It might be a bit stereotypical to focus on the Berlin Wall on my first post about the city, but I think you’re ignoring the elephant in the room if you don’t mention it.
This wall shaped everything in the city and in the divided country, for decades. The side you lived on dictated the car you drove, the clothes you wore and the rights you had. Being a member of Amnesty International, I can get a bit preachy about this kind of thing, but it was incredibly weird to explore the city without that boundary stopping you, yet knowing it was there all the time.
Here’s a photo essay from the less than attractive parts of the wall – the ones that haven’t been turned into cool murals or the East Side Art Gallery. The ones that just sit there and make you think.
If you get the chance to visit Berlin then, by all means see all the cool stuff like the Currywurst Museum and the shops and Museum Island, but don’t ignore the wall. It’s one of the most important parts of your trip, however uncomfortable it might make you. As for the nicely decorated sections? They’ll get their own post later.