Sights of Berlin

​With more than seven hundred years of history of the city, Berlin is not only the capital of Germany, but also the major population center of the country and the second largest in the European Union (second only to London). In Berlin, there are more than 3 million people. 86% of them are considered native Germans. Every seventh resident of the city is a foreigner.

Facts About Berlin

Country
Germany
Currency
Euro (€)
Language
German
Population
3,517,424 (2013)
Timezone
UTC+1 | Summer: UTC+2

Map of Berlin Attractions

Top 14 Sights in Berlin

Museumsinsel (Museum Island)

Photo: rosmary

Museum Island is a stunning ensemble of famous museums of Berlin, which is located in the north of the island Shpreeinzel. This museum composition has been a principal magnet of tourism and art lovers from different corners of the planet since its "inception" and to this day. Museum Island consists of five museums that are a part of The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation.

Museum Island is a must to visit while being in Berlin, because it is very interesting and informative there. Each of five museums has prepared its own collection and history for visitors. For example, the Old Museum exhibits a part of State Collections of Antiques, including a variety of sculptures, weapons and rich treasures of ancient Greek Art. In the New Museum, you can see a collection of the Egyptian Museum and Papyrus Collection. There are architectural objects publicly displayed in the Pergamon Museum as well as ancient Roman and Greek sculptures. In the halls of the Old National Gallery you can see paintings and sculptures of the 19th century, and in the Bode Museum there is a collection of Byzantine art displayed, dating back years, starting from the 3rd to the 19th century, as well as sculpture of Italy and Germany of the early Middle Ages and unique series of coins.

Viktoriapark

Photo: farlukar

Victoria Park is not only one of the most beautiful sights of Berlin, but also a kind of cult place for the local population. It is almost never empty - at a day and night time many people of all ages gather in the park to have fun with friends or just take a walk and enjoy the tranquility and beauty.

Victoria Park is located on the slope between the Urstromtal valley and Teltow plateau. This park complex was built in 1821 upon the project of the genius architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, who was an adherent of neoclassicism.

A pearl of Victoria Park is a national monument to the great King Friedrich Wilhelm III, which was erected in honor of the liberation battles at the end of the Napoleonic Wars.

An artificial waterfall that bubbles over at the base of the monument and runs down through the picturesque hillside gives a special charm of the composition. From the very top of the monument incredible views of the beauty of the city’s southern districts opens. While taking a walk through the park and enjoying the stunning scenery and landscape, you can enjoy local grape varieties, which grow directly in Victoria Park.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Holocaust Memorial) is located in the heart of Berlin and is a major monument dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust in Germany. This memorial was erected in 2004 and it is a place where you can remember, honor and pay homage and regret over the six million victims, who suffered the Nazi extermination of the Jews.

Berlin Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe has a huge area of 4.7 acres, which is simply littered with huge concrete slabs and steles. The monument was designed upon the project of Peter Eisenman, who wanted to immortalize in the architectural design all the horror of what happened during the Holocaust. As Eisenman planned the whole concept of the monument symbolizes the orderly system that has lost touch with the sober human mind, and concrete slabs create a depressing, confusing and disturbing atmosphere.

Under the ground, directly under the Memorial, there is an information center, where you can read the names of all known victims of the Holocaust, which were obtained from Yad Vashem, which is located in Israel. It is also possible to see other interactive exhibits that clearly show and talk about the terrible events of the Holocaust.

Tiergarten

Tiergarten is an incredibly beautiful park, which stretches over an area of more than 210 hectares. On this place once upon a time the royal hunting lands were located, but during the reign of King Frederick II, they turned into a public place for rest and walking.

Due to the unmatched beauty of nature, at present this park has a crazy popularity not only among guests but also among the citizens themselves, who come here to relax their bodies and souls from the hectic pace of life and the city. The garden has many refined sculptures and bright beautiful flowerbeds that add even more color to the picture. A pearl of the park is a beautiful lake, where you can either go boating, or skating depending on the season. In the central part of the garden there is a large area, where a column is set, topped by the magnificent statue of the goddess Victoria.

