This Spring marked my first and long overdue visit to Berlin. As any traveler does on a first visit to a city, you take in the tourist sites. Here is a little video that points out some of Berlin’s “must sees,” from the TV Tower to Checkpoint Charlie to the famous Eastside Gallery. For a little more info on my picks, read on.
Alexanderplatz & the TV Tower
PanoramastraSse 1A, 10178 Berlin, Germany
Swing through Alexanderplatz, Berlin’s largest and most centrally located public square and transportation hub. With three subway lines and several tram, bus, and train lines running through the station by the square, Alexanderplatz is one of Berlin’s busiest stations. Just a block off the square is the famous TV Tower (aka the Fernsehturm). Standing at 368 meters, it is the tallest structure in Germany. The tower has become one of the most identifiable landmarks in the country. Visitors can take the elevator up to the observation deck or grab a bite at the restaurant at the top of the tower. With tickets starting at 13 euros and fast track options available, it’s an inexpensive activity and an incredible way to see the city and learn a bit of Berlin’s history.
Another well-known site in Berlin is the Brandenberg Gate. It is located where an old city gate used to exist which marked the start of the road from Berlin to the city of Brandenburg an der Havel. Since being built in 1791, the Brandenburg Gate has been a site for major historical events and is regarded as both a symbol of the tumultuous history and the unity and peace of Europe and Germany. History aside, it is also a great place to snap a photo during your trip to Berlin.
Located just next to the Brandenberg Gate you will find the famed Adlon Hotel. This five-star hotel is truly legendary and one of the most famous hotels in Europe. It was originally built in 1907 inspired by modern hotels of the era like the Waldorf Astoria in New York and the Ritz in London and Paris. Known for its afternoon tea (https://www.kempinski.com/en/
The Eastside Gallery is the part of the Berlin wall that’s covered with over 100 murals painted in 1990 by artists from all over the world. Despite the obvious meaning and history associated with the Berlin Wall, the Eastside Gallery is now known an International Memorial for Freedom. The wall stretches nearly a mile long and ends right by the iconic Oberbaum Bridge.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (aka Holocaust Memorial)
This site was constructed to honor and remember the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. It was desgined by Peter Eisenman and Buro Happold and is comprised of 2711 concrete slabs in a grid-like pattern. There is an attached “Information Center” which hold the names of nearly 3 million Jews and displays some of the most important moments of the Holocaust.
The Reichstag Building is home to the German Parliament. Known for its role in history, it is also open to the public. They offer tours and access to the roof terrace and dome. The famous glass dome at the top of the Reichstag offers 360-degree views of the surrounding Berlin cityscape. One can also see Parliament’s “main hall” from inside the dome. Admission is free, but an advanced reservation and registration is required. https://visite.bundestag.de/
Check Point Charlie
One of the most well-known crossing points during World War II, Checkpoint Charlie was set up in 1961 and only foreigners were allowed to cross through it. It was the scene of the infamous events and East Germany escapes. Today, Checkpoint Charlie is quite a tourist destination with its iconic guardhouse now a museum often flanked by actors dressed in historic garb.
So if you haven’t been before, hopefully it’ll give you a little direction, and if you have been to Berlin, maybe this helps conjure up some fantastic memories! What’s your favorite Berlin tourist site?