A first-time visit to Berlin is bound to be an absolutely incredible experience, filled with an eclectic mix of history, culture and gorgeous sights, it’s a city that intrigues yet embraces us visitors with open arms.

Whether you’re going for a long weekend, a week or even months, it’s likely you’ll be scrambling for time to catch all the places in this vibrant city… especially if you keep stopping for a cheeky currywurst and a tipple or two! 😉

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Just like other German cities like Hamburg and Cologne, Berlin has a pretty diverse mix of sights that you must see on your first visit with a hefty proportion being included in Germany’s Top 100 sights to see as chosen by visitors actually exploring the country.

Take a look at some of the very best sights you’ll want to include on your first visit to Berlin:

17 Must See Sights In Berlin

1.) Stroll through Brandenburg Gate

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Brandenburg Gate is one of Germany’s best-known landmarks that you’ll no doubt want to see. Historically, an old city gate, Brandenburg Gate was rebuilt around 250 years ago and still stands proudly today.

Famous as a point for major historical events, it’s a great spot to see when visiting the Reichstag that’s close by.

2.) Visit the glass dome of The Reichstag

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The Reichstag is not only home to the German Government but also home to one of the most impressive glass domes in all the world! Open to the public, you can head inside the dome and enjoy the incredible building (and views) from the top. Make sure to book your tickets well in advance, pre-registration is required and usually fills up very fast. You can pre-register for free access, right here.

3.) Experience the glorious Berlin Cathedral

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Perched on Museum Island, Berlin Cathedral is one awe-inspiring place to visit. The grand history and incredible architecture is jaw-droppingly beautiful and well worth a gander at.

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Make sure to spend some time in the main Cathedral before heading downstairs to learn more about the crypts and history of this incredible building.

4.) Learn about reintroduction programs at Berlin Zoo

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More than just a zoo, Berlin Zoo helps educate, collaborate and maintains reintroduction programs for some of the most endangered species across the world.

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Head here to learn more about the valuable work they do and the breeding programs that help in supporting endangered animals.

5.) Discover art at the East Side Gallery  

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Premised as an international memorial for freedom, this massive stretch of the Berlin Wall has been commissioned, featuring over 100 different paintings from artists all across the world, including the colourful Some heads by Thierry Noir.

Stroll the length of the 1.3km section to admire artists works, just take a good pair of walking shoes with you! 😉 See more of our time at the East Side Gallery in our post, right here.

6.) Explore Berlin’s Museum Island

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No visit to Berlin is complete without a visit to this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Hop over to the island that sits in the middle of the River Spree to see some of the best museums in the world.

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Make sure to visit the Atles Museum and the Bode Museum for some incredible artefacts. If all that walking works up an appetite, check out our complete list of amazing burger joints that are close by, right here.

7.) Remember at the Holocaust Memorial 

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Head to the Holocaust Memorial to reflect upon the horrendous mistakes of history. The creator, Eisenman created this space for visitors to feel uneasy and confusing space where order cannot be found.

Opened over 10 years ago, it’s a place to ponder and remember the terrible acts of the Holocaust. See more on our visit to the Holocaust Memorial, right here.

8.) Wander around Charlottenburg Palace

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Officially, the largest palace in Berlin, Charlottenburg Palace was originally built over 300 years ago. Around 15-20 minutes from the bustling centre of Berlin, the palace is a great place to wander, especially through the gardens.

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Make sure to visit the Tea House and the Orangery in the palace gardens, they really are spectacular.

9.) See the president’s home, Bellevue Palace

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Whether you get to visit the inside or not, Bellevue Palace is a grand sight to see whilst in Berlin. Based on the edges of Großer Tiergarten (Berlin’s oldest and largest park), it’s well worth a little gander at.

10.) Take a look at Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie was the most famous crossing point between East and West Germany during the time of the Berlin Wall. Nowadays, the checkpoint has been redeveloped to show how it once stood. If you want to see the original building head to The Allied Museum for a more intimate look.

