Berlin, a city dating back to the 13th century and Germany’s charming capital.
Reminders of its haunted past lie in the remains of the graffitied Berlin Wall and the grim Holocaust Museum. However, the city also has a fun, hip vibe to it, hinting at the reconstruction and unification of the country.
It’s safe to say there’s a huge list of sites to see in Berlin. More than what’s even mentioned below (obvi).
Visitors find the atmosphere of Berlin to be a combination of vibrant charm and alluring history. The city’s mesmerizing culture, ground-breaking architecture, and laid-back lifestyle is bound to win anyone over.
And even better? The plethora of great hostels to stay at in Berlin are fantastic. Though, be warned, it’s hard to choose just one since there’s over a hundred budget hostels in the city!
So, if you get the chance to visit this spectacular place, here my list of the best sites to see in Berlin, Germany!
TOP 23 SITES TO SEE IN BERLIN, GERMANY
1. Berlin Cathedral Church
The Berlin Cathedral is the largest church in the city and one of the most important synagogues for the Protestant church of Germany.
The Evangelical Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church – the long name for the Berlin Cathedral – attracts thousands of visitors every year.
The cathedral is located on Museum Island in the Mitte borough. And it’s a beautiful sight to behold; the architecture and art within are stunning.
2. TV Tower (Fernsehturm)
Located in central Berlin near the Alexanderplatz, the television tower was constructed between 1965 and 1969 by the German Democratic Republic.
When initially built, TV Tower was meant to be a symbol of communist power and of Berlin. It’s also the tallest structure in Germany and visitors can get a rad view of the city from the top of it.
One of the most visited squares, the Alexanderplatz is the central square and traffic junction of Berlin’s Mitte district.
The Alexanderplatz is also the largest urban square in all of Germany.
4. Deutsches Historisches Museum (DHM)
The DHM, or the German Historical Museum, is a museum located in Berlin dedicated to German history.
With more than 8,000 exclusive exhibits, the German Historical Museum is an exceptional place that’ll take you back in time.
Tip: If you only have a short time to spend here, check out this 3 day itinerary for Berlin!
5. Library without Books
The “Library” without books is actually a book burning memorial. Along the boulevard from Unter den Linden to the Bebelplatz, visitors can view into sunken glass plates looking into a room with empty bookshelves.
These bookshelves can hold 20,000 books – a remembrance of the approximate 20,000 books burned by the Nazi’s in 1933.
6. Museum island
With an extraordinary collection of five world-renowned museums, museum island is the center of world heritage and a work of art in itself.
The island is located in the heart of Berlin and is named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
7. Neue Wache
Neue Wache actually means “New Guardhouse” in English. A memorial to the victims of war and tyranny, it is the Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany for the Victims of War and Dictatorship.
8. Tiergarten Park
Berlin’s largest and most frequently visited inner-city park, the Tiergarten was formerly a hunting ground and is a popular spot for outdoor activities, sports, and grilling — especially on Sundays.
With it being a popular place amongst locals, it’s most definitely one of the best sites to see in Berlin as a tourist!
9. Brandenburger Tor
No doubt, one of the most recognizable monuments in Germany and Berlin’s most famous landmark.
The Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) is an 18th century neoclassical monument and a national symbol of unity and peace. It’s also one of the most popular sites in Berlin and one of the coolest (in my opinion 😉 ).
10. Unter den Linden
Known as Berlin’s most beautiful boulevard, Unter den Linden spans from the Brandenburg Gate to Schlossbrüke bridge and is found in the old heart of the city.
The name, Unter den Linden, literally means under the linden trees because linden trees run along most of the boulevard and were planted there more than three and a half centuries ago.
11. Embassy of the Russian Federation
The largest embassy building in all of Europe (according to a local). It’s like Donald Trump would say… it’s “y-uuge.”
12. Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Also known as the Holocaust Museum, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe was designed by the architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold.
The memorial has an open-air field consisting of 2,711 concrete blocks called steles representing the estimated 6 million lives lost during the holocaust.
In the closed part of the memorial, visitors can take a peek into the lives of some of the families and individuals who were murdered and view some items, like letters and postcards, of people who knew they were going to die.
It’s a somber site but it’s worth visiting.
13. Schloss Bellevue
Located in the Tiergarten district, Schloss Bellevue (Bellevue Palace) has been the official residence for the President of Germany since 1994 .
14. Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Central Station)
The largest and most beautiful station in Berlin; it’s an architect’s dream.
Berlin’s central station was also the most expensive station in Europe, rumored to cost roughly 1 billion euros.
15. Berlin Victory Column
The Victory Column is a symbol to commemorate the Prussia victory in the Danish-Prussian War.
Atop the column stands Victoria, the Goddess of Victory.
16. Zoological Garden / Zoo Aquarium in Berlin
The Berlin Zoo is the oldest zoo in Germany and the zoo with the widest variety of species on earth.
The Berlin Zoo also participates in global breeding programs and is a conservation for species from all around the world.
17. Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
The church stands as a symbol of reconciliation and peace, as well as the will of the Berliner’s to reconstruct and re-establish their city after World War II.
The church not only consists of ruins, but also includes contemporary church architecture.
When the war was over, the ruins of the destroyed church were going to be demolished to make room for a new one but people of the city felt it served as a testament to the horrors of the war and advocated for integrating the ruins with the new church.
18. KaDaWe (Kaufhaus des Westens)
Berlin’s largest and most famous department store, KaDaWe has 60,000 square meters of retail space and the top floor is a gourmet food court that attracts visitors from all over the world.
19. Reichstag Building
Seat of the German Parliament and mirror to German history, the Reichstag is another famous landmark in Berlin and one of the most frequently visited sites in the city.
By going up to the roof terrace and dome, visitors can have spectacular views of the parliamentary and government district, as well as the beautiful Tiergarten.
An awesome site to see in Berlin and a great place to have a picnic! The front lawn or garden is enormous and relaxing.
Information: Daily hours for the glass dome are 8 – Midnight; the last admission is at 10 pm. Admission is free.
20. Mall of Berlin
From fashion to food, the Mall of Berlin has everything!
The mall currently has about 270 fashion, shoe, and electronic stores, as well as gift shops, and a large food court and supermarket.
21. Topographie des Terrors (Topography of Terror)
The Topography of Terror is an indoor and outdoor museum; an exhibition on the former premises of the SS headquarters.
The museum documents the history of the institution of terror and of the crimes that originated there. One of the few remainders of the Berlin Wall is also here.
The Gendarmenmarkt is a beautiful square in Berlin and the site of amazing architectural buildings including the Konzerthaus Berlin and the French and German Churches.
Although most of the buildings were either badly damaged or destroyed in WWII, all have been restored to their former glory.
23. The Berlin Wall
Bet you were going through that list thinking, “omg! She’s not going to put the Berlin Wall on this list…?”
But of course! Just saving the best for last.
Probably the most infamous wall in the world (thus far, that is…) and one of the most important sites to see in Berlin. The Berlin Wall was a concrete barrier built by the GDR (German Democratic Republic) that physically and ideologically divided the city from 1961 to 1989.
Check out the Visitor Center of the Berlin Wall Memorial to read up on the history of Berlin, as well as the fall of the wall. Highly recommended.
So, there you have it; 23 sites to see in Berlin, Germany. Check out all — or just a few of them — if you get the chance to visit this charming city!
Have you ever visited Berlin? Or are thinking of visiting this historic city in Northern Germany? Let me know in the comments or share any tips for fellow travelers!
P.S. If you have a chance to venture down to the south of Germany, why not check out the area of Baden Baden? You won’t be disappointed!