Best Berlin Sights That Can't Be Missed

Visiting a big city for the first time can be quite an intimidating experience. How do you best budget your precious time? How do you make sure not to miss something important? 10best has put together a list of essential sights to aid you in your planning.  They’re a mix of the iconic like the Brandenburg Gate and the lesser known like the Soviet War Memorial. We steer you both towards the bright lights of the Potsdamer Platz quarter and the heart-wrenching Holocaust Memorial. You can peek behind the Iron Curtain at the DDR (East Germany) Museum and stand next to its remnants at the Berlin Wall Memorial.

In Berlin, history stares you in the face wherever you go. Yes, the same can be said about many other cities, but there are few whose historical impact still feels relevant today. After all, it’s only been 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall – and with it the end of the Cold War. And since coming to terms with its Nazi past is paramount to Germans, you’ll also find plenty of sites, memorials and exhibits that ensure that this sinister chapter is not forgotten.

Whether out of inclination or necessity, Berlin is also a city that thrives on reinventing itself, making it one of the most dynamic places in Europe. If you’ve visited before, you’ll likely be surprised at the pace of change. And with big projects like the reconstruction of the Berlin City Palace continuing to get off the ground, Berlin will remain an exciting place to visit for a long time to come.

Oh well, just another monument, you might think. Think again, for the Soviet War Memorial in Treptow Park is the 'mother of all memorials', epic in proportion and gravitas. Incidentally, it is Mother Russia herself who greets visitors...  Read More

With its zigzag outline and silvery zinc façade, the exterior of Berlin's Jewish Museum, a masterpiece by Daniel Libeskind, is as bold as it is beautiful. While the expansive exhibit does address the 12 years of Nazi terror, its focus is...  Read More

What was daily life like behind the Iron Curtain? That's the '$64,000 question' this museum, which is as educational as it is fun and interactive, seeks to answer. Themed galleries train the spotlight on such topics as travel, education, family,...  Read More

Historic landmarks stare you in the face wherever you go in Berlin. That's why the postmodern hi-rises of Potsdamer Platz, Berlins' newest city quarter, actually provide a modicum of relief from the weight of the past. Of course, it too reflects...  Read More

Germany's central Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is devoted to remembering the millions of Jews who perished in the Nazi-orchestrated Holocaust. New York architect Peter Eisenman came up with a simple but powerful design to convey the...  Read More

Charlottenburg - Wilmersdorf

This stately palace had rather modest beginnings in 1699 as the summer villa of Sophie-Charlotte, wife of Elector Friedrich III. After Friedrich's promotion to king in 1701, he hired Swedish architect Johann Nering Eosander to expand the...  Read More


Federal government buildings tend to be imposing and the Reichstag, home of Germany's parliament (the Bundestag), is certainly no exception. Paul Wallot created the blueprint for this stately behemoth that opened in 1894, was badly damaged in...  Read More

Berlin's most popular museum is like a veritable Aladdin's Cave - only that the treasures are not oil lamps and coin-spilling chests but monumental structures and sculptures from Greece, Rome, Babylon and other ancient cultures. The key sight,...  Read More

Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer
Photo courtesy of Andrea Schulte-Peevers

It's more than a tad ironic that Berlin's most popular tourist attraction is one that actually no longer exists. From 1961 to 1989, the Berlin Wall was the most potent symbol of the Cold War. You can still find bits and pieces of this ugly...  Read More

Pariser Platz
Brandenburger Tor

The last of Berlin's surviving city gates is also one of its most photographed landmarks. And no wonder, for this splendid 12-columned triumphal arch linking the vast Tiergarten city park and the elegant boulevard Unter den Linden is indeed a...  Read More


Meet Andrea Schulte-Peevers

Andrea has made a living as a travel writer and photographer for over 20 years, visiting some 70 countries in the process and authoring a similar number of guidebooks, mostly for Lonely...  More About Andrea