This ceremonial monument was erected at the turn of the 1790s at the behest of the Prussian King Frederick William II, on the site of one of Berlin’s former defensive gates.
Another landmark that sums up the drama of the 20th century in Berlin is the Reichstag, the meeting place of the German Parliament. Neo-Baroque building dates from 1894. It was damaged in historic fire in 1933. The ruins were merely maintained until after the Berlin Wall fell.
4.Memorial to the Murdered Jews
Peter Eisenman’s controversial Memorial to the Murdered Jews consists of 2,711 concrete slabs (stelae) arranged in a neat grid near the Brandenburger Tor. They’re deliberately built at varying height to give visitors a sense of disorientation and confusion. The memorial’s underground visitor centre, full of heartbreaking personal stories, is often missed but very poignant.
Germany’s oldest zoo occupies a generous corner of the Tiergarten park. Famous for cuddly starlets like Bao Bao the panda and Knut the polar bear, the zoo’s contemporary highlights include two new panda babies Meng Meng and Jiao Qing, from China, a treetop canopy trail with hundreds of free-flying birds, plus an Antarctic-style Penguin World. There are also narrated feedings of elephants, hippos, chimps and sea-lions each day.
8.Picnic in a park
In summer Berliners flock to their favourite parks to tan, picnic and knock back a few beers. The Tiergarten is the central city park. Or, for something unconventional, head to Tempelhofer Park, a former airport turned public park. Mauerpark, which was forged from the ‘death strip’ once dividing the two Berlins, is another great hangout, especially on Sundays with flea market and outdoor karaoke.
See Berlin literally from top to bottom with an underground tour from Berliner Unterwelten. This nonprofit organization takes visitors underneath the city and through a labyrinth of tunnels, bunkers, and caverns. The fascinating tour will take you places that most people, even residents, don’t get to see. You’ll travel through tunnels by foot and at some points emerge within a subway station. Learn about escape attempts and how the East German secret police foiled others, and see unique photos from the era.
Get a view from the Park Inn by Radisson’s Panorama Terrace bar. This secret spot overlooks the city and has lounge chairs and a bar, so you can relax and enjoy the scenery without the crowds.
It’s no secret that Berlin has, over the decades, been the home to a great many secrets. It does tend to explain why Germans hate state secrets so much , but in recent years, the city has gone through an era of unveiling.