Just south of the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag lies Berlin’s most up-and-coming landmark, the Potsdamer Platz. This large public square was a wasteland for much of the 20th century, but urban renewal efforts begun in the 1990s have made it a tremendous commercial power and a true tourist attraction.
The glass-ceilinged Sony Center, designed by famed architect Helmut Jahn and opened in 2000, is the neighbourhood’s hub. This massive building complex houses shops and restaurants galore, as well as offices, hotels, and condos. An IMAX theatre and other cinemas are located here, as are various museums, including the Museum of Decorative Arts and the Museum of Film and Television. Travelling families will make a beeline for the Legoland Discovery Center. The centre’s futuristic design is an attraction in and of itself, particularly at nightfall when colourful lights project against the glass ceiling.Nearby, the fastest lift in all Europe takes just 20 seconds to zip passengers 100 metres up the postmodern Kollhoff Tower to the Panoramapunkt observation deck. This is a popular spot for photo ops over Berlin, especially at sunset. An exhibit details the history of the quarter, while an onsite café boasts a 1930s-style design.
The Potsdamer Platz U-Bahn station is served by line U2. There is also a larger Bahnhof served by the RB, RE, RE3, and RE4 trains as well as the S1, S2, and S25 lines of the S-Bahn. The Brandenburg Gate is less than a 15-minute walk away. Checkpoint Charlie and the Tiergarten are also within walking distance.
Named after the city of Potsdam, located about 25 kilometres southwest of Berlin, this was once the site where the road from said town passed through Berlin’s old city wall at the Potsdam Gate. The area was completely devastated by World War II and left in shambles throughout the Cold War. In fact, the Berlin Wall cut directly through this area and it became part of the desolate No Man’s Land that characterised the divide of Germany’s capital. Since German reunification it has been the site of massive redevelopment efforts and is quickly becoming the most sought after shopping centre of Berlin.