Activities & Adventure 8 MINS READ

The 13 Best Berlin Attractions You Can’t-Miss

The 13 Best Berlin Attractions You Can’t-Miss

Activities & Adventure 8 MINS READ
Young woman in front of the Bradenburg Gate, in Berlin, Germany.

Let’s cut right to the chase: Berlin is a city worth visiting at least once. Known for its cosmopolitan atmosphere, Germany’s vibrant capital handsomely rewards urban explorers with a whirlwind of attractions — even locals haven’t exhausted all there is to do here. 

Tried-and-true experiences popular among visitors include checking dazzling art collections at fabulous museums and discovering the city’s turbulent past by visiting heartfelt landmarks like the Holocaust Memorial and the Berlin Wall. 

But there’s more to Berlin than a dark past. The city reinvented itself, and it grew to become a lively metropolis filled with trendy neighborhoods, multicultural restaurants, creative venues, and an electrifying nightlife that is a magnet for party-goers.

With so many options packed into this bustling city, it’s easy to find reasons to stay for a week’s vacation or longer. 

To help you get the most out of your trip to Berlin, we’ve rounded up the 13 top attractions in the city. Whatever your mood and interest, you’ll find something incredible on this list.

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The Top 13 Tourist Attractions in Berlin, Germany

The Brandenburg Gate

The Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Germany.

The Brandenburg Gate is, unarguably, one of Berlin’s most famous tourist attractions. Located in the city center, overlooking the alluring Pariser Platz square, the monument was commissioned by King Frederick Wilhelm II and built between 1788 and 1791.

Originally built as a key entry point to Unter den Linden, which led to the Prussian palace, the gate came to symbolize Berlin’s division into East and West during the Cold War, and since the fall of the Wall, a reunified Germany.

Aside from boasting a fascinating historical significance, the Bradenburg Gate dazzles visitors with its impressive architectural features. Designed by German architect Carl G. Langhans, who was strongly inspired by the Propylaea of the Athenian Acropolis, the monument is composed of 12 Doric columns that create five portals and is decorated with reliefs and sculptures designed by Gottfried Schadow. At the top, there’s a statue known as the “Quadriga,” which depicted the goddess of victory driving a chariot pulled by four horses. A masterpiece of neoclassical architecture!

Address: Pariser Platz, 10117

Reichstag Building

Reichstag Building, Berlin, Germany.

After marveling at the grandiose Brandenburg Gate, make your move to the history-filled Reichstag. Originally constructed in 1894 to house the Imperial Diet (German: Reichstag) of the German Empire, the building was severely damaged in 1933 after being set on fire, and fell into disuse after World War II.

The Reichstag building was fully restored after the German reunification, in 1990, when it underwent a reconstruction led by renowned architect Norman Foster. Now, this century-old construction is the official seat of the Bundestag, the lower house of the German parliament, making it one of the most important historical buildings in Berlin.

If you plan on visiting the Reichstag, be sure to check out the building’s 800-ton steel and glass dome, which boasts an observation deck from where visitors can enjoy fabulous views of Berlin.

Address: Platz der Republik 1, 11011

East Side Gallery

East Side Gallery, Berlin, Germany

While most of the Berlin Wall was destroyed in 1989, it’s still possible to visit one of its remaining stretches, the East Side Gallery, which is the ultimate symbol of the German reunification.

Located between the Berlin Ostbahnhof and the Oberbaumbrücke, along the Spree River, the 0,80-mile section of the wall was transformed into an open-air gallery — the longest in the world — featuring around 100 graffiti paintings by artists from around the world.

One of East Side Gallery’s most irreverent paintings is “My God, Help Me to Survive This Deadly Love”, which depicts the Soviet politician Leonid Brezhnev kissing the leader of the GDR Erich Honecker.

Address: Mühlenstraße 3-100, 10243

Schloss Charlottenburg

Charlottenburg Palace, Berlin, Germany.

