34 Chapters
Medium 9781628873009

1 The Best Full-Day, Two and Three-Day Tours

Donald Olson FrommerMedia ePub

The iconic Portlandia sculpture downtown is based on the city’s seal.

The Best in One Day

This full-day ramble starts in downtown Portland and ventures up into the West Hills, giving a great overview—literally—of the city’s top offerings. After swinging by the riverfront, you’ll probably want to trade your walking shoes for a streetcar or bus to reach the final few stops. START: MAX to Pioneer Courthouse/SW 6th Ave. or Pioneer Square South. Bus: 1, 12, 19, or 94 to Pioneer Courthouse Square.

❶ ★★ Pioneer Courthouse Square. “Portland’s living room” anchors downtown and embodies the Rose City itself in all its eclectic, endearing scruffiness and charm. It’s a place to people-watch and mingle, filled with shoppers, locals on lunch break, and everyone in between. You’ll almost always find some kind of outdoor event going on, be it a farmer’s market (Mon June–Oct), Italian food festival, rock concert, or sand castle–building competition. An information center and a TriMet ticket office are available to visitors. The graceful cupola of the Pioneer Courthouse at the east end of the square has been a Portland landmark since 1875.  15 min. Btw. SW 6th Ave., Broadway, Yamhill & Morrison sts. ☎ 503/223-1613. www.thesquarepdx.org. Visitor center Mon–Fri 8:30am–5:30pm, Sat 10am–4pm. MAX: Pioneer Courthouse. Bus: 1, 12, 19, or 94.

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3. The Best Neighborhood Walks: Potsdamer Platz, Alexander Platz, Museum Island,Kreuzberg, Kurfurstendamm, Unter den Linden

Donald Olson FrommerMedia ePub
This tour leads from the green expanse of Tiergarten to a forest of skyscrapers in Potsdamer Platz. Following the River Spree, take in the neoclassical grandeur of Schloss Bellevue and the modernist elegance of Haus der Kulturen der Welt. Ambling farther south brings you to Kulturforum’s stellar galleries showcasing Rembrandt and Picasso. START: S-Bahn to Tiergarten.   Siegessäule. One of Berlin’s most visible icons, the Siegessäule (Victory Column) towers above the Grosser Stern traffic circle and is crowned by a golden statue, nicknamed “Goldene Else” by Berliners. You need to get up close to this monument to Prussian war victories to appreciate its ornate murals and mosaics depicting the battles of the 19th-century Franco-Prussian and Austro-Prussian wars. Feeling sprightly? Hike up to the platform for vistas across the treetops to central Berlin. 30 min. Go to Page. S-Bahn: Tiergarten. Schloss Bellevue. Pass through the woodlands linking Grosser Stern to Schloss Bellevue. Stroll across the neatly clipped lawns to reach the three-winged facade of this beautiful baroque palace. Built in 1786 for Prince Ferdinand of Prussia, it has been the official residence of the German president since 1994. Supported by Corinthian columns, the gables are embellished with allegorical figures that represent agriculture, fishing, and hunting. 20 min. Go to Page. See All Chapters
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10. The Best Day Trips & Excursions

Donald Olson FrommerMedia ePub

Berlin’s petite Versailles, the opulent baroque summer palace of Schloss Charlottenburg, merits at least half a day of your time. Relive the splendor of the Hohenzollern dynasty in gilded state apartments and French gardens strewn with romantic follies. In the afternoon, explore genteel Charlottenburg, where galleries showcase Picasso, Art Nouveau, and Surrealist works. START: S-Bahn to Westend.

 

Schloss Charlottenburg. King Friedrich I of Prussia gave this not-so-humble abode to his sweetheart, Sophie Charlotte, as a token of his affection in 1699. The summer palace is the jewel in Berlin’s Hohenzollern crown and a feast of Italian baroque. The facade alone is breathtaking, partly modeled on Versailles and adorned with classical-style sculptures, including a bronze equestrian statue of the king. Most of the palace was rebuilt after being severely damaged during WWII. The staterooms are overwhelming, so concentrate on the Altes Schloss (Old Palace) where you can visit the Great Oak Gallery, an exquisitely carved, oak-paneled banquet hall completed in 1713, the crimson and gold Red Damask Chamber, and the king’s all-gold Bedchamber. The highlight is the Porcelain Room, brimming with 2,700 pieces of Chinese and Japanese porcelain, from cups to plates and vases. 1 hr. Spandauer Damm 10–22. 030-32-09-11. www.spsg.de. Admission 12€ adults, 7€ concessions. Apr–Oct Tues–Sun 10am–6pm, closed Mon; may be closed Nov–Mar, check website. S-Bahn: Westend.

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Medium 9781628870640

7. ON & OFF THE ROMANTIC ROAD

Donald Olson FrommerMedia ePub

7

ON & OFF THE ROMANTIC ROAD

For many travelers, Germany hits its high notes along the so-called Romantische Strasse, or Romantic Road, a scenic route that rambles through much of Bavaria. The 350km (220 miles) of specially marked lanes and secondary roads wind from the vineyard-clad hills surrounding Würzburg south through an unfolding panorama of beautiful landscapes interspersed with small medieval cities. To the south, the road rises through foothills covered with verdant pastures, lake-splashed countryside, and groves of evergreens to the dramatic heights of the Alps that divide Germany and western Austria. As if all this scenery weren’t enough, these final stretches of the road lead to Linderhof and Neuschwanstein, two of the fantasy castles built by the legendary King Ludwig II in the second half of the 19th century.

Officially, the scenic route the German government drew up after World War II takes in 28 towns and villages. We take a few liberties and veer off the Romantic Road to also include some fascinating nearby places that are too good to miss—among them Nürnberg, a city that all in one swoop encompasses medieval and Renaissance splendor, the horrors of World War II, and the successes of Germany’s postwar rebuilding. We also detour east to Regensburg, a little city that was untouched by the war and as result comprises one of Europe’s largest swaths of medieval architecture. In the south, we wander off the Romantic Road to take in a section of the Bavarian Alps around Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

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9 THE BEST HOTELS

Donald Olson FrommerMedia ePub

The Benson Hotel.

Downtown & Northwest Hotels

East Side Hotels

Hotel Best Bets

Best for Families

★ Embassy Suites Downtown $$$ 319 SW Pine St. (p 135)

Best Value

★ Portland International Guesthouse $ 2185 NW Flanders St. (p 138)

Best Historic B & B

★★★ Portland Mayor’s Mansion $$ 3360 SE Ankeny St. (p 138)

Best Splurge

★★★ The Nines $$$ 525 SW Morrison St. (p 138)

Best for Romance

★ Lion and the Rose Victorian B&B Inn $$ 1810 NE 15th Ave. (p 137)

Best Service

★★ Heathman Hotel $$$ 1001 SW Broadway (p 135)

Best Unusual Vibe

★★★ McMenamins Kennedy School $$ 5736 NE 33rd Ave. (p 138)

Best Hotel Restaurant

★★★ Hotel Modera $$ 515 SW Clay St. (p 136)

Best Hip Vibe

★★ Ace Hotel $$ 1022 SW Stark St. (p 135)

Best for Convenience to the Airport

★ Aloft Portland Airport at Cascade Station $$ 9920 NE Cascades Pkwy. (p 135)

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