Sightseeing in Berlin
Tours in Berlin
A city of contrasts and contradictions, Berlin symbolizes many different things to many different people. Berlin is the largest city of Germany and boasts of many tourists' attractions and places of interest.
Berlin can be considered as the city where some of the most important and tragical events in the 20st century took place, but nowadays in the 21st century, Berlin is alive and booming. When compared to other Western European cities like London, Rome or Paris, Berlin is still pretty cheap and you can really get some good deals while shopping. Berlin has about 4.9 million inhabitants and is home to world-renowned universities, research institutes, sporting events, orchestras and museums.
Berlin has lots of great museums to visit. The museums in Berlin are generally divided into the four geographical areas where they are located ; Museum Island, the Cultural Forum, Charlottenburg, and Dahlem. These museums are amongst the world's greatest cultural collections and art galleries.
If you take a city tour of Berlin by bus, you will see some of the most best sights in Berlin. This 3,5 hour long sightseeing tour will take you past, Museum Island, Potsdam Square, famous shopping malls like Kurfürstendamm, Unter den Linden, the famoust "East Side Gallery" and many more.
You can also take the City Circle Tour of Berlin, commentary is provided in 8 languages during the ride.You can hop-on and hop-off at 15 different landmarks around Berlin, the ticket is valid for 24 hours and can be used 7 days a week. For instance you could visit the Pergamon museum on the Museum Island and then take a cruise on the Spree river later.
There are very interesting walking tours in Berlin, that really let you discover it's impressive past. One of the most popular tour is the "Third Reich tour" that will let you experience the important events that took place in the 1st part of the last century during the Nazi regime. There are also several walking tours in Berlin that will show you how the city was devided into two separate parts during most of the second part of the 20st century.
During the summer there are several bike tours in Berlin that show you Berlin in a fun and exiting way.
When you have a couple of days in Berlin, you should consider taking a day tour to Potsdam which is the capital city of the federal state of Brandenburg.Potsdam is known as the former residence of the Prussian kings until 1918. The city features a series of interconnected lakes and unique cultural landscapes, in particular the parks and palaces of Sanssouci, the largest World Heritage site in Germany.
There are a lot of palaces in Potsdam that are worth a visit like the previously mentioned Sanssouci, New palace, Orangery palace, Charlottenhoff palace and many beautiful others.
If you have some more money to spend while you're in Berlin, you could think of taking a private tour of Berlin by mercedes sedan or mini-van with your own private guide. The guide will pick you up at your hotel and will show you Berlin in your own pace.
Sights in Berlin
This dynamic city is home to innumerable landmarks. The tallest structure in Berlin City, the Fernsehturm Television Tower is a prominent tourist attraction. Be sure to check out Potsdamer Platz complete with shops, bars, cafes and places of entertainment. You will come across the Egyptian Museum which incredibly houses 6000 year old artifacts. To de-stress oneself, you can visit Berlin's central park over 630 acres, the Tiergarten. The surroundings here full of gardens, trees, flowers and beer garden provide a secluded environment where one can quietly sit in solitude and experience peace within oneself. The Brandenburger Gate, an important symbol of German reunification is an important landmark which joins two sides of the city and has a busy road running underneath it.
Or if you wish to take a plunge in the sea, a visit to the Baltic coast of Berlin will help you find solace far from its maddening cities. Be it strolling on the beaches, sun bathing or indulging in any of the water sport like surfing, swimming, canoeing and kayaking, this coast offers all. Picnicking and camping in the Spreewald Forest is another fantastic site to have fun at.
The nightlife of Berlin remains active even during the wee hours of night. From thumping discotheques to somber cafe and pubs, Berlin's nightlife boasts of it all. So, whether or not you are a night animal, Berlin has something to offer you. Shopping is another activity that one can indulge in to unwind. Among the renowned malls in Berlin are 'Arkaden am Potsdamer Platz' and the Europa Center. Well equipped with modern facility and globally acclaimed brands, the shopping malls of Berlin provide a pleasant experience to the shoppers.
Full of attractions and beauty, Berlin also has many other historical places to visit.
The Reichstag was constructed from 1884-94 by Paul Wallot, is the seat of the German Bundestag or federal government and, with its new transparent dome, one of the biggest crowd-draws in Berlin. Its colorful past reflects the turbulence of German history since the 19th century.
This is the most legendary street in the whole city. It combines the architecture of the New Berlin with the tradition of the "Golden Twenties". In the Twenties, the 3.5 km long street was the location for pleasure palaces, cafes, theatres and variety theatres such as the famous "Wintergarten". After the division of the city, the Wall also cut through this street. Not only visitors but also the employees from the new, chic offices, agencies and media centres all enjoy the urban spirit and New York flair of the new Friedrichstrasse.
From 1961 to 1990, Checkpoint Charlie was the only border crossing point for the Allies, foreigners, employees of the Permanent Representation, and officials of the GDR. And it was the place where Soviet and American tanks stood face to face. Today, the checkpoint is commemorated by a border sign and a soldier's post.
Cruises and Boat tours in Berlin
Berlin has more then 180 kilometers of navigable waterways within the city and more than 1,700 bridges. The main waterways for cruises are the Spree river and the Landwehrskanals.
There are a lot of river cruises in Berlin ranging in length from one hour to all day. Many boat tours in Berlin depart daily, but some only run on specific days.
Among the most popular cruises in Berlin is the so called "Brückenfahrte" or Bridge cruise. This 3 hour cruise takes you along the River Spree and Landwehrkanal and you will pass under more than 40 bridges in Berlin. Some of them are just simple concrete structures,others are very impressive with elegant architectural styles from an era long ago. One of the most interesting bridges is the Oberbaumbrücke (Baum means tree in German; thus the name means something like "bridge at the upper Eastern tree"; this stemmed from the heavy tree trunk, covered in metal spikes, that was used as a boom to block the Spree river at night to prevent smuggling)
It's a double-deck 154 meter long wooden bridge crossing Berlin's river Spree, and is considered to be one of the city landmarks. It links Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg, former city districts that were divided by the Berlin wall, and the Oberbaumbrücke has become an important symbol of Berlin’s unity. They say that Berlin has 500 km of shore but this is considered the best part.
It is here at this part of the River Spree, called the "SpreeSpeicher" where the ecological solar cruise boat the Spree Shuttle leaves. If it's nice weather and you have some free time I would definitely take a cruise in Berlin.
There are boats of various sizes ranging from the previously mentioned solar boat that carries 6 to real river cruise boat that can take up to 200 people.
There are also special breakfast, lunch and dinner cruises in Berlin. You will pass sights as the Museuminsel ( Museum Island ) with it's impressive buildings, the Reichstag and various others, while you are dining on the river Spree. We can really recommend taking a dinner on a boat in Berlin when you're here, since it's a special way of seeing the city and dinner cruises are much cheaper then similar dinner cruises in other European cities like Amsterdam or London.
When it's nice weather you can also take a day long cruise that goes to one of the lakes in Berlin like the Muggelsee,Flakensee, Seddinsee, Langer See, Dameritzsee and Mollensee.The Müggelsee is the largest of the lakes in Berlin.(7.4 km²; 4.3 km long and 2.6 km broad). Some call it 'Großer Müggelsee' because you also have the 'Kleiner Müggelsee', or Small Muggel lake which is only 0.16 km². The lake itself is only 8 meters deep and at its south end are hills called the 'Müggelberge', which are 115 m high and were formed during the Pleistocene. On the so-called 'Kleiner Müggelberg',you can visited the popular 'Müggelturm' a tower that offers a marvelous view over the lake and the forests against the silhouette of Berlin.