The chilling history and the beautiful architecture are two main reasons why you should visit Berlin. If these two things don’t excite you, you can still visit Berlin for shopping and tasting their cuisines.
Berlin, being so big, is full of innumerable tourist attractions and to ease your way, I’ve chosen the top-22 tourist attractions in Berlin. In this article, I will answer all questions that first-timers usually have. I will tell you how to reach Berlin and where to stay there so that you can make the most out of your trip. Let’s start!
If you are going to visit Berlin for the first time, you must know how to reach the city without hassle. Earlier, there were two airports in Berlin- The Tegel International Airport and The Schönefeld airport, which closed permanently.
Now there is only one main airport, Berlin Brandenburg (BER) Airport, which started its journey at the end of 2020. It is located 18 km southeast of the city centre. Due to Covid-19, only the largest terminal of the new airport, Terminal 1 is currently in operation. Terminal 1 is connected to the rail and road network, making it easier for travellers to reach the city centre without much problem.
If you don’t stay at a nice place during your visit, checking out the tourist attractions in Berlin won’t be much fun. If you want to make the best out of your time, you should stay somewhere near the tourist attractions in Berlin that you have decided to visit. Berlin is nine times larger than Paris, so I’ve divided it based on neighbourhoods where you can stay.
If you have already read a few articles on Berlin, you might have read that Mitte is the most expensive area to stay. But I’ll say that you can always find a room at a reasonable price in Mitte. So, I’d suggest staying in Mitte because most of the tourist attractions in Berlin are located here. The Brandenburg Gate, Museum Island, the Reichstag, Gendarmenmarkt etc. Mitte is the best option for first-time visitors.
Luxury Hotels In Mitte:
- Hotel Berlin Check price and availability here
- NH Collection Berlin Mitte Friedrichstrasse Check price and availability here
- Maritim proArte Hotel Berlin Check price and availability here
Mid-Range Hotels In Mitte:
- Motel One Berlin-Bellevue Check price and availability here
- Hotel Lützow Check price and availability here
- Hotel Gat Point Charlie Check price and availability here
Budget Hotels In Mitte:
- Generator Berlin Mitte Check price and availability here
- a&o Berlin Mitte Check price and availability here
- Amstel House Hostel Check price and availability here
If you want to dive deeper into the culture of Berlin, staying at Kreuzberg will be a thrilling experience. A few tourist attractions are also available here- Checkpoint Charlie, Jewish Museum Berlin, German Museum of Technology, Topography of Terror, Berlin Wall etc.
Luxury Hotels In Kreuzberg:
- Novotel Suites Berlin City Potsdamer Platz Check price and availability here
- Crowne Plaza Berlin Check price and availability here
- Aletto Hotel Potsdamer Platz Check price and availability here
Mid-Range Hotels In Kreuzberg:
- Hotel Columbia Check price and availability here
- Select Hotel Berlin Checkpoint Charlie Check price and availability here
Budget Hotels In Kreuzberg:
- Check-In Hostel Berlin Check price and availability here
- 36 Rooms Hostel Berlin Kreuzberg Check price and availability here
There are three other nighbourhoods in Berlin- Friedrichshain, Charlottenburg and Prenzlauer Berg. These neighbourhoods are famous for culture, nightlife, shopping and cuisine. So, I wouldn’t suggest staying in these neighbourhoods to first-time tourists. But if you are going to Berlin for an extended vacation, you can check out all the neighbourhoods.
The Top-22 Tourist Attractions In Berlin
1. Museum Island
My topmost preference of the seven tourist attractions in Berlin is Museum Island. This part of the city consists of all the famous and best museums. The area is located in the northern part of Spree Island in the historic heart of Berlin.
There are five museums on Museum Island- the Altes Museum, the Neues Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie, the Bode-Museum, and the Pergamonmuseum. The best thing about visiting Museum Island is that you can check out these five famous museums altogether.
Altes Museum: The Altes Museum(Old Museum) was built during 1825-1830. The museum contains Classical Antiquities, which will give you an idea of ancient Greece.
Neues Museum: The Neues Museum(New Museum) was built around 1843-1855. It was destroyed during WWII and was rebuilt and opened again in 2009. The museum also contains the Collection of Classical Antiquities, including extensive collections from the Egyptian Museum and the Papyrus Collection.
