Planning for a trip to Berlin, but don’t know the best places to see in Berlin? Don’t worry! Tourmantras brings a list of the 23 Best Places to see in Berlin for Tourists. Read till the end to know them.
The largest city and the capital of Germany, Berlin is also a major place of culture, media, science, and politics. Well-known for cultural flair, Berlin is the home of the world-famous Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Berlin Opera. Even it has hundreds of galleries for diverse art sceneries, events, and museums including Museum Island – The UNESCO World Heritage Site.
So, don’t go anywhere, here are 23 best places to see in Berlin to add to your bucket list!
Table of Contents
23 Best Places to See in Berlin
Apart from your interests, this article will help you to get the most sightseeing and adventure places to see in Berlin. Move ahead to our list of the best places to see in Berlin, Germany.
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1) Museum Island
Spree Island known as Museum Island is situated beside a 400 m long canal of sandwiches between the Spree River and the Kupfergraben River. It’s one of the most important UNESCO World Heritage Sites and places to see in Berlin. You’ll find many of the oldest and most important museums in the city, including the Old Altes Museum, built in 1830 to keep the Crown Jewels and other Royal Treasures.
The New Neues Museum, destroyed during World War II, was rebuilt in 2009 and opened again. It serves the extensive collection of the Egyptian Museum, the Papyrus Collection, and the Classical Antiquities Collection.
Alte Nationalgalerie, the Old National Gallery was opened in 1876. Here you will get to see the Neoclassical Sculpture and Paintings from 1815-1848, the Impressionist and early Modernist pieces. The Bode Museum displays a collection of Byzantine art, a large collection of sculptures spanning from the 15th century to the late 1700s.
Even the most popular museum in the city, the Pergamon Museum houses Islamic Art. The newest museum, the Humboldt Forum opened in 2019 and houses the Museum of Asian Art and the Ethnological Museum of Berlin. Moreover, you can visit the Ishtar Gate, and reconstruct historic buildings in the Middle East.
2) Best Places to See in Berlin – German Historical Museum
The Deutsches Historisches Museum (DHM) or German Historical Museum is one of the best places to see in Berlin for those who want to learn about the remarkably rich history of the city. It consists of several historic exhibition halls which house the artifacts of various periods and events from the founding of the country to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Other exhibitions included fashion, religion, medicine, printing, art, and photography. Even military buffs increase the vast collection of museums with historic armour, uniforms, and weapons. Moreover, a research library is open to everyone.
3) Checkpoint Charlie Museum
The Checkpoint Charlie Museum (Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie) is the well-known crossing point between East and West Berlin. This tourist spot features several artefacts and displays traces of the history of human rights, including the history of the Berlin Wall, and Checkpoint Charlie.
The museum is situated next to the original guardhouse which also highlights most of the interesting attempts made by the people who were trying to escape from communist rule. During this, an original homemade air balloon was successfully used in one attempt. Moreover, the nearby open-air Black Box Cold War is an interesting place that features different sections of the Berlin Wall and its information.
4) Jewish Museum Berlin
The architect Daniel Libeskind designed the Jewish Museum Berlin (Jüdisches Museum Berlin) which features one of the most striking landmarks of the distinctive zinc-paneled exterior in Berlin. Established in 2001, visitors will get to see a wide range of historical artefacts and donated collections that show the long history and struggle from middle age to the present Jewish Germans.
Exhibits also artwork, religious objects, and 24,000 preserved and recovered photographs. The Memory Void describes the intense collection of 10,000 iron faces spread across the ground called ‘Shalekhet’ or ‘Fallen Leaves’. Moreover, the museum is home to a library and archives of the Academy where educational programs were organised sometimes.
Museum galleries have a dedicated section for Hanukkah, Middle East conflict, anti-semitism, the life of Munich rabbi Leo Baerwald and the history & culture of Jerusalem. However, there are a variety of themed tour options and places to see in Berlin including English audio guides.
5) Berlin-Dahlem Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum
Built upon the instructions of the Grand Elector in 1679, the Berlin-Dahlem Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum is the kitchen and herb garden of the Royal Palace. It covers 126 acres of land which makes it one of the world’s largest botanical gardens. You will find more than 20,000 species of plants including Europe, and the Great Tropical House (tropical and subtropical environments).
Medical plants are also there and a large pond of the biotope has formed at the center for marine and marsh plants. If you can, try to visit at Christmas, or during the annual ‘Botanical Night’ event, to experience one of the most romantic things and places to see in Berlin in winter.
