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Berlin Small-Group Half-Day Walking Tour: David Bowie and the End of the World with a Historian Guide
"When David Bowie moved to Berlin in 1976 he found an island of Cold War angst “cut off from its world art and culture dying with no hope of retribution.” This tour takes you back to the decadent 1970’s city that inspired Bowie’s classic Berlin albums Low Heroes and Lodger. Starting at Cold War West Berlin’s decadent heart Zoo Station
From $90.00
 
Small Group Introductory Tour of Berlin Capital of Culture Tyranny and Tolerance
"This 3-hour tour of Germany’s capital city takes a broad view of the political and ideological forces that unleashed genocide and global war in the 20th century. Berlin’s iconic landmarks while emphasizing the tumultuous Nazi and Cold War eras you will learn how in the 1700's tiny Prussia’s violent transformation into Europe’s dominant military power already set the stage for the great tragedies of recent history.We begin the tour at Potsdamer Platz the business centre which replaced the wasteland formerly known as East Germany’s “Death Strip.” Following the path where the Berlin Wall once stood through to the historic Tiergarten Park you take in the dramatic new Holocaust Memorial and the Reichstag. While the mysterious fire that damaged the Reichstag in 1933 was used by the Nazis as the pretext to suspend civil liberties and arrest political opponents the grand glass dome created for the building in 1992 by architect Norman Foster (complete with walkways that look down into the Parliament) provokes a discussion about the symbolic intentions of the cupola as metaphor for Germany’s reunification transparency and commitment to democracy.Reaching back further into Berlin’s past
From $90.00
 
Private Berlin Photography Walking Tour with a Professional Photographer
"This private Berlin Photo Walking Tour brings you the best from the border between former East and West Berlin. Capture the former Berlin Wall the iconic Brandenburg Gate and other East West relics both old and new. The tour lasts 3 hours is a private tour and you can expect to be taught photography technique as well as motivate your creativity and photographic growth. Suited for a hobbyist an armature or an enthusiast with years of experience our staff of professional photographers will find excellent photographic opportunities for all kinds of interests
From EUR140.00

Potsdamer Platz Tips (82)

Panoramapunkt

Potsdamer Platz has been changed out of all recognition since The Wall came down and is now full of modern skyscrapers including the Kollhoff Tower.
Named after Hans Kollhoff, a Berlin architect who helped to design the new Potsdamer Platz, the Kollhoff Tower is the building that isn’t constructed out of glass and steel - and just in case you’re interested - it was made from peat-fired bricks instead.
The building was finished in 1999, and apart from some shops and restaurants at street level it is primarily office space. You may wonder then why I’m including this building in one of the things to do in Berlin.
If I tell you that the fastest elevator in Europe catapults you up to the 24th floor in 20 seconds, that might just give you a clue.
You’ve probably guessed by now that the reason to come up here is for the views. The good news is that it’s an open air viewing platform, but as you can imagine, the safety railings weren’t put here to help photographers, but don’t let that put you off.
There’s an exhibition called ‘Views of Berlin’ on both the 24th and 25th floors including a piece of the Berlin Wall which seems to just attract graffiti - but then again it always did I suppose.
To be whisked up to the top of the Kollhoff Tower for some of the most remarkable views in Berlin costs a full paying adult €6.50 (June 2016) and there’s a ‘Panoramacafé’ as well, should you need to sit down after your rocket ride to the top.



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EasyMalc
Jun 25, 2016

A Place to be again

At a point where five roads converged at the old Potsdam Gate, Potsdamer Platz became the busiest and most recognized intersection in Germany - if not Europe. It became so busy that Europe’s first recognised traffic lights were installed in 1924 to help keep things moving.
Its heyday was during the Roaring Twenties, when film stars such as Marlene Dietrich helped catapult Berlin onto the world stage of show business. It was the place to be, and be seen. Grand hotels were built to accommodate the rich and famous, as did luxury stores, bars, and restaurants. The inter-war years had been good to Berlin, but it wasn’t to last.
WWII dealt it a devastating blow. Situated as it was, near to Hitler’s Reich Chancellery, it took the full brunt of several air raids that reduced it to rubble. Very few buildings were left standing - the Weinhaus Huth being one notable exception.
After the war was over, the square fared little better. The Soviet, American, and British zones collided at Potsdamer Platz and when the Berlin Wall was built it ran straight through the middle, leaving the area a total wasteland between the eastern and western sectors.
With re-unification came a blank canvas for Europe’s largest building site and the area is now a thriving intersection once again. The modern architecture may not appeal to everybody, but whatever your thoughts about it are, there’s no denying that Potsdamer Platz has now become one of Berlin’s places to come to once again.

