Many of the sights of Berlin in Germany can be seen for free. For example, you don’t have to spend money on tickets if you head for a walk around Paris Square. On it you will be greeted by the Peace Gate, which fascinates with its beauty and unique architectural ensemble.
The pleasant surprise is not only free access to the religious buildings, but also their location – they are grouped. On the map of Berlin, the sights are in close proximity, going one by one. Often you can just cross to the next street to get to the right place.
Berlin – a unique city in Western Europe
Berlin, the capital of Germany, is the second largest city in Europe. The city has more than seven centuries of history. During this period, Berlin has come a difficult and thorny way from an ordinary provincial town to the capital of one of the largest countries in the world. There was even a time when this city was the capital of two states at once. Over this long period of time, many cultures and architectural styles mingled here.
As already mentioned, the capital of Germany is quite an old city. And, we can assume that, once here, the tourist, as if flying back through the years for several centuries ago, will be surrounded by ancient palaces, cathedrals and other monuments of architecture. But that’s not entirely true.
Germany has been the instigator of two of the bloodiest wars in human history over the past 100 years. And if in World War I it was possible to avoid the destruction of the city, in the Second Berlin was almost completely wiped off the face of the earth.
After the end of World War II, Germany was divided into several zones of influence: the USSR, the United States, England and France. Berlin was also subjected to this procedure: the capital of the GDR was located in its eastern part and the FRG in its western part. At the same time, the city was physically divided by an object that went down in history forever as the “Berlin Wall.
By the way, even to this day there are remnants of this standing. It is so popular that it has long been a landmark of the German capital.
There is also another famous art object “Graffiti Exhibition”. During the period of the wall, the residents of West Berlin turned the site into an open-air gallery.
So, after the construction of the wall, the city began to develop in different ways:
- In West Berlin, NATO countries began to actively rebuild the city using the most modern technology;
- East Berlin was tried to rebuild without disturbing the architecture of the ancient city.
It turns out that arriving in the capital of Germany, tourists find themselves in two different worlds.
Top 18 sights in Berlin
The section presents the main attractions of Berlin, their names and addresses, photos and descriptions. They are located near each other, thematically and historically related. For example, the flag from the Brandenburg Gate disappeared at the same time as the Berlin Wall collapsed.
Tours of the building are free. The guides speak all the languages of the world. There is only one disadvantage: it is impossible to make an appointment on the day of the visit. Tourists and resellers make reservations weeks in advance. And on third-party resources, rather than on the official Reichstag website, tickets for the tour cost several thousand.
What is the origin of the interest? This building is the epitome of German power. Here the leaders of the country gathered before the world knew about the Nazi threat, the Führer sat, the flag of the victors of World War II flew, and the current government works.
Otto Lilienthal Museum
This local history museum is dedicated to the life and professional activities of a man who is called an aviation pioneer. He invented the airplane engine and became the one who could overcome gravity and take to the air in a glider.
The museum keeps drawings and sketches of hang gliders. Among the exhibits are notes, essays, and papers related to the first successful glider test. Visitors will be able to see a rich collection of aerial vehicles. They will be introduced to the history of the development of the design business. They will show pictures from the trials.
Once part of the city’s defensive system, they now delight the eyes of passersby. Erected at the end of the 18th century, they have survived:
- mass demolition of the walls around Berlin;
- The invasion of the French, led by Bonaparte, who liked the ensemble of the building so much that he decided to dismantle the statue of the goddess Victoria;
- bombing by Soviet fighters;
- the unnatural division of the country.
It is another symbol of German fortitude, but it is apolitical in nature and built according to the canons of Classicism. Its original name: the Gate of Peace.
Not much remains of the architect’s idea today. Whiteness has been lost, practical value, and the name has been changed. Numerous restorations of the facade also played a role. But something remains the same: the Goddess of Victory on a chariot still crowns the gates today. True, after her return from France, where she was taken by Bonaparte, the obelisk had a cross in its hand.
Address: Pariser Platz, 10117.
A symbol that the will of the people of Berlin cannot be contained. She will find a way out, just as Germans who wanted to move from the GDR to the FRG and vice versa found a way out. They were not stopped by the three-meter barrier that divided the country into two parts. They were looking for ways to break through it, and in 1989 they did break through. That year the Berlin Wall fell. Now only a small piece is left of it, and thousands of pieces of it are in private collections all over the world.
The remaining wall is covered with murals, autographs of tourists, and wishes. In order to protect the cultural heritage from further devastation, the government decided to install a fence around it. Now it is impossible to touch history, except to see it from a short distance.
Beate Uze Museum of Erotica
Children and teenagers are not allowed here. Only adult tourists have the right to view the collection, represented by 5 thousand exhibits. The reason: the theme of the museum. Every object in the room tells the story of carnal love.
