36 Hours in Berlin

On Nov. 9, 1989, the East German government made a surprising announcement: It was easing up travel restrictions on its citizens. East Berliners flocked to the nearest border crossings at the Berlin Wall, especially at Checkpoint Charlie, the famed crossing between the divided Berlins. Not long after that, Berliners from the east and west began chipping away at the literal and metaphorical wall that had separated them for nearly three decades, since the Soviet-backed East German government erected the concrete slabs that split the city in two. The Cold War was over. Well, sort of. Today in Berlin you can still go back to that world by eating and drinking in restaurants and bars dedicated to the German Democratic Republic — G.D.R. for short, or D.D.R. in the local parlance — as well as learn about the former East Berlin via fascinating museums, architecture and shops.

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