An extremely vivacious city best known for its lively nightlife, street art, cafes, bars, museums, palaces, currywurst, and lastly its exhaustive history, Berlin is a must visit for every traveler going to Europe. Although its rich architecture was brought down by World war II and the Cold war, the city still managed to get on foot and reconstruct itself greatly.
Berlin has so much to offer, but these would be the top 10 places you must not miss.
1. East side gallery
The longest open-air gallery in the world, 1316 m long consisting of a series of murals painted on what once was known as the Berlin wall is the heritage-protected landmark of Berlin that has more than 3 million visitors every year. The gallery consists of 105 paintings painted by 118 artists across 21 countries, expressing their euphoria and great hopes for a better and a free future for all people of the world. The painting that attracts the most attention is the passionate fraternal kiss between Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker painted by the renowned artist Dmitri Vrubel that reads beneath ‘May God help me survive this deadly love’.
2. Brandenburg Gate
A former symbol of the divided city, Brandenburg Gate is one of Berlin’s most iconic monuments. From a time when this site symbolized the Berlin’s Cold war division into East and West to now since the fall of the wall, a symbol of reunified Germany, this site in Berlin has witnessed major historical events throughout its existence and hence becomes a must visit for every tourist that visit Berlin.
3. Hotel Adlon
This hotel is a must visit on your Berlin tour because this is where Hollywood sleeps and so did Hitler. This is that hotel where Michael Jackson infamously dangled his 9-month-old son from a fourth-floor balcony in 2002 and got slack from the media. Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore re-created the same incident with a doll in 2009. Here is where all Hollywood’s A-list stars Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz, Renee Zellweger stayed during their visit to Berlin for the Berlin film festival. Former American President also stayed at this hotel after wowing a Berlin audience.
4. Holocaust Memorial
A 19000 square-meter site covered with 2711 concrete slabs (reminiscent of coffins) arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field right next to the Brandenburg gate is a memorial dedicated to the murdered Jews of Europe. The memorial commemorates up to 6 million Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust. At the underground information center accessible by two flights of stairs or a lift, is the information on the victims and their families.
5. Reichstag Building
This is the place that houses the German Parliament. The building houses a glass dome and is said to represent the political transparency of the city and is open to the public for tours. In 1933, the Reichstag building was set on fire by a Dutch communist four weeks after Adolf Hitler was sworn as the Chancellor of Germany. The Nazi party used the fire as an excuse that the communists were plotting against the German government and this led to the formation of Nazi Germany. The building was made safe and partially refurbished. But after the German reunification, the building was restored and now serves as a meeting point for the German Parliament: the modern Bundestag.
6. TV tower
Berlin TV tower, known as Fernsehturm Berlin in German is the tallest structure in Germany and offers the best 360-degree view of Berlin. Its primary objective is to serve as a location for several radio and television broadcasting stations. Internally known as Fernmeldeturm, the building serves as a viewing tower with an observation deck and has a revolving restaurant known as the Berlin TV Tower restaurant to dine at and enjoy a scenic experience of a beautiful sunset.
7. Checkpoint Charlie
This was the best known Crosspoint between East and West Berlin during the Cold war. On occasional cases, even prisoners were exchanged at this point. Shortly after the Berlin wall was built, President John F Kennedy ordered the U.S. forces to build three checkpoints at different points in the wall through which diplomats and allied forces could enter West Berlin. Checkpoint Charlie became the most famous and got its name from the phonetic alphabet. Now a sightseeing spot revamped to look just like it did in the cold war times, is a must-see sight in Berlin.
8. Berlin Cathedral
A majestic cathedral right next to Lust garden in the Museum Island is a green colored copper dome called the Berliner Dom. It is considered as the most prominent religious edifice in Berlin and houses the most important Protestant church. Its ornamental designs and elaborative decor make it a must visit while in Berlin. A visit to the dome requires climbing 270 steps but it is worth the effort as it provides an extremely beautiful view of the city from the top.
9. Charlottenburg Palace
This palace is Berlin’s largest and the most magnificent palace named after Sophie Charlotte, the first queen consort in Prussia. An accomplished musician who played the harpsichord and sang Italian opera, she strolled through the grounds of the Palace along with her friend and rehearsed. She died at the young age of 36 and after her death, the area and the palace were named after her. Today, this palace is a highlight for any Berlin visitor.
This is the most popular inner-city park in Berlin and the best park for a leisure stroll, or just lying on the lawn and taking in some city’s sights. The forested gardens are spread over 210 hectares and are the largest urban gardens of Germany. These gardens right in the heart of the city attract walkers, joggers, cyclists and skaters alike. The park’s spreading green lawns are ideal for family picnics or just to unwind and recharge your batteries.
Apart from these top 10 sights, it is a must to take a Trabant/Trabi car ride and eat currywurst when you are in Berlin.
Book away your Berlin vacation now with Pickyourtrail!