The capital of Germany is a city that has been wounded, destroyed, rebuilt and become protagonist of the history of Europe and the world of the last 60 years. Also famous for the wall that divided it into two parts, from the post-war period to 1989, Berlin was able to re-evaluate and rediscover its treasures of the history of humanity, hidden from this dark period. Today Berlin is also known as one of the capitals of electronic music, design and fashion.
Urban reconstruction has allowed the city to resurrect with avant-garde architecture, although Gothic and post-war ruins survive here and there. If you are planning a visit to the German city, here are the ones 10 things not to miss in Berlin.
- The Reichstag
- The wall
- Checkpoint Charlie
- Brandenburg Gate
- Museum Island - Pergamonmuseum
- Il Duomo
- Holocaust Memorial
- Alexanderplatz and TV Tower
- Hamburger Bahnhof
- 5 things to do in Berlin
- User questions and comments
1 - The Reichstag
One of the symbols of the city and an unmissable destination for every visit, this building recalls the fall of Nazism. This is where the German parliament is located and, like almost all Berlin monuments and buildings, preserves the testimonies of the Second World War. From one of the windows of this building, in 1918, the birth of the German Republic was proclaimed. The palace came almost completely destroyed by fire in 1933 and, during the war, it was also used as a clinic for new births. After the fall of the Wall, precisely on October 2, 1990, the official ceremony of reunified Germany was celebrated inside.
The halls of the Parliament can be visited free of charge as long as you register online a few days before. There is also the possibility of participating in private guided tours that include both the palace and the famous Glass Dome, or dine in the panoramic Käfer restaurant, located on the terrace of the structure, where you can admire the iconic glass dome up close.
- Platz der Republik, Metro S-Bahn S1 and S2, Unter den Linden stop. Bus 100 - Get directions
- open every day from 8:00 to 24:00. If you intend to visit the building, you need to book online at least 2 days in advance
- Free, free visit
2 - The Wall
On November 9, 1989, the infamous Berlin Wall was demolished. It was not only a material fact but also ideological and political, like the divisions that split in two, for 18 years, not only Berlin but the whole of Germany. The Wall stretched for 170 km and was 10 meters high, divided the American and the Soviet part of the city. It was impossible to cross the border, as evidenced by the hundreds of dead who tried in vain. To date, only 1 km of concrete remains intact in the city. In 1990, to celebrate the reunification of Germany, dozens of artists decorated the Wall with murals and works of art, which later became famous all over the world. The wall full of murals is known as the East Side Gallery.
- Mühlenstraße, Metro U-Bahn lines 3, 5, 7, 9 and 75, Warschauer Straße stop. Buses 248, 165, 265 and N65 - Get directions
- always open
- Free, free visit
Visit the wall with a guide: The Berlin Wall is probably the city's best known and most representative attraction. Visiting it independently can make you lose much of the historical sense, and it would be a real sacrilege. For this reason, for a more complete and immersive experience, we strongly recommend visiting the wall with a guided tour on foot or by bicycle.
3 - Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie is a purely touristic reconstruction of the truth place of passage which allowed to move from East Berlin to West Berlin, and vice versa. The original checkpoint was armored and controlled by the American military, it is located between Friedrichstraße and Zimmerstraße. Once the Wall was destroyed, Checkpoint Charlie was also dismantled, but tourists can still be photographed alongside a (fake) Soviet or American soldier respectively.
It is highly recommended to combine the visit of the attraction to the nearby Berlin Wall Museum, here you will find more information for the combined experience.
- Friedrichstraße 43-45, Metro U-Bahn stop Friedrichstraße - Get directions
- always open (the Berlin Wall Museum is also nearby, open from 9:00 to 22:00)
- Free, free visit
4 - Brandenburg Gate
Another symbol of Berlin is the famous Brandenburg Gate, the emblem of the division of the two Germanys at the time of the Cold War. Once the Wall fell, it became the image of the nation once again united. It was designed by Carl Gotthard Langhans in 1791, is a neoclassical building and consists of twelve columns topped by the famous Quadriga by Johann Gottfried Schadow.
- Pariser Platz, Metro S-Bahn lines 1, 2 and 25, Brandenburger Tor stop - Get directions
- always open
- Free, free visit
5 - The Museum Island - Pergamonmuseum
A long avenue leads from the Brandenburg Gate to the so-called Berlin Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are 5 museums concentrated on this river island, we recommend not to miss the Pergamonmuseum.
It is an imposing building which retains its interior evidence of different historical periods, from the Roman Empire to Ancient Greece, from the Middle East to the parts dedicated to Anterior Asia and Islamic Art. It is the most popular on Museum Island, and in general among the most visited in Berlin, therefore queues can be quite long.
- Bodestraße, Metro U-Bahn U6, stop Friedrichstrasse, Metro S-Bahn S1, S2, S25, stop Friedrichstrasse or S5, S7, S75, stop Hackescher Markt. Tram M1, 12, stop Kupfergraben, M4, M5, M6, stop Hackescher Markt - Get directions
- open every day from 10:00 to 18:00, Thursdays until 20:00
- around € 12,00 (the 3-day Museum Pass is also available at € 29,00 which opens the doors to all museums on the Museum Island)
Purchase the Museum Pass: If you intend to visit the other museums on the island and others in Berlin, absolutely buy the Museum Pass, you will save a considerable amount and will have 3 days at your disposal to visit the main museums of the city. It costs around € 29,00 and can be purchased online. Included museums include Hamburger Bahnhof, The Jewish Museum, Alte National Galerie, Science Center Spectrum and more. Alternatively, choose the Berlin WelcomeCard which, in addition to the entrance to the museums, also includes transport.
