If you are considering another European Capital for a city break, I have a great suggestion. Berlin. The capital of Germany might not be the first city on your list, but I hope that after checking Framey’s Berlin – Top 30 Sights to wonder you will see why I have chosen it.
When you say Germany you might first think of good cars, beer, and World Wars but the capital of Germany has turned into a very hip destination for art, shopping, and entertainment lovers, mixing with old and new vibes. And being a millennial, Berlin will always be to me the birthstone of electro rhythms of the infamous Love Parades festivals. And although they are not held anymore It still makes me wanna Youtube it and reminisce 🙂
And getting back to our Top 30 sights to visit in Berlin, we are going to start in the middle of the city!
1. Brandenburg Gate
This landmark is definitely the calling card of Berlin!
For decades the symbol of a divided country and system, the Brandenburg Gate stands today as the very symbol of unity! King Frederick Wilhelm II’s neoclassical gate, which stood blocked, along with the Berlin Wall was a physical and metaphorical border between two worlds, and tearing it down symbolized the end of the Cold War.
From a tourist point of view, it might be an even greater spectacle to check at night with all the lights but, nonetheless, this landmark is of the do not miss sights of Berlin.
And there is a lot more to discover about Berlin’s history. So much more, that Framey has created a full collection to cover the subject: Iconic buildings & monuments in Berlin – Walls filled with stories. Check it for more inspiration.
2. Nicholas Quarter
It lies tucked away in the heart of Berlin and build around the Saint Nicholas Church and Museum Island. Though a lot of the medieval town was bombed and destroyed in the war, the reconstructed quarter has a great deal of charming atmosphere and great views to offer. And mind you that is far less crowded than the neighboring area of Alexandre Platz.
It gives such a fairytale vibe with its cobbled streets and sculptures and monuments! And just imagine it during the Christmas season…What a sight!
3. Museum Island
For sure you are not going to be disappointed with this next incredible place. Imagine the most outstanding buildings, put priceless artifacts and art pieces inside, and place it all on an island. It’s no wonder that this site is a part of Unesco Heritage. You are going to be equally amazed by the architectural beauty of the buildings of the museum, actually, the 5 museums contained by the complex, and the vast and diverse collections of art it contains.
And if you need to learn more about what museums to check in Berlin, Framey has an entire collection dedicated to the subject: Museums and memorial sites in Berlin – A constellation of cultures. Enjoy!
4. Berlinische Galerie
While on the subject of art and museums, Berlin has a lot more to offer. The Berlinische Galerie is the no. 1 place for modern art. Photography, architecture, and fine art in general, this spot is aimed to support Berlin home artists and artistic movements while showcasing works from the Russian Berlin side. This is the place to check art labeled as “Berlin-made”.
5. Reichstag Building
The Reichstag Building can also be very well labeled as a calling card of Berlin. While the building itself holds a historic value and a political one as it is the home of the Bundestag, the lower house of the German Parliament, the iconic dome is on the other hand a symbol of modern times and a testament to the commitment of using renewable types of energy.
If you are searching for great views, remember that both the Dome and the roof terrace can be accessed by visitors and will grant you a great view of the surroundings.
6. The Holocaust Memorial
History without acknowledgment will only repeat itself. And for Germany and Berlin, the place for remembrance and also contemplation is the Holocaust Memorial. Clearly, nobody can swipe under the carpet the horrors the Jewish community had to endure and the Holocaust Memorial with its 1711 gray block is meant to remind each and every one of us that we are capable of great horror and terror and such events should never be forgotten.
7. East Side Gallery
How would you like a 1.3 km Art gallery? Cause that is exactly what you can say about the East Side Gallery. It is indeed an open space, but also a Gallery on its own. What can you see? Murals street art and history, all blend in this free exhibit of creative flows along the banks of river Spree. The truth is that art comes in all forms and has its place in Berlin’s life and style.
If you wish to dig a bit deeper into the city’s museums and galleries, Framey has a treat for you – a whole collection at your disposal: The best museums to visit in Berlin – Art is life, and life is art!
