Top 5 Tips

5 Tips to Visit Berlin Modern Architecture

There is A LOT of modern architecture in Berlin.  There is so much new architecture to visit the following tips will help you make the most of your trip and your modern architectural visits.

1.  Research & Prioritize

This should be a general rule however if you are in Berlin for a week or less you will not get to it all so spend a bit of time deciding your ‘must sees’.  There are also a number of buildings which close, even some of the public monuments and memorials so make note of the hours of operation.  Berlin may not be a city where you can sleep in everyday or you will miss out on those open hours of operation.  The Berlin Directory at includes links to the building websites so you can confirm the hours of operation.

2.  Up High and Down Low

The TV Tower can be seen everywhere in Berlin, with its loaded history it now contains an observatory deck with a 360 degree view of Berlin.  This is a great place to get an overall sense of the location of neighborhoods, architecture and monuments as well as observe how the east and west divide can still be seen in the building mass and city plan arrangement.  Learn more at:

A boat tour is always a nice break from the walking and trekking but from the water you will be able to get a great view of many architectural gems which front on the waterway.  For tour information visit  which offer many different tour options.

3.  Guides:

When I was in Berlin I brought two travel books which I used and referred to constantly:  I never left my hotel with the Knopf MapGuide: Berlin and the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Berlin.

To help you with your research before you leave the Visit Berlin website is jamb packed with information, it is definitely worth a good review before you leave.

4. Guide to Modern Berlin Architecture

A Guide to Modern ArchitectureTo help you discover the modern Berlin architecture you should visit which is a comprehensive catalog of many modern gems.  The address and closest transit stop is listed to help you on your travels as well as a link to the website and a feature or tip about the building.  All the information is compiled to make your architectural visits easy.

5.  The BVG

The trains (subway) in Berlin will get you everywhere you need to go – they are easy and on time.   The BVG offers some great deals for visitors which get you discounts to a number of other locations and you can buy it online from home so you don’t need to waste valuable vacation time.  Visit:

Happy journeys in Berlin.

tips for visiting modern architecture


Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre

A few tips I have picked up during my travels visiting architecture in a foreign city.


Sometimes it is impossible to see it all, even with all the planning and research building’s close, weather changes, we get lost, some building’s will take longer to see because they are out-of-the-way or perhaps it is a giant museum that could take a day to see the exhibit, or our travel companion may have had their fill of architecture for the day.

I always list my buildings in three categories before my trip:

1. Absolutely will not leave this city without seeing this building!
2. Really want to see
3. I will live if I don’t see that building

Once all the buildings are placed in a category in my head or on paper I have a better sense of how to setup my travel Itinerary.


There is nothing worse than a long trek to see an Architectural gem and it is closed. This has happened to me and I have been devastated, particularly because it took a lot of effort to get their too. It is important to double-check the hours and any closures, especially around holidays or for museums. Nowadays most building’s have websites so it is easy however if there is any doubt because you found some conflicted information a quick phone call to confirm or upon arrive at your hotel you can always ask the concierge. If language is an issue a photo of the building has helped me on a number of occasions they may not understand you but a picture is worth a thousand words. Trust me it is worth it to be prepared, particularly for the architecture in the “must see” category.


It is always easier to do a few neighborhoods in a day rather than going back and forth all over town. A map marking out where the architecture is located helps clearly identify if they are close together or if any of the building’s are far and singled out. In my experience if a single building is far off the radar I go back to my priority list and determine if it is worth the additional effort and time, occasionally a building can drop a category in the list if there is no public transit or it will take the whole day to get to. Visit the architecturegroupie website for an address list of modern architecture which is organized by city and includes clear photos of the architecture featured. The Maps are available to eliminate the need to plot your own course.


A building tour can be a great, sometimes the only way, to get inside and see the architecture. Always ask if there are architecture tours available, they may not run as often but the tour is usually tailored to the information an architecture groupie would be interested in. If the tour doesn’t work with your schedule or your wallet you can do some internet research or puck up a book on the architect or building which will provide information and increase your appreciation and experiencing.


Many tourist just hit the hot spots take a picture and are on their way. I doubt any architecture groupies fall into this category however it is always worth spending some more time and enjoy the building for its intended use. So if you are in a carefully designed museum go through the exhibit, a solemn church deserves a moment of silence or in a beautiful shopping mall – go shopping! does the architecture bring out the purpose well?

architecture groupies do not need to know everything about architecture – they just need to enjoy it.



The Toronto Society of Architects (TSA) was established in 1887, it is a non-profit volunteer-based organization made up of architects and members of the community interested in architecture. The TSA is the local Chapter of the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA), the licensing and regulatory body that governs the practice of architecture in Ontario.

From May to October the TSA offers guided walking tours of the Toronto’s best contemporary architecture.   The guides are trained volunteers offer insightful building details, shedding light on the urban context and historical facts of the modern Toronto Architecture included on the tour.

There are currently three tours offered to satisfy a variety of interested:

Art and Performance Tour

Culture and Campus Tour

Towers Tour

Visit the TSA website:



Tours of specific architectural projects are also offered which are typically more in-depth about that particular building.  The following building’s offer tours of their spaces:

Art Gallery of Ontario:

These tours are free with admission and are held frequently.  Visit:

Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts:

Tours are not frequent so be sure to visit their website for more information.


Roy Thomson Hall:

One hour tours are provided.  Visit:



This is an annual event in the City of Toronto where one weekend a year many (almost 150 buildings) open their doors to the public.  This allows visitors access to architecturally significant projects which normally charge entrance or are not open to the public, and many buildings have organized guided tours and displays.  Doors open is a great event typically at the end of May.

For more information visit:



A Guidebook to Contemporary Architecture in Toronto

By Margaret Goodfellow (Author), Phil Goodfellow (Author), Helen Malkin (Editor), Nancy Dunton (Editor)

A Guidebook to Contemporary Architecture in Toronto provides information on modern Toronto Architecture with helpful information for your travel.  Each project is featured on a two-page spread with a project description, photographs, and drawings. The projects are organized by neighborhood and allow the reader to take a self-guided tour. Maps at the introduction of each neighborhood provide context, and an index provides easy referencing of projects throughout.

A Guidebook to Contemporary Architecture in Toronto

Top 10 Toronto (Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guides)

Lorraine Johnson (Author), Draughtsman Ltd (Illustrator)

The Eyewitness Travel Guides are always a must have on my travels.  They contain reliable information, colourful illustrations and images, fold out maps and a small pocket map to help you get around.  The books are organized well and easy to follow, these books are all you need particularly for a short trip.  I like the small pocket-size and durable cover because it is easy to carry around.   They take the work out of planning any trip.


Toronto guide book5.  architectureGROUPIE

The Toronto Architecture Guide Book is a great directory of modern architecture, buildings are cataloged by image so you can decide what you want you like or don’t like before you go.  Along with clear photos and direct web links to each building’s webpage with the exact address, closest public transit stop and a feature or note about each of the projects.

Learn more at

A Guide to Modern Architecture  Visit for more information on other cities

For helps tips and information on Toronto’s Public Transportation see: