Berlin sights in one day
Berlin is such a complex ambiguous city with a unique fate, causing contradictory feelings in Russians. On the one hand the capital of Germany has Slavic roots, on the other hand it has long been a purely German city, the capital of the German Empire and Prussia in different times, a city divided into two halves in the recent past. Berlin is the capital of a state at war with Russia twice only in the 20th century. Russians and Germans were often rivals. Many sights of Berlin for the Russians absolutely have the taste of grief and loss.
In this article I will talk about the sights of Berlin that can be seen in one day, although I now hold the opinion that going to most European capitals for one day is not enough. Berlin is a city of museums, and museums, when seen in a day, are most often passed over.
Also have to keep in mind that Berlin is a mostly rebuilt city, during the storm in 1945, many of the historic buildings were destroyed or badly damaged, so no medievalism is left in the capital of Germany, despite the centuries of history.
Parking in Berlin
Parking in Berlin city center is for a fee at 3 € per hour and 2 € per hour a little farther from the center. There is a well-developed network of P+R interceptor parks next to subway stations at a decent distance from the city center.
We did not look for easy ways and left the car, as it turned out later at the most expensive parking in the city, so do not recklessly trust the navigator. The hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin 5*. Outwardly it did not promise anything, so we went to the basement of a house and parked the car, found a vending machine and there was written Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin 5*, when we went out of the elevator to the reception, we realized that we obviously do not fit the situation there, all dressed as English ladies and gentlemen, and the interior, as in the Hermitage, all in gilt and mirrors.
Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin 5* in front of the Brandenburg Gate
But from the porch you can see the Brandenburg Gate, next to the Reichstag. By the way on the street opposite the memorial to fallen Soviet soldiers in Tiergarten there is free parking, probably it’s GDR heritage, but it’s hard to find a free parking lot, if you cut circles and hope that someone will leave.
The Reichstag, how much this word means to the Russian heart… The model of the defeated Reichstag is in the artillery museum in St. Petersburg, so we can say that we knew each other at first sight. The parliament building of the German Empire was built in 1884. In a design competition for the parliament building in Berlin more than 150 architects participated, we were told this during a tour around the Hungarian Parliament in Budapest, and we were disappointed to note that in the competition for the building of the Hungarian Parliament less than 20 projects took part. In spite of that I like the Hungarian parliament much more.
Not only did the Russians destroy the German parliament building extensively in 1945, Hitler did his first damage to the Reichstag in 1933. The building was deliberately set on fire by the National Socialists and blamed on the Communists. It was a provocation in order to destroy political opponents. After the war, the Reichstag began to be rebuilt only in the 60s, so it spent almost 15 years in ruins after the war, and the meetings of Parliament returned to the Reichstag only in 1999.
The Reichstag can be visited with a guided tour. Tours come in 2 types:
- A visit to the glass dome with an audio guide is free. It is essentially an observation deck.
- A guided visit to the interior of the Reichstag, this is paid and by appointment. Available dates can be in a month and a half or two months, which means you have to sign up very early. It is on this tour you can see the preserved inscriptions of our soldiers, though they are edited, foul language has been removed.
In order to visit the Reichstag dome, you must register in advance at the official site of the Reichstag, very carefully to specify your passport data, in case of error, you may be denied a visit. It is also better to register 1-2 months in advance to be sure to get in.
What to see in Berlin in 1 day – 10 the most interesting places
Experienced tourists know that the right itinerary is the key to an interesting and rich journey. Finding yourself in an unknown city for the first time, many guests get lost and as a result spend a lot of time searching for sights. Today we offer you an itinerary of Berlin that will help you to visit the most iconic and interesting places and take the most time at your disposal.
As a starting point of our fascinating route, let’s take Alexanderplatz Square. After walking a few hundred meters along Unter den Linden you can discover the most beautiful and popular buildings in the capital: the Museum Island, the Reichstag parliament building, the cathedral church and the Brandenburg Gate. Well, in case tourists still have energy left, they can supplement their program with a walk through the huge zoo or make cherished shopping in the city’s largest retail outlet, which bears the name KaDeWe.
So, before you leave one of the most famous squares in Berlin – Alexanderplatz – we suggest you turn to the pages of history. It turns out that it was named by Emperor Alexander I in 1805 and about 60 years ago was reconstructed beyond recognition. Today it is decorated with several monumental buildings, among which the impressive fountain with no less beautiful name – “Friendship of Peoples”.
Here you can synchronize your watch with a huge clock dial, which shows the time in different parts of the world. Here is also a huge TV tower, decorated with a ball. It is believed that this place is the embodiment of the power of the GDR, which for many years was under the influence of the communist system.
