Among the cities of Europe, Berlin undoubtedly has a unique character. Founded in the 12th century, the German capital has a long and turbulent history, but today it is a cosmopolitan reality that combines creativity, technology and culture. Since reunification in 1990, the city has proudly preserved its historical heritage and offers a number of outstanding attractions.
One of these is undoubtedly Alexanderplatz, architectural testimony of the German Democratic Republic. Also not to be missed is the Reichstag, built at the time of the German Empire in the 19th century. Visiting these attractions you will retrace some of the most important stages of Berlin ‘s past . A constantly evolving reality, the German capital is one of the most popular destinations in Europe. Find out where to start your tour of this fascinating city.
Start the day at Alexanderplatz
Commonly called Alex by Berliners, Alexanderplatz is one of the largest squares. Located in the center of East Berlin, it is a major public transport hub surrounded by shopping malls and shops. Take a seat in one of the cafés next to the Brunnen der Völkerfreundschaft (Fountain of Friendship between Peoples) fountain and see what remains of the socialist urban aesthetic, including sights such as the 365-metre-high TV tower and the Urania World Clock , erected in 1969. There is no shortage of accommodation options around Alexanderplatz .
Location: In the eastern part of the city centre, in the Mitte district
Don’t miss: Brandenburg Gate
The Brandenburg Gate is perhaps the best-known landmark in Berlin, today a symbol of peace and unity. This 18th-century neoclassical monument is closely associated with the city’s tumultuous history; about 1 million people gather around it every New Year’s Eve. Given the historical importance it is always a very crowded place; to avoid confusion it is preferable to visit it early in the morning. All around there are bars, restaurants and street food kiosks. Some of Berlin’s fanciest hotels are located around the Brandenburg Gate , the expense could be considerable.
Location: In the western part of the city centre, 2.5 km west of Alexanderplatz
Visit Museum Island
Known as Museumsinsel in German, Museum Island is a network of five internationally important museums in the city center on the northern side of an island on the Spree. The museum complex in the north of the island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offers you a real journey through history. Museum Island is an essential stop to admire magnificent finds such as the Altar of Zeus and the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, preserved in the Pergamum Museum, or the fascinating Bust of Nefertiti in the Neues Museum . A three-day pass is available to visit the complex at your own pace.
Location: 900 meters southeast of Alexanderplatz, in the city centre
Opening hours: Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 6pm, closed on Mondays
Wander around the Mauerpark flea market
Fill up on Sundays with shopping, food and music at the Mauerpark Flea Market . From furniture to clothing to antiques: there are many new and second-hand items that you will find in this lively market. The many stalls present offer snacks with local or international flavors, to be accompanied with a good mug of beer or a glass of wine. At 15:00, move to the amphitheater to hear or participate in the karaoke yourself. Popular, trendy and party-loving: the Mauerpark flea market is a must-see in Berlin.
Location: Prenzlauer Berg district, 2 km north of Alexanderplatz
Opening hours: Sunday from 09:00 to 18:00
Must-See: Reichstag Building
Built at the end of the 19th century, the Reichstag building is one of the main historic buildings in Berlin. It is located just after the Brandenburg Gate in a northerly direction, and was rebuilt in the 1990s. A large glass dome has been added on the roof, offering a 360° view of the city. If you don’t want to queue to enter, you need to book your visit well in advance. Audio guides are available in many languages and tell the story of the place, as well as pointing out all the interesting sites visible from the dome.
Location: 150 meters north of the Brandenburg Gate on the western side of the city centre
Opening hours: Every day from 08:00 to 24:00
Telephone: +49 (0)30 22 73 21 52