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15 FUN THINGS TO DO IN BERLIN

Twenty-six years after the fall of the wall, Berliners are masters at finding new ways to enjoy themselves –if it’s possible, it’s probably happening in Berlin
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The grand 18th-century Brandenburg Gate has now come to symbolise German unity

PHOTOGRAPHS DAVID COTSWORTH

1 GO ON SAFARI

The abiding image of the fall of the Berlin Wall (aside from David Hasselhoff astride it like a yowling colossus) is the convoy of Trabants trickling into the West, horns tooting, occupants swigging sparkling wine and looking in turn euphoric and bewildered. Now, a convoy of a different kind trundles through the streets, one looking not for freedom but a few hours’ distraction. Nico Aimar has been a guide on these Trabant safaris for four years, helping tourists get to grips with the cars’ gears before edging out into the traffic. The vehicles creek past sites that have each played their part in Berlin’s uniquely complex history, from its 13th-century walls to the imposing Soviet-built Karl-Marx-Allee. Voice crackling through the in-car speaker, Nico keeps up a lively commentary about the city he’s called home for more than two decades. ‘I didn’t mean to stay so long,’ he confesses. ‘But you can live here forever and so much has happened and so much changes that you can never see everything. Where else in the world can you say that?’

• Trabant safaris from £25 per person; trabi-safari.de

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2 TAKE HOME A BIT OF OSTALGIE

An old teak wardrobe is wandering up the street. A closer inspection reveals two legs, and then an entire man panting beneath it. He has come from Trödelmarkt, a vintage market held each Sunday on a tree-lined square in Prenzlauer Berg. More wonders are ready to be unearthed. There are bright plastic egg cups beloved of DDR hausfraus; globes from the ’50s, a vast Soviet Union spreading round its curves; and giant letters from shops that last saw custom when Berlin was divided into East and West. Idle browsers pass a complete G Plan dining room, the table laid out as if someone is shortly expected for lunch, on their way to their own lunch appointments: currywurst and champagne from the market’s food van.

• 10am–4pm Sun; troedelmarkt-arkonaplatz.de

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