This is a really cool area in Berlin, and you'd be crazy to miss it. During the day you can see some of the remnants of the wall and explore all of the different cultural buildings (museums, opera houses, philharmonic) nearby, and at night this place is buzzing (especially the Sony Center). If you like people watching, go to the Sony Center.
They also have a spectacular Christmas market (as do many places in Berlin), complete with a snow hill to tube down and an ice rink (don't drink too much Gluhwein before attempting these).
I studied in Berlin for 3 months and Hackescher Markt was one of the first places I went (and one of the places I visited the most). This area is so much fun to explore, I just wish that I knew about all of the hidden gems a few years ago. I guess I have to go back now...
I lived in Berlin for 3 months at the end of 2007 while studying abroad and I loved every second of it. Berlin is such an amazing city and I plan to go back some day to spend even more time there.
The differences between the East and West are so apparent as you walk around downtown and as you move from the Reichstag towards Alexanderplatz. This tour takes you to all of the major highlights, but there are definitely lots of hidden secrets as well.
Here are some of my favorites, if you don't have much time:
- Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate)
- Memorial to the Murdered Jews
- Unter den Linden
- Hackescher Markt
- Berliner Dom
It will take you a lot of time to truly see all that Berlin has to offer, but this will get you off to a good start.