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EasyMalc
Jun 25, 2016

New and modren

If you ask me, this was the place I could have skipped. O.k. Maybe you should see this kind of place. Just to see that there is something so different in the town.
But I really can´t say we would have enjoyed to see these buildings. Maybe Sony center "inside" (it is not actually inside, when you go under the roof). But old buildings are much more interesting and nicer.

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Turska
Sep 21, 2014

Potsdamer square

Potsdamer square is like a symbol of Berlin modernity. Here you can see a few skyscrapers, among them - famous Sony center. the name of Potsdamer square comes from a road, that lead to historical town of Potsdam a few hundred years ago.

During Second World War it was hardly damaged, so almost everything you see now - is modern. anyway, some architecture saves peaces of old style incorporated.

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Raimix
Oct 07, 2013
 
 
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Potsdamer Platz

A busy intersection located on the site once occupied by the Wall. The wall was in fact built right on the Potsdamer Platz.. Potsdamer Platz has a turbulent history before World War II it was a lively square, after the war was totally in ruins
And so, when in 1961, the Wall built right on the square. After the fall of the Wall in 1989, Potsdamer Platz was the largest construction site in Europe
Today there are many new and modern buildings. Examples include DaimlerChrysler Quartier, the Sony Center and Bahn Tower
In the last building you will find the headquarters of the (Deutsche Bahn), the German railways

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shavy
Sep 03, 2013

Potsdamer Platz

"Once the busiest traffic centres in all of Europe, the square was divided in two by the Berlin Wall, and subsequently became a ghost of its former self. In front of the main U-Bahn station we saw one of the few remnants of the wall, a tiny upright graffiti daubed slab, which groups of tourists huddled around for photographs." - from my travelogue

Like much of what was great in Berlin, the once lively Potsdamer Platz was left in ruins by allied bombing in 1943. After the war it was split by the Berlin wall, and never quite regained its prominence until German re-unification in 1989. The area then became the scene of the biggest construction work in Europe, and during the 90s many of the great buildings that can be seen there today, like the awesome Sony Center, were built. The area now is again thriving, under a skyline of glass and neon that sets it apart from much of the rest of Berlin.

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antistar
Jun 08, 2013

Modern hub in Berlin

Potsdamer Platz has been the centre of lots of regeneration over the post-war period, Today it is a thriving transport hub and home to many modern high rise buildings. It is also home to the popular Sony Center with its huge Sony store as well as the Potsdamer Platz Arkaden, a very shiny and modern shopping centre where you can spend money like it is going out of fashion. I didn't loiter in Potsdamer Platz for long- it was a bit too busy and bustling for my liking. I did however take a look at the Berlin Wall exhibits in the square, showing some of the slabs of the wall itself. Unfortunately most of them were covered in chewing gum- quite disgusting!
Potsdamer Platz is served by U-Bahn and has a large S-Bahn station too.

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slothtraveller
Nov 02, 2012

Potsdamer Platz

The Potsdamer Platz is one of the most famous squares in the center of Berlin and also an important traffic hub. The square is named after the nearby city of Potsdam. Before World War II was a lively square, but after the war consisted of a big mess. In 1961 the Berlin Wall built across the square. An interesting detail is that until 1989 just north of Potsdamer Platz a piece East Berlin territory west of the Wall was, namely the Lenne Dreieck. This triangular piece of land between Ebert Strasse, the Lennestraße and Bellevue Road, belonged to East Berlin, but was the east enclosed by the Wall in the shortest possible route from Potsdamer Platz to the Brandenburg Gate followed, namely through the Ebert Straße.

After the demolition of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was the largest construction site in Europe. There were many new buildings put down on the empty space that had arisen. Examples of this are as follows:

the DaimlerChrysler Quartier;
the Sony-Center;
the Bahn Tower, where the headquarters of Deutsche Bahn is located;
the Beisheim Center.

In 1990, shortly after the fall of the wall, was still on the sandy plain a rock concert performed by Roger Waters: The Wall.

The square is known for its many theaters, movie houses and theaters. There are other two IMAX cinemas located in the largest cinema in Germany, where films can be viewed in 3D.

Under the square is the station Potsdamer Platz, which through the Tiergarten Tunnel on the railway network is connected. Since May 28, 2006 regional trains stop there, before that it was only an S-Bahn. The square is also reachable by underground (line U2) and several bus lines.

