Berlin is an amazing European city to visit. Even though you would see it as a metropolitan city when traveling to the German capital for the first time, Berlin embodies a great deal of history. Drawing from my recent travels to Berlin, I am going to recommend the top places to visit in Berlin.
The first and most important place to visit is Brandenburg Gate, which used to be the crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. Located in Pariser Platz, Brandenburg embodies an impressive neoclassical architecture with the Goddess Victoria, goddess of victory, gracing the top of the gate. Near Brandenburg Gate, another significant sight is the Reichstag, the state government building where Parliament meets on a daily basis. When visiting the Reichstag, I highly encourage you to climb up to the circular glass dome where they have an accessible view of Parliament at work.
Another vital historical sight not to be overlooked is Bebel Platz along Unter den Linden. Bebel Platz is the spot where the book burning memorial is located remembering the first Nazi book burning that occurred in May 1933. The memorial is a glass window in the pavement where viewers can look into a row of empty white shelves resembling the missing books that were burned. The best time to visit the book burning memorial is at night where you can clearly see the shelves in the brightly lighted underground room. It is quite a sight of light shining in the middle of the Bebel Platz. During the day on the sidewalks, you can see several street vendors selling books to people in order to make up for all those books that were burning during the Nazi regime.
Moreover, when visiting Berlin and learning about its history, you must not miss is the Berlin Wall. Currently, there are two locations where one can visit the Wall. The first one is the Berliner Mauer Dokumentationszentrum which has a section of the original wall. The second location is the East Side Gallery which is the longest stretch of the wall that still remains present today. Along with the wall, if you want to gain more knowledge of the Cold War history, another sight I recommend is Checkpoint Charlie guardhouse located in Kreuzberg., this guardhouse was a border between the US territory of West Germany and Soviet Union territory of East Germany where you still see the sign saying “You are now leaving the American sector” with a US soldier’s picture facing you even though the original guardhouse has been reconstructed as a Hollywood-type setting.
Here is a list of other notable sights worth visiting in Berlin:
* Kaiser-Wilhelm church: This church that was bombed quite harshly during World War Two. Fortunately, parts of the church were saved and now serve as a illustrated reminder of the intensity surrounding World War Two.
* Holocaust Memorial: This simple yet moving memorial of gray walls at different volumes is a symbolic tribute to the victims of the holocaust.
* Pergamonmuseum: Berlin is filled with many museums but I definitely encourage you to visit this museum because it has a wide range of Greek sculptures and architecture. Its most beautiful possession is the Ishar Gate from Babylon.