Alexa Shopping Mall
Located in Alexanderplatz, this shopping centre was huge with a food court, large supermarket and lots of fashion and beauty stores. We found this very useful when we wanted to buy fruit and snacks to take away with us.
We paid to go up to the top of the Fersehturm and I would recommend this to anyone. We got to see a 360 degree view of Berlin which was breathtaking. There was plenty of space to look around and take photos and also read the information around the outside describing all of the landmarks that are evident at that section of the observation deck. It was rather peaceful up there and I enjoyed looking out over Berlin, identifying all of the places we had already explored.
East Side Gallery
Although it was freezing walking the Berlin Wall, the longest open-air gallery, it was stunning. I loved seeing all of the different interpretations of art and the unique perspectives of the world. In more than a hundred paintings artists commented on the political changes in 1989/90. I enjoyed seeing Dmitri Vrubel’s Fraternal Kiss which to me today promotes acceptance of love in any shape or form and the love locks on the gate inside the ball were also effective.
The Molecule Men are positioned on the Spree River near the Oberbaum Bridge. I was amazed at the size of the sculptures: thirty metres high. They represent the intersection of the then three districts Treptow, Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain. I felt that this represented finding wholeness and unity within the world, which is still questionable today.
The Dome was only €5 for students and allowed us access to the cathedral and viewing dome. The cathedral interior was breathtaking, especially the ceiling of the dome with its grand gold decorative designs. After climbing the 270 narrow steps, we were able to enjoy the 360° panoramic view. We spotted the ‘Rotes Rathaus’ city hall, the Humboldt Forum, Museum Island, the synagogue and the television tower. The River Spree could also be seen. It was great to take some time to take in the surroundings from a new perspective.
The roof terrace and dome were stunning, so open and light. We were amazed that this experience was free; however make sure you book online at least a couple of days in advance. We were given a headset guided tour as we walked up the spiral staircase in the dome, as well as taking in the spectacular views of the parliamentary and government district and Berlin’s sights. The mirrored centre piece of the dome was beautiful, acting not only as a reflector to avoid bright glaring light, but also a statement.
I love that the gate is now a symbol of peace and unity. Although there were quite a few people enjoying the landmark, we were still able to get photos in front of the gate and appreciate the historic architecture.
I was surprised that this location was in the middle of the road on a small island; however it is worth seeing to appreciate the history. The wooden barrack was guarded by a couple of US Army representatives and a copy of the original border sign is positioned a couple of metres in front of this.
Mall of Berlin
Mall of Berlin is another shopping mall that is modern and bright. There are so many shops that it almost becomes a maze inside. The architecture is also beautiful with very high ceilings.
Although Bikini Berlin is located in a heritage-listed building complex at Berlin’s Zoo, it is modern and forward thinking inside. The exclusive shops and pop-ups located down the centre are pushing innovation and offer a personal approach. The food court is no different. There were stands for pancakes, curries, salad, noodles, burgers, etc. The food court at Bikini Berlin which had been designed with the Instagram generation in mind; everything is photo ready with greenery and interesting seating throughout.
Kaufhaus Des Westens
I wanted to go to at least one department store while I was in Berlin. This one was particularly for luxury goods, however they did also have some more affordable brands. The floors featured beauty, fashion, food, home and technology. I enjoyed looking at the KaDeWe & Vogue Vote for Fashion which showcased work from emerging talent. I also liked to see the different interpretations and different individuals’ styles. The designs ranged from minimal to extravagant, but each looked as if it required a very precise skill to make. In the technology section, I noticed the world’s first temperature control mug where the temperature of a hot drink can be controlled by your phone. I was amazed by this; customising temperature of a tea or coffee wasn’t something I expected to see for a while. There were also glasses that took untra HD photographs and videos which also showed me that the future of technology is in our clothes as well as technology.