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Things to do in Berlin

Get your bearings from Norman Foster's glass cupola atop the Reichstag or the Siegessäule column overlooking Tiergarten's patchwork of greenery. A classic saunter through Mitte takes in tree-fringed Unter den Linden boulevard, the triumphal Brandenburg Gate and Unesco World Heritage galleries on Museum Island. Edging east brings you to Libeskind's zinc-clad Jewish Museum in Kreuzberg and an arty stretch of the Berlin Wall at Friedrichshain's East Side Gallery. Most museums open daily 10am-6pm (until 10pm Thursday).

Reichstag, Berlin. Courtesy of Berlin Tourismus Marketing GmbH
Natural History Museum, Berlin. Courtesy of the Natural History Museum
1

Natural History Museum

Scientific treasure trove

Berlin's Natural History Museum in the Mitte district showcases 30 million zoological, paleontological and mineralogical specimens, and is the biggest of its kind in Germany. The highlight of the collection is the world's largest assembled dinosaur skeleton, a Brachiosaurus brancai.



Cost

€6; concessions €3.50

Opening Hours

Tue-Fri 9.30am-5pm; Sat & Sun 10am-6pm

Address

43 Invalidenstrasse, Berlin 10115

Telephone

+49 (0) 30 2093 8591

Transport

Zinnowitzer Strasse U-Bahn

Website

Natural History Museum Website

Jewish Museum, Berlin. Photo by Jens Ziehe, © Jüdisches Museum Berlin
2

Jewish Museum

German-Jewish History

Daniel Libeskind's zinc-clad edifice in Kreuzberg houses the Jewish Museum, evoking a broken Star of David. Tunnels lead to the bare concrete Holocaust Tower, Menashe Kadishman's Shalechet void filled with 10,000 iron faces, and a heart-rending exhibition mapping German-Jewish history.



Cost

€5; concessions €2.50; under-6s free

Opening Hours

Mon 10am-10pm; Tue-Sun 10am-8pm (last entry 1 hour before closing)

Address

9-14, Lindenstrasse, Berlin 10969

Telephone

+49 (0) 30 2599 3300

Transport

Hallesches Tor U-Bahn

Website

Jewish Museum Website

DDR Museum, Berlin. Photo by Heather Sills
3

DDR Museum

Back to the GDR

The DDR Museum in Berlin Mitte is an eye-opening look at everyday life behind the Iron Curtain. From watching TV in a Communist-era living room to revving a Trabant, this hands-on museum's exhibits present an exploration of former East Germany.



Cost

€5.50; concessions €3.50

Opening Hours

Daily 10am-8pm; Sat until 10pm

Address

1, Karl-Liebknecht Strasse, Berlin 10178

Telephone

+49 (0) 30 8471 23731

Transport

Alexanderplatz U-Bahn/S-Bahn

Website

DDR Museum Website

Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin. © Presse- und Informationsamt des Landes Berlin & mib, 2002
4

Hamburger Bahnhof

Avant-garde arthouse

Housed in an old railway station, Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin Tiergarten harbours a peerless contemporary art collection. The echoing halls display works from modern masters like Lichtenstein, Hirst and Beuys. An undisputed highlight is Warhol's grinning Chairman Mao.



Cost

€12; concessions €6; under-16s free

Opening Hours

Tue-Fri 10am-6pm; Sat 11am-8pm; Sun 11am-6pm

Address

50-51, Invalidenstrasse, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin 10557

Telephone

+49 (0) 30 3978 3411

Transport

Hauptbahnhof S-Bahn

Website

Hamburger Bahnhof Website

Picture Gallery, Berlin. © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
5

Berlin Picture Gallery

European Old Masters

Berlin Tiergarten's Picture Gallery shelters a staggering collection of 13th- to 18th-century European art. A journey through its 72 rooms reveals masterpieces by Raphael, Titian, Vermeer and Caravaggio. Be sure to admire the octagonal gallery graced with 16 Rembrandt originals.



Cost

€8; concessions €4; under-16s free; Thu 6pm-10pm free

Opening Hours

Tue-Sun 10am-6pm (until 10pm Thu)

Address

Matthäikirchplatz, Berlin 10785

Telephone

+49 (0) 30 266 2951

Transport

Potsdamer Platz U-Bahn/S-Bahn

Website

State Museums of Berlin Website

Pergamon Museum, Berlin. Photo by F Friedrich, © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
6

Pergamon Museum

Ancient Greece in Berlin

The Pergamon Museum is the star attraction of Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visitors are transported to Ancient Greece via the marble steps of the Pergamon Altar, then to Babylon, and the mosaic Ishtar Gate emblazoned with mythical unicorns.



Cost

€10; concessions €5; under-16s free; Thu 6pm-10pm free

Opening Hours

Daily 10am-6pm; Thu until 10pm

Address

5, Am Kupfergraben, Berlin 10117

Telephone

+49 (0) 30 2090 5577

Transport

Friedrichstrasse U-Bahn/S-Bahn

Website

State Museums of Berlin Website

Reichstag, Berlin. Courtesy of Berlin Tourismus Marketing GmbH
7

Reichstag

Parliament of glass

Sir Norman Foster's striking glass cupola atop the Reichstag (German Parliament) draws architecture lovers to Tiergarten. A lift races up to the crystalline dome, where a mirrored funnel creates optical illusions and a viewing platform shrinks Berlin to toytown scale.



