Occupied for years by a Communist regime, the vibrant city of Berlin has been reborn in recent years, and has transformed into one of Europe’s most popular city break destinations. From museums and galleries to iconic monuments and a buzzing nightlife scene, here’s our guide to some of the best sights and attractions the German capital has to offer.
Explore the Berlin Wall
Although the wall was famously torn down in 1990, a small restored piece of Berlin’s darkest hour still remains between Wedding and Mitte. The stretch of the East Side Galley is a real must, proudly showcasing the preserved art drawn on to the wall when it was brought down. You can also visit Checkpoint Charlie, the famous east-west border control of the Cold War, which has now been converted into a museum of the Wall’s history.
Dedicated to one of the darkest periods in history, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is one of the most moving and impressive tributes to the victims of the Holocaust. Designed by Peter Eisenmann, the sculpture is comprised of more than 2,500 geometrically arranged pillars covering an area of 4.7 acres. There’s also an underground museum here, holding the names of all of the known victims.
The former summer residence of Sophie Charlotte, wife of King Friedrich I, SchlossCharlottenburg is the grandest of the nine surviving palaces, and contains a main palace, two outbuildings and a beautifully maintained park known as the Schlossgarten. The baroque living quarters in the AltesSchloss house a number of highlights including the Oak Gallery, Oval Hall, Friedrich I’s bedchamber, and the beautiful Porcelain Chamber. Each building costs to enter, but you can access it all with a Tageskarte, as well as combining your visit with a trip to the three nearby museums.
Getting to Berlin: This pulsating, intriguing, constantly evolving capital city is well serviced from the UK by budget airlines such as RyanAir and Easyjet but for convenience, try a weekend break package deal; TravelZoo, TravelSupermarket.com and even Easyjet offer packages but for a spot of luxury at discounted prices try the SecretEscapes.com website.
Possibly the most grandiose building in the whole city, Berlin’s cathedral is a real sight to see. Popular with visitors of all ages, the dome is magnificent, boasting incredible architecture as well of wonderful views of the city centre.
It’s the most iconic sight in modern day Berlin, and no trip to Berlin would be complete without seeing the Brandenburg Gate. Once a landmark dividing the East and West of the city, the gate has become a symbol of a new and democratic Germany since the Wall fell.
Free Walking Tours
Make the Brandenburg Gate your first stop and join one of the New Berlin Tours. Departing at 11am and 1pm, these free English language walking tours are led by informative guides who will take you through some of the city’s most iconic landmarks including the TV Tower and Checkpoint Charlie. It’s a great way to get your bearings!
Germany is one of Europe’s most important and influential powers, so a visit to the Reichstag really shouldn’t be missed. The traditional seat of the German Parliament was remodeled in the 1990s, and is now topped with a modern glass dome. As well as catching a glimpse of everyday life in German politics and parliamentary proceedings, you can also walk to the top for an incredible view of the city’s skyline. Best of all, entry to the Reichstag won’t cost you a cent!