Berlin Travel Guide

Berlin's Top 6 Visitor Attractions

Vibrant Berlin is the capital of Germany - for this article, we focus on Berlins's top six must-see visitor attractions ranging from the powerful Reichstag building - to the viewing platform at the 368m tall Berliner Fernsehturm (TV Tower). Read on to find out more.

Reichstag Building

1. Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate)

The Brandenburg Gate was built in 1790 and has become Berlin's most Symbolic landmark - it's also the focal point of the city's turbulent history. The impressive 6m high Quadriga sculpture sits proudly above the central arch - and represents the goddess of peace.

The Brandenburg was built to celebrate Prussian victory in the Seven Years' War and now stands proud in the centre of stylish Pariser Platz (an elegant part of the city) - close to world embassies and upmarket hotels. The gate has been a powerful and political symbol of Germany for many decades, with rulers, military parades, Statesmen, and demonstrators all feeling compelled to march through the Brandenburger Tor.

Top Tip: For a great photo opportunity, visit the Brandenburg Gate on a clear day just before sunset, as the sun can catch the monument beautifully.

2. Reichstag Building

Visit the Reichstag Building - the ultimate German and political history museum. Instantly recognisable by the addition of a large and impressive egg-shaped glass and steel dome on its roof. The Reichstag is an important historic government building housing the Bundestag, the German federal parliament, it also houses an interesting exhibition on parliamentary history. Originally built in 1884 and bombed during the war the building is now transformed into one of the world's most modern parliamentary buildings.

The Reichstag is easily reached via public transport - the nearest U-Bahn station is the Bundestag, with the city's main rail station (the Hauptbahnhof) being just a short distance away.

Top Tip: The roof terrace and dome of the Reichstag Building are open to visitors, they provide spectacular views of the parliamentary and government buildings plus the Tiergarten (the city's largest and most popular park.)

To Visit the Reichstag, you have to register in advance. For further information and to register online to visit the Reichstag, click here.

Top Tips: Visit the popular Käfer roof garden restaurant located on the Reichstag's roof terrace. The restaurant offers modern German cuisine made with fresh, regional products and has great views across the city. To visit the Dome you must book and register in advance (preferably at least 2-3 days or a few weeks during the main holiday season). Remember to take your passport as you will need it to enter the building.

3. Potsdamer Platz

Potsdamer Platz stands as a symbol of new Berlin - a modern city within a city. Potsdamer Platz is a central entertainment hub and meeting place where modern skyscrapers meet the old town. The city's modern heartbeat can be found in Potsdamer Platz, with a build cost of around €‎17 billion. The area is full of shops, bars, restaurants, cinemas and is conveniently close to the southeast corner of Tiergarten Park. The square contains the following landmarks:

  • The Sony Centre is Sony's German HQ. The centre is an impressive modern and futuristic development with a world-famous roof structure. The structure spans a column-free plaza that can be lit with an interesting display. The centre houses advanced cinemas, shops, bars and restaurants.
  • The Kollhoff Tower, the tower stands on the northern edge of the Potsdamer Platz. On the 24th and 25th floors, there's an open-air viewing platform and a café.
  • The Arkaden is a flagship shopping centre. The centre contains over 130 shops, a food hall, 15+ eateries, plus exclusive boutiques, nearby you'll find CinemaX and the Casino Spielbank.
  • Visit the Deutsche Kinemathek at Potsdamer Platz, it holds interesting exhibits relating to the Babelsberg and classic Hollywood eras, including Marlene Dietrich's costumes. You can join a guided tour guide that takes you through more than 100 years of German film history
Berlin Cityscape

4. Museumsinsel

A must-see is Museumsinsel, Germany's most visited and prized museum complex located in a beautiful setting on Spree Island, central Berlin. The area encompasses five large world-class museums and includes the world-famous 3,000-year-old bust of Nefertiti, located in the North Dome Hall of the Neues Museum. The location and architecture of the Museumsinsel complex are stunning and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. Museumsinsel can be reached easily by public transport, the U5 line stops outside Unter den Linden station and S-Bahn stations Friedrichstraße and Hackescher Markt is just a short walk away. Trams M1 and 12 operate to nearby Kupfergraben.

5. Kulturforum

The Kulturforum lies just west of Potsdamer Platz. The Kulturforum is a collection of cultural buildings built in the 1960s and includes the modern and beautifully designed Philharmonie building, home to Berlin's Philharmonic Orchestra. You'll also find the Gemaldegalerie, the city's largest art gallery with an impressive display of European masters dating from the 13th to the 18th centuries. Also included are the Musical Instrument Museum and the Kunstgewerbe Museum (Museum of Decorative Arts). The Kulturforum at Potsdamer Platz is connected to the S- and U-Bahn network. Top Tip: If using the public transport system, buy the Berlin WelcomeCard and for a one-off payment add the museum pass allowing you to visit 30 museums free of charge.

Berlin TV Tower

6. Berliner Fernsehturm (TV Tower).

The impressive Berliner Fernsehturm (TV Tower) opened in 1969 and is the tallest structure in Germany at 368m. The Tower is centrally located near Alexanderplatz and should be on your must-visit list. The observation deck is located 203m above ground level and provides spectacular 360° panoramic views across the city.

Other tower attractions include a cocktail bar called Bar 203​ and a well-rated revolving restaurant called the Sphere. There are several ticket combinations and visitor options available, ranging from observation deck tickets to various restaurant and cocktail bar packages. A popular ticket option is the fast-track entry and a window table in the Sphere restaurant. Reservations for the Tower must be made in advance and can be booked via the Berliner Fernsehturm website.

Author: Chris R. Wilson.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information at the time of writing, please ensure you check carefully before making any decisions based on the contents of this article. The use of this site and third-party links is subject to our T&Cs.