6) Best Places to See in Berlin: Pergamon Museum
Besides being the most visited attraction on Museum Island, the Pergamon Museum is one of the top sightseeing destinations and places to see in Berlin. It features three galleries Middle East Museum, the Islamic Art Museum, and the Museum of the Antiquity collection, each occupying a wing of the massive building. You will find a nearby cafe and bookshop on-site.
Slightly escaped from harm during World War II, the artefacts were collected in the 19th and 20th centuries by German archaeologists from excursions to Asia, Egypt, and the Middle East. It’s mainly focused on architectural marvels and ornate facades & gates. Some of the museums focus on the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, the Mshatta Façade, and the Roman Market Gate of Miletus.
7) The German Museum of Technology
Established in 1983, the German Museum of Technology showcases and celebrates the industrial and technological prowess of Germany. There are several fun things to do in this museum for kids and families including the Industrial Revolutionise displays, and hands-on experience in a reconstructed workshop.
Moreover, the museum offers an evolved and fascinating look at the vehicles in the rise of mechanization. There are so many vehicles and aircraft showcases along with several preserved steam engines of 1843. However, riding in a vintage 1930s train is the highlight on weekends to go to its locomotive depot from the museum.
You will get a tour guide in the English language for such places to see in Berlin. There’s an on-site restaurant and picnic spot for staying at weekends.
8) DDR Museum
DDR Museum, the newer attraction in Berlin, opened in 2006. It offers a sobering look at East Berlin’s life under communist rule. It features a variety of surveillance life and the everyday life of privations in the old government district of East Berlin. You will also see a large collection of authentic artefacts from that period.
Other highlights include a replica tower block, prison cell, interrogation room, and cinema, accompanied with information. Must try out the Trabant simulator to experience the realistic driving of a classic East German vehicle on the Berlin Wall.
9) The Humboldt Forum
The Humboldt Forum is one of the best places to see in Berlin. Established in 2019, this place offers a great sightseeing opportunity on Museum Island. Remarkably constructed with two leading museum collections the Museum of Ethnography and the Museum of Asian Art Museum under a single roof in Berlin. It seems to be a reconstructed Berlin Palace.
Considered one of the leading museums around the world, visitors can easily see the largest collections of non-European treasures, a trove of more than 400,000 artefacts in Germany.
10) The Brandenburg Gate
The Brandenburg Gate is undoubtedly the most famous historic landmark in Berlin. Once a symbol of a divided nation turns into the symbol of unity and peace. This large Neo-classical gate was designed via the inspiration of the Propylaea in Athens’ Acropolis and commissioned by King Frederick Wilhelm II in 1788. The 26-metre-tall sandstone monument is just a block from the Reichstag building, situated in the Mitte district’s Pariser Platz.
During the Cold War, West Berliners demonstrated it as a blocked gate due to its physical and symbolic position including the Berlin Wall. It’s also famous for being the place of the petition to the Soviet leader Mikhali Gorbachev by US President Ronald Reagan to tear down the wall in 1987.
Moreover, it was the backdrop of a poignant gesture when political leaders from different countries including Angela Merkel of Germany, Mikhail Gorbachev of Russia, and Poland’s Lech Walesa walked together through the gate to commemorate in 1999 tearing down of the Berlin Wall 10 years. Visiting the Brandenburg Gate at night is undoubtedly one of the top and bonus things to do in Berlin.
11) The Rebuilt Reichstag
The Reichstag was constructed in 1894 to serve as the home of the German Empire’s Imperial Diet in the Neo-Renaissance palace until it burned in 1933. After that, it went under reconstruction for 10 years and became the home of the German Parliament in 1999. The Kuppel highlights in place of the dome after the reconstruction.
It is made of glass and offers superb views of the nearby city, especially at night. If you visit in the summer, must schedule light shows and film nights to make your Berlin trip memorable. Remember that you need to buy a ticket to go to the Dome and Terrace. Overall it’s one of the best places to see in Berlin.
12) The Berlin Wall Memorial
When East Germany was sealed in 1961 to prevent citizens from running away to West Germany, the Berlin Wall was built. By the time of 1989, the four-metre-high wall was torn down and extended to 155 km, dissected 55 streets and possessed 57 bunkers & 293 observation towers. Now, only small stretches, including the 1.4 km preserve part of the Berlin Wall Memorial remain. It’s a chilling reminder of the animosity that divides Europe.
The Marienfelde Refugee Center Museum is another place to visit where you can see the one-and-a-half million people of Berlin who passed as refugees. Moreover, the former watchtower – Günter Litfin Memorial set up as a memorial that pays tribute to the first killed civilian who tried to cross from East to West. It becomes the Monument in Memory of the Divided City and the Victims of Communist Tyranny.
