Monday, 18 June 2012

Walking Berlin - Scheunenviertel

This is the first walking tour of Berlin designed for an approximate two hour walk with a toddler/preschooler, although it would be suitable for older children. We did it in this time and combined both using the stroller and my two year old son walking. We also didn't rush and took time to enjoy each spot for a reasonable amount of time. We also did the walk in the morning and ended with lunch.

Our starting point was Oranienburger Strasse S bahn station, where there is a lift to street level. From here we walked down Oranienburger Strasse to Tascheles,  an art centre used by an artists collective currently under threat of demolition. 

The building has an interesting historic past and is currently covered by colourful graffiti murals. We stopped here for a while and my son explored the inner courtyard area but we did not go into the sculpture area behind the main building. This spot may be more interesting for adults but the colourful exterior is exciting for the little ones. For more information click here

We then retraced our steps past the S bahn station and onto the Neue Synagogue. Again a building with an interesting past. The Synagogue was destroyed during the War but rebuilt in recent years. It now houses a Jewish cultural centre with an interesting museum on the ground floor. We didn't visit the exhibition this time, although it looked promising, but paid to go into the golden dome. I would only recommend this for able walkers as after the main lift to the dome you need to walk up 40 steps to the top and the last section is a spiral staircase (see picture below). The dome offers views across the area and a small information exhibition about the construction and reconstruction of the Synagogue.

It is important to note that there is heavy security around the building and your bag will be searched and you need to enter through a metal detector. It is, however, OK to take strollers in and there is an area to park them beyond the ticket office.

Next we had a bit of a run about in Monbijou Park, just a few meters up the road from the Neue Synagogue. This is a lovely green space running along the river Spree. 

For a quick break and a drink I recommend a breather at the Strandbar, Mitte, situated along the River Spree with great views of Museum Insel. You can relax on these wonderful deck chairs.

We had great fun watching the tourist boats going past and waving at the passengers.

Just behind the Strandbar back in the park is a great little playground and we blew off steam here for a while before heading back into the park and onto the next leg of the walk.

Final touristy spot was Hackesche Hofe, a courtyard complex again renovated after the fall of the Wall. The art deco architecture is interesting for all and the shops are worth a quick look but beware it can get busy with tour groups.

Finally we walked onto this great little playground on Auguststrasse for more play time....

 and then lunch in da Piadina.

The walk offered lots of variety for my son so he didn't get bored and also gave me the chance to see some of the sights of this area of Scheunenviertal.

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