Berlin was the capital of Prussia already in the reign of Frederich the Great, though Germany then was but a conglomerate of independent principalities. However, under Bismarck Germany became one of the most powerful European states and Berlin was made the capital of this great empire.
Alas, tragic events of XX century didn’t spare the magnificence of this capital. In 1945 during the storm of Berlin Soviet artillery of Zhukov destroyed almost every house in the city. And after that for many decades the city was divided between East and West Germany, which slackened, or even froze, its further development. You can still feel consequences of those dramatic events.
You should start any tour of the city from Reichstag. It has long been the seat of German parliament called Bundestag, but it is open for visiting. It would very interesting to climb by a small spiral ladder up to the very dome of the building.
Near Reichstag there are some other governmental buildings, Brandenburg Gate and many other historical sites. At this point Spree makes a nice double. Generally, it is just here that you can feel the spirit of the city. At Reichstag you can also take a boat and go down the river until Berliner Dom. You can also do it on foot.
Berliner Dom is the largest protestant temple of Germany. It is located in the so-called ‘Museum Island’ where there survived a number of museum buildings built in classic German style. There are five museums in the ‘island’: Old Museum, New Museum, Pergamon-Museum, Bode-Museum, and the Old National Gallery.
To have a promenade along Unter den Linden is the best evening pastime in Berlin. The street is one of the main avenues of the city where you can admire nice houses. Since XVII century it has been almost completely planted with limes, overshadowing nice street cafes.
Sans Souci Palace is one of the most important sights of Berlin. It was commissioned by Frederich the Great in Potsdam. The palace is a low graceful construction built in rococo style. The palace is accessed by a beautiful stair flanked by vineyard terraces.
If you would to go outside Berlin and have a rest in the environs of the city, you should go to Spreewald. It is a picturesque biosphere reserve with a great number of streams which you can explore in punts or wander along wood paths. There are also small townships in the district. Lubbenau is the nicest of them.