Alexanderplatz Walk (Self Guided), Berlin

One of Berlin's cosmopolitan hearts, Alexanderplatz 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 some of the popular spots before exploring other major Berlin attractions. Take this self-guided walk to make your visit easier to navigate!
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Alexanderplatz Walk Map

Guide Name: Alexanderplatz Walk
Guide Location: Germany » Berlin (See other walking tours in Berlin)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.4 Km or 0.9 Miles
Author: clare
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Alexanderplatz / World Clock
  • Galeria Kaufhof
  • Momotaro Tavern
  • Fernsehturm (TV Tower)
  • BODY WORLDS at People Museum
  • Little BIG City
  • Marienkirche (St. Mary's Church)
  • Waffel oder Becher
1
Alexanderplatz / World Clock

1) Alexanderplatz / World Clock (must see)

Often called 'Alex' by Berliners, the centre of the old East is inevitable to run across at some point while visiting the city. Originally a cattle market in the middle ages, it was named in honor of a visit of the Russian Emperor Alexander I in 1805. The square became an important commercial hub in the 19th century and, along with Potsdamer Platz, was the heart of Berlin's nightlife in the roaring 1920s. Today, it feels very reminiscent of the 1960s and the peak of the GDR so an interesting place to get a sense of how the high-rise flats looked like before the wall came down.

The large area around the TV Tower tends to be mostly filled with tourists but is also the venue for interesting events (for example, before Christmas, a large part of it gets turned into a Christmas village). The train station is always bustling and all around are shops, bars, and restaurants. The Fountain of Friendship between Peoples and the Neptune Fountain past the TV tower are both good photo spots.

Another interesting sight on Alexanderplatz is the Weltzeituhr, a massive 16-ton clock built in 1969 that shows the times in 148 cities in the world. The attraction fits perfect to Alex and its function as a central meeting point: no need for discussing the correct time when a friend arrives late.

Tip:
If you go, make sure you have seen pictures of how the square was early 20th century and during the Cold War – puts it all in perspective.
2
Galeria Kaufhof

2) Galeria Kaufhof

Those looking for a bit of retail therapy will find everything they could possibly need under the roof of Galeria Kaufhof. A magnet for locals and tourists alike, this classy oversized department store with decent (non-inflated) prices is worth your while to have a look at the array of goods available on its five football-field-size floors.

There's a gourmet supermarket on the ground floor, where visitors can enjoy every food and drink under the sun, from Vietnamese soups and Japanese sushi to German wine and Italian dessert. The range of chocolates and cakes is quite overwhelming, and there are plenty of other delicious things to take home, including fresh dairy, baked goods, meats, smoked fish, veggies, etc.

On the other floors, there is a well-divided mixture of luxurious high-priced and medium-segmented articles, so if you need a nice gift, a new handbag, or some other accessories and stationery items, this is where to go.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Wed: 9:30am-8pm; Thu-Sat: 9:30am-10pm (Jan-Nov); Mon-Sat: 9:30am-10pm (Dec 2-23)
3
Momotaro Tavern

3) Momotaro Tavern

Tucked away at the foot of the TV Tower, this tavern, while not ideal for a romantic dinner, is an excellent spot for a quick bite. Run by a Vietnamese family, it specializes in burgers (including vegetarian) with a hint of Asian flavor and a side of sweet potato fries, but also some Asian dishes like pho or the phenomenal 'hot and sour' soup. Few choices of local craft beer add a nice touch.

While it may not look too special from the outside, the place is laid-back and cozy, with polite staff and low prices compared to what you can find around.

Tip:
Sit away from the entrance door as it keeps slamming.

Opening Hours:
Sun-Thu: 12–10pm; Fri-Sat: 12-11pm
4
Fernsehturm (TV Tower)

4) Fernsehturm (TV Tower) (must see)

A product of the same architectural school responsible for the Weltzeituhr ("World Clock') in front of the Alexanderhaus, the Fernsehturm was constructed in the 1960s as a symbol of Berlin, which it remains today. With its height of 368 meters, it is visible throughout much of the city and even some suburban districts.

If you feel the need to climb the highest point of a city for those stunning photos to make everyone jealous back home, then this is a must-visit as the view is unique and extends up to 42 km in case of clear weather. For anyone with a slight fear of heights, there's no need to worry – the lift takes a quick 40 seconds, though there also are 985 steps which can be climbed; this is, after all, the 4th highest structure in Europe, after Moscow's Ostankino Tower and the Kiev and Riga TV towers.

Inside, enjoy the authentic Sputnik-era decor and interior finishes, walk around the sphere to take in the great views or climb a flight of steps to the restaurant. On the subject of food choice – especially for vegetarians – the menu is quite limited so best to check their website before booking. The meal is quite lovely, otherwise: starter, main course and dessert, plus one glass of sparkling wine and two glasses of red or white wine, with unlimited water. Moreover, the restaurant slowly revolves to ensure you get a full view of Berlin, which makes it perfect for photography.

