Berlin is Famous for its art and music scene, creative street art, modern architecture and historic landmarks
Berlin is the contemporary capital of Berlin; despite being established in 1237. It is a northeastern city that is divided into 12 districts, each with distinct landmarks and unique character charm. Berlin is known for being extremely international with immigrants and expats from different parts of the world, and you will find their influence in multiple aspects of life such as the cuisine and cultural scene.
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What Is Berlin Famous For?
Berlin is known for its modernist architecture, creative arts, culture, and music scene, as well as its vibrant nightlife. In addition, it has its fair share of dramatic history, especially during World War II. Similarly, Berlin is famous for its impressive collection of museums, especially those on Museum Island.
History, Culture, and Traditions Berlin Is Known For
As its name suggests, Oktoberfest is a celebration held in October every year. It is a part of Volksfest, which is an umbrella term for a beer festival and traveling funfair.
Although Oktoberfest originates from Munich in the state of Bavaria, the capital has its version of the impressive show. While the Munich festival is more traditional, the Berlin one is just as diverse and rowdy.
The event features an array of venues and activities celebrating all things beer, like beer tasting, music and fun at the beer garden, as well as funfair rides and costume contests.
World War History
Berlin holds a crucial place in the annals of world war history. The city’s turbulent past during both World Wars has shaped its present, leaving an indelible mark. Now, it’s a living museum for history buffs and curious visitors alike who want to learn more about this pivotal era.
Consequently, there are numerous museums, memorials, and monuments dedicated to preserving the memory of this important period in German and world history. Some of the key sites are Holocaust Memorial, Topography of Terror museum and Berlin Wall Memorial.
Tracking down this part of tumultuous war history that Berlin is famous for can be a powerful and thought-provoking experience. If you want deeper stories and insights into this essential period, take the Third Reich and Cold War Tour.
The Lollapalooza is a music festival that Berlin is famous for. It is held annually in September and draws people from various parts of the world.
This globally recognized event started in the United States, specifically Chicago, and Berli was the first European city to adopt it. It is held in the Olympic Stadium and Park, which is a huge outdoor space ready to host hordes of visitors.
A reason this festival is so renowned is because of the impressive lineup of artists that usually grace the stage. There is a performance for every taste, ranging from pop to country.
Berlin Fashion Week
Berlin Fashion Week is an exciting biannual occasion that has been running in the city since 2007. This reputable event is one of the reasons why Berlin is famous for being the fashion capital of Germany.
There are often more than 25 fashion shows, all of which are planned by both esteemed designers and budding entrepreneurs. This gives an opportunity not only for fresh trends to be created but also for models to be scouted.
That said, Berlin Fashion Week is renowned for its competitions. These range from sustainability themes to creative ones meant to shine some light on new designers.
Some of the best Christmas Markets in Europe are located in Berlin, which was awarded 3rd place in 2022. These fun, festive markets that Germany is famous for are called ‘weihnachtsmarkt’ by locals.
If you visit Berlin during the yuletide season, be sure to check out Gendarmenmarkt Square or Charlottenburg Palace. Grab some festive gingerbread for your young ones, or fragrant mulled wine for yourself and friends, and amble along.
Watch the nativity performances, listen to live music, and take the opportunity to capture the enchanting light displays. You can often also nab some of those delicious German chocolates in these markets, right in time for the festive season.
The Carnival of Cultures, known simply as Karneval in Germany, is a long-standing festival beginning in 1996. It happens near the date of the Feast of Ascension of Jesus Christ. The event is heavily influenced by the Notting Hill Carnival held in Kensington.
During the carnival, you can expect to find vibrant costumes, jubilant music, and a variety of performances.
The carnival aims to emphasize diversity and the uniqueness of different cultures. As a result, this brings to light the range of heritages present in the multicultural society of Berlin.
Some of the most famous buildings in Berlin are, without a doubt, the museums. There are over 170 museums alone, thanks to the colossal amounts of relics, paintings, and other artifacts.
If you are keen on visiting multiple museums within a day, definitely head to Museum Island. This education-dense complex sits on the River Spree. It is made up of five museums: The Pergamon Museum, Bode Museum, Neues Museum, The Alte Nationalgalerie, and Altes Museum.
And good news! These are some of the most prominent museums in Berlin. So you get the best all in one spot.
Other landmarks worth discovering include the Natural History Museum, DDR Museum, and Hamburger Bahnhof, all featuring different themes. If you are plenty to visit many of the musuems and paid attractions, consider getting the Berlin Welcome Card which will offer discounts on many of them.
Areas And Districts Berlin Is Known For
In the east of Berlin, you can find Friedrichshain, a cozy and green neighborhood. It is home to many local spots that Berlin is famous for.
Be sure to visit the Märchenbrunnen, otherwise known as the Fairy Fountain, at the entrance of the Volkspark. This was the first public park to open in the city and remains to be one of the most popular.
