Berlin, the capital city of Germany, is one of the most stunning cities in Europe, and among the must-include places in Germany tour packages. Once the symbol of the Cold War, this German capital is now a cultural city always on the move and a budget traveler’s paradise as the city offers something for every kind of traveller from vivacious nightlife to more than 170 world-class museums, art galleries, and philharmonics, and historical buildings. Besides, the restaurant scene is dizzyingly diverse, and shopping here is a white-knuckle experience all in itself. Whatever your interests, we came up for you with a list of some of the must-visit tourist attractions in Berlin here just go through it before planning your trip to this vibrant capital city of Germany.
The Rebuilt Reichstag
The Rebuilt Reichstag is a historic building in Berlin and among the prominent places to visit in Berlin. Opened in 1894, this building served as the home of the German Empire’s Imperial Diet until it burned in 1933. Later, it was rebuilt and finally became the home of the German Parliament in 1999. The Reichstag is not only home to the German Government but also home to one of the most impressive glass domes in all the world! This glass dome was created not only for the view but also represents transparency and Germany’s united democracy. Open to the public, visitors can head inside the dome and enjoy the superb views of the surrounding city, especially at night from the Rooftop Restaurant.
The Brandenburg Gate, an 18th-century neoclassical monument, is the most famous historic landmark in Berlin with over two hundred years of history. Designed on the lines of the Propylaea in Athens’ Acropolis, this impressively large Neoclassical gate was commissioned by King Frederick Wilhelm II in 1788. This 26m tall sandstone monument standing in the Mitte district’s Pariser Platz near the Reichstag building became a site of protest during the division of Germany and a place of celebration when the wall fell in 1989. The gate was severely damaged in World War II and underwent extensive renovation in the early 2000s. Today it is fully restored and is the symbol of not only the turbulent history of the region but also the reunification of East and West Berlin, Now, it is home to many of the city’s important buildings like embassies, and five-star hotels, and high-end boutiques. Visiting the Brandenburg Gate at night is a special treat and is one of the top things to do in Berlin.
Located on Museum Island, Berlin Cathedral is one of the largest and most imposing churches in Berlin, among the top places to visit in Germany. It is the oldest architectural structure that was first built as a parish church in 1465, which was severely damaged during World War II. However, it has been restored to its present structure in the year 1993. Built-in the New Baroque style, the building is the largest church in Berlin and is divided into three main sections- the Memorial Church, the Baptismal and Nuptial Church, and the Parish Church. The most striking feature of the cathedral is the 75-meter-high green dome and the Dome’s organ containing over 7000 pipes, which is one of the largest in the whole of Germany. Another popular feature is the Hohenzollern Crypt, which contains nearly 100 sarcophagi, coffins, and monuments from the 16th to 20th centuries. One can also see the Imperial Staircase, decorated with bronze cornices and 13 tempera paintings by Berlin landscape painter Albert Hertel in 1905.
Sandwiched between the River Spree and the Kupfergraben in a 400-meter-long canal, Museum Island, also known as Spree Island, is one of the must-include places in Berlin tour packages. The island is home to a unique collection of galleries and museums within its five temple-like buildings. With its treasures spanning 6,000 years of human history, Museum Island was given UNESCO World Heritage status in 1999. Here, one will find many of Berlin’s important museums, including the Old Museum (Altes Museum), built in 1830 to house the Crown Jewels and other royal treasures, the New Museum, the Old National Gallery, the Bode Museum, and the city’s most popular museum, the Pergamon Museum. Opened in 1930, Pergamon Museum is the newest, but one of the most popular museums in Europe as it houses a world-class collection of Greek and Roman classical antiquities, along with an impressive collection of Middle Eastern Art.
