Tourist sights in Berlin
When you think of Berlin, the first things that often come to mind are the Brandenburg Gate, the Television Tower and the Reichstag. Yet this city has many more exciting places to offer than just these classic sights. We have 5 Berlin top tips ready to show you what you can experience in the German capital.
A walk through Berlin
If you find Berlin’s trains too crowded, you can discover a host of interesting sights by walking from Potsdamer Platz. After marvelling at the skyscrapers, head north on Ebertstrasse . Before long you'll find Berlin’s largest park, Tiergarten, on your left. On your right is the Holocaust Memorial, consisting of 2,711 concrete slabs. From there it’s not far to Brandenburg Gate, Berlin’s most famous landmark, which is the perfect spot for a family photo. Now you can continue in all directions: to the west is Victory Column, offering breathtaking views from its viewing platform. Walking east will take you to the majority of the city’s sights: the street known as 'Unter den LInden', which stretches from Brandenburg Gate to Alexanderplatz, is home to attractions such as the State Opera House, Bebelplatz and Humboldt University.
The Reichstag is one of the most important buildings in Berlin. It was here that Philipp Scheidemann proclaimed the Republic on November 9, 1918. The assembly hall and the dome were destroyed by fire in 1933. Since 1990, the Reichstag has been the seat of the German Federal Government. Today, tourists can visit the magnificent glass dome and the roof terrace free of charge. To visit a plenary session, you can sign up online here.
This is a must-see for any church enthusiast and visitor to the city. The cathedral was rebuilt by Kaiser Wilhelm II between 1894 and 1905 and since then has shone forth across the centre of Berlin with its splendid dome. Of particular note is the Hohenzollerngruft crypt, in which almost 100 coffins have been laid to rest, and the Sermon Church with its impressive dome. Guided tours of the cathedral run every 20 minutes and are included in the ticket.
This beautiful square is located right in the very heart of Berlin. It is surrounded on three sides by imposing buildings: the German Cathedral, French Cathedral and Konzerthaus. If you are lucky you may get to enjoy public performances, which ring out across the whole square. But you can enjoy more than just music here: Gendarmenmarkt also has some excellent restaurants. Long-established restaurants such as Lutter & Wegener, Borchardt and the Einstein coffee house leave you perfectly refreshed.
East Side Gallery
Anyone with an interest in street art and Berlin’s history should take a walk along the East Side Gallery. This part of the Berlin Wall lies in the district of Friedrichshain and runs along the Spree river. At 1,316 metres in length and with 101 large-scale works of art, it is the longest open-air gallery in the world. The pictures on the former east side reflect the political changes and the joy at the fall of the wall. Some works, such as the Bruderkiss (Brother Kiss) by the Russian painter Dimitri Wladimirowitsch, have attracted global attention. The best way to get to the East Side Gallery is from Schlesisches Tor metro station or from Warschauer Strasse metro and S-Bahn station.
Mauerpark Flea Market
A colourful flea market is held in the Mauerpark in the district of Prenzlauer Berg every Sunday. It acts as a meeting place for tourists, locals, designers and students. As well as all manner of bric-a-brac, clothing and handicrafts, the flea market attracts musicians and a wide range of international street food. An absolute highlight is what could be one of Germany’s best karaoke parties. In good weather, organiser Joe Hatchiban uses his speakers, mixer desk and laptop to turn the semi-circular amphitheatre in the park into a full-blown karaoke stage. Brave souls can put their singing voices to the test here. But don’t worry - the focus is more on entertainment than actual talent.
Located right on Potsdamer Platz itself this is an alternative to the Television Tower. For half the price, you can enjoy a 360° view of Berlin here. In the Kollhoff Tower, Europe’s fastest lift gets you to the 24th floor in just 20 seconds. Here you’ll find a cafe, an exhibition on the history of Potsdamer Platz, and a viewing platform with breathtaking views over Berlin. Whether it’s the Bellevue Palace, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church or Gendarmenmarkt - you can see everything from here. A plus point: Panoramapunkt is just a few minutes’ walk from Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz. If you wish to go to the top, you can get your tickets here.
Teufelsberg is a 120-metre high mound made up of rubble from the Second World War. You can enjoy spectacular views over Berlin from the 'summit'. You can also explore the mysterious and secretive building that was a former NSA air traffic control and listening post. The mound is situated in the neighbourhood of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf in the city’s Grunewald district. Here locals particularly enjoy indulging in sporting activities and like to relax by mountain biking, hiking or paragliding. In summer, nearby Teufelssee lake , which takes its name from Teufelsberg, is the perfect place to cool off. In winter, by contrast, Teufelsberg makes a great tobogganing hill.
Markthalle Neun in Kreuzberg is located near Gorlitzer Park metro station and attracts numerous curious visitors each day. They are always delighted to find regional, seasonal products and authentic foods from all over the world. The iron and glass structure with its airy atrium gives the hall a rustic charm. Every Thursday from 17:00 to 22:00 is 'Streetfood Thursday'. This is the day the stands demonstrate their culinary variety and spoil visitors with tasty delicacies. Kids and youngsters can also take part in cookery classes and learn valuable skills in food preparation .
Accommodation in the heart of Berlin
Our two Scandic hotels represent the perfect starting points for exploring the best activities and sights that Berlin has to offer. Located right in the centre on Potsdamer Platz near Kreuzberg, or to the west on the famous Ku'damm right by KaDeWe – our hotels are always right in the heart of all the action, yet it’s still quiet and peaceful enough for you to relax after a strenuous day of shopping.
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