10 things to do in Berlin if you're going there for the first time
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- Itineraries and Free Time
1. Take a tour of Alexanderplatz
Impossible to visit Berlin without passing Alexanderplatz. The square is the symbol of the German capital and, on balance, it can represent the beginning of your itinerary, being very central and easily reachable by any means. Located in the Mitte district, the heart of the now former East Berlin, the square is a place of monuments, famous buildings, shopping malls, pubs, lounge bars and restaurants. Do not miss the fountain of friendship between peoples and the Urania Weltzeituhr, the majestic Urania clock, meeting point in the center of Alexanderplatz. For a meal or an hour of shopping with a view, instead, the Kaukhof Gallery offers more than 5 floors of shops and restaurants.
2. Climb the TV Tower
A few meters from Alexanderpatz, the TV Tower is a must-see in Berlin. Visible both day and night, the tower is characterized by the classic obelisk structure, surmounted by a three-quarter height sphere. The building is 368 meters high and also houses a restaurant that rotates 360 degrees, thus guaranteeing an unparalleled experience, as well as a breathtaking view of the capital.
3. Visit the Government Quarter
From the eastern area we pass to the western one. The Government District impresses with its grandeur, perfection and architecture. Fulcrum of the political and diplomatic life of Germany and the European Union, the district is dominated by the immense park, the Tiergarten (which gives its name to the entire area) where you can enjoy a few hours of absolute relaxation between a walk, a beer and why not, a nice meal of currywurst. In the Tiegarten stand the Reichstag Building (the famous German Parliament) with its bewitching glass dome, the Victory Column and the official residence of the President of the Republic, Bellevue Castle.
4. Go through the Brandenburg Gate
Among the symbolic monuments of Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate always gives strong emotions, especially when illuminated, at night. The Brandenburg Gate impresses with its architectural grandeur but also has a strong symbolic value, being the emblem of freedom and reunified Berlin. Crossing one of the six majestic colonnades that support the building, don't forget to admire the quadrille, which dominates the top of the monument with the Goddess Victoria and her glorious chariot.
5. Photographing the best graffiti in the East-SideGallery
You say Berlin and you immediately think of the historic Wall. The East-Side Gallery is the longest stretch of wall still standing and runs along the Mhülenstrasse for almost a kilometer and a half. The wall, in this section, becomes a real open-air art gallery. The art is made by the numerous graffiti that make it unique and that keep alive the memory of a moment of history that cannot be forgotten. The kiss between Erich Honecker and Leonid Brežnev is perhaps the symbolic mural of the East Side Gallery, but there are so many works to admire (and photograph). In fact, what about the Trabant that seems to break through the wall or the colorful “Frieden”.
6. Attend an underground party
East-SideGallery is not only an important place from a historical point of view, but also the most underground area of the city. In fact, near the Wall there are the best clubs where you can dance to techno music and show off your nonconformist side. The discos in the area are distinguished by bizarre furnishings and unusual settings, such as former power plants, abandoned railway depots (such as the Panorama Bar) or old industrial warehouses.
7. "Get lost" in the Holocaust Memorial
In Memorial dedicated to the murdered Jews of Europe you get lost in all senses. The complex is a few steps from the Brandenburg Gate and consists of 2.711 dark gray rectangular pillars of various heights, which stand out seamlessly along a perimeter of almost twenty thousand square meters. Walking in the labyrinth of these infinite pillars, on a floor that is wavy and irregular, is a very engaging experience from an emotional point of view, amidst bewilderment, anguish and often even fright.
8. Rediscovering yourself as a child at Legoland
To disconnect from museums and monuments, you can rediscover yourself as a child at the Legoland Discovery Center. Located not too far from the main attractions of the city, Legoland is an exciting stop, obviously to be visited in the company of the little ones. The largest center in the world dedicated to the famous bricks offers 3.500 m2 of attractions and fun, where you can enhance your creativity and admire the best works of art made, obviously with the legendary Legos.
9. Go shopping in the Kurfürstendamm stores
Kurfürstendamm it is the great trade route and is frequented by thousands of visitors and Berliners every day. It is impossible to miss this stage your first time in Berlin, also because it is here that the Hard Rock Café is located, a fixed appointment for the average tourist. In the street there are mega stores (all of the Europa Center) and numerous restaurants, from the usual fast-food restaurants to more characteristic places. At the end of the circle of bars and shops, here is the surprise: the Breitshceidtplatz, that is to say the evocative Church of Remembrance, with the well-known bombed bell tower.
10. Have dinner in Piazza Savigny
To disconnect from the hectic life of greater Berlin, Savignyplatz is a calm and relaxing place, where the capital's historic restaurants, bookstores, cafes and breweries gather. In the heart of the Charlottenburg district, this square is ideal for a quiet and tasteful evening. Among the many clubs we point out the Zwiebelfisch with a rather bohemian air, the Quasimodo for sophisticated drinks and jazz music and the Schwarzes Cafe, a delicious corner of Berlin to be experienced, with family as well as with friends.
Did you like our mini guide? Tell us in the comments the other attractions you would recommend for newbies to Berlin. If you are the neophyte, discover more Berlin attractions with our guides!