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 Hohenzollerns, 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.
C/O Berlin calls itself an "International Forum for Visual Dialogues," and while this may be apt, it doesn't actually describe what C/O is. It is simply an excellent gallery that houses temporary exhibitions of photographs and photographic installations by the world's leading documentary photographers, from Henri Cartier-Bresson to Trent Park. It is not particularly well known, but for photographers, lovers of photography, or even just people who are interested in the world, it is one of the must-see museums in Berlin. Its exhibitions, usually by multiple photographers, never leave the viewer untouched.
Constructed between 1884 and 1894, the imposing Reichstag stands witness to Germany's past and present. 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 World War II, 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.
Set inside the Erholungspark Marzahn, Gärten der Welt is comprised of beautiful themed gardens. These lovely landscapes are predominantly inspired by the flora of Asia. The first garden to open in the park was Chinese-themed in the year 2000. Stroll through the Japanese, Korean, Balinese, Oriental and Italian gardens and you will be amazed by their unique beauty. From having unique structures using Chinese, Korean and Italian architecture depending on the respective themes, to astounding fountains and artistic statues, the park is an engineering marvel. Ideal for going on a picnic with family, the park has a strict no pets and bikes policy.
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. The many greenhouses here are home to many rare plants from around the globe. Visitors shouldn't miss the unique Botanical Museum at the entrance.
Built for the 1936 Olympic Games, the Olympiastadion conjures up memories of excited fans and Jesse Owens sprinting and leaping for four gold medals. Today, the Olympiastadion is home to Berlin's premier soccer club, Hertha BSC, and hosts major sporting events like the ISTAF Athletics Meeting. International performers like Michael Jackson, Beyonce, The Rolling Stones and U2 have taken the crowds by storm with their dazzling concerts here. Designed to impress the world, this monumental multi-purpose arena has done just that since its reopening in 2004. Visitors can wander around the stadium on event-free days, or choose to go on a guided tour of the massive arena. The visitor's center is perfect to learn more about the fascinating history of this monumental structure.
Opened in 1929, just three years before Hitler seized power, this art house film theater soon became a place of refuge for anti-Nazi resistance fighters during the Third Reich. A commemorative plaque in the foyer reminds visitors of those dark days. After the War, the Babylon became socialist East Germany's only art house cinema. Even after the fall of the Wall, the cinema has remained true to its tradition and continues to show old silent movies, East German classics and other controversial or arty films, all of which should make any film lover's heart beat a little faster. Besides these, it also hosts concerts, theater, readings, festivals and workshops.
This hip club in the Volksbühne theater features live concerts and happening parties, readings and fashion shows. The likes of Vivienne Westwood also showcase their art here on a regular basis. This place plays everything under the sun, from techno and electro music to rockabilly. Check out the Web site for the latest information on events and times.
CineStar CUBIX am Alexanderplatz is set in a cube-shaped steel and glass building. Spread across four floors, it features nine modern screening halls. It is one of the popular multiplexes in the city for movie-goers. Enjoy the latest Hollywood flicks and German cinema in this stylish theater.
Originally built in 1914, the Volksbühne am Rosa Luxemburg Platz was rebuilt in 1954 after the World War II bombings nearly ravaged it. This venerable theater is known for its experimental productions that not only appeal the masses but also the critics. Their paradoxical shows are always engaging and thought-provoking, making them one of the best contemporary theaters in the nation.
Nestled in the heart of the city and overlooking the St. Mary's Church (Marienkirche), Berliner Fernsehturm (TV Tower) and Neptunbrunnen, Haus ungarn is indeed in an enviable location. It is also near the DDR Museum and Berliner Dom. Set in the former Hungarian cultural center, this modernized event venue offers flexible spaces for a variety of events such as concerts, parties, galas, shoots, product launches, fashion shows, workshops and exhibitions. Their terrace is a much sought after place for its panoramic views.
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.