19th-century architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel provided Berlin with many of its greatest buildings, including the magnificent Konzerthaus and the equally striking Altes Museum. The museum, which opened in 1830, was the first to be built on Museum Island. It now houses rotating special exhibitions and is home to part of the Antique Collection, a breathtaking collection of ancient Greek and Roman artifacts that were excavated by the famous German archeologist Hildesheimer.
Stretching from the Brandenburg Gate in the east to Zoo Station in the west, Tiergarten park is one of Europe's largest and most beautiful inner-city parks. Originally conceived as a hunting ground for Prussian kings, the Tiergarten was transformed into a romantic landscape garden in the early 19th Century by Peter Joseph Lenne, who designed a series of winding paths, lakes, bridges, sculptures and flower beds. The park was devastated in the World War II and during subsequent winters. Replanted in the mid-20th Century, the Tiergarten is now as beautiful as it ever was and very popular with locals and visitors alike.
Built for the 1936 Olympic Games, the Olympiastadion conjures up memories of fanatical 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.
Located on the Lindenstraße, the Jewish Museum is the largest museum focusing on Jewish history in all of Europe. The original Jewish museum of Berlin was built in 1933, but was closed in the following decade by the Nazi regime. The Berlin government hosted an anonymous competition to design the new museum; famed architect Daniel Liebeskind won the competition with his jagged and zig-zagging building that was nicknamed "blitz." The museum was completed in 1999. Today, visitors to the museum can learn all about German-Jewish heritage, starting in the Medieval era and continuing into today's Jewish community.
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.
Located on the Kulturforum in the heart of the city, the Philharmonie is home to one of the world's greatest orchestras: the Berlin Philharmonic. The original building was destroyed in World War II and its replacement was designed by Hans Scharoun and opened in 1963 by legendary conductor Herbert von Karajan. Concert goers can always expect fantastic performances in this bright yellow and tent-shaped concert hall. Large concerts take place in the Großer Saal, while smaller concerts take place in the next-door Kammermusiksaal (Chamber Music Hall), which is joined to the main building by a foyer.
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.
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.