Humboldt University of Berlin
Humboldt University boasts a number of notable alumni, including Karl Marx, Otto von Bismarck, Friedrich Engels, Felix Mendelssohn, and the Grimms brother, and Albert Einstein once taught here. Built on the site of a former palace, Humboldt University’s grand buildings surround a public square, Bebelplatz.
Visit the square to wander among the buildings with the students, and make sure to see the poignant book burning memorial, which marks the date in 1933 when 20,000 books were publicly burned the Nazis. The memorial is made up of a white room lined with empty bookshelves. Walking tours of Berlin often stop at the memorial along and explore the university.
Things to Know Before You Go
The university has around 33,000 students at any time.
A number of the university buildings are open to the public, and you are welcome to admire the interiors.
Visitors can use the dining facilities in the university’s public buildings.
Groups of students visiting Berlin can arrange a guided tour of the university.
How to Get There
Humboldt University is located on the famous Unter den Linden boulevard, on the south side of the Spree River, in Berlin’s Mitte neighborhood. The campus is only a 7-minute walk from Friedrichstrasse station, where you can catch both S-Bahn and U-Bahn trains. The university is also a couple minutes’ walk from the lively Friedrichstrasse, which is full of cultural attractions, shops, restaurants, and bars.
When to Get There
Humboldt University’s public buildings are open all year round. If you want to get a sense of the university’s day-to-day life, visit during the academic term when all of the students are present.
Walk Along Friedrichstrasse
After visiting the university, head to Friedrichstrasse, a road full of cultural attractions and restaurants that was once the site of the Berlin Wall. Start at Friedrichstrasse station—where you can learn about about what the area was like during the Cold War—then walk the 2 miles (3.5km) to Checkpoint Charlie, where you can see the original barrier, booth, and sandbags marked the formal portal between east and west Germany.
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- New Guardhouse (Neue Wache)
- German Historical Museum (Deutsches Historisches Museum)
- Neues Museum (New Museum)
- Altes Museum (Old Museum)
- Museum Island (Museumsinsel)
- Unter den Linden
- Pergamon Museum (Pergamonmuseum)
- Old National Gallery (Alte Nationalgalerie)
- Bode Museum
- Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom)
- Deutscher Dom
- Palace of Tears (Tränenpalast)