Brandenburg Tor (Brandenburg Gate)
The U.S. Embassy is near the Gate, and a few others. I went here first, because my parents were in Germany when the Wall came down. There were some people protesting in a tent in front of one of the embassies, but there was not much going on in the area otherwise.
Because I came in winter, there were almost no tourists in sight, which made walking around the gate really nice. It’s also near a memorial garden for victims of the Holocaust. On the other side of the garden is the Reichstag Dome, which has one of the best views of Berlin. I did not go, as you have to register in advance or wait in a queue that was too long for me. I hope to go back later in the trip.
Deutsches History Museum
– I do not have photos of this museum, but it was full of artifacts from German history, especially as they related to the political and geographical development of the country. It had everything from suits of armor, to furniture, to clothes, to pamphlets and posters.
– The museum is divided by time periods, each with artifacts and explanations about that particular period in Germany’s history. If you want to know more about the relationship between Germany and the European continent from political, social, and historical viewpoints, this is the museum to see!
– This museum is not covered under the Museum Pass, but the Berlin Welcome Card will get you a discount on admission cost (regular: 7 €, reduced 5 €).
I thoroughly enjoyed it, and the bookshop had a hilarious book on “The 50 Steps to Becoming German.”
One entrance to the museum – I found this on my way out.
The other entrance to the museum. I used this one.
The Berliner Dom (admission 7 €)
I did not go inside, and instead went to the National Art Museum. The Deutscher Dom is included in the Museum Pass, so I would recommend saving your money and visiting that cathedral, instead.
There are SEVERAL other museums on the “island” and information on each can be found here
Crossing the bridge, leaving Museum Island to take the S-bahn to Hacksecher Markt. It was time for lunch! (For more information about the food I’ve been eating, see my post about food in Germany!)
Must-See Museums (not on the Island)
I am more of a history and art type of person, but Greg suggested that we visit the Natural History Museum (Naturkundemuseum) before going to dinner, and the next day we visited the Deutches Technikmuseum.
Information on the Naturkundemuseum is online
in English, and it’s included in the Museum Pass. There are plenty of exhibits, and it’s a great place for kids.
Of course, the biggest exhibit currently at the museum is “Tristan” the t-rex.
This is the Guinness World Record largest assembled dinosaur skeleton. It. Is. HUGE.
The outside of the building
I will likely not do justice to how awesome the Deutsches Technikmuseum
or Technology Museum. It’s not a museum I would have otherwise visited, but I am SO GLAD I did. Plan to be here most of the day. It’s MASSIVE and has a ton of exhibits about a multitude of topics related to science and technology. To give you an idea of what’s there, here are some photos of the exhibits:
The outside of the museum, which I later learned was the “new building.” You actually have to walk around the building to the right side and most of the way down the block to find the entrance.
There are also exhibits on DNA, pharmaceutical development, photography, film, sewing, jewelry, textiles, and luggage-making. Honestly, I cannot recommend this museum enough. The name is a bit deceiving, and there’s an exhibit for a wide range of interests. There’s also a lot of picnic space if you visit during nice weather.
The Zoo and Aquarium
I might not be the best person so talk about these two, since I went to the Omaha Zoo last year. They both have several exhibits, and the penguins are super cute. However, it might be better to visit Tiergarten, which was the zoo in East Germany. It’s much more open (the Berlin Zoo is in the middle of the city – literally, there are skyscrapers all around it and apartment buildings are just outside of some of the walking paths).
These buildings are right outside the zoo.
Posing penguins – they were SO CUTE
Overall, the Berlin Welcome Card and Museum Pass were a great idea!