A secret Berlin: 5 things you really need to see

With its swanky architecture, creative vibes and outrageous parties, Berlin should definitely be on the top of your list. Since the fall of the famous Berlin wall (Berliner Mauer for you language folk), it’s become a place where “anything-goes” and by anything, they mean anything.

From Berghain to Aquadom this list will guide you through five of the best and most unusual sights of Berlin, starting with Spreepark.

Spreepark

Abandoned amusement park, Berlin (photographer: Jan Bommes)

Spreepark takes residence in the north of the Plänterwald in South East Berlin. It’s been abandoned for the last ten years now, and it doesn’t try to hide it. Every inch of the park is littered with the remnants of rides and life-sized dinosaurs, including a broken roller coaster leading into the mouth of a mysterious raving-rabid creature. But this doesn’t stop trails of explorers from venturing inside. A prominent setting in horror film “Hanna”, the park is admittedly difficult to enter but with the hop of a fence, anything is possible.

Berghain

Berghain at night (photographer: Michael Mayer)

Berghain is pure ecstasy in its physical form. It is a place of mystery, stimulation and hardcore booze, drugs and techno fuelled pleasure. A short walk from Berlin’s main station (Ostbahnhof), Berghain has made its mark worldwide, perhaps due to its exclusive selection process as well as its crazy powerful sound system. Literally anything DOES go there, so don’t be expecting any rules. Berghain has become a cultural icon, famous for being the techno capital of the current world but of course that all depends on if you can get in. Wear black. And lots of it. But don’t try and be something you’re not. Because they will know. The quite honestly terrifying bouncers will pry on each and every detail of your trying-not-to-be-edgy outfit. Click here to find out exactly how to get into Berghain. It opens at 10pm on a Friday night and stays open until 4am on Monday morning. Two final words: good luck.

AquaDom

Aquadom in the Radisson SAS hotel (photographer: Tobias Wutzow)

Berlin’s AquaDom is famous for being the world’s largest free standing aquarium in the world: standing at over 25 metres in height and 12 metres in diameter. Containing over one million litres of water, a coral reef and almost 2,600 fish, it really is a wonder to behold. Not a sight to be seen from ground-level, the ingenious attraction uses an elevator to allow guests a full 360 degree experience of the 56 species of fish as well as the divers who care for the tank. A visit to AquaDom promises you a real-life experience of a coral reef, so don’t miss out. I promise you won’t regret it.

Liquidrom

The large saltwater pool at Liquidrom (photographer: Aaron Muszalski)

Feel the future with a trip to the Liquidrom, where you can float around in a pool of saltwater amidst the rhythms of underwater techno. Designed by German architects GMP, the complex is shaped like an abstract tent erected so high it scrapes the Berlin sky. Ultra-modern spa facilities make up the Liquidrom, including an outsize sauna, an aromatherapy steam bath and a hot tub inspired by the Japanese hot springs. Offering a number of unusual yet soothing massage treatments, the Liquidrom’s centrepiece is the incredible salt water pool. Masses of neon lights filter into the dome, bringing colour and illumination into the dimly lit room. If you want to relax in the style of the future, you won’t want to miss this.

Design Panoptikum

Horn man

Design Panoptikum is a “surrealist” museum of industrial objects so, if you like quirky things, you’ll love this. Behind Torstaße is architect Vlad Korneev’s unique museum filled with a bizarre collection of crazy curiosities of the most eccentric kind. Amidst the shadowy rooms emerge an assortment of mechanical monsters made up of spare pasts and parts. Dolls, lamps and instruments of every industry come together to form a ghostly atmosphere beyond even a child’s imagination. For all things weird and wonderful, visit Design Panoptikum.

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