Located in Tiergarten, this neoclassical building is probably Germany’s most famous landmark. With a magnificent glass cupola installed, visitors can enjoy the view for free. Established to house the German parliament, it is one of Berlin’s most historical landmarks.
Situated in Unter den Linden, near the Reichstag, the former city gate is one of Berlin’s most important and outstanding trademarks. Built in the 18th century as a symbol of peace, it is also the gateway to Berlin’s most impressive street and historical sites.
This unique monument is the most poignant reminder of Berlin’s destruction in World War II. Four buildings surround the old church ruins. They comprise a new octagonal church with a foyer, and a hexagonal tower with a chapel.
The Europa-Centre is a comprehensive, one-stop venue for shopping, dining and more. With many shops, cafes, and even a fitness centre, visitors will have an enjoyable time there. In addition, the modern architecture that the building boasts makes the visit worthwhile.
Also known as the television tower, the 365-metre relic offers splendid views of the city.
With as many as 1.2 million visitors annually, the Fernsehturm is one of the most popular attractions in Berlin.
Admission charges for adults is 11€, 7€ for children up to 16 and free for children up to 3.
This huge department store at Wittenbergplatz caters to most shopping needs and offers excellent gourmet food and snacks on the sixth floor. Besides the delightful, mouth-watering food, there are also many international brands at the lower levels of Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) for avid shoppers.
Museum für Naturkunde
things to do in BerlinFor historic architecture, visit famous landmarks including 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 surely impress visitors. 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.
Besides historical landmarks, modern architecture is Berlin is just as enchanting. Look no further than Berlin’s Europa-Center and the 365m tall Fernsehturm for modern buildings. Furthermore, 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.
Visiting 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, Neues Museum, Musikinstrumenten-Museum, Bode Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie and the Museum of Arts and Crafts.
Embrace wildlife and nature by visiting the Zoological Garden, Tiergarten, and Botanischer Garten. The 24m waterfull in Viktoriapark at Kreuzberg offers a spectacular photo opportunity and an avenue for relaxation.
Large departmental stores such as KaDeWe and Galeries Lafayette will cater to one’s fashion needs. However, for more unique, Made-in-Germany products, it is recommended to head to smaller independent stores at Hackescher Markt in the Mitte district or to Prenzlauer Berg. In addition, there are plenty of opportunities for inexpensive bargains at the city’s flea and antique markets. Trödelmarkt on Straße des 17 Juni, prominently located near the Zoo U-Bahn Station, is one of the best places to hunt for authentic handicrafts, leather items, ceramics, silk clothes and jewelery.
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 savor mouth-watering quiches and baguettes at Fressco in Kreuzberg. Other German cuisine to savour include smoked and pickled pork chops, pig trotters, potato pancake and soft berries with vanilla sauce.
The bustling nightlife in Berlin is deemed to be one of best in Europe. With clubs and restaurants sprouting at almost every street, night-owls can enjoy a late night out. Some clubs and pubs include Astro Bar, Club Moskau, Junction Bar, Solar, and Watergate. There is also live jazz and blues music to enjoy at large venues such as Acud, Magnet Club and Prater.
While in Berlin, it would be a mistake to miss concerts by the Berlin Philharmonic at grand music venues such as Konzethaus Berlin and Staatsoper. Art appreciators may also visit Berlin’s art centre or the hundreds of art galleries in town.
The Natural History Museum in Berlin houses 30 million zoological, palaeontological, geological and mineralogical objects. The wide collection and 6 600 square meters exhibition halls make the museum one of the five biggest in the world. There is also the world’s largest dinosaur skeleton to behold.
Located within Mitte in central Berlin, the 210 hectares picturesque park, which was once a hunting reserve, is now one of the largest parks in the world. Home to wildlife, it is the green lung of Berlin and is a great place to take a stroll during the weekends. A popular place to relax is the Café am Neuen See which peers over a small lake.
From the east, the park is easily accessible via the S-Bahn station Unter den Linden.
At the periphery of Tiergarten is Berlin’s zoo, which is home to an astounding range of species. Admission for adults is 13€, and 6.50€ for children. Besides exploring the idyllic spots for animal-watching, visitors can also dine at the many restaurants there and purchase souvenirs at the zoo shop.
While only little remains of Berlin’s most infamous structure, many visitors still come from all over the world to view the symbolic boundary between democracy and Communism during the Cold War. Visitors can opt to take a bicycle tour of the Berlin wall via the Berlin Wall Trail.
Shopping in Berlin is often a blissful experience, owing to the array of designer stores and unusual second-hand outlets available. The German capital provides an avenue for shoppers to purchase to their hearts’ content, regardless of their budgets. The establishment of shopping centres in Kurfürstendamm, Friedrichstrasse and Potsdamer Platz offers a wide variety of goods from luxurious designer items to basic necessities, leaving one spoilt for choice.
Shopping in Berlin
Large departmental stores such as KaDeWe and Galeries Lafayette will cater to one’s fashion needs. However, for more unique, Made-in-Germany clothes, shoes, perfumes and accessories, it is recommended to head to smaller independent stores at Hackescher Markt in the Mitte district or to Prenzlauer Berg. Other shops worth visiting include Meins & Deins in Danziger Straße, which sells eccentric second-hand vintage clothing, and Razzo in Lychener Straße, which has an extensive range of timeless fashion on offer.
In addition, there are plenty of opportunities for inexpensive bargains at the city’s flea and antique markets. Trödelmarkt on Straße des 17 Juni, prominently located near the Zoo U-Bahn Station, is one of the best places to hunt for authentic handicrafts, leather items, ceramics, silk clothes and jewellery.
Visitors can also purchase lovely gifts and souvenirs in Berlin from a range of stores. The best places to buy an assortment of books include the major museums stores, as well as Autorenbuchhandlung and Bücherbogen. For flowers, there is an amazing selection at Blumen-Koch in Wilmersdorf, while avid porcelain collectors can turn to Königliche Porzellan-Manufaktur. It would be a mistake not to visit specialist shops such as TeeHaus and Tee Gshwendner which sell German aromatic tea. Papeterie sells quality stationery such as smart letter papers and good fountain pens as well.
Food products of high standards are also widely available in the German capital. There are plenty of patisseries and chocolate shops such as Buchwald and Leysieffer offering fine cakes, exquisite chocolates, and a special doughnut called Berliner. It would be worthwhile to visit the gigantic food halls at KaDeWe and Galeries Lafayette which sell a bewildering selection of German specialties such as German sausages, meat rolls, cheeses and wines.
While Berlin remains a shopping galore, it must be noted that a sales tax (VAT) of 16% is levied on most goods and services in Germany. Most major stores are open from 9.30am to 8pm daily and between 9am and 4pm on Saturdays. All stores are closed on Sundays, except for small stores in the main train stations.