Berliner Philharmonie

Celebrated modern concert hall
Berlin's premier concert hall — and home of the Berlin Philharmonic — is also one of the city's icons whose unorthodox design by Hans Scharoun (1893–1972) is now far less controversial (derided) than when completed in 1963. You can't miss its pointy golden sandy-yellow exterior — "oh that's what that building is" — and its pentagon-shaped main space guarantees excellent seats (2,440 of them) and acoustics for all. There's also a chamber hall that accommodates 1,180. Now considered the heart and soul of the postwar, Berlin Wall-instigated Kulturforum arts zone. Principal conductors during the modern era are Herbert van Karajan, Claudio Abbado, Simon Rattle and, from 2018, Kirill Pretenko. U-Bahn/S-Bahn: Potsdamer Platz.