In addition to the bus line 100, Berlin has a second bus route that passes by many of the city's main tourist attractions. All you need for this inexpensive city tour is a ticket for the AB fare zone. Getting off during the trip is no problem as the next bus pulls up every ten minutes.
Alexanderplatz with the Fernsehturm (television tower) in the background.
Stop 1: Zoologischer Garten
The tour with the 200 bus starts at the station Berlin Zoologischer Garten. The regional train station used to be an important transport hub for rail traffic for a long time, until the new central station took on this role. The "Zoo" station, as it is called by Berliners, rose to notoriety far beyond city limits when the book "Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo" by Christiane F. was published. Just a few minutes' walk away from station is the famous Zoological Garden, Kurfürstendamm with numerous shopping opportunities, and Breitscheidplatz with Berlin's most famous church.
Stop 2: Breitscheidplatz
The bus then passes the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on Breitscheidplatz. The church was badly damaged during the Second World War, and today its partially ruined old tower ruin stands as a memorial against war and destruction. Next to Breitscheidplatz is the Europa Center, one of the oldest shopping malls in the city, home to the "Clock of Flowing Time", a water clock extending over three floors.
Stop 3: Budapester Straße
On the left side, the bus passes the famous Berlin Zoological Garden and its aquarium. The Berlin Zoo is the oldest zoo in Germany and one of the species-richest animal parks in the world. If you get off here to visit the zoo, you will find yourself right in front of the famous Elephant Gat. The gate with two life-size elephants made of sandstone is the zoo's landmark.
Stop 4: Nordic Embassies
The bus now passes the embassies of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland, whose buildings form an architectural ensemble joined together by a green copper band. Anyone planning to stop here can visit Felleshus, the publicly accessible community center of the Nordic Embassies. There are exhibitions, too, and the public canteen and coffee bar are well worth a visit.
Stop 5: Tiergarten
On the other side of the Nordic Embassies is Berlin's "green lung", the Tiergarten. The three-kilometre-long public park in the center of Berlin was designed at the end of the 17th century and is still a popular recreational area today, inviting Berliners and visitors alike to take a walk, go for a jog, ride their bikes or simply relax.
Stop 6: Philharmonie
Before the bus 200 reaches Potsdamer Platz, it passes several remarkable sights. The bus passes the architecturally outstanding Berliner Philharmonie. The building, which was controversial at the beginning, is a listed building and today serves as a model for concert halls all over the world. It was designed by Hans Scharoun. The Kulturforum with Neue Nationalgalerie, Museum of Decorative Arts, State Library and Musical Instrument Museum is also on the way to Potsdamer Platz.
Stop 7: Potsdamer Platz
Potsdamer Platz is definitely worth a longer stop. Here, after the fall of communism, a completely new district with high-rises and futuristic architecture was built. The Wall ran through Potsdamer Platz during the division of Germany. A metal strip embedded in the ground traces the course of the Wall. In addition to the interesting historical and architectural aspects, Potsdamer Platz offers a variety of entertainment options such as cinemas, theatres, shopps and restaurants. The Sony Center with its spectacular roof construction is popular with visitors. Potsdamer Platz is the center of the Berlinale, the Berlin film festival that takes place in February.
Stop 8: Brandenburg Gate
On the way to the Brandenburg Gate, the bus passes the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also known as the Holocaust Memorial, on the right. Here, 2711 concrete slabs commemorate the persecution and extermination of European Jews. Brandenburg Gate, the landmark of German unity, was originally built as a dignified conclusion to the boulevard Unter den Linden and is a popular photo motif today. It is a must-see during a visit to Berlin.
Stop 9: British and Russian Embassy
We continue on the boulevard Unter den Linden. The buildings of the British and Russian Embassies are only a few metres away from Brandenburg Gate. The British Embassy stands out with its unusual façade, while the Russian Embassy resides in an imposing Stalinist building.
Stop 10: Staatsoper
A bit further down the road, the bus 200 stops at the famous Berlin State Opera, Berlin's oldest opera house. Richard Strauss and Wilhelm Furtwängler are closely associated with the Staatsoper. After the fall of communism, Daniel Barenboim became general music director and chief conductor of the opera for life. A few steps further is the Bebelplatz. Nazis burned over 20,000 books here in 1933. Today a memorial in the shape of an eight meter deep hole with empty shelves commemorates this day. Opposite is the main building of the Humboldt University with its impressive facade. The building was actually intended to become another royal palace, but has been used as a university building since 1914.
Stop 11: Lustgarten
The next station is called Lustgarten (Pleasure Garden). It is located on the Museum Island and surrounded by numerous Berlin highlights: the Lustgarten itself, Berlin Cathedral, Altes Museum, and the new Berlin Palace with the Humboldt Forum. All these sights are worth a visit.
Stop 12: St. Mary's Church
Whether on foot or again with the bus 200: Only a few metres further down the road is the gothic St. Mary's Church. The mural "Totentanz", dating from the Middle Ages, is one of Berlin's oldest monuments.
Stop 13: Alexanderplatz
After a 30 minute drive you arrive at Alexanderplatz with the television tower. The lift transports visitors to the 200 metre-high sphere, which provides views at many other sights of the city. The bus ride goes on, but our tour with the bus 200 ends here.