Berlin is not only an important historic and cultural centre, but also a major tourist attraction that draws in millions of people every year. Whether they are attracted by Berlin’s splendid buildings or by its vibrant nightlife, tourists from all around the world gather in this wonderful city to celebrate its beauty and special vibe. In return, Berlin offers all its visitors a piece of its history.
Represented in almost all pictures depicting the city of Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate or Brandenburger Tor is certainly one of the most appreciated symbols and attractions in the German metropolis. It was constructed in 1791, being the last remaining city gate in the capital. The Brandenburg Gate has always been of great significance for Berliners, as this is where they celebrated the fall of the wall, but this was also a site of protests when Germany was divided.
During World War II, the Gate was damaged because of severe bombing and it was only fully restored at the beginning of the 2000s. Nowadays, the beautiful and restored Brandenburg Gate stands tall and triumphant to remind people not only of Berlin’s turbulent history, but also of its years of peace and glory.It is, thus, an attraction of great importance that should not miss from your itinerary.
Moving on to the more modern side of the city, you will notice the unmistakable PotsdamerPlatz. Filled with glass and steel buildings, this area is a well-known centre for shopping, entertainment and art. It is one of the numerous vibrant areas in Berlin and, symbolically, it represents the reconnection between East Berlin and West Berlin. The Sony Centre dominates the square and it’s the place where most of the entertainment happens. So, if you’re looking for a shopping session or you’re in for a movie night, look no further than Sony Centre with its 3D IMAX theatre, Cinema Complex, shopping mall and even a Film Museum.
Don’t miss the DaimlerChrysler Atrium that features different art exhibits that change from time to time. Last, but not least, PotsdamerPlatz is home to a fine replica of the first traffic light in Germany. Located in the centre of the square, it is surrounded by various modern structures that make this area a must-see attraction.
Also known as Fernsehturm, the Berlin Television Tower is the tallest building in the German capital and Germany as a whole. It also counts as Europe’s fourth highest tower.Measuring 368 metres in height, this TV Tower also features an observation deck, located at 204 metres above ground level. The Berlin Television Tower is mostly appreciated by tourists,because it offers them the possibility to enjoy a full panorama of the city. As you reach the highest point, on the observation deck, you will be impressed by the amazing rotating restaurant that spins 360 degrees every half an hour to let you admire the splendid views of Berlin. There is also a bar situated nearby the restaurant.
The TV Tower was constructed in the 1960s and initially it was regarded asa communist emblem.Still, as it stood above the Berlin Wall,with its dome reflecting the sun in the shape of a cross, it became clear that it was in fact a symbol for freedom and liberation, and it has remained so ever since.
Going to Berlin and not visiting the Berlin Wall, or, to be more accurate, the remains of the original wall, is like having a party with no music. Berlin’s recent and modern history is so closely related to the famous wall that torn the city apart that today you cannot imagine one without the other. Conceived as a malicious way to separate the east side of the city from the west side, nowadays the remaining part of the wall stands as a proof of courage, freedom and pride.
The part of the Berlin Wall that still stands up is located in the eastern part of the city and it was named East Side Gallery. It’s filled with beautiful murals (hence the name “gallery”) signed by artists all around the globe, as a symbol of tolerance. The first paintings appeared in 1990, immediately after the wall fell. Other small pieces can be seen between Bellevuestraße and Ebertstraße, in PotsdamerPlatz and close to the Martin-Gropius-Bau Museum. However, most of the Berlin Wall was destroyed by vandalism and erosion.
As you walk nearby the Brandenburg Gate, you will notice a simple, abstract and powerful memorial dedicated to all the Holocaust victims. The memorial was opened in 2005 and was settled over an entire block. It features 2,711 concrete slabs, none of them resembling one another. The biggest is 6-feet tall and the smallest doesn’t get higher than an ankle. Even the ground that makes the paths is undulating, so, when you see the memorial as a whole, you get the overall impression of disorientation.
It is one of Berlin’s most imposing and solemn memorials, and it also features an underground museum. The latter presents information about the people who died because of the Holocaust. You will have the chance to find out some of the most terrifying and touching stories of those who were affected by the most massive extermination plan in world history.
The German Parliament building or Reichstag is located close to the Brandenburg Gate. The structure was constructed in 1894, but it was partially destroyed in 1933 and then in 1945. It was completely restored after 1990, with the stunning renovation plans signed by Sir Norman Foster.
Reichstag was reopened for the public in 1999, the top attraction being the remarkable glass dome that allows visitors to admire the panorama of the city. The tours are free, but if you want to be one of the lucky ones to enter the building and the dome, you must register well in advance because there is a daily limit with regards to how many individuals can enter the structure.