The Best Photo Locations in Berlin

by | May 29, 2018 | Berlin, Germany, Latest Posts, Photo Locations, Photography | 0 comments

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Berlin is an incredible mix of beautiful sights, a compelling history and a vibrant party and social culture all of which make for an incredibly photogenic city. After lots of visits and hours spent exploring our favourite photo spots in the city, we’ve put together a list of our 17 best photo locations in Berlin: it’s our guide on where to take the best pictures in Berlin. Enjoy!

Berlin Photo Locations Tip: The best way to explore Berlin is by bicycle. The Berlin sights are relatively spread out but the city is very flat and has excellent bike lanes so you can visit many of these locations in a single morning with a bicycle. Manyhotels rent bicycles or you rent from an independent shop.

Berlin Photo Locations Map

Click here for the Google maps link

Where to Stay in Berlin

Berlin is a massive city and the tourist spots are quite spread out so we highly recommend staying in the centre of the city to allow you to see all the sights and photo locations easily. The two best areas to stay are Potsdamerplatz or Alexanderplatz – both of these areas have a good selection of hotels and restaurants, plus they are very central so getting around won’t be difficult. We stayed at Potsdamerplatz and loved how central it was for seeing the sights.

    • H2 Hotel Berlin-Alexanderplatz – a fantastic budget option in Alexanderplatz, this modern hotel offers great value for money and is perfectly located for exploring the city – check prices now!
    • Berlin Marriott Hotel – located just around the corner from Potsdamerplatz and a 110-minute walk from the Brandenburg Gate – check prices now!
    • Grimm’s Hotel am Potsdamer Platz – a good budget option, this boutique hotel has spacious rooms and a great location – check prices now!
    • Park Inn by Radisson Alexanderplatz – This hotel is located right on the square with views of the Fernshturm. Make sure to check out Panorama 37 on the 37th floor for epic views across Berlin –check prices now!

Click here for the best Berlin hotel prices

1 | Brandenburg gate

One of the most iconic sights in central Berlin and, indeed in Germany, Brandenburg Gate was where Ronald Regan once declared ‘Mr Gorbachev, tear down this wall’. This massive neoclassical gate once divided Berlin and is the focal point of major historical events through Germany’s history. The gate is both a chilling reminder of the past and a symbol of hope and unity for the future.

The large open area opposite the Tiergarten entrance offers the best angles of the Brandenburg gate for photos. Make sure to get some shots of the quadriga (a chariot drawn by fours horses) which sits on top of the gate

Berlin photo spots when to go: We found it was best to photograph the Brandenburg Gate at night when the gate is illuminated

The iconic Brandenburg Gate at night

The quadriga atop the Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate by day

2 | East Side Gallery (Berlin Wall)

After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, 118 artists from across the globe came together in Berlin to paint their interpretation of the aftermath of events onto a former section of the wall. The open-air gallery stretches for over 1km and is home to some of the most famous images from the takedown of the wall era.

The murals and street art in the area really are incredible and it will take at least an hour to wander along. Some of the most iconic German murals documenting the fall of communism in Germany in 1989/90 can be found on this 1.3 km stretch which is the longest remaining piece of the original Berlin Wall. The wall has protected status so the murals don’t change over time. Some of our favourites are the Kiss between Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and East German President Erich Honecker and the Trabi car breaking through the wall.

Berlin photo spots when to go: Try to visit the East Side Gallary early in the morning before the crowds descend on the gallery. We rented bicycles from our hotel and cycled over to the gallery early on a Saturday morning and we had the place to ourselves. We passed the gallery later that day and it was crazy busy so photographing would have been a challange.

Berlin

Mural of the Trabant car crashing through the Berlin Wall

A flowercovered gate in the East Wall Gallery

The iconic Kiss: Erich Honecker and Leonid Brezhnev’s embrace

Our Photography Gear

My main camera is a Nikon D7200 with the Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 and the Sigma 70-200 f2.8 lenses. Elaine uses the compact Fuji XT-10 for all her shots.

 Check out our gear page to see whats in our bag.

We also use Adobe Lightroom for editing all our photos and highly recommend it The combination of Lightroom and Photoshop for a small monthly fee is a fantastic deal – Check prices now!

Click here for the best Adobe Lightroom prices

3 | The Reichstag Building

The home of the German Parliament, the historic Reichstag building should be on every photographer’s list of places to visit in Berlin. The original building dates back to 1900’s but the star attraction today is the panoramic glass dome which sits atop the roof and is one of the highlights of the Berlin skyline. From here you have 360-degree views across Berlin and down into the German parliament chambers.

Berlin photo spots when to go: You should book your trip to the Reichstag in advance (check here for details) as daily entrances are limited and aim to visit late morning/lunchtime to avoid the heavy crowds.

The Reichstag is incredible inside

The reflections make for some great photos

The exterior views are also great

4 | Memorial to the Murdered Jews

This striking collection of 2,700 concrete slabs are arranged in a grid pattern and stand at various heights and angles to comprise the Memorial to the Murdered Jews, a tribute to the millions of Jewish victims of the Holocaust. The memorial is located close to the Brandenburg Gate in the Mitte district. Walking among these pillars is quite an experience and the sheer scale of the site only becomes apparent as you walk through.

While we believe it’s important to capture this memorial given it’s significance to German history, please do be respectful. Don’t climb over the memorial or pull any yoga moves in pursuit of a shot.

