Where Berlin - - SIGHTSEEING -

The “Alex” TV Tower

The 368m- (1027ft)- high TV tower of Alexan­der­platz can be seen from al­most any point in the city and has been iconic of Ber­lin ever since it was built by the GDR in 1969. The gi­ant steel- clad sphere atop houses a re­volv­ing res­tau­rant and café as well as a view­ing plat­form. The el­e­va­tor ride lasts 40 sec­onds. Ar­rive early to avoid lines. Daily 9am– mid­night (from 10am Nov– Feb). €13/8.50. Panora­mastr. 1a. T: 030.24757537. S+U Alexan­der­platz. F3

Ber­liner Dom

The city’s neo- Re­nais­sance cathe­dral was be­gun in the late 1700s, fin­ished in 1905, and ren­o­vated in sim­pli­fied form af­ter WWII dam­age. Walk up 267 steps for glo­ri­ous views of the city from the dome, or stay on the ground floor to gaze at elab­o­rate sar­cophagi con­tain­ing the royal re­mains of Ho­hen­zollern fam­ily mem­bers. Thanks to the church’s per­fect acous­tics and a 7200- pipe or­gan, the Dom is also an im­por­tant con­cert venue. Mon– Sun 9am– 8pm (un­til 7pm in win­ter). € 7/4. www.ber­lin­er­ Am Lust­garten. T: 030.20269119. S Hack­escher Markt. E3/F3

Bran­den­burg Gate

MUST SEE The de­fin­i­tive Ber­lin icon, Got­thard Lang­hans’ Neo­clas­si­cal tri­umphal arch has wit­nessed the city’s best and worst mo­ments, from the mil­i­tary pa­rades of the Third Re­ich to the Wall be­ing raised and torn down. For­merly be­hind GDR borders, to­day the gate acts mainly as the back­drop for fes­ti­vals, New Year’s Eve par­ties, and tourist snap­shots. U Bran­den­burger Tor. D3/E3

Char­lot­ten­burg Palace

The sum­mer home of So­phie Char­lotte, wife of King Friedrich I of Prus­sia, re­flects the grandeur of the Ho­hen­zollern fam­ily. Be­gun in 1695, the lux­ury Baroque com­plex con­sists of a main build­ing with a cen­tral cupola and two side wings, added in later years, that en­close a court­yard. The pic­turesque park sur­round­ing the castle in­cludes a for­mal French-style gar­den, English gar­den with pond and stat­ues, belvedere, and mau­soleum. The castle hosts tem­po­rary art and history ex­hi­bi­tions. Tue–Sun 10am– 6pm (un­til 5pm in win­ter). €12/8. Span­dauer Damm 20-24. T: 030.9694200. U So­phie- Char­lotte- Platz. A3

Hack­esche Höfe

An in­tri­cate se­ries of in­ter­con­nected court­yards pro­vides an ex­am­ple of early-19th- cen­tury Ger­man Se­ces­sion­ist style. The first court­yard is en­tirely dec­o­rated with glazed blue-and-white tiles in geo­met­ric de­signs, while the apart­ment build­ings and nar­row, maze-like al­leys lined with cafés, shops, and the­aters give the Höfe an at­mos­phere both fa­mil­iar and fas­ci­nat­ing. Rosen­thaler Str. 4041. S Hack­escher Markt. E2/F2

Haus der Kul­turen der Welt

Dubbed the “preg­nant oys­ter” by lo­cals due to its curvy shape, the build­ing that is now home to the House of the Cul­tures of the World was orig­i­nally built as a congress hall in 1956 but quickly be­came a sym­bol of Western free­dom and cre­ativ­ity, in con­trast to East Ger­man ar­chi­tec­tural projects of the time. Com­puter- guided chime con­certs ring daily at noon and 6pm, and the build­ing now hosts con­certs and in­ter­cul­tural events. Daily 10am–7pm. Prices vary. John- Foster- Dulles-Allee 10. T: 030.397870. U Bun­destag. D3


The church’s bombed- out bell tower has been an anti-war me­mo­rial and sym­bol of West Ber­lin ever since its ru­ins were re­stored to their present state in 1957. The old church now hosts an ex­hi­bi­tion of be­fore-and-af­ter photos doc­u­ment­ing its for­mer splen­dor and show­ing the Ku’damm be­fore the bombs. In­side, look up to ad­mire what re­mains of the old mo­saic. Daily 9am– 6pm. www.gedaecht­niskirche- ber­ Bre­itschei­d­platz. T: 030.2185023. U Zool­o­gis­cher Garten, U Kur­fürs­ten­damm. C4

