Unpredictable, gritty, unpretentious, and irresistible, Berlin is nothing short of an addictive. If you thought New York is the only city that never sleeps, you probably haven’t been to the German capital. Chic restaurants, sky bars, sizzling nightlife, iconic sights, historical relics, and the principle of ‘live and let live’ define this world city of culture, media, politics, and science. Berlin offers some of the most amazing and rewarding experiences to travelers which cannot be forgotten easily. All you need to do is be ready to deal with the immensity and intensity of this amazing city. And once you get over the awe of the “City of Design” (as termed by UNESCO) and its architectural marvels, here are 10 awesome things to do and see in Berlin.
1. Connect with history at remnants of the Berlin Wall
Few events in history have the power to change the course of the world, the fall of Berlin Wall in 1989 is undeniably one of such events. The wall which was constructed as a desperate attempt by the German Democratic Republic (GDR) government to stop the people from moving to the west finally came down in 1989 amidst loud cheers, euphoric shouts and dancing revelers at the Brandenburg Gate. For 28 years since its construction in 1961 the wall acted as a barrier between east and west Berlin. Today only a bit of this wall is left as a remnant, but a mere sight of this wall is capable of evoking strong emotions. The East Side Gallery is a popular tourist attraction due to vivid, striking murals. Don’t miss visiting the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer or Berlin Wall Memorial if you ever take a trip to Berlin.
2. Witness the Grandeur of Brandenburg Gate
Once a symbol of oppression Brandenburg Gate is now a symbol of united Germany. Historical heavyweights like Hitler and Napoleon have marched through this magnificent royal city gate built in a neoclassical style. Extremely photogenic and atmospheric, Brandenburg Gate is one of Berlin’s most iconic landmarks.
3. Experience the Elegance of Schloss Charlottenburg (Charlottenburg Palace)
Built in the 1things 7th century and expanded during the 18th century, Charlottenburg Palace is one of the few sites in Berlin that reflect the glorious past of the region under the rule of Hohenzollern clan. The beautiful palace is also known for its exotic internal decoration in baroque and rococo styles. Schloss Charlottenburg was severely damaged during the Second World War but has undergone a reconstruction and today it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Berlin.
4. Witness the Architectural Brilliance of Potsdamer Platz
A famous public square at the center of the city, Potsdamer Platz was once a trading post where several country roads converged. Come 90s and the historic Potsdamer Platz reemerged as Europe’s biggest and most talked-about architectural project with big names such as Renzo Piano and Helmut Jahn attached to it. Today Potsdamer Platz is not just the most bustling traffic intersection in Europe but edifices like the Panoramapunkt observation deck and the glass-tented Sony center along with cinemas, museums, offices and houses define the architectural brilliance of Germany.
5. Watch Fernsehturm from a Distance
The tallest structure in Germany Fernsehturm is as iconic a symbol of the country as Eiffel tower for France. Constructed between 1965 and 1969, this 368 meters high TV tower is often used in movies as an introductory and establishing shot for Berlin. Fondly referred to as Telespargel and the Toothpick due to its shape, Fernsehturm was nicknamed by Berliners as ‘Pope’s Revenge’ because of the reflection of tiled stainless steel dome which looks like a shining cross.
6. Taste Berliner Weisse
Napoleon’s troops called it ‘The Champagne of the North’ and even today few would disagree that Berliner Weisse is one of the world’s best brews. Sipping Berlin’s very own white beer, usually served in the bowl-shaped glass with various flavored syrups like Raspberry, is one of the most awesome things to do in Berlin.
7. Revisit History at the Reichstag
Arguably Germany’s most famous architectural landmark, the Reichstag has been through a lot since it was opened in 1894. It was set on fire, bombed and had fallen into disuse before it was rebuilt and restored to its glory. Today, the historic edifice with the glittering glass dome is the second most visited attraction in Germany.
8. Explore the Markets
Berliners love their markets and apart from designer stores and boutiques, there are several food markets in each district. Weekly flea markets in Berlin are a must-visit even if you are not a shopaholic. Selling a huge range of goods from antique stuff to the latest, these flea markets are an experience in themselves. One of the most awesome things to do and see in Berlin, local markets will give you a sneak peek into German way of living.
9. Spend an Evening at Hackeschen Höfe
A maze of eight interconnected courtyards Hackeschen Höfe was built in 1907 and was reopened in 1996. It is the most famous and largest group of courtyards spread across the Scheunenviertel. Filled with chic cafes, galleries, stylish boutiques, and entertainment centers Hackeschen Höfe is one of the most frequented sites in Berlin.
10. Explore the Treasures of Museum Island
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Museum Island is an imposing site that treasures 6000 years of artistic greatness and cultural history. A cluster of five well-stocked world class museums showcasing the glimpses of the past right from the antiquity of the Stone Age to the cultural history of 19th century, Museum Island is a must-visit tourist attraction in Berlin.
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