Berlin got a new identity as a fun-loving, disarmingly scruffy, cool and socially-conscious hotbed of ideas. And if you need photo-friendly sights Berlin has them in spades and they’re all permeated with the drama of the last hundred years.
This Neo-Baroque building dates from 1894 and housed the Imperial Diet until it was damaged in that infamous and historic fire in 1933. The ruins were merely maintained until after the Berlin Wall fell.
For first-timers in Berlin the Brandenburg Gate is obligatory, and it’s charged with real emotion and meaning, as an ever-present landmark during the destruction of the Second World War and the Berlin Wall when it stood at the divide.
A U-Bahn ride west of the centre will bring you to a 1920s tram depot on Wiebestraße in Moabit. Even though this facility isn’t actually a museum you’ll come close to a bewildering array of privately-owned Ferraris, Bugattis, Rolls Royces, Mercedes, Lamborghinis, Maseratis, Porsches and many more prestige marques.
Not strictly a cathedral, as it has never been the seat for a bishop, this temple on Museum island is still Berlin’s most important Protestant church.
The Fernsehturm is also the highest building in Europe open to the public, and provided you plan ahead, the 40-second ride to the viewing platform 200 metres high is something you can’t turn down.
Contained by Charlottenstraße and Markgrafenstraße is a square exuding Baroque opulence and plotted by the architect Johann Arnold Nering in the 17th century.
Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer
A 70-metre length of the wall has been preserved here, including the Todesstreifen (Death Strip) in between, and a watchtower beside the street.
These are the Altes Museum, Alte National Galerie, Neues Museum, Bode-Museum and the Pergamon Museum.
Beyond providing some respite from the city the Tiergarten is woven with monuments like the Bismarck memorial, and pretty spots like the Luiseninsel and rose garden.
At just over 1,500 the array of different species is the largest on the planet, and the zoo toes the line between ethical animal treatment and crowd-pleasing exhibits.