This historic and beautiful garden have already lived over five centuries, is so admirable that creates a sense of fairytale. A portion of wildness, natural untidy, thicket and sun-drenched glades give to Tiergarten Park the unique magical atmosphere that imbues the joy and happiness.

Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor)

Brandenburg Gate is an excellent and the most recognizable symbol of not only Berlin, but also of the whole Germany. Brandenburg Gate has existed for more than two centuries already, and it seems that it still remembers the entire history of Berlin, in many of which life events it was a direct participant. It should be noted that the appearance of the Gate with time has not changed, despite the history that has patted it a lot. It is an interesting fact that before 1989 it was the epitome of the separation of Berlin and Germany, and today it is a symbol of the unity of the entire country.

Berlin Gate was erected on the order of Friedrich Wilhelm II on the city entrance. The Brandenburg Gate, which was created after the fashion of the Propylaea of the Athenian Acropolis, used to be a part of the whole ensemble, consisting of 14 gates. But only one has survived till our days - that adorns the modern Berlin. The Gate is crowned with a magnificent quadriga, symbolizing the power of the German army.

There is a certain tradition in Berlin, according to which every city visitor should go through the Brandenburg Gate. So, do not miss the opportunity to see this great sight with your own eyes and to perform an ancient ritual.

Potsdamer Platz

Photo: Sarahtz

Potsdamer Platz is a necessary part of the guided tour through Berlin. It is a must to visit place in order to see and admire the versatility and diversity of the city.

Potsdamer Platz is a new district of Berlin, which is not similar to other parts of the city – there are, as in an art gallery, presented the most striking examples of building technologies and achievements: monumental skyscrapers, beautiful highlighting of buildings and shine of the glass all over. Because of the surrounding skyscrapers there is a little lack of the sun light on the Square, but this fact does not take your attention for more than a couple of seconds, when the eyes begin to see the embarrassment of riches in different directions to find all sights of Potsdamer Platz. This Square is especially beautiful in the lights of the big city; it is impossible to stop looking at the beauty of the whole architectural complex.

Please note that there is a grand shopping mall near Potsdamer Platz, where you can enjoy tasting the insanely delicious Italian ice cream, watching the magnificent city landscape.

Parliament Building (Reichstag)

Reichstag is one of the most important, valuable and main sights of Berlin, which is famous for its rich and interesting history. The Parliament Building was built in 1894 upon the project of the talented architect Paul Wallot. The first thing you notice, coming closer is the magnificent architecture. In the Reichstag building can be clearly seen surprisingly harmonious combination of styles of classical, Renaissance and Baroque. A special attraction to the whole structure is given by a huge glass dome, which since its installation and until today has never stopped to fascinate and attract admiring glances. Its peculiarity lies in the similarity with The Louvre Pyramid, due to the harmonious combination of glass and classic walls.

The Reichstag building for Germans has a cultic significance - all the important events in one way or another were connected with it. Reichstag for all its existence has undergone several changes, but after a mysterious fire in 1933 it remained empty for a long time, and then became the place for meetings of the Nazis. The Parliament of Germany is in the Reichstag now.

Pergamonmuseum

While in Berlin, be sure to visit the Pergamon museum, which is located on the famous Museum Island. The Pergamon museum is a unique complex of a grand scale, which sheltered the Museum of Islamic Art, Collection of Middle Eastern and Classical Antiquities under its roof. The exhibition of the Pergamon presents exhibits, for the sake of which you should come to Berlin and enjoy seeing them with your own eyes.

The majestic Pergamon Altar makes an indelible impression. It is dedicated to the god Zeus. Its installation dates back to the second century BC. Not less grandiose of museum exhibits is the Market Gate, which was found in Miletus, and a magnificent statue of the goddess, holding a pomegranate in his hands. The creation of this statue dates back to 575 BC.

