Berlin's Top 20 Attractions

Berlin's Top 20 Attractions

The most famous attractions of Berlin, Germany.

  • Brandenburg Gate© dpa
    Brandenburg Gate was built between 1788 and 1791. In GDR times the classical construction became a symbol of the division of Germany. After Germany's reunion its meaning changed and the Brandenburg Gate became a symbol of the German unity.
  • Quadriga on top of Brandenburg Gate© picture-alliance/ dpa
    On top of Brandenburg Gate is the Quadriga, a group of figures designed by Johann Gottfried Schadow. Victoria, the goddess of victory, steers the four horses in a chariot. It was only in 1814 that Karl Friedrich Schinkel changed the attributes of the goddess of peace, Eirene, for a chaplet of oak leaves and an iron cross with an eagle which made her Victoria. The reason for the change was the recapture of the Quadriga, which the French had carried to Paris in 1806.
  • Reichstag building© dpa
    The Reichstag building was built between 1884 and 1894 for the new parliament which was established after the foundation of the German Empire. The inscription "Dem deutschen Volke" (To the German people) was added in 1916 and is still preserved today. After the reunion of Germany, Berlin became the capital. Since 1990 the Reichstag building has been the seat of the Bundestag, the German parliament.
  • World Heritage Site: Museum Island Berlin© dpa
    The Museum Island originated in the 19th century on the Spreeinsel, an island between Spree and Kupfergraben. It is based on the plans of architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The name "Museum Island" was already established around the 1870s. A complex of five museums - Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Bode-Museum, and Neues Museum - makes up the unique cultural ensemble in the heart of Berlin. The impressive Berlin Cathedral is located nearby at Lustgarten, as is the construction site of the re-erected Berlin City Palace at Schlossplatz.
  • TV Tower© dpa
    The TV Tower is located near Alexanderplatz. With its height of 368 metres it is the tallest buidling in Germany. Every year about one million people visit the tower. If the weather is clear you get a view all over Berlin and its surroundings.
  • Gedächtniskirche and Kurfürstendamm© dpa
    The ruins of the tower of the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche (Emperor Wilhelm commemoration church) are located between the famous boulevard Ku’damm and the train station Zoo. The Gedächtniskirche was inaugurated in 1895 and destroyed during World War II. Only the ruins of the tower remained. They were taken into consideration as part of the new church after heavy demonstration of the general public. Today the church is an impressive memorial against war and destruction.
  • Potsdamer Platz & Sony Center© Franziska Delenk
    The modern city centre around Potsdamer Platz was built upon fallow land left by the border between East and West Berlin. Today, several skyscrapers mark the skyline at Potsdamer Platz. Among them is the Kollhoff Tower, which comes with the fastest elevator in Europe. It takes visitors on top of the building in only a view seconds.
  • Sony Center© dpa
    Another famous buidling at Potsdamer Platz is the Sony Center. The roof construction resembles a tent roof which floats like an umbrella above the visitors. Additionally, there are many restaurants, bars and a cinema located around the piazza and the fountain.
  • Siegessäule (Victory Column)© dpa
    The 67 meters high symbol of victory originally stood in front of the Reichstag at the former Königsplatz and today's Platz der Republik. It was relocated here, in the Tiergarten's main roundabout by the Nazis in 1938. Originally, Emperor Wilhelm I (1861-1888) presided over the unveiling of the Column of Victory on September 2, 1873 as a monument to Prussia's victory in the Franco-German war.
  • Holocaust Memorial© dpa
    Berlin's Holocaust Memorial, located in Mitte on a stretch of the former "death strip", where the Wall once stood near the Brandenburg Gate, is Berlin's stunning monument to the Holocaust, dedicated to the Jewish victims of the Nazi genocide of World War II. It took 17 years for the Memorial to be completed in Berlin. Its foundation stone was a Bundestag resolution passed on June 25, 1999 to erect a Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.
  • Gendarmenmarkt© dpa
