Bode Museum on Museum Island, Berlin

Berlin is a thriving cosmopolitan city with a fascinating and sometimes turbulent past. This intriguing mixture of modern highrises and rich history provides travelers with a unique look into Germany’s cultural heritage. From impressive cathedrals and museums to thriving nightlife and luxury boutiques, a visit to this beautiful city will leave you fulfilled on many levels.

Start your tour of Berlin at Museum Island, home to several of the cities notable museums. Located along the Spree River, Museum Island is an attraction unto itself. The northern part of the island is home to the Altes (Old,) Neues (New,) Bode and Pergamon Museums as well as the Alte National Gallery. Lustgarten Park is a great place to enjoy a picnic lunch in between visits to the various museums. Depending on your taste in collections, from art to antiquities, from German history to world artifacts, you’ll find it at one of these museums. Speak to a Luxe Travel Advisor about staying at the Rocco Forte Hotel de Rome in Berlin, which is walking distance to Museum Island. Your travel advisor can secure a Berlin Museum Passport for free entrance to these museums and more.

Berlin Cathedral

The Berlin Cathedral is an impressive church located on Museum Island, on the other side of Lustgarten Park. While the Berliner Dom went through many stages over the centuries, the current church structure was complete in 1905. The church was bombed during WWII and restoration following the war went on until 1993. Mosaics and stained glass windows decorate the dome and a climb to the top provides an impressive view of the city. Allow some extra time to climb the stairs, as many photos and models decorate the stairwell along the way.

The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church also went through some notable changes due to the war. The damaged spire is partially restored and is open to visitors. After the war, four buildings built around the ruins of include an impressive tower with honeycomb glass of blues. This interesting mix of ruins with modern technology is a testament to the perseverance of Berlin residents.

The largest palace in Berlin, Charlottenburg Palace, is the only royal residence that survives in the city. While it was badly damaged during WWII, major renovations have revived this popular tourist attraction. Constructed at the end of the 17th century, today you can visit the Old Palace, featuring baroque decorations and the Porcelain cabinet with thousands of porcelain objects. The garden designs are as old as the palace, highlighting geometric patterns in the baroque style. A teahouse, mausoleum, and carp pond also line the gardens.

The German parliament building of Reichstag went largely unused in the last century until it was fully restored by 1999. The original building dates back to 1894 and the façade remains the same as it was then, with one exception. The large glass dome at the top of Reichstag provides a panoramic view of the city of Berlin. The glass gives natural dazzling light to the parliament hall below. While visitors are allowed inside the glass dome, please note that online registration is required beforehand. If you arrive without prior registration, you will only be admitted if passes remain.

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

A former Berlin city gate, the Bradenburg Gate is the only remaining gate through which citizens once entered Berlin. This impressive arch, located just south of Reichstag, features twelve Doric columns with the Quadriga driven by the Roman goddess of Victory at the top. After WWII, the gate was inaccessible once the Berlin Wall was erected just west of the gate, cutting off access from West Berlin. Today, the gate represents peace and freedom of the unified city.

Once a bustling city center in the early 20th century, then a desolate no-man’s land when the Berlin Wall divided it, Potsdamer Platz is once again a symbol of posterity, technology, and innovation. The original Potsdamer square in central Berlin is now home to several skyscrapers from Daimler to Sony. Check out Europe’s fastest elevator at Potsdamer Platz No. 1 to reach the viewing platform. From here, you can see many of the city’s notable sights, along with an impressive view of the whole of Potsdamer Platz. The Arcade mall is also popular place to satisfy all your shopping needs. In addition to shopping, top nightclubs keep the festive atmosphere going well into the night with modern and techno music.

If time allows, consider taking a day trip to Potsdam, southwest of Berlin. The charming old city is home to several palaces, including Sanssouci, Orangery, New Palace, and Charlottenhof. Old Market Square, at the center of the city features St. Nicholas’ Church and Old City Hall. Stroll through Dutch Quarter’s collection of red brick Dutch style houses. In addition, visit the Albert Einstein Science Park and Tower, built to study Einstein’s theory of relativity.

Christmas Market in Berlin

The Berlin Festival of Lights in October is a relatively new festival that has grown each year in popularity. Berlin landmarks gleam in multi-faceted projections of light and laser effects, turning the city into a brilliant showcase. More than 70 of the city’s familiar sights sparkle and dance under luminous lights after the sun goes down.

Christmas in Germany is a magical time and Berlin is no exception. Christmas markets line the streets at Charlottenburg Castle, Potsdamer Platz, Gendermanmarkt, and Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church to name of few. The markets are lined with colorful tents offering crafts, sweet treats, woodcarvings, and entertainment.

If you cannot visit in October or during the holiday, summer is a great time to travel to Berlin. The mild to warm temperatures allow for comfortable exploration on foot. Contact the Luxe Travel team at 1-866-365-8747 or concierge@luxetravel.com to talk about scheduling your luxury trip to Berlin.