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10 Best Things to Do in Berlin, Germany

Glamour and grit, Berlin is a historic city in Germany where visitors can walk past the remnants of the Berlin Wall, enjoy the picturesque greenery in Tiergarten, and marvel at the splendor of a Prussian palace all in one day. Known for its stylish flair and cutting-edge architecture, Berlin is a multicultural metropolis with an unpretentious charm and a handful of iconic UNESCO World Heritage sites. A cultural trendsetter mixed with creative artsy vibes, don’t miss these top attractions in Berlin.

Get a Bird's Eye View at Reichstag Reichstag
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Get a Bird's Eye View at Reichstag

What Is It? Built in the 19th century to house the German parliament, the Reichstag Building also became a meeting place for the government after the turbulent World War II and Cold War.

Why Do It? After being burned, bombed, and rebuilt, the building has been completely modernized from its long slumber on the Mauerstreifen, the military zone between the two sides of the Wall.

Good to Know: Now considered an iconic landmark, a real treat at the Reichstag is the huge glass dome where visitors can watch German politicians at work and soak in one of the best views of the hustle and bustle of the city.

Soak in the History at Bradenburg Gate Brandenburg Gate
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Soak in the History at Bradenburg Gate

What Is It? There’s no denying it, the symbol of the Cold War and Berlin’s signature attraction is the Brandenburg Gate.

Why Do It? Dating back to 1791, the now tourist-laden photo spot was just one of the many gates around the city. Representing peace, war, and victory throughout its 300-year history, the inspiration of the gate was from the Acropolis in Athens with its grand triumphal arch.

Good to Know: Standing over the Pariser Platz square it is framed by banks, hotels, and the US, British, and French embassies.

Visit the Berlin's Holocaust Memorial Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial
Credit: Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial by bigstock.com

Visit the Berlin's Holocaust Memorial

What Is It? A somber silence is found at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, or more simply, Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial.

Why Do It? Visitors will find a grid of 2,711 concrete blocks that vary in height, some up to 6 feet tall, that were created to memorialize the 6 million Jews that were victims of the Third Reich.

Good to Know: History is told through impactful exhibits across this expansive memorial that stretches across a half square mile, an emotional walk where visitors make an individual journey through at their own pace.

Spend a Day on Museum Island Museum Island
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Spend a Day on Museum Island

What Is It? While Berlin is home to an incredible 200 museums, visitors will find the most important ones situated on “Museumsinsel”, or Museum Island.

Why Do It? A UNESCO World Heritage Site, visitors can explore the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti at the Neues Museum, monumental architecture from ancient worlds at the Pergamonmuseum, and medieval sculptures at the Bode Museum. Covering 6,000 years’ worth of artifacts, artworks, architecture, and sculpture, Museum Island includes five grand museums that take up the entire northern half of the tiny Spree Island.

Good to Know: Each museum represents a different facet of German’s unique history, making a day trip strolling its grounds worth the adventure.

Savor the Serene Setting at Tiergarten Tiergarten, Berlin
Credit: Tiergarten, Berlin by © Creativeimpression | Dreamstime.com

Savor the Serene Setting at Tiergarten

What Is It? A lush and expansive park, Tiergarten provides respite from the hustle and bustle of the city center.

Why Do It? With a name that translates to “Animal Garden,” it comes as no surprise that the park is home to the famous Berlin Zoo. Serving as a hunting ground for German’s in the 17th century, Tiergarten is now a popular slice of landscaped greenery for active locals who want to stroll, jog, bike in a tranquil setting.

Good to Know: Visitors can also enjoy a cold German beer in one of the beer gardens.

Walk the Berlin Wall at the East Side Gallery East Side Gallery
Credit: East Side Gallery by bigstock.com

Walk the Berlin Wall at the East Side Gallery

What Is It? Mostly demolished in 1990, the Berlin Wall is an iconic piece of the city’s history.

Why Do It? For a visual history, take a stroll down the Wall by the Spree where visitors will find a famous one-mile stretch called the East Side Gallery. Here the area is dedicated to where famous artists immortalized themselves, preserving paintings made on the Eastern side when the wall was torn down.

Good to Know: It is the longest open-air gallery with over 100 vibrant murals, giving you an interesting peek at German’s history.

Check Out the Crossing at Checkpoint Charlie Checkpoint Charlie
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Check Out the Crossing at Checkpoint Charlie

What Is It? A symbol of the Cold War, Checkpoint Charlie is considered one of the best-known border crossing points in the world.

Why Do It? The iconic locale of Berlin’s long history, this historic spot highlights where East met West Germany during much of the war. The Checkpoint Charlie Museum gives visitors context to what’s left of the crossing, where they can listen to captivating stories of those who escaped, and who didn’t escape, the East to West via the Berlin Wall.

Good to Know: An enthralling attraction, to say the least, there is even a one-man submarine escape vehicle that was once used.

Marvel at the Grand Charlottenburg Palace Charlottenburg Palace
Credit: Charlottenburg Palace by bigstock.com

Marvel at the Grand Charlottenburg Palace

What Is It? Schloss Charlottenburg, better known as Charlottenburg Palace, reflects the splendor and grandeur of the royal family that ruled the area from 1415 to 1918.

Why Do It? Located just outside the city center, this gorgeous Baroque palace is home to fine collections of china, exquisite paintings, and other royal treasures. Visitors can explore the elegant living quarters, neoclassical mausoleum, and ornate teahouse.

Good to Know: It’s an ideal day trip destination, where visitors will find a picturesque Royal Garden outside nestled against the shimmering river Spree, perfect for an afternoon stroll.

Berlin Cathedral Berlin Cathedral
Credit: Berlin Cathedral by bigstock.com

Berlin Cathedral

What Is It? Berlin Dom, or the Berlin Cathedral, is known as the “Protestant St. Peter’s” and is the largest church in the city.

Why Do It? Offering visitors an awe-inspiring look at a magnificent dome, it is a prime example of the late 19th-century architecture that was famous in Berlin. A triple threat, the majestic former royal court church serves as a house of worship, museum, and concert fall.

Good to Know: Climb up the 267 steps to the art gallery for fantastic views of the city center or stay afoot and gaze at the gorgeous stained glass windows, fascinating marble and onyx altar, and impressive 7269-pipe organ.

Climb the TV Tower TV Tower
Credit: TV Tower by bigstock.com

Climb the TV Tower

What Is It? Berlin’s TV Tower, or Fernsehturm, offers visitors a chance to soak in a panoramic view of the city from 650 feet high.

Why Do It? Built in the 1960s, the TV Tower is the tallest structure in Germany.

Good to Know: A quick 40-second trip whisks visitors to the top where they can snap a shot of the breathtaking view or grab a bite to eat at the rotating Sphere restaurant.

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