• Inside the Reichstag

Berlin

No tour of Germany is complete without a look at its historic and reunited capital. As you enjoy the thrill of walking over what was the Wall and through the well-patched Brandenburg Gate, it's clear that history is not contained in some book; it's an exciting story of which we are a part. In Berlin, the fine line between history and current events is excitingly blurry. Even non-historians find Berlin captivating, lively, fun loving, all-around enjoyable — and easy on the budget. Explore the fun and funky neighborhoods emerging in the former East, packed with creative hipster eateries and boutiques trying to one-up each other. Go for a pedal or a cruise along the delightful Spree riverfront. In the city's world-class museums, stroll up the steps of a classical Greek temple amid rough-and-tumble ancient statuary, and peruse canvases by Dürer, Rembrandt, and Vermeer. Nurse a stein of brew in a rollicking beer hall, or dive into a cheap Currywurst. On the outskirts of town, at Potsdam, glide like a swan through the opulent halls of an imperial palace, and ponder the darkest chapter of this nation's history at the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Memorial.

At a Glance

▲▲▲ German History Museum The ultimate swing through Germany's tumultuous story.

▲▲▲ Pergamon Museum World-class museum of classical antiquities on Museum Island, featuring the fantastic second-century B.C. Greek Pergamon Altar and frieze.

▲▲ Reichstag Germany's historic parliament building, topped with a striking modern dome you can climb (reservations required).

▲▲ Brandenburg Gate One of Berlin's most famous landmarks, a massive columned gateway, at the former border of East and West.

▲▲ Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe Holocaust memorial with almost 3,000 symbolic pillars, plus an exhibition about Hitler's Jewish victims.

▲▲ Unter den Linden Leafy boulevard through the heart of former East Berlin, lined with some of the city's top sights.

▲▲ Neues Museum Egyptian antiquities collection (on Museum Island) and proud home of the exquisite 3,000-year-old bust of Queen Nefertiti.

▲▲ Gendarmenmarkt Inviting square bounded by twin churches (one with a fine German history exhibit), a chocolate shop, and a concert hall.

▲▲ Topography of Terror Chilling exhibit documenting the Nazi perpetrators, built on the site of the former Gestapo/SS headquarters.

▲▲ Museum of the Wall at Checkpoint Charlie Kitschy but moving museum with stories of brave Cold War escapes, near the former site of the famous East-West border checkpoint; the surrounding street scene is almost as interesting.

▲▲ Jewish Museum Berlin Engaging, accessible museum celebrating Jewish culture, in a highly conceptual building.

▲▲ Gemäldegalerie Germany's top collection of 13th- through 18th-century European paintings, featuring Holbein, Dürer, Cranach, Van der Weyden, Rubens, Hals, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Velázquez, Raphael, and more.

▲▲ Berlin Wall Memorial A "docu-center" with videos and displays, several outdoor exhibits, and lone surviving stretch of an intact Wall section.

Old National Gallery German paintings, mostly from the Romantic Age.

DDR Museum Quirky collection of communist-era artifacts.

New Synagogue Largest prewar synagogue in Berlin, damaged in World War II, with a rebuilt facade and modest museum.

 ▲ Potsdamer Platz The "Times Square" of old Berlin, long a postwar wasteland, now rebuilt with huge glass skyscrapers, an underground train station, and — covered with a huge canopy — the Sony Center mall.

Deutsche Kinemathek Film and TV Museum An entertaining look at German film and TV, from Metropolis to Dietrich to Nazi propaganda to the present day.

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church Evocative destroyed church in heart of the former West Berlin, with modern annex.

Käthe Kollwitz Museum The black-and-white art of the Berlin artist who conveyed the suffering of her city's stormiest century.

Plan

Photos

  • Walk Signal, Berlin, Germany
  • Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin, Germany
  • Reichstag Exterior, Berlin, Germany
  • Shell Game, Berlin, Germany
  • Brandenburg Gate at Night, Berlin, Germany
  • Berlin Wall 1990, Berlin, Germany
  • Berlin Wall 1990, Berlin, Germany
  • Brandenburg Gate at Night, Berlin, Germany
  • Spree River Boat, Berlin, Germany
  • Reighstag Dome Interior, Berlin, Germany
  • Chancellery, Spree River Boat Tour, Berlin, Germany
  • Dome Interior Displays, Reichstag, Berlin, Germany
  • Reichstag Dome Exterior at Night, Berlin, Germany
  • berlin-brandenberg-gate
  • berlin-wall

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