The Berlin Wall Memorial
The Berlin Wall Memorial is one of the top attractions and well-known historical places to visit in Berlin. It was built in 1961 when East Germany sealed off that behalf of the city to prevent citizens from fleeing to West Germany. The four-meter-high wall extended 155 kilometers, dissected 55 streets, and possessed 293 observation towers and 57 bunkers. However, it was torn down in 1989, and only a 1.4 km stretch is preserved as part of the Berlin Wall Memorial which stands as a chilling reminder of the animosity that once divided Europe. The remnants along with the Documentation Centre provide insight into factual data about the fortification and how it shaped the lives of the people on each side of it. Be sure to also check out the Window of Remembrance and the Visitor Center with views over the remains of the wall. Another section of the Berlin Wall Memorial that is popular is the East Side Gallery on the Spree river, which has many famous graffiti sections.
Berlin Television Tower
Standing 368 meters tall on Alexander Platz, Berlin Television Tower is Berlin’s most prominent landmark and the tallest building in Germany. The tower was constructed in 1969 by the government of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), which was intended to be both a symbol of Communist power and of the city. Locally known as the Berliner Fernsehturm, this tower is visible throughout the central and some suburban districts of Berlin. One can take an elevator up to the 200-meter-high observation deck and viewing platform that offers magnificent views of the bustling Berlin City. Also, one can enjoy a beer at the Panorama Bar or even eat at the revolving Sphere Restaurant that slowly revolves around to give you a 360-degree view of Berlin. Celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020, it is one of the most visited tourist places in Berlin that has been attracted over 60 million visitors.
Charlottenburg Palace Gardens
Located a little outside the center of Berlin city, the 17th-century Charlottenburg Palace is the largest in Germany. Constructed in the year 1695, it was once the primary residence of German royalty. This massive palace has many extraordinary features, including a massive 50-meter-high central dome, opulent Baroque and Rococo décor throughout its expansive rooms, and a large garden that was inspired by the gardens at Versailles. Visitors can get a glimpse of the splendor in which the Prussian Kings and Electors lived, from Frederick I’s bedroom and study with their fine furnishings and paintings, to the State Dining Room and 42-meter-long Golden Gallery with its rich, gilded stucco. Also, don’t forget to visit the Tea House and the Orangery in the palace gardens.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Situated near Brandenburg Gate, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is one of Berlin’s most popular monuments. Also known as Holocaust Memorial, it is dedicated to the Jewish victims who lost their lives in genocide by Nazi Germany along with its few collaborators during World War II. Designed by architect Peter Eisenman and Buro Happold, it is made of 2,711 concrete rectangular slabs that cover 19,000 square meters of uneven ground. Also, there is an information center below the sprawling memorial that exhibits the letters, diaries, recordings, and biographical details of Holocaust victims attracting tourists from all over the world.
Gendarmenmarkt is a 17th-century square situated between Under den Linden and Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin. It is one of Berlin’s largest squares and among the top Berlin tourist places. It is dominated by three historic landmark buildings- the Konzerthaus, the French Cathedral, and the German Cathedral. The French Cathedral is home to the Huguenot Museum, and the German Cathedral exhibits the history of the German Parliament. This old square hosts several public events every year, including classical concerts on the steps of the Konzerthaus theater in the summer. The entire place becomes the city’s famous Christmas Market during winter. At the center of the square, there is a monumental statue of the great poet Friedrich Schiller surrounded by four female figures who represent the artistic elements of Lyric Poetry, Drama, History, and Philosophy.
Another iconic landmark in Berlin, The Oberbaum Bridge is a beautiful double-decker bridge spanning over the river Spree in Berlin. The lower deck of the bridge carries a roadway whereas the upper carries the U-Bahn. It is one of the most photographed places in Berlin with a pleasing view of the city. Built-in 1895, this bridge is connected to the districts of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. During the cold war between 1961 to 1989, it was used as a checkpoint between East and West Berlin and has become an important symbol of Berlin’s unity. One can cross the bridge on foot, but the best views are further along the Spree river.
Santhi is an avid traveler and primary contributor to the blogs at Trawell.in. She has explored most of the states in India and gained vast knowledge on tourist destinations in India and abroad. She also contributes content to other travel websites.