This neo-Baroque edifice housing the German Bundestag (Parliament) survived wars, Nazis, fire, bombing and the country’s division, only to return as a symbol of a new era in German politics. A trip to the top of this open, playful and defiantly democratic space, designed by Sir Norman Foster, is a must, but note that you can’t just rock up any more: following a series of terrorist threats in 2010, you must now book in advance by filling in an online form at visite.bundestag.de, including three possible time slots you can make, at least three working days in advance.
Berlin’s storied past and diverse cultural landscape can make planning a well-rounded itinerary here seem rather daunting. Long weekend spent getting lost among the Museum Island hordes? Marathon shape-throwing sesh at a 24-hour club? Gastronomic odyssey down Neukölln’s Sonnenallee? Ugh – there’s simply so much to do. And unlike many smaller European cities, the German capital doesn’t have much in the way of an ‘Old Town’ you can use as HQ. That means it really is best to go in with a game plan – lest you spend a day wandering around Alexanderplatz asking yourself if this really is the über-cool city everyone raves about.
Our advice? Hit up these top attractions and things to do in Berlin, and follow the weather. There’s no sense in splurging on a multi-day museum pass when the sun beckons you to one of the city’s many green oases. And, ideally, start planning that return trip sooner rather than later.
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