Best Tourist Attractions in Germany

Best Tourist Attractions in Germany

Germany is a great country for exploring. The whole of Europe’s highest mountain range, the European Alps, lies in its interior. In an area only slightly smaller than the UK, Germany encompasses more than 357,588 square kilometers. Due to its many and varied attractions, many have become popular among the international tourists.

The German Tourism Board (GTA), along with others, is trying to increase German tourism to a level approaching that of the British. In the German tourist guide there is an entire chapter dedicated to the top tourist attractions in Germany.

If you have ever considered travelling to Germany or want to know what the attraction is that has caught the eye of so many tourists, then this guide may be useful for you. It will outline what you can expect from each location and what you can expect on your visit. So, without further ado, here are the top tourist attractions in Germany:

Berlin Olympic Stadium

Most tourists in Berlin pass by the Reichstag building (Seat of the German Parliament) and other notable landmarks before visiting Alexander Platz, the historic hub of German political and economic life in Berlin. But if you’re looking for a different viewpoint, take the time to stroll over to Olympic Stadium. The long before Olympic Stadium was a famous sports venue, it was the site of the 1936 Olympic Games.

During the games, Hitler announced the creation of the Third Reich and used the venue as an audience watching center for Nazi propaganda rallies. In 1961, when the Berlin Wall was built and separated East and West Berlin, the stadium was used by the East Germans as the starting point for their escape. A replica of the Olympic Stadium now stands in East Berlin and a third, built in West Berlin, was damaged in an air raid during the war and subsequently dismantled.

USS Bowfin Submarine Museum

While you can tour several museums in Berlin, none is more interesting than the USS Bowfin Submarine Museum, formerly a World War II German U-boat. The USS Bowfin was a 595 ft long U-boat originally built for Hitler’s navy and was named “U-1” as a part of Hitler’s plan for an Imperial German Navy. The U-1 entered combat in June 1940, but she suffered a series of mishaps and was withdrawn from service in April 1941. U-1 served the Nazi’s during the invasion of the Soviet Union, including Operation Barbarossa in 1941, and was surrendered to the Allies after Germany’s defeat in World War II. She was subsequently scrapped by the Allies.

Today, U-1 is one of the largest submarines in the world, but the submarine is much more than a piece of history. The USS Bowfin has been restored to the condition it was in when she was captured by the U.S. submarine rangers in May 1945. She is open to visitors on a daily basis. You can walk around inside and experience the conditions the submarine endured while in Allied hands.

Berlin Marathon

Running has a special significance in Germany. Just about every German kid participates in cross-country races, starting in the age of five. Running is still an important sport in Germany, and the Berlin Marathon is one of the country’s most popular sporting events. Even if you’re not a runner, you should at least make a trip to Berlin to see the route of the Berlin Marathon.

The event takes place in the middle of summer, and the runners cover a course that takes the athletes through some of the most scenic and historic parts of Berlin, including Brandenburg Gate, the East Side Gallery, the Charlottenburg Palace, Potsdamer Platz, Tiergarten, and the grassy Kurfürstendamm. The Berlin Marathon has been held every year since 1986. The fastest time for the men’s race was set in 2007 when Kenyan Dennis Kimetto completed the 26.2-mile course in two hours and two minutes.

Berlin U-Bahn

The U-Bahn is the world’s largest underground railway system. This overground system is the combination of six former subway lines and a number of underpasses, flyovers, and ground tunnels. As with most major metropolitan areas, the U-Bahn is operated by the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG). The U-Bahn is in operation 24 hours a day and takes more than 1.2 million people a day.

Checkpoint Charlie

Famed as the location where the Berlin Wall separated East and West Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie is often referred to as a border crossing. Located near the Brandenburg Gate, the area was opened in 1933 to connect the Brandenburg Gate with the British sector of Berlin. In the 1960s, the area was chosen to allow East Berliners to leave East Germany, despite the Great Wall.

Since the closing of the Wall in 1989, Checkpoint Charlie has been reopened to visitors. The checkpoint was opened again in 2003, and you can take a tour of the checkpoint, but tickets must be purchased in advance online. You can also visit the nearby Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and the Reichstag, the national parliament of the Weimar Republic.

Berlin Cathedral (Humboldt Forum)

The Berlin Cathedral, or Humboldt Forum as it is now known, is one of the most magnificent buildings in the city. It is the tallest building in Germany at 110m, and was opened in 1908. The lobby alone is 21 meters wide, yet it is the interior that most tourists are interested in.

Cirque d’Hiver, which means “winter circus” in English, is one of the largest venues of its kind in the world. It has 2.3 million cubic meters of exhibition space and is most famous for its 1002 domed towers and interior spires.


At the Berlin Spreepark you can take a ride on an old steam train with old school cars. However, it is not just about the ride as there are also educational and historic parts. Spreepark is Berlin’s first public theme park and was opened in 1900.

It is the world’s oldest functioning steam locomotive railway. It is also one of the last remaining tourist attractions in the world that uses an old steam locomotive for its trains.


The Domplatz in Munich is a large open square bordered by neo-baroque buildings. Although it can get very busy, it is a nice place to sit down with a coffee and enjoy the panoramic view.