In the Museum of the Middle East in the Pergamon complex a special attention deserves an exhibit in the form of a real processional way that is topped by the Ishtar Gate, which were brought from Babylon and built in 580 BC. The facade of the Gate is veneered with glazed blue bricks with skilful images of bulls and dragons.

The Pergamon museum complex is worthwhile spending a whole day there, and the time spent is unlikely to be enough to see all the fun that exhibits this museum.

East Side Gallery

East Side Gallery is probably the most unusual place in Berlin, which is a part of the former Berlin Wall on the banks of the River Spree. You should definitely see this bright and greatest example of wall painting in the world while in Berlin.

This work of art was created in 1990 with the participation of 118 talented artists from 21 countries. The Wall is painted in graffiti style using cans with bright colors, and the theme for the illustrations is the grandiose and long-awaited uniting of the country and other political moments.

Unfortunately, this unique open-air gallery is often vandalized and, of course, affects by the negative impact of nature. Therefore, it should be constantly restored. Last extensive reconstruction was made in 2009, after which the Wall gained almost new look.

The brightest and the most famous work belongs to the Russian talented artist Dmitry Vrubel. Honecker and Brezhnev, frozen during a kiss, are shown in this painting. It is worth noting that the East Side Gallery has taken a worthy place in the art competition 365 Landmarks in the Land of Ideas.

Topography of Terror

Berlin is an incredible city that has a very rich and sometimes controversial history, and has an incredible courage to show all its pages of the past, even the dark and scary ones.

One of these pages is the Exhibition Center under the name "Topography of Terror", which is located in a few blocks from another popular sight Potsdamer Platz. Initially, on the place of this museum there was the headquarters of the Gestapo in Nazi years. In 1987, the complex "Topography of Terror" was established, which uses an area of 800 square meters to exhibit a variety of documents and other materials showing and telling about the terrible crimes of Nazism and tell the story of the SS and the Gestapo. A special impression makes a selection of documentaries, photo and audio materials. In addition, the complex includes a part of the famous Berlin Wall that used to be on this place.

Since its establishment to our days, the Museum has remained one of the most visited sights in Berlin. Nearly half a million people from different parts of the planet come here every year.

TV Tower (Fernsehturm)

Photo: Groman123

It is well-known that Berlin was a real cradle of radio in Germany. So it is not surprising that one of the most striking sights of Berlin is a famous radio tower Funkturm, which is located on the territory of the Berlin Fair and is one of the most popular sights among the citizens. They even jokingly gave it a nickname the Lanky Lad. Such a nickname it obtained its height, which is including its antenna reaches 146.78 meters. The mast has four sightseeing platforms, located at different heights. The highest is at a distance 124 meters from the Earth. From sightseeing platforms you can enjoy beautiful views of the city.

This Radio Tower was erected in 1926 for the third grandiose German radio-exhibition upon a project of a local talented architect. According to the idea of creators, Funkturm was created to serve as a signal tower for aviation, to be the holder of the antenna, and a sightseeing platform and a restaurant in a stunning retro style.

It is worth noting one the fact that in 1945 as a result of the explosion near the Tower one of the pillars was damaged, and to replace a special screw of 800 kg was invented, which would help to keep the Radio Tower on three pillars.

Berlin Zoo (Zoologischer Garten)

Photo: nikda

Passing through the magnificent gates with two huge elephants on the sides, you appear like in a fairy-tale world, which belongs to animals and unsurpassed nature. This world is called the Berlin Zoo, and is home to a huge number of fauna species, a variety of fish, amphibians, reptiles and insects. Among other things, it is the oldest and largest zoo in Germany. It is therefore not surprising that it is one of the most visited and the most popular places in Berlin.

The Berlin Zoo was established in 1844 and was originally a royal menagerie of modest size, but during a few centuries of its existence, it has significantly increased. Now its animal fund nearly matches the fund of the London Zoo. And this despite the fact that during the Second World War, it suffered a very big damage and its inhabitants were scattered throughout the county.

