The centre of the former East German sector of Berlin, Alexanderplatz retains much of its Commie kitsch vibe.

Check out Karl-Marx-Allee, the wide boulevard modelled on the Champs Elysee and the 365 metre high Fernsehturm (TV Tower) built to celebrate the glories of communism.

From observation platform the top you can see great views of the city. Thankfully Alexanderplatz is also home to some more historical architecture like the neo renaissance Rotes Rathaus (Red Town Hall) which dates back to 1860 and the beautiful Neptunbrunnen fountain.

Reichstag & Brandenburg Gate

Dating back to 1894 the Reichstag is the site of some serious history — too much to go into here. Since 1999, the Reichstag has been home to the German Parliament (Bundestag) and was given a facelift which included the addition of the stunning modern glass cupola designed by British architect Lord Norman Foster.

Within spitting distance is the equally historic Brandenburg Gate where President John F. Kennedy delivered his famous “I am a jelly doughnut” speech in 1962.

Galleries & museums

So many museums – so little time. Art lovers will be spoiled for choice in Berlin. For starters try the Museum of Contemporary Art housed in the former Hamburger Bahnhof featuring works by Erich Marx, Andy Warhol and Joseph Beuys.

And with plenty of private and alternative galleries there’s something here for everyone. And for an overview of Jewish life in Germany don’t forget to check out the Juedisches Museum.

The Wall

Though most of the Berlin Wall has been torn down but there are still plenty of remnants dotted around town. The East Side Gallery is a long stretch of the wall which has provided a canvas for artists.

But if you would like to see the wall in its original state then check out the Gedenkatte Berliner Mauer, which combines a small chapel, a documenation centre, a section of original wall and a memorial.

Cold War Sites

There is no shortage of Cold War relics where you can appreciate the full horror of the GDR’s repressive Ministry for State Security — the Stasi. Checkpoint Charlie, once a gateway between East and West is now home to the Mauer Museum which documents East Berliners many attempts to escape to the West.

To get some insight into the Stasi’s twisted minds check out the Gedenkstätte Normannenstrasse (Stasi Museum)  from where GDR leader Erich Honeker and his cronies operated.

And if that isn’t chilling enough former inmates of Gedenkstätte Hohenschönhausen (Stasi Prison) will show you around the grim windowless cells in which they were interred for the most spurious of reasons.

Happening Suburbs

With lots of funky bars and clubs and a fledgling art scene the former east Berlin suburb of Frederichshain is where it’s at for those of a boho bent.

But the Turkish populated suburb of Kreuzberg — immortalised in a song by Bloc Party — is an exciting, edgy place to be and boasts some of the most kicking nightlife in town.

Potsdamer Platz

Home to the dazzling Sony Centre, the modern centre of Berlin is all shiny and new but a bit sterile.

But it does house the visually stunning Filmmuseum Berlin which covers the history of German Cinema.

And more…

Discover more ideas for visiting Berlin.