Charlottenburg Palace seems to have been plucked out of a fairy tale. Built at the end of the 17th-century as a summer residence for art-loving Queen Sophia Charlotte, wife of King Frederick I, this opulent Baroque palace was a favorite retreat of seven generations of Hohenzollern rulers. They repeatedly redesigned the rooms, which still to the present day maintain a lavish décor and a royal grandeur.

During a tour of the palace, visitors are able to catch a glimpse of the opulent interiors decorated with dazzling artworks by Caravaggio, Guido Reni, Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, and Jacob Jordaens, and Jan Lievens. Schloss Charlottenburg also harbors a fabulous collection of 18th-century French paintings — the largest of its kind outside of France — making it one of the best museums in Berlin.

Other highlights of the palace include the private chambers of Frederick the Great, the  Porcelain Chamber, home to an array of Chinese and Japanese blue ware, and the well-manicured gardens.

Address: Spandauer Damm 10-22, 14059

Opening Hours: Summer season Tuesday – Sunday from 10 am to 5:30 | Winter season from Tuesday – Sunday from 10 am to 4:30 pm

Museum Island

Museum Island, in Berlin, Germany

Welcome to the Museum Island, Berlin’s top tourist attraction for history buffs and art lovers. Nestled on the northern part of the Spree Island, this complex contains five stellar museums — Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Bode-Museum, and the Pergamonmuseum —, each of them home to outstanding art and archaeological collections.

The Pergamonmuseum (Pergamon Museum) plays host to the Collection of Classical Antiquities, the Islamic Art Museum, and the Middle East Museum. Its crown jewel is the Pergamon Altar, a massive monument featuring a 370-foot long marble frieze depicting the Gigantomachy from Greek mythology.

Altes Museum contains Berlin’s Antikensammlung (Collection of Classical Antiquities) and part of the Numismatic Collection, while the Bode Museum houses the Collection of Sculptures, the Museum of Byzantine Art, and most of the Numismatic Collection.

In the Neues Museum, visitors will find the Egyptian Museum  —  home to a century-old bust of Queen Nefertiti —, as well as the Museum of Pre and Early History.

Last but not least, there’s the Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery), which features 

1800 paintings and 1500 sculptures by artists like Paul Cézanne, Renoir, and German painter Caspar David Friedrich.

No wonder why the Museum Island was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

Address: Bodestraße 1-3, 10178

Opening Hours: Museum Island & Panorama Pass €19, Museum Pass €29

Jewish Museum

Jewish Museum Berlin, Germany.

The Jewish Museum is another must-visit cultural institution in Berlin. The largest of its kind in Europe, the museum is praised for displaying a superb permanent exhibition entitled “Jewish Life in Germany: Past and Present”.

Covering an area of over 3,500 square meters, the exhibit reminisces on German Jewish history from the Middle Ages to the present day.

While snooping around the museum’s galleries, you’ll stumble upon an eye-opening collection of ceremonial objects, from a Torah mantle to a crown, as well as video installations, hands-on stations, 33 artworks, and immersive virtual reality experiences.

Address: Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969

Opening Hours: Open daily 10 am–7 pm

Berlin Wall Memorial

Berlin Wall Memorial, Berlin, Germany.

Running along both sides of the Bernauer Straße, the Berlin Wall Memorial is one of the most famous landmarks in the city, as it depicts a key event in German history.

The memorial was created in 1998 to document the history of the division of the city into West and East Berlin, and it includes the last remaining piece of the wall.

You’ll also find an open-air exhibition that illustrates the history of Berlin between the wall being built and being torn down. There, you’ll also find the Chapel of Reconciliation, which honors those who fled and were killed at the border strip, as a Visitor Center with a viewing platform located on the other side of the street (the western side).

Address: Bernauer Str. 111, 13355

Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust Memorial, Berlin, Germany.

Located near the Brandenburg Gate, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is a central place of remembrance for the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. This heartfelt memorial consists of over 2700 concrete blocks spread across an area of about 19,000 square meters, all identical in their horizontal dimensions, reminiscent of coffins.

Beneath the memorial is located the Information Centre, which features themed rooms that documents the crimes of the Nazi during World War II.