Nowadays the Berlin Zoo is not only a habitat for a variety of species of fauna, but also quite a strong research base for the study and propagation of endangered and rare species. Among other things, a zoo school was opened on the territory of the reserve, where everyone could get the necessary knowledge and experience in dealing with animals.

Checkpoint Charlie

Photo: Roger

Berlin Checkpoint Charlie is a real movie star, who has participated in a variety of political films and detectives, telling us about the times of the Berlin Wall and the cold struggle. This attraction of the German capital is a checkpoint that during 1945-1990 years served as a crossing point of Eastern and Western borders in Berlin. In addition, to this checkpoint there also existed Checkpoint Alpha and Checkpoint Bravo.

A small building, where used to be a border control, is still on the same place, but it is only a copy, as the original was demolished in 1990. Barbed wire, guard towers and other fences were completely removed after the uniting of the country. Presently, Checkpoint Charlie is a memorial complex, which includes a museum that exhibits an interesting and informative meeting, telling about the hard times of the conflicting parties in Berlin.

Despite the fact that the Checkpoint Charlie was just a tiny checkpoint, today it is one of the most popular and recognizable attractions in the capital of Germany, which is a reminiscent of the times when Berlin was divided into two parts.

Charlottenburg Palace (Schloss Charlottenburg)

Schloss Charlottenburg is the most striking example of elegant and refined Baroque architecture in the whole Germany. This magnificent castle was built for Sophie Charlotte, who was the wife of Frederick I, and then became the first Queen. Initially, this Palace was a summer residence only, but soon it transformed into a grandiose structure that pleases its guests till the present days. Charlottenburg Palace is a stunning castle, where each element is worthy of a special attention.

The main entrance to the Palace is decorated with a 48-meter dome, topped with a magnificent statue of Fortune from a skilful gold. You should definitely see the reception hall, which is impressive for its interior with amazing carvings, niches and high arches, as well as porcelain room where a unique and wonderful collection of the Chinese porcelain were publicly displayed for visitors.

Another property of the Charlottenburg palace complex is an elegant summer house in a sophisticated Italian style, which currently has a small but very interesting museum where you can admire the sketches and drawings by artists of the early 18th century. 

About Berlin

There were times when Berlin was the capital city of Brandenburg margraviate, Prussia, the German Empire, and Nazi Germany. From the middle of the last century, Berlin (more precisely, its eastern part) was the administrative center of the GDR, and after the unification of Germany became the capital of Germany. Currently, the city is one of Europe's largest industrial, economic and cultural centers.

Where to go, what to see in Berlin?

On inspection of even half of the Berlin sights are not enough, and week-long trip, but still there is a certain list of what you can see in Berlin for a relatively short period of time.

You can start at least from the famous Berlin Wall once divided the city into East and West parts. It impossible now to see its full size (the wall demolished in 1990), but some fragments still remain. For example, the East Side Gallery is just a part of it.

Tourists from the CIS countries will find it interesting to visit the Reichstag. It is the seat of the German Parliament. Incidentally, on the individual elements of the building there is an inscription in Russian, recreated in the reconstruction of the facade in 1991. Of course, you are not able to add your dictum as to them or hoist the flag on the roof; otherwise you will be fined of 4,000 euros. But you can climb the dome to admire a painting of the city from 40-metres height.

Also, you should definitely go and the Paris Square, on which there is the famous Brandenburg Gate. And hitting the Alexanderplatz, you can climb the highest (203 m) construction of the country - the Berlin TV tower.

For tourists who are interested in museum exhibitions, there are several options:

  • Museum Island, in which five exhibition centers are located;
  • Schloss Charlottenburg, where you can see the collections of furniture, porcelain and paintings XVIII-XIX centuries;
  • "Topography of Terror" exhibition center dedicated to the crimes of Nazism.

From what is required to see in Berlin, you can visit the Berlin Zoo (the largest in Europe) and the House Aquaria. It is shopping and hotel complex, which houses a huge model of the Atlantic Ocean.