This year marks a very special anniversary for Germany – the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
This was one of the most memorable moments in German history, but it also laid the foundations for further improving Germany’s international image as a popular travel destination.
Today, Germany’s cultural appeal is enhanced by 39 UNESCO World Cultural and Natural Heritage sites, 15 national parks and 15 biosphere reserves.
While images of the Berlin wall remain an iconic must-see for any traveller in the area, 25 years later, the German capital is also defined by its compelling mixture of historic, cultural, and creative milestones.
Here we reveal six of the most significant must-see landmarks to add to your Germany itinerary:
This is Berlin’s underworld – the city’s underground bunker system, a subterranean labyrinth that features air raid shelters leftover from WWII and escape tunnels under the Berlin Wall.
Here you can learn about the lives of Berlin’s citizens during the war, see countless artefacts that have been buried for decades, and hear stories of people who tunnelled to freedom in West Berlin.
Berlin is home to all the major government buildings, most notably the historic Reichstag, seat of the German parliament.
Since being built in 1894, it has been burned, bombed, rebuilt and buttressed by the Berlin Wall, before later becoming home of Germany’s parliament, deeply interwoven with the country’s history.
Visit not just for the tangible taste of Germany’s past, but to experience the iconic glass dome, where you can see beaming 360-views across the city.
No other monument in Berlin is as famous around the world as Brandenburg Gate.
As a signature attraction and symbol of German reunification, it now represents the past and present of the German capital in exemplary fashion.
As one of Germany’s most moving landmarks, this striking memorial pays tribute to the murdered Jews of Europe at the northern end of Wilhelmstrasse close to Brandenburg Gate, testifying to the fact that these unspeakable crimes had their origins in Berlin.
Featuring over 2000 concrete columns erupting out of the silent grounds, this is a place for mourning, reconciliation and perhaps forgiveness, but not a place for forgetting.
The sheer abundance and splendour of Dresden’s cultural treasures are enough to take your breath away.
Described as a ‘masterpiece on the Elbe’, Dresden is another German city which has been reconstructed and revived to its former glory.
Characterised by its beautiful baroque old town, it’s here that Dresden’s three iconic and historic landmarks can be found; Semper Opera House, Zwinger Palace and the Church of Our Lady – arguably the most famous church in northern Europe and a symbol of reunification. The church was reconstructed thanks to donations from more than 600,000 people around the world.
Leipzig is a city for music; largely due to famed composer Johann Sebastian Bach having lived and worked here. It’s also said that many great musicians, kapellmeister and composers are more popular and more prominent here than anywhere else in the world.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall however Leipzig was labelled ‘City of Heroes’, since it was here that the ‘peaceful revolution’ to bring down the Berlin Wall unfolded.
It was here that more than 70,000 demonstrators confronted the security forces of East Germany’s communist dictatorship with cries of “we are the people!”.
To commemorate this legacy, the city hosts one of the most spectacular celebrations of the fall of the Berlin Wall, known as the Festival of Lights.