13) Berliner Fernsehturm: Berlin’s Television Tower
The 368-metre-tall Berliner Fernsehturm, known as Berlin Television Tower, has celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020. Since 1970, its third-tallest freestanding structure in Europe attracted over 60 million visitors and has lost none of its appeal to the city. Most of the visitors are drawn to the spectacular views over the capital of Germany.
Located in the Former East Berlin district, it was constructed to mark the prowess of communism. If possible, book a reservation at the 207-metre-high revolving restaurant and include the structure’s observation deck.
14) Charlottenburg Palace and Park
The Charlottenburg Palace is the oldest and largest Prussian estate in Berlin which was the primary residence of the German Royalty in the late 17th century. After being restored beautifully, this huge palace offers many features like a massive 50-metre-high central dome, a large garden inspired by the Versailles garden, opulent Baroque and Rococo decor along with its expansive rooms.
A tour program of its property is the highlight of its State Apartments and fine Banqueting Halls. This palace was built in 1746 where the Prussian Kings and Electors lived. It also has the bedroom of Frederick I, the State Dining Room, fine furnishings and paintings, gilded stucco, and a 42-metre-long Golden Gallery.
However, the Old Palace has a Porcelain Cabinet and a room dedicated to a large collection of historic porcelain and special exhibits, including the Crown Jewels and other royal treasures.
If you make a plan to visit Berlin, must include the Mausoleum with its royal tombs, and the Grand Courtyard with the large statue of Frederick William – the Great Elector of Brandenburg. Charlottenburg Palace Christmas Market, having more than 250 vendors and artisans exhibiting seasonal wares, is one of the best places to see in Berlin in winter.
Dominated by three historic buildings the Konzerthaus, the French Cathedral, and the German Cathedral, the Gendarmenmarkt is one of the largest squares in Berlin. This 17th-century square is one of the top places to see in Berlin for tourists.
Moreover, numerous public events including classical concerts on the steps of the Konzerthaus Theatre are hosted every year. In the winter, you will find the famous Christmas Market of the city in the entire plaza.
Built-in 1821, the Konzerthaus is famous for its first performance of Konzerthausorchester, one of the most popular symphony orchestras of Berlin alongside its architectural splendour. You will find a statue of the German poet Friedrich Schiller surrounded by four female figures in front of the building that represent the artistic elements of Lyrical Poetry, Drama, Philosophy, and History.
The cathedrals are so famous for their domes, not the churches. The French Cathedral is the house of the Huguenot Museum, whereas the German Cathedral shows the history of the German Parliament. Alexanderplatz is another well-known square place to see in Berlin in the centre of East Berlin life.
16) Best Places to See in Berlin – Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, known as the Holocaust Memorial, is one of the most attractive places to see in Berlin for tourists. It’s a remarkable place to witness the commitment of blind eyes to the atrocities of the people of Germany.
You can see a collection of 2,711 concrete slabs on the eastern side of Tiergarten which covers 19,000 square metres of uneven ground. Even there’s an information centre below the sprawling memorial that houses the photographs, letters, and diaries of Holocaust victims. You will get an English audio guide as well.
17) Grosser Tiergarten and the Victory Column
Berlin’s Grosser Tiergarten, translated as the ‘Large Animal Garden’, has long been one of the best places to see in Berlin for tourists. It was a royal hunting reserve that was used for keeping deer, wild pigs, and other game.
Later in 1700, it was transformed into a public park laid out with shrubs and expanses of grass, an abundance of trees, and flower borders. However, the Tiergarten covers 210 hectares of land to is a favourite place for walking, boating, and relaxation.
The park has several statues and monuments like the 1880s Statue of Queen Luise, which was made to memorialise her care of wounded soldiers during the War of 1806. Moreover, there’s a Monument of Frederick Wilhelm III made in 1849 to recall the peace-loving disposition of the King.
An eight-metre-high gold statue of Victoria crowned with a 70-metre-tall structure is the most famous monument of Tiergarten and is known as the massive Victory Column – Siegessaule. You have to climb 285 steps to reach the top of this monument and can experience the view of an entire Tiergarten. If you look closely, you can see the evidence of bullet damage during World War II.
18) Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is one of the most interesting places to see in Berlin. The ultra-modern new church, next to Memorial Church, designed in 1961 ruins the original 63-metre-high tower. After the original one in 1943, it was reconstructed in 1895 in honour of Emperor Wilhelm I. But it remains incorporated into the new complex.
