Here is a list of some of the most popular and interesting sights in Berlin, many of which are just a short walk from the Heart of Gold Hostel.
Pariser Platz 1, 10117 Berlin
S & U Brandenburger Tor
A former city gate, rebuilt in the late 18th century. Later caught in no-man’s land between East and West Berlin. (In Reagan’s famous 1987 speech, the line right before “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” was “Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate!”). Now the most recognizable landmark in Germany, as evidenced by the country’s 10, 20 and 50 cent coins.
Cora-Berliner-Str. 1, 10117 Berlin
S & U Brandenburger Tor
Full name: Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. This enormous work of outdoor abstract art with its concrete slabs and sloping ground may seem like a nice place to have a picnic or play hide and seek, but please keep in mind what it represents.
Friedrichstr. 43, 10969 Berlin
A former Cold War checkpoint, made famous by numerous spy novels. Now a giant tourist magnet, complete with a museum and actors (who may or may not be strippers) dressed up as Soviet and American soldiers, who charge you to have your picture taken with them.
Am Kupfergraben, 10117 Berlin
S & U Friedrichstr.
The name says it all. There are five large museums, most built in the 19th century, on this small island in the Spree river. Perhaps the most impressive and internationally renowned of the five is the Pergamon Museum, with its reconstructed monumental buildings from Greek and Roman antiquity, as well as a large collection of Islamic art.
Platz der Republik 1, 10557 Berlin
The building that housed the parliament of the German empire from 1894 until 1933, when it was damaged in a fire that the Nazis instrumentalized to terrorize opponents and consolidate power. It again became Germany’s parliament building (Bundestag) when the reunified country’s government moved back to Berlin in 1999. To visit the dome, you have to book in advance: https://visite.bundestag.de/BAPWeb/pages/createBookingRequest.jsf?lang=en
East Side Gallery
Mühlenstr., 10243 Berlin
S Ostbahnhof / S & U Warschauer Str.
Painted by artists from all over the world right after the fall of the Berlin Wall as a monument to freedom, it is by far the longest stretch of the Wall still standing, as well as the largest permanent outdoor art exhibit in the world. The East Side Gallery is currently under threat of partial demolition to create access routes to new apartment buildings. Insert your own sarcastic comment here:
Panoramastr. 1a, 10178 Berlin
S & U Alexanderplatz
This is Germany’s tallest structure. It is visible from almost everywhere in the city, so conveniently you don’t have to go to the eyesore that is Alexanderplatz to see it. If you do anyway, you can go up to the top, but be prepared for a long wait in line.
Oranienburger Str. 54-56a, 10117 Berlin
U Oranienburger Tor
Just around the corner from the hostel, this building covered in giant graffiti murals was home to an artists collective, as well as a series of galleries and a sculpture park. Then everyone was evicted in late 2012. We are not pleased.