Berlin Tours - Berlin Travel Guide

Discover the attractions of the capital of Germany

collage of attractions in berlin
© Berlin Partner/FTB-Werbefotografie/Myself (Montage)
This Berlin travel guide introduces you to the most popular sights and activities in Berlin. Walk along famous boulevards, dive into Berlin's history and culture, enjoy Germany's buzzing capital city with my guide to the best Berlin tours and attractions.

Berlin has had an eventful history, especially the 20th century was very difficult. During the golden twenties Berlin became known as a centre of cultural transformation. This era ended abruptly with the great depression 1929, and later with the infamous takeover of Hitler and the Third Reich.

After WW II Berlin became divided. East Berlin was claimed as capital of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany), while the three western sectors formed West Berlin, which was not the capital of West Germany anymore. Germany's capital after the war became Bonn in North-Rhine Westphalia.

Since the Berlin wall came down in 1989, Berlin has been undergoing a permanent process of changes, building, reconstruction, which gives the city an appearance of discontinuity sometimes.

However, in recent years Berlin attracted all kind of travellers, business people, backpackers, artists and film makers. It is the city's diversity that has led to an increasing Berlin tourism boom, nationally and internationally.

It is impossible to list all of Berlin's sightseeing attractions, nor can you visit them all within a few days. You would need weeks to discover everything that makes Berlin attractive for visitors. So this is just a quick overview of different activities in Berlin you can join. Pick the ones that meet your interests and have fun exploring the capital of Germany.

Use the quick links below to go navigate around this page, jump to your favourite activities and find a great Berlin city break.

Get Around   |   Central Attractions   |   History   |   Potsdam   |   Charlottenburg   |   Hotels

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Get around in Berlin

gendarmenmarkt in berlin
First-time visitors can book the Hop-on Hop-off bus tour for their first day. The bus is easy to use and you will get the gist of the city's attractions.
This bus route has 15 stops around Berlin. Buses run every 15 minutes in summer and every 30 minutes in winter. Stops include some of the best sights like Brandenburg Gate, Charlottenburg Castle, Checkpoint Charlie and many more.

Another great option for independant travellers to get around and save money is the Berlin Welcome Card. Travel free on all buses and trams for 48, 72 or 120 hours. With the card you also get discounts of 25% to 50% on boat trips, museums and other attractions. With the card you also get a travel guide with insider tips and tour suggestions. The Berlin Welcome Card is valid for 1 adult and up to 3 children.

When you plan to visit many museums, the Berlin Pass can even save you more money. You get free entrance to 50 museums and attractions, free hop-on, hop-off bus tour, free public transport within zone A, B, C. The Berlin Pass is available for 2 or 3 consecutive days.

Activities in Berlin Mitte

The borough "Mitte" is the core of historical Berlin. It is here that you find the most famous attractions within walking distance.

The river Spree flows through the centre from east to west. The most famous island in the Spree is Museumsinsel (museums island) with the Bode Museum, the old and new museum, Pergamonmuseum and the Alte Nationalgalerie. Museumsinsel is just the northern part of this island, where the five museums are located. The spot is on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1999.

bodemuseum on the museums island

The boulevard Unter den Linden leads to the Brandenburg Gate and Pariser Platz. Just a little north is the Reichstag (parliament building).

You can book a 4-hour guided walking tour to explore these and other attractions in Berlin Mitte.

If you are not keen of walking, what about discovering Berlin's highlight on a bike tour? You'll even get to see more attractions as the tour goes from Alexanderplatz in the east to the Siegessäule in the west.

Are you ready for a new challenge? A Segway Tour of Berlin is so much fun, and a great way to get around. See the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag and other sights in Berlin Mitte. Read other traveller's reviews and join the fun.

Berlin Travel Guide - Potsdam

sanssouci palace
Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam

No visit to Berlin would be complete if you haven't been to Potsdam. The capital of Brandenburg is an old city and was the residence of the Prussian royal family. Frederic the Great built the magnificent Sanssouci Palace in the 18th century. The Unesco World Heritage site attracts more than 2 million visitors a year from all around the world.

In summer 1945 the Potsdam Conference was held at Schloß Cecilienhof to decide the future of Germany.
  • Private Tour To Potsdam from Berlin
    Explore the historical city center of Potsdam, the Dutch quarter, Cecilenhof Palace. See Glienicke Bridge, famous for spy exchanges during the Cold War Finally, you tour Potsdam Palace and the marvellous gardens.
  • Discover Potsdam Walking Tour
    Take a train ride with your guide and discover historic Potsdam and the beautiful gardens of Sanssouci Palace.

Historic Places in Berlin

Berlin's history goes back to the 12th century. Nikolai church is the oldest building in the city, although it was reconstructed after serious damage in WW II.

beautiful shot of the reichstag

When you walk around Berlin you will pass by many historic sites and landmarks, the Berlin Dom (cathedral), Reichstag (parliament), Neue Synagoge - Centrum Judaicum (New Synagogue) are only a few examples.

The Gendarmenmarkt with the Konzerthaus and the French and German cathedrals is known as the prettiest place in Berlin.

Other sites are related to Berlin's history in the 20th century and commemorate the victims of the Nazi regime and the Cold War.

For those with deep interest in history and backgrounds, there are special tours to visit these places and seek more information.

  • Berlin's Infamous Third Reich Sites Half-Day Walking Tour
    You'll get deep insights into Berlin's Nazi past on this walking tour and learn about the infamous Third Reich. Join a professional guide, you'll tour Berlin from Wilhelmstrasse to the former Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse and the site of Hitler's bunker.
  • Jewish Life in Berlin Half Day Walking Tour
    On this morning walk through Berlin and you will discover its pre-war Jewish neighborhoods. Your guide takes you to the major sights of Berlin's Jewish community of the 18th and 19th century.
  • Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp was one of the first concentration camps in Germany, established 1936. Approximately 100,000 people, political opponents and prisoners of war, were excecuted in the camp during the Nazi regime.

    berlin tours sachsenhausen concentration camp memorial
    Concentration Camp Memorial
    After 1945 the Soviets kept Nazis and war prisoners in the camp, more people died due to illnesses and malnutrition.
    Sachsenhausen was also a trainings centre for Nazi officers. Due to its location just outside of Berlin, Sachsenhausen was the administration centre for other concentration camps.
    This remarkable tour was researched by historian Gabriel Fawcett and unravels the history of the Holocaust.
  • Berlin Bike Tour: Berlin Wall and Cold War
    Interested in more recent history? This tour takes you to the former East, you'll see more of the wall, and discover Berlin's cold war history.

Hotels in Berlin

There are too many hotels in Berlin to mention here. Use the search tool below to find a good deal.

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Charlottenburg Palace

Berlin's largest palace was built at the end of the 17th century with more expansions added during the 18th century. The most famous room in the castle, the Bernsteinzimmer (amber room) was designed by Andreas Schlüter and built by a Danish amber craftsman. In 1716 Friedrich Wilhelm I gave the Bernsteinzimmer to Tsar Peter the Great as a present. In St. Petersburg the wonderful amber room was expanded. The Nazis looted the amber room and brought it to Königsberg where it got lost in the chaos at the end of WW II.

berlin tours charlottenburg palace
Charlottenburg Palace

The palace and the beautiful gardens are a major visitor attraction today. Parts of Charlottenburg Castle and the gardens are open to the public.

Visit Charlottenburg Castle to enjoy a 3-course candlelight dinner in the Orangery, plus an concert with the classical sounds of the Berlin Residence Orchestra. Get more info and tickets here.

Discover other tour options and attractions, don't miss these related pages.


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