So much significant history has taken place in Berlin that it can be difficult to know where to start your tour of the city! Thankfully, Berlin does a wonderful job of preserving and displaying the sites that made it the multicultural epicenter we know today. Here are only a few of the most famous sites you can enjoy in Berlin.
East Side Gallery
The Berlin Wall is known the world over for its role in separating East and West Berlin, and further making major distinctions between political ideologies. The East Side Gallery is the longest standing remains of the wall, which runs 1316 metres along the Spree River. As soon as the wall was taken down, artists from several different nations started painting the standing pieces.
The East Side Gallery was officially opened as an open air gallery in September of 1990, and has since been one of Berlin’s top attractions and physical reminder of the city’s history. On a walk along the wall, you can find murals by artists from around the world that embody peace, political messages, or even words and simply beautiful or unusual images.
Berlin Television Tower
The Berliner Fernsehturm, or Berlin Television Tower, was constructed in the late 1960s, and at 368 metres tall is Germany’s tallest structure. Located in Marien Quarter near Alexanderplatz, the top of the tower has an observation deck and bar, from which you have an amazing view of the city.
As one of Germany’s top ten most popular tourist attractions, it’s worth heading to the top of the tower at least once during your time in Berlin.
Book your place to see where the German Parliament sits! This recognisable landmark has been the center of many historical events, and the building has impressively survived fires and warfare. Today, a glass dome covers the parliamentary chambers, as a symbol of political transparency. Though the view of the building from outside is beautiful, you should book a place to get into the building before arriving, as it is a very popular attraction.
On a rainy day, you can spend hours wandering through Berlin’s many museums. Whether you enjoy art, history, or the absurd, you’re sure to find a museum that suits your interests.
Museum of Natural History
Explore the natural world at Berlin’s famous Museum of Natural History. Here you will find an exhibition of planet Earth, the biodiversity wall which boasts 3,000 preserved animal species, and exciting interactive exhibits.
Be sure to see (though you can’t miss it!) the museum’s 13.27 metre tall Brachiosaurus, which is the world’s largest dinosaur skeleton.
German Historical Museum
Learn more about the history of where you’re studying! The German Historical Museum, also referred to as the Deutsches Historisches Museum or DHM, shows the progression of German history dating back to the Middle Ages. Here you can discover the chronological evolution of the nation and its language through major historical events and European shifts.
Each epoch in the permanent exhibit also shows what everyday life would have been like for Germans, so you can get a better understanding of the history from a personal perspective. Throughout the year smaller exhibits are featured, with particular focuses on famous Germans or events that had lasting national and international influence.
If contemporary art is what you’re looking for, take a trip to Hamburger Bahnhof. As the name suggests, this museum was created in what was formerly the terminus station for the rail line that ran between Berlin and Hamburg. Here you will find 1,500 pieces of modern artwork ranging from silkscreens by Andy Warhol to mind-bending conceptual pieces.
Berlin is dotted with breathtaking parks where you can find peaceful refuge without leaving the city. Here are just a few of Berlin’s parks you can stroll through or make your favourite study spot.
You don’t need to venture far from campus to find one of Berlin’s most well-known parks! Tiergarten covers a whopping 210 hectares (520 acres) and has everything from walking and cycling paths to picnic areas and English gardens.
Tiergarten is also home to Germany’s oldest zoo, several small ponds, a tea house, and the impressive Victory Column. You can find many memorials and statues, and learn some history of the city on a walk through the park.
Another major park in Berlin, Treptower houses riverside paths for cycling and walking and a beautiful rose garden. In the park you will find the Soviet War Memorial, the 200-year-old beer garden Haus Zenner, and can find a quiet area to relax.
Also within Treptower Park is the abandoned Spreepark, which was a previously operational amusement park that closed in 2001. Though it is forbidden to enter the park grounds unless on a guided tour at restricted times, you can very easily see the ferris wheel and some remaining buildings from the path that passes the grounds.
This park boasts the title of oldest public park in Berlin, officially opening in 1848 on 46 hectares of land. Since then the park has changed with the city’s history, and much of the park was destroyed during World War II. Following the war and several historical events, the park has been reconstructed and today houses areas for beach volleyball, cycling, skateboarding, and rock climbing.
Many visit this park for leisure activities and sunbathing, and even tobogganing in the winter. Here you can also see the famed Fairy Tale Fountain, which was originally designed in 1913 and miraculously survived the bombings which destroyed much of the area. The fountain has 106 sculptures which depict traditional German fairy tale characters.
There is so much more to see and do in Berlin that you will need to explore while studying in the city. Before long, you’ll have your own ultimate guide to Berlin that you can share!