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Things to see in Berlin

Tourist Offices

Visit Berlin

Address: , Parisier Platz, southern gatehouse (Brandenburg Gate), Berlin, 10117
Telephone: +49 30 250 025
Opening times:

Apr-Oct 0930-1900, Nov-Mar 0930-1800

Website: http://www.visitberlin.de

There are no less than five tourist information offices in the city, including one at the central train station and another at Tegel Airport. Another convenient location is at Brandenburg Gate. All offer help with information, hotel bookings and tourist passes.

Tourist passes

Visitors can take advantage of Berlin Welcome Card which offers free public transport and discount deals at restaurants, shows and attractions.

Attractions

Schloss Charlottenburg

The Charlottenburg Palace was built in 1699 as a summer residence for Sophie Charlotte, the wife of King Frederick III. Prices and hours vary for the Old Palace, New Wing, and other parts of the complex. Keen photographers must also purchase a photo permit which allows visitors to take pictures for private use only (not for publication). Flash and tripod are also not allowed. The museums and galleries that are in and around the palace include the Museum Berggruen which contains more than 120 artworks by Picasso, as well as a representative collection of his contemporaries.

Address: , Spandauer Damm 10-22, Berlin, 14059
Telephone: +49 30 320 910.
Opening times:

Old Palace: Tue-Sun 1000-1730 (Apr-Oct); Tue-Sun 1000-16:30 (Nov-Mar).

Website: http://www.spsg.de
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Checkpoint Charlie Museum (Haus am Checkpoint Charlie)

Checkpoint Charlie was the monitoring tower used to control the area around the Berlin Wall that divided the city during the Cold War. It was demolished soon after the 1989 revolution, but the Mauermuseum (Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie) that stands in its place is well worth a visit to discover the historic significance of this apparently unremarkable site. A cinema shows films on the Third Reich and the Cold War era, and the museum also details the history of the Berlin Wall, a piece of which still stands a short distance from the museum, complete with decorations on the western side.

Address: , Friedrich-Straße 43-45, Berlin,
Telephone: +49 30 253 7250.
Opening times:

Daily from 0900-2200.

Website: http://www.mauer-museum.com
Admission Fees:

Yes (the museum)

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas (Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe)

This extraordinary site is an unforgettable rendering of the holocaust in sculpture that never fails to impress visitors. As you enter the enormous field of stelae, you gently descend into unseen depths through the regimented rows of the giant concrete slabs, which can be a disorienting and disturbing experience. There's a visitor centre underneath the memorial where individual testimonies from holocaust survivors are on display, as well as a room where every known holocaust victim's name is read out on a loop lasting six years.

Address: , Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, Berlin,
Telephone: +49 30 26 39 430.
Opening times:

Memorial: Daily 24 hours.
Visitor Centre: Tue-Sun 1000-2000 (Apr-Sep); Tue-Sun 1000-1900 (Oct-Mar).

Website: http://www.stiftung-denkmal.de
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Reichstag

British architect Norman Foster transformed Berlin's Reichstag after years of disuse and in 1999, it became the meeting place of the German parliament again. The large glass dome at the top of Reichstag is meant to symbolise the transparency of the democratic government and visitors can pass between its layers to witness the decision-making chamber of the government (advance online registration is required). The walk through the dome itself is stunning, culminating in sweeping views of the city. The rooftop restaurant provides a way to beat the queues.

Address: , Platz der Republik 1, Berlin,
Telephone: +49 30 227 321 52
Opening times:

Guided tours of the Reichstag Building: daily at 0900, 1030, 1200, 1330, 1530, 1700, 1830 and 2000.
Dome: Daily 0800-2400 with last admission at 2145 hours. Prior registration required.

Website: http://www.bundestag.de
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate)

Built in 1791 as a triumphal arch, the Brandenburg Gate is the only remaining town gate in the country and an enduring symbol of Berlin. Once Berlin's main avenue and still one of its best preserved historical areas, Unter den Linden ('under the lime trees') is a wide, lime tree-lined boulevard that runs from the Brandenburger Gate to Alexanderplatz, the centre of east Berlin. Along the way, the street takes in many of Berlin's real treasures, including the Deutsche Staatsoper (German State Opera), the Neue Wache (New Guardhouse), which is now a memorial to the victims of fascism and tyranny, and the Zeughaus (Arsenal), which houses the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum). 

Address: , Pariser Platz 5, Berlin,
Telephone:
Opening times: Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall)

Only a few sections of this most famous of cold war relics remain. The East Side Gallery (www.eastsidegallery.com), along Mühlen-Strasse (S-Bahn Ostbahnhof), emerged in the post-Wall years as a poignant symbol of new hope, as it was covered with inspiring artwork. But the best place to see the wall as it was is at the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer, a small graffiti-free stretch of the Wall that has been preserved by the authorities. A visitor centre has information about the Wall years, while a chapel is dedicated to the 80 or so victims that died trying to cross it.

