The Best of Berlin – What to See on a Short Break
Striking landscapes and plenty of historical intrigue, the city of Berlin is packed full of tourist attractions. No matter what time of year you plan to visit, or how you intend to get there, a trip to this beautiful city is sure to give you plenty of value for money – but just what should you put on your itinerary?
Berlin’s historic square, Bebelplatz is dominated by three impressive structures: State Opera House (rebuilt to the original design in the 1950s following its destruction during WW2), St. Hedwig’s Cathedral (modelled on the Roman Parthenon) and the Old Library (former Royal Library and part of Humboldt University). With so much to see in this one area, Bebelplatz is the ideal place to begin any adventure in Berlin.
One of the largest museums of its type in Europe, Berlin’s Jewish Museum covers two buildings and contains exhibitions celebrating two million years of Jewish-German history. The original museum was opened in 1933 but closed five years later under Nazi rule. This new design was opened to the public in 2001 and has quickly become a major attraction.
Opened in 1844, Berlin Zoo is a great attraction for visiting families. Home to over 1,400 different species of animal which include 500 species of bird as well as other favourites including pandas, polar bears, lions, giraffes, elephants and wolves, there is plenty of wildlife to witness in this great attraction.
Home to five museums, this is the perfect attraction for history lovers. A cultural centre with plenty to offer visitors, the museums and their main attractions are as follows:
• Old National Gallery: one of the largest collections of sculptures and paintings from the 19th century
• Bode Museum: one of the biggest numismatic collections in the world
• Pergamon Museum: large collection of antiquities from Ancient Greece and Babylonia including the Ishtar Gate of Babylon and Pergamon Altar
• Neues Museum: works of art from Egyptian, pre-historic and early history periods including bust of Queen Nefertiti
• Old Museum: containing numerous Ancient Greek and Roman artefacts with the building itself modelled on a typical Corinthian Temple
Perhaps the city’s most iconic attraction, no trip to Berlin would be complete without a visit to the iconic Berlin Wall. Although most of the wall was demolished when restrictions were lifted in 1989, some parts do remain. The longest is the 1,316 metre East Side Gallery.
Today, graffiti which was painted in the aftermath of its destruction provides a unique memorial and is one of the only sanctioned areas of graffiti in the city.
Best way to travel
With plenty to keep you entertained on a Berlin short city break, finding the time to visit this beautiful city is something which should certainly feature on your to-do list. Whilst access to the city is available via numerous forms, visiting by train offers a unique chance to view the stunning landscape of the city aboard a relaxing and soothing carriage. Rail holidays to Berlin offer plenty of value for money and give you the chance to sit back and enjoy everything the city has to offer.