The Most Popular Sights

The Most Popular Sights, Berlin, Germany (A)

Filled with more monuments and famous attractions than you could possibly see in one day, sightseeing in Berlin can get a little overwhelming. This tour takes you to Berlin's most popular and recognizable sights within the city center giving you a comprehensive overview and a great introduction.
How it works: The full article is featured in the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" on Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Download the app to your mobile device to read the article offline and create a self-guided walking tour to visit the sights featured in this article. The app's navigation functions guide you from one sight to the next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Sights Featured in This Article

Guide Name: The Most Popular Sights
Guide Location: Germany » Berlin
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (A))
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 6.0 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.4 Km or 3.4 Miles
Author: Patrick Lind
Author Bio: Patrick M. Lind has been freelance writing since 2007. He received a Master of Arts in history from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and has traveled extensively throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Middle East. Patrick has called many places home including Chicago, Berlin, Amsterdam, Vienna, Austin and California.
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Fernsehturm
  • Berliner Dom
  • Unter den Linden
  • Brandenburger Tor
  • Reichstag
  • Holocaust-Mahnmal
  • Potsdamer Platz
  • Checkpoint Charlie

1) Fernsehturm

The Fernsehturm, or television tower, was constructed by the government of East Germany between 1965 and 1969 with the intent of it becoming a recognizable symbol of the city. It measures in at 368 meters (1207 feet) and is the tallest structure in Germany. The observation deck puts you at 204 meters (669 feet) and allows you see up to 42 kilometers (26 miles) with clear visibility. The restaurant in the tower's sphere completes two rotations each hour. The Fernsehturm makes a good landmark for which to orientate. As it is visible from just about anywhere in Berlin, you will always know where to find the city center.
Image Courtesy of Arild Vågen.
Berliner Dom

2) Berliner Dom

Construction of the Berliner Dom (Cathedral) began on June 17th, 1894 and was completed on February 27th, 1905. Based on Julius Carl Raschdorff’s plans, the Dom cost 11.5 million German Marks, approximately 180 million Euros. The cathedral features a high Neo-Renaissance architectural style. Its dome tower is 114 meters (374 feet) above the ground. The building suffered major damage during World War II. In 1940 a bomb blast blew out all of the windows, and in 1944 a firebomb struck near the base of the dome lantern. This caused the dome to collapse spreading fire throughout. Reconstruction began in 1974 and was reopened to the public in 1993.
Image Courtesy of Dnsob.
Unter den Linden

3) Unter den Linden

Berlin’s Unter den Linden literally translates as “under the linden trees.” This famous boulevard begins just west of the now empty lot of the Stadtschloss royal palace and the Palast der Republik at the River Spree. Running east-west, Unter den Linden ends at the Brandenburg Tor. Along the way you pass by the main campus of Humbodlt University as well the Russian, Hungarian and American Embassies. Many tourist shops, restaurants and attractions like Madam Tussauds call Unter den Linden home. The original linden trees, which dated back to 1647, were cut down in the 1930s for resources; what trees remained were destroyed during World War II. The trees present now were replanted during the 1950s.
Image Courtesy of VollwertBIT.
Brandenburger Tor

4) Brandenburger Tor

The Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) was commissioned by King Frederick William II of Prussia and built between 1788 and 1791. It originally served as one of the city’s many gates. It is one of Berlin’s most recognizable monuments. The Berlin Wall passed just to the west of the gate in an arch and President Ronald Reagan used it in 1987 as the backdrop for his speech where he declared “Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” The gate opened again on December 22, 1989 as a symbol of a reunified Berlin. The Brandenburger Tor underwent a full restoration from 2000 to 2002.
Image Courtesy of Stephan Czuratis.

5) Reichstag

The Reichstag housed the German parliament from 1894 to 1933 when a fire damaged much of the interior. During the Nazi-era, the Reichstag was rarely used except for propaganda and military purposes. The building suffered damage from the air raids during the Battle for Berlin in 1945. After the war, the West German government had moved to Bonn in 1949, thus the Reichstag fell into further disuse and neglect. It was formally reconstructed and refurbished between 1961 and 1964. On October 3, 1990 the official German Reunification ceremony was held here. The building underwent a complete overhaul during the 1990s, which included a new cupola designed as gesture to the original. It reopened in April 1999 and once again began hosting sessions of the German parliament.
Image Courtesy of Zeeuwsebad.

