Set Current Location
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.
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.
Built in the late 19th century in honor of Kaiser Wilhelm I, the once magnificent, Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche was gutted by fire after a British air-raid in November 1943. The only parts left standing were the nave and half a spire. Nowadays, the spireless ruin and the modern chapel next door provide the city with more than just a famous landmark - they are also a poignant symbol of the senselessness of war. The 'Stalingrad Madonna' in the futuristic blue-glass chapel next to the ruin is worth a visit, as is the exhibition documenting the history of the church on Breitscheidplatz.
Largest palace in the city, this romantic Baroque palace was built in 1695 by King Friedrich Wilhelm I as a summer residence for his beloved wife, Queen Sophie Charlotte. One of the most impressive examples of Baroque and Rococo architecture, the palace and its grounds are a spectacular treasure chest of royal monuments. Hidden away in the lush expanse of the Royal Gardens are several smaller buildings of the complex. The ornate rococo Belvedere tea house, contains an impressive collection of porcelain, while the Schinkel Pavilion which houses drawings, paintings, sculptures, furniture and porcelain by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The neoclassical Mausoleum housing the tombs of Queen Louise, King Friedrich Wilhelm III, Emperor Wilhelm I and Empress Augusta are also a part of the palatial grounds. A sight to behold as the palace is illuminated at night, the Charlottenburg defines opulence and royalty in Berlin.
Anyone visiting Berlin today would find it hard to imagine that this vibrant and cosmopolitan city was once divided and through its heart ran a wall made of concrete and barbed wire, patrolled by armed guards. Erected on 13 August 1961 to halt the outflow of disaffected East German workers, the Berlin Wall divided Germany. No one will forget the night of 9th November 1989 when it came crashing down. In the months following its fall, it was bulldozed to the ground and the land where it stood auctioned off to the highest bidder. Not much of the original Wall is left today, with only one or two sections saved as a permanent reminder of the past. The longest and most impressive stretch can be seen at the East Side Gallery, while another section, which is full of chisel holes and graffiti, runs along Niederkirchner Straße just south of Potsdamer Platz. Hordes of tourists still flock to Checkpoint Charlie but there is not much left to see except a gripping exhibition at Haus am Checkpoint Charlie. The Wall Memorial on Bernauer Straße is well worth a visit while a more somber moment could be spent contemplating the line of white crosses on Ebertstraße behind the Reichstag.
Sixty years after World War II, Berlin unveiled the Holocaust Memorial, known officially as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, in memory of victims of those who lost their lives during Holocaust. An international symbol of a gloomy past of World history, this memorial, located next to the Brandenburg Gate and near the buried remains of Hitler's underground bunker, was designed by U.S. architect Peter Eisenman. The memorial's grid of 2711 gray concrete slabs covers a vast area in the heart of the city. The slabs, or stelae, stand at varied heights of up to 4.5 meters (15 feet), creating the sense of a stark concrete forest, through which visitors can wander on uneven cobblestone pathways. The design of the memorial is relatively abstract and has been interpreted in several ways. From oppression, excommunication to confinement, visitors have often observed numerous themes that possibly come strongly from the stelaes. A poignant reminder of German history's dark chapter, the memorial's information center offers detailed archives and stories of those who faced the ill-fate.
Biosphäre Potsdam is an indoor tropical haven in German town of Potsdam. Spread across 7,000 square meters (75347.37 square feet), the Biosphäre Potsdam recreates the typical rain forests of the equatorial region. As you walk in, you will be mesmerized by refreshing sights, sounds and fragrances. Professional guides will take you around the rain forest to get you acquainted with the flora such as Traveler's Palm, The Screw Pine and more, fauna such as Python Regius, Veiled Chameleon and some pretty intriguing exhibits. This ecological space is also home to a koi pond, where you can feed the fish, a colorful butterfly house, medicinal plants, birds, insects and a lot more. Escape from the city into the green world of Biosphäre Potsdam for an unforgettable experience.
Located in Alexanderplatz in the heart of eastern Berlin, this 1960s structure towers over the whole city. Built by communist authorities at the height of the Cold War, West Berliners cheekily christened the TV Tower "the Pope's revenge" because of the sparkling cross which appears on the pinnacle of the tower when the sun shines on it. Although regarded by many as an eyesore, the views from the top are hard to beat. The revolving restaurant situated 207 meters (680 feet) up the tower is a pleasant spot to stop for a coffee or meal and a relaxing gaze over the city.
The ultimate symbol of the Cold War that divided Europe and the world for four decades, the Berlin Wall is still the main tourist attraction in the German capitol. And Checkpoint Charlie, the former border crossing, is the place many tourists head for first. The original border post was demolished and all that remains nowadays is a signpost bearing the words, 'You are now leaving the American sector' and a replica of a watchtower from 1961. The Haus am Checkpoint Charlie museum is also located here.
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.