The first trip to a new place is an unforgettable and unique experience. More so, when the place is culturally, historically or geologically different. Berlin is one such city that assaults your senses. But in a good way.
If you want to do all the touristy things on your Berlin trip, mark these 10 attractions on your guide map.
1. DDR Museum
Curious about how people lived in communist Berlin? The DDR (GDR) Museum offers an interactive experience with reconstructed homes filled with authentic items and other features from that era.
TripAdvisor (DDR Museum): 4/5 Stars
2. Fernsehturm (TV Tower)
As the highest viewing point in Berlin (368-m above ground), this iconic tower is massively popular with tourists. You get a bird’s-eye view of the city, including landmarks like Olympic Stadium and Reichstag. Book a guided tour to avoid the long lines.
Extra tip: Watch 700 years of Berlin’s history unfold through miniature sets at Little BIG City – the new attraction at the foot of Fernsehturm.
TripAdvisor (Berlin TV Tower): 4/5 Stars
3. Holocaust Memorial
This imposing monument (designed as 2711 concrete slabs) pays homage to the Jewish Holocaust victims. The underground information centre provides details of murdered Jews from names to letters and photographs.
Extra tip: For more glimpses into their history, visit the nearby Jewish Museum.
4. Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
While European nations recovered from the tragedies of WW2, some structures like the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church were left unrestored.
Constructed around the 1890s, the damaged tower of the old church serves as a reminder of that destructive period. The new church building with its blue glass tiles is built around the ruins.
TripAdvisor (Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church): 4.5/5 Stars
Berlin has ample of green spaces, and Tiergarten is the biggest of its urban parks.
Some equate it with New York’s Central Park. If the soothing arms of mother nature isn’t sufficient reason to visit, you have the bell tower, beer garden and some statues and monuments dotting the landscape.
TripAdvisor (Tiergarten): 4.5/5 Stars
6. German Historical Museum
If you’re looking for an intensive lesson in Germany history, head over to Deutsches Historisches Museum.
With over 7,000 objects in the permanent exhibit, and with frequent themed-based temporary exhibitions, the museum offers an insightful and connected experience for visitors.
TripAdvisor (German Historical Museum): 4.5/5 Stars
The baroque-styled cathedrals are famous for its high domed towers. The impressive French Cathedral houses the Huguenot Museum, and boasts of a carillon (with 60 bells) and a balustrade offering panoramic views.
TripAdvisor (Gendarmenmarkt): 4.5/5 Stars
8. Berlin-Hohenschoenhausen Memorial
Want a first-hand experience of a political prisoner in Communist Germany? Take a tour of the former Stasi prison (Gedenkstaette Berlin-Hohenschoenhausen). The memorial exhibit has over 800 items – artefacts and photos of those confined there.
Extra tip: Opt for a guided tour and you may hear an actual persecution story if your tour guide is a former inmate.
TripAdvisor (Gedenkstaette Berlin-Hohenschoenhausen): 4.5/5 Stars
9. Topography of Terror
Created on the very site where the Nazi SS and Gestapo buildings stood, the Topography of Terror takes you on a journey of terror and horror.
The exhibition, spread over 15 information locations, reveal the extent of crimes under Hitler’s rule.
TripAdvisor (Topography of Terror): 4.5/5 Stars
10. Memorial of the Berlin Wall
The preserved strip on Bernauer Strasse gives you an overview of the time when the entire street was cut into two and walled.
TripAdvisor (Memorial of the Berlin Wall): 4.5/5 Stars
Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe)
One of the world’s largest department stores.
TripAdvisor (KaDeWe): 4.5/5 Stars
In the middle of the park is the Soviet War Memorial.
TripAdvisor (Treptower Park): 4.5/5 Stars
We’ve barely starched the surface here. Then there is Museum Island! As the place deserves a page of its own, stay tuned for a peek into what your day trip here entitles.