The last time I visited Berlin was back in the early 90s, not long after the Wall was torn down. Berlin's cityscape was dominated by cranes and Potsdammer Platz was a bit of a construction site. How things have changed since then.
Potsdammer Platz now is a vibrant area with lots of shops, bars and restaurants and towering over it is the Manhattan style high-rise called Panorama Punkt with an observation deck and cafe on its top floor. My friends and I decided to take a look.
The lift that took us to the 24th floor in an ear-popping 20 seconds is the fastest in Europe. When you step out of the lift you enter the triangle shaped observation deck you have a 360 view of the entire city of Berlin and you can see pretty much all the famous sights and landmarks. Even with on the greyish day we had, we saw Brandenburg Gate, the Jewish memorial, the Reichstag and more from up there.
A multi-media open air exhibition tells you the history of Berlin and of Potsdammer Platz in particular. I don't think I know one square in the world with so much histories and so many stories. The exhibition shows you what role it played before, during and after the erection of the wall. You learn about its multiple transformation from from a quiet green to a vibrant square with luxury shops, to derelict landfill cross sectioned by the Berlin Wall into one of the trendiest parts of the city after it was torn down. We also came to realise that the Berlin Wall cut right through the spot where the Panorama Punkt building now stands. A few slabs of the wall, now decorated with love locks, are a reminder of this.
After our educational view from the top, rain clouds started moving in and we rushed into the Panorama Cafe where we finished off our visit to Panorama Punkt with a warm cup of coffee and a slice of freshly baked apricot tart. In my book, that is the best way to take in a city view.