Alexanderplatz

With its stark, 1960s layout, “Alex” is a showcase of Communist-era architecture and a lively central meeting place for locals.

Alexanderplatz is a pedestrian and transport hub, including everything from high-end shopping to panoramic views of the city. Named after the Russian Csar Alexander I and later becoming the center of East Germany during the Cold War, today's "Alex" includes all the luxuries of a Western metropolitan center.

There are retail chains like H&M and German department stores Alexa and Kaufhof. It's the perfect destination for foodies, too. The nearby Hackescher Markt includes dozens of restaurants and cafes, many with outdoor dining and an emphasis on German food. Feast on curry wurst, a local sausage snack, and wash it down with a traditional stein of beer. There's usually a street performer to keep you entertained while you eat.

If Berlin has a version of the Eiffel Tower or Empire State Building, it's the Fernsehturm (TV Tower) in the center of Alexanderplatz. This needle-shaped behemoth was built in the late 1960s by the East German government as a symbol of nationalist pride. Today it’s a postcard-worthy symbol for the whole city. Take a 1,207-foot (368-meter) trip to the top and enjoy 360-degree views over Berlin, taking in the famous Reichstag building, the Brandenburg Gate and Potsdamer Platz. The viewing platform is open daily, year-round, until midnight. It's the most popular tourist attraction in Berlin, so it's best to book your tickets in advance through the official website.

The sphere at the top of the Fernsehturm includes a bar, with happy hour from 2 to 4 p.m. daily, and a restaurant that serves lunch and dinner. Not only are the views unmatched in Berlin, but the sphere completes one full rotation an hour, so the vistas are constantly changing.

Situated in the Mitte district (Mitte literally means "center") and serviced by U-Bahn and S-Bahn stations, Alexanderplatz is easy to reach from anywhere in Berlin.


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