Berlin is packed with immersive sightseeing adventures, such as its lakeside beaches (like Strandbad Plötzensee in Mitte), the famous art at the East Side Gallery and the striking Reichstag building.
Stop by former prisons and concentration camp memorials to learn more about the history here, or venture to the likes of Museum Island and Charlottenburg Palace. There are countless sights to see in this city.
The Berlin Cathedral is one of the city’s main landmarks and is best known for its magnificent dome roof which dominates the skyline. Situated beside the Lustgarten, it houses the church that still serves the Protestant community in this area.
Originally dating back to the 15th century, the cathedral has since been renovated many times but is now a masterpiece of Renaissance and Baroque-style architecture. The interior is also worth seeing because it’s truly exquisite. Take a wander to admire the breathtaking ornamental mosaics, alongside spectacular statues. Then, stop to gaze at the ceiling laced in gold detail.
Make sure you climb up the 270 steps to reach the dome, where you’ll discover 360-degree views of Berlin as you walk around the outside. This panoramic viewpoint is considered one of the most beautiful in the city; you can see other popular sites from here, including the famous TV Tower. So, you’re in for a real treat when venturing to this spot during your holiday!
The Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum Berlin, located in the Lichterfelde area, originally set out to create “the world in one garden”. That motto certainly comes to life here, proven by the 43 hectares of (around) 22,000 plant species, which attracts approximately half a million visitors every year.
The rich diversity of greenery ranges from aquatic to carnivorous and medicinal plants laid out in the shape of a human body! This spectacular spot features a cactus pavilion, too, alongside many ponds for you to explore. We would recommend spending a full day there to appreciate each section.
Make sure you venture to the Arboretum to uncover the beautiful rose collection, as well as American trees, a large 25-metre high tropical greenhouse and an exquisite Italian garden.
This serene site is also home to the only botanical museum in Central Europe. You can discover models of (what are usually invisible) plant structures, along with a forest in a shoebox!
Charlottenburg Palace boasts spectacular Baroque architecture. It was built towards the end of the 17th century and has attracted visitors from near and far ever since!
This dreamy dwelling was originally created for Prussian Queen, Sophie Charlotte, who regularly walked through the grounds with famous friends. When she passed away, the palace was named after her.
This site is actually Berlin’s largest palace. It’s home to some truly picturesque green gardens, featuring thriving but well-kept vegetation, ponds and immaculately maintained lawns. There are also a number of different rooms open for you to peruse, including the Old Palace and the Mausoleum. You’ll have access to a charming restaurant, too, which sits in the Orangery.
This is the perfect spot if you’re looking to unwind during this busy sightseeing getaway. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon stroll along the glorious garden paths and take in the backdrop of the towering palace.
The East Side Gallery is an outdoor art space featuring a long series of fascinating murals painted on the longest remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall.
Stretching 1,300 metres, this captivating open-air gallery includes works by over 100 artists. The themes of the graphics here centre around peace and hope, while also portraying the difficult times of those living through the Berlin Wall era.
Today, the gallery is considered to be a symbol of the wall’s fall, celebrating the successful and peaceful negotiations between both sides of the border. It actually attracts just over three million visitors every year and holds a status as a Denkmal, meaning it is a heritage-protected landmark.
A number of the murals have gained fame because of their beauty, intricacies and poignancy, particularly Dmitri Vrubel’s painting, known by many as the Fraternal Kiss. It recreates a famed photograph which shows politicians, Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker, kissing each other on the 30th-anniversary celebration of the German Democratic Republic.
Gendarmenmarkt is a popular public square and many people consider it as the most beautiful of its kind in Berlin!
Situated in the Mitte district, this charming square is home to a collection of architecturally stunning buildings, including the Französischer Dom and the Deutscher Dom. These two towers date back to the 18th century; the Französischer Dom now houses the Huguenot Museum. This interesting site tells the story of the Huguenots and the cultural and economic benefits they brought to the city.
There’s plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby, too, where you can sit back and relax with a coffee. Berlin’s major shopping street, Friedrichstraße, is also just a stone’s throw away, lined with all of your favourite designer brands.
At Christmas time, Gendarmenmarkt hosts a traditional German market. As you wander around the wooden cabins adorned with fairy lights, you’ll find handmade items, tasty food and drink, alongside festive Christmas-themed gifts.
Museum Island (Museumsinsel) is a hub of art and history, with a number of famous exhibits to explore. It was even listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site just before the turn of the century. So, you’re bound to uncover some extraordinary sights when you visit.
This site really is a culture lover’s paradise; it has five excellent museums sitting on one island, situated in the middle of the city. This includes Pergamon Museum, Bode-Museum, the Neues Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie and the Altes Museum.