Located in the center of the square is a fountain designed by renowned Austrian artist Josef Hoffmann. The central part of the fountain is decorated with ornate sculptures and each year it is the scene for a giant lily contest.

Gutenberg Museum

The Gutenberg Museum was built in 1935 as the European head office of the Imperial Library of Austria. The building served as a museum until its demolition in 1964, when the library was relocated to Vienna.

The Gutenberg Museum was the home of the Royal Printing Presses and the world’s oldest operating press, as well as the birthplace of the world’s first digitized printing press, among other interesting exhibits.

Bode Museum

The Bode Museum was opened in the St. Georg Barracks in Berlin in 1898. The museum was set up to house the collections of German geologist and philosopher Eduard Bode and his wife, who were two of the country’s greatest collectors of medieval art and artefacts. The building was designed by architect Fritz Schumacher and was one of the first museums in Germany to be completely free.

It is one of the best museums of its kind in Europe. You can find traditional German art, the ancient German books in Bode’s collection and a large number of exhibits that trace the development of Europe from the ancient times to the present.

Berlin Zoological Garden

The Berlin Zoological Garden is another very popular attraction for tourists. It is housed in the former barracks of the garrison. It is the largest zoological garden in Germany and the second biggest in Europe.

Visitors can walk around 1.5 hectares and enjoy various animal exhibits and gardens. You can even take a boat trip through the huge Bode Lake in the south of the garden, which is 10 hectares in size.

Schloss Charlottenburg

Charlottenburg Palace, is one of the largest and most important royal palaces in the world. It has served as the official residence of the German Kaiser, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Prime Minister of Great Britain and the President of the United States. The palace itself is beautiful, but it is the surrounding parkland that is better known.

The park is famous for its St. Nicolas’ Park and the many musical fountains and bridges, which are now dotted throughout the park. It is also home to a huge number of historic buildings and museums, including the East Side Gallery, a gallery with painted murals inspired by the East German city of Ostrava.

Schloss Bellevue

Bellevue is Berlin’s last surviving royal residence. It is one of the oldest residential palaces in Europe. It was constructed in 1760 and expanded in the 1800s. The German Crown Princess is the resident of Bellevue Palace.

Humboldt Forum

The Humboldt Forum, which means Humboldt’s Memorial, was built on the site of Berlin’s former Royal Palace and is named after the renowned German explorer and scientist, Georg Friedrich Humboldt.

It is one of the largest exhibition spaces in Europe. The building was designed by London-based Italian architects Renzo Piano and his team. The Forum was inaugurated on 12 November 2007. It contains five exhibition halls dedicated to the history of European ideas from ancient to the modern period.

Tempelhof Airport

The Tempelhofer Feld Airfield, which was once the world’s largest and busiest airport, is now used as a public park. It was the world’s largest airport, spanning 170 hectares and employing 90,000 people. It was finally closed in October 2011 after an 80-year service.

Brandenburg Gate

One of the world’s most famous landmarks, the Brandenburg Gate stands on the site of the former Berlin Victory Column, which was built in 1891 by architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel. It was demolished during the reconstruction of the city center after the second world war.


The Aue-Schacht is one of Berlin’s best attractions. The site consists of three natural caverns of varying sizes that were discovered in the 1930s. It has been turned into a huge underground museum of natural science, a zoo and an outdoor concert venue.


Berlin’s largest park, which covers more than 160 hectares and a quarter of a million visitors every year, is located to the south-west of the city center. You can get there by walking from the Brandenburg Gate and by getting on the U5 line from the Hauptbahnhof.

Museum Island

A former salt mine, Museum Island covers 93 hectares. It consists of the “Musée d’Orsay” and “Musée de l’Élysée”, which were built in Paris during the 19th century and relocated to the island in 2009. The “National Museum Berlin” is also located on the island.

East Side Gallery

East Side Gallery, situated between The Victory Column and the Brandenburg Gate, is the world’s largest exhibition of rock art. It was created by artists in 1984 after the building of the Berlin Wall.

It covers a 30-meter-long wall along the eastern bank of the Spree River, which was used by East Germans as a graffiti canvas and to hide from the police. Most famous works of art include slogans, political cartoons and simple drawings, like playing cards.

Dachau Concentration Camp

While Auschwitz is well known among the general public, Dachau is of particular interest to travelers interested in learning about the history of the Holocaust. Dachau was built and operated by the Nazis as the first large scale concentration camp in 1933. Its infamous history includes the deaths of over 41,000 prisoners, including 13,000 Jews, 4,000 Roma, and 20,000 political prisoners.

Even after the war ended, the Nazis used Dachau as a political prison and an industrial facility. Dachau is now a popular tourist site, attracting over 5 million visitors each year, due in large part to its highly efficient museum that depicts the Nazi prison system from the perspective of a prisoner. The prison displays include bars, doors, and bunk beds, and are easily comparable to the images seen on TV or in other Holocaust museums in the United States.


Tourism in Germany is huge and there is no shortage of cities in Europe with beautiful buildings and attractions. With Berlin being the world’s capital of cool, it’s only right that this list is bursting with fascinating places to visit.

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