The German capital is deservedly popular with tourists from all over the world. Berlin is visited by more than 25 million visitors annually. The sights of Berlin attract a variety of travelers, because here everyone will find a truly interesting place according to personal preferences. The impressions and pictures from a trip to the center of united Europe will broaden your horizons and explore the cultural heritage of the great country. If you’re traveling without a guide, a brief overview of Berlin’s cultural and recreational attractions will give you an idea of what to see in Berlin.
No matter how much you want to “see everything”, it is better to choose excursions in Berlin, the program of which is not overloaded with tourist sites. Then there will be an opportunity to appreciate each place you will visit. As an option - to start exploring the city on your own, but for this you should determine in advance the points of the route and provide time for rest.
This is probably the most recognizable place of all the sights in Germany. Most tours of modern Berlin begin here. The majestic palace of German statehood, built in 1894, has witnessed all the historical events that have shaped the fate of modern Germany. The building of the German Parliament has repeatedly been subjected to destruction, it was severely damaged in a fire in 1933 and as a result of the bombing in 1945 was practically destroyed. However, after several reconstructions the building regained its original appearance, there was also restored grand glass dome, where is a unique observation deck, available to tourists. From here on a clear day you can see the sights of Berlin in all their glory.
To visit the building of the Parliament of Germany, you must first register on the official website of the Reichstag and show the received data at the entrance. Without this formality to enter and see with a tour of the premises from the inside will not work.
Official website: http://www.bundestag.de/en/
The classic arch of the Brandenburg Gate was designed by architects to be the Gate of Peace, but ironically German soldiers were sent through it to war. A foursome of horses, driven by the goddess of victory, crowns the twelve columns. As such, the Brandenburg Gate became a symbol of a united Germany and was replicated on millions of postcards, scattered around the world. Tourists pondering what to see in Berlin head through these gates to the famous Linden Alley and explore the historic sites. In photos of this part of the city, the Brandenburg Gate is sure to be in the frame, bringing color to the landscape of the German capital.
Official website: https://www.berlin.de/en/
An island in the middle of the Spree River is home to five Berlin museums. This historical complex began its development from the first building, built in 1830, called the Old Museum, which presents an exhibition of ancient statues, weapons and ancient Greek jewelry. Later, the New Museum was also built, with papyrus specimens and exhibits of ancient Egyptian art. The Old National Gallery, opened in 1876, will be of interest to lovers of impressionism, works of the famous Berliner Menzel are also on display here, you can also admire the Roman frescoes. Later, at the beginning of the 20th century, the Bode Museum opened its doors to visitors, presenting Byzantine art and sculpture from Germany and Italy in the early Middle Ages. In 1930, the Pergamon Museum was founded, exhibiting Islamic art and samples of the culture of Western Asia.
You can get to Museum Island via a pedestrian bridge, nicknamed the bridge from the present to the past.
An ugly fence of concrete over three meters high, entangled with barbed wire, about 160 kilometers long separated West Berlin from Democratic Germany in 1961 and stood for 28 years, dividing the German people into two hostile states. In November 1989, after the liberalization of the border regime between West Germany and East Germany, the Berlin Wall ceased to be a symbol of separation; it was adorned with graffiti by street artists and the fragments of the demolished structure were dispersed around the world.
Today, the reconstructed 800 m long piece of wall on Bernauerstrasse has become a monument to the unity of the people of all of Germany, which cannot be destroyed by artificial obstacles. The sights of Berlin include the wall in their list as a must-see monument to the end of the Cold War. A unified Berlin is developing and getting better, and the remains of the wall are a reminder of the times of the Iron Curtain and that lessons must be learned from historical events.
Official website: http://www.berliner-mauer
What to see in Berlin not to regret the paid admission tickets? Pergamon, of course!
Germany’s most visited museum was named after its main exhibit, the Pergamon Altar, found during excavations in the lands of the eponymous kingdom, which existed in 290-120 B.C. on the territory of modern Turkey (now the city of Bergama). By the way, the Turkish government periodically declares the desire to return this artifact to its original territory. In addition to the Pergamon Altar of Zeus, the museum features:
To see architectural fragments of Ottoman palaces, Roman market gates, mosaics, Assyrian reliefs, the hoard of Troy, the Babylonian gate of Ishtar, a collection of oriental carpets can be seen in one place - in Pergamon.
