Berlin is the capital of Germany and one of the sixteen German states. With 3.5 million inhabitants from 180 nations and a size of approx. 890 square kilometres, Berlin is the most populous and largest city in Germany. Located in the north east of the country on the river Spree, Berlin is the centre of the Berlin-Brandenburg region.
Berlin is an internationally famous centre of politics, culture, science, sports and media. It is home to renowned museums, opera houses and orchestras, as well as universities and sporting events. Its historical legacy, architecture, urban life and nightlife make Berlin the number one tourist destination in Germany and one of the most visited cities worldwide.
- Brandenburg Gate: Built between 1788 – 1791 by Carl Gotthard Langhans, it is the historic landmark of Berlin. After World War II. it marked the border between East- and West Berlin, between the Warsaw Pact and NATO countries, a symbol of the Cold War. In 1990, it became the symbol of German reunification and Europe.
- Reichstag: Built between 1884 – 1894 by Paul Wallot. Completely restored and remodelled between 1995 – 1999 by the architect Sir Norman Foster, the Reichstag is once again the seat of the German parliament (Bundestag). Nowadays a large glass dome on top of the building offers a 360 degree view over Berlin. The dome and terrace are open to the public. (Prior registration for visit recommended)
- Unter den Linden (“under the linden trees”): Berlin’s most prestigious boulevard. It runs approx. 1.5 kilometres from Pariser Platz, home of the Brandenburg Gate, the American and French embassies and Academy of the Arts, to Schlossbrücke (castle bridge). Along the “Linden” numerous historical buildings and sights can be found. Humboldt University, State Opera, State Library, Alte Wache and German Historical Museum.
- Museum Island: Situated at the end of “Unter den Linden” on a part of an island in the river Spree, this complex of five internationally renowned museums is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Highlights include the bust of Nefertiti at the Egyptian Museum (housed at the New Museum), the Pergamon Altar and Ishtar Gate at the Pergamon Museum, collections from ancient Greece to ancient Rome at the Old Museum, Byzantine art and Italian and German sculptures at the Bode Museum and paintings by French impressionists as well as Casper David Friedrich.
- Alexanderplatz: Named after the Russian Tsar Alexander I. In the 1920s and 30s one of the busiest places in Berlin, Alexanderplatz was completely rebuilt after World War II. In the vicinity are famous sights like the TV tower (Fernsehturm), 368 metres tall and Germany’s tallest structure, Red City Hall (Rotes Rathaus), seat of the mayor, Nikolai Quarter (Nikolaiviertel), the cradle of Berlin, and Berlin Cathedral.
- Potsdamer Platz: One of the most popular places in Europe in the 1920s, Potsdamer Platz was located in no man’s land during the Cold War. After German reunification it was completely rebuilt and now offers vast amounts of office space as well as entertainment facilities including several multiplex cinemas, a shopping arcade, a musical theatre and a casino (Spielbank Berlin), as well as the Philharmonie Berlin, home of the Berlin Philharmonic. Potsdamer Platz is a major site during the Berlin Film Festival.
- Gendarmenmarkt: Often referred to as “The most beautiful square in Berlin”. Situated in Berlin Mitte, one block off Unter den Linden and Friedrichstraße, Gendarmenmarkt is famous for its ensemble of three important buildings. The German Cathedral, the “Schauspielhaus” (built by Berlin’s most famous architect, Karl Friedrich Schinkel) also known as “Konzerthaus am Gendarmenmarkt”, and the French Cathedral. The square is surrounded by numerous cafes and first class restaurants.
- Kurfürstendamm: Located in Charlottenburg, in the 1920’s the Kurfürstendamm (also known as Ku´damm) became a synonym for the “Roaring Twenties” with its many cafes, restaurants, bars, theatres and cinemas. Compared to the more aristocratic “Linden” in Berlin Mitte, the Kurfürstendamm was a place for the bourgeoisie to show off their newfound self-confidence. Today it’s the biggest shopping mile in Berlin. All of the famous high street fashion shops can be found here, as well as Europe’s biggest department store KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens). Also at Kurfürstendamm: Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial church (Gedächtniskirche).
- Berlin Wall: Almost all parts of the wall were torn down after the 9th of November 1989. Still there are some places left to experience the relic of the past. East Side Gallery: situated close to Ostbahnhof station, a stretch of about one kilometre of the Wall. Nowadays an open air gallery. Checkpoint Charlie: Most likely the most famous crossing point and a symbol of the Cold War. Built in August 1961 as a direct result of the erection of the Berlin Wall. Today you can still see the checkpoint booth. The nearby Haus of Checkpoint Charlie shows an exhibition dedicated to the history of the place. Berlin Wall Memorial at Bernauer Strasse: a documentation centre with exhibition. Part of this exhibition is a 60 metre segment of the Berlin Wall as it was when the Wall came down.