|Two different sections of the Berlin Wall|
|New Berlin Tour Sights: Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Holocaust Memorial|
1. New Berlin Tour
A friend recommended that I take the New Berlin tour when I first got to the city and I fully second that suggestion. New Berlin Tours are free daily walking tours of the city (but tips are expected). They are about 3 hours and are a great way to introduce yourself to Berlin's history. The tour takes you to some of the major sights - the Brandenburg gate, the Holocaust memorial, the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, etc. - and the tour guides are extremely knowledgeable.
|The East Side Gallery|
One of the must-see spots that is not included on the New Berlin tour is the East Side Gallery. Created in 1990, the East Side Gallery is an outside gallery painted on a 1.3 km stretch of what's left of the Berlin wall. Though many of the paintings are covered in graffiti, the images are iconic and a walk along this section of the wall shouldn't be skipped.
|Brandenburg Gate and the U.S. Embassy lit up for the Festival of Lights|
3. Berlin's Festival of Lights (October only)
We arrived in Berlin on the last day of the city's Festival of Lights, which runs the first two weeks of October. The city sets up 70 projectors at many of its large landmarks throughout the city and projects art and graphic design onto buildings. The designs are gorgeous and there is a party atmosphere in the air as you walk through the streets.
4. Pergamon Museum
If you like to visit museums when you're in a new city then you need to go to the Pergamon Museum. The museum is a manageable size and won't take hours of your time. But inside it are treasures from antiquity including a large reconstruction of the Ishtar Gate, the Pergamon alter, and the Market Gate of Miletus. The museum is on Museum Island and can be seen in an hour and a half to two hour visit.
5. Street Art
Beyond seeing the East Side Gallery and museums on Museum Island, the streets of Berlin are an art gallery in themselves. The walls of the city are covered in vibrant street art that is as exciting as anything you see in museums.