Most people see travel as a way to get away from the hustle and bustle of a city. Unless that city is Berlin. What was once a city divided into two geographies and ideologies, is now a vibrant, liberal cosmopolitan that’s evolved its own Berliner way of life. Berlin tourism is your chance to experience this, with intense history by day and extreme parties by night; architectural marvels by man and pristine wonders by nature; culture at every corner and diversity at every turn.
Berlin lies to the northeast of Germany, by the River Spree. Its topography is largely flat as it lies on the mammoth Northern European Plain that extends all the way from France to Russia. The city is made up of twelve boroughs, the western most is Spandau – where the Spree meets River Havel. The Havel’s course is such that it forms many lakes along the way, like Wannsee and Tegeler See.
The city extends onto the plateaus on either side of the Spree Valley, namely the Barnim and Teltow Plateaus. And close to a third of the area is made up of green spaces – forests, parks, riversides, lakes and more. This cityscape is now the largest German city, with residents from over a hundred different countries. Expect your Berlin tour to reflect this diversity – beautiful, varied and memorable.
Berlin experiences humid continental weather, which translates into four seasons – spring, summer, autumn and winter. But the rain follows its own rules! It falls sporadically throughout the year, while there’s a light snowfall during the winter months. Spring and autumn are transitional in temperature, usually pleasant but can get chilly on occasion. While summers are hot and humid, winters are grey and cold.
Naturally, summers are peak tourist season, when the lakes are just the right temperature to cool off and the gardens are cosy enough for a beer or three. Spring and autumn are next when it comes to the visitor count, while winter is the least popular time comparatively. Yet each season brings out a different facet of Berlin, be it culture or cuisine or creativity. Don’t over-pack – you’re going to have to carry a lot of memories back with you.
Berlin’s culture is an evocative reminder of the past and a promising vision of the future. One that’s steeped in history and grandeur, war and peace, landmarks and landscapes – all of which is now experienced with a collective freedom, of locals and tourists alike. Architecture is something you just can’t ignore, with everything from Prussian-era palaces to the iconic Brandenburg Gate and the towering Fernsehturm or TV tower. Visiting these landmarks is a big part of Berlin tourism and understanding the story of the city.
Then there’re museums and marketplaces – two different routes for you to explore more of the Berlin zeitgeist and how it came to be. And there’s not many places in the world where you go from a cold war bunker to clubbing all night! But a lot of what makes the city what it is today, is its rise as a creative hub, with a strong start-up culture and complete freedom of expression, no matter the form.
Your Berlin city tour will cover all of this and more, and you can have it as planned or spontaneous as you’d like it to be.
For sightseers, day-long excursions can be arranged to visit all of the cities famed landmarks, like the East Stand Gallery – the last standing bits of the Berlin Wall and now an artistic spread that’s just as symbolic. Or the splendour of palaces like Schloss Charlottenburg and Schloss Sanssouci, the stateliness of the Reichstag Building and the magnificence of the Berlin Church Cathedral. Don’t worry about tired feet – you can see all of this and more on the many organised bike, shuttle, even air tours of the city.
Berlin tourism is also popular with music enthusiasts, with the city hosting shows, performances, gigs and festivals all through the year. And they span almost all genres too. There’re venues like Konzerthaus and Sonntagskonzerte that have seasonal classical performances. Or you could plan your trip to make it for great annual events like MaerzMusik in March, Fête de la Musique in June or the Berlin JazzFest in November.
One of the best cities to go urban exploring, Berlin exudes culture and nuance at every turn. You could really enjoy a light itinerary with room for impulsive plans – start anywhere and you could end up anywhere from the wealth of history at Museum Island to staring at Dali’s surrealism at the Sammlung Scharf-Gerstenberg art gallery to the sights and smells of Türkischer Markt, the Turkish farmers market by the canal. Wear your most comfortable shoes!
There’s plenty to tour around Berlin if you’re one for the outdoors too. Every enclave has a pocket of green, while Tiergarten is one of the largest city parks in the world! Viktoriapark located on Berlin’s highest peak of Kreuzberg, gives you perfect aerial city views as well as spot for a chilled beer. Then there’s Grunewald, the forest by the River Havel, where you can do everything from biking to birding, and Pfaueninsel or Peacock Island, to explore too.
You can tour the best of Berlin and so much more. Simply pick a Berlin holiday package from SOTC and experience the Berliner way of life.