Our M.O. for tackling a new city is simple: enjoy it like you’ve lived there for years. Hang where the locals hang. Eat where the locals eat. Can you tell we’re simple people with simple needs? As far as a travel manifesto goes, we’re convinced we’ve nailed it, but it can also be problematic. Think about it: when’s the last time you visited a museum in your home town? How about checking out a cool historical point of interest? Chances are it’s been a while. So carrying that mentality as we travel isn’t always the best thing. No matter where you live, there’s a problem with treating a city like you live there – you treat it like you live there. And that means missing out on some of the valuable cultural things that cities have to offer. It’s time to be tourists in Berlin.
Now before you allow the incomprehensible thought of being labeled a ‘tourist’ scare you off entirely, hear us out. As much as we’d like to believe that we fit in like locals everywhere we go, it’s no doubt that places faraway and foreign require some touristing, and Berlin is no exception. The whirlwind of events that defined Berlin’s history over the last century is chaotic, complex and still super evident in the radically different city that we see today. You may be tempted to spend your days eating your way through our Berlin Brunch Guide or drinking lots of incredible coffee, but rest assured that visiting the rich historical and cultural landmarks in Berlin is key to understanding what’s going on in the present-day city.
There’s really quite a lot of spots that attract large amounts of tourists in Berlin, but we know that with all the other incredible things to experience there’s not a moment to waste. It would be a shame to spend your entire stay waiting in ridiculously long queues, so we’ve compiled a pared-down list of only the sights worth seeing. I mean, you’ve got to fill in the time between coffee stops with something, right? To get you fully saturated in the history of Berlin, we’ve included stops from the very beginnings of Prussian-era monarchies like the Brandenburg Gate and the Berliner Dom, to more recent soviet-influenced additions like the Berlin Wall and Fernsehturm.