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Berlin is one of the best cities to visit in Germany for its rich culture and history. Apart from the restaurants and shopping in Kreuzberg, you must definitely set aside a good chunk of your trip visiting historic attractions in Berlin. What’s also great about this city is that a lot of the best monuments and attractions can be visited for free. Our top 10 list of attractions includes museums, monuments, and local spots in the city with our very own INSIDR tips to make sure you’ll bring back home the most memorable souvenirs of Berlin!
1. Brandenburg Gate
Known by Berliners as Brandenburg Tor, the Brandenburg Gate is the only remaining town gate of Berlin. The gate stands at the western end of Unter den Linden Avenue and is one of the most visited landmarks in the city. Built in 1788, it originally served as the entrance that led to the Prussian Palace. During the Cold War and until 1989, it was the symbol of divided Germany and served as the only access to either side of the city. What used to stand to divide the country into 2 opposite sides remains standing today as a symbol of Germany’s unification.
The gate can be visited anytime but it’s particularly great to be at for the New Year’s Eve festivities. And if you’re a fan of the German football team, you’ll definitely enjoy watching their games here for big tournaments like the World Cup or the UEFA EURO championships!
- open all day and night
- Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Reichstag is not only one of the legislative chambers of the federal assembly in Germany but has also become a famous tourist attraction. This is in large part due to the history and architecture of the building. The parliament building is free to visit but reservations in advance are required. You can easily make reservations online. Don’t leave without climbing up to the glass dome for great views of Berlin!
- Open daily from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm
- Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin, Germany
- Reichstag website
3. East Side Gallery
The East Side Gallery is actually the longest preserved piece of the Berlin Wall. After the Wall came down in 1989, 118 artists from 21 different countries transformed 1.3 kilometers of the former division into the world’s longest open-air gallery. The different colorful murals convey joy but also serve as a reminder of the darkness that fell upon Germany during the Cold War. Don’t miss the most popular mural by Dmitri Vrubel entitled ‘Lord Help me To Survive This Deadly Love’.
- Open all day and night
- Mühlenstraße 3-100, 10243 Berlin, Germany
4. Checkpoint Charlie
If you’ve seen the James Bond films Octopussy and The Spy Who Came In From The Cold, then you may already be familiar with Checkpoint Charlie. Checkpoint Charlie was the most famous crossing point between East and West Germany and was an important Cold War site. This historic place was witness to several attempts by people to cross over from East Berlin. Today, you’ll find an open-air exhibition on the corner of Schützenstraße and Zimmerstraße where you can learn the stories of those who failed and succeeded.
INSIDR Tip: For a memorable souvenir, you can get your passport stamped at Checkpoint Charlie. There is a VISAS sign on the side of the guardhouse where you can get a set of different novelty stamps for 5€ to 10€. All of the stamps are from the Cold War period and represent ‘visas’ from different countries like the US, France, Germany, and Russia.
- Open all day and night
- Friedrichstraße 43-45, 10117 Berlin, Germany
5. Holocaust Memorial
Just a short walk away from The Brandenburg gate is the Holocaust Memorial. Also named Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the open-air memorial was established in 1999 by the German parliament and designed by architect Peter Eisenman. Here you’ll find 2,711 concrete slabs of different heights placed on an uneven concrete floor. Walking through the site is meant to let visitors interpret the topic on their own way.
INSIDR Tip: For a a special experience during your visit, download the Virtual Concert app. This concert was composed originally for the Holocaust Memorial and visitors who have the app can experience different sounds depending on one’s location at the site.
Currently only available for iPhones, you can download the app here.
- Open all day and night
- Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany
6. Berliner Dom
The Berliner Dom is not only a historic church but is an iconic part of Berlin’s cityscape. It’s distinctive dome can easily be recognized and under it is one of Berlin’s most important Protestant churches. Though seeing the church from afar may seem enough, we encourage you to go inside and take a tour. And if your legs can take it, climb up 270 steps to the church dome’s outer walkway and be rewarded with panoramic views of Berlin! Unlike many other churches in Europe, visiting the Berliner Dom requires an entrance fee which then goes to the general upkeep of the cathedral. Make sure that you book your tickets in advance on the website!
- Open daily from 9:00 am to 8:00 pm (with restricted visiting hours on Sundays)
- Tickets: 7€ for adults (free for kids under 18)
- Am Lustgarten, 10178 Berlin, Germany
- Berliner Dom website
If you’re going to visit the Berliner Dom which is on Museum Island, we suggest that you take some time out of your day to visit the different museums there! Each museum has a different theme worth exploring. Don’t forget to check out Nefertiti’s statue, it is by far the most popular attraction among visitors. What’s convenient is that you only need to purchase a single ticket for 18€ if you want to visit all of these museums. Visit the Museum Island website for more info.
7. The Jewish Museum Berlin
For a closer look at the individual stories of the victims and survivors of the Holocaust, the Jewish Museum would be the best pace to visit in Berlin. The architecture here is purposeful with different parts of the museum meaning to evoke different emotions to the visitors. Here, you’ll also find personal belongings of the victims of the Holocaust that tell heart-breaking stories of how families were torn apart and how lives were lost. This museum is a great reminder of our history and how we should work hard for it not to repeat itself.
- Open daily from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm
- Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin, Germany
- Tickets: 8€ for adults; 3€ for children; free for kids under 7 years old
- Jewish Museum Berlin website
8. Charlottenburg Palace
A bit away from the city center, is Charlottenburg Palace where you can marvel at the rococo style in 17th century Prussia. The palace was named after Queen Sophie Charlotte passed away. Today, the palace is the largest and most magnificent one in Berlin. The ticket is a bit pricey at 19€ but it includes entry into 3 other attractions nearby. If you’re on a budget, you can also just opt to wander around the beautiful park which costs nothing.
- Open Tuesdays to Sundays from 10:00 am to 6:00pm
- Spandauer Damm 20-24, 14059 Berlin, Germany
- Tickets: 19€ for adults
- Charlottenburg Palace website
9. Nikolai Quarter
Nikolai Quarter was the heart of the old Berlin. This little quarter is known as the oldest residential area of Berlin and is where you’ll find traditional restaurants that serve up German delicacies, quaint cafés, and antique shops. One of the quarter’s main sites is the St. Nicholas Church. There is an organ concert at the church every Friday—do not miss it if you are nearby!
- Rathausstraße 21, 10178 Berlin, Germany
10. Berliner Fernsehturm (Berlin TV Tower)
Definitely the best place to get panoramic views of the city from would be Berliner Fernsehturm. The tower’s observation deck takes you 203 meters above ground where you can enjoy seeing Berlin’s cityscape. While you’re up there, you can also enjoy a drink at Bar 203. For a unique dining experience, head up to the 360° revolving Sphere Restaurant which is another 4 meters higher than the observation deck!
Buy your tickets online to save time on waiting in line at the ticket booths at Alexanderplatz. Make sure you visit this place to round off seeing all the best attractions in Berlin!
- Open daily from 9:00 am t0 12:00 midnight
- Panoramastraße 1A, 10178 Berlin, Germany
- Tickets: 16.50€ for adults; 9.50€ for children (14-4 years old); free entry for under 4 years old
- Online ticket booking website
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