Top Attractions in Berlin
Collected by Paul Sullivan, AFAR Local Expert
Berlin's unique history, including the legacy of world wars and civic division, has given the city an enormous variety of things to do and see: the rebuilt Reichstag, reminders of the Berlin Wall, terrific museums, and surprising green spaces.
Winterfeldtstraße, 10781 Berlin, Germany
Berlin prides itself on its farmers’ markets, which take place every Saturday (and sometimes during the week) all across the city and often have a wonderful atmosphere along with top-notch local produce. The Saturday Winterfeldtmarkt on...
Lichtensteinbrücke, 10787 Berlin, Germany
Built between 1845 and 1850 according to designs by famed landscaper Peter Joseph Lenné, the Landwehr Canal stretches for more than six miles through Berlin, starting in Friedrichshain in the East and winding its way (parallel to the...
Reinhardtstr. 20, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Street art turns up all across Berlin, including outside Sammlung Boros, a museum space that showcases contemporary artists such as Ai Weiwei, Alicia Kwade, and Wolfgang Tillman. A former Nazi bunker during World War II, the building has also done...
Stauffenbergstraße 13, 10785 Berlin, Germany
Berlin’s German Resistance Memorial Center, close to Potsdamer Platz, collects the city’s tales of resistance against the Nazis. The center is in the Bendlerblock, a historic military building where the expansion of the German navy was...
Bernauer Str. 111, 13355 Berlin, Germany
Großer Wannsee, Berlin, Germany
Berlin is surrounded by lakes, and the star of the show is undoubtedly the Wannsee. Its waters lap at the Grunewald Forest and are dotted with yachting clubs and interesting cultural sights such as the House of the Wannsee Conference (where...
14193 Berlin, Germany
The Tiergarten might be Berlin’s most famous park, but the sprawling, 7,400-acre Grunewald wins the prize for the city’s most impressive forest. Fringed by the Havel River to the west, it contains a multitude of pleasant hiking and...
Teufelsberg, 14055 Berlin, Germany
Deep in Berlin's Grunewald Forest, Teufelsberg (literally, Devil’s Mountain; the name comes from the nearby Teufelssee, or Devil’s Lake) was once the site of a Nazi technology college. After the war, it was decided that the school...
Spandauer Damm 20-24, 14059 Berlin, Germany
Berlin’s showpiece schloss is one of the main sights in the Charlottenburg neighborhood. Initially a country house built for (the future) Queen Sophie Charlotte in 1695, it served as a summer residence for Prussian kings throughout the 18th...
Mühlenstraße 3-100, 10243 Berlin, Germany
The most famous remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall gets its name from its location on the east side of the Spree River, as well as from the collection of political and satirical murals. Originally painted just after the wall fell, the...
Alt-Treptow, 12435 Berlin, Germany
Built as a green space for locals, Treptower Park came into its own during the city’s division, when it became one of East Berlin's most popular outdoor spots thanks to its riverside location and a nearby (now abandoned) theme park....
Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin, Germany
The architecturally striking Jewish Museum is the best place in Berlin to get an overview of German-Jewish relations and to understand the nature of the integration of the two cultures before the Holocaust's horrors. Designed by Daniel...
Invalidenstraße 50-51, 10557 Berlin, Germany
Berlin’s Museum of Contemporary Art occupies a former railroad terminus that used to connect Berlin directly with Hamburg. Inside, an immense, hangarlike main hall hosts changing exhibitions and retrospectives by major artists such as...
Klingelhöferstraße 14, 10785 Berlin, Germany
Bauhaus—the German design, crafts, and architecture school founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius—is one of the most famous design movements of the 20th century, and this Berlin museum shows its impressive breadth and influence. Designed by...
Herbert-von-Karajan-Straße 1, 10785 Berlin, Germany
It's hard to miss the distinctive tent-shaped, yellow Berlin Philharmonic Hall, considered by many to be one of the world’s best concert halls. Designed by Hans Scharoun, it was built in the 1960s as a replacement for one destroyed in World...
Leipziger Pl. 9, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Spy Museum Berlin traces the global history of espionage, with insights into "intelligence gathering" in ancient times and throughout the Middle Ages, up to the 20th century, with advancements in technology and the tensions of the world wars and...
Potsdamer Platz, 10785 Berlin, Germany
Once one of the busiest squares in Europe, Potsdamer Platz became a no-man’s-land during the cold war years when the Berlin Wall sliced right through it. It reemerged in the 1990s as the shiny face of the New Berlin, though its...
Tiergarten, Berlin, Germany
Berlin isn’t exactly short of impressive parks, but the 520-acre Tiergarten, stretching westward from Brandenburg Gate, is one of its largest, most central, and most historic. The area, originally a royal hunting ground, became a park in the...
Panoramastraße 1A, 10178 Berlin, Germany
By far the most recognizable landmark in the city's skyline, the TV tower is the tallest structure in Berlin, and in Western Europe as well. The 1,207-foot transmitter, built during the 1960s, was a source of pride for East Germany, though over...
Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Occupying a prominent space between Brandenburg Gate and Potsdamer Platz, this memorial (also known as the Holocaust-Mahnmal, or Holocaust Memorial) has almost 3,000 gray oblong pillars (stelae), arranged at varying heights, that form a kind of...
Unter den Linden 3, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Berlin’s Royal Palace has been through various incarnations, with the latest, Humboldt Forum, slated to open in 2019 at the earliest. The palace was the main center of Hohenzollern power for several centuries, until Kaiser Wilhelm II...
Am Lustgarten, 10178 Berlin, Germany
This immense—some might say immodest—neo-baroque cathedral opposite the former Royal Palace nods architecturally to St. Peter’s in Rome and served as the family church of the Hohenzollern dynasty up until 1918. The current...
Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin, Germany
Bombed to smithereens during World War II, the Neues Museum—inaugurated in 1855—reopened in 2009 following a slow and sensitive reconstruction by the office of British architect David Chipperfield; both the building and its inspiring...
Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin, Germany
One of the biggest stars of the five museums on Museum Island, the Pergamon was the last to open, in 1930. Built to resemble a Babylonian temple, it houses a trove of ancient treasures from the Middle East, with highlights that include the...
Museum Island, Berlin, Germany
Visiting at least one of the five museums that make up Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a must for any serious culture seeker in Berlin. The pioneering concept of an ensemble of public institutions brimming with exquisite artworks...
Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin, Germany
Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Napoleon and his armies marched through it; revolutionaries and Nazis gathered beneath it; the Berlin Wall ran right behind: It's safe to say that Berlin’s iconic Brandenburg Gate, completed in 1791, has pretty much seen it all. Designed by...
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