Now I’m the first to admit that I’m no history fanatic. But, going to Berlin and not visiting some of the world’s most iconic historical spots, is like going to Italy and not having a pizza or pasta at any point.
Lord hail, after my trip, I am converted into a full (partial) historian, and have complied a short guide of 6 must-visit historical spots in Berlin for everyone to enjoy, even those who don’t like history.
The Berlin Wall/ East Side gallery
You’ve probably all seen photos of it on the Instagrams of your favourite travel bloggers, but seeing it in person is more powerful than you can believe. The wall was put up in 1961 under the SED regime to stop the East Berliners from leaving. The artwork on the wall depicts the countries oppression, mood and even the tragedies that took place due to the wall at the time. Today, the wall remains as a symbol of liberation whilst still respecting the history of the city. Powerful stuff!
If you’re like me, you probably only know as far as Hitler’s Germany and his oppressive fascist regime. But the following age was a full communist dictatorship. The DDR museum is an interactive experience that lets you step into the lives of the people living in East Berlin in this age, showing a silenced community and Germany’s dark past.
Holocaust memorial/ Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
I’m personally more of an art history fan, so this particularly appealed to me. Right in the heart of West Berlin, stand lots of concrete blocks that function as a memorial of the Holocaust. The location itself is also mysterious, as the memorial stand between the Brandenburg gate and the bunker where Hitler committed suicide. Deep!
Another beautiful tourist spot, great for a photo opportunity, but also doesn’t go without a deep meaning. This gate was highly patrolled, no one was getting past it without due cause and was a landmark in separating the East from the West.
Make a reservation online and go up and see Berlin from the top of the world. The views are amazing, the drinks are amazing and the bar is amazing. However, this tower wasn’t always so glamourous and was used as a lookout for DDR soldiers, who would shoot anyone who was attempting to escape East Berlin or climb over the wall. How times change!
Last but not least at all, one of my favourites, Hohenschönhausen memorial tour, which back in the day functioned as both a Soviet and Stasi prison. Although located a 30-minute tram ride outside of central Berlin, the Stasi prison tour is phenomenal and lets you step into the lives and cells of the ordinary people held captive during this period. With student discount the 2-hour tour only costs €3, it’d almost be rude not to.