The city of Berlin is a delight for all the senses, with its bustling street life, friendly people, world class museums and exciting night life. Berlin has long been the cultural center for the people of Germany, and it remains one of the most popular of all European destinations. There is plenty to see and do in Berlin, and first time visitors may need to take some time just to soak it all in.
Berlin is a veritable delight for the art lover, with its many fine museums celebrating art across the centuries. Opera lovers will find much to love in this world class city as well, as Berlin plays host to many fine performances celebrating both German and non-German operas.
Lovers of fine architecture will also delight as they visit Berlin. This distinctly European city is home to some of the world’s most stunning and diverse architecture anywhere, and visitors can find everything from baroque style buildings to villas inspired by fine Italian architects and designers.
In fact there is so much for visitors to see and do in Berlin that those touring the city for the first time can become quite overwhelmed. First time visitors may want to book one of the many walking or motor coach tours of the city for an overview of the many fine attractions the city has to offer. First time visitors should also be sure they make time for some of the most famous attractions to call Berlin their home, including:
The Brandenburg Gate
No trip to Berlin would be complete without a visit to the famed Brandenburg Gate, arguably one of the most instantly recognizable structures in the entire world. The Brandenburg Gate is also perhaps the most photographed site in Berlin, and it stands with London’s Big Ben and France’s Eiffel Tower as the symbol of Germany.
The Brandenburg Gate is more than 200 years, and throughout its long life this structure has been witness to many of history’s most famous and infamous events. This famous gate was first begun way back in 1789, and it was completed two years later in 1791. The most famous symbol of Brandenburg Gate, namely the four horse chariot mounted on top of the structure, was added after Napoleon was defeated.
During the days of the Cold War, the Brandenburg Gate towered over the infamous Berlin Wall, and since the wall’s collapse it has become a national symbol for a newly unified Germany. The newly constructed Pariser Platz now surrounds the gate, making this area a great one to explore at leisure. The contrast between east and west is on display here, and the Brandenburg Gate is certainly a must see for any visitor to Berlin.
Speaking of the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie is another must see for any Berlin visitor. No visit to Berlin would be complete without a visit to this infamous symbol of oppression, and Checkpoint Charlie is a fascinating destination for any history buff.
Checkpoint Charlie is home to a fine museum detailing the history of the Berlin Wall, from its construction to its eventual collapse. The museum also hosts a number of special events throughout the year, including speeches by those who managed to escape the East Germany and lectures by visiting historians. Tours are also available, and those tours are well worth the time.
Visitors to the Brandenburg Gate should be sure to pay a visit to the nearby Reichstag. This famous building is definitely a must see for any first time visitor. The Reichstag was of course badly damaged by the famous fire of 1933, but it has since been rebuilt and is now one of the most famous structures in Germany. The Reichstag features a stunning glass and steel cupola, and its roof is home to a restaurant that is very popular with visitors from around the world.