The most popular of these is the Pergamon Museum. However, the Neues Museum (which translates to “new museum” in English), features the limestone bust of the celebrated ancient Egyptian queen, Nefertiti.
For medieval sculptures alongside coins from the Numismatic Collection, head to the Bode-Museum. Or, stop off at the Alte Nationalgalerie, where you’ll discover a vast variety of art, including as many as 1800 paintings!
The Pergamon Museum is located on the marvellous Museum Island in the central district of Mitte.
Sitting atop the Spree River, Museum Island is home to a pool of internationally significant museums that are still being added to today. The Pergamon Museum is actually one of the latest additions to this museum complex, which was constructed over a period of 20 years and finished in 1930.
If you’re an avid historian, you’ll love venturing here to explore the ancient world’s rich past. This spectacular site is now divided into three wings, featuring the Antiquity Collection, the Middle East Museum and Islamic Art Museum. Plus, you can discover many important reconstructed buildings here. This includes the Market Gate of Miletus, along with the Ishtar Gate, which was deemed as one of the original seven wonders of the world.
So, take a look around for yourself during your holiday to Berlin and embrace the grand surroundings laced with history!
Tempelhofer Feld is a public park with a real difference because it was originally the grounds for an airport.
The former Tempelhof airport was built in the 1920s, being the first of its kind in Berlin. It was used for a range of reasons, like operating commuter flights to other German cities, as well as for military purposes.
After closing in 2008, the site itself was reopened as a huge recreational park, maintaining many of its original features. This includes featured buildings alongside tarmac and runways, giving it a very unique feel.
It covers over 350 hectares of land in total, making it one of the biggest inner-city open green spaces in the world! The unconventional nature of this site has made it a big attraction for both locals and curious tourists alike. This really is a great spot to spend a relaxed summer’s day while indulging in the culture.
The Berlin Wall Memorial is perhaps one of the city’s most poignant. This open-air exhibition provides a fascinating insight into life here during the wall years. When you visit, you’ll learn all about the wall’s construction, how it was guarded and the political circumstances surrounding it.
Ascend the elevated viewing platform at the indoor Documentation Center for an aerial view of how the wall originally appeared. Doing this will give you a real sense of perspective; you’ll witness the size of the wall, as well as the watchtower used to catch illegal crossings. Then, walk along the length of the wall to see different aspects of the ruins!
Nearby is another one of Berlin’s iconic attractions – Checkpoint Charlie, which is the wall’s most famously-known crossing point between East and West Germany. It retains original features from when it was in use, while a double line of cobblestones in the street marks where the wall once sat.
The Brandenburg Gate is a city gate dating back to the 18th century, which is perhaps one of Berlin’s most easily recognisable monuments. Geographically, it marks the entry point to Unter den Linden and sits directly west of Pariser Platz, making it one of the greatest, centrally located squares in the city.
It is a spot of historical importance, too, with many influential events taking place here over the years. As well as being damaged in the Second World War (and then later restored), a long catalogue of political figures have visited this gate, including Napoleon, John F. Kennedy and Barack Obama.
Today, the monument is regarded as a symbol of unity and peace, optimising Germany’s perseverance after a turbulent past. This is represented by the statue of Quadriga – a chariot driven by the Roman goddess of victory, which perches on top of the gate. So, for all of you sightseers out there, this spot should be high up on your to-do list!
Originally built in 1894, the Reichstag is the main parliamentary building in Germany, playing host to an array of important political meetings throughout its history. It sits opposite the breathtaking Platz der Republik, which provides an impressive backdrop for those looking to unwind on the greenery.
This iconic site is the second most visited attraction in Germany. Travellers will love visiting and learning about its long history, before ascending the glass dome at the top, which offers spectacular 360-degree views of Berlin.
However, it does have a turbulent past, having sustained significant damages on several occasions. As well as catching fire in 1993, it was also damaged in air raids, meaning it was disused as the country’s key parliamentary building and was left in a state of disrepair.
Thankfully, it was renovated throughout the 90s and soon became the place for the German parliament to meet again.
Victory Column (Siegessäule) is a 220-foot monument. It was completed in 1873 to celebrate the triumph of Prussia against Denmark in the Second Schleswig War.
This marvellous monument, situated in the heart of Tiergarten Park, consists of a bronze sculpture of Victoria (the Roman goddess of victory) which sits on top of a series of stone blocks. There’s also a museum within the base of the column; it tells you all about the monument’s history as well as others dotted around the world!
The main attraction here is the impressive viewing platform, which can be reached by ascending a spiral staircase, taking you pretty high up. The platform lies just beneath the sculpture of Victoria and offers panoramic views across the city.
One thing’s for sure, the scenic sights are astonishing on a clear day. You can even see the Brandenburg Gate, alongside the spectacular symmetry of Tiergarten Park! So, there’s every reason to visit this special site during your holiday in Berlin.