the Brandenburg Gate to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe meant, both…

The Liberation Route Europe: WWII battlefields and more
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The Liberation Route Europe: WWII battlefields and more

If World War II interests you, the Liberation Route Europe is something you could easily build a European vacation around. It traces how the Allies advanced through Europe to retake it from the Germans. Click on any of the 10 countries listed on the Liberation Route’s website and you’ll find dozens of sites marked. The…

Communist Prague: 3 places to learn about it
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Communist Prague: 3 places to learn about it

If you’re interested in the history of Prague and Czechoslovakia in the Communist era, a number of walking tours are on offer, as well as a few museums. I visited the three main sites that have to do with the Communist era in Prague: besides the more mainstream visit to the Museum of Communism, I’ve…

Bitemojo app Singapore food tour: a review
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Bitemojo app Singapore food tour: a review

Bitemojo food tours are not like other food tours. That’s not to criticize other food tours, mind you. I love learning about a place’s particular customs and foods. Bitemojo tours are different, though, in that they don’t include a tour guide. Instead, the tour is led via Bitemojo app, which leads you from “bite” to…

A Krakow Tour with a Twist
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A Krakow Tour with a Twist

Crazy Guides’ communism tour advertises a visit to Nowa Huta, a “model communist city.” Built starting in the 1950s, this experiment in communist community-building is considered a landmark of Soviet-era socialist architecture and urban planning. I signed up for the tour with low expectations. I thought that the phrase our tour guide kept using, “worker’s paradise,”…

USS Pampanito and SS Jeremiah O’Brien: WWII maritime history in San Francisco
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USS Pampanito and SS Jeremiah O’Brien: WWII maritime history in San Francisco

After learning about how “Rosie the Riveter” constructed Liberty Ships in the Kaiser Shipyards in Richmond, across the bay from San Francisco, it seemed to me that the obvious next step was to tour an actual Liberty Ship. (See my post on the Rosie the Riveter Museum here.) I ended up seeing not only a…

Elie Wiesel Memorial House: a museum with a message
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Elie Wiesel Memorial House: a museum with a message

I am ashamed to admit that when we passed through the small city of Sighetu Marmaţiei, in the north of Romania, it was just a place to stop for the night on our way home to the Netherlands. Our GPS was about half a block off in directing us to the hotel we’d booked randomly…

The Communist Consumers Museum
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The Communist Consumers Museum

A Communist Consumers Museum? Isn’t that a contradiction in terms? I mean, in the Cold War, we in the West were the consumer society. We still are. They were, well, communist. So what could a Communist Consumers Museum even show? When we passed through Timişoara, Romania, this summer, we didn’t really have any plans. Picking…

Five Synagogues in Prague (and One Cemetery)
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Five Synagogues in Prague (and One Cemetery)

Five synagogues in Prague and a cemetery are what remains of Prague’s once-thriving Jewish neighborhood. Under the umbrella of the Prague Jewish Museum, they are open to the public, each serving a different function. Tourists can buy a ticket to all or part of a route through all the Prague synagogues. Disclosure: This article contains affiliate…