So, you’ve booked a weekend city break to Berlin, the capital of cool. Now it’s time to get planning what to do on your trip.
You made the right choice in picking Berlin for your next city break. The city that for so long had been alienated by a divisive wall is now more accessible than ever before. Berlin has blossomed into one of Europe’s most creative and cultural hubs, providing attractions and landmarks for everyone.
While the endless real of historic sites and cultural delights might seem overwhelming, with careful planning, you can select your favourites and create a tailor-made trip. There is simply so much for you to fill your time with but to make sure you have the best time possible on your trip to Berlin, here are some must-visit attractions:
Berlin Wall Memorial
For a powerful insight into the Berlin Wall, visit this open-air memorial located along Bernauer Strasse in Berlin’s centre. The memorial holds the only section of the Berlin Wall which has been preserved in its full depth, allowing you to see it just as it looked towards to end on the 80s.
The remains extend for 1.4km and there is also a chapel, monument and stations that explain the history of the wall and how it shaped the everyday lives of those on both sides.
The remnants of the Berlin Wall can also be explored at the East Side Gallery, an art site dubbed the ‘art mile’. Immediately after the Berlin Wall was knocked down, over 100 artists from 21 countries began painting on a mile-long stretch. The site officially opened as an open-air gallery in 1990 and soon after was given protected memorial status.
This is the longest open-air gallery in the world and is well worth a look!
Take in the history
Berlin has a number of dark historic sites that can be visited to learn more about events from the past and to pay respect to those who suffered.
The Holocaust Memorial is the most eye-catching and creative monuments stretching close to 20,000m2. Inaugurated in 2005, the memorial is made up of 2,711 concrete columns, rising in different heights. You can meander through the columns at your will to reflect on the significance of the site.
Nearby the Holocaust Memorial is the Brandenburg Gate, another worthwhile historic monument to visit. The gate is Berlin’s most famous landmark. The gate was once a symbol of division during the Cold War but is now a national symbol of reunification and peace.
The Reichstag, the seat of the German parliament, is one of the most frequently visited sights in Berlin. Built in 1894, the building was centre stage to many significant events in German history.
The building has been burned, bombed, rebuilt and now repurposed into an accessible building. Unlike during the dictatorship of the past, the iconic building is open to all and has installed a distinctive glittering glass dome on the roof which provides 360° panoramic views of the city.
A music lover’s paradise
Berlin attracts thousands of music lovers to the city every year. Music simply runs through the veins of the city from the mesmerising techno beats in world-renowned clubs to the jazzy underground bars and the historic punk and culture movement in the 70s.
The Berlin Music Tour company takes visitors on tours of the city’s most famous musical locations. Tours can be specific to bands who spent time in the city including U2 and Depeche Mode, but the most popular of which is the Bowie Berlin Walk, a tour that takes enthusiasts on an inside look into David Bowie’s period in Berlin.
This Bowie Berlin Walk takes guests to Hansa Studios, where Bowie recorded his ‘Berlin trilogy’ of alums in the 70s: Low, Heroes and Lodger, the house where he and Iggy Pop lived, and Bowie’s favourite café.
Book a Berlin city break
If reading about of these attractions in this cultural phenomenon has got you in the mood to visit Berlin, get in touch with our European holiday experts.