Located next to Zoo Station in the heart of the western city center, Zoologischer Garten Berlin is one of the most renowned zoos and a popular tourist attraction in the city. Founded in 1844 by Prussian King William IV, the Zoologischer Garten is Germany's oldest zoo. With 13,000 animals covering over 1,400 different species, the zoo is also one of the world's most populous zoos. Home to polar bears, giant pandas and arctic wolves, majestic birds like King Vulture and Ostrich can are found here. Frequented by locals and tourists alike, the zoo is an important landmark of the city.
Museum Island is located on the northern half of a historically-significant island in the Spree River that runs through Berlin. The island takes its name from the five Berlin State Museums that reside in the area - the Altes Museum, the Bode Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie, the Neues Museum, and the Pergamon Museum. Museum Island was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2010. The island's first museum was erected in 1797, and the whole area was designated specifically for art and science by King Frederick William IV of Prussia in 1841. An assemblage of spectacular historical monuments, the Museum Island is a stunning heritage hub.
Built on the site of Berlin's oldest church, the Nikolaikirche today is still the site of regular services, but also houses a museum highlighting its rich history, a tower which boasts some spectacular views, and fantastic acoustics, which are a boon when it hosts musical acts. This attraction is also worth a visit for its Medieval architecture and twin green spires.
Built in the years 1936 to 1941, Tempelhofer Freiheit was originally called Tempelhofer Flughafen when it was an airport. Although it was just an airport it played an important role in history. The airport saw forced labor during WWII and it was here that American cargo planes landed with food for starving West Berliners in the Berlin Airlift of 1948-49. During the Cold War, it was an important US airforce base and remained Berlin's main airport until the opening of Tegel Airport in 1975. Nowadays, the airport has closed and it has been transformed into a strange and spooky park that people can wander through. Visitors are welcome to explore the old buildings on a tour, or check out the grounds surrounding the eerily silent old airport.
The botanical garden and botanic museum's large and sedate park in the southwest of Berlin provides the perfect respite to a hard day's slog through the hectic inner-city. One can admire the English gardens and a collection of flora from all over Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas. It is also worth taking a look inside one or two of the huge tropical greenhouses. Visitors shouldn't miss the unique Botanical Museum at the entrance.
Britzer Garten attracts numerous visitors to its 90-hectare (222.39-acre) well-manicured space. At the garden, each season showcases a variety of flowers. A colorful riot of tulips bloom during April, while numerous roses and daffodils blossom in June and September respectively. Besides offering a visual treat with this wonderful lush landscape, the garden also hosts various concerts, events and sporting activities that engage people of all ages.
The Berlin outpost of the popular Sea Life chain of aquariums is unlike any other. Visitors can spend hours perusing tank after tank of exotic fish, but the culminating attraction here is the AquaDom, a hulking cylindrical fish tank with a great glass elevator shaft in the center. Kids of all ages look forward to this ride. Surrounded on all sides by sea creatures large and small, you will feel as though you have actually entered the ocean.
Berlin City's Library location of Landesbibliothek in the Mitte neighborhood is one place not to be missed. Literally meaning the Central and Regional Library, the city location is housed inside an elegantly designed structure that resembles royal British styled architecture. Inevidently occupying a huge area, this place houses a massive collection of titles of all genres and languages. Serving as a Center for Berlin studies too, the city library offers access to historic literature as well. Also, the large reading room housed in here is regularly used to conduct events like discussions, readings and even live performances. A must visit to grab some relaxed entertainment!
Friedrich II liked his architecture to mirror his political programme—Bebelplatz was designed to be a meeting place for science, art and political power. An academy, an opera house and a royal palace were planned, yet only the Opera House was finished in the king's lifetime. Later additions (the Royal Library and the Humboldt University buildings) are a testament to Freidrich's original project - all of them imposing classical buildings which unite to form one of Berlin's most impressive squares. Science and art are still represented; political power only to an extent - in the middle of the square an underground memorial (visible through a glass screen) bears testimony to the site where the Nazis burnt the books of political and philosophical opponents in May 1933.
Looking to enjoy some fantastic live music performances? Head over to the Pierre Boulez Saal, you're sure to love it. This magnificent concert hall is the brainchild of architect Frank Gehry and is designed to enhance acoustics while providing the audience with an unforgettable experience. The venue features rows of seats that are set in a circular manner, ascending above the row ahead, ensuring a clear view of the performing area. Recitals, orchestras, symphonies, and other magnificent performances can be enjoyed at the Pierre Boulez Saal.