A first-time visit to Berlin has to be a completely wonderful experience, filled with a varied mix of history, culture and incredible sights, it’s a city that excites yet embraces us visitors with open arms.
Whether you’re visiting for a long weekend, a week or even months, it’s sure that you’ll be struggling for time to catch all the places in this ecstatic city… especially if you keep stopping for bold currywurst and a tipple or two!
Just like other German cities like Hamburg and Cologne, Berlin has a quite diverse mix of places that you must see on your first visit with a very large proportion being present in Germany’s Top 100 sights to see as voted by visitors actually experiencing the country.
Have a look at 17 of the top places you’ll want to include on your first visit to Berlin:
Stroll through Brandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate is one of Germany’s most popular landmarks that you will undoubtedly want to see. From the pages of history, an old city gate, Brandenburg Gate was rebuilt approximately 250 years ago and still stands as is today.
Popular as a point for major historical events, it’s a wonderful spot to see when visiting the Reichstag that’s close by.
Visit the glass dome of The Reichstag
The Reichstag is not only home to the German Government but also holds one of the most incredible glass domes in all the world! Open to the tourists, you can go inside the dome and enjoy the wonderful building (and views) from the top. Make sure to reserve your tickets well in advance, pre-booking is required and generally fills up very fast. You can pre-book for free access, on their website.
Experience the glorious Berlin Cathedral
Situated on Museum Island, Berlin Cathedral is one incredible place to visit. The rich history and wonderful architecture are jaw-droppingly awesome and well worth a gander at.
Do not forget to spend some time in the main Cathedral before going downstairs to learn more about the crypts and history of this wonderful building.
Learn about reintroduction programs at Berlin Zoo
Not just a zoo, Berlin Zoo helps teach, collaborate and manages reintroduction programs for some of the most endangered animals across the world.
Visit here to learn more about the important work they do and the breeding programs that help in protecting endangered animals.
Discover art at the East Side Gallery
Titled as an international memorial for freedom, this huge stretch of the Berlin Wall has been commissioned, displaying over 100 various paintings from artists all across the world, which also includes the colorful Some heads by Thierry Noir.
Walk down the length of the 1.3km section to adore artists works, just wear a good pair of walking shoes when you go!
Explore Berlin’s Museum Island
Your trip to Berlin is incomplete without a tour to this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hop over to the island that is perched in the middle of the River Spree to enjoy some of the best museums in the world.
Do not forget to visit the Atlas Museum and the Bode Museum for some wonderful artifacts. If all that strolling wakes up an appetite, check out the delicious burger joints that are nearby.
Remember at the Holocaust Memorial
Move over to the Holocaust Memorial to realize the horrible mistakes of history. The creator, Eisenman built this space for visitors to feel uneasy and confusing space where the order is nowhere to be found.
Started over 10 years ago, it’s a place to consider and remember the horrendous acts of the Holocaust.
Wander around Charlottenburg Palace
On the records, the largest palace in Berlin, Charlottenburg Palace was initially built over 300 years ago. Around 15-20 minutes from the crowded center of Berlin, the palace is an awesome place to wander, especially through the gardens.
Do not forget to visit the Tea House and the Orangery in the palace gardens, they really are wonderful.
See the president’s home, Bellevue Palace
Doesn’t matter if you get to visit the inside or not, Bellevue Palace is an amazing sight to see whilst in Berlin. The concept on the edges of Großer Tiergarten (Berlin’s oldest and biggest park), it’s well worth a little glanced at.
Take a look at Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie was the most popular crossing point between East and West Germany during the era of the Berlin Wall. Today, the checkpoint has been rebuilt to show how it once stood. If you want to see the real building move over to The Allied Museum for a more intimate look.
Grab some bubbles and Currywurst at the Berlin TV Tower
Head over to the top of the Berlin TV Tower for some wonderful 360-degree views of the city or even for a little snack-time! If you’re thinking of visiting in the late afternoon or early evening, you can also grab bubbles and Currywurst while overlooking the city.
Gorge on the diverse foods of the city
One of the best things about Berlin is the different and diverse mix of foodie treats that are found in every corner, you can literally gorge on any type of food that your heart (or tummy) craves. Do not forget to try something you haven’t tried before… like the Israeli Food which is absolutely delicious, Djimalaya. Also, try their Hummus plates and falafel balls. Yum!
Head inside the French Cathedral
The French Cathedral is, undoubtedly, one of the most beautiful buildings in Berlin. Move inside for a stroll around the building, whilst stopping for a snack to eat in the basement halls. Most people don’t get to know that the Cathedral also houses The Huguenot Museum in the tower itself. Being a reader of JupiBlog, now you know the secret before everyone else.
Climb to the top of the Victory Column
If you’re feeling pretty fit, or just wish to burn off all those currywurst calories, then climb up the almost 300 steps to the top of the Victory Column. Approximately 200 years old, the column offers some quite incredible views across the city.
See inside the New Church
The New Church is perched directly opposite the French Cathedral on the other side of the square. Get inside for a closer look at the incredible architecture and plan a trip so that you can attend one of the many events and markets that run within the Gendarmenmarkt next to the church.
Watch a show at Konzerthaus
If you’re looking to find some of the city’s world-famous culture and art, then make sure you head over to Konzerthaus, where some of the world’s top ballet, opera, and German music and theatre are held. Tickets can be reserved online and I’d definitely advise you to prebook if you’re willing to visit.
Take a stroll through Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
Made well over 100 years ago, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church was heavily damaged during World War II. Popularly known as ‘the hollow tooth’ the spire and top of the church still stand in its demolished state… a shred of evidence and memory to the awful tragedies of war.
Do not forget to head over to the old and new church that now occupy the site.