Another fun natural landmark is Boxhagener Platz, a scenic square. It is spacious enough to host different markets, one of which is the Saturday Food Market. Furthermore, the Sunday Flea Market is just as exciting, where you can find and take home a souvenir to remember your trip.
Kreuzberg is a lively district most enjoyed by students. If you are looking for a trip away with friends, this is the ideal destination.
A fun place to visit is Markthalle Neun, an indoor market that sells international food and trinkets. It is a short walk to Görlitzer Park, a 14-hectare park where you can bring your snacks and enjoy a picnic.
In the late evening is when Kreuzberg comes alive. The Tempodrom is a huge venue that holds live music events as well as other performances, whilst the bars and nightclubs are packed with young people.
Neukölln is one of the most multicultural areas that Berlin is known for. It is a 20-minute drive from Berlin Schönefeld Airport.
Almost 20% of the population here is Turkish, Arab, or Kurdish. As a result, it is famous for its street foods, which are of similar origin. Traditional dishes like döner, kebob, and even hummus are all popular here.
Britzer Garten is one of the best spots in the area. During the year there are abundant flower shows based on the season, ranging from dahlias to tulips.
Charlottenburg is one of the most popular districts in Berlin. It is sophisticated, historical, and home to several important landmarks vital to Berlin culture. It is named after Sophie Charlotte, who was the wife of the first King of Prussia, who renamed it for her.
Similarly, Charlottenburg Palace was also constructed for the Queen.
The district is always lively. Whether you explore the Christmas Markets, or window shop at the expensive Kurfürstendamm avenue, there is always a crowd.
Prenzlauer Berg is a family-friendly, eventful district. There are several cafes and boutiques scattered around, as well as parks for children.
Mauerpark is a massive public park that was once an aspect of the Berlin Wall. Here, you can enjoy the sunshine with family and friends. If you happen to visit on a Sunday, be sure to explore the flea market.
Another popular attraction is Max-Schmeling-Halle, a sporting hall that holds up to 12,000 people. Events vary from boxing to concerts, so you can see if there are any shows of interest to you when visiting the area!
Landmarks And Architecture Berlin Is Known For
Undoubtedly, one of the most iconic things to do in Berlin is visit the Brandenburg Gate. The 18th-century structure was constructed on the orders of Frederick William II, an important Prussian King. It led to his palace and was a part of the now-destroyed Berlin Wall.
The monument is significant because it is a symbol of unity. After the fall of the Berlin Wall due to political reform, which divided East and West Germany, it became a poignant reminder.
Notice the beautiful “Quadriga” sculpture at the top of the gate; one of the interesting facts about Berlin history is that Napoleon actually once took it back to Paris with him! It was then subsequently returned to its rightful spot where it overlooks all you curious travelers today.
Berlin Cathedral is found on Museum Island. It is one of the most charming and famous buildings in Berlin, constructed in 1905 with Baroque architecture. You can spot it from a mile away from its huge copper dome painted a sophisticated turquoise: this symbolizes Heaven.
Many significant figures throughout the years have been buried here, in the Hohenzollern Crypt, which dominates the basement. This famously includes the first King and Queen of Prussia, as well as Sophie Charlotte of Hanover.
Dominating the skyline of Berlin, the Berlin TV Tower is easily one of the city’s most identifiable It was erected between 1965 and 1969 by the former German Democratic Republic (East Germany), as a symbol of communist power and technological prowess.
The TV Tower stands a staggering 368 meters (1,207 feet) tall, making it the tallest structure in Germany. You will find it near Alexanderplatz; and of course, whenever there’s a tall tower in a city, it usually means you can go up for some amazing views.
In addition to the observation deck that’s situated 203 meters (666 feet) hight, the TV Tower also features a revolving restaurant that offers diners stunning views while enjoying delicious cuisine. The restaurant completes a full rotation once every hour, providing visitors with a unique perspective of the city as they dine.
Memorial To The Murdered Jews Of Europe
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is a poignant monument that was built to remember Holocaust victims.
It consists of 2,711 rectangular blocks made from concrete. The needless crimes which took place in World War II will always be remembered here, especially as they occurred in Germany-occupied Europe.
In addition to this, there are separate monuments in Berlin for other victims. This includes the Memorial For Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism, as well as the Memorial For Sinti and Roma Victims.
The Reichstag Building is a huge complex that operates as the seat of the German Federal Parliament. The monumental complex finally opened in 1894 after one decade of building. Kaiser Wilhelm II was responsible for laying the last stone.
On top of the building, you can find the Reichstag Dome, which Berlin is famous for. It is a relatively modern improvement added in the late 1990s. It is a unique glass dome that has a panoramic view of Berlin and matches the white and silver exterior of the building below.
Consequently, this is one of the most important landmarks in Germany. You can actually visit the interior, including the dome. Try to pack light when visiting as this is a government building and strict checks are needed during entry.