Official site: https://www.smb.museum
The Berlin Wall Checkpoint between the Soviet and Allied zones is an unassuming booth, but it is also a famous place listed as a landmark in Berlin, symbolizing the confrontation of ideologies. The military and diplomats moved through this checkpoint. It was here that Soviet tanks stood in 1961, fortunately they did not open fire. The checkpoint got its name from the alphabetical coding of Americans (A for alpha, B for bravo, C for Charlie), these three checkpoints were used by US citizens.
Not far from the checkpoint is the Berlin Wall Museum, where numerous exhibits tell the story of how Berliners attempted to bypass the official points of passage from East to West.
Official website: https://www.berlin.de/en/
The royal residence, erected at the end of the 17th century, was named after Sophia Charlotte, wife of the Prussian Elector Friedrich I. The exquisite palace complex is surrounded by a magnificent regular-style park. Elegant staircases, conservatories, the Karp Pond, a variety of statues, graceful bridges, century-old linden trees and flower beds create a unique atmosphere where Berliners love to stroll and do sports. The free access to the park enables you to enjoy the well-tended parkland, the shady lanes provide a refuge from the hustle and bustle of the city and allows you to listen to the birds sing.
The palace-museum opens its doors for tourists to get acquainted with the luxurious interiors, decorations of the royal chambers, an extensive collection of porcelain.
During the Second World War, the palace and park ensemble of Charlottenburg was seriously damaged, but thanks to the efforts of restorers managed to restore the beauty and uniqueness of this cultural heritage site for all who are interested in the historical sites of Berlin.
Official website: https://www.spsg.de/en
The majestic Protestant temple was erected for 11 years in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It was intended to be the main church for all Lutherans. The baroque building of the cathedral solemnly rises on Museum Island, and the interior decoration is not oppressive as in most Catholic cathedrals, but invites visitors to examine details of sculptures, stained-glass windows and paintings with themes from the Bible. Representatives of the Hohenzollern dynasty are buried in the cathedral’s tomb.
A creation of the famous master Sauer, the magnificent organ, fills the cathedral with the sounds of music. Regular organ concerts are held in the cathedral, and connoisseurs note the excellent acoustics of the premises.
Visitors to the temple often go up to the observation deck under the dome to see for themselves that it is possible to look at the surrounding views in Berlin from different vantage points.
Official website: http://www.berlinerdom
The Gendarmenmarkt is rightly called the most beautiful square in the German capital. The three architectural masterpieces around its perimeter - the Concert Hall, the French Cathedral and the German Cathedral, also recorded as Berlin’s landmarks - frame the space with dignity, where market trade has been going on since the 18th century. At first it was the Lime market, then the New Market, and only then the War Market (in honor of the cavalry unit quartered nearby). Gendarmes, mentioned in the name, in this case are not policemen, but simply representatives of the army.
Depending on the time of year, Gendarmenmarkt hosts Christmas fairs, art performances, exhibitions, and events. It concentrates reputable restaurants and drinking establishments. So you can always spend your free time in culture and admire the well thought-out organization of the area.
Official website: https://www.berlin.de/en
The Berlin Zoological Garden opened in 1844 and has since grown into the largest animal husbandry and breeding center in terms of the number of species represented. Its compact interior of 35 hectares represents more than 1,500 animal species. There are no cages and grilles, and the living space for zoo animals is arranged with grace and comfort. Visitors are practically do not disturb the fence, organized for their own safety.
The question of what to visit in Berlin does not arise before animal lovers - they go straight here. Near the cages with elephants, giraffes, pandas, hippos and penguins always crowds of people and watches how frolics animals.
Since 1913 there is a zoo aquarium center, which is regularly updated in accordance with the latest technology. You can spend a whole day in the zoo, and it is always sad to leave, because this place in Berlin is very attractively, beautifully, and comfortably equipped.
Official site: https://www.zoo-berlin.de/en
If you have free time, the program of sightseeing in the German capital should also include lesser-known monuments of history, nature and architecture. However, even if you do not have a clear plan where to go, there are many guides in Berlin, who can easily pick up the route, taking into account your wishes.
