10 Major Highlights of Berlin

Berlin, Germany, is a city that I’ve visited only once. It was in the middle of winter a few years ago and the weather was terrible. The city left an impression on me nevertheless. There’s an overwhelming amount of historic sites and pretty places to be found all over Berlin. It’s an enormous city, with starkly contrasting areas and neighborhoods – the Berlin Wall is to blame for that. After Berlin was reunited in the late 1980s, the city underwent a huge transformation. While the West was already modernized, the East had some catching up to do.

Nowadays there still is a visible difference between former East Berlin and West Berlin, but that difference is slowly disappearing. Berlin may just be the most diverse city on the planet. There’s ultramodern architecture, old churches, former war sites, fantastic nightlife, remains of the Berlin Wall, museums and, additionally, it is one of the greenest cities on earth. Also, surprisingly, Berlin is a city crisscrossed by canals and the River Spree. There are no less than 1,700 bridges in Berlin; that’s more than in Venice! Think about that for a sec.

After my wet and cold stay in Berlin, this is my personal top 10 of landmarks and highlights of Berlin.

10 Major Highlights of Berlin

10. East Side Gallery

Berlin is famous for its graffiti paintings on the Berlin Wall and the East Side Gallery is probably the ultimate place to see them. The open-air gallery consists of beautiful graffiti art on a pretty long remaining section of the Wall.

10 Major Highlights of Berlin: East Side Gallery
East Side Gallery

9. Potsdamer Platz

Having been completely destroyed during the Second World War, Potsdamer Platz was slowly rebuilt afterwards. It officially reopened in 1998 and now consists of many modern buildings, such as the impressive Sony Center.

10 Major Highlights of Berlin: Potsdamer Platz
Potsdamer Platz

8. Checkpoint Charlie

This used to be one of three checkpoints along the Berlin Wall. It was the site of a standoff between American and Russian tanks in 1961 and became a major symbol of the Cold War period. It now features a free open-air museum that lines the streets.

10 Major Highlights of Berlin: Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie

7. Alexanderplatz

The historic center of the city, Alexanderplatz is a popular square. Landmarks include the 365-meter Television Tower, which is one of the tallest structures in Europe, and the World Time Clock.

10 Major Highlights of Berlin: Alexanderplatz
Alexanderplatz

6. Museum Island

This is an actual island in the River Spree, home to no less than five excellent museums, located right next to one another.

10 Major Highlights of Berlin: Museum Island
Museum Island

5. Reichstag

The historic Reichstag building might just be the most well-known structure in Berlin. It had to be renovated after the fall of the Wall and now serves as the seat of the German Parliament.

10 Major Highlights of Berlin: Reichstag
Reichstag

4. The Berlin Wall Memorial

The Berlin Wall Memorial is located on Bernhauer Strasse and features an intact section of the Wall, the so-called Death Strip, a watchtower and exhibits that give visitors an impression of life along the dreaded Wall.

10 Major Highlights of Berlin: Berlin Wall Memorial
Berlin Wall Memorial

3. Holocaust Memorial

A not-to-be-missed site in Berlin, the humbling Holocaust Memorial is made up of more than 2,700 gray stones of different sizes.

10 Major Highlights of Berlin: Holocaust Memorial
Holocaust Memorial

2. Brandenburg Gate

Originally a gate in the city walls, the massive Brandenburg Gate was built as a peace symbol. It is located on the famous Unten den Linden avenue and now symbolizes the reunion of Berlin.

10 Major Highlights of Berlin: Brandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate

1. Gendarmenmarkt

The Gendarmenmarkt is one of my absolute 10 major highlights of Berlin. This gorgeous symmetric square has to be one of the most beautiful in Europe. The Concert House, French Cathedral and German Cathedral are three landmark buildings.

10 Major Highlights of Berlin: Gendarmenmarkt
Gendarmenmarkt

These are only 10 major highlights of Berlin. There are so many more; for example, Charlottenburg Palace, the Berliner Dom, the Zoo, Kurfürstendamm, Bebelplatz, the Karl-Marx-Allee and the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtsniskirche.

About Bram

Website: http://www.travel-experience-live.com

Bram is a Belgian guy who's currently living in the USA. For over four years now, he has been wandering the globe, with jobs here and there in between. So far, his travels have taken him to four continents and twenty-two countries. Bram likes to try different styles of travelling: from backpacker and adventurer to tourist and local, he has been all those stereotypes and probably will be many more in the future. You can follow his adventures on his travel blog, on Twitter and on Facebook.

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2 Responses

  1. Top 10 Berlin Sights to See When Visiting - Go 4 Travel Blog

    […] Berlin, like Rome, Paris, and London, is considered one of the great capitals of Europe. It’s a city still dealing with the repercussions of 20th century wars, yet managed to transform itself to the dynamic and cultured place it is today. Many come to visit to pay respects and learn about life in Berlin during the difficult periods of the 20th century, but many end up staying because of the innovative culture that now infects the city. It wasn’t too long ago when the Berlin Wall fell and yet the city managed to resurrect itself, hipper and more vibrant than ever. Planning a trip to the German capital? Here’s a list of the top 10 Berlin sights to see while visiting the city. […]

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  2. Tokyo: "fascination" is not a word strong enough | Go 4 Travel Blog

    […] of seeing everything it’s had built being completely destroyed by the enemy during WWII. And, like Berlin, Tokyo was able to recover from this horrible circumstance with panache, taking the opportunity to […]

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