Top 10 Things To Do in Berlin!
The fourth stop on our trip is Berlin! You’ll be spending five days in the capital of Germany which offers countless things to see and explore. Check out some of the best things to do:
What to see:
1. Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate): Inspired by the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, the Brandenburg Gate is the national symbol of Germany. Built in 1791, the Brandenburg Gate became an infamous symbol of the Cold War, splitting communist East and democratic West Berlin until the end of the Cold War in 1990. Soak in history standing on the site where former President Reagan proclaimed, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!”
2. Bundestag (German Parliament): Established in 1949 as the government of then West Germany, the Bundestag originally met in Bonn, Germany until 1999 when they moved back to Berlin. Housed in the beautiful Reichstag building, the Bundestag holds legislative debates and elects the Chancellor. Be sure to take some time and listen to the debates of the most economically powerful country in the EU.
3. Reichstag Building: Home to the German Parliament, Bundestag, the Reichstag Building was opened in 1894 and is one of the most visited sites in Germany today. After listening to the Bundestag debates, climb to the top of the glass dome for spectacular views of the city. The glass represents political transparency in Germany. Besides the views, the best thing about climbing to the top is that it’s free!
4. East Side Gallery: Take a stroll along another free site in Berlin, the East Side Gallery. The gallery sits along the Spree River and is the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall. After the wall was declassified, over 100 artists left their mark on the wall through murals, sculptures, etc. as symbols of peace and as political messages. This is the world’s largest open-air gallery!
5. Jüdisches Museum (Jewish Museum): This is not one to miss! The Jewish Museum chronicles Jewish history and culture from the Middle Ages to today. Designed in part by the controversial Jewish architect, Daniel Libeskind, the newest wing of the building represents an exploding Star of David through voids and dramatic angles. The design also drives home the feelings of those who were lost in the Holocaust.
6. Tiergarten Park: Once used as hunting grounds for the former Prussian kings, Berlin’s Tiergarten Park was transformed into public park space in the 1700s. The 600-acre park is perfect for a relaxing picnic. While you’re there, climb to the top of the 230ft Victory Column commemorating Prussia’s victory over France in 1871.
7. Museum Island: Home to five world-class museums, Museum Island is an UNESCO World Heritage site in the middle of the Spree River. If you have the time, visit the Pergamon Museum; which houses original-sized reconstructions of ancient archaeological buildings. The museums have admission fees but strolling Museum Island to marvel at the architecture is free!
8. Hackescher Markt: The urban heart of Berlin, Hackescher Markt is the perfect place to sip a coffee and people watch. The area is filled with cafes, art galleries, boutique shops, theaters and historic courtyards. Start at Hackesche Höfe, the largest enclosed courtyard in Germany, and let your curiosity take you through this great German place to see and be seen.
9. Schloss Sanssouci (Sanssouci Palace): Located in Potsdam (within the Berlin metro area), the Sanssouci Palace is the former home of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. Built for the king between 1745 and 1747, the palace is now an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace is one of several in Germany said to rival that of France’s Versailles.
10. Mauerpark: If you’re in this park on a Sunday in the warmer months, you’re in for a treat! Mass crowds of Germans gather to soak in the sun and cheer on those who are brave enough to enter the ‘pit’ to sing karaoke for the audience. After showing off your karaoke skills, wander around the Mauerpark flea market for unique souvenirs. Don’t miss this great free show and highlight of Berlin!