Germany’s last emperor, Wilhelm II, personally supervised the construction of a church in honor of Germany’s first emperor, Wilhelm I, making the structure stretch 113 meters high.
During the Second World War, the building was severely damaged and the city authorities wanted to demolish the church to build a new one, but the citizens defended the destroyed building. As an example to posterity, the destroyed tower reminds of the inadmissibility of war.
The people of Berlin themselves nicknamed the memorial church the Blue Church because of the blue glow of the specially illuminated glass that creates a special atmosphere inside the building, which was added to the old one in 1961. In this way the architects combined the past and the present. The sights of Berlin often connect the history of bygone days with our era, making us think about the past.
The German sporting tradition is reflected in the history of the Olympiapark sports complex. The first stadium was erected here by 1916 for the organization of the Summer Olympics. The next Olympic Games were already held in Berlin in 1936, for which the Nazi government rebuilt the main sports arena of Germany in the three years preceding the games. The stadium was given a classical antique form to indicate the Third Reich as the successor to the Holy Roman Empire.
Bombed during World War II, the stadium was rebuilt by the Germans by 1960 and became an important arena for soccer matches. The last modernization of the complex was carried out in 2006, a tension roof now allows to hold sports competitions in all weather conditions, so fans are very fond of Olympiastadion. Berlin’s cultural highlights attract soccer fans to a much lesser extent than the sports facilities, so the Olympic Stadium is of particular interest to fans.
Official website: https://olympiastadion.berlin
The largest green area in southwest Berlin is the Grunewald Forest Park. Visitors staying in this part of the city have something to visit in Berlin without having to get out to the historic center. The Grunwald Forest is well-maintained in the German way, equipped with toilets, the long paths are good for walking or biking. On the picturesque shores of numerous lakes, lovers of outdoor activities admire the water surface and listen to the sounds of wildlife, swim in the cool water. One of the best places to get away from the city noise and breathe clean air.
This church on Gendarme Square was first erected in the early 18th century and has been rebuilt several times since. The French cathedral was named after the Huguenot parishioners who fled France during the persecution and held their services in the church. Even non-religious travelers have much to see in Berlin in terms of the architecture of religious buildings, and the French Cathedral is a clear proof of that.
In the antique building of the old National Gallery, painting lovers can view a rich collection of paintings of various styles created in the 19th century. The names of the beloved Menzel, Manet, Monet, Liebermann and Becklin attract specialists and interested visitors like a magnet. The works of European sculptors also have a significant place in the collection of this museum.
Official website: https://www.smb.museum
When listing Berlin’s sights, the Tiergarten, a huge park in the center of the city, must definitely be mentioned. Walk through its shady alleys, gaze at the gorgeous flower gardens, watch the paddlers practice their kayaks along the canal, drink beer in the traditional biergarten, and feed the ducks in the lake. There is something for everyone to do. To see most of the interesting parts of the park, you can hire a bike rickshaw.
One of the most concise and fulfilling travel options in the German capital is a weekend trip to Berlin. What to see in the legendary city with only a couple of days to spare? Of course, you should start with the most important cultural and historical sites, which certainly belongs to the Red City Hall. This religious building is as significant for the citizens as the Kremlin is for Muscovites. It appeared here already in the Middle Ages, only in the mid-19th century a new structure of adobe brick was erected instead of the dilapidated one.The recognized dark-red facade is decorated with stucco and topped with sculptures of bears symbolizing the once influential Askanian family. You can only get inside the town hall twice a year, on Museum Night: just outside the doors you can see the Armorial Hall, then the Assembly Hall and the corridors with snow-white columns, marble staircases and red carpets.
Official website: https://www.berlin.
Kopenick district was once an ancient settlement of Slavic tribes, who built the first fortress here. In the middle of the 16th century, the castle was torn down and a hunting lodge in Renaissance style was built in its place. Later, in the 17th century, a park was laid out, and now there was a large square in front of the castle, surrounded by paths, green lawns and colorful bushes. The calm and tranquil atmosphere of the park, surrounded by water and centuries-old trees, harmonizes with the interiors of the Baroque chateau. Today, Kopenick is part of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, with a collection of archaeological artefacts telling the history of the area on the ground floor. There are also collections of silver and goldware, porcelain dishes, furniture from different eras, and in temporary exhibitions - works of local emerging artists and craftsmen. Chamber orchestras often perform in the concert hall of the palace.
