What to Do on a 5-Day Visit to Berlin

Monday

The Fernsehturm

The 368-metre Fernsehturm, or TV tower, is now an iconic part of the skyline, but socialist German Democratic Republic built it in a bit of a hurry during the 1960s to show off how efficient communism could be, and to make sure their broadcast signal covered all households in Berlin for fear of people tuning in to West German programmes. Now it’s the highest publicly accessible building in Europe and more than a million people every year go up to the observational level to take in a breathtaking view of the city. If you want to go and haven’t already booked tickets, (you should) go early because there’ll probably be a line, particularly if the weather is nice.

Address: Panoramastr. 1 a

Getting there: Bus: TXl, m48, 100, 200, 248, n5, n8, s5, s7, s75, s9/ U2, U5, U8

Tram: m4, m5, m6

 

Tuesday

The Reichstag

The seat of German parliament with the glass dome is another iconic landmark in Berlin. It has a troubled past:  Kaiser Wilhelm II railed against this “pinnacle of bad taste in the late 19th century; it burned down in 1933 and Hitler cited this as evidence of a Communist plot and constrained freedom of the press and banned political marches; and it was destroyed in World War 2. Norman Foster redesigned and expanded the building in the 1990s . It’s free to go into the dome and roof terrace, but you have to register online at least two days in advance. There’s even a rooftop restaurant.

Address: Platz der republik 1

Getting there: U55, Bundestag, s1, s2, s25 Brandenburger Tor, Bus: 100, m85

 

Wednesday

Tempelhof Airport

Yes we have a non-functioning airport on this list, but Tempelhof is worth a visit. The former parade ground and airport has witnessed historic events: the Graf Zeppelin coming back from a tour of the Arctic in 1931, a visit from Charles Lindbergh after the first ever solo non-stop flight across the Atlantic, Hitler addressing more than a million people at a Nazi gathering in 1933 and more. Now it’s a huge public park beloved by cyclists, dog walkers, skateboarders, skaters, families on picnics, people flying kites, and urban farmers. It’s one of the world’s largest buildings in a central location for public use.

Address: Platz der luftbrücke

Getting there: U8, Tempelhof