Berlin is the capital a st city in Germany, which brings visitors to the city for economic, political and touristic reasons.
A major stronghold for Germany’s government and financial decisions, underneath the diplomatic veneer you’ll discover an uber cool city that is on the radar of trendy tourists who stop by for art, music and some of the best night life in Europe.
With evocative monuments, interesting museums and diverse cuisine you will definitely want to include this city of cool in your travel plans.
What to see
A landmark attraction for Berlin, join the tourists taking photographs at the multi-columned Brandenburg Gate that was fortunate to survive bombings during the World Wars and is a symbol of peace after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The Berlin Wall is a major historical site in Berlin and was known for dividing communist East Germany from West Germany. Only a small portion of the wall remains today, but you can see the wall remnants and a Wall Victims Memorial south of the Reichstag, on the eastern end of Scheidemannstrasse. Seek out the East Side Gallery which is a 1.3 kilometer section of the wall on Mühlenstraße in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg painted by 150 artists on the side of the wall.
The cupola on the Reichstag building in Berlin is a familiar sight in Germany, and the spiral walkway in the glass dome to the rooftop offers unrivalled city views. You can visit the government building for free, though advance online reservations are needed.
What to do
Allot some time at Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage listed complex that presents 5 unique museums to visitors including the Altes Museum (Old Museum), Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery) and our pick - the most visited museum in Berlin, the Pergamon.
Head to the central Potdamer Platz square where you can immerse yourself in Berlin life among towering modern buildings, shopping, bars and restaurants. This square is a major hub for Berlin and has good public transport access. You can also see the footprint for the Berlin Wall.
Go shopping for jewellery, wooden toys, porcelain or German clocks from late November at one of the Christmas markets that are dotted around the city. Berlin has around 50 Christmas markets, including a large one in the Gendarmenmarkt and one near the Brandenburg Gate on Unter Den Linden. Browse the stalls and finish up with gingerbread and apple-spiced mulled wine.
Nearby things to see and do
Drive 40 minutes from Berlin to Potsdam that was the residence of the Prussian kings and German Kaisers, until 1918. Potsdam has lovely lakes and the palaces of Sanssouci, the largest World Heritage Site in Germany.
Best reached by car so you can enjoy the scenery enroute, the Spreewald (Spree Forest) is a UNESCO designated biosphere reserve located 100 kilometers southeast of Berlin. A picturesque area with canals, rivers and wetlands you can enjoy a leisurely boat tour on a wooden punt or picnic on riverbanks.