The former course of the Berlin Wall, in some places with stones in the road below.

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Twan
Jul 30, 2012
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alancollins

"Berlin"
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alancollins

"Bogensee"
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matcrazy1

"More than the capital of Germany"
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Kakapo2

"Berlin, Berlin - wir fahren nach Berlin!"
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croisbeauty

"Berlin in my way"
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Modern and classy

At Potsdamer platz are located the tallest buildings in Berlin (except the TV-tower).There are: Sony-centre, The Deutsche bahn offices, hotel Ritz, Kaisersaal, as well as the hall where the Berlin movie festival takes place every year.

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Nikolay_Ivanov
Jul 19, 2012

Potsdamer Platz

The Potsdamer Platz is one of the most famous squares in the center of Berlin and also an important traffic hub. The square is named after the nearby city of Potsdam. Before World War II was a lively square, but after the war consisted of a big mess. In 1961 the Berlin Wall built across the square. An interesting detail is that until 1989 just north of Potsdamer Platz a piece East Berlin territory west of the Wall was, namely the Lenne Dreieck. This triangular piece of land between Ebert Strasse, the Lennestraße and Bellevue Road, belonged to East Berlin, but was the east enclosed by the Wall in the shortest possible route from Potsdamer Platz to the Brandenburg Gate followed, namely through the Ebert Straße.

After the demolition of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was the largest construction site in Europe. There were many new buildings put down on the empty space that had arisen. Examples of this are as follows:

the DaimlerChrysler Quartier;
the Sony-Center;
the Bahn Tower, where the headquarters of Deutsche Bahn is located;
the Beisheim Center.

In 1990, shortly after the fall of the wall, was still on the sandy plain a rock concert performed by Roger Waters: The Wall.

The square is known for its many theaters, movie houses and theaters. There are other two IMAX cinemas located in the largest cinema in Germany, where films can be viewed in 3D.

Under the square is the station Potsdamer Platz, which through the Tiergarten Tunnel on the railway network is connected. Since May 28, 2006 regional trains stop there, before that it was only an S-Bahn. The square is also reachable by underground (line U2) and several bus lines.

The former course of the Berlin Wall, in some places with stones in the road below.

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Twan
Mar 15, 2012

Panorama Punkt

One of several skyscrapers at the Potsdamer Platz is the Kollhoff-Tower. A modest (by New York standards) 25 storeys it is nevertheless a striking building due to the way it tapers to a sharp triangular point, to suit the shape of its plot. It has a restaurant and other public buildings on the ground floor, and offices above, but the main reason to visit is the Panorama Punkt, the name given to the public viewing terraces on the 24th and 25th floors. I saw a brief mention of these in our Lonely Planet “Berlin Encounter” book (“the best bird’s eye view in Berlin”) and we decided it sounded worth checking out – and so it proved to be.

There is a charge to go up (in May 2011 €5.50) and in my view it is well worth it. You will be whisked up to the 24th floor in what it is claimed is the fastest lift in Europe, moving at a dizzying 8.4 metres per second. There you can enjoy some great views over the city and also see the exhibition "Views of Berlin" which lines the inner wall of the viewing terrace and which, despite its all-encompassing name, tells the story of the Potsdamer Platz below:
” No other city square in the world has undergone as many transformations as Potsdamer Platz: from a quiet green to the pulsing heart of a major city, from the height of luxury to a field of rubble, from a no man’s land to the new heart of Berlin.”

But we found even better views, and fewer people, by climbing the steps to the 25th floor terrace above. Here you can walk around all three sides of the triangle, giving you a 360 degree panorama over the city. You can pick out famous landmarks such as the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, Tiergarten, Siegesaule (Victory Column), Television Tower, Rotes Rathaus and many more. And when you have had your fill of spotting and photographing the sights you can have a drink and maybe a bite to eat in the rather stylish café back on the 24th floor (see my separate Restaurant tip).

Opening hours are 10.00 am to 8.00 pm, with last entry at 7:30 pm. The café is open from 11.00 am to 7.00 pm. Weather permitting, the terrace remains open until sunset in summer. If, no when, I go back to Berlin I will definitely go up the Panorama Punkt again, but I think will do so late in the day or early evening, as it must be a wonderful place in which to enjoy a cocktail and watch the sun go down over the city.

