Berlin is the capital and the most populous city of Germany. It is a major tourist destination attracting millions of visitors every year. The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 opened up the city to the world and it has since enthralled tourists with its history and architecture. Although the city suffered major damage during World War II, it has restored itself into one of the most charmingly beautiful cities in Europe. Berlin has a lot to offer to visitors of all ages and interest. Here is a list of its top 10 attractions.
- Unter den Linden
The name Unter den Linden translates to ‘under the linden trees’ and that is exactly what this boulevard is. The road is one of the main thoroughfares between the eastern and western parts of Berlin. It went through several extensions over the centuries and presently stretches from the Brandenburg Gate to the Museum Island. There are several tourist attractions along the Unter den Linden. The most notable of those are the Altes Palais, Palace Bridge, the Staatsoper, and the German Historical Museum. The whole boulevard is beautifully lit up during Christmas.
- Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is located in the Breitscheidplatz neighborhood of Berlin. The original church was built in the last decade of the 19th century by Kaiser Wilhelm II, after whom it is named. However, that church was destroyed by Allied bombing in World War II. The present church was built in 1961 around the remains of the old church. The modern concrete and glass structure is almost an architectural contradiction to the original Romanesque church whose remains are still preserved. The unique shape of the church has earned it the nickname ‘der hohle Zahn’ which means ‘the hollow tooth’.
- Berlin Zoo
The Berlin Zoo is the oldest zoo in Germany. Locally known as ‘Zoologischer Garten Berlin’, it is spread over 84 acres and is the most famous zoo in the country. The zoo might be smaller in size than several other big zoos, but it houses nearly 17,000 animals. It also has the largest collection of animal species in the world, with over 1500 of them. Some famous residents of the zoo include ‘Knut,’ who was a polar bear and ‘Bao Bao,’ a giant panda. Unfortunately Knut died in 2011. Ever since the zoo opened in 1844, it has grown by leaps and bounds. Today, the zoo gets 3.3 million visitors on a yearly basis. It is considered to be the most popular zoo in Europe.
- Potsdamer Platz
Potsdamer Platz is one of the busiest and most important intersections in Berlin. It is home to not only a train station, but to several entertainment, art, and shopping centers. It is about a kilometer south of the iconic Brandenburg Gate. The area used to look very different before it was severely damaged during World War II. Today it is home to several swanky malls and a modern plaza.
The Reichstag is a seat of the German Parliament and is considered a historic landmark of the city. It is located within walking distance from the Brandenburg Gate. The original building, completed in 1894, suffered damage during World War II. However, it was only after the dissolution of the Berlin Wall that the building was completely restored to its present form. The Reichstag is crowned by a glass dome which offers not only views of the debating chamber of the Parliament but also a 360-degree view of Berlin. However, visitors must register their names before being allowed to enter the dome.
- Museum Island
Museum Island is the name given to the northern half of the Spree Island, as it is home to five museums. It is part of the Mitte district of the city of Berlin. The 5 museums are the Old Museum. New Museum, Old National Gallery, Bode Museum, and the Pergamon Museum. Such is the cultural significance of this museum complex that it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. The famous Berlin Cathedral is located right next to this museum complex.
- Holocaust Memorial
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, or simply, the Holocaust Memorial, is a memorial dedicated to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. It is located within walking distance to the south of the Brandenburg gate. The memorial is on a 4.7-acre site and is made of 2711 concrete slabs arranged in a grid pattern. The slabs range in height from about 8 inches to just over 15 feet, depicting disorientation and instability. The underground ‘Place of Information’ has the names of 3 million Jews who were victims in the Holocaust.
- East Side Gallery
East Side gallery is the name given to the longest stretch of the Berlin Wall that is still standing. Stretching for 1316 meters along Mühlenstraße, it is a major tourist attraction of Berlin. Almost the whole of the wall has been painted by artists from across the world, making it probably the longest open-air gallery in the world. The paintings on the Wall range from satirist to philosophical and have been photographed millions of times over the decades.
- Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie was the best-known crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin through the Berlin Wall. Although the Wall has been pulled down, there is a white line which shows where the Wall once stood. After the dissolution of the Wall, the checkpoint became one of the major tourist attractions of the city. There is a museum at Checkpoint Charlie which has a wide range of interesting displays on how people used creative ways to escape from one side of the Wall to the other.
- Brandenburg Gate
The Brandenburg Gate is probably the most-recognized landmark of Berlin. The gate was built in 1791, replacing an older city gate which marked the starting of the road from Berlin to Brandenburg an der Havel town. This neo-classical monument has since been a symbol of both the tumultuous history as well as peace and unity of Germany. It is the site of a huge fireworks display on New Year’s Eve every year.
Originally posted 2017-06-01 07:18:51.