There’s a reason Berlin sits high on every travel-enthusiast’s list. Here is a city that’s steeped in history and culture, loves a good party whether it’s day or night and respects nature and the joy it brings. It is the ideal cosmopolitan one would like to call home or visit as a holiday playground.
The spirit of Berlin is not something to behold, but rather to experience. You’ll find it hard to turn your eyes away from some of the brilliant architecture and artistic façades at every turn. Even the museums and galleries are sensory rather than simply observational. The warm and friendly atmosphere lends a sense of freedom seldom found in today’s day and age. All of these things, together, make this a preferred global destination. You can beat the crowds and get your wanderlust going with this handy guide of things to do in Berlin.
While the list is long, it’s easiest to start with the most popular things to do in Berlin.
Berlin sightseeing is a recommended activity while you’re in this historic city. It is home to with noteworthy landmarks, architectural marvels and significant monuments. You’ll have heard of Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag Building, Berlin Cathedral and of course, the Berlin Wall. But there’s so much more to see; like the Soviet War Memorial in Treptow, Berlin TV Tower, the French Cathedral, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and the Prussian-era Victory Column.
The best thing about Berlin sightseeing, apart from the historic things you’ll see, is the convenience of doing it. You can go sightseeing on foot, bicycle or bus, as per your preference.
Museums are recommended places to see in Berlin – and you have over 175 to choose from! Of these, the Old and New Museums, Bode Museum and Pergamon on Museum Island are a given. Take your time at each of them, and discover treasures ranging from ancient Egyptian artefacts, exquisite sculptures, Islamic art and royal riches.
But don’t miss out of some of Berlin’s other major museums, ranging from poignant to quirky. Of the first kind, there’s the Jewish Museum Berlin, Topography of Terror (the once Secret State and Gestapo headquarters during World War II) and the DDR Museum recounting life in East Berlin. There’s everything from the Natural History Museum and the Museum of Unheard Things to the Ramones Museum and the Puppet Theatre and Museum.
One of the fun things to do in Berlin is to explore its different boroughs and streets. Getting lost in this city only means finding out more about it. So, don’t be surprised if you chance upon some more Berlin tourist attractions without ever having planned for it. Discover lively city centres like Alexanderplatz, Bebelplatz and Gendarmenmarkt. Take in aerial views from up on Berlin TV Tower, the Reichstag or Berliner Dome. Stroll alongside the gentle Landwehr Canal in Tiergarten park, you can even chill out at an abandoned airport called Tempelhofer Feld!
If you’re looking for some exciting places to see in Berlin, there’s no better way to find them. It is totally worth wandering your way to Teufelsberg which is an ex-Cold War radio base or Viktoriapark in Kreuzberg or the Mauerpark flea market for some good bargains.
Berliners know how to party. Berlin has some of the hippest clubs, pubs and outdoor party venues. The Badeschiff floating pool on the River Spree hosts some great summer outdoor parties. While clubs like Berghain and Salon zur Wilden Renate in Friedrichshain, Club der Visionaere and Club Gretchen in Kreuzberg, Strattbad and Weekend Club in Wedding and Mitte respectively, will easily take you from night to day – and maybe night again!
Not everything is about what to see in Berlin. Treat your other senses by indulging in the eclectic mix of cuisines the city plates up. Visit restaurants like Burgermeister, Katz Orange, Restaurant am Steinplatz and Brauhaus Georgbräu for authentic regional delicacies. Say ‘Prost!’ to strangers at the Bavarian beer hall, Augustiner am Gendarmenmarkt, or try global specialties like Restaurant Faubourg for French, Zenkichi for Japanese and Mediterranean at Cafe Jacques. Don’t leave without sampling street classics like currywurst at Curry 36, a mouth-watering döner at Mustafas and Gemüsedöner and schnitzel at KaDeWe.
Then, in true spirit of the city, go out and experience the unexpected.
Spend a day with cuddly pandas at the Berlin Zoo. Watch a classic film at the open-air theatre of Kulturforum or hang out Carribean style at the Spree-side shack – Yaam.
You can go star-gazing at the Wilhelm-Förster-Observatory and Planetarium, sign up for a pub crawl or brewery tour, go on a street art tour or even dinner on a cruise ship!
Nature lovers can walk around the Tiergarden. Botanischer Garten Berlin-Dahlem is a spectacular living museum of flora. For the intrepid, there’s also Spreepark, an abandoned dinosaur-themed amusement park, or a subterranean tour through WWII underground shelters and tunnels.
Aside from all the usual arrangements, SOTC can also help you in planning your Berlin trip during one of Berlin’s fantastic events, be it JazzFest, the Christmas Markets, the Festival of Lights or Carnival of Cultures, Berlin Film Festival and more.
If there’s one city worthy of your next holiday, this is it.