Overview: This grand tour of the center of Berlin shows off all of the famous and important sights. You will see all of the highlights between... more »
This grand tour of the center of Berlin shows off all of the famous and important sights. You will see all of the highlights between... more » the Tiergarten and Alexanderplatz including the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, Unter den Linden, Museum Island with its famous museums, the red town hall, the TV tower, Alexanderplatz and much more.
There is no better way to see Mitte than on foot and this guide will explain everything along the way with some history of the buildings and the city. less «
Tips: Wear comfortable shoes, as this tour can take a while, especially if you go inside buildings and museums.
Take either the S-bahn or the U-bahn to the Brandenburger Tor station and exit on Unter den Linden. Walk west toward the Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate).
The Paris square was once home to many important government buildings that were destroyed by bombs during World War II. Today many of the buildings have been restored and the U.S. Embassy is nearby.
The square is home to many rallies and important events because of the famous Brandenburg Gate in the background.
The Brangenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) is the only remaining gate leading into Berlin and is one of the most famous symbols in Europe. It was built between 1788 and 1791 and originally marked the entrance to Unter den Linden, the large street lined with linden trees leading to the Prussian Palace.
The gate was closed on Aug. 14, 1961, when the ... MoreBerlin Wall was built just west of the gate. The Berlin Wall fell on Nov. 9, 1989, but it was not until Dec. 22 that the gate was reopened, signifying the reunification of West and East Berlin.
On top you will see four horses pulling a chariot with the goddess of peace. Napoleon took this statue and placed it in the Louvre in Paris. When the Prussians finally got it back they renamed her the goddess of victory and it has remained since.
Walk through the gate and continue across the street toward the right through the Tiergarten and toward the Reichstag.Less
The Reichstag building was home to the German Reichstag, or parliament. The building was constructed in 1894 but was destroyed by a fire in 1933, supposedly caused by the Dutch communist Marinus van der Lubbe.
From 1990-1999 it underwent a massive renovation before looking as it does today.
On top you will notice a massive glass dome, which... More serves multiple purposes. You can take an elevator for free to the top, which offers 360-degree views of the city and a look into the inside of the building. The "sunroof" also lets light into the parliament chambers below, but there is an electronic device that tracks the sun and blocks direct sunlight from the chamber to avoid spotlights.
A more symbolic interpretation of the dome is that the glass dome allows the German people to see the workings of the government and to keep a watchful eye on the leaders to ensure that they do not abuse their power. Whatever interpretation you prefer, the building is a pleasure to look at and the views from the dome are spectacular.
Continue around the side of the Reichstag to the right.Less
This memorial, also known more simply as the Holocaust Memorial, is a symbol to remember all those who died during the Holoacaust. It was designed by architect Peter Eisenman and consists of 2,711 pillars of different height, one for each page of the Talmud.
It was completed on Dec. 15, 2004, and inaugurated on May 10, 2006, exactly 60 years... More after the end of World War II.
Visitors are free to walk through the memorial, which provides an uneasy and confusing sense of order--highly appropriate.
Loop back to the Brandenburger Tor station where you started the tour and continue down along Unter den Linden.Less
Under den Linden is one of the more famous boulevards in Europe. It is lined with linden trees on either side of the large pedestrian walkway in the middle.
When Adolph Hitler was in power he removed the trees and replaced them with Nazi flags, which were later replaced with trees once enough people objected.
The road leads from the Brandenburg ... MoreGate past many important buildings such as the Opera House, the History Museum and through Museum Island toward Alexanderplatz.Less
The Statue of Frederick the Great on his horse is a symbol of the once-dominant Prussian military power. Frederick III ruled the kingdom from 1740 to 1786 as a strong military leader, trying to turn Berlin into "a new Rome."
In the middle of Bebelplatz there is a small square of glass on the ground, providing a window into the library stacks below. It is intentional that you cannot see anything below as the window is symbolic of the book burnings that took place in Nazi Germany in 1933.
This window shows (or doesn't show) all of the Jewish and other non-approved... More books and authors that were lost in the massive book burnings.Less
The Altes Museum (or Old Museum) is one of the many museums on Museum Island. It was built between 1823 and 1830 and originally held the Prussian royal family's art collection.
Today it houses a Greek collection on the main floor, with special collections on the second floor. On the lawn in front of the museum you will see many large statues and ... Morepeople lounging on the grass during warm days.
Address: Am Lustgarten,10178 Berlin
Phone: 030 - 266 42 42 42
Hours: Thursday 10am - 10pm, Monday - Sunday (except Thurs) 10am - 6pm
Admission: 8 EUR, Under 18 free
The Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral) is an evangelical church on Museum Island. This cathedral was built between 1745 and 1747 (remodeled 50 years later) and is the largest church in Berlin. It is used for church services, concerts and other events as well (if you are here around Christmas, be sure to check out the Christmas choirs here).