Official website: https://www.smb.museum
One of the magnificent buildings in the Classical style, Bellevue Palace serves as the residence of the German president. It is situated in a picturesque setting on the banks of the river Spree. The history of the palace began in 1786 when it was built as a summer residence of Prince August Ferdinand, who received here many dignitaries - at one time it visited Friedrich Schiller and Napoleon. At the end of the 19th century, a high-class hotel for dukes, barons and foreign ambassadors was built in the palace. Some time later the famous picture gallery was founded, in the early 20th century exhibitions dedicated to applied arts were held. Today Bellevue is of great historical importance to the country, but getting inside is not easy - it requires an application to the presidential office. Fortunately, the adjacent park is open to the public without any restrictions.
Official website: http://www.bundespraesident
Shopping aficionados should definitely include a visit to Ka-De-Ve, one of the world’s largest shopping malls, in their itinerary. Seven stories of clothing, accessories, technology, jewelry, lingerie, sporting goods and food are divided into a myriad of product categories. The history of the trading house began in the beginning of the last century, and even then the place earned the status of the leading shopping center of the country. If to consider the level by level, the first level of the complex is occupied by luxury boutiques and corners - all the most beautiful and expensive. The second level is totally given over to men’s part of the population: pants, jeans, jackets and much more. The third level is the main range of clothes, the fourth is underwear and accessories, all other floors represent a huge range of other goods for life, on the last floor you can have a snack and rest after a saturated shopping.
Official website: https://www.kadewe
The capital’s central square, which is of great historical and architectural value and is an important transportation hub for the city, deserves to be included in the top attractions in Berlin. This is Alexanderplatz, named after the Russian Emperor Alexander I. The fact is that for many centuries, the destinies of Germany and Russia have been closely intertwined, and in 1805 the tsar of all Russia arrives in Berlin. The solemn meeting of the two heads culminates in a decree by Friedrich Wilhelm III renaming the former Torplatz into Alexanderplatz. Today, this famous square combines monuments from the past with evidence of the present: there is the TV Tower, the Clock of World Time, under which meetings are scheduled, the old Neptune Fountain and the Church of St. Mary. Here you can walk, refresh yourself, stroll through the malls and listen to the music of street performers.
Official website: https://www.businesslocation
Berlin can rightly be called one of the major centers of European culture. Among the 15 theatrical institutions located in Berlin, the most important is the Berlin State Opera, the oldest theater in the city with a capacity of 1,300 people. It was founded in the mid-18th century. And for several hundred years, it played host to the greatest hits, famous musicians and composers like Mendelssohn and Strauss and famous voices, including the Russian bass Fyodor Chaliapin. The theater was closed only once - during World War II - but in the 1950s, it once again played host to beautiful music. And today, as before, the stage of the Berlin Opera House continues to host classics by Verdi, Wagner, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky and Rossini, and the theater is the center of the country’s cultural life.
Official website: https://www.staatsoper
An important part of the tourist program is Berlin’s museums, where the most valuable and historically significant artifacts are collected and history comes alive, taking the visitor into the thick of the events of the past. One of the most famous wax museums in Berlin is the famous Madame Tussauds, whose first branch opened in the late 19th century in London. Today there are branches all over the world, and there is also an office in Berlin. The building of the Berlin museum is located near the Brandenburg Gate and includes nine galleries and about a hundred figures of the world’s most prominent figures. One room, for example, features pop stars of the past and present, including the Beatles, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga. Another has movie stars such as Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, Marilyn Monroe and Brad Pitt. There is also another room where the process of creating sculptures out of wax is demonstrated.