Now, the Berlin landmark serves as a war memorial that contains architectural remnants, and photos. During World War II, a Cross of Nails from Coventry Cathedral and the Memorial Church was destroyed by German bombs. You will get tour guides to visit such places in Berlin. However, a popular Christmas Market is held every winter.
Moreover, you are most welcome to participate in Sunday Services, Evening Music Services featuring choral music, cantatas, organ recitals, and Regular Weekday Services.
19) Berlin Cathedral Church
Located on Museum Island, the Berlin Cathedral is next to the Lustgarten and is one of the complex imposing buildings having a 75-metre-high dome. The building is built in the style of the New Baroque. This largest church in Berlin is divided into three sections, i.e., the Baptismal & Nuptial Church, the Memorial Church, and the Parish Church.
After repairing the war damage, the church has been returned to its former glory. The Imperial Staircase was decorated with bronze cornices and 13 tempera paintings in 1905 by Berlin landscape painter Albert Hertel. Be sure to visit the Imperial Gallery for a splendid view of Berlin.
Hohenzollern Crypt is another tourist spot that contains nearly 100 coffins, sarcophagi, and monuments from the 16th to 20th centuries. Try to make time for one of the concerts, organ recitals, and special visitor services of the cathedral, and climb the 270 steps to the Dome to experience a superb view over Museum Island.
20) Best Places to See in Berlin – The Topography of Terror
The Topography of Terror, also known as the Museum of the Gestapo, occupies the buildings which were used in Gestapo operations as headquarters, the prison of the Secret State Police, and central offices during World War II. It mainly focuses on the SS and police during Nazi rule. However, it highlights the terrible crimes and gives the visitors a sense of a terror state. It shows the everyday life of Europeans under their control.
21) Berlin Zoological Gardens
Berlin Zoological Gardens, the oldest zoo in Germany, is one of the most popular places to see in Berlin. Every year almost 3.5 million guests visit this zoological garden. Although it was established in 1844, completely rebuilt after World War II. Apart from providing authentic habitats for the animals, the zoo has earned a reputation for successful breeding programs.
The zoo has nearly 20,000 big and small animals, from Arctic wolves to zebras. However, it’s famous for having a pair of giant pandas, a flock of diminutive African penguins, and two species of giraffe. Even you will find the biggest Aquarium in Berlin, having more than 9,000 creatures such as tropical fish, reef and tiger sharks, jellyfish, reptiles, and insects in 250 tanks.
22) Tierpark Berlin
Tierpark is another zoo in Berlin, spread across 400 acres and home to 7,250 animals from 846 different species. It was opened in the 1950s and is almost similar to the Berlin Zoo. If you are going on a trip to Berlin with children, visiting Tierpark will be worth it. Elephants, polar bears, and a large herd of muskox are some of the popular animals. The zoo is well-known for its breeding programs.
Normally, the zoo is open in the late morning hours of summer. And, many programs for kids, feeding schedules, and unique animal experience tours are organised – check out the website of the zoo for details of such special things. Also, time to visit the AquaDom – the sightseeing itinerary of Berlin. This vast 25-metre-tall aquarium offers an elevator in the middle to experience a unique view of marine inhabitants.
23) The Nikolai Quarter
The Nikolai Quarter of Belin is in the heart of the old city. Here you’ll find many oldest and most popular attractions, including plenty of interesting things to do for tourists. However, this pedestrian-friendly quarter is well-known for its small buildings such as homes, restaurants, cafes, and other shops selling from basketry to wooden crafts, set along narrow streets full of nooks and crannies.
Moreover, many old fountains, lanterns, and historic buildings like Ephraim Palace, and Knoblauch House, built in the 1760s, have exquisite grand staircase and lattice windows on the older houses highlighting the rich artistic and cultural history of the district.
The most famous street in Berlin, Unter den Linden is another tourist spot that stretches up to 1,400 metres. It connects Pariser Platz in front of the Brandenburg Gate to the Lustgarten. At present, it’s a two-car lane, separated by a wide central pedestrian area. It provides a wonderful place to relax.
Wrapping Up on Best Place to See in Berlin
These are all the best places to see in Berlin you can visit. When you plan a tour to visit such places in Berlin, you need to stay in hotels. For people who want to stay within walking distance of the best places to see in Berlin like the Brandenburg Gate and Museum Island, the Mitte district of Berlin is the best place to stay. Even it’s the historic centre of the city.
You can book a hotel as well according to your budget. Hotels are available at different prices starting from luxury hotels to budget ranges. Just need to choose or you can take the help of your tour guide. Don’t worry about it. If you are planning a trip to Berlin, must visit these places.
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