Berlin with all its history was an obscure mix of old and new.
There were magnificent heritage buildings that were 100s of years old right next door to cranes and construction sites erecting dominating modern giants. The sheer size of the city was completely overwhelming and although you could see the efforts that the city had gone to to make it feel like a single one, it still has a lot of work to do.
This aside, grave scars from its profound history are still vestige throughout as you walk through the streets of what was both East and West Berlin. I recommend if you stumble into Berlin, to take the time to join in on a Sandeman’s New Berlin Free Walking Tour-it the best walking tour we took out of all the major cities. And make sure you check out the Reichstag and its most recent renovation since Germany’s remuneration.
Other than strolling the streets and visiting the usual sites, we also made a special effort to visit the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial, which became a Soviet Secret Police camp at the end of World War II and swiftly a Stasi prison by the late 1950s for anyone that tried to leave GDR as well as political prisoners after the Berlin wall was erected. It remained as so until Die Wende and is now a memorial site with English tours on offer.
My own slight distaste for its unmanageable size and incompleteness aside, the sheer effort that has been put in and the successes that Berlin has been achieved since the beginning 1990s are incredible.
Give it a few more years and I will definitely be back to give it another shot. And regardless, it is most definitely worth the visit for the infinite history lessons at least.