    The Gendarmenmarkt is arguably Berlin's most magnificent square. The square dates back to 1700, part of King Friedrick I’s plan for Friedrickstadt, an emerging new quarter of Berlin. The square is best known for the architectural trio composed of the German and French cathedrals (Deutscher und Französischer Dom) and Schinkel’s Konzerthaus (concert hall) which together form one of the most stunning ensembles in Berlin.
  • Nikolaiviertel© Franziska Delenk
    The Nikolaiviertel is Berlin's oldest district, just south of the Rotes Rathaus. Its central building is the Nikolaikirche. The two impressive recognizable spires of Berlin's oldest church and stone building reveal a distinctive medieval past.
  • Humboldt Box at Schlossplatz Berlin© Antje Kraschinski/ BerlinOnline
    While the Stadtschloss (City Palace) is being rebuilt at its original location, an exhibition inside the Humboldt Box in front of the new building provides information about its future use. The Humboldt Box was conceived as a temporary exhibition space and viewing platform for the construction project. The Stadtschloss was a royal and imperial palace constructed in the early 18th century. It was demolished by the GDR government after World War II and replaced with the Palace of the Republic, which in turn was demolished after German reunification. The new Stadtschloss will house the Humboldt Forum which will be developed as a world centre for culture.
  • Altes Museum and Lustgarten© dpa
    The Altes Museum (Old Museum) is Berlin's oldest museum (1830) located at the UNESCO-listed heritage site known as Berlin's Museum Island opposite at the Lustgarten. It was built by Karl Friedrich Schinkel – Prussia's most influential architect - and houses the Classical Antiquities collection.
  • Bebelplatz© Mikel Iturbe Urretxa/ Creative Commons
    Planned in 1740 as a jewel of Prussian humanistic enlightenment, Bebelplatz – formerly Kaiser Franz Joseph Platz – takes its name from August Bebel, co-founder of the Social Democratic Party (SPD). Ironically, the square is better remembered today as the venue for the Nazi's first official book burning on May 10, 1933 just opposite the Humboldt University. Over 20,000 works including those of the so-called subversive writers including Karl Marx, Bertolt Brecht and Thomas Mann were set alight and destroyed.
  • Zeughaus Unter den Linden© dpa
    The Zeughaus is the oldest preserved building at the boulevard Unter den Linden. In the 18th century it was the biggest arsenal in Prussia. Today, it belongs to the German Historical Museum (DHM) which houses collections of the German history.
  • Neue Wache© Tobias Droz/BerlinOnline
    The Neue Wache or New Guardhouse is a memorial to the victims of war and tyranny. German reunification found a suitable symbol for the memorial in Käthe Kollwitz wrenching sculpture also known as her Pietà – Mother and her Dead Son – to express the perpetual tragedy of the loss of life caused by war and tyranny. Today the underground room includes the remains of an unknown soldier, a resistance fighter and soil from battlefields and concentration camps.
  • Checkpoint Charlie© dpa
    Checkpoint Charlie, along with Glienicker Brücke (Glienicke Bridge) was the best known border-crossing in the days of the Cold War. The spot remains a must see sight in Berlin with huge historical and emotional resonance, even if there is remarkably little left to recall the atmosphere of pre-1989 days.
  • East Side Gallery© dpa
    The East Side Gallery is a 1.3 km-long painted stretch of the former Berlin Wall along the Mühlenstrasse in former East Berlin. Artists from all around the globe rushed to Berlin after the fall of the Wall, leaving a visual testimony of the joy and spirit of liberation on the wall which erupted at the time.
  • Oberbaum Bridge© Antje Kraschinski/BerlinOnline
    Berlin's double-decker bridge Oberbaumbrücke (1895) - Oberbaum Bridge - links the two Berlin districts of Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain separated by the River Spree. It was built on the site of a previous timber bridge built in 1724 when the construction of an elevated railway required a reinforced structure. The result was a seven-arched concrete bridge with a granite and brickwork façade. It is distinctive architecturally because of its mock medieval turrets – which recall the function of toll bridges and arches.
  • Hauptbahnhof (Main Station)© dpa
    Berlin main station was opened in May 2006. Its most significant feature is the impressive glass construction. There are around 80 shops which are open from Monday to Sunday.