The city of Berlin has been home to many of the most significant moments in European history. From the remnants of the Berlin wall, to the scars left behind from World War Two, exploring Berlin will leave you inundated with a wealth of information about how Europe has become the way it is today.
Alongside the many monuments and museums on offer in the city, you’ll also find it has a modern and active nightlife scene – from bars and clubs, to art gallery events and pub gardens, there’s something for everyone in this vibrant and contemporary city.
Read on for our top picks of things you shouldn’t miss out on in Berlin.
The current home of the German parliament, the Reichstag has a tumultuous history – much like Berlin itself. From its associations with Nazi authority during WWII, and then disuse in the years following, you can trace the political story of the city through the differing iterations of the Reichstag. The building was renovated in 1999, and given a new glass dome to symbolise transparency in Germany’s politics.
Visiting the Reichstag building is free, but you must book in advance.
Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin, Germany
Berlin Wall Memorial
Located along the 1.4 kilometres where the former border strip was located, the Berlin Wall Memorial serves to educate us about the days of German division. The last piece of the Berlin Wall can be found here, along with the preserved grounds behind it, creating an impression of how the fortifications would have stood. There is an outdoor exhibition that explores the history of the site, a visitor centre, viewing platform, and more.
Admission to the Berlin Wall Memorial is free.
Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer, Bernauer Straße 111, 13355 Berlin, Germany
See the legendary bust of Egyptian queen Nefertiti, the stunning Pergamon Altar, and the impressive Ishtar Gate. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Berlin’s Museum Island is made up of five different museums that house treasures from 6,000 years of human history. Home to an astounding display of 19th century art and archaeological collections, don’t miss the chance to discover these wonders during your time in Berlin.
A ticket for all of the museums on the island will cost you €18.
Museumsinsel, Am Lustgarten, 10117 Berlin, Germany
The Holocaust Memorial
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe commemorates the many millions of Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust. It is comprised of 2711 concrete slabs of different heights, in a space of over 19,000 square metres. There is an information centre where you can find biographical details and recordings connected to to the victims. The information centre details the issue of genocide, and the many memorial sites across Germany and the rest of Europe.
Admission to this memorial and its information centre is free.
Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany
One of Berlin’s most famous monuments, the Brandenburg Gate is now viewed as a symbol of unity. During the Cold War, it was located near the divide between East and West Berlin, and represented the divide of the city. At one time people would climb an observation platform here to see beyond the Iron Curtain. When the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, people celebrated at the Brandenburg Gate, and it became a symbol of a newly unified Germany.
Visit the Brandenburg Gate any day of the year for free.
Pariser Platz, 10117, Berlin, Germany
This list just scratches the surface of all the exciting things there are to do in Berlin – a capital city with multitudes of history, art, music, and culinary delights to discover. If this article has piqued your interest, why not visit TLG’s Berlin location, and come to study in this amazing city.