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Ask A Concierge: Must-See Sites for Your First Trip to Berlin

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Sarah Dandashy of Ask A Concierge recently visited Berlin, Germany for the first time. As any traveler does on a first trip to a city, she visited some popular sites for tourists. Here are some of her top choices for must-see sites in Berlin, from the TV Tower to Checkpoint Charlie to the famous Eastside Gallery.

Alexanderplatz & the TV Tower

Swing through Alexanderplatz, Berlin’s largest and most centrally located public square and transportation hub. With three subway lines and several tram, bus, and train lines running through the station by the square, Alexanderplatz is one of Berlin’s busiest stations. Just a block off the square is the famous TV Tower (aka the Fernsehturm). Standing at 368 meters, it is the tallest structure in Germany. The tower has become one of the most identifiable landmarks in the country. Visitors can take the elevator up to the observation deck or grab a bite inside the restaurant at the top of the tower. With tickets starting at 13 euros and fast track options available, it’s an inexpensive activity and an incredible way to see the city and learn a bit of Berlin’s history.

Brandenberg Gate

Another well-known site in Berlin is the Brandenberg Gate. It is located where an old city gate used to exist which marked the start of the road from Berlin to the city of Brandenburg an der Havel. Since being built in 1791, the Brandenburg Gate has been a site for major historical events and is regarded as both a symbol of the tumultuous history and the unity and peace of Europe and Germany. History aside, it is also a great place to snap a photo during your trip to Berlin.

Hotel Adlon

Located just next to the Brandenberg Gate you will find the famed Adlon Hotel. This five-star hotel is truly legendary and one of the most famous hotels in Europe. It was originally built in 1907, inspired by modern hotels of the era like the Waldorf Astoria in New York and the Ritz in London and Paris. Known for its afternoon tea, it is a perfect place to stop for a little afternoon pick-me-up.

Eastside Gallery

The Eastside Gallery is the part of the Berlin wall that’s covered with over 100 murals painted in 1990 by artists from all over the world. Despite the obvious meaning and history associated with the Berlin Wall, the Eastside Gallery is now known as  an International Memorial for Freedom. The wall stretches nearly a mile long and ends right by the iconic Oberbaum Bridge.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (aka Holocaust Memorial)

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe site was constructed to honor and remember the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. It was designed by Peter Eisenman and Buro Happold and is comprised of 2711 concrete slabs in a grid-like pattern. There is an attached Information Center which holds the names of nearly three million Jews and displays some of the most important moments of the Holocaust.

Reichstag Building

The Reichstag Building is home to the German Parliament. Known for its role in history, it is also open to the public. There are tours available as well as access to the roof terrace and dome. The famous glass dome at the top of the Reichstag offers 360-degree views of the surrounding Berlin cityscape. One can also see Parliament’s “main hall” from inside the dome. Admission is free, but an advanced reservation and registration is required.

Check Point Charlie

One of the most well-known crossing points during World War II, Checkpoint Charlie was set up in 1961 and only foreigners were allowed to cross through it. It was the scene of infamous events and East Germany escapes. Today, Checkpoint Charlie is quite a tourist destination. Its iconic guardhouse is now a museum often flanked by actors dressed in historic garb.

So if you haven’t been before, hopefully this will give you a little direction. If you have been to Berlin, maybe this helps conjure some fantastic memories! What’s your favorite Berlin tourist site?

Want to learn more about visiting Berlin, Germany? Check out:

By Nino D. Gordeli and Sarah Dandashy for PeterGreenberg.com

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