Built in 1861–69, the Rote Rathaus is the official residence of the Berlin Burgomaster and the city administration.
Mr Putin made a round of the City Hall and talked to Acting Burgomaster Klaus Wowereit.
They next visited the Neue Wache Memorial to the victims of Nazism and militarism, and laid a wreath at its monument.
As he addressed the public gathered in front of the memorial, Mr Putin thanked the city authorities, Berliners and all Germans for reverential care of Soviet soldier graves. He saw that care once again as he and Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder were laying wreaths at the Soviet War Memorial in the Tiergarten, in the centre of Berlin.
Mr Putin said he was happy to revisit Berlin, where he has many friends since the years of his work in St Petersburg. Berlin streets and alleys are European history materialised, he said. The President highlighted the city’s links with Russia. Alexanderplatz, for example, the largest of its squares, was named after Russian Emperor Alexander I in gratitude for liberating the city from Napoleon in 1813.
Mr Putin also referred to the 10th anniversary of Moscow-Berlin partnership, celebrated the previous August.