Welcome to Berlin
The German capital Berlin with its 3.8 Million habitants, is not just a city of world-famous faces – it also shines at the highest level with its food and fashion. Urban gardening, green fashion, and vegan gastronomy are turning the former industrial city of Berlin into an increasingly green metropolis. The German capital attracts artists, creative minds, culture lovers, and theatre fans from all over Germany and around the world. The diverse cultural offerings and the colourful hustle and bustle of the city create an incredibly special atmosphere. Opera performances, art exhibitions, theatre productions, concerts, and festivals are all everyday occurrences here. Numerous memorials commemorate events over the course of the city’s turbulent history. With around 200 museums, 400 galleries, three opera houses, eight major symphony orchestras, more than 90 cinemas, about 150 theatres and stages, as well as many other cultural institutions, the German capital offers an almost inexhaustible selection of options. The city has so many attractions, it is hard to say how many exactly! Berlin’s Mitte district alone has a wealth of famous sights from Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag Parliament building to Berlin’s Cathedral Church and the TV Tower – just to mention a few. You can also explore Berlin’s neighbourhoods, discovering little known places and insider tips! Here are a few of the most popular attractions in the city – Berlin’s absolute must-see sights!
When the decision was made to move the Federal Government to Berlin, it was time to reawaken the Reichstag building from its long years of slumber on the Mauerstreifen, the military zone between the two sides of the Wall. The building has since been completely modernised, and today’s visitors to the Reichstag can look out from the building’s glass dome to get a bird’s eye view of the hustle and bustle in the city. There are also a number of government buildings in the vicinity of the Reichstag, for example the Bundeskanzleramt (Federal Chancellery) and the Brandenburg Gate.
Without a doubt, the Brandenburg Gate is Berlin’s signature attraction. Built in 1791, it was just one of many old city gates around the city of Berlin which, at that time, was still a manageable size. The decorative Pariser Platz was laid at the foot of the gate and is now home to many of the city’s important buildings, for example, the Hotel Adlon with its wealth of history and the Akademie der Künste (Academy of the Arts).
Berlin Television Tower
The Berlin Television Tower, which is known to locals as the “Fernsehturm”, and is instantly recognisable from the distance, stand outs of the skyline at 368 m, making it the tallest building in Berlin. Built in the 1960s, visitors to the tower can enjoy a unique 360° panorama of the city.
Checkpoint Charlie was the best known border crossing during the Cold War. The sign, which became a symbol of the division of Cold War Berlin and read like a dire warning to those about to venture beyond the Wall – “YOU ARE LEAVING THE AMERICAN SECTOR” – in English, Russian, French and German – stood here. It is today an iconic marker of territorial boundary and political division. Until the fall of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989, it signified the border between West and East, Capitalism and Communism, freedom, and confinement. More dramatically, US and Soviet tanks had a close encounter here in October 1961 when J.F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev’s tanks faced each other in an acrimonious moment feared around the World as a possible lead up to World War III.
The Gendarmenmarkt is one of the most stunning squares in the city, located close to Friedrichstraße, Berlin’s exclusive shopping street in the central Mitte district. Three of the most impressive examples of architecture in the capital city are to be found here: the Concert House designed by Schinkel and the German and French Cathedrals (the Deutscher Dom and the Französischer Dom).
The Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom) with its magnificent dome is a remarkable example the of late 19th century architecture. Near the Cathedral are also the German Historical Museum and the Museum’s Island. On the side of Berlin’s boulevard “Unter den Linden” stands the Catholic St.Hedwigs-Cathedral.
Extending all the way from the ruins of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on Breitscheidplatz to Berlin’s elegant Halensee neighbourhood, the affectionately termed Kurfürstendamm is the most expensive address in the capital city and home to the most exclusive brands. Europe’s biggest department store KaDeWe is also situated on the extension of the Ku’damm, on the street known to locals as the Tauentzien (short for Tauentzienstrasse).
The magnificent Charlottenburg Palace is located just out of the centre of the city. The beautiful palace hosts fine collections of china and paintings and is situated in the middle of a picturesque palace garden right next to the river Spree. If you do not fancy a walk in the park, you can feed your mind instead in the Charlottenburg museums located directly opposite.
Berlin’s Museum Island is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites and home to the city’s most important exhibition centres: the Altes Museum (Old Museum), the Neues Museum (New Museum) the Bode Museum, the Pergamon Museum and the Old National Gallery. The collections in these buildings encompass over 6,000 years of art and cultural history.
The Berlin Wall Memorial
The Berlin Wall Memorial is located between the districts of Wedding and Mitte on Bernauer Straße, consisting of the Memorial to the Victims of the Wall, a Documentation Centre, and the Chapel of Reconciliation. The surviving section of the wall and watchtower enable visitors to get a real feel for the reality of the border facilities.
Once the bustling heart of the city before the Second World War, then a no man’s land from 1945 until the fall of the wall, the history of Potsdamer Platz has been eventful to say the least. It changed completely after the fall of the wall in 1989 and is now dominated by the presence of the Sony Center, skyscrapers, and endless shops. What is more, Potsdamer Platz is the main place to be for stars and celebrities, and not only during film festivals.
Nightlife & Clubbing (Close to the InterContinental)
Before the Wall fell in 1989, City West around the Zoo was one of the most important nightlife areas in old West Berlin, but it lost a bit of its charm in the years after reunification as the city’s attention shifted eastwards. Since then, the district has revived itself and offers plenty of modern bars and lounges for a sophisticated evening. The Monkey Bar in the Bikini Berlin concept mall offers breath-taking views of the Zoo and Tiergarten Park. Numerous hotel bars like the Lang Bar, one of the best cocktail bars in the city, and the House of Gin with its over 150 varieties of gin promise special and unforgettable evenings in City West. The nightlife around Savignyplatz in Charlottenburg, meanwhile, has nothing to apologise for. Here, old-school Berliners have mingled with students, artists, and visitors since time immemorial. Das Schwarze Café is open almost around the clock. A visit to Dicke Wirtin, a true classic pub in West Berlin, will take you back in time to the Cold War era. And Diener is an artists’ café with an atmosphere you will find hard to resist. If you are really hungry, head over to Restaurant 12 Apostel, home to massive pizzas. As an extra tip, we also recommend the restaurants and cafés on Ludwigkirchplatz. The square around the church of St. Ludwig seduces especially with its cosy atmosphere, Mediterranean food, and good wine.
Note: As the official Berlin visitor’s site, https://www.visitberlin.de/en is your perfect guide to this exciting city and your Hotel Concierge will be pleased to assist you for tailor-made bookings and reservations!
As the official Berlin visitor’s site, https://www.visitberlin.de/en is your perfect guide to this exciting city.
The Intercontinental Berlin Concierge Department will be pleased to assist you for tailor-made bookings and reservations!