There’s no need to be mistaken about the museum. It is not a parody of modern stores, cinemas for adults. There’s a lot of really valuable stuff here. For example, ancient engravings from Eastern countries, sculptures from Africa, rare sexy lingerie and paintings of famous European artists.
In the museum you can trace the history of the development of manners and attitudes towards carnal pleasures. Read the ruminations of the Japanese who lived in 18 on the subject of adultery and see what was considered erotic in different parts of the world a few centuries ago. Or you can just have fun without worrying about the cultural and historical value of the piquant exhibits. There is a choice, because the institution occupies several floors, one of which operates a movie theater. Whatever the purpose of the visitor, he will get what he wants.
In 1999, this place was included in the UNESCO Foundation. The uniqueness of the island is that on its territory there are five museums and many monuments. The main sights of Berlin are collected here. This is the heart of the city in the cultural and territorial sense.
A complete list of places of interest to tourists:
- Bode Museum (Byzantine heritage, coins from around the world, art gallery, the works of sculptors of the Middle Ages);
- Old Museum (antique collection);
- National Gallery (sculptures and paintings of the 19th century, an unusually beautiful courtyard with a colonnade);
- Pergamon (what ancient civilizations left us);
- The New Museum (Egyptian Heritage).
There are no other buildings between the listed museums in Berlin. No stores, no hotels. The territory of the island is completely devoted to the needs of museums. That’s why it gives the impression of integrity, of aloofness.
The place stands apart from Berlin itself. It is a kind of mini-city of art and beauty inside a real functioning city.
Walking along the island, its visitors enjoy the views of the river. Bridges, green lawns and plantings of unusual geometric shapes complete the picture.
Holocaust victims memorial
If section 1 of the article referred to the symbols of strength of the German people, this complex serves as a reminder of what the abuse of that very strength can lead to. The architectural structure is a platform in the open air. The site is dotted with small stone slabs. There are several thousand of them, but to visitors it seems that the square has no end and no edge.
The space between the obelisks is completely asphalted. No greenery grows here. No life. It’s a makeshift cemetery, but you can’t find specific names. The memorial is dedicated to all the Jews whose lives were ruined by the Nazis.
The atmosphere is oppressive, and the effect is achieved through architectural techniques. It is everyone’s duty to visit this place.
Another memorial calling for peace. Located on Unter der Linden, Berlin’s iconic street. The building was erected in 1818. It was originally used as a post office.
In the 31st year of the 20th century, the guardhouse, built according to classicist standards, was turned into a memorial. It was dedicated to the memory of those who died in World War I.
The main shrine for German Protestants. Built in 1905 in the neoclassical style. The original height of the cathedral was about 114 meters. But after the reconstruction and inauguration in 1993, the cathedral was a little lower – 98 meters.
Today the Berlin Cathedral is open to the public. Everyone, regardless of religion, can walk through its halls and admire the mosaics and stained-glass windows. The Hohenzollern family crypt, with its 70 tombs, including the famous sarcophagus of Friedrich Wilhelm I and his wife, is open to tourists. You can also enjoy the sound of the church organ.
In front of the Berlin Cathedral there is a park, which has not changed its appearance for several centuries. Here you can admire the fountains made in different architectural styles.
St. Jadwiga Cathedral
The main Catholic cathedral in Germany. Its date of construction is believed to be 1773. This object is considered unique because it almost completely replicates the famous Pantheon in the Italian capital of Rome.
Today, the landmark is free for tourists to visit. But just recently the cathedral was under reconstruction. After all, during the war it was repeatedly hit by aerial bombs, and the church was burned out almost completely.
The central square of the German capital, located in the Mitte district. At the moment one of the most visited attractions in Berlin. It was erected in the early 19th century in honor of the arrival of Russian Emperor Alexander I in Germany.
Every day more than 300,000 people pass through this important city interchange. There is also a TV tower, which has an observation deck. Once you go up, you have a beautiful view not only of the square itself, but also of the entire city.
Today, a complete reconstruction of the square is underway, which should be completed by mid-2019. According to the project on its territory should appear a lot of high-rise buildings.
Another place that must be visited by guests of the German capital. Gendarmenmark is a square built back in 1688. It is considered the most beautiful square in the whole country.
The entire composition of the square is formed by three majestic buildings: the French Cathedral, the German Cathedral and the Concert Hall. The two cathedrals are built to the south and north of the square and are almost identical to each other.
In the center of the square is the Concert Hall (Berlin Drama Theater), which was built in the mid-19th century. It regularly hosts performances, performances of groups of world renown. The theater is considered the home of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra.
German Historical Museum
Those who are interested in history should definitely visit the Historical Museum of Germany. It is a huge complex, consisting of several buildings, brings together more than 800 thousand exhibits from different countries and times. Once you visit this attraction, you’ll realize that it’s so big, you won’t be able to get around all the exhibitions in a whole day.