The green oasis in the heart of Berlin, Tiergarten is probably the most popular park. It is also the biggest and the place where you will find the Berlin Zoo. Several governmental institutions have Tiergarten as home and as you can see on the map a lot of the famous Berlin tourist spots are located in the vicinity. This makes it the perfect place to relax or have a walk. And do not think that you will have anything to check as the Victory Column and the Bismarck Memorial are at least two of the Berlin symbols you should check.
9. Berlin Zoo
While we are in the Tiergarten area, it would be a pity to miss one of the best zoos in the World, the Berlin Zoo. Not only is it the oldest in the country, but it is also the largest and home to the vastest variety of species in the world.
One might say that it is one of a kind!
10. Charlottenburg Palace
If you want to see a sample of stunning Baroque architecture you are in luck. The Charlottenburg Palace is simply stunning inside out. The lavished baroque and rococo-decorated palace makes for one of Berlin’s most iconic and loved sights. Apart from the Palace itself, the gardens are an exquisite and free experience as well.
11. Berlin State Opera
While in Berlin, do like the locals do and let yourself be transported back in time. You can experience the way aristocracy reveling themselves in Wagner’s notes, in one of the most beautiful opera houses. The Berlin State Opera or Staatsoper Berlin is indeed the place to spoil your senses. It is considered to be one of the finest opera venues in the world in design and acoustics, second only to La Scala in Milan.
12. Berlin Cathedral
The Berlin Cathedral, also known as the Evangelical Supreme Parish has the WOW factor. When you approach it simply leaves you in awe. The magnificent Berlin Dome is without a doubt one of the most famous landmarks, but you should check the interior as well. It has incredibly lavish decorations and ornaments and it simply can be described as the beating heart of the city as well as of the Protestant church.
The famous Alexanderplatz square has turned over the years into the main shopping area in Berlin. But, it is so much more than just about shopping. It is a film venue and the area to head for a clubbing night. For a very long time, electronic music and Berlin have been sort of synonyms and there is a good reason for that. So, if clubbing and house music are your things, remember to check this area at night as well.
While on the subject of squares, this next site, is probably the most beautiful one in all of Berlin. Not that the others lack something, but in the Gendarmenmarkt, you have 3 of the most beautiful buildings in Berlin: the German Cathedral, the French Cathedral, and the Berlin Concert Hall.
This place is amazing anytime but it has a magic vibe especially around the winter holidays when the Christmas market is happening.
15. Olympic Stadium
Berlin Olympic Stadium is yet another impressive sight to see. Provided that you visit it when there are no events, matches, or any other big events happing at that time. The Olympic stadium has quite a history to tell as well, as it was built for the 1936 Summer Olympic Games. Today, the largest sports stadium in Berlin is the place to hold the largest sports and entertainment events.
16. Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
A vivid reminder of the damage the war will inflict upon people and buildings alike, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church shows its majestic damaged spire and the new modern chapel. The original building was almost destroyed in the bombings of 1943 but it was the people of Berlin that protested against its total destruction and against building a new church from the ground. This is how and what makes the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial so special, not just its beauty.
17. Berlin Philharmonic
Berlin’s cultural life is way richer than a layman could imagine. And the Berlin Philharmonic is recognized as one of the most acclaimed and prestigious orchestras in the world. My advice would be to take the opportunity and enjoy it if you happen to be there for any event.
18. Victory Column
The monument stands profoundly as a triumphal reminder of the victory Prussia held over Denmark in 1864. On the column, Victoria, the goddess of Victory reigns Tiergarten and shines its golden wings. It is without a shadow of a doubt one of the most popular touristic spots in Berlin.
19. Mauerpark Flea Market
After all the cultural sights, how would a Sunday afternoon at the flea market sound? If vintage or second-hand clothing or jewelry is your idea of a fun shopping day, then head for the Mauerpark Flea Market. And when you get a bit tired of bargain hunting, just grab a spot in one of the many hip cafes and snack bars and enjoy the colorful and bohemian vibe.