Berlin photo spots when to go: We visited the memorial during the day and after dark and it was intersting to capture the different perspectives.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews

Looking up from within the memorial

A path through the memorial

The memorial at night

5 | Museum Island

As incredible on the inside as it is on the outside Museum Island is so good it’s inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site List! Museum Island is located in the centre of Berlin and is home to 5 major museums, the most famous of which is the Pergamon Museum which houses the incredible Pergamon Altar. The Island itself has some great photo opportunities of the museum buildings and the River Spree that flows alongside them. Make sure to check out Berlin cathedral, one of Berlins most impressive buildings and major landmarks and the beautiful dome centrepiece can be climbed for a stunning view of the city.

Berlin photo spots when to go: If you’re planning to visit the musuems book your tickets in advance as the queues can get crazily long, especially for the Pergamon Musuem. We found the island started to get busy around mid-morning and remained so until late afternoon. Avoid these times if you prefer to shoot without the crowds.

The River Spree

Berlin Cathedral

6 | Panorama 37

Berlin is a relatively flat city and t highest building is the Berlin TV tower or Fernsehturm which dominates the Berlin skyline. While the view from the top is incredible, for a better shot of Berlin from higher up head to Panorama 37, located on the 37th floor of the Radisson Park Inn Hotel located just off Alexanderplatz. From here you have sweeping views across Berlin and a unique view of the Fernsehturm from the sky.

The view from Panorama 37 at the Park Inn by Radisson Alexanderplatz

7 | Tiergarten

Every city needs a park to offer an escape from city living and Berlin has a large park in the form of Tiergarten, a sprawling forest of over 200 hectares. Located right beside the Brandenburg Gate and Potsdamer Platz it’s easiest to hop on a rental bike to explore this amazing park.

Make sure to check out the beer garden “Café am Neuen See” and, for some great Instagram shots, check out the colourful lake huts close by.  For something really unique see if you can find the tree where someone has carved the lines of the song “Stand by Me” into the park for eternity.

Tiergarten is also home to the Memorial to Homosexuals persecuted under Nazism: during this time all male homosexuality was classified as a crime and was persecuted. Thousands of men were sent to concentration camps solely for being gay and many perished there. The tree, which if you peek inside, shows a video of two men kissing, is a tribute to those who lost their lives and a symbol of inclusion for all.

Berlin photo spots when to go: The park is relatively quiet during weekdays, however at weekends you’ll want to visit the park early in the day before the weekend crowds arrive. Renting bicycles is a great way to cover the park quickly and it’s a fun way to see the rest of the city.     

The colourful lake huts

The “Stand by Me” tree in Tiergarten

Memorial to Homosexuals persecuted under Nazism

8 | Soviet War Memorial Tiergarten

We came across this memorial by accident while cycling through the Tiergarten. This is one of the largest war memorials in Berlin and is dedicated to the 80,000 Soviet Soldiers who died fighting at the Battle of Berlin in 1945. Today the memorial is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Berlin.

Soviet War Memorial Tiergarten

9 | Berlin Victory Column

The Berlin Victory Column rising out of Tiergarten is one of Berlins most famous landmarks and towers above its Berlin surroundings. Located in the middle of Tiergarten, the column topped with the magnificent golden statue of Victoria, the Goddess of Victory, is a beacon within the park and can be seen glistening for miles in every direction. The hike to the observation platform is rewarded with excellent views of the Brandenburg Gate making it worth the lengthy climb!

Berlin photo spots when to go: Definitely try to visit the Victory Column around the sunset golden hour when the evening light hits the column and the golden Victoria sculpture.

Victory Column

The golden statue of Victoria is visible for miles

10 | Checkpoint Charlie

One of the most important landmarks in Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie was the most famous border crossing between the former East and West Berlin. The border crossing, used almost exclusively for foreigners, was the scene of many tense standoffs during the War and is synonymous with Berlin and its Wall. Checkpoint Charlie was only decommissioned in 1990 and nowadays there is a replica border crossing surrounded by household names like McDonald’s. It still makes for a unique photo echoing the troubled past of Berlin.

Checkpoint Charlie border crossing

11 | Neue Wache Memorial

We stumbled across this beautiful memorial as we cycled from Brandenburg Gate to Museum Island. Not sure as to what it was I stopped to have a look and came across my favourite memorial in Berlin. Neu Wache, meaning Guard House, is the main memorial for the victims of war and dictatorship. The memorial is a large room with a central sculpture called “Mother with her dying son” and it’s definitely only of the most poignant memorials we saw while in Berlin.

The inside of Neu Wache is this simple room with the statue in the centre

The poignant memorial is a heartbreaking tribute

12 | Potsdamer Place

Potsdamer Place marks the dividing junction of East and West Berlin and the Berlin Wall once dominated its streets. The busy crossroads is now home to skyscrapers, shopping and tree-lined streets but if you look closely at the pavement you’ll find stark reminders of Berlin’s past which make for another unique photo opportunity

 

 

Where the wall once stood

 

13 | The Trabis

The Trabis, in a rainbow of colours, are a Berlin icon and make frequent appearances on the city streets. They’re synonymous with the old East Berlin and were driven in their thousands across the border when the Wall fell. The colourful cars make for a great old school pic.

Trabis make frequent appearances on the Berlin streets

 

14 | The street art

Berlin is a mecca for street art and sculptures and one of our favourites is the metal sculpture reaching for freedom, a piece by Tejn who is known for lock on sculptures. In the gritty Berlin side streets and alleys street art, graffiti and murals adorn every wall, doorway and bridge. There are some amazing pieces throughout the city and the Kreuzberg district is a mash of vibrant street art and graffiti.

A lock on piece by Tejn

Street art in the Kreuzberg district

 

 

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