Constructed between 1884 and 1894, the imposing Reichstag stands witness to Germany's past, present, and future. It was established as a parliamentary house for the German Empire under Otto von Bismarck and has since seen more than a century of European history unfurl. After the second World War, the Reichstag was neglected until the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, at which time work began on returning the building to its original purpose. This new attention led to such additions as the iconic glass dome, which was added by British architect Sir Norman Foster. Today, visitors can climb up to the dome and enjoy panoramic views of brilliant Berlin from the terrace.
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 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.
Throughout the centuries, many churches have stood on the location of the current Berliner Dom. The first one was erected in 1465 for the reigning royal family, the Hohenzollern, and was little more than a chapel at that time. In 1747, it was replaced by a Baroque cathedral designed by Johann Boumann, before being transformed once again in 1822 by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Today's Dom was built between 1894 and 1905 during King Wilhelm II's reign. Almost completely destroyed in World War II, the Berliner Dom remained a ruin until restoration work finally began in 1973. Some of the cathedral's highlights include the mosaics covering the cupola, the crypt, the altar and the altar windows. The Dom also enshrines over 80 members of the Hohenzollern family. Those visiting must take a look at the Sauer organ within the cathedral, one of the largest in Germany, and take in the views from the roof promenade.
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.
Brauhaus Lemke is one of the oldest functioning microbreweries in Berlin; for a city that really loves beer, that's saying quite a lot. The brewery was started by Oli Lemke in 1998 when he put together his own brewing system in his garage. Friends helped him set up the brewing system in an old S-Bahn unit, and in 1999, the Brahaus Lemke served its first beer. Today, visitors can sample the brewery's excellent craft beers, and even take home some bottles of their very own. The brewery also serves up delicious traditional German fare to go with its brews.
Belonging to The Dungeons franchise by Merlin Entertainment, Berlins Dungeons is a popular tourist destination located on the Spandauerstraße. You are sure to experience the thrill as you stroll through this dungeon. There are nine different stories narrated by the excellent characters that will surely keep you at the edge of the seat. This thrilling journey is provided in both English and German versions and is recommended only for people above 10 years of age.
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.
Built in the begining of the 19th Century, the Altes Stadthaus or the Old Town House of Berlin was designed by Ludwig Hoffmann. A major part of the building was destroyed during the World War II but it was later painstakingly conserved and rebuilt. After the construction of a New Town house, the Altes Stadthaus was less frequented by the city's residents as it could not accommodate the Berlin's growing population but it still stands proudly as an eminent attraction.
The Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery) rises up over Museum Island like an ancient Greek temple. The imposing, neoclassical edifice was designed and built by architect F.A. Stüler between 1866-1876 and contains an extensive collection of works by both German and international artists from the 18th and 19th Centuries. Visitors can admire masterpieces by French impressionists such as Cezanne, Manet and Renoir, the surreal works of Van Gogh and Münch, and sculptures by the likes of Schadow and Rodin.