The city’s one of the most popular and visited in Europe and after only a few hours spent here you’ll understand why. All the possible attractions you could think of – the ones your friends have been telling you about as well as the ones you’ve learned about from the history books – are worth visiting. Unfortunately, especially if you’re a budget traveler, you’re going to be forced to cut some of the expenses when it comes to what to visit uring daytime and how much to drink at night. This is why we’ve thought of a list of must-sees for you that are very important and worth spending time with and yet require no fee or money wasting whatsoever.
1. East Side Gallery. Or what’s left of the Berlin Wall, approximately 1,3 meters along Mühlenstrasse represent the world’s largest open-air gallery. The part of the construction was spared the demolition in 1989 and, instead of dividing the city in West and East Berlin it now symbolizes the freedom of speech and expression through artistic manners. More than 100 paintings signed by different international artists are on display, a true rite of passage that’s truly impossible not to be impressed of especially if it’s your first time in Berlin. The colorful and culturally meaningful art works are what’s left of one of the world’s most feared dystopias – a symbol of such a rigid separation has become not only history, but was kept to show that the right to stand for what you believe in has no border, there is no frontier for talent and no boundary for naïve artistically expressed optimism or global euphoria induced by drug consumption as a base for the artistic processes.
2. Another history related monument that’s free for visitors and not to be missed is the Holocaust Memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe. The 2711 sarcophagi-like columns rising on the football-like arrangement don’t only look daunting per se, but the tormenting silence has a major contribution to the overall sober atmosphere that reigns over the place. The series of disorientating lines in which the tombs are displayed make the slate-grey blocks of cement look even more overwhelming. The American architect Peter Eisenmann made the entire monument look very moving through artifices like disposal, colors and sculptures’ design, inducing the visitors an inner state of sorrow and sobriety. The uneasiness you’ll get during the sobering walk through the different heighted tiles is the least tribute to offer to the horror taking place during the Nazi rule. In case you’re curious to see a list of the names of the known victims the regime made, there’s an underground information center where you’ll get all kinds of references on the matter.
3. And since your mood’s been already affected, strongly related you’d like to visit the Topography of Terror, a permanent outdoor exhibition built on the site of old Nazi buildings – and respecting the style as well. The place is made to inform the visitors on the abominations committed during the Nazi regime by Gestapo and the S.S. Once you’ll be transposed into the dull, yet truly frightening atmosphere of the place, you’ll find more about the beginning of the regime – the period when the Third Reich gained support transforming the entire Berlin into a political base.
4. Just so you can regain your boost back, a great thing to do is follow an alternative walking tour of the city. Alternative Berlin is a local company that offers to help tourist understand the local subcultures. The daily tours start at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and take you to all kinds of artists’ hide-outs. Paid tours include pub crawling events, street art workshops, student tours and twilight tours as well – yet we’re mentioning them because they’re very cheap since lots of people assign for participating.
5. Take a photo at Brandenburg Gate. It’s either you post a photo taken here on all your social media accounts or no one will ever believe you’ve been to Berlin. In case you’re asking yourself why, the answer’s pretty simple: this is one of the most important landmarks. During the Cold War, the gate was the most popular point of division between East and West Germany. Its role today is just being an iconic symbol of the entire Europe’s history, yet there’s no tourist to have been here without taking photos.
6. Tiegarten –a great park that you wouldn’t like to miss, especially because it’s one of the locals’ most preferred place for leisure activities. And by great you may as well understand that its over 600 acres make it, since the 18th century, the city’s biggest tribute to nature. Lush lawns are the perfect place for nude sunbathing (the sign for it is FFK), as well as open-air cafes where you can enjoy the national beers that the Germans are very fond of (also popular in Europe). The landscape goes, of course, without mentioning – the rich vegetation makes you feel like you went out for a picnic. Speaking of which, you can visit the Berlin Zoo nearby and actually enjoy one. It’s another local activity that’s going to cost you nothing and make you walk like a local. As about the zoo, it’s a great scientific resource with its over 14, 000 creatures, among which you’ll also find endangered species. It’s the oldest zoo in the country and if you have the time to visit it, you won’t regret spending an afternoon here. The sharks, crocodiles, amphibians and other animals are going to make sure that you’ll spend at least an hour in the aquarium, especially because the place is very nicely arranged – the entire place looks like an art exhibition.