This famous city has been witness to much of world history over the ages, more than just the fall of the Berlin Wall. You can still catch a glimpse of the hints of history in innumerable places around the capital. Berlin being the capital of Germany and the country's leading city, is an important center for culture, science, media and of course, politics. Renowned for its artistic flair, Berlin houses the world famous Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Berlin Opera, while its assorted art scene incorporates hundreds of museums, galleries and events, such as those on Museum Island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In spite of the devastation of WWII and the subsequent times of decline to the east of the infamous Berlin Wall, the city has been reconstructed in a way that celebrates its achievements while recognizing the troubled past. Berlin offers an extensive blend of new and old architecture, lively entertainment, shopping, and a wide variety of sports and cultural institutions. Berlin also provides the usual tourist experience besides its history. It is good for shopping, and you will find luxury shops along Kurfürstendamm, along with many flea markets about the capital – you will surely find something you will treasure! For a culinary adventure, make sure to visit the busy food markets in Berlin's market halls and sample the street foods from around the world, for no visit to Berlin is complete without a visit to its many eateries.
Things to see, things to do
Museum Island (Museumsinsel)
Located in between the Kupfergraben and the River Spree, the Museum Island is also known as Spree Island and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here, you can visit many of the city's most important and oldest museums such as the Altes (or Old) Museum, which was constructed in 1830 to feature the Crown Jewels and other royal treasures. The New (Neues) Museum was wrecked during World War II, then it was rebuilt and opened for the public again in 2009. It displays many collections from the Egyptian Museum, the Collection of Classical Antiquities and the Papyrus Collection. The Old National Gallery, known as the Alte Nationalgalerie, was opened in 1876. It exhibits Neoclassical sculptures and other artworks from 1815 to 1848, in addition to early Modernist and Impressionist pieces. The Pergamon is the city's most popular museum. It features the Ishtar Gate, a Museum of Islamic Art and also displays recreated notable buildings from the Middle East.
The Berlin Wall Memorial and Checkpoint Charlie
The Berlin Wall was built in 1961 after East Germany closed off that part of the city to prevent residents from escaping to West Germany. By the time it was taken down in 1989, the four-meter-high wall stretched over 155 kilometers, passed through 55 streets, and was lined with 57 bunkers and 293 observation towers. In the present day, only small sections of this graffiti-laden historical reminder survive, together with a 1.4-kilometer part conserved as part of the Berlin Wall Memorial. It serves as a chilling reminder of the hostility that once separated Europe. The major sights include the Window of Remembrance, the Monument in Memory of the Divided City and the Victims of Communist Tyranny, and the Marienfelde Refugee Center Museum with dedicated to the many people who passed through Berlin as refugees. You should also visit the Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie, which marks the more popular crossing point between East and West Berlin.
The Gendarmenmarkt is one of Berlin's largest squares. Three historic landmark buildings dominate it, namely the French Cathedral (Französischer Dom), the German Cathedral (Deutscher Dom), and the Konzerthaus. The cathedrals are named as such because of their domes and are in truth not churches - the French Cathedral houses the Huguenot Museum, and the German Cathedral has features that illustrate the history of the German Parliament. This lovely 17th-century square hosts several public events each year such as classical concerts in the summer on the steps of the Konzerthaus theater, while every December the entire plaza transforms into a Christmas Market. The Konzerthaus was built in 1821 and is famous not only for its architectural magnificence, but also for the superb performances by Konzerthausorchester Berlin, one of the country's most famous symphony orchestras. A statue of the German poet Friedrich Schiller surrounded by four female figures stands in front of the building, which characterizes the artistic elements of Drama, History, Lyric Poetry, and Philosophy. Another square you should not miss in Berlin is the Alexanderplatz. This was the center of East Berlin life and is now known for the World Time Clock, a common meeting place. You can also visit the Television Tower, which is nicknamed "Telespargel", where you can enjoy panoramic sights of the city.
Berlin Zoological Gardens
For something a little more lighthearted, why not visit the Zoologischer Garten Berlin? It is the oldest zoo in Germany and welcomes millions of visitors every year. The Zoo was established in 1844 and reconstructed in its entirety after World War II, and has made a reputation for itself with its many effective breeding programs and provision of realistic habitats for the animals. The zoo houses nearly 20,000 animals of all sizes and ranging from Arctic wolves to zebras. The most famous animals exhibited include two species of giraffe, a flock of small African penguins, and a pair of giant pandas. The Zoological Gardens also provide access to Europe's largest aviary, along with Aquarium Berlin, where you can delightedly observe thousands of aquatic creatures such as jellyfish, reef and tiger sharks, reptiles, tropical fish, and even insects swim in hundreds of tanks.
Vacation rentals in Berlin, Germany
Experience the history, culture and modern delights offered by this city! With CuddlyNest, you can find that perfect vacation rental that will serve as a base as you go out and about on your holiday. Choose from a wide selection of apartments and other properties, and even from pet-friendly options. So book your rental accommodation with CuddlyNest!