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Is Berlin Worth Visiting? 9 Memorable Reasons To Visit Germany’s Capital

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I was born in Germany, so when I caught the travel bug, I knew I simply had to visit the capital of this beautiful country I once called home. Reflecting on my time in this trendy yet haunting city, I’m glad I took the time to visit Berlin.

Berlin is a thriving centre for culture, modernity and magnificence today. But its scarred past shows through – from the bullet holes embedded in the city’s buildings to various monuments dedicated to Germany’s disturbing history.

I must confess I was impressed with Berlin as it wasn’t “hiding” this part of its heritage. Instead, the city’s monuments seek to remind us of the past and how we must learn from it so as not to allow history to repeat itself.

After spending several days exploring and learning as much about Germany’s capital as I could, I thought I’d list my top nine reasons why you might also want to visit Berlin.

9 Memorable Reasons Why Berlin Is Worth Visiting

1. Berlin is steeped in history

Soviet War Memorial in Berlin
The Soviet War Memorial in Berlin is dedicated to the 80,000 lives lost during the Battle of Berlin in 1945

Everywhere you look, you’re reminded of what sheer destruction happened here during World War II.

When walking through this beautiful city, take a few moments to look closely wherever you are. Many of Berlin’s historic buildings are scarred by bullet holes, which is a haunting reminder of the city’s past.

And then there are the memorials dedicated to this dark time in history. For example, The Soviet War Memorial within the incredible Tiergarten parkland is one of several memorials erected by the Soviet Union to commemorate the 80,000 lives lost during the Battle of Berlin in 1945.

The memorial itself is large (as it should be) and requires a few moments to respect it and the lives it represents. Behind the memorial are a series of boards that help you to understand the history of the battle and why the memorial was constructed.

Although some people may find it morbid to remember this period of European history, I was impressed that these memories are not hidden away here. Although there were negative times in the past, the city of Berlin has risen above it and progressed as a thriving and trendy city.

2. Berlin helps you appreciate life

Holocaust Memorial in Berlin
The Holocaust Memorial is haunting to visit

The Holocaust Memorial is one of the most haunting destinations you can go to in Berlin. But it’ll quickly make you realise just how precious life is.

When you look at the 7,200 concrete pillars that make up this memorial from the nearby streets, they look to be the same height as each other.

It’s only as you wander closer to the middle of the memorial that you realise the stones are towering high above you.

Deliberately disorientating, the memorial seeks to demonstrate the vast damage that the Second World War inflicted on both the Jewish people and countries all over the world.

3. You’ll want to spend hours exploring the parks

When researching my trip to Berlin, I was surprised to hear that the parks were worth looking into. For me, this trip was all about the history and architecture of the place. However, I’m so pleased my brother and I listened to our guidebook suggesting walks around the parks.

Tiergarten

Up first is the vast landscaped park of Tiergarten, which used to serve as a hunting ground for the Hohenzollern Princes. Today, it serves a far more relaxing purpose of being a vast green space perfect for daytime strolls.

Tiergarten will easily take you many hours to explore. You’ll find meandering rivers, glistening ponds and archaic statues as you wander.

Towards the centre of this sprawling park, you’ll also find a viewpoint (at the Victory Column) offering perfect 360-degree views across the city.

Note that there are 285 steps to climb to the top. My brother made the ascent while my feet remained firmly on the ground. Instead, I wandered around the Victory Column and admired its golden accents and artwork.

Berlin Art on the Victory Column in Tiergarten, Berlin
Admiring golden features and artwork on Tiergarten’s Victory Column

Schloss Bellevue & Schloss Charlottenburg

Within a 15-minute walk of the Victory Column in Tiergarten, you’ll find Schloss Bellevue, which is a stunning neoclassical palace and home to sprawling gardens, which are well worth a wander around.

Meanwhile, Schloss Charlottenburg is about an hour away (on foot) and is home to a magnificently beautiful Prussian baroque and rococo palace, similar to the kind you’ll find throughout Vienna in Austria.

Schloss Charlottenburg in Berlin
Beautiful Schloss Charlottenburg is just one of the many reasons why Berlin is worth visiting

The only surviving Hohenzollern residence and once a summer retreat for Queen Sophie Charlotte, this palace is now a treasure trove of museums dedicated to art, porcelain and original Royal furnishings.

Although you have to pay to explore inside the palace, its impressive gardens are free to visit and also worth a look. Here, you can enjoy seeing intricate statues, a large carp pond and the stunning Belvedere facing the lake.

Schloss Charlottenburg Gardens in Berlin
Even the palace’s Belvedere is stunning!

4. The architecture is captivating

Speaking of beautiful architecture, Berlin is brimming with it!

From the infamous Brandenburg Gate to Berliner Dom, Schloss Charlottenburg and more, Berlin has enough impressive architecture to rival even the most beautiful buildings found within cities like Paris in France or Vienna in Austria.

While you can see photos of the incredible Schloss Charlottenburg above, here are a couple of other impressive landmarks to see during your visit to Berlin.

Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
Brandenburg Gate looking majestic at night

Once the scene of great military parades and processions, this iconic landmark is now a tranquil monument and comes close to being the ‘Gate of Peace’ that its architect wanted it to be known as.

Whilst the Berlin Wall was up, this landmark lay lost and forgotten in no-man’s land. Surprisingly, it then became the scene of many ecstatic celebrations when the wall was brought down.

I say surprisingly, as now, many people walk nonchalantly through the archways without so much as a backward glance at it. Despite how beautiful it is – especially at night!

