The Reichstag & the Brandenburg Gate
Constructed in 1894, the Reichstag building originally housed the Reichstag parliament of the German Empire until 1933 when it was badly damaged in a fire. It fell into disuse after the Second World War and was refurbished in the 1960s. It was returned to glory by British architect, Norman Foster, who added the glass dome. The work was completed in 1999, when it once again became the meeting place for the German parliament.
The Brandenburg Gate, which sits just south of the Reichstag, is the only remaining gate of a series through whichBerlinwas once entered. It was commissioned by King Frederick William II ofPrussia as a sign of peace and built by Carl Gotthard Langhans to be completed in 1791. Having suffered considerable damage in World War II, the Brandenburg Gate was fully restored (2000-2002) by the Stiftung DenkmalschutzBerlin(Berlin Monument Conservation Foundation).
Berlin Zoological Garden
Entry fee: €13 (regular) €10 (student)
Opened in 1844, The Berlin Zoological Garden is the oldest and best known zoo inGermany. Covering more than 84 acres, with more than 1,500 species and a total of 17,500 animals, this zoo presents the most comprehensive collection of species in the world. Rare species include the giant panda, polar bear and silver back gorillas.
The DDR Museum
Entry fee: €6 (regular) €4 (reduced)
One of the most-visited museums in Berlin, the DDR offers a unique, hands-on experience whereby visitors are encouraged to take part, handle the exhibits, open drawers and look behind doors.
It is the only museum which concentrates on everyday life in the GDR (German Democratic Republic: the socialist state established by the USSR in 1949 in the Soviet zone of occupied Germany). The museum not only shows the crimes of the State Security or the border defences at the Berlin Wall but displays the life of the people during the dictatorship.
Deutsches Historisches Museum
Entry fee: €6
The Deutsches Historisches Museum Berlin (DHM) is the official national history museum of the Federal Republic of Germany. The museum’s objective is to present German history from its beginnings to the present day in terms of its international impact as well as its regional diversity.
In permanent exhibitions, more than 8000 historical objects on 7500 sqm tell stories of political events, confrontations and also of social, economical and philosophical developments. On its two floors, the extensive collection provides multimedia information points and educational offerings for a deeper understanding of the exciting and eventful history ofGermanyin a European context from its very beginnings to current times.