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Sightseeing



Putting together an itinerary for seeing all the best sights this vacation? Perhaps you've got a few hours to kill between business meetings, and want to know the best stuff to see. Either way, our 10Best list should have you covered. While there are always great things to experience, there are typically things you wish you would have passed on as well. Brandenburger Tor located in the Mitte area is among our top picks for sightseeing in Berlin.


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Positioned between Brandenburg Gate and Unter den Linden, this square was named in honor of the 1814 capture of Paris. Prior to World War II, it was flanked by embassies and was the grandest square in Berlin. Massive damage during the war and the subsequent division of Berlin turned the square into a veritable \"no man's land.\" However, Pariser Platz was reborn in 1990 and once again plays a prominent role in the city's pulse, lovely flower beds and grand fountains a marked departure from its Cold War barrenness. Among the noteworthy buildings and structures located there are embassies, banks, the Hotel Aldon and the esteemed Academy of Art, Berlin. U-BAHN: Unter den Linden

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Perhaps one of Berlin's most solemn – and controversial – sites, the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe occupies a wide expanse between Brandenburger Tor and Potsdamer Platz. Exactly 2711 concrete slabs form a chilling grey grid over the area known as the Field of Stelae. The stelae represent the horrible scope of the Holocaust and are arranged at varying heights, creating a subtle wave-like appearance. Designed by NY architect Peter Eisenman, the site and its visitor center opened to the public on 12 May 2005; among those in attendance that day were several Holocaust survivors. S-BAHN: Unter den Linden or Potsdamer Platz; U-BAHN: Potsdamer Platz

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Since the end of Communism in 1989, this bustling eastern square has enjoyed an ongoing transformation. The railway station splits the area in half, with the Platz proper on one side and the Marx-Engels Forum and Television Tower on the other. Be sure to visit the café located at the pinnacle of the Television Tower. It revolves 360 degrees every 30 minutes and offers a majestic view of Berlin. S-BAHN, U-BAHN: Alexanderplatz

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Frederick the Great Statue

An equestrian statue of this notorious Prussian king overlooks the legendary Unter den Linden boulevard. In 1945, the statue was sent to nearby Potsdam, the city where Frederick built his monumental palace, but it was returned in 1980. Today, it towers above a landscape of symmetrically aligned trees, Humboldt University buildings, and neoclassical palaces. U-BAHN: Unter den Linden

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Pariser Platz
Brandenburger Tor

Built in 1791 as a customs collection post and recalling the design of the Acropolis's Propylaea, this formidable columned structure has served as an icon of both German factionalism and solidarity. In 1961, the Wall was built and the gate sealed off. After the Wall fell in 1989, the area was reopened to the public. The neighboring plaza is marked with merchant stalls. Located on the eastern edge of Tiergarten. S-BAHN: Unter den Linden

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Hackesche Höfe


These nine interwoven business and residential courtyards were completed in 1906. After surviving both World Wars, Hackesche Höfe was completely renovated in the 1990s, making it one of Berlin's most frequented areas. Europe's largest surviving system of courtyards is a charming matrix of shops, cafés and restaurants, with elements of historical Berlin throughout. Courtyards are open 24 hours; shop and cafe hours vary. S-BAHN: Hackescher Markt

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Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand

This fascinating educational center chronicles the resistance movement against National Socialism from 1933 to 1945 via exhibits, archival material, and events. The center also oversees a memorial honoring the nearly 3000 people murdered at the Plötzensee prison from 1933 to 1945. S-BAHN and U-BAHN: Potsdamer Platz

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Jüdischer Friedhof Weißensee
Photo courtesy of rachel beckley

This cemetery is noted as the burial site of Herbert Baum, leader of a secret Jewish resistance movement in Berlin during the rise of the Third Reich. In 1942, Baum and his supporters were arrested for burning a Nazi propaganda display. Baum later died in prison, and the remaining members of the movement were eventually arrested, tortured and executed. Their efforts are honored by a memorial here. Male visitors are asked to wear head coverings. Closed on Jewish holidays.

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Neue Wache

Built following the revolt against Napoleon with a design by Schinkel, Neue Wache recalls a Roman castrum. After the November Revolution of 1918, the building was vacant for several years, until serving as a World War I memorial in 1931. The Nazis later converted the facility into a \"Reich Memorial,\" although it was eventually re-commissioned as a \"Memorial to the Victims of Fascism and Militarism\" in 1960. Since 1993, this has been the \"Central Memorial of the Federal Republic of Germany.\" U-BAHN: Unter den Linden

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