The Reichstag, the architecture and history of Berlin, revisited

  • We could say that Berlin is a long living chapter of the history of mankind – and that the Reichstag constitutes one of its most important pages. It was built between 1884 and 1894 to host the Imperial Diet of the German Empire. After the I World War, soldiers and workers occupied the building and declared the Weimar Republic. As the Nazis were raising to power, the Reichstag was set on fire in 1933 – which was the perfect excuse for Hitler to abolish the rights of the Weimar Republic and destroy his enemies, with the excuse of protecting the people and the state.
    As you can see, the Reichstag has been the scenery of actions and decisions that would later affect the entire world. After World War II, the building of the Reichstag was almost destroyed: It was discussed whether to demolish it completely or rebuild it, and it was quickly repaired in the 60s so it could be saved. However, it was remodelled in the 90s by British architect Sir Norman Foster, designer of that famous dome that has become a modern landmark of the city of Berlin.
  • The Reichstag is located in the centre of Berlin, in the district of Mitte. However, districts in Berlin are quite big, so they are usually divided in other neighbourhoods. The apartments near the Reichstag will be located in the neighbourhood of Tiergarten, which receives its name from the great green park that opens up at the foot of the building. Tiergarten is a majestic neighbourhood and one that isn’t densely populated, since it hosts mainly the park as well as government institutions, such as the Reichstag itself, the Bundestag or the German Chancellery. Some important political figures of Germany reside in the area as well.
  • The Reichstag and its surroundings are not much of a commercial area, despite being in the city centre. The neighbourhood of Tiergarten is more of an elegant place full of official institutions and foundations. However, you can still shop nearby if you want to do some shopping. You can go down to Potsdamer Platz to go to the newest shopping centre in Berlin, The Mall of Berlin, or you can walk down Friedrichstrasse , the main commercial street in the centre. In those places you will find all the major fashion brands including haute-couture, as well as book stores and other entertainment shops.
    Finally, remember that the Museum Island is very close, and there you will be able to access the beautiful gift shops of all the museums.
  • The apartments near the Reichstag are located in the city centre, so you will be able to walk to many of the tourist attractions located nearby. You will be able to enjoy the beautiful and leafy Tiergarten, to level up your culture in the Museum Island and to enjoy the majestic architecture walking from the Brandenburg Gate to Alexanderplatz. However, if you do want to profit from some faster transportation, you can either use the metro (U-Bahn) or the train (S-Bahn). There are combined tickets for both, as well as the tramway and the bus. The metro station that is closest to the Reichstag is Bundestag, although that won’t be very useful, since it only has three stations and connects the Berlin Central Station (Berlin Hauptbanhoff) with S-Bahn Brandenburger Tor. It’s better to go to the latter, where you will be able to take the S-Bahn or to walk until Friedrichstrasse and get U6 in the station U Französische Str., which will take you to Kreuzberg.
  • Of course, if you stay in the apartments near the Reichstag you will want to visit the building itself, something that is well worth it. You can choose different tours: you can just visit the dome, you can do that plus a guided tour, or you can even go to a lecture while overlooking the plenary chamber. It opens at 8 in the morning and is open until late at night – in fact, the last admission is usually at 10 pm. The main visit is free, but don’t forget to book in advance, since it’s usually quite busy!
    If you don’t want to visit the Reichstag inside, you can opt to do a free walking tour. Most of them meet up by the Brandenburg Gate, and offer quite a long guided walk where you will be able to learn lots about the history of Berlin – and we’ll agree that it’s an interesting one! Remember to tip generously, since that’s how the tour guides make their living.
  • The Reichstag is located right at the corner of the most famous park in Berlin, the Tiergarten. Besides being a very beautiful, green place, it will make a perfect location for a picnic lunch plan! You can buy a kebab or a currywurst to go in the area, or even make your own sandwiches in your apartments near the Reichstag, and go enjoy them there. There is a big esplanade in front of the Reichstag that adds even more majesty to the beautiful building, and you will be able to admire its beauty as your kids run around and play. A good place where you can buy your kebabs or falafels from nearby is the Doner Kebab Linden Grill, cheap and delicious.
    However, if you prefer to enjoy a nice, quiet meal in a comfy place, you still have options around the Reichstag. You can have a wonderful dinner and try German cuisine at the Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer, a restaurant with 2 Michelin stars from which you’ll enjoy the view of the Brandenburg Gate.
  • Berlin is famous for its nightlife, which always makes an unforgettable experience for everybody, whatever you’re into. Electronic music fans will find Europe’s most amazing clubbing scene, and those who prefer drinks and beers at a bar are also in luck. If you want to go dancing, you can try Picknick, a great alternative club where you will enjoy different kinds of music: It’s eclectic, unique… and sort of a labyrinth! You will find it in Dorotheenstrasse. And if you prefer to enjoy a fresh German beer, you can just go in the same direction, since in that same street you will find Windhorst and Trefftpunk (down Friedrichstrasse), two great pubs where you will be able to experience the real atmosphere of Berlin.


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