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BERLIN :: MUNICH
Now basking in its regained status as the capital of Germany, Berlin is a dramatic blend of tradition and cutting-edge trendiness. Few cities have seen as many changes in the 20th century as Berlin, which was bombed to pieces during World War II, physically divided for decades, and then joyfully made whole again in 1990. Landmarks such as the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, and the Berlin Wall Memorial are somber reminders of the city's tumultuous history. Meanwhile, a diverse art scene (over 400 art galleries), world-class cuisine, vibrant nightlife, exciting festivals, and high-profile sporting events and recreation opportunities make Berlin a solid hub of forward-focused culture.
Monograms provides traveler's access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Berlin and Germany. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host about Berlin and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Berlin, Germany insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
Born and bred in Berlin, Vivienne is the daughter of Local Guides Christabel and Bernd. She works with her parents and shares their passion for Berlin with its unique history. She has lived through so many changes that the city has undergone. Vivienne looks forward to welcoming Monograms guests and sharing amazing Berlin with you. There simply is never a dull moment in this exciting city.
Stroll along the famed Unter den Linden avenue to the old town, known as Nikolai Quarter, then continue to the Gendarmenmarkt, considered Berlin's most beautiful square. Ask your Local Host about this and other walking routes around town.
Originally built in 1695 as the summer residence of Sophie Charlotte, the first queen of Prussia, it is one of the landmarks of Berlin. Subsequent generations of the royal family expanded and remodeled the palace according to the taste of their time. As a result, the palace contains interior decoration reflecting several architectural styles: the old palace, with its magnificent baroque state rooms and the famous porcelain cabinet, and the new wing built by Frederick the Great in 1742.
In 1894, after ten years of construction, the Reichstag was completed and its dome towered above the City Castle. The Parliament building has reflected the turbulence of German history since that time. The dome and the roof terrace are only open for registered visitors (Pre-registration is required). Your Local Host will have details.
Close to the Brandenburg Gate in the heart of Berlin, find the Holocaust Memorial. It is a stele-field which can be walked through from all sides, serving as a central place for remembering and reminding people of the Holocaust.
You'll be hard-pressed to find a better painting collection than the offerings in the Gemäldegalerie (Picture Gallery) by such luminaries as Van Dyk, Hals, Rubens, and Rembrandt. Designed by Munich architects Hilmer & Sattler, the building is a work of art in its own right. And if you love modern art, the New National Gallery is a must.
Ask your Local Host about Berlin's amazing collections. Museum Island includes the Alte Nationalgalerie, the Altes, Neues and Bode Museums. Visit the German History Museum on Unter den Linden Avenue. At Checkpoint Charlie see the Assisi Panorama of the Divided City, and Museum. To learn more about Berlin during the Third Reich, visit the Stasi Exhibition or the Topography of Terror. The Story of Berlin Interactive Museum is equipped with multimedia technology for experiencing everyday life during different eras.
Travel out of town to Potsdam where the Prussian Kings spent their summers and see the beautiful palaces Sanssouci, New Palais and Cecilienhof, and stunning villas.
Take advantage of great shopping and fine restaurants on the Kurfurstendamm, or stroll along the Tauentziennstrasse. You might find just what you're looking for at the Europa Center or at the Kadewe, Europe's largest department store. Drop in on the Türkenmarkt overflowing with fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh-baked breads, and culinary wonders.
Built for the 1936 Summer Olympics, the stadium now hosts football matches including the German Cup final and other sports events.
Prater is Berlin’s oldest beer garden. Relax with a beer or wine; enjoy home-made Berliner cuisine and seasonal specialties.
Try some or all the above German specialties! The Berliner Weisse beer is brewed locally and typically offered with raspberry (red) or woodruff herb (green) flavoring.
Stroll the Oranienburger Strasse, an “in-place” at night and an artists meeting point with plentiful cafes and restaurants. Or take in a show, your Local Host will have suggestions to pass the time while in Berlin.