Alte Nationalgalerie: The Alte Nationalgalerie(Old National Gallery), built-in 1876, is home to one of the largest collections of 19th-century sculptures and paintings in Germany. The museum also contains works of the Neoclassical, Romantic movements, impressionism, and modernism by some famous artists.
Bode Museum: The Bode Museum was built from 1898-1904. It contains a collection of sculptures, Byzantine art, and coins and medals.
Pergamon Museum: The Pergamon Museum contains a collection of sculptures from the archaic to Hellenistic ages, artwork from Greek and Roman antiquity: architecture, sculptures, inscriptions, mosaics, bronzes, jewellery, and pottery.
The museum is also a home of Islamic Art, the Ishtar Gate, and reconstructed historic buildings from the Middle East.
Other than these museums, a new one, the Humboldt Forum, started here in 2019, featuring the Ethnological Museum of Berlin and the Museum of Asian Art.
Address: Bodestrasse 1-3, 10117 Berlin
Entrance Fee: €-18.00 for adults and €-9.00 for concessions
Online ticket with viator: Experience Museum Island
2. The Brandenburg Gate
Right after the Museum Island, I would choose the Brandenburg Gate, which was once a symbol of Berlin and German division during the Cold War, but now it is a national symbol of peace and unity. Inspired by the Propylaea in Athens’ Acropolis, Carl Gotthard Langhans designed the Brandenburg Gate between 1788 and 1791, commissioned by King Frederick Wilhelm II.
The Brandenburg Gate is 65.5 metres long, 26 metres high, and 11 metres deep. Two rows of six Doric columns support it. It faces Pariser Platz, regarded as one of the city’s most attractive squares. If you want to know more about the history centring the Brandenburg Gate, you can walk by the tourist information centre.
If you take a look at the gate for once, you will be compelled to take a few photos in front of the Brandenburg Gate, that I can bet!
Address: Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin
Entrance Fee: Free
3. The Rebuilt Reichstag
The Reichstag building construction started after Germany‘s unification in 1871. The construction work was completed in 1894. The Reichstag building caught fire in 1933 under unknown circumstances. Later on, in 1998, it was reconstructed. That’s why it is known as the Rebuilt Reichstag.
The large glass dome at the top of the building highlights this reconstruction. The dome offers a 360-degree view of the surrounding Berlin cityscape. You can visit the dome with advance registration.
Address: Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin
Entrance Fee: Free
4. The Berlin Wall Memorial
The Berlin Wall was built as a guarded concrete barrier to physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961 to 1989. The Berlin Wall was around 155 kilometres long, and it bordered around West Berlin within 3.4m and 4.2m in height.
The Berlin Wall was reinforced by mesh fencing, anti-vehicle trenches, barbed wire, around 116 watchtowers, and 20 bunkers with hundreds of guards. The gates were opened in 1989, which was the first step toward German reunification.
Now, the graffiti-covered 1.4 metres of the Wall has become a famous tourist attraction in Berlin due to its historical significance. If you trace the path of the Wall, you will come across commemorative plaques and places documenting the actions of the people who died whilst trying to escape from East to West of Germany – and the many more who succeeded in fleeing.
To get the most out of your tour to the Berlin Wall, you can join a guided tour available in English.
Address: Niederkirchnerstraße 1, 10117 Berlin
Entrance Fee: Free
5. Berlin’s Television Tower
The 368-metres tall Berlin Television Tower is the highest building in Europe and a must-see for every tourist. The tower was inaugurated on 3 October 1969 and is the location of several radio and television broadcasting stations.
The viewing platform at 200-metres of the tower offers a mesmerizing view of the city. The revolving Sphere Restaurant located at the viewing platform provides international cuisine, which you can enjoy alongside the beautiful view of the entire city.
Address: Panoramastraße 1A, 10178 Berlin
6. German Historical Museum
If you want to learn more about the city’s remarkable history, the German Historical Museum is a must-see for you. The museum displays artefacts of different periods and events from the country’s founding right up to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
You can join a guided tour to check out the entire museum as there are so many things to see. A cinema and a research library are located on-site for visitors.
Address: Unter den Linden 2, 10117 Berlin
Entrance Fee: €-8.00 for adults and €-4.00 for concessions
7. Charlottenburg Palace
The palace has a long history, and is one of the oldest palaces in Germany. The first building on the site was built in 1201 for Otto IV, the last Holy Roman Emperor. It was partially destroyed during the Thirty Years’ War, then rebuilt in 1682 by Frederick I (who later became Frederick II), and rebuilt again after a fire in 1720. In 1740, Elector Friedrich August I sold the palace to King Frederick William I of Prussia; it remained under Prussian control until World War II.