The... More cathedral was damaged by a bomb during World War II and was reconstructed in 1975, however, the interior reconstruction was not complete until 1993 when it reopened.
One of the highlights of the cathedral is the pipe organ, consisting of more than 7,000 pipes. Friedrich I and his wife are buried in the church along with many other members of the royal family.
Address: Am Lustgarten,10178 Berlin
Phone: 49(0)30- 20269-136
Sunday, holidays Noon-8pm
October-March Closing is 7pm
Adults 5 Euros
Audio Guide 3 Euros
After leaving Museum Island and crossing the river you will find yourself in what used to be East Germany, so some of the changes in architecture are quite striking. One of the reasons Berlin has so many cultural institutions today is because of its former separation. When East and West Berlin were separate each side had its own churches, opera... More houses, museums, etc. When Berlin was reunited, most buildings remained, which is why there are several "duplicate" museums today.
This statue is located just east of Museum Island and is one of the most famous statues in Berlin; it represents the failures of communism.Less
The Rotes Rathaus (or Red Town Hall) is the town hall of Berlin near Alexanderplatz and home to the mayor and government of Berlin. The building was built between 1861 and 1869 and modeled after a town hall in Poland.
This building was greatly damaged during World War II like many other buildings in East Berlin and was rebuilt between 1951 and ... More1956.Less
The TV tower is very close to Alexanderplatz and was built between 1965 and 1969 by the German Democratic Republic (GDR); it is the tallest structure in all of Germany so it is easy to find.
It is 1,207 feet tall (including the antenna) and you can take an elevator to the top to eat in the rotating restaurant or just to see 360-degree views all... More the way to the outskirts of Berlin and beyond.Less
St. Marien Church is the second-oldest church in Berlin and the only medieval church that still holds regular services. Construction began in 1270 and after a fire in 1380 it was restored almost entirely back to its original design.
This is the foundation of the first synagogue in Berlin, which has since been almost entirely destroyed.
Continue farther along the street toward Hackescher Markt.
Hackescher Markt is a fun, exciting area to take a break for some lunch or just a drink. While there are several restaurants inside, it is much more enjoyable to sit outside and enjoy the atmosphere (or perhaps dine in one of the swinging chairs).
If you don't know what to get, try some waffles or perhaps a radler (beer and lemonade).
When you... More are ready for the last few stops on the tour, head back toward Museum Island.Less
Museum Island is home to a number of world-renowned museums, but don't plan to see all of them in just one day (although you can buy a three-day pass that will let you into all of them as well as several other museums throughout the city).
The Pergamon Museum was built from 1910 to 1930 and is home to the full-size reconstructed Pergamon Altar and the Market Gate of Miletus; it is worth a visit if only to see these two massive buildings.
If you have more time, there are many other superb collections as well, including Middle East and the Museum of Islamic Art. It is visited by... More almost 1 million people every year, making it the most visited museum in Germany.
Address: Am Kupfergraben 5, 10178 Berlin
Phone: 030 20 90 55 77
Hours: Thursday 10am - 10pm, Monday - Sunday (except Thurs) 10am - 6pm
Admission: 8 EUR, Under 18 freeLess
The Alte Nationalgalerie (or Old National Gallery) is home to 19th century sculptures and paintings. It was damaged during World War II and was reopened in 1955 and restored once again in 2001.
The Old National Gallery is one of five national galleries; the others are the New National Gallery, the Berggruen Museum, the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum... More for Gegenwart and the Friedrichswerder Church.
This museum's collections covers the French Revolution to World War I.
Walk toward Friedrichstrasse to finish the tour and catch the S-bahn or the U-bahn back to your hotel where you will likely want to rest for a while before checking out the famous Berlin nightlife.
Address: Bodestr. 1-3, 10178 Berlin
Phone: 030 20 90 58 01
Hours: closed Mondays, Tuesday - Sunday 10am - 6pm (except Thurs), Thursday 10am - 10pm
Admission: 10 EUR, Under 18 freeLess
Friedrichstrasse is one of the larger streets in Mitte and also a large S-bahn and U-bahn station. Inside the station you will find stores, restaurants and large crowds as it is a major transportation hub connecting the S-bahn ring with several U-bahn lines throughout the city.
On the street corners outside the station you may see grill walkers, ... Morewho stand with a grill strapped on their back and serve bratwurst for around 1-1.50 Euro. They are delicious and you get more than you pay for.Less