It is hard to find a souvenir in Berlin more exquisite, delicate and refined than the product of the Royal Porcelain Factory. The history of this factory goes back 2.5 centuries, during which more than a dozen talented masters, brilliant artists and designers have changed. Exactly here perfect products are made, which enrich collections of famous artists, painters, politicians and other significant persons. Today within the walls of the porcelain factory held excursions with a demonstration of the production plant and an interactive exhibition. In the store, opened in the factory, you can buy the most delicate hand painted and customized products, marked with a recognizable factory stamp. Of course, not everyone can afford to buy a local piece, but such a purchase will be a value, passed down from generation to generation.
It’s Berlin that has the world’s largest salt-water aquarium, a giant cylindrical tank called the Aquadome. Especially lucky are the guests of the five-star Radisson Blu Hotel, whose windows overlook the inner courtyard-well with this incredible aquarium. The view is spectacular - 2,500 fish move smoothly among realistic corals, caves, rocks and algae, illuminated by a pleasant blue light. The height of the glass structure is 25 meters, diameter 11 meters, and through a thick 19-centimeter glass you can observe the inhabitants not only outside, but also in the inner cylinder, from a transparent elevator passing through it. It’s hard to imagine that the total volume of water in the aquarium is about 1 million liters!
Official website: https://www.visitsealife
And where should visitors to Berlin go for a vacation with children? The first place worth seeing is the Tropical Island Water Park, the best place for fun and relaxation within 60 kilometers of Berlin. It is a huge hangar, which once served as a military base, and today in the interior areas the size of eight soccer fields stretches the world-famous water park. “Tropical Island” impresses not only with its territories, which can accommodate up to 6 thousand vacationers, but also with the variety of entertainment. The paradise place contains about 50 thousand real tropical plants, there are even tropical animals and beautiful colored parrots. Along the artificial reservoir stretches a 200-meter stretch of sandy coastline. In the section “Tropical Village” you can explore the traditions of different southern countries, and in the dozens of baths and saunas you can take a steam bath and improve your health. There are also tanning beds, a fitness center, and a dozen restaurants and cafes.
Official website: https://www.tropical-islands
If you enjoy a bird’s eye view on interesting city sights, you should not miss one of Berlin’s highlights - the hot air balloon Die Welt is one of the biggest balloons in the world. The recognizable blue balloon with a white inscription repeatedly “pops up” over the center of Berlin, periodically dropping back down. This is the most unusual observation deck, which rises 150 meters every 15 minutes, giving visitors the most stunning views of the city, its broad streets and magnificent architecture. To ensure that the flight is not spoiled by weather conditions, the balloon is equipped with a system that predicts changes in wind strength and direction. Moreover, even as it soars, the balloon remains connected to the ground by a powerful tether which prevents it from flying further than a certain area.
Official site: https://air-service-berlin
Berlin’s military landmarks are, of course, mostly monuments commemorating the tragic events of the bloodiest war in the history of mankind - World War II. One of them is located near the Brandenburg Gate and is a huge field with countless concrete blocks set up to commemorate the murdered Jews of Europe. It is a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, a regime of mass extermination of Jews living in Germany and its occupied territories. This place is popular among tourists, although its visit unwittingly evokes the gravest emotions and feelings, awakening a sense of timelessness of the tragedy that took place. But that was the goal of the author of the memorial project - Peter Eisemann. More than two thousand gray blocks of special concrete create a long labyrinth, which seems to press on all sides, reflecting all the horror of what happened.
Official website: https://www.stiftung
St. Mary’s Church represents the oldest active parish in Berlin. The first mention of it dates back to the 13th century, when a red-brick church was erected on granite foundations. The original building was Gothic, but after several fires in the 17th century, it was rebuilt in the Baroque style, and a century later rebuilt in the Neo-Gothic style. Another restoration is from the 20th century, and thus the structure has acquired an unusual look and mixed style. Within the walls of the church are about 90 famous works - these include the Baroque pulpit, the sarcophagus of Field Marshal von Sparr, the famous “Dance of Death” fresco, which depicts the social elite accompanied by figures of dancing death. Another masterpiece is the church organ by Joachim Wagner, which has been reconstructed several times.
