what do I read here...an American who wants to go to Berlin? Very good idea, one of the most vibrant cities in Europe, maybe worldwide (though not economically..unfortunately!), and he'll get a good and not-too-short impression of Old-European-New-Germany. Which is something we all need...an in-depth look at each other in order to understand why things are as they are.
Ok, basically the list of NoUFO is what he should do, maybe a few additional remarks:
Reichstag - get inside and into the glass dome on the roof designed by Norman Foster..the Berliners hated it, when they heard about the idea, now that it is ready they love it!! preferably around evening, the look at Berlin Center and Pariser and Potsdamer Platz is spectacular!
Prenzlauerberg or Prenzelsberg - Don't know how old your brother is, but if he's 18+, then he should have a go at the pub and club scene, drive to Kollwitz Square and then go into the little streets around the square, looks still a little bit like after the war, but it's an absolute trendy in-area of Berlin, very groovy pubs and some clubs, even some "old east" flair. Bill Clinton did, when he visited Berlin twice, he actually loved it and he came back on his farewell tour in 2000!!
Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf - Ludwig-Kirch-Platz..very cool pub area, Savigny-Platz dito, especially under the s-bahn bridges! From there it's a short walk to the Schwarze Cafe, where you end the night...not to be entered before 3 in the morning if you don't want to be outed as an ignorant tourist
, but then the "Black Cafe" is the place where you want to be!!!
Schoeneberg - Winterfeldplatz, markets on saturdays, and nightlife 24 hours, and DON'T FORGET TO
HAVE A FALAFEL AT
HABIBI there, or more than one, or lots of!!!!!! This Plaza and the surrounding streets are Berlins gay center btw, it's absolutely safe, very beautiful, just in case he wonders why there are so many pretty men
No-go zones - all the old Western and Eastern lower class residential areas at the city border: Siemensstadt, Gropiusstadt, Hellersdorf, Marzahn...that's not nice really but there's nothing to see or to be done there, and if he goes there it's not really dangerous though I would watch out for Skinheads, these fu"gg"ed-up assholes live there and are an unpleasant lot, just get out of their way!
and another thing to do: a boat trip: Berlin is not only a very green city, that is, lots of parks, forests, trees and so on, but also a very wet one...many, many canals, Berliners love the water and a boat trip on a sunny day is a very nice thing to do!
Ok that's it for now, if I come up with more ideas I'll post some more!