Often, a city break can be a convenient and relaxing get away, if only for a short space of time. A couple of years ago, we had a long weekend in Berlin. Here are 10 tips on places to visit in Berlin plus one to avoid!
1. Reichstag Building
A definite must see is the Reichstag building which still stands despite damage to its inside and to the dome after an order by Hitler to be burned in 1933. After Germany was unified again the building was restored and now serves as the parliament. The dome has been replaced with a new glass dome that offers excellent views across Berlin. Do make sure you book in advance as there is no option to turn up on the day and go in, you could do it online before you leave your country.
2. Holocaust Memorial
One of the sites that will take your breath away is the memorial to the 5-6 million Jews that were murdered. Admission is free to the Holocaust Memorial both for walking around the 2,711 slabs and the underground museum location. Certainly a place that reflects on a horrific part of world history.
3. Alexanderplatz Worldtime Clock (The Weltzeituhr)
Found in the central Mitte district, Alexanderplatz World Clock was erected in 1969 and was a popular meeting place when East Berlin existed. The World Time Clock rotates and features the times from time zones or major cities around the world.
4. The Berlin Television Tower (Berliner Fernsehturm)
You’ll be able to see the tower from a fair distance away since its Germany’s tallest building at 368 metres high! If you are looking for it, it can be found in the eastern side of Berlin. It is expensive to go in and busy but it’s definitely worth trying to visit as the view from the top gives a great view over Berlin plus an interesting museum too.
5. Statue of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles
While you are visiting the Berlin Television tower its worth taking a trip to the statue of the rather imposing statue of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engles since its located a short walk away in the park. It’s maybe one you wouldn’t find high on the list however its a nice popular place that gives you a break from the other touristy places.
6. Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor)
Many will have seen the historic footage of war-torn Germany and the Gates’ symbol as the dividing line between East and West. Many though might not realise that it was originally built to celebrate the victory over Napoleon, take note of the Chariot on top of the gate. This well-known landmark must be seen up close and is great for a trip picture.
7. East Side Gallery
The Berlin Wall is a breath-taking sight and the East Side Gallery is the longest stretch that still stands at 1.3km. There is plenty of artwork to see, some you’d call interesting, some controversial, in total there is 106 paintings to see many of which will give an insight into how Berlin was pre-1989.
8. The Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church (known as Gedächtniskirche)
Originally built-in the 1890s like many other building it was badly damaged by allied bombings in World War II. It was left as a ruin until 1959 when it was partly restored with a new tower added while keeping the original spire after overwhelming pressure from the public. See the restored church including the memorial hall on the ground floor.
9. Charlottenburg Palace
Originally just meant as a small garden castle for Sophie Charlotte, wife of Friedrich III it was vastly expanded when Friedrich III became King of Prussia. Over 100 years of ongoing construction means you can explore the huge east and west wings, the dome tower and peruse the world-class art collections as well as the huge garden grounds of course. While you can’t take pictures inside it’s still worth seeing, there is plenty to learn with the audio guide.
10. Heinz Minki Beer Garden
Berlin is well-known for its beer gardens so why not take a night off from sightseeing and relax with some local beers in a nice atmosphere. Situated in the Kreneuzberg district, Heinz Minki Beer is a pleasant and cosy beer garden that is open from 9am until 6pm Monday to Saturday. Enjoy this large garden for as long as you want. Pizza and cold beer is served, great for having a relaxing day or a more romantic day. There is also the open air cinema Freiluft Kino Kreuzberg that is a great experience if you have never been to an open air cinema.
and One to Avoid…Checkpoint Charlie
There is a small museum but not really worth it. The rest of the area is very tourist focused where you can get your picture taken with guards dressed up and then there are stalls selling very tasteless and frankly shocking items such as Russian flags and gas masks.