Address: , Mühlenstraße 47 - 80, Berlin,
Telephone: +49 30 467 98 66 66.
Opening times:

Visitor Centre: Tue-Sun 1000-1800.

Website: http://www.berliner-mauer-gedenkstaette.de
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral)

One of the city’s grandest attractions, Berlin Cathedral is a magnificent domed building located in the charming Spree Island area. The brainchild of King Frederick William IV, the cathedral was unveiled in 1905 only to sustain heavy damage in WWII. Extensive restoration work was eventually completed in 1993 and today the cathedral is one of Berlin's top sights. You can admire its architectural splendour from the park opposite or buy a ticket and wander around the museum, chapels and Hohenzollern crypt inside. Visitors can also go to the top of the dome for stunning views over Berlin.

Address: , Am Lustgarten 1, Berlin, 10178
Telephone: +49 30 202 691 52
Opening times:

Mon-Sat 0900-2000, Sun 0900-2000.

Website: http://www.berlinerdom.de
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Jüdisches Museum Berlin (Jewish Museum)

The striking design of this Daniel Libeskind-designed memorial to Jewish life in Berlin is based on a shattered Star of David. Even before the installation of the permanent exhibits (recalling the life and history of German Jews through the centuries), visitors came to experience the evocative spaces within this incredible structure. One of the most moving areas of the museum is the Holocaust Tower in which visitors enter a cold, concrete void where the only source of light, air and sound comes from small shafts at the top representing the isolation and fear of the Nazi extermination camps.

Address: , Lindenstraße 9-14, Berlin, 10969
Telephone: +49 30 2599 3300.
Opening times:

Daily 1000-2000.

Website: http://www.jmberlin.de
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Tiergarten

There are few cities in the world where one can lie naked in the middle of town at noon and not be arrested, and Berlin is one of them. Besides having delightful tree-shaded walks, canals and flower gardens, the city's Tiergarten park also has a couple of open fields on either side of Hofjägerallee, where the locals sunbathe au naturel.

Address: , Strasse des 17. Juni, Berlin,
Telephone:
Opening times: Website:
Admission Fees:

No

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

DDR Museum

There was more to life in the former East Germany (aka Deutsche Demokratische Republik or DDR) than state surveillance, lousy cars and austere apartment blocks; what about the nudist holidays, eclectic cuisine and socialist fashion? Well, this fantastic museum forgets all about the politics to deliver a taste of everyday life in the DDR. Visitors to this hands-on museum can sit in communist cars, watch state-run TV in a socialist living room and play countless interactive games.

Address: , Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 1, Berlin, 10178
Telephone:
Opening times:

Mon-Sun 1000-2000, Sat 1000-2200.

Website: http://www.ddr-museum.de
Admission Fees:

Yes

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Featured Hotels

SEE MORE

Das Stue

Billed as Berlin's first luxury boutique hotel, the none-more-cool Das Stue sits on the southwestern fringe of the Tiergarten park. It's full of grand design touches, while the rooms themselves are modern with hardwood floors. The hotel also plays home to a spa and, in Cinco by Paco Pérez, a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin

Hotel Adlon Kempinski is one of Berlin's great historical hotels, and a magnet over the decades for the rich and famous (including Michael Jackson, who notoriously dangled his baby over one of the balconies in 2002). It's located close to the Brandenburg Gate, and retains the luxurious feel of Europe's golden age.

Soho House Berlin

Part of the Soho House empire, this private club and boutique hotel is based in Mitte, east Berlin's achingly hip heart. The 40 bedrooms vary enormously in price and layout, but all include vintage furniture and quirky features such as record players. Bring your swimmers for the glamorous rooftop pool.

Honigmond Berlin-Mitte

This gem of a hotel is a real find - the building's exterior doesn't suggest its gorgeous combination of period features and swish modernity. The rooms have antiques scattered throughout, and the breakfast is excellent. There's a second property too on a nearby street, in much the same style.

Ritz-Carlton Berlin

Expect the full whistles and bells of an international five-star chain hotel at this sumptuous 300-room property on Potsdamer Platz. Notable features include four restaurants and bars, among them the Tea Lounge, known for its ceremonial afternoon teas. Underground parking is another perk.

Ostel

The prices vary enormously here at this retro showcase for the garish/fabulous interior design of the former East Germany. Part hotel and part museum, this is definitely one of Berlin's more idiosyncratic places to stay; prepare for lots of brown and orange. It's also a stone's throw from techno temple Berghain and the adjacent attractions of hipster Friedrichshain.