What's new in Berlin since 2005?
June 22, 2016 2:39 AM   Subscribe

I booked a secret weekend away in Berlin for Mrs SpacemanRed's 40th birthday, except it now turns out she was there for 5 days in 2005, so it's not going to be the novelty I was hoping for. Please hope me.

My current itinerary is majoring on architecture, galleries and museums, we are going to have Spacebaby with us, so night life is not a concern.

So, what has changed or is new since 2005? Best example so far would appear to be the Neues Museum which has been renovated and re-opened in 2009, are there any other examples of sights or attractions which she definitely couldn't have seen in 2005?
posted by SpacemanRed to Travel & Transportation around Berlin, Germany (7 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I went last year, and it was lovely - however I was going to warn you about visiting Museum Island, where the Neues Museum is, as some of the museums are still undergoing heavy renovation. I spent about two hours in a queue, it wasn't a great choice.

However, lots of things are new in the period since Mrs SpacemanRed's last visit, and lots of things are changed. Berlin is definitely getting gentrified since the mid-2000s, so some of the smaller grottier gallery spaces have changed or vanished. You might like http://www.buchstabenmuseum.de/en/, the museum of signs, and the new-ish train station Berlin Hauptbahnhof is... monumental and very much like a large train station? Impressively large food court. But also quite close to Hamburger Bahnhof, which you might enjoy. I would definitely recommend the Currywurst Museum, which was a lot of fun even though it was so close to Checkpoint Charlie and other tourist-trap places.

Hope you have a great time! Berlin in the Summer has a tradition of selling strawberries from these little huts, which I found to be a nice pick me up.
posted by The River Ivel at 5:37 AM on June 22, 2016

This isn't new, but Berlin has two of the 34 known Vermeer paintings currently viewable by the public, at the Gemäldegalerie. If she didn't go there / see them on her last trip, could this be the launching-off point of trying to see all 34 together? It's fun to be a tourist with a mission -- and you could also give her a Vermeer book as a birthday present on the flight there. (Suggesting this especially because it looks like your home base is the Netherlands, which has 7!).
posted by argonauta at 7:18 AM on June 22, 2016

Just wandering through Mitte should give you both some since-2005 gasps at new development.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 8:52 AM on June 22, 2016

From my last visit in winter 2013:

The DDR Museum (http://www.ddr-museum.de/en) opened in 2006.

I believe the Street Food Thursday weekly market in Kreuzberk (https://markthalleneun.de/street-food-thursday/) started up circa 2012 or 2013. Big selection of food vendors, wine and liqueur tastings, packed with people both times I went.
posted by 4rtemis at 9:40 AM on June 22, 2016

The permanent exhibits at the Topography of Terror opened in 2010.
posted by brujita at 10:59 AM on June 22, 2016

There's a new park at 'Gleis Drei Eck' which is just south of Potsdamer Platz, it's a great park.
Throughout the city there's much better food, lots of new restaurants (best to pick up 'Zitty' or even 'exBerliner' two magazines about the city (one German one English).)
Prenzlauer Berg is thoroughly gentrified. Which is good and or bad, depending on your outlook. Good, lots of new shops and restaurants, bad all the bullet holes left over from WW2 have been filled in and painted over and everything is twice as expensive.
There are, as always, a million and one terrific playgrounds.
Potsdamer Strasse just south of Potsdamer Platz has seen a relative boom of new galleries - the old printing press building has some very impressive spaces. In fact it would be worth doing a little research about who is showing what, when and where they are. This has, from my experience, been the greatest change. After years of it being artists go to work and live in expensively, there's enou money in the general economy to support galleries and something of a gallery economy. (Koenig's gallery in Kreuzberg in an old, brutalist church is worth going out of your way to see.)
Also, there are about a dozen shopping malls scattered around, each with the same stores. Not worth seeing, but if you need to buy something, kind of convenient.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:10 PM on June 22, 2016

Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauerstrasse.

RAW Gelände - a jumble of clubs, food and activities on an old industrial site with a flea market on the weekend. It's been around for awhile, but it has expanded a lot in the past few years. Very Berlin.

Tempelhofer Feld. An airfield that was closed in 2008. It has stayed exactly as it was, but it's now used for running, cycling, flying kites, picnics etc. Some interesting architecture and history there too.
posted by exquisite_deluxe at 2:48 AM on June 23, 2016

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