There’s so much to see and do in Berlin! We had such a fun time walking all over the city- by the end of our first full day there, I had over 30,000 steps (and really sore feet).
The Reichstag is free to enter but in order to visit the roof terrace and dome, you must register in advance. The Reichstag is a government building so you also have to go through security prior to entering. Unfortunately, the dome itself was closed during our time in Berlin for cleaning/maintenance (dates are listed online for the closures, just bad luck that our trip coincided) but we were still able to see the city from the terrace.
Once a symbol of Berlin and German division during the Cold War, Brandenburg Gate is now a national symbol of peace and unity. This is also where U.S. President Ronald Regan delivered his infamous “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” speech in 1987.
The Berlin Wall physically and ideologically divided Berlin from 1961-1989. It was constructed to stop an exodus from the eastern, communist part of divided Germany to the more prosperous west. At least 136 people were killed at the wall attempting to escape. Today, sections of the wall remain.
Holocaust Memorial (Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe)
Located near Brandenburg Gate, the Memorial commemorates the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Featuring 2,711 slabs of concrete of various heights, the Memorial is a bit maze-like. There’s also an underground information center on the southeastern side of the grounds (we didn’t go in though).
We paid a small entry fee to go inside and climb the 267 steps to the top and watched the sunset over the city. As a strange surprise, we discovered there’s a crypt inside the cathedral that serves as the Hohenzollern family tomb.