6) Holocaust-Mahnmal

The Holocaust-Mahnmal, or Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, or simply the Holocaust Memorial, covers 19,000 square meters (4.7 acres) and consists of 2,711 slabs of concrete ranging in height from 0.2 m to 4.8 m (8" to 15'9"). Architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold designed the memorial; it was officially inaugurated on May 10, 2005, the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe. Interpretation of the monument is left up to the individual as no names or explanations are found anywhere on it. The underground Information Center offers insight into the horrors of the holocaust. Construction of the monument cost 25 million Euros.
Image Courtesy of Gryffindor.
Potsdamer Platz

7) Potsdamer Platz

During the 19th Century Potsdamer Platz was one of the busiest squares in Europe, with numerous S-Bahns, U-bahns and trams passing through it all day. It was a symbol of Berlin’s progressive nature, with new buildings constantly replacing old ones. World War II all but destroyed the entire square. During the Cold War, the Berlin Wall passed near the platz creating a no-man’s land characterized by barbed wire and empty fields. After the fall of the Wall, Potsdamer Platz became a large building site transforming it once again into a busy and popular square filled with contemporary skyscrapers, restaurants and entertainment facilities like the Sony Center.
Image Courtesy of Norbert Aepli, Switzerland (User:Noebu).
Checkpoint Charlie

8) Checkpoint Charlie

The most famous of all the Cold War-era checkpoints, Checkpoint Charlie connected East and West Berlin by way of a heavily armed gate and allowed authorized individuals to cross back and forth. It was the site of the Berlin Crisis of 1961 when armed American and Soviet tanks faced off for six tense days after a dispute concerning the examination of a U.S. diplomat’s documents. Since the Wall fell, the guardhouses were removed. Those standing now are replicas of the ones that stood at Checkpoint Charlie in 1961. The nearby Checkpoint Charlie Museum originally opened in 1963 and covers its entire history.
Image Courtesy of Raymond - Raimond Spekking.

Walking Tours in Berlin, Germany

Create Your Own Walk in Berlin

Create Your Own Walk in Berlin

Creating your own self-guided walk in Berlin is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Alexanderplatz Walking Tour

Alexanderplatz Walking Tour

One of Berlin’s cosmopolitan hearts, Alexanderplatz (or Alexander Square) is a true hive of activity. There is always something going on here: Christmas markets, Easter fairs, buskers, performances, Oktoberfest, and the list is countless. Easily accessible, with lots of transport connections and all manner of drink and food outlets, it’s a great place to hang around, take photos, and enjoy...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.6 Km or 1 Miles
Berlin Introduction Walking Tour

Berlin Introduction Walking Tour

Known for its turbulent past, today's German capital is a global city for international affairs, creative industries, popular media and diverse cultural tourism. The first written records of settlements in the area of present-day Berlin date from the late 12th century, when the region came under German rule as part of the Margraviate of Brandenburg, founded by Albert the Bear in 1157. Berlin...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles
Third Reich Walking Tour

Third Reich Walking Tour

The “Third Reich” and “Nazi Germany” are the common English names for Germany between 1933 and 1945, when it was a totalitarian state led by Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. For any visitor to Berlin, the Nazi surrender that ended World War II is still a point of interest, but matching locations to those moments of history can be a challenge. On this special...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.0 Km or 2.5 Miles
Museum Island Walking Tour

Museum Island Walking Tour

One of Berlin’s most visited attractions, the Museum Island ("Museumsinsel") complex was established by order of King Frederick William IV of Prussia in 1841 and houses several world-famous museums kept in close vicinity of each other. The island itself is spectacular for a walk, with wonderful architecture, statues, gardens and trees, so enjoy the atmosphere and make at least a day...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.2 Km or 0.7 Miles
Tiergarten Walking Tour

Tiergarten Walking Tour

Known for the huge park of the same name, which once was a royal hunting ground, the central district of Tiergarten (German for “Animal Garden”) is home to the Berlin Zoo, the Victory Column with its winged statue and the lively, lakeside Café am Neuen See.

Begin your exploration at Postdamer Platz, the historic central square of Berlin, once regarded in the same way as Piccadilly Circus...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.4 Km or 2.1 Miles
Berlin Food Walking Tour

Berlin Food Walking Tour

While Berlin may not be considered a typical foodie destination yet, recent years saw a growing number of decent places to eat, serving both German and international cuisine. At some point, the city has even earned itself the title of a vegetarian capital of the world, contrary to what one may have expected. Amid all this renaissance in creativity and culture, coupled with the influx of the...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

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Best Food in Kreuzberg, Berlin

Kreuzberg is known for having great cheap, street food, particularly of the Middle Eastern variety. On almost every corner you can find a kebab or falafel shop, although the trick is knowing which to choose! While you can typically get a good, tasty wrap for €2.50-4, the quality, quantity and...