My favorite stop in Berlin was the Reichstag building, home to the German Parliament called the Bundestag.
The building was originally opened in 1894 and was home to the Imperial Diet of the German Empire. However, in 1933 it was set on fire by the Dutch Communist, Marinus van der Lubbe, and is seen as a pivotal event in the establishment of Nazi Germany. With a quick google of Reichstag Fire, you’ll find pages and pages of articles outlining the events of the arson to conspiracy theories that the Nazis themselves set the fire.
The building refurbishment began in 1990 and were completed in 1999 to house the modern Bundestag.
I’m not sure if you can visit the lower parts of the building as it is a working government facility but you can take a tour of the observation deck located way at the top and look down over the Budestag meeting space.
The history is great but the real attraction is the incredible cone thingy. I don’t fully understand what it is or why it’s there but it’s awesome none-the-less.
If you visit Berlin, I would put the Reichstag at the top of your list but because it is a government building, you must register for a time slot first. I got lucky and registered in the morning for an evening tour slot but I’ve heard that plan doesn’t work out for most. You can register here.
Also, I stumbled upon the Neue Kirche church while exploring the Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market which is a church built in the early 1700s. Not only is the church itself great but it is also home to a democracy exhibit with a replica of the parliamentary meeting room and tons of history on the German government.
The museum has much more information on the German government than the actual Reichstag so it’s definitely worth popping in before your visit. The labels of the museum are almost entirely all in German so either have your Google Translate ready or do what I did, just make it up yourself!