Tip:
Booking the VIP Dinner a few days in advance is essential. Be sure to also follow the advice given upon booking and arrive early – it's a very German operation!

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-midnight (Mar-Oct); 10am-midnight (Nov-Feb)
Last ascent: 11:30pm; Kitchen closes at 10:30pm; Bar closes at 11:30pm
5
BODY WORLDS at People Museum

5) BODY WORLDS at People Museum

BODY WORLDS feels like a human anatomy class with a modern, more arty tone. Exposes the human body's anatomy and physiology, with the inclusion of both healthy and diseased organs, providing real-life comparisons and possibly some good teaching material. Conceived to praise life, the human body and raise awareness on the implications of an unhealthy lifestyle. The more sensitive exhibits are housed behind a privacy curtain – they are worth seeing if one has the interest. If a little unsure about the sight of dissected bodies, one can preview some images online. Note also that each exhibition has a 'theme' which can be looked up on the website.

Take your time going through the exhibit while availing of the audio guide/tour (1,5-2 hrs) supplied through the included devices. If you do not plan to listen or spend time reading at each piece, it will be a quick go through. Take some more time to reflect after, especially when visiting with kids or sensitive persons.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Fri: 9am–6pm; Sat: 10am–6pm
6
Little BIG City

6) Little BIG City

Little BIG City starts with a waiting room and a big countdown. A projection of a person welcomes you in English and German. Eventually, the doors open and you enter the attraction itself. There, beautifully detailed models showcase scenes and moments from Berlin history, from the Middle Ages to the fall of the city's great dividing wall.

It's not a model of the entire city (as some people think because of its name), but a tour through the history of Berlin told with models. There are animatronic bits, projections, moving vehicles, buttons and levers and wheels that kids can use to make something happen. And all around the attraction are storytelling boxes where visitors can activate the projection of a Little BIG Citizen to tell a story in German or English.

With the models themselves being so filled with detail, it's a bit of a game of "spot the reference"; like a Pixar movie has in-jokes for movie buffs, so Little BIG City is full of little plateaus that Berlin buffs will get more out of than other visitors. In any case, it's a model city that entertains, bringing out the inner kid in 'big' visitors, too.

Tip:
Free access with the Berlin Pass or when buying a combo ticket for Madame Tussauds, the AquaDom, and other attractions.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am–7pm (last entry: 6pm), except Nov 4–17: Mon-Fri: 10am–5pm (last entry: 4pm); Sat-Sun: 10am–7pm (last entry: 6pm)
7
Marienkirche (St. Mary's Church)

7) Marienkirche (St. Mary's Church)

Converted to a Lutheran Protestant church from its Roman Catholic denomination, Marienkirche together with Nikolaikirche are said to be the oldest churches in Berlin, dating back to the late 13 century. The unpretentious combination of architectural styles somehow makes it one of Berlin's most appealing churches, its simplicity a reminder of the city's village origins. If you like photography, there is a good spot with a fountain layout (not the Neptune Fountain) in the square right behind the Fernsehturm (TV tower) where you can get a perfect reflection of the church on water. Also on the roadside of the Church, take a look at the striking statue of Martin Luther, his right hand touching one of the pages of the Bible as if saying his now-famous phrase, "by faith alone".

The interior – an excellent place to escape the buzz – is rather austere Gothic with a few remarkably Baroque embellishments, in particular the pulpit, crowded with elaborately-carved cherubs blowing trumpets, and the baptismal with its legs formed from three black dragons. In terms of carving and gilding, the restored organ with old gilded filigree tops it all off, and the rousing recitals (by donation, on Thursdays and Fridays) are a real treat, with people frequently being invited to view the 18th-century instrument close up.

Just inside the entrance, the 22m-tall frieze, "The Dance of Death" commemorating the plague epidemics of the Dark Ages is currently being restored and not available for public viewing. On completion of its restoration, the church will be an unmissable stop for any traveler to Berlin.
8
Waffel oder Becher

8) Waffel oder Becher

Ideal for those days when it's not too hot, the Waffel oder Becher on Berlin-Mitte's Spandauer Straße serves a very nice warm waffle with a whole host of choice for toppings, including various homemade sauces or an ice cream scoop. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, these freshly-made waffles are pretty much perfect, as well as an eye-treat – and thus an extra point for those Instagram fans. If you lean more towards cakes, don't miss out on trying the cheesecake. There's also a great selection of coffees, teas, hot chocolates and fruity shakes.

On warm days, their artisan ice cream – creamy and full of flavor – is worth a trip from anywhere! Standouts among the more quirky flavors are the "Maracuja Mascarpone" or the vegan "Mandarine with Thai Basil and Ginger".

A great place to stop off, relax, and recharge in a cozy environment, away from the tourist noise.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 11am–8pm

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