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toonsarah
Jun 17, 2011

A former wasteland

Of all the places in Berlin that has changed since the Wall came down, none has changed more than Potsdamer Platz. The former wasteland in the heart of the city is now a major traffic intersection and the site of Berlin’s most eye-catching skyscrapers. The contrast for us from our previous visit here was tremendous. But of course Potsdamer Platz wasn’t always a wasteland – far from it. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, when Berlin was one of the liveliest capitals in Europe, this was one of its liveliest quarters. But with the advent first of National Socialist rule, and then of war, the parties came to an abrupt end. Potsdamer Platz fell silent, and then, like much of the city, was reduced largely to rubble by the onslaught of Allied bombing raids. By the end of the war, only a handful of buildings remained. But whereas elsewhere in the city post-war reconstruction started to fill in the gaps left by bombs, Potsdamer Platz was left – because it had the misfortune to lie directly on the border between British, US and Soviet sectors. The line between them was marked first in the asphalt (in 1948) and then, in 1961, the Wall was driven through the heart of the city, and through the heart of Potsdamer Platz. At no other point on the Berlin Wall was there a wider death strip than here, and all buildings within the strip had to disappear. Furthermore, on the western side, the Berlin government purchased and destroyed unused ruins as they were considered dangerous, and not worth rebuilding so close to the Wall. This is the waste-landscape that we saw on our first visit, in 1985. Have a look at the postcard from that time which I have scanned as photo 3.

In 1989 the square became the focus of world attention. Only three days after the fall of the Wall, a section here was removed, a stretch of road asphalted and a border crossing installed – traffic was moving again on Potsdamer Platz. A few months later Roger Waters organised a concert in the no-man's-land between Potsdamer Platz and Pariser Platz (in front of the Brandenburg Gate). It was the largest concert in the history of rock music.

And with reunification came new life for Potsdamer Platz, its very emptiness becoming its strength, as it offered a blank canvas for the newly unified city planners. Soon this was the largest construction site in Europe, building “a city for the 21st century”.

Today, with businesses, tourist draws, bars, restaurants, hotels and shopping, it is once again the lively urban hub that it was 100 years ago, albeit in a very modern style. Attractions include the Panorama Punkt viewing point (see my separate tip), a nineteen screen cinema (the CinemaxX), Legoland, a casino, several nightclubs, and the Daimler 20th century art collection (www.sammlung.daimler.com). Of these we only visited the Panorama Punkt, which was fantastic, but even if you’re not especially interested in any of them you should still put Potsdamer Platz on your Berlin itinerary, in my opinion. You won’t find a public square in the usual sense of the word, but rather a series of connected public spaces clustered around the thoroughfare of Potsdamer Straße. The area buzzes with activity – buskers (this is where we first encountered the lively Rupert’s Kitchen Orchestra whom we were to see again the next day in the Mauerpark), tourists taking photos, local workers hurrying (or trying to hurry) through the crowds to get to meetings ... It’s a great place for people watching!

And as everywhere in this city, even here in its most modern manifestation, the past is with us. Look carefully and you will see the line of the Wall carefully recorded on the ground in a double row of darker stones (see photo in my Local Customs tip about the Wall). And there are actual fragments of the Wall too, which act as supports for a series of information boards about the history of the area (photo 4). Past, as so often in Berlin, meets present ...

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toonsarah
Jun 17, 2011

Things to Do Near Potsdamer Platz

Things to Do

Topography of Terror

The Topography of Terror is both an outdoor and indoor museum on the site of the previous Nazi headquarters for the Gestapo and SS. It lies at the intersection of Wilhelmstrasse and...
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Holocaust Memorial

I could never understand the behavior of people at times .... This place is not for posing for photos doing your "V" for victory signs ... or for jumping from slab to slab .... This is a memorial...
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Museum für Kommunikation - Museum for Communication

Museum for Communication was established in 1995 in this building which is imposing example of Wilhelmine architecture. The museum is charged with documenting all aspects of the history of...
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Neue Nationalgalerie - CLOSED

The Neue Nationalgalerie is an impressive museum exhibiting art works from 1900 to 1945. A large collection of German Expressionist including Max Beckman and Otto Dix. There was also a nice exhibition...
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Kulturforum

This is Berlin's main gallery of old masters, from the 14th through 18th Century. Its their answer to the MET in NYC or the Louvre in Paris. One can see many masterpieces here from Germany, Holland,...
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Things to Do

Pariser Platz

Pariser Platz stands at the eastern end of Unter den Linden next to the Brandenburg Gate. It was laid out between 1732 and 1734 in what was a Baroque expansion of the city. It received its present...
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Getting to Potsdamer Platz

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Potsdamer Platz, Berlin-Tiergarten

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