In 1945, it was returned to Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf’s city government; however, it has been managed by three different entities since then: Stiftung Charlottenburg Palace (1946–48), Staatsgalerie und Schlossmuseum Charlottenburg (1948–98) and now Museum Charlottenburg Wilhelm den Groote (since 1998).
While at the palace, you’ll need an hour or two to enjoy the mesmerizing views and to stroll around the park and garden. You can click some aesthetic pictures inside the palace and get the feel of the King/Queen. Visitors inside the palace are accompanied by an audio guide, so you won’t get lost.
Address: Spandauer Damm 10-22, 14059 Berlin
Timing: Daily 10 am to 5:30 pm. Closed on Monday
Tours & Tickets: Skip-the-line Charlottenburg Palace Private Tour & Transfers
8. Potsdamer Platz
Potsdamer Platz is one of the most popular spots in Berlin. It’s a huge square surrounded by tall buildings, and it has been in use since the middle of the 19th century. The square was originally known as Neue Weltplatz (New World Square), but it was renamed Potsdamer Platz in 1882, after Frederick William III became king of Prussia and began to modernize the country. The square was designed to be the heart of Berlin and is still used as such today.
The area surrounding Potsdamer Platz is one of the most popular places in Berlin because it has so much to do, including shopping, food, entertainment, and even nightlife! You can find many different kinds of restaurants and bars here—everything from fancy French bistros to casual cafes that serve affordable meals with great service and atmosphere.
You’ll also find lots of shops selling souvenirs and gifts from around the world at Potsdamer Platz! Potsdamer Platz has been featured on television shows like Friends (American television series) because it is such a unique place for tourists to visit while they’re in Berlin.
From tasting the yummy german cuisine at the nearby restaurants or dancing at the bars at night-you won’t be bored at Potsdamer Platz. You can also do shopping and buy souvenirs, or just walk around and click some Instagrammable pictures.
Address: Potsdamer Platz, 10785 Berlin
9. Oberbaum Bridge
While the Oberbaum Bridge is the most popular bridge in the world, it’s not the first. It’s actually a bridge that has been around for over 500 years, and it predates Columbus. The Oberbaum Bridge was built in 1338 by citizens of Nuremberg on orders from King Kazimierz I to connect their city with the Imperial Palace. The bridge was named after Countess Hedwig of Nuremberg, who donated land for its construction.
It was originally intended to be an aqueduct to carry water from Lake Starnberg to Nuremberg, but when they couldn’t get enough support from the city council and citizens, they decided not to build it. The bridge became so popular that people started coming from all over Germany and Europe just to see it.
Artists would paint scenes on its sides and tourists would climb up on top of it during festivals (like Mardi Gras). There are even rumors that Hitler wanted to use the bridge for one of his famous speeches because he loved seeing all those people walking across it! You can walk across the bridge or learn about an important part of German history. Many tours of the bridge are available that are offered in multiple languages.
10. Victory Column
The Victory Column is one of Berlin’s most famous landmarks and has been a popular tourist attraction since it was built in 1874. It is located on the Brandenburg Gate, which was built between 1844 and 1866 during the reign of Frederick William IV.
The column itself was created by the sculptor Karl Friedrich Schinkel who also worked on other buildings such as the Altes Museum, Herrenchiemsee Palace, and Charlottenburg Palace.
The obelisk itself is made up of three parts: an inner cylinder with a diameter of 51 meters, an outer cylinder with a diameter of 24 meters, and an outer capstone with a diameter of 20 meters. The monument was originally meant to commemorate Prussian victories over Napoleon Bonaparte during the Seven Weeks’ War in 1813.
However, when World War I broke out in 1914, Kaiser Wilhelm II decided to use it for propaganda purposes instead—it became known as “Victory Monument” or “Monument of Glory.”
It’s not only the history of the Victory Column that attracts tourists every year but also the picture-perfect location. You can get to the column through underground passageways and enjoy the coolest views of Berlin from the top.