Surprising as it may be, in Europe’s most atheist capital, religious sites in Berlin are of great value, a presentation of which would be incomplete without mentioning the oldest basilica on the capital’s territory, St. Nicholas Church. The parish was opened not far from the place where the Spree River crossed the famous trade route. For this reason, the church took the name of St. Nicholas of Myra, who is considered the patron saint of commerce. Throughout its 8-century history, the building has been restored several times, most recently in the 1980s. Today it is a neo-Gothic building topped with two tall spires. Unfortunately, services are no longer held in the church, but there are many interesting things to see here, such as an exhibit with the history of the church and three large organs that play classical music during concerts.
Official website: https://www.en.stadtmuseum
In the Mitte district in the east of the city sits a charismatic neo-Byzantine-Mauritanian building, the New Synagogue. Today the site is a cultural center for members of the Jewish people. The original history of the New Synagogue dates back to the mid-19th century, when the foundation stone was laid. During the Second World War, the Nazis destroyed the synagogue, but in the post-war years the Jewish community recovered and the destroyed building was later rebuilt almost from scratch, preserving the original architecture. It was not until 1995 that the synagogue reopened its doors and a large part of its space was taken up by a museum, reflecting interesting facts about Jewish life and a center of Jewish culture. There are more than a hundred secular and educational institutions of Jewish culture in the immediate vicinity of the New Synagogue.
Official website: https://www.centrum
For anyone interested in Berlin’s most symbolic landmarks, the itinerary should definitely be planned with a passage through the central Alexanderplatz square and a visit to the most “prominent” object, the Berlin TV Tower. Back in the middle of the last century, the television tower project was conceived for good reason, because for quality television broadcasting in those years you needed a more powerful and modern sensor. And in 1969, a 368 meter TV tower with an observation deck was erected on the east side of Berlin, at a height of just over 200 meters. Today this structure, equipped with state-of-the-art elevators and rotating structures, still attracts thousands of visitors, most of whom go straight to the observation deck, a rotating platform inside the balloon with a panoramic view and a restaurant.
Official website: https://tv-turm
Modern Berlin is famous for its many green parks, of which there are more than 2.5 thousand. One of these places is Treptow Park, which became especially famous after World War II, when a large-scale memorial to fallen Soviet soldiers was built here. This largest monument was opened in 1949 as a sign of victory over Nazism, and in the nearby mass graves about 7,000 remains of Soviet soldiers who died in the battle for Berlin were reburied. Conventionally the monument is divided into 5 parts - the complex opens with the sculpture “Mourning Mother”, then follows an alley of birches leading to the entrance to the cemetery, then a symbolic gate in the form of banners and figures of grieving soldiers, then the alley of sarcophagi in the form of symbolic cubes with bas-reliefs telling about the exploits of soldiers, and finally a large sculpture “Soldier-Liberator” on a high pedestal.
Official website: https://www.berlin.
Nature lovers can’t miss the Botanical Garden, which ranks first in Europe for the number and variety of plants it contains. The garden also has the status of a museum, because on its large area of 43 hectares grow the most bizarre plants, about which you can get comprehensive information. Here you can walk through the picturesque meadows, visit numerous greenhouses, the most famous among which is the Great Tropical Greenhouse with hundreds of the most unusual exotic plants. Equally interesting are the orchid greenhouse, the Alpinarium, the pavilion of cacti and the gallery of ferns. It is noteworthy that the inhabitants of greenhouses are not only plants, but also rare insects and birds. Although the Botanical Garden is most famous for its flora, its sculptural and architectural creations by talented craftsmen are also interesting.
Official website: https://www.bgbm
The world-famous boulevard Unter den Linden is often called the local Broadway due to the incredible number of important historical and architectural monuments along the street. The most important objects are located on both sides of the boulevard and include the Humboldt University, Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Opera House, Berlin Cathedral, Crown Prince’s Palace, Princess’ Palace and many other landmarks. And the linden trees, planted back in the 17th century by order of King Friedrich Wilhelm - only about a thousand trees decorated the alley, gave the name of the boulevard. In the 18th century, the alley was already supplemented with mansions for wealthy citizens. Today on Unter den Linden are located, in addition to the sights, fashionable hotels and hotels, banks, stores and restaurants. Now anyone can stroll along the legendary boulevard and experience its historic spirit.
Read also about Hamburg sights and be inspired for your further travels in Germany.