Among all European capitals, Berlin has the most to offer in terms of places to visit and things to do. Despite suffering damage during World War II, the German capital’s historic architecture and museums remain one of the finest in the world. With the vast melting pot of trends and styles, the possibilities of discovering something new and exotic in Berlin are a plenty.
The best times to visit Berlin are during spring and autumn, when the city holds a variety of cultural and sporting events such as Karneval de Kulturen and Berliner Festwochen. During summer, there are many open-air concerts to behold. In winter, the streets will teem with traditional Christmas markets. Moreover, getting around Berlin is relatively convenient, with the wide accessibility and availability of public transport such as buses, boats, trams, taxis and the extensive train networks, U-Bahn and S-Bahn.
The splendour of the city lies in its outstanding architecture. Berlin boasts one of the most enchanting historic architecture in Europe. Famous landmarks include the tower ruins of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche, the Reichstag in Tiergarten, and the Brandenburg Gate in Unter den Linden. The imposing Neo-gothic façades of the Berliner Dom on Museum Island and the Schloss Charlottenburg will leave visitors in complete awe. Other exquisite examples of German Baroque architecture include the Ephraim-Palais, St Mary’s Church, St Hedwig’s Cathedral, St Matthew’s Church and the attractive Crown Prince’s Palace.
For modern architecture, look no further than Berlin’s Europa-Center and the 365m tall Fernsehturm. In addition, the extraordinary zinc-clad, jagged structure of the Jewish Museum and the cubist structure of the Bauchaus-Archiv set a unique benchmark for other modern buildings in the capital.
A trip to any of the numerous museums in Berlin is definitely worthwhile. From fine art and design to natural history and music, the museums in the German capital provide a great way to increase one’s knowledge not only of Germany, but also of the world. Some museums to visit include the Museum für Naturkunde, which houses the world’s largest dinosaur skeleton, Neues Museum, Musikinstrumenten-Museum, Bode Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie and the Museum of Arts and Crafts.
With many established yet inexpensive cafes and bistros available, visitors can indulge in a dining spree in Berlin. Tuck into a traditional currywurst, Döner Kebab, or Turkish pizza at Hackescher Markt, or savour mouth-watering quiches and baguettes at Fressco in Kreuzberg.
Browsing through the major flea markets such as Mauerpark during the weekends, and main shopping thoroughfares such as KaDeWe at Wittenbergplatz for gifts and souvenirs is a great way to spend time in Berlin. Another option is to take leisurely strolls in the picturesque parks and gardens. The 24m waterfull in Viktoriapark at Kreuzberg offers a spectacular photo opportunity, while the Zoological Garden, Tiergarten, and Botanischer Garten provide an avenue for relaxation.
No visit to Berlin would be complete without a tour around the Berlin Wall and East-side Gallery. The colourful graffiti on the concrete walls is a piece of art itself, which encompasses the rich background of Germany’s past.