As soon as we leave the square and walk a bit along the main street Unter den Linden, we find ourselves in the company of an impressive architectural, historical and cultural phenomenon that has been named Museum Island. The complex includes five of Berlin’s grandest museum exhibits at once. Paying tribute to the grandeur of the buildings and their impressive collections, the complex was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
It is also home to one of the largest Protestant churches in the country, the Cathedral. In addition to being a center of pilgrimage for many believers, this monumental structure is also a fine example of Baroque architecture. After seeing the exterior decoration of the cathedral, we recommend taking a look into the vaults of the Hohenzollern family. To ensure that the experience is complete, do not neglect the opportunity to visit the observation deck.
After enjoying the rich decoration of the cathedral, follow the Unter den Linden to the opera house, and in a few moments we will have a wonderful view of one of the most visited squares in the capital – Gendarmenmarkt. The unusual name of the square is due to the regiment of cuirassiers gendarmes that in the 18th century used it for horse quarters and roadblocks.
Today the square is a model of victory of technology over time and includes many hotels, modern stores and cafes. Here you can enjoy a good cup of coffee while admiring the view. And you can’t miss the two cathedrals that adorn the square. They are called German and French and were built in the 18th century. There is also a huge Concert Hall with a monument to Schiller, one of the most famous Germans, at the entrance.
Before we leave the main street, two more landmarks await us. Checkpoint Charlie has important historical significance. Surprisingly, this checkpoint has survived from the time when the country was divided into two parts by a huge wall. Here you can also visit a museum dedicated to that historical period, in the walls of which you can find many more symbols of the unspoken confrontation between the two superpowers.
And at the end of this part of the walk you can see the world famous Brandenburg Gate, the construction of which was completed in 1791. They are also a kind of symbol of the distant past, when Germany as a single state did not exist. Every self-respecting tourist who visited Berlin, must take some memorable pictures against the background of this grandiose creation of the Classical period.
One of the most famous government buildings in the world has a special significance in our trip. The Reichstag is located next to the Brandenburg Gate towards the river. The author of the architectural design is the genius of his time, Paul Vallot. We all well remember that during the last war, the buildings were almost completely destroyed. But the Germans managed in a short time not only to restore the Reichstag, but also to return it to its former power and lost respect. Today decisions are made here that are not just important for the country, but can significantly affect the course of world history. Germany today is one of the strongest members of the European Union.
The only thing that could not be restored on the Reichstag building is its famous dome. A few years later in its place appeared another, glass dome, which includes an observation deck. By the way, everyone can get on the platform. It is enough to get a simple registration on the government website.
While exploring Berlin, don’t deny yourself the pleasure of visiting the local zoo, which is located just behind the Tiergarten Park, not far from the above-mentioned gates. The impressive variety of animals represented in the zoo makes it the third most visited place in the city. By the way, at the same time the zoo holds the title of the first menagerie in Germany. Just think, on an area of more than 35 hectares are more than 15 thousand animals from around the world. And unlike other similar facilities, the animals are allowed to be fed.
KaDeWe Shopping Center
All lovers of quality shopping advise to visit the huge shopping center KaDeWe, which first opened its doors to customers back in 1907. Of course, over the last century the building has been repeatedly expanded and rebuilt, making it another Berlin landmark. If you believe the sources, the total retail area of the institution exceeds 60 thousand square meters. Phenomenal size (eight-story building), impressive range and loyal prices make this place the most popular shopping area not only in Germany but also in the whole Europe.
The first floor is completely devoted to cosmetics, perfumes and fashionable jewelry. Here you can find boutiques with an impressive range of watches from world brands. Everyone who wants to fill their closet with trendy and stylish clothes should visit the second and third floors (there are pavilions of men’s and women’s clothing, respectively). The fourth floor is reserved for shoes, accessories and underwear. Here you can also find beautiful interior and design items. And those who want to make a high-tech gift for themselves or their loved ones should go up to the floor above. Here are the best novelties of electronics, as well as pavilions, where you can buy an exciting game or ultramodern toys for children.
And on the last two floors you can buy delicacies or other culinary masterpieces from the leading chefs of the country. The range of products is represented by fine confectionery, food and drinks. The basement is allotted for the restaurant, in the hall that can accommodate up to a thousand visitors at a time.
Kaiser Wilhelm Church
When you leave the mall tired and laden with shopping bags, find the strength for a “final push”. A few more unique sights are worth visiting to complete the experience. Not far from KaDeWe you will find the Neo-Romanesque Kaiser Wilhelm Church. Today it is a symbol of peace after the war.
At the end of your trip take a walk along Ku’damm Boulevard. Here you will find boutiques of leading fashion designers such as Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, and many others. And of course you should visit the open-air exhibition, which includes the most famous fragment of the Berlin Wall.