Plane crazy: Berlin's jet-spotting experience
An aeroplane plunges from the sky and heads straight towards you, engines howling. For a moment you wonder if it's about to scrape the top off a nearby apartment block, but oddly, no one else seems to even notice.
Kurt-Schumacher-Platz is located just yards from the runways of Berlin's inner-city Tegel Airport, a fact which instantly transforms this nexus of busy highways, a rudimentary shopping mall and run-of-the-mill cafes into a place that's actually very exciting indeed.
Truly dedicated plane-spotters head for the nearby (and aptly-named) Meteorstrasse, a semi-deserted road parallel to the airport grounds.
Here, you're treated to uninterrupted views of the landing strip (above left), a sight that's particularly spectacular as night falls, guide lights glitter, and the vast underbellies of flying tin cans whoosh directly overhead.
Others prefer to linger on the Platz itself, where the sense of potential cataclysm as planes hurtle towards bustling crowds adds extra frisson to the drama.
Yet another look-out point is the shopping centre roof, where a spacious car park (complete with beachless 'beach bar') provides stirring views of the incoming aircraft.
Trust us - you don't have to be an aviation geek to revel in this jet-powered extravaganza, and although Kurt-Schumacher-Platz isn't the city's most central location, an adjoining Metro station makes for a relatively straightforward excursion.
Quite planely a Berlin must.
Kurt-Schumacher-Platz, 13405 Berlin on the U6 Metro line. Meteorstrasse is located just a few minutes' walk from the Metro station.