The Mauer park will turn into a weekly karaoke festival held in the park’s amphitheater so you might have the chance to show how talented you are.
And if you are searching for some other ideas for a good time, you can get inspired by this Framey collection: Outdoor activities in Berlin.
20. Bode Museum
The wow factor is activated yet again when seeing this incredible building, the bode Museum. Formerly known as Kaiser-Friedrich, the museum is part of the complex on Museum Island. The two collections showcased here, the Sculpture Collection and the Byzantine Art are just perfectly at home in this incredible Baroque revival-style building.
21. Old National Galery
Another masterpiece of a building, from the World Heritage site of Museum Island, the Old National Galery or Alte National Galerie. What is it famous for? The exquisite collection of paintings and sculptures. Do yourself a favor and take a few moments and enjoy!
22. Potsdamer Platz
The Potsdamer Platz square came to life straight after the Fell of the Berlin Wall on the 9th of November 1989, after being split into 2 parts for such a long time. Today it is an urban center, vivid and entertaining, a destination for shopping, fine dining, and events.
23. Britzer Garden
Britzer Garden is yet another green oasis to escape into. This garden is set like a themed park with its Rose garden, lakes, and sundial and there is even a railway museum that can be found in the garden.
And if you are in luck you might also witness an event, a concert, or even a magical night of fireworks.
24. Spandau Citadel
The Berlin Fortress is one of the best preserved Renaissance fortresses. The Citadel has come a long way from its glory days of being the defensive force of the city. It has metamorphosed into a lively cultural center where exhibitions, concerts, and festivals are held.
Another attraction point for this landmark is the fact that the Citadel is the winter retreat for a good 10 thousand bats or so, so you can imagine the interest kids and bats aficionados have for this place.
25. Oberbaum Bridge
Another iconic landmark in Berlin is the Oberbaum Bridge. The double-deck bridge spreads over the Spree river and was once a symbol of a divided Berlin, during the Cold War. It was in fact a border, the check-point between East and West Germany, and as a result, it suffered demolitions of the viaduct and towers. What we get to see and admire today is the rebuilt and restored bridge.
26. The Neptune Fountain
One of the most beautiful fountains in Berlin has as a central piece the figure of the Roman God of Sea, Neptune. The neo-baroque fountain also depicts 4 women representing the 4 rivers Prussia held at that time in history. What we can say for sure is that it’s a truly impressive work of art and that it deserves its spot as one of the most famous places in Berlin.
27. Mall of Berlin
For all shopping enthusiasts, there is yet another spot to hit: the Mall of Berlin. Featuring the largest number of shops and a food court and all that you might need for a shopping spree at the Mall of Berlin. Sounds good?
28. St Nicholas Church
Known as the oldest church in Berlin, Saint Nicholas Church dates back to the 1220s. Makes sense that the Gothic little church underwent lots of changes throughout history and was almost destroyed during the war. And yet it managed to survive to the present day. It is worth a visit even just this survival instinct. But don’t forget you get to see some good hundred-old exhibits and to climb the tower for an incredible view.
29. French Cathedral
Makes sense that one of the most beautiful Cathedrals in Berlin is located in one of the most beautiful squares of the city, in the Gendarmenket. With its 70 m tower, it offers a spectacular view. The inside of the church is not so very sumptuous but rather stern but the viewing balustrade offers such amazing views that it’s worth all 284 steps.
30. Barberini Museum
Let’s end the Berlin incursion with a visit to one of Berlin’s art museums, the Barberini. Safe to say that the museum impresses with its permanent collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art, including Monet, Renoir, and Morisot. As you can see there is quite a lot to take in.
I bet you didn’t expect Berlin to be this cool, did you? It welcomes you to a full experience in history and art, and progress, it is a wonder. Both past and future hold hands a unique and impressive experience.
Check also Fine Dining in Berlin: The 25 Best Restaurants in the City.
And I do hope you enjoyed Framey’s chosen destination, Berlin. Don’t forget to download Framey and start planning your next trip!