6 - The Cathedral
The Berlin Cathedral is located a short distance from Museum Island and dates back to 1904, the result of a renovation commissioned by Emperor Wilhelm II. The current cathedral was intended to adequately reflect the greatness of the Lutheran religion as well the prestige of the royal dynasty. The building is 114 meters long, 73 wide and 116 high and at its top there is a large copper dome, decorated inside with paintings depicting scenes from the New Testament and the Reformation period. It is also possible to reach the top of the dome, along 270 steps: from here you can admire the whole city. Inside, visitors can appreciate the high altar, an imposing one Sauer organ of 7.000 pipes and the Hohenzollern Crypt.
- Am Lustgarten, Metro S-Bahn 5, 7 and 75, Alexander Platz stop - Get directions
- open from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 20:00, Sunday and holidays from 12:00 to 20:00, in the period from October to March it closes at 19:00
- full € 7,00, free up to 18 years
7 - Holocaust Memorial
The history of the city is indelibly linked to the sadly known events of the Second World War and Nazism. This is why the Holocaust Memorial stands in the center, memorial dedicated to European Jews who were victims of the Holocaust.
The area is covered with 2711 concrete blocks of different heights, from 20 cm up to almost 5 m. The result is a labyrinthine structure, narrow and almost irritating to those who walk through it. There is also a permanent exhibition which aims to retrace some stories of Jewish families.
The memorial is the pinnacle of guided tours in the footsteps of the Third Reich, recommended for discovering even the lesser known details of the history of Nazism in Germany and Europe.
- Cora-Berliner-Straße, Metro S-Bahn, stops Brandenburger Tor or Potsdamer Platz, Metro U-Bahn, stops Potsdamer Platz or Mohrenstraße - Get directions
- the monument is always open, the Information Point and the Museum are open from April to September from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 20:00, from October to March from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 19:00
- Free, free visit (€ 3,00 per audio guide)
8 - Alexanderplatz and TV Tower
È the most famous square and frequented by both Berliners and visitors. The square itself cannot be said to be an example of splendid architecture, it is rather messy and hectic. It is also an important hub for city traffic: in fact 20 bus and tram lines pass through here. Recognizing it is simple, iconic is in fact the presence of the Television Tower, 365 meters high and open to visitors up to about 200 meters high, the tallest structure in Western Europe.
The TV Tower is one of the symbols of the city, therefore, to visit it is often necessary to spend a lot of time in line. This is why we recommend purchasing a priority access ticket.
- Alexanderplatz, Metro S-Bahn lines 5, 7 and 75, stop Alexander Platz or Metro U-Bahn lines 5, 8 and 2, stop Alexander Platz - Get directions
- the TV Tower can be visited from March to October from 9:00 to 24:00, from November to February from 10:00 to 24:00
- full € 11,00, up to 16 years € 7,00
9 - Tiergarten
Like all big cities, Berlin also has its own large urban park, ideal for a few moments of relaxation in the open air. The Tiergarten covers 210 hectares and includes trails, lakes and large meadows, also populated by different species of animals and plants.
Berliners use it for jogging and to spend their lunch break. Inside the park are the famous Berlin Zoo and the imposing Victory Column, at the top of which is the winged statue.
- Großer Tiergarten, metro U-Bahn lU1, stop Kurfürstenstraße, U2 stop Postdamer Platz - Get directions
- always accessible
- Free, free visit
10 - Hamburger Bahnhof
It is a former railway station transformed into a museum that houses contemporary art masterpieces. Here there are many works by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein but also by Keith Haring, Anselm Kiefer and many others.
The Hamburger Bahnof is also included in the Museum Pass, a special 3-day card that opens the doors to all the most important museums in the city.
- Invalidenstraße 50-51, metro U-Bahn U6, stop Naturkundemuseum, metro S-Bahn S3, S5, S7 and S75, stop Hauptbahnhof - Get directions
- open from 10:00 to 18:00 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, until 20:00 on Thursdays, from 11:00 to 18:00 on Saturdays and Sundays.
- full € 8,00, reduced € 4,00
5 things to do in Berlin/5
- Stroll along the East Side Gallery
- Take a coffee break at the House of Small Wonder
- Relax in the Babelsberg Park
- Watch the sunset over the bridge between Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg and Treptow-Köpenick with the Molecule Man in the background
- Take a picture of the yellow train passing over the Oberbaum Bridge
Plan your stay in Berlin
There are about 1.000 hotels in the city, divided into different categories and for every budget. Not just hotels. you can choose to stay at hostels and apartments for rent. In the central area of Berlin there are large panoramic buildings where you can rent a room for around € 40,00 per night, or small, very modern hotels with prices around € 100,00. If you want to save even more you can also choose a more peripheral arrangement, as Berlin is excellently served by metro, bus and tram.