Cost

Free

Opening Hours

Daily 8am-12am (last entrance 10pm)

Address

1, Platz der Republik, Berlin 10111

Telephone

+49 (0) 30 227 0

Transport

Bundestag U-Bahn

Website

Bundestag Website

Fernsehturm, Berlin. © Andy Christiani
8

Fernsehturm

Soviet-era landmark

With its giant silver sphere and needle-thin tower, the 368m-high Fernsehturm (Telecommunications Tower) in the Mitte district is Berlin's most visible landmark. Dominating Alexanderplatz, this monument of the GDR in the 60s affords sweeping views that reach up to 40km on clear days.



Cost

€10; under-16s €5.50; under-3s free

Opening Hours

Mar-Oct daily 9am-12am; Nov-Feb daily 10am-12am

Address

1a, Panoramastrasse, Berlin 10178

Telephone

+49 (0) 30 24 75 75 37

Transport

Alexanderplatz U-Bahn/S-Bahn

Website

Fernsehturm Website

Siegessäule, Berlin. Courtesy of Berlin Tourismus Marketing GmbH
9

Siegessäule

Victory column

Rising high above Tiergarten's greenery, Siegessäule commemorates victory in the Prussian-Danish war. Perched atop the column is the winged Victoria statue, nicknamed 'Golden Else' by Berliners. Scale 285 steps to the platform for far-reaching views over central Berlin.



Cost

€2.20; concessions €1.50

Opening Hours

Apr-Oct Mon-Fri 9.30am-6.30pm; Sat & Sun 9.30am-7pm, Nov-Mar Mon-Fri 10am-5pm; Sat & Sun 10am-5.30pm

Address

1, Grosser Stern, Berlin 10557

Telephone

+49 (0) 30 391 2961

Transport

Hansaplatz U-Bahn

Website

Siegessäule Website

Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin. © Andy Christiani
10

Checkpoint Charlie

East meets west

Symbol of a once-divided city and former border crossing between East and West Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie now draws camera-toting tourists to its reconstructed guardhouse and soldiers' post in the Mitte district. The adjacent Mauermuseum tells real-life stories of ingenious escape attempts.



Cost

Free (Museum €12.50; concessions €5.50-€9.50)

Opening Hours

Daily 9am-10pm

Address

43-45, Friedrichstrasse, Berlin 10969

Telephone

+49 (0) 30 253 7250

Transport

Kochstrasse U-Bahn

Website

Mauermuseum Website

East Side Gallery, Berlin. © Andy Christiani
11

East Side Gallery

Art by the wall

A remnant of the Berlin Wall, the East Side Gallery stretches 1.3km through Friedrichshain. Artists have revamped dull concrete to create the world's largest open-air gallery, featuring 106 airbrushed murals from Trabant cars to politically charged works like Bruderkuss (Brotherly Kiss).



Cost

Free

Opening Hours

Daylight hours

Address

Mühlenstrasse, Berlin 10243

Telephone

+49 (0) 30 251 7159

Transport

Warschauer Strasse U-Bahn

Website

East Side Gallery Website

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin. Courtesy of Berlin Tourismus Marketing GmbH (BTM)/Kirchner
12

Brandenburg Gate

Triumphal arch

Towering above Pariser Platz square in Berlin Mitte, neoclassical Brandenburg Gate is the most potent symbol of German reunification. Look up to glimpse Victoria, goddess of victory, charging forth on Quadriga. At dusk, light bathes its Doric columns in gold.



Cost

Free

Opening Hours

Daily all day

Address

Pariser Platz, Berlin 10117

Transport

Brandenburger Tor S-Bahn

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Berlin. Courtesy of Berlin Marketing Tourismus GmbH
13

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Sombre Holocaust museum

Comprising 2711 dark concrete slabs, the labyrinthine Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Tiergarten is Peter Eisenman's moving tribute to victims of the Holocaust. Dark, narrow alleyways between the slabs eventually emerge at the Information Centre's permanent exhibition.



Cost

Free but donations appreciated

Opening Hours

Daily all day (Information Centre: Apr-Sep Tue-Sun 10am-8pm, Oct-Mar Tue-Sun 10am-7pm)

Address

1, Cora-Berliner-Strasse, Berlin 10117

Telephone

+49 (0) 30 2639 4336

Transport

Brandenburger Tor S-Bahn

Website

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe Website

Tiergarten, Berlin. Photo by Heather Sills
14

Tiergarten

Green haven

A swathe of greenery in the heart of Berlin, Tiergarten is where locals flock when the sun is out. Once a Prussian hunting ground, the city's largest park is crisscrossed with footpaths leading to tranquil lakes, mature woodland and English-style gardens.



Cost

Free

Opening Hours

Daylight hours

Address

Berlin 10557

Transport

Tiergarten S-Bahn

Unter den Linden, Berlin. © Presse- und Informationsamt des Landes Berlin & mib, 2002
15

Unter den Linden

Showcase boulevard

Flanked by lime trees, Under den Linden is Berlin's classic strolling boulevard in Mitte. Linking Brandenburg Gate with Schlossbrücke bridge, the former Prussian bridle path is studded with monumental landmarks including Humboldt University, where Einstein taught.



Cost

Free

Opening Hours

Daily all day

Address

Berlin 10117

Transport

Brandenburger Tor S-Bahn

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