Sample the rich history, stimulate your mind in the many museums and dance until the sun comes up in one of the many nightclubs. A list of our favourite sights in Berlin.
When you think of Berlin, the first thing that springs to mind is the Berlin Wall. The wall that divided East and West Berlin fell in 1989 and has almost completely gone by now. Although you can still find remains of the 3.6-metre-high and 45-metre-long concrete division in some places in the city. For example, there is still a piece of the Berlin wall painted by artists at the East Side Gallery. The Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer - the Wall monument - and Checkpoint Charlie also give an impression of life in Berlin during the Cold War.
Who doesn’t know the Brandenburg Gate? This iconic gate on the Pariser Platz is a great object to photograph and has therefore become one of the most important sights in Berlin. You can find the gate at the end of Unter den Linden boulevard. This street is a treat to the eyes with a treasure of lovely buildings, such as the Alte Library, the prestigious Adlon Hotel and the Berliner Staatsoper. So a worthwhile walk.
Close to the Alexanderplatz you will find the Fernsehturm (television tower) of Berlin, the highest building in the city reaching 368 metres high. The tower can be seen from far beyond and is a prominent element in the Berlin skyline. Tip: for a view across the city, visit the Fernsehturm for an excellent 360-degree panorama of the German capital. You can see up to 42 kilometres in the distance on a clear day. Another nice tip: the Fernsehturm has a rotating restaurant, the Telecafé.
Sample the rich history of the city in the Reichstag, Germany’s parliament building. This stately building originates from the 19th century and was heavily damaged after the Reichstag fire. After the unification of Germany, the Reichstag was completely restored with the addition of a number of modern architectural elements, such as a striking glass dome. If you would like to add a visit to this popular site to your to-do list, then register for a visit well in advance.
Berlin is a fashionable city that is ahead of some European cities when it comes to trends. So it is a perfect place for fashionistas. You will find the more exclusive shops on the Friedrichstrasse and the Alexanderplatz has large department stores and electronic shops. A real touch of Berlin is the KaDeWe, nearby the Kurfürstendam (‘Ku’damm’). This enormous department store is so big you need a map to get round, unless you like getting lost that is.
This square near the chic Friedrichstrasse shopping street forms the beating heart of Berlin. This sight is a real eye-catcher and unmissable, even if only to enjoy a quiet moment at one of the lovely pavement cafés during your city trip. On the square you will find the Konzerthaus Berlin – the capital’s concert hall – with churches on two sides: the Französischer Dom and the Deutscher Dom. You have an amazing view from the steps of both churches.
This busy traffic intersection has been through a lot over the years. It was completely destroyed in World War Two. After that, the Berlin Wall was built right across it and when it fell, the square was completely renewed. The Potsdamer Platz now has a modern design with the Sony Center, shops and skyscrapers. Celebrities like to be seen here, so who knows, you may spot a star in the flesh.
You have to make some effort to reach Slot Charlottenburg, Berlin’s largest palace, which is located outside the city centre. But it’s worth your while, this 17th-century renovated palace contains a stunning collection of porcelain and paintings. And don’t skip the castle garden, it lies directly on the Spree, the river running passed Berlin. If you want to get the most of it, you will find a number of wonderful museums opposite the Charlottenburg.
The Holocaust Monument is not the most joyful location in the city but it is one of the most impressive sights of Berlin. With more than 2,700 concrete blocks, the monument commemorates the Jews that lost their lives in the Second World War. The artist did not provide an explicit explanation, but one thing is certain the monument leaves few untouched. You will find an exhibition under the field of blocks.
Berlin’s nightlife is unparalleled. The city is famous for its techno scene and clubs in empty buildings, infamous for the strict door policy. Parties often last all weekend and you can dance until the sun comes up. If you want to take it a bit easier, you will find enough to do in Berlin. You can visit concerts of all shapes and sizes and drink relatively cheap cocktails.