Address: Großer Stern, 10557 Berlin
The history of Gendarmenmarkt began in 1383, when the city of Cologne was under the rule of the Germanic king, Rudolf von Habsburg. At that time, there was a ban on selling alcohol in public and it was thus illegal to sell alcohol on certain days of the week. To counter this, merchants started selling ale and wine at their stalls during these prohibited times.
The popularity of this practice grew rapidly and soon became a tradition for many citizens. In 1461, Emperor Frederick III granted permission for people to drink on Sundays; this allowed even more people to participate in this event which had become very popular.
In 1618, Emperor Matthias II issued an edict that allowed all citizens to sell wine at their stalls on Sunday mornings if they so desired. This made it easier for people to attend Gendarmenmarkt since they would not have to wait until 10am in order to get their alcohol fix!
The market is located on the square that was once the site of a Roman garrison, which was later converted into a church dedicated to Saint Ursula. The market was originally built around this church, but over time it expanded and moved away from its original location—and now covers an area that covers both sides of the square.
In addition to selling food and goods, many vendors sell souvenirs or items related to Cologne’s famous Christmas market. So, why not buy something special for Christmas from the market? You can also walk around the place and enjoy German culture.
Address: Gendarmenmarkt, 10117 Berlin
12. Pergamon Museum
The Pergamon Museum is a must-see in Berlin! It is the largest museum in Germany, and it’s home to one of the world’s most incredible collections. The building itself was built during Roman times, and then remodeled during the reign of Emperor Augustus. The museum contains statues from ancient Greece and Rome, Egyptian artworks, and a host of other artifacts from around the world.
The history of the Pergamon Museum dates back to its founding by King Antiochus I in 125 BC. It was originally called “Pergamus” after Antiochus’ wife (who was named Eupoleia). Later on, it became known as “Pergamon” because it was located near that city—and now you know why!
Today the Pergamon Museum is one of Berlin’s most popular attractions. It’s located in west Berlin and offers guided tours in English every day except Monday. Tickets are available at the door or online before visiting so that visitors can avoid long lines at busy times like weekends or holidays when many people visit at once.
Address: Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin
Entrance Fee: €-12.00 for adults and €-6.00 for concessions
13. Berlin Cathedral
The Berlin cathedral is the oldest church in Berlin, and the largest in Germany. It was originally built in 1220 as a Romanesque church, but the current building dates from 1803. It’s popular for its architecture, which includes spires and towers that are unique to this building.
The interior is also beautiful: a combination of Gothic, Baroque and Romanesque elements makes it look like something straight out of a fairy tale.
If you’re visiting Berlin Cathedral, there are many things you can do while you’re there. You can visit the gift shop at the entrance – they have some really great souvenirs! If you want to take pictures inside the cathedral, you’ll need to pay for them – but it’s worth it if you love taking pictures!
There’s also an observation deck where you can sit and watch people walk by below on their way home from work or school (it’s open until 10pm).
Address: Am Lustgarten, 10178 Berlin
14. Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie is a term that refers to the checkpoint located at the Brandenburg Gate, in Berlin. The checkpoint was used by Soviet troops during the Cold War, and it is where many of the infamous images from that period were captured.
The checkpoint was first constructed in 1945 and served as an important waypoint for both Allied and Soviet forces during their occupation of Berlin. It closed in 2008 but was reopened for tourists in 2012.
Today, visitors can still walk through this famous location and see where history was made: the Wagons-Lits Hotel, which was used by American soldiers as headquarters during their occupation of Berlin; a Soviet tank; graffiti from both sides; and even a piano that belonged to a local musician who was killed during a bombing raid.
Checkpoint Charlie is popular with tourists because it provides an opportunity to learn about one of Europe’s most significant periods in history while also getting a glimpse into what life was like during this time period.
Address: Friedrichstraße 43-45, 10117 Berlin
15. East Side Gallery
East Side Gallery Berlin is a place where you can find art from around the world, and it’s a great place to spend some time if you’re looking for something more than just your average museum. The East Side Gallery was founded in 1996 by a group of artists who wanted to share their work with others.
They also wanted to bring attention to artists who weren’t getting enough exposure. Their mission was “to promote and support the creation of new and existing art.”
Today it is still run by the same people who started it over 20 years ago, but they have expanded their mission to include more than just art. They now host events that focus on music, dance and theater performances, as well as talks about issues like climate change. So, if you are an art lover, it’s a great place to enjoy the magic of art.
Address: Mühlenstraße 3-100, 10243 Berlin