11.) Grab some bubbles and Currywurst at the Berlin TV Tower

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Scale to the top of the Berlin TV Tower for some impressive 360-degree views of the city or even for a little brunch! If you’re planning a visit in the late afternoon or early evening, you can also enjoy bubbles and Currywurst whilst overlooking the city.

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12.) Gorge on the diverse foods of the city

One of the best things about Berlin is the varied and diverse mix of foody delights that are around every corner, you can literally have any type of food that your heart (or tummy) desires. Make sure to try something you haven’t tried before… for me, this was Israeli Food when we ate at the delicious, Djimalaya. Make sure to try their Hummus plates and falafel balls. Yum!

13.) Head inside the French Cathedral

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The French Cathedral is, arguably, one of the prettiest buildings in Berlin. Head inside for a wander around the building, whilst stopping for a bite to eat in the basement halls. Most people don’t realise that the Cathedral also houses The Huguenot Museum in the tower itself.

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14.) Climb to the top of the Victory Column

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If you’re feeling pretty fit, or just want to burn off all those currywurst calories, then take the almost 300 steps to the top of the Victory Column. Nearly 200 years old, the column offers some pretty epic views across the city.

15.) See inside the New Church 

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 17 Must-See Sights To See On A First Time Visit To Berlin

The New Church sits directly opposite the French Cathedral on the opposite side of the square. Head inside for a closer look at the gorgeous architecture and plan a trip to coincide with one of the many events and markets that operate within the Gendarmenmarkt beside the church.

16.) Watch a show at Konzert Haus

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If you’re looking to find some of the city’s world-renowned culture and art, then make sure you pop into Konzert Haus, where some of the world’s best ballet, opera and German music and theatre is held. Tickets can be booked online and I’d definitely advise this if you’re wanting to visit.

17.) Walk through Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

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Built well over 100 years ago, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church was heavily destroyed during World War II. Fondly known as ‘the hollow tooth’ the spire and tower of the church still stands in its destroyed state… a testament and memory to the awful tragedies of war.

Make sure to visit the old and new church that now occupy the site.

Looking for a cool place to stay, check out our post on the 11 best boutique hotels to stay in Berlin



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  • I haven’t been to Berlin for about 10 years, but I’d love to go back! My fave thing I did there was Checkpoint Charlie…and seeing The Devil Wears Prada at the cinema (it was all in German and my friends and I found it hilarious haha…we were 15).

    C x

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It’s an incredible city isn’t it, Catherine.

      O-M-Gosh… I know I would understand anything in watching The Devil Wears Prada in German… but I would LOVE it – pretty sure I’d have felt the same (though, I’d be sipping on a little vino as well nowadays)! Haha!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • I have always wanted to visit Berlin. I know a few people who live in Berlin and have invited me several times. Yet I have not visited. Definitely on the list for this year, more so after reading this post!

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah, you’ll definitely have to take up their offer to visit this year… The city is amazing and there’s so much to do. We LOVED how diverse it is too – such an incredible place.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

  • Last November was my first time in Berlin and I was only there two days. I still saw about half of these, I found the Holocaust Memorial beautifully haunting and the it was incredible to the East Side Gallery.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      It’s incredible, The East Side Gallery, isn’t it… we loved walking along and seeing all the different art.

      Berlin is a really cool city isn’t it.

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

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  • Jessica Furiosi

    I actually just came back from my first visit to Berlin, did a good number of these items! Yay, awesome list. READ some of my posts on Jisforjourney.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      So glad you enjoyed Berlin as much as we did – it’s an incredible place isn’t it! Would love to read your posts on visiting too – do you have a link?

      Lloyd & Yaya xx

      • Jessica Furiosi

        https://jisforjourney.com/ – it wont let me create a link but here is the site. We have a lot of similar passions, namely UNESCO sites. I teach high school Art History and Humanities so a lot of my travels are directly connected to my work

        • HandLuggageOnly

          Ah, we just read your Cologne posts too! LOVED the city so much… and the Cathedral is so impressive – those 500 steps to the stop of the spire, though *wipes sweat off forehead* 🙂

          You’re so right… love visiting UNESCO sights (and staying in Airbnb)

          Lloyd & Yaya xx