After I ran the NYC Marathon in November 2018, I found out about the Six Abbott World Marathon Majors and since then, I have made it my running goal! I was very fortunate and I was chosen from a huge lottery of thousands of people to run the 2019 Berlin Marathon! Which is also one of the six World Marathon Majors. The best part was that I entered the lottery as a group, and I was able to run this special race with my two best running gals! ❤
Fun Fact: Did you know that if you run the six Abbott World Marathon Majors you get a special medal? And that there are only 6,611 people in the world that have achieved this!?! (March 2020)
On Sunday, September 29, 2019 we ran this amazing marathon with 40,000+ people from around the world! It rained a bit, but it was so much fun to run our first international race!
After getting some rest and recovering from the race, it was time to explore the city! There are so many great things to see in Berlin, but here are a few that we enjoyed visiting:
Things to see:
Brandenburg Gate: This 18th-century neoclassical gate is one of the best-known landmarks of Berlin. It was built to mark the start of the road from Berlin to the town of Brandenburg an der Havel.
Fun Fact: This is NOT the last part of the marathon, you still have a little more to go but it feels like forever!
Reichstag Building: This building was built in 1894 and housed the German federal parliament until 1933 because of a damaging fire. It was refurbished through the years but in 1999, it became the meeting place of the German parliament. You can take a tour and go inside for free, but you can only do so by reserving online or going a day before in person with an ID to schedule a reservation. Totally worth it!
Museum Island: This district houses six major museums including, The Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Bode Museum, Pergamon Museum and Humboldt Forum.
Berlin Cathedral: Also known as Berliner Dom, started as a Roman Catholic church in the 15th century and since 1817 it has been the Evangelical Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church. It is located on Museum Island and it is absolutely breathtaking! But the real treat is the spectacular view of Berlin’s city center when you climb the 270 steps up to the dome’s terrace!
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe: Also known as the Holocaust Memorial, is a memorial in Berlin to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. It consists of a 200,000 sq. ft. site covered with 2,711 concrete slabs arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field.
Berlin Wall Memorial: This monument was created in 1998 to commemorate the division of Berlin by the Berlin Wall and the deaths that occurred there.
Check Point Charlie: This spot was given this name by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War.
Berliner Fernsehturm: This famous landmark is a television tower located near Alexanderplatz. You can go all the way to the top, 203 meters (666 Ft.) high and checkout a breathtaking 360° view of the city. Tickets are about €20 for the observation dock or you can grab a bite and a beer at Bar 203, the highest panorama bar in Berlin!
Gendarmenmarkt: Is a square that is made up of the Französischer Dom (French Church), which has a viewing platform, a restaurant and a Huguenot museum, Deutscher Dom (German Church), which is now museum of German history and Konzerthaus, Berlin’s orchestra hall that houses the Berlin Symphony.
Victory Column: Is a famous monument that was built to commemorate the Prussian victory in the Danish-Prussian War in 1873. You can also go up to catch a panoramic view.
Fun Fact: This is the first Berlin landmark you pass by during the Berlin Marathon!
Where to eat:
Every time I travel, I always check to see if the city I am visiting has a restaurant from the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list; so lucky for me, Berlin did! The day before the marathon, we decided to dine at Restaurant Tim Raue and tried their 6 course Asian-Fusion lunch menu. The experience was great!
We accidentally stumbled upon Zollpackhof after the marathon, and it was the perfect place to have an authentic German meal and beer! Prost! The décor truly gives you that German feel, but it’s nice and modern at the same time, and the food was delicious!
I hope that once this quarantine is over, you will be ready to visit this cosmopolitan city filled with history!