A lot of times, Berlin gets a bad rap as being an unphotogenic city – a lot of its historic areas were utterly destroyed during World War II when the allies bombed the city. Most of the city has been built somewhat recently, with few historic buildings still bearing bullet marks. But that’s not to say that you can’t find some beautiful places in Berlin – it’s just not the same kind of typical beauty you expect from the classical western European cities like Vienna or Paris.
Where to take beautiful photos in Berlin
Here are some of my favorite photography locations in Berlin as someone who’s lived here for almost three years – and I’m constantly discovering more.
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Alexanderplatz is the ultimate center of the center of the city, as well as home to the city’s most recognizable landmark: the Fernsehturm (TV tower).
Tip: You can take this photo from Museum Island, facing Alexanderplatz.
It’s the tallest structure in sight, and can be spotted from kilometers away. Depending on where you are, you could see it like the north star. Come here for a photo that screams “Berlin!” like no other.
This plaza has a few different buildings, including a cathedral and an opera. Especially during Christmas time, Gendarmenmarkt is a lovely place to visit – you can drink you fill of mulled wine and peruse tents with hand-crafted goods made by local artisans.
While you’re exploring Berlin’s city center, you can stop by Strandbar Mitte (a beach-bar in the middle of the city) for a cold Corona or a fun sunset photo like this. It’s a great place to enjoy the summer and soak up the last rays of sun on any day.
Many tourists never made it into Kreuzberg, an area south of the city center in Berlin (all the better for those of us who live here!). There are a few locations on this list in Kreuzberg, so you can plan your trip around hitting several spots.
Shop the minimal camera bag I use when adventuring around Berlin.
Viktoriapark’s peak is one of the highest within Berlin’s city limits, offering a sweeping vista to those who take the easy climb to the top. From here you’ll be able to see some of Berlin’s most famous landmarks, like the Fernsehturm and Gendarmenmarkt.
Especially after the Berlin Wall fell, some areas outside the center of Berlin were more or less abandoned in favor of most central haunts. Luckily for us, some of these unique and historic buildings are still waiting to be explored by the adventurous. Inside you’ll find things that are both strange and intruiging – such as the art inside this building. Wear good shoes and bring a flashlight!
Tip: You can explore abandoned buildings in Berlin as part of this tour by Local Guddy .
Overlooking Berlin’s biggest park, Tiergarten, the Victory Column provides a classic Berlin photo opportunity. Don’t miss coming during Autumn to see a very special rendition of this sight, with golden trees lining the path to the Brandenburg Gate.
After the TV Tower, Brandenburg gate is probably Berlin’s second-best known landmark. It’s usually buzzing with tourists vying for a photo, so some early in the morning for a more relaxed experience. Nearby you’ll also be able to see the memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe, and equally iconic if not more somber sight.
If you’ve got more than a day or two in Berlin, don’t be afraid to adventure outside the center and see some of the outer areas. In the west, you can take the S-bahn and then a two-minute ferry to Peacock Island, former summerhome to Prussian kings. Here you’ll find a unique castle and a number of different attractions throughout the island. Bring a snack and have a picnic!
This completes the trifecta of best known sights in Berlin: TV tower, Brandenburg Gate, and Berlin Cathedral. If you’re walking around the center of Berlin, it’s almost hard to miss this massive church. You can also enter and climb to the top for views over the city center. Be sure to check out several different vantage points around the church to get a wide range of photos!
The meeting place of the German parliament, and a very cool photo spot during golden hour and blue hour. From the top you can see a good deal of Tiergarten, as well as other known locations in the center of Berlin.
To go inside is free, but you have to also reserve a space in advance – something that should be done several weeks beforehand if you’re traveling during the high tourist season.
Literally, “Devil’s mountain”, Teufelsberg is an artificial mountain created by the Nazis for the purpose of spying on Russia’s communications. Today you can hike to the top through Berlin’s biggest forest, Grünewald, and (for a fee) explore the spy station and get a panoramic view of the city.
Tip: There’s a steep fee for taking photos (7 EUR on top of your ticket), so either pony up the cash or keep your camera stashed until you’ve entered the complex.
Cherry blossom avenues
If you’re lucky enough to come to Berlin during the 2-3 weeks that cherry blossom trees are in full bloom, don’t miss seeing our two gorgeous tree-lined pedestrian avenues. One exists in the north of the city and the other in the south, so no matter where you’re staying you should be able to visit them.
Shop the main camera bag I use when I want to bring my camera gear with me.
Another enjoyable part of Kreuzberg, you can take a walk down the canal to enjoy some Autumn colors and have plenty of photography opportunities. This is one of the loveliest places to see Autumn in action in Berlin, just make sure you’ve got a cozy knit sweater and you’re all set.
Have you ever been to Berlin?
What were some of your favorite photos that you took? Do you have any tips for me about hidden photos spots in your favorite city? Share them in the comments!