Despite its tumultuous past, Berlin’s multifaceted and unshakably rich persona and history have turned it into one of the most visited cities not only in Germany but also in Europe. Aside from its cultural flair, Berlin is also known for its distinct architecture, dynamic entertainment, shopping centers, and diverse art scene encompassing hundreds of unique attractions.
From hard-hitting memorials and museums to exhilarating nightlife, here are the must-see 15 attractions in Berlin for your next trip to Germany.
15 Best Tourist Attractions to Visit in Berlin
1. Brandenburg Gate
This is probably the most famous historical landmark in Berlin. Once a symbol of division, the Brandenburger Tor is now the token for peace and unity. Built for a commission by King Frederick Wilhelm II in 1788, the wall is inspired by the Acropolis of Athens.
2. The Reichstag
Just near the vicinity of the Brandenburg Gate is The Reichstag. It is the seat of the German Parliament and is considered to be a historical landmark.
Having experienced a great deal of damage during the Battle of Berlin, The Reichstag has not been fully restored until the Berlin Wall fell down.
Tip: The Reichstag offers magnificent views of Berlin from the glass dome at the top of the building. Register in advance in order to gain entry access.
3. Berlin Wall Memorial
The Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer is a memorial built to pay respects to the countless people who died while trying to get across the Berlin Wall during the Cold War.
Acting as a reminder of the hostility that once divided not only Europe but also the world, the four-meter-high wall used to extend 155 km (96 miles) but now only stretches 1.4 km (less than a mile).
4. Holocaust Memorial
The Holocaust Memorial is a hard-hitting tribute to the Jews who perished during World War 2. It consists of 2,711 concrete slabs (each varying in height and lengths) that covers over 250,000 square feet of land.
At the base of the memorial site, visitors can find diaries, letters, and photographs of Holocaust victims.
5. Jewish Museum Berlin
Established in 2001, the Jewish Museum Berlin houses historical artifacts and collections that show the struggle of Jewish Germans dating back to the Middle Ages until the present.
It also includes a massive library and gallery in which about 24,000 photographs were preserved and recovered.
6. Berlin Television Tower
Known as the Berliner Fernsehturm for German locals, the Berlin Television Tower is the tallest structure in all of Germany. It has an observation deck that offers a sweeping panorama view of the beautiful city.
Tip: Fancy a bite? You may also head on over to the site’s upscale restaurant just below the main observation deck.
7. Potsdamer Platz
This vibrant corner of Berlin served as a symbol for the reconnection of the two halves of the city. It is now filled with art, entertainment, and shopping centers where celebs often hang around.
8. Museum Island
Museum Island is a UNESCO world heritage site and is the home to Berlin’s most important and oldest museums—the Altes Museum, the Neues Museum, the Bode Museum, the Pergamon Museum and the Alte Nationalgalerie.
The collections at these exhibition centers comprise of pre-historic, ancient, and modern pieces of art.
Tip: Want to visit all these museums? It’s best to get a 3-day Berlin Museum Pass where you’ll have free admission to most of the exhibition centers located in the city.
9. German Historical Museum
Another must-visit tourist attraction in Berlin is the Deutsches Historisches Museum, or the German Historical Museum. It houses a wide range of artifacts from different periods and events as well as a cinema and a research library open for the public.
10. Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
The Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche is divided into two buildings—the tall concrete-and-glass structure and next to it, the striking ruins of the original Neoclassical tower that broke down.
Aside from being a religious centre, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church also serves as a war memorial, with art exhibits encompassing architectural remnants, mosaic remains, and photos.
11. Berlin Cathedral
Situated in the area where the Museum Island is located, the Berliner Dom is the largest church in the city and is split into three sections—the Baptismal and Nuptial Church, the Memorial Church, and the Parish Church.
The main highlights of the church include the Imperial Staircase and the Hohenzollern Crypt.
Tip: For magnificent views over Museum Island, climb the 270 steps up to the top of the church’s dome.
Dating back to the 17th century, the Gendarmenmarkt is one of the top attractions in Berlin.
It is a major public square where tourists can lounge at the numerous cafés and restaurants, shop at the various markets, attend a concert, or just simply watch as the world goes by.
Usually regarded as Germany’s own version of the Champs-Elysee in Paris, the Kurfürstendamm is Berlin’s most popular shopping boulevard. From fresh produce to expensive jewelry, it has everything both tourists and locals might want to purchase.
Did You Know? The largest department store in all of Europe, Kaufhaus des Westens, is situated along the Kurfürstendamm.
14. Charlottenburg Palace
Charlottenburg Palace is the largest and most significant palace in Germany. Constructed at the end of the 17th century, it used to be the primary residence of the German royalty but is now open for the public.
It boasts of both Rococo and Baroque decor, a massive central dome, beautiful gardens, and outdoor sculptures.
15. Grosser Tiergarten
Originally a royal hunting reserve, the Grosser Tiergarten literally translates to “Animal Garden.” The large expanse of land was now transformed into a public park.
It contains various historical monuments and statues such as the Victory Column and the Statue of Queen Louise.
5 Essential Travel Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Berlin Tour
In order to fully enjoy your trip to Germany, it’s important to know these 5 travel tips when visiting its capital city, Berlin.
1. Buy a Public Transportation Ticket
Berlin is a huge city. To save you both money (skip the taxi!) and time (you don’t want to miss your reservation!), get a public transportation ticket.
It gives you access to all public transportation in Berlin from the S-Bahn and U-Bahn to buses and even ferries.
2. Pay in Cash
Most restaurants and other commercial establishments in Berlin still don’t accept credit cards. It’s best to have enough cash on hand or ask if the stores accept cards.
Be sure to keep an eye on your wallet, though, as you may encounter pickpockets in the top attractions in Berlin.
3. Don’t Forget to Tip
In Berlin, most people practice tipping as it’s a way to say an extra “Danke” for the attentive service. Acceptable tips in restaurants are at least 10-15% but rounding up the bill is another way to go at it.
4. Embrace the Locals’ Directness
The Germans are known for their direct and straightforward personality. And depending on where you originally came from, this may come across as rude.
However, it’s perfectly normal for them to yell at someone or give you a chilling stare. Embrace it and you’ll see Berlin in a different light.
5. Brush Up on Some History
Berlin has a turbulent past. If you really want to pay homage to the city’s rich history, do your research and visit historical sites for an impactful visit.
Berlin is one of the most visited cities in Europe. Known for its flourishing art scene, vibrant nightlife, and rich history, it’s easy to know why this city tops the list of many tourists’ travel itineraries.
Berlin is the capital and biggest city of Germany, a Western European country soon to be a part of the ETIAS Visa Waiver. If you’re planning to tour Berlin sometime in the future, it’s best to know about the new travel regulations.
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