Berliner Dom

Berliner Dom in Berlin
Berliner Dom is another impressive building to admire

Berliner Dom is another impressive building to admire. With the neoclassical green domes and the intricate details of the building’s stonework itself, this really is an impressive cathedral.

Come along at night and you’ll see the building lit up, casting dramatic shadows across its domes.

5. You’ll never forget your visit to the Olympic Stadium

Olympic Stadium in Berlin
The Olympic Stadium in Berlin is imposing and haunting

We visited the Olympic Stadium on our last full day in Berlin and it was an interesting way to end our trip.

The stadium itself is vast and impressive. But when you couple this with the history of Berlin in 1936, you can’t help but feel haunted by its presence.

Outside the stadium are many Greek God and Goddess statues, which remind you of the social values this city had during the 1930s.

Power, strength and a godlike nature are just a few values that spring to mind, which is why I found it so haunting to visit.

6. Berlin reminds us of the importance of connection

Whether you remember the collapse of the Berlin Wall or not, finding fragments of this iconic and legendary landmark really will make you appreciate what this city must have gone through at the time.

Today, the fragments serve as a reminder of how important social connections are and why we must always try to keep them intact with the ones we love.

There are several opportunities across the city for you to see fragments of the wall, so take your time to look for them.

Fun Fact: I was actually living in Germany (roughly 260 miles away in Osnabrück) when the Berlin Wall came down. I was only a baby, but my mum remembers it being on the news.

7. Berlin celebrates its new life but doesn’t hide its past

While Berlin has many stories to tell when it comes to its history (both the good and bad), there’s no denying that it’s risen from the ashes so to speak to become a thriving, modern city.

In complete juxtaposition to its historic buildings, you’ll find many examples of modern architecture.

Potsdamer Platz

Potsdamer Platz in Berlin
Fancy a free light show at the modern Potsdamer Platz shopping complex?

On the surface, Potsdamer Platz is a thriving hub for arts, entertainment, shopping and business. But there’s more to it than that.

With this complex being predominantly made of glass, from the buildings to the ceiling, many come here to admire the striking architecture.

Come along at night and you’ll be treated to a free light show courtesy of the Sony Center. And with the glasswork surrounding you, you’ll see the lights reverberate around and transfix you for some time.

Enjoy it before heading off for some drinks and food in the many bars and restaurants on offer here.

Berlin’s TV Tower (Berliner Fernsehturm)

Berlin TV Tower
Don’t forget to look up and see the Berlin TV Tower!

Somewhat akin to seeing the Eiffel Tower in Paris, spotting Berlin’s TV Tower in the distant skyline is one sight you won’t want to miss (especially at night).

As it lights up at night time, you’ll be mesmerised by the free light show you’ll have access to, as well as the impressive architecture of the tower itself.

So wherever you are in Eastern Berlin, look up and see if you can spot the tower.

Reichstag

Reichstag in Berlin
The Reichstag: a symbol of “new Germany”

With its modern glass dome and the words ‘Dem Deutschen Volke’ (To the German people) inscribed on the front of the building, the Reichstag has become a symbol of the ‘new Germany’.

Leaving its troubles and painful past behind, the locals don’t want to forget what happened in this city’s past. But they simply want to move on and excel under the lead of a new and fair government.

That aside, the Reichstag building now offers historians and tourists alike the chance to see Berlin from above.

Book in advance online and you’ll have the opportunity to clamber to the top of the building for free during the day. Although expect long queues as so many others try to do the same as you.

8. The locals are friendly and welcoming

Having spoken to many people in Berlin, I found them all to be very friendly and happy to share a joke or two with us.

My brother has the fortune of being able to speak fluent German (he lived in Germany for about 8 years or so). He was testing his skills whilst out there with me.

One waiter told my brother his German was better than his! Such a nice gentleman and we continued to find wonderful people like this every day in Berlin.

Schloss Charlottenburg gate in Berlin
Pretty architectural details on the gates of Schloss Charlottenburg

9. You can enjoy some incredible day trips from Berlin

Hamburg in Germany
Pretty Hamburg is just one of many fabulous day trips from Berlin you can enjoy

Even though Germany is a large country (at least for Europe!), it’s easy to enjoy various fabulous day trips from Berlin. Thanks in large part to Berlin’s and wider Germany’s efficient public transport options.

One of the most popular day trips from Berlin is to Potsdam and Sanssouci Palace aka the “Versailles of Germany”. This incredible palace dates back to 1747 and it’s just one hour away from Berlin.

If you want to see some other cities during your trip, then you can visit Dresden and Hamburg fairly easily from Berlin. Both cities are just a couple of hours away by train.

And don’t even get me started on the incredible castles you can see if you leave Berlin for the day! Check out this fabulous list from a local to find out more about your various day trip opportunities.

I hope you’ll consider travelling to Berlin and that you agree it’s a city worth visiting. If you’re feeling inspired to visit, maybe you’d like to pin or bookmark this blog post now, so you can read it again later.

Is Berlin Worth Visiting? 9 Memorable Reasons To Visit Germany's Capital
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Justine Jenkins

Justine is one half of the married couple behind the Wanderers of the World travel blog. She lives in Bristol, UK and has travelled extensively within Europe and beyond since 2013. After her trips, she shares detailed travel itineraries, helpful travel guides and inspiring blog posts about the places she's been to. When she's not travelling overseas, you'll find her joining her husband, Scott on various day trips, weekend getaways and walks within the UK, which she also writes about on Wanderers of the World. Aside from travelling and writing, she also loves reading, crafting and learning about nature.

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