Berlin Zoological Garden
The first and oldest zoo in the city is the Berlin Zoological Garden, which first opened its gates in 1844! It has since then evolved to look after 1,400 different species, which also include those in the aquarium. Hence, this is the perfect family-friendly attraction to visit with kids.
From flamingos to donkeys, and exotic fish, you can spend all day discovering new animals. There are opportunities to feed the animals, as well as partake in the guided tours.
Food Berlin Is Known For
Schnitzel is one of the foods that Berlin is famous for, and many consider it to be one of Germany’s national dishes. However, some dispute this and claim it originated in Austria, although this is yet to be substantiated.
The Schnitzel is a slice of meat, usually veal, which is pounded to create its characteristic thin shape. It is then breaded and fried. Traditionally, it is garnished with lemon before being served with mashed potatoes and a refreshing salad.
Bratwurst is simply a pork and veal sausage. It is derived from the German word ‘braten’ meaning ‘to fry’. After being poached in water, the sausage is then pan-fried or barbequed.
There are two secrets to a delicious bratwurst. One is to ensure the meat has the golden ratio of 70% meat to 30% fat. This provides a succulent, juicy texture. Additionally, the seasoning of the meat is imperative. Traditionally, this is nutmeg, coriander, and caraway seeds, giving it an almost sweet taste.
Subsequently, the bratwurst is added to a toasted hotdog bun, garnished with fried onions, and topped with mustard.
A currywurst is a variation of bratwurst that is famous in Berlin. In contrast to the mixed meat bratwurst, it is usually made solely with pork. It is also cured and smoked. The shape also differs, as it is thinner and curved.
The seasoning is vital to a perfect currywurst. Usually, this is tomato puree, a mild yellow curry, sugar, and vinegar. As a result, the sausage is tinged red. This is served with fries and is a common German snack and street food.
Spätzle are buttered egg noodles. This translates to little sparrows, which is thought to be because of the characteristic hand posture when holding the dough. They are made like regular pasta with flour and eggs, then shaped irregularly and short.
You can find Spätzle with a little seasoning, which is unlike many traditional dishes. However, they can be garnished with fresh herbs like dill.
This is a side dish to other foods such as schnitzel, lentil soup, or even bratwurst! Some might even have this comfort dish for breakfast in Germany.
If you are looking for a hearty, warm dish that is ideal for the winter, look no further than this traditional German food.
Simply said, it is German meatballs with gravy. Invented in the 18th century in Königsberg, which is now a Russian town, this dish is the perfect dinner. Nevertheless, it is found in several locally-owned restaurants, with the authentic atmosphere Berlin is famous for.
The gravy is made with sour cream and capers which resembles a white sauce. When covering the meatballs in this, it gives them a tart flavor.
Famous People From Berlin
Germany is famous for being the birthplace of Albert Einstein. Born in 1879 in Ulm, is considered to be the greatest theoretical physicist of all time. He attended the Humboldt University of Berlin and later became a director at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics.
His biggest achievement which continues to aid other physics to this day is the theory of relativity. This is a theorem related to space and time. Because this is studied in schools, universities, and higher careers, Einsten’s legacy continues to live on.
It’s a result of his contribution, Einstein has a Nobel Peace Prize, was named The Person of the Century by Time, and much more.
Born in Schönerberg, Berlin, Marlene Dietrich was one of the most talented actors of her time. Her career spanned seven decades, an achievement in itself.
Dietrich’s role in Lola-Lola was what caused her success, further accelerated by The Blue Angel. In addition to acting, she was also a singer.
However, what made the public flock to her and continues to do so is her political involvement. Dietrich was admired for helping Jews escape Germany, for which she received the Medal of Freedom.
Mike Nichols was a film director who was born in Berlin and died in Manhattan. He had an international career that aided him in reaching millions of people around the globe. His movies are considered poignant and funny.
Some of Nichols’s biggest achievements include a Grammy for An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine Mayas well as 4 Emmys. Furthermore, Nichols was a celebrity figure. His public marriage with Diane Sawyer caught the public eye.
Dominic Monaghan is an actor from Berlin. He spent his childhood there before moving around to other German cities, and finally settling in England.
Dominic is best known for his role as Meriadoc Brandybuck In Lord of The Rings, an adventure trilogy. He also had a main role on “Lost”, a mystery drama about a crew who find themselves lost on an island following a plane crash.
Randomly, Because of his avid nature obsession, he has a new species of spider named after him!
Discovering More Things Berlin Is Known For
There are so many things that Berlin is famous for, ranging from history to culture, food, and modern developments. However, there are always new things to discover.
For instance, did you know that Berlin is one of the greenest cities in the world or one of the most extensive street art scenes? It also features a significant startup scene with companies such as Soundcloud, N26, Flixbus, and Zalando originating from the city.
It’s definitely a travel destination worth visiting, and you will have plenty more time to uncover and experience all Berlin is known for.