Berlin: 10 must-see attractions
Places to visit in Berlin
The Brandenburg Gate and Unter den Linden
Emblematic of Berlin and unified Germany, the Brandenburg Gate is a neoclassical building which signifies entrance into the royal city. It is not dissimilar to the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. Impossible to miss, the Brandenburg Gate features in every sightseeing tour.
The Brandenburg gate is located at the junction of Unter Den Linden and Tiergarten. Unter Den Linden is one of the most famous avenues in Berlin where you can see some of Berlin's most stunning monuments as well as a number of luxury shops.
Heritage | Monuments | Architecture
The Reichstag is one of the most famous symbols of Berlin. Left abandoned after the fire that ravaged it in the 1930's, the parliament and its institutions returned there in 1999. Entirely renovated under the direction of Paul Baumgarten, and crowned by a sublime glass dome designed by Norman Foster it is an unmissable feature of any trip to Berlin.
The majority of visitors come to the Reichstag to climb the dome and view the 680°F panorama of the city. Believe me, the view is breathtaking. You can also visit the building, and the chamber when parliament is not sitting.
Heritage | Monuments | Architecture
Museum Island is located between two arms of the Spree in the Mitte district. It houses 5 of the city's most important museums. Between them, they display over 6 centuries of history, art and culture, according the UNESCO world heritage status.
The Bode, Pergame, Altes and Neues Museums and the Nationalgalerie all reside on the famous Spreeinsel. In addition to the impressive collections displayed in each of the museums, the latter are also architectural treasure built between 1824 and 1930.
Museums | Monuments | UNESCO World Heritage
The East Side Gallery and the Berlin Wall
Essential to any stay in the German capital, the Berlin Wall has not finished drawing crowds even 30 years after its fall. Built one night in 1961, it served as the border between East and West Berlin until 1989. Nicknamed the wall of shame, it measured over 95 miles long and separated the French, American and British districts from the RDA.
Today, only a few rare segments of the wall remain. The most famous is the famous East Side Gallery located along the length of the Spree in Friedrichshain. Don't miss Checkpoint Charlie, the remains of the wall in Mauerpark and the memorial to wall in Bernauer Strasse.
Heritage | Art & Culture | Monuments
Friedrichshain is one of the most famous districts of the former East Berlin. Once the cradle of alternative culture, it has become a popular tourist destination. But despite gentrification of the area, Friedrichshain is still one of the most creative and most pleasant parts of the city.
If you love urban culture, don't miss the RAW Temple industrial area which includes workshops, bars, clubs and open air galleries. Not too far away, is the East Side Gallery and the magnificent Oberbaumbrücke Bridge. Finally, go and see the handsome examples of Soviet era architecture along the Frankfurter Allee.
Heritage | Art & Culture | Relaxation
The Jewish Museum
Located in the Kreuzberg district, the Berlin Jewish Museum is one of the largest in Europe. The original building dates from the 19th century, but the renowned architect Daniel Libeskind was commisssiond to design the museum's new buildings, inaugurated in 2001.
The museum hosts a permanent exhibition retracing two thousand years of Jewish history in Germany. Across 3,000 m2, artworks and objects tell the epic story of the Jewish people from antiquity to the present day.
Museums | Art & Culture | Architecture
Berlin Zoo and Tiergarten
The oldest zoo in Germany is known throughout the world and often heads the list of favourite attractions for families and children in Berlin. Berlin's zoological garden is home to no less than1,554 species of animal from the four corners of the globe. You can tour the world visiting the zoo's pavilions: the Chinese pagoda, the antelope house and the Indian palace.
When you leave Berlin Zoo, don't hesitate to explore Tiergarten, an immense urban park in the heart of the capital. You can lose yourself in the woods, along paths leading to sublime ponds and hidden taverns. And there are architectural gems such as the Philarmonie and the Neue Nationalgalerie.
Heritage | Parks & Gardens | Fauna observation
Potsdam and the Sanssouci Palace
Having travelled the length and breadth of Berlin, I suggest you get away to the small town of Potsdam, 45 minutes from the capital by S-Bahn. In this timelessly charming town, one of the the most beautiful palaces of the Prussian dynasties was built.
Head to the gardens to admire this impressive building which evokes the palace of Versailles in France. Don't miss a visit to the rococo salons of the New Palace and make sure to stroll through the park and gardens too.
Castle | Parks & Gardens | Heritage
Sunday brunch is a veritable institution in the German capital. Long hours around the table are spent among friends in Berlin. Practically every restaurant has a brunch menu. Don't have anything for breakfast, then all you need to do is find a place you like the look of.
Eggs, Benedict, ham and cheese, vegan breakfasts, you'll find every type of breakfast in Berlin. Generally, a full breakfast will cost in the region of 8 to 15 euros. Enjoy yourself without breaking the bank.
The unmissable sights of the German capital must include a mention of its numerous markets. Market halls, flea markets, food markets, Christmas markets - there's ample opportunity to find that special something or discover local culinary treats.
If you love street food, have a look around Markthalle Neun de Kreuzberg or the famous Street Food auf Achse which takes place every Sunday in the Kulturbrauerei. If you're fond of flea markets and bric-a-brac, head for Treptow for the traditional Sunday "flohmarkt."
Gastronomy | Art & Culture | Shopping
Berlin is one of those cities you never finish discovering. I have come nearly every year for 15 years and I am still under the spell of this town which is unlike any other. However, it can't be said Berlin is the most beautiful capital city in Europe. But it does have a unique and inspiring energy of its own
I love Berlin for its alternative culture and its club scene. I love visiting its bars and restaurants, clubs and galleries in unusual locations: a bunker, an old factory, an abandoned railway station... I discovered the German capital during many long walks through the Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain, Mitte and Prezlauer Berg districts. Don't be afraid of getting lost in this sprawling city where you can easily lose your bearings. Don't hesitate to take the U-Bahn and S-Bahn transit to cross the city and discover its splendid panoramas.
Basically, I fell in love with the Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam, the Friedrichshain district and the surprising architecture in Tiergarten. Before you leave, make sure you try a Berlin breakfast or brunch at least once. Your tastebuds will not regret it, I promise.