Top spots to see in Berlin

Top spots to see in Berlin

by Alejandra Flores
Stripes Europe

Berlin is a vibrant busy city, filled with many historical landmarks and interesting people. As Germany’s capital, there is so much to see. From the city's origins in the thirteenth century to it's long and tumultuous history with war, it's all rooted strongly in its streets and buildings. With so much to see and do it can be overwhelming, but hopefully, these suggestions will make your trip to Berlin less stressful!

Plan a free walking tour.

Free walking tours have become a very popular way to see and learn much about the city. The best way to schedule one of these tours is online but you can register in-person as well. While free, the guides do work for tips. I highly recommend this tour. There are three different versions you can sign up for: Berlin's politics and history tour, the Third Reich tour which focuses on Berlin's role in World War II and a street art tour. 

 


East Side Gallery in Berlin | Photo by lauradibiase

East Side Gallery

You won’t want to miss the biggest outdoor gallery in the world. In 1990, 118 painters turned part of the Berlin Wall into political artwork, spanning 1.3 kilometers. Each painting demonstrates the artists' different viewpoints about the wall and its fall in 1989. It definitely is a surreal walk down the wall as you look at the paintings and experience all the emotions and lives changed by the wall. 

 


Alexanderplatz in Berlin | Photo by Felix Pergande 

Alexanderplatz

This Platz (or square) holds true to Berlin’s multicultural atmosphere. Experience food from different areas of the world like Mexico, Japan, China, the Dominican Republic and so much more. Wanting a beer? Don’t fret, there’s also plenty of cocktails and beers to try as well. There’s even live entertainment where you can sit down, rest and watch for a while.

 


Berlin's Brandenburg Gate | Photo by jakobradlgruber 

Brandenburg Gate

Berlin's Brandenburg Gate holds much historical value. It’s home to notorious moments in Berlin’s history, like Napoleon’s march and Adolf Hiter coming into power. It’s also the site of celebrated moments like President Ronald Reagan shouting, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down that wall.”  The Brandenburg Gate is the symbol of Berlin. Stop and take pictures of the gate, or just sit on a bench and listen to the many street musicians serenading the square creating a scenic European atmosphere many dream of experiencing.

 


The reconstructed Checkpoint Charlie | Photo by Sergey Kokotchikov 

Checkpoint Charlie

Berlin was the epicenter of the Cold War. With the Americans in the West, the Soviets in the East and a looming presence of another World War, this reconstructed checkpoint holds a substantial amount of both U.S. and European history. Visit the museum where you can read about the many death-defying escape attempts to the West. Learn the struggles people in East Berlin faced and the bravery of the men and women who fought for a better life.

 


Holocaust Memorial | Photo by Shahid Khan 

Holocaust Memorial

This memorial is special because it commemorates and reminds us of the significant loss our world endured during World War II. This monument has grey blocks scattered in a square right in front of the American Embassy. The further you go into the memorial, the taller the blocks become. Some say the individually handcrafted grey blocks represent the many unmarked graves of the millions of Jews that died in concentration camps and all over Europe.

Whether it’s history, culture or just a big city experience, Berlin has so much to offer. Take time to explore the city, see the street art, stop at a cafe, take pictures and enjoy the vibrant capital of Germany.

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