Mention oompah-pah bands, lederhosen, and beer gardens and one city immediately springs to mind: Munich! But the Bavarian capital offers a whole lot more than its Oktoberfest reputation might suggest. Nestled at the foot of the German Alps, Munich has developed into a true year-round destination with terrific cultural and entertainment opportunities, sightseeing, shopping, cuisine, and even skiing and sailing close by. When visiting, check out all the attractions the city is known for: Marienplatz, Munich's most famous square; the New Town Hall with its delightful 15-minute glockenspiel display that runs daily; the landmark Frauenkirche with its gothic 15th-century nave; Olympic Stadium; and the opulent Residenz and Nymphenburg Palaces.
Monograms provides traveler’s access to a Local Host®, so you will have someone on hand to answer those vacation questions pertaining to Munich and Germany. No waiting in line at the concierge desk or trying to ask your waitress at breakfast directions to the shopping district. Simply ask your Local Host® about Munich and you'll be on your way in no time. Plus, your Local Host® will share local Munich insights and share suggestions for getting off the beaten path, leaving you more time to create lasting vacation memories that are yours alone.
I was born in Jerusalem, and I speak and write in four languages. I have lived in Munich for 40 years and am a proud grandmother five times over. My interest in history and art studies led to my sharing my knowledge as a Local Host and Guide. I love showing Munich to Monograms’ guests. I feel wonderful living there. As well as its sense of security, the city is vibrant and has everything from a wealth of art and culture to sporting activities; it's also easy to get around.
Munich has over 50 museums; ask your Local Host for information according to your interests. Some favorites are: Alte Pinakothek is a glorious museum with an immense collection of paintings from the greatest European artists of the 14th through the 18th centuries. See a self-portrait by Rembrandt and a Madonna by Leonardo da Vinci. Families and the technically-minded will love spending a few fascinating hours viewing the master works of Science and Technology at the Deutsches Museum (German Museum). Reopened in 2013 after a 4-year renovation, the Lenbach Museum contains a variety of works by Munich painters and contemporary artists, such as Wassily Kandinsky, Gabriele Münter, Franz Marc, August Macke, Marianne von Werefkin, and Paul Klee. Wander the themed rooms of the Stadtmuseum. The collections include puppet theaters, thousands of musical instruments from around the world, more than 500,000 photographs, and a history of brewing. Villa Stuck designed by the artist and owner Franz von Stuck, incorporates floors, ceilings, and walls into a single beautiful work of art.
The brothers Cosmas Damian & Egid Quirin seemed divinely inspired when they created a baroque church for themselves, which turned out so magnificent that their 18th century compatriots forced them to make it accessible to the public. From the ornate façade to the ceiling fresco of St John Nepomuk, nearly every inch is a delight.
Visit the former royal palace of Bavarian monarchs and stroll through the Schatzkammer (Treasury) halls. You’ll see lavish crowns from generations of monarchs, scepters and ceremonial swords, table wear and extravagant crafts from China, India, Iran, Mexico, and Turkey.
The Müncher Tierpark was founded in 1911 as the first “geo-zoo” in the world with approximately 460 species and about 5,000 animals. At any time of year, its changing moods offer an impressive glimpse into the natural habitats of the protected landscape of the Isar floodplains. The animals are comfortable thanks to the species-appropriate approach. Without distracting bars and fences, the visitors can observe the animals with ease.
It’s hard to imagine leaving Munich, home of the Oktoberfest, without a traditional German beer stein. Other traditional souvenirs include Black Forest cuckoo clocks, music boxes, nutcrackers, lederhosen and felt hats.
Countless beer gardens populate the city, and it’s a great chance to relax with the locals. Seats beneath shady trees are plentiful, and there’s a wide variety of beers to choose from. Local food specialties include sauerbraten (marinated beef dish), dumplings and sauerkraut, Weisswurst (sausage), Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes), and Kaiserschmarrn (sweet pancakes with raisins, rum, and almonds). Taste one of Germany’s famous white wines particularly the Riesling; also try Apfelwein (apple wine), radler (a mix of beer and German-style soda or lemonade) and spezi (German orange cola).
Opera and Dance is an international language, as an opera lover you will feel at home in Munich immediately; or listen to live music at one of Munich's many concert halls where music of all styles and for all tastes is played regularly. Ask your Local Host for more details.
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