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The Best Things to Do in Berlin

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Berlin's unique history, including the legacy of World Wars I and II and the Cold War, 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. Take tours guided or self-guided to search out the city's street art, to explore Checkpoint Charlie, or to pop around all that Museum Island has to offer. Berlin gives a good amount of space over to try and teach people to keep history in mind as time gets in the way: the Jewish Museum is a must-visit as is the German Resistance Memorial Center near Potsdamer Platz.
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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...
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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...
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Friedrichstraße 43-45, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Checkpoint Charlie (or "Checkpoint C") was the name given by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War. After the dissolution of the Eastern Bloc and the reunification...
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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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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...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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Invalidenstraße 50-51, 10557 Berlin, Germany
The contemporary and modern art museum Hamburger Bahnhof is named for the building's previous incarnation: a train station. The current museum opened in the mid-1990s after being a museum of transport & trains. Museum exhibitions change regularly,...
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Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin, Germany
Built by Kaiser Wilhelm I in the late 19th century as a gesture to parliamentarians, Berlin's famed Reichstag came into its own during the Weimar era—Germany’s first attempt at democracy. The parliament building burned under...
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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...
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Bernauer Str. 111, 13355 Berlin, Germany
The city’s official memorial to the Berlin Wall is along Bernauer Strasse, where the wall once divided the Eastern districts of Prenzlauer Berg and Mitte from the West Berlin district of Wedding. The half-mile stretch functions as a kind of...
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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...
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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...
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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...