New Syn­a­gogue

MUST SEE Be­fore the war, this Moor­ish- Byzan­tinestyle syn­a­gogue was Ber­lin’s largest Jewish place of wor­ship. The syn­a­gogue was se­ri­ously dam­aged dur­ing the in­fa­mous Kristall­nacht pogroms of 1938, while Al­lied bombs gave it the coup de grâce in 1943. The ex­otic gold dome is to­day the icon of Ber­lin’s Jewish re­birth, and the par­tially re­con­structed build­ing now houses a Jewish cen­ter and a mu­seum. Mu­seum: €3.50/3. Dome € 2/1.50. Un­der- 6s free. www.cju­ Oranien­burg­er­str. 28-30. T: 030.88028300. S Oranien­burg­er­straße, S Hack­escher Markt. E2

Niko­laivier­tel and Knoblauch­haus

The Niko­laivier­tel is where Ber­lin was born, and the area still re­tains its an­cient char­ac­ter, although most of the build­ings in the nar­row me­dieval al­leys are repli­cas of de­stroyed orig­i­nals that dated back to the 1200s. The late- Gothic Niko­laikirche, Ber­lin’s old­est sur­viv­ing build­ing, is now a mu­seum. Other points of in­ter­est in­clude the Ephraim Palais Mu­seum and the Bie­der­meier­style Knoblauch­haus, a 19th- cen­tury mid­dle­class town­house that es­caped WWII dam­age. Knoblauch Haus: Tue–Sun 10am– 6pm. www.knoblauch­ Post­str. 23. T: 030.240020171. S+U Alexan­der­platz. F3

Panorama­punkt am Pots­damer Platz

In 20 sec­onds, an el­e­va­tor whisks you to the top of a 100m-high plat­form with one of the best views in Ber­lin. Visi­tors can en­joy drinks and cake at the café, with the city’s skyline as a back­drop. Daily 10am–7:30pm (un­til 6pm Nov– Mar). €6.50/5. www.panorama­ Kol­hoff Tower, Pots­damer Platz 1. S Pots­damer Platz. D3


MUST SEE The seat of the world-fa­mous Ber­liner Phil­har­moniker or­ches­tra is one of Ger­many’s finest post-War ar­chi­tec­tural achieve­ments. The ex­te­ri­ors re­call a cir­cus tent, while the pen­tag­o­nal con­cert hall is ar­ranged with a cen­tral podium for the or­ches­tra and gal­leries for the au­di­ence around all sides. See En­ter­tain­ment sec­tion for full pro­gram. Guided tours of­fered daily at 1:30pm. € 5/3. www.ber­liner- phil­har­ Her­bertvon- Kara­jan-Str. 1. T: 030.254888156. S+U Pots­damer Platz, U Men­delssohn Bartholdy Park. D3

Pots­damer Platz and Sony Cen­ter

Be­fore the war, Pots­damer Platz was the city’s beat­ing heart, with depart­ment stores, banks, in­ter­na­tion­ally known the­aters, dance halls, and cafés. WWII bombs oblit­er­ated 80 per­cent of the square, which was left in limbo for a few years and then en­closed in a no-man’s-land be­tween the Wall and barbed wire fences. The square came back to life in the 1990s as a mod­ern rein­ter­pre­ta­tion of its orig­i­nal self. Di­vided in three


CITY (1927)

This black-and- white beauty of a silent film de­picts a day in the life of a by­gone Ber­lin – a

must- see for history fans.

CABARET (1972)

The Os­car- win­ning clas­sic star­ring Liza Min­nelli, de­pict­ing the fa­mous era of swing­ing 1930s Ber­lin as the Nazis were ris­ing to power, was filmed in both the cap­i­tal and

south­ern Ger­many.


This gloomily beau­ti­ful love story by Ger­man heavy­weight di­rec­tor Wim Wen­ders is like an ode to West Ber­lin. One iconic scene fea­tures the main char­ac­ter atop the Siegessäule

col­umn in Tier­garten.


This run­away ( pun in­tended) in­ter­na­tional suc­cess takes its view­ers on a heart-thump­ing sprint all over town. One key lo­ca­tion: the

red- bricked Ober­baum Bridge.


Trained as­sas­sin Jason Bourne is chased all over the city in this thriller. Look for ma­jor cameos by the Friedrich­straße S- Bahn bridge

and Alexan­der­platz.


This Os­car win­ner does a stel­lar job il­lus­trat­ing life in East Ber­lin, with scenes shot in the for­mer Stasi head­quar­ters in Licht­en­berg and Mitte's Volks­bühne theater.

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