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Berlin Attractions

Places to visit, points of interest and top things to see in Berlin

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Built by Prussian king Frederick William II during the early Batavian Revolution, the Brandenburg Gate is one of the most iconic landmarks in Germany. This 18th-century Neoclassical sandstone monument was modeled on the Acropolis in Athens and is located at the start of the road that extends from Berlin to Brandenburg an der Havel. It lies just to the west of the Pariser Platz and provides a monumental entry to Unter den Linen (the boulevard of linden trees), which once led directly to the City Palace of the Prussian monarchs.

While the Brandenburg Gate has been the site of numerous historical events, today it stands as a symbol of peace and unity, not only in Germany but across Europe. In 1999, Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russia's Mikhail Gorbachev and Poland's Lech Walesa all walked through the gate to commemorate two decades since the fall of the Berlin Wall... read more arrow

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Originally established in 1679 as a herb garden for the Royal Palace, the Berlin-Dahlem Botanical Gardens are now one of the largest and most important of their kind in the world. They sprawl across more than 100 acres in the Lichterfelde area of Berlin, with around 22,000 different plant species represented.

The Berlin-Dahlem Botanical Gardens as they are known today were designed under the guidance of architect Adolf Engler, with the main purpose of displaying exotic plant species brought back from Germany’s colonies. It is home to the Botanical Museum that explores themes related to plant structure, the use of plants and the spreading of plant species, as well as the Herbarium Berolinense and the Großes Tropenhaus, which boasts a range of tropical plant species and giant bamboo... read more arrow

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Situated between the River Spree and the Kupfergraben, Museum Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that’s packed with many of Berlin’s most important cultural institutions. It’s here that the historic Altes Museum is found, having been built in 1830 to house the Crown Jewels, as well as the Neues Museum that was established in 1855 and rebuilt following World War II. It was designed to house collections that could not fit in the Altes Museum, including ancient Egyptian artifacts and the ethnographic collection, and stands as an important monument to the innovations that were taking place in building construction during the mid-19th century.

Museum Island is also home to the Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery) that was opened in 1876 to house a collection of 19th-century art gifted by wealthy banker Joachim H... read more arrow

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Established in 1961 to help stem the flow of refugees from East Germany to West Germany, the Berlin Wall has become synonymous with the city. When it was torn down in 1989, the graffiti-covered wall extended for 155 kilometers and rose four meters high, with almost 300 observation towers and more than 50 bunkers.

Today just a small stretch of the wall has been preserved as part of the Berlin Wall Memorial, which was established by the Federal Republic of Germany and the Federal State of Berlin in 1998. It not only stands as a reminder of the division of Berlin during this tumultuous period but also those who lost their lives trying to cross the border. The memorial site includes the Berlin Wall Documentation Centre, the Window of Remembrance and the Marienfelde Refugee Center Museum, which details the 1... read more arrow

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Once the most important residence for German royalty, Charlottenburg Palace is a lavish, 17th-century estate and the largest palace in Berlin. It is renowned for its opulent baroque and rococo interiors that include a 50-meter-high central dome, as well as a stunning formal garden surrounded by woodlands.

It was the wife of Friedrich III, Sophie Charlotte, who originally commissioned the palace and it was designed by architect Johann Arnold Nering. After it was inaugurated in 1699, the palace was greatly expanded during the 18th century, with royal architect Johann Friedrich von Eosander sent to France to study the Palace of Versailles. After Sophie Charlotte died in 1705, Friedrich renamed the palace and the surrounding estate “Charlottenburg” in her memory... read more arrow

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Stretching from the Brandenburg Gate to the Lustgarten, Unter den Linden is Berlin’s most famous street. Its name translates as “Under the Lime Trees Avenue” and it began as a 16th-century riding track for royalty to go hunting in the Tiergarten. It was formally established in 1647 when its famous lime trees were planted and now features a grassed pedestrian mall and two broad carriageways on either side.

Unter den Linden links many of Berlin’s sights, as well as being the setting for a number of important landmarks. The oldest building on the strip is the Zeughaus arsenal, which was built between 1695 and 1706. It was here that Rudolf von Gersdorff tried unsuccessfully to assassinate Adolf Hiter during the opening of an exhibition in 1943... read more arrow

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Originally used as a hunting reserve for Berlin royalty, the Grosser Tiergarten was transformed into a public oasis in 1700 and now spans more than 500 acres of English-style parklands. It’s planted with an abundance of trees, large expanses of grassy lawns and picturesque floral borders, as well as being home to a number of important monuments. These include a late-19th-century statue of Queen Luise and a monument to Frederick Wilhelm III that features reliefs illustrating his peaceful reign.

But the most important monument in the Grosser Tiergarten is undoubtedly the Victory Column, which soars 70 meters in the middle of a roundabout. It was completed in 1873 and built to commemorate the Prussian victory in the Danish-Prussian War. The gold statue of Victoria at the top was added to the design in honor of the victories during the Austro-Prussian and Franco-Prussian Wars... read more arrow

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Constructed to house the Imperial Diet of the German Empire, the Reichstag was created as a massive Neo-Renaissance palace, with the foundation stone laid by the Emperor himself in 1884. It opened ten years later but was severely damaged after being set on fire in 1933. In the aftermath of World War II, the building largely fell into disuse, with the German Democratic Republic parliament meeting in East Berlin’s Palast der Republik and the Bundestag parliament of the Federal Republic of Germany meeting in Bonn’s Bundeshaus.

While much of the Reichstag was rebuilt in the 1970s, it wasn’t until the reunification of Germany in 1990 that it underwent a full reconstruction. This was led by architect Norman Foster and by 1999, the Reichstag was again the meeting place of the modern Bundestag... read more arrow

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Nicknamed “the hollow tooth” by Berliners, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is one of Berlin’s most interesting landmarks and located on the Kurfürstendamm in the center of Breitscheidplatz. It includes the damaged spire of a late-19th-century church, as well as a modern church and belfry dating to the 1960s.

The original church was built by Kaiser Wilhelm II, countering the socialist and labor movements taking place in Germany during the late-19th century with a Protestant church-building programme that sought a return to traditional religious values. The design competition was won by architect Franz Schwechten whose Neo-Romanesque design was modeled on the Bonn Minster and featured an immense mosaic wall. The 2,000-seat church was dedicated in 1895 and named in honor of Wilhelm II’s grandfather, Kaiser Wilhelm I... read more arrow

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One of Berlin’s largest squares, the Gendarmenmarkt is a charismatic corner of the city and a popular meeting point for both locals and tourists. It’s flanked by three historic buildings - the Konzerthaus, the Französischer Dom and the Berliner Dom - and was named after a regiment of the Gendarmerie that once had their stables here.

The Gendarmenmarkt was originally laid out at the end of the 17th century as the Linden-Markt and created by Johann Arnold Nering, with Georg Christian Unger reconstructing the square in 1773. The square and its buildings suffered extensive damage during Allied bombings in World War II, with almost all restored to their former glory today.

The Französischer Dom was built by the Huguenot community at the start of the 18th century and modeled on a church in Charenton-Saint-Maurice, France... read more arrow

* Regular pre-pandemic touristic activity level.

You can also rate and vote for your favorite Berlin sightseeing places, famous historical landmarks, and best things to do in Berlin by visiting the individual Berlin attraction pages.