The Reichstag is the seat of the German Bundestag or federal government and, with its new dome, one of the Berlin's biggest crowd-draws in Berlin. The new dome is meant to symbolise the transparency of the democratic government and visitors can pass between its layers to witness the decision-making chamber of the Government. The Plenary is open for free hourly guided tours when parliament is not in session. Its colorful past reflects the turbulence of German history since the 19th century.
The Brandenburg Gate, Berlin's only remaining city gate, is the true symbol of the city. Because it was situated in the no man's land just behind the wall, it also became symbolic of the division of the city.
Now the gate symbolises reunification physically joining the two sides of the city.
Zoologischer Garten (Berlin Zoo-Aquarium)
The Berlin Zoo, located in the Tiergarten, is one of the oldest Zoos in Germany. It dates back to 1844. Until World War II, the zoo boasted thousands of animals. By the end of 1945 only 91 had survived. Today more than 19,000 animals live here, many of them in large, open natural habitats. The most valuable residents are the giant pandas. There is a beast of prey house, a nocturnal animal house and the largest aviary in Europe.
The aquarium is as impressive as the adjacent zoo, with more than 9,000 fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and other creatures. The terrarium within is inhabited by crocodiles, Komodo dragons, and tuataras. You can walk on a bridge over the reptile pit. There's also a large collection of snakes, lizards, and turtles. The ‘hippoquarium’ is a new attraction.
Kongresshalle Am Alexanderplatz (Congress Hall at Alexander Square)
This Congress Centre Berlin hosts a great number of international poster sessions and special exhibitions. Its numerous meeting rooms for small and large conferences, its multifunctional facilities, modern technology and extensive services make it the perfect setting for all kinds of events. Architectural and technical facilities make it possible for a number of events to be staged simultaneously. Poster sessions and special exhibitions can be arranged in the large foyer areas on the different floors.
Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie (Checkpoint Charlie Museum)
Museum dedicated to the history of the Berlin Wall. It was opened in the early 1960s close to a passage point in the Wall where communist authorities allowed visitors from the West, under closely controlled circumstances, to enter the East. Museum’s collection includes tales of successful and failed escape efforts during the Wall's 28-year history. The artifacts include instrumentspeople used to escape, i.e. an improvised aircraft (1984) and photos of the Frenchman who in 1970 smuggled his fiance past a checkpoint by fitting her 5-foot 7-inch, 143-pound body into two adjacent suitcases, where she stayed for 70 minutes.
Schloss Charlottenburg (Charlottenburg Palace)
This beautiful baroque palace is the oldest surviving Prussian palace in Germany. Its construction began in 1695 by King Friedrich Wilhelm I as a summer residence for his wife, Queen Sophie Charlotte. On the south grounds of the Charlottenburg Palace, you'll find the Egyptian Museum with its finest treasure - the famous Bust of Nefertiti. The east wing houses an incredible collection of romanticist paintings from the first half of the XIX century. Hidden away in the lush Royal Gardens are several smaller buildings: the former royal teahouse Belvedere, containing an exquisite collection of porcelain; the Schinkel Pavilion which houses drawings, paintings, sculptures, furniture and porcelain by Karl Friedrich Schinkel; and the neoclassical Mausoleum containing the tombs of Queen Louise, King Friedrich Wilhelm III, Emperor Wilhelm I and Empress Augusta.