A Modern City with a Visibly Turbulent Past

Berlin has a wonderfully relaxed atmosphere. It's typically German, but not always. You can easily discover the city on your own. There are plenty of museums, restaurants and bars to try. In this article I have listed the best sights in Berlin, with well-known but also lesser-known attractions.

Berlin is a historically significant city, especially when it comes to architecture. These days the capital of Germany is ever-developing culturally, this city is a hot destination for a city trip for young and old. Berlin is one of the greenest cities in Europe, nearly a quarter of the city is made up of parks, lakes and canals. And it is probably the most vibrant city in Germany.

Berlin is an ideal for a city trip. The city can be visited all year round, but the summer is very busy. Also popular are spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October). You can clearly see why Berlin is one of the greenest cities in Europe when you go in spring or autumn. Almost a quarter of Berlin consists of parks, lakes and canals. In winter you have a chance of snow and it is relatively quiet at the larger museums, especially during the week.


The Reichstag in Berlin. ©Corno van den Berg

The world-famous Reichstag is one of Berlin's most iconic buildings. The remarkable building is a mix of styles and was designed by the Frankfurt architect Paul Wallot. Construction was completed in 1894. With the dome as the crown jewel.

Read my article on the Reichstag

Berlin Wall

Remnants of the Berlin Wall. ©Corno van den Berg

The Berlin Wall is one of the most impressive structures in the world, although little remains of it. You can still visit a few parts of the wall, I think the quest is fun. These leftover parts are very popular for photos. The wall in Berlin is now a symbol of the Cold War.

Read my article on the Berlin Wall

Berlin Cathedral

The Berlin Cathedral. ©Corno van den Berg

This is one of the most iconic buildings in the city. The Berlin Cathedral with its world-famous Sauer organ is one of the most important churches in the city. The church is beautifully situated along Unter den Linden. In front of it you will find a large lawn where you can relax with a bit of nice weather.

Read my article on the Berlin Cathedral

Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin.

It is one of the must-do's on your list. Although it may not be the most impressive. Checkpoint Charlie is the famous checkpoint on the border of East and West Berlin. In other words, between the Russian and American sectors. If you wanted to travel from East to West Berlin (or vice versa) at the time, this was one of the border checkpoints you passed.

Read my article on Checkpoint Charlie


Trabi Safari in Berlijn.

The Trabant is an iconic car. It is no longer in production. But you still see driving in Berlin, although they are becoming scarce. Through this Trabi-Safari you can get to know the car in a fun way (imagine nothing modern) and the city.

Read my article on a Trabi-Safari

Pergamon Museum

Pergamon Museum in Berlin. ©Corno van den Berg

The impressive Pergamon Museum is definitely worth a visit while in town. it is one of the most important museums in Germany. With countless special pieces from all over the world. A visit is a unique journey around the world.

Read my article on Pergamon Museum


Alexanderplatz in Berlin.

The most famous square in Berlin is Alexanderplatz. It is also popularly referred to as 'Alex'. Where you can still see enough traces of the rich past. Including a lot from the Cold War. The square is named after Alexander I, a liberal Russian tsar from Saint Petersburg.

Read my article on Alexanderplatz


Badeschiff in Spree river in Berlin.

There is a very special city swimming pool in Berlin. It's called Badeschiff and is located in the Spree river. The Badeschiff is an old freight container that was dumped in the Spree. It was an idea of artist Susanne Lorenz, who participated in the Stadtkunstprojekte in Berlin in 2004. You can swim or just relax with a lovely view.

Read my article on the Badeschiff

Neues Museum

Neues Museum in Germany.

This museum in Germany has become one of the most famous museums when it comes to old art treasures. The most famous in the collection is the bust of the Egyptian queen Nefertiti. But the papyrus collection is also praised by scientists.

Read my article on Neues Museum

Altes Museum

Altes Museum in Berlin.

Several museums in Berlin ranks among the most prestigious museums in Germany. The Altes Museum is one of those. The impressive building was designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. The architect who also designed the Konzerthaus and the Neue Wache, for example. He built the museum between 1823 and 1828.

Read my article on Altes Museum

Stasi Museum

Stasi Museum in Berlin.

If you're interested in the Cold War, the Stasi Museum is a must. The museum displays numerous remains, which well indicate how the inhabitants of East Germany were watched. And how, for example, evidence was collected by strong force.

Read my article on Stasi Museum

Großer Tiergarten

Tiergarten Berlin. ©Corno van den Berg

The Großer Tiergarten is by far the largest park in Berlin. Originally it was a hunting area, although it started small in 1527. But with the purchase of more and more land, the hunting grounds for the Brandenburg Electors grew larger and larger. Game was released in the immense area, while fences ensured that the animals could not escape.

Read my article on Großer Tiergarten

Accommodations in Berlin

The city offers countless options to stay for a couple of days. Spend the night in one of the many hotels, as there are also good (and clean) hostels and even cozy Bed & Breakfasts. You will find most of them in the center or just outside.

An Open Air Museum

Berlin has a turbulent past, and traces of it are still evident all around this city that’s practically an open-air museum. These days it’s known as a hip town, with something for young and old. 

Older people like the world-famous architecture, such as the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag building and Charlottenburg Palace. This kind of architecture adds to the city’s atmosphere and status, especially combined with its many art exhibitions and museums. 

Young people flock to Berlin because of its exciting nightlife, which is constantly evolving. Besides its many bars and clubs, the city is known for festivals, dance parties and other events. It’s also great for shopping, and it’s home to the largest department store in Europe, the KaDeWe (short for Kaufhaus des Westens) on the Kurfürstendamm. 

History of Berlin

But Berlin’s history has its dark sides. After Hitler and his national socialist party came into power, it became the capital of the Third Reich. Hitler declared a state of emergency here when the Reichstag parliament building was destroyed by fire in 1933.

Hitler ruled from Berlin for a very long time, giving orders that started the Second World War. The city centre was all but destroyed by hundreds of bombings during the war. Hitler committed suicide on April 30th in 1945, in a bunker under the city. 

After the war the Berlin was occupied by French, English, American and Soviet troops, and they split both Germany and Berlin into four sections. 

Berlin was also the centre of the Cold War, and the Berlin Wall was a lasting monument of the oppression by the Eastern Bloc and the US. There was even a threat of a nuclear war. 

The Berlin wall is still one of the most impressive structures around, and is often the first thing that people associate with Berlin. 

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