This one is a little bit controversial.
The well-known mascot of Berlin is a bear. It’s on the coat of arms and you can also see the colourful Buddy Bears are dotted all around the city which have fast become one of the most popular tourist souvenirs. However, many people are unaware that Berlin actually has some real bear mascots and they live at Märkisches Museum in a bear pit in Köllnischer Park. Their names are Maxi and Schnute and they are free to view when they want to be outside.
Now the controversial bit, their enclosure is a traditional bear pit and it’s tiny. There is no mistaking that these are big bears and I am not saying they are mistreated by the people who look after them, they look well fed (the public are encourages to bring food donations and there is a list of what they accept on the sign) but they do look scruffy and a little sad. I have no idea what a happy bear would look like but you know what I mean.
I think they are worth a visit while they are still there and hopefully they will be rehoused soon in a nice sanctuary where they have lots of space and if you want to get involved with their plight you can do so here