Until recently, the museum was located in the Reichstag. In 1987, the question of moving the exhibits to another location became an issue. For this, they even hired an architect, who has already begun the work. But after German reunification, there was no need for a new building and the museum “moved” to the oldest building in East Berlin, which was located at Unter den Linden 2. There used to be an arsenal here.
After the restoration and grand opening in 2006, the museum was transformed. In addition to traditional expositions, there are a large number of interactive exhibitions. There are regular screenings of informative and documentary films. There are two souvenir stores on the territory of the museum.
Libraries are rarely visited by tourists. But in the case of the Berlin library, the opposite is true. This scientific institution is located in one of the oldest buildings of modern Berlin, and for almost 400 years has not changed its location.
The library is considered the largest repository of books in the German-speaking countries. Its holdings include more than 24 million items, including 10 million books.
Tourists will be interested in the exhibition of autographs of celebrities, of which the library has 320 thousand. Some of them are more than 200 years old.
Crown Prince Palace
The palace was built in the mid-17th century and was intended as a city residence for the rulers of Prussia. It was originally built in the style of German classicism, but 100 years after the building by order of the reigning monarch, the palace was rebuilt in the Baroque style.
At the moment it is at the disposal of the government and periodically hosts various kinds of exhibitions. Over the past decade, only one landmark event has taken place in the Crown Prince’s Palace: the signing of the unification agreement for Germany, which took place in 1990.
In addition to historic buildings in Berlin, there are many interesting modern art objects. Among them, the Humboldt Box stands out. This futuristic building was built in 2011 on the site of the former residence of the German monarchs “City Court”.
After the partition of Germany, the dilapidated palace ended up in East Berlin. Due to a lack of funds for reconstruction in 1950, the GDR authorities decided to demolish the historic building. As a result, the place remained empty until 2001. Then it was decided to build an exhibition center.
Now the Humboldt Box is more than 3,000 square meters, which combines exhibition halls, libraries, and lecture halls. There is a restaurant with local cuisine on the roof.
At the end of the trip you can look at the animals and sea creatures. AquaDom is the world’s largest cylindrical aquarium, which is filled with salt water. The height of the structure is 16 meters and diameter is 11.5 meters. From the top to the bottom of the aquarium constantly runs the elevator. On a ride you can see more than 1,500 fish from all over the world.
Berlin Zoo is the largest zoo in the world. It is located on 39 hectares of land on the outskirts of the city – in the district of Tiergarten. Here you can see more than 15,000 animals of different species.
Bus tours – a worthy alternative to wild tourism. Saves time, get to see more. You won’t get lost, and if you do, your guide will take you back to the route.
Other advantages of this method of getting to know Berlin:
- Agencies provide comprehensive information on the route. When ordering a tour you can see photos and descriptions of sights in Berlin.
- Many travel companies in Germany work according to the principles and programs developed in the ministry. Approved by the government means it’s safe and interesting.
- There is no need to worry about tickets in advance. Every 10-15 minutes double-decker buses pass through the streets of Berlin. With this frequency, there is always room for a few tourists.
- In Germany it is not customary to tell about the sights only in German. Many multilingual tours and options just for the Russian-speaking public.
- The pleasure is inexpensive. For 2-3 euros you can see the best places, find out in what year they were built, to ride in an unusual and themed bus.
There is only one disadvantage: the duration. It is impossible to conquer the capital of the Germans in 1-2 hours. We have to make do with very little. The view only of those structures that are located nearby.
What you can see in Berlin in 1 day
An itinerary that will allow you to see the sights of Berlin not on the photo:
- Berlin Cathedral.
- Unter der Linden.
- Checkpoint Charlie.
- Brandenburg Gate.
These places of worship in Berlin are either not far from each other, like Unter der Linden and Bebelplatz, or are easily accessible by public transportation. The route has been tested by thousands of tourists, many of whom, when visiting the Berlin Cathedral, also had time to walk around Museum Island. For a quick tour of the cultural heritage of Germany’s capital, 24 hours is quite enough.
Video overview of sights in Berlin
This list of attractions in Berlin, if you believe the map, is not complete. The list introduces you to the main and recommended places to visit for Russian-speaking tourists. It can be complemented by thousands of different institutions and boulevards, because the capital of Germany is an incredibly beautiful European city, which inherited the achievements of many ancient powers.
Berlin sights on the map
Berlin is a diverse city. Here you will find both ancient objects of architecture (squares, palaces, temples, which are several hundred years old) and modern museums, galleries, towers, business centers. Berlin has a number of attractions and interesting places to visit at least once in a lifetime every tourist who came to the German capital.
Berlin is a great choice for a vacation, to explore new places, history and culture of this country. Here you will not only plunge into the history of the ancient city, but also see modern, and sometimes even bizarre buildings. Your children will not be bored here: the zoo, the aquarium and a large number of sites with all kinds of attractions will leave only the best memories of the trip.