Address: Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117

Berliner Fernsehturm (Berlin Television Tower)

Berlin TV Tower

Seeking to enjoy the most heart-capturing views of Berlin? Then head over to the TV Tower on Alexanderplatz. Opened in 1969, this 368m-tall tower features a 360º deck from where visitors can observe Germany’s capital in all of its glory!

Address: Panoramastraße 1A, 10178

Opening Hours: November to March from 10 am to 10 pm | April to October 9 am to 11 pm

Berlin Cathedral

Berlin Cathedral

Architecture lovers: don’t pass up the chance to visit the gorgeous Berlin Cathedral. Aside from being the city’s most important protestant building, the church is a treasure trove of magnificent details, including artfully designed mosaics, and the crypt of the powerful Hohenzollern dynasty.  The cherry on top? A stunning Silesian sandstone dome that offers jaw-dropping views of the city!

Address: Am Lustgarten, 10178 Berlin

Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday: 10 am to 6 pm | Friday to Saturday 10 am to 5 pm | Sunday 12 pm to 5 pm

Berlin Zoological Garden

Panda at the Berlin Zoo, Berlin, Germany.

If you’re planning to visit Berlin with kids, be sure to add the Zoological Garden to your travel itinerary. Perfectly nestled in the lush Tiergarten park, in central Berlin, the zoo is the oldest in Germany, and it’s home to nearly 20,000 animals of 1,200 species.

There, little ones will be able to get face to face with a 74-year-old flamingo named Ingo, Germany’s only giant pandas, African hippos, and Victor, a massive elephant that is the heaviest inhabitant of the zoo.

Adress: Hardenbergpl. 8, 10787

Opening Hours: Monday – Sunday 9 am to 6:30 pm

German Cathedral (Neue Kirche)

German Cathedral, Berlin, Germany.

The German Cathedral (Neue Kirche) is another bucket-list church in Berlin. Gloriously placed in the dreamy Gendarmenmarkt square, across from the French Cathedral, the building is a fabulous display of the Baroque Revival style of architecture.

Inside the German Cathedral, visitors can check out an interactive exhibit spread over 5 floors called “Milestones – Sidetracks -Setbacks”, which provides an overview of the changes in the parliamentary system in Germany from the March Revolution to the present day.

Address: Gendarmenmarkt 1-2, 10117

Opening Hours: Tuesday-Wednesday 10 am to 6 pm

The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, Berlin, Germany.

The Gedächtniskirche (Memorial Church) is the most famous landmark in the western part of Berlin. Commissioned by Emperor Wilhelm II, who wanted to honor his grandfather, Emperor Wilhelm I, the church was originally built according to the designs of architect Franz Schwechten. At the time when it was built, the Gedächtniskirche boasted the tallest main tower in the city, and interiors lavishly decorated with mosaics and murals.

Unfortunately, the church was severely damaged during the second world war, and it was intentionally not completely rebuilt. Rather, its ruin serves as a war memorial, becoming a symbol of Berlin rising from the ashes.

Address: Breitscheidplatz, 10789 Berlin

Opening Hours: Monday – Sun 9 am to 7 pm

FAQ

What’s Berlin famous for?

Germany’s capital city, Berlin is known for its cosmopolitan atmosphere, diverse and multicultural neighborhoods, history-filled landmarks, stellar museums, and captivating nightlife.

Are 3 days enough in Berlin?

Yes. 3 days allows visitors enough time to get a taste of Berlin and visit some of the city’s top attractions.

What are the top attractions in Berlin, Germany?

The top 13 attractions in Berlin:

  • The Brandenburg Gate;
  • Reichstag Building;
  • East Side Gallery;
  • Schloss Charlottenburg;
  • Museum Island;
  • Jewish Museum;
  • Berlin Wall Memorial;
  • Holocaust Memorial;
  • Berliner Fernsehturm (Berlin Television Tower);
  • Berlin Cathedral;
  • Berlin Zoological Garden;
  • German Cathedral (Neue Kirche);
  • The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.

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