Top 15 Things to do in Berlin
A city at the heart of two world wars, and divided by the cold war, Berlin has seen much conflict and turbulence over the years. Since the wall came down, unification has fostered a transformation on the foundation of tolerance, diversity, creativity and technology.
Today, Berlin is the economic engine of Europe. A vibrant capital with friendly locals, an exciting nightlife, and a food scene well worth exploring. Environmentally conscious, Berlin boasts many large parks, forests and lakes where the city’s 3.5 million residents relax, play and get together with friends in nature.
Berlin also has a vast network of cycle paths, making it perfect for staying active while exploring and checking out the many fascinating neighbourhoods and attractions. Berlin is consistently near the top of the annual quality of life rankings, and it is very easy to see why.
What to do in Berlin
Ready to start planning your trip to Berlin? Here is our list of top attractions to help you decide what to do in Germany’s exciting capital.
1. Reichstag Building
A fantastic building with a fascinating history and architecture. Head to the top of the building to reach a large viewing terrace with breath taking views of Berlin.
2. Brandenburg Gate
The iconic Brandenburg Gate came to symbolise Berlin’s Cold War division into East and West Germany. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Germans have come to see it as a symbol of unification.
3. Berlin TV Tower
Standing at 368 metres into the sky, Berlin’s TV Tower is one of the city’s most recognizable and unique landmarks, and also the tallest building in Europe. From the top you can enjoy 360 degree views from the observation deck. The tower also has a restaurant that revolves while serving delicious cuisine.
New Yorkers have Central Park, Londoners have Hyde Park, and Berliners have Tiergarten. Close to the city centre and on the edge of some of the city’s main attractions like the Brandenburg. The forest extends over vast areas of the city covering 210 hectares, nearly 519 acres in lush forest and green space.
Check out the numerous restaurants and cafés where you can sit and relax. Then enjoy the luxury shops and boutiques that are scattered throughout the square as well as along the trendy shopping mile, Friedrichstraβe.
6. East Side Gallery
At 1316 metres long, the open-air art gallery on the banks of the Spree in Friedrichshain is the longest continuous section of the Berlin Wall still in existence. Immediately after the wall came down, 118 artists from 21 countries began painting the East Side Gallery, and it officially opened as an open air gallery on 28 September 1990.
7. Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
A memorial to the Jews that were lost during the Holocaust. The memorial is a moving tribute that every visitor to Berlin should experience. We remember the tragedies that took place so that nothing like that happens ever again. On a site covering 19,000 square metres, the area is open day and night and accessible from all four sides.
8. Berliner Dom
The magnificent protestant church, built in baroque revival style, the Berliner Dom is the city’s most important Protestant church. In addition to church services, the building is used for state ceremonies and events.
9. Museum Island
Berlin’s Museumsinsel (Museum Island) is a concentration of five amazing museums that collectively was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status in 1999.
10. Berlin Nightlife
With legendary club nights that last well into the early hours, Berlin has earned a reputation for hedonism with no last call. If you love to party, then check out the Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg neighbourhoods.
11. Charlottenburg Palace
Charlottenburg Palace is one of Berlin’s few sites that still reflect the one-time grandeur and opulence of the Hohenzollern family, which ruled the region from 1415 to 1918.
Alexanderplatz in Berlin Mitte is one of the best-known public squares and one of the biggest in Berlin. It’s a hub for meeting people and easy walking distance to several attractions in central Berlin.
13. Victory Column
From Brandenburg Gate, take the broad boulevard Straße des 17, and right at the heart of the roundabout you can find the Victory Column with sweeping panoramic views.
14. Oberbaum Bridge
Berlin’s most beautiful and most photographed bridge is the two storied Oberbaum Bridge across the Spree. It links two former boroughs that are now one: Friedrichshain in the former East Berlin and Kreuzberg in the former West.
15. Trabant Tour
You can rent a Trabant and drive it yourself to get the real feeling of the East. These beautiful 4-seat Oldtimers are also at your disposal for guided tours.
Editor’s Travel Tips
Feast on Currywurst
Currywurst has been a German institution since it was invented in Berlin by Herta Heuwer in 1949. Heuwer lived in the British military sector of Berlin after World War II, where some soldiers had given her some ketchup, curry powder and Worcestershire sauce that they brought with them from the UK.
Best Time to Visit Berlin
The best time to visit Berlin is May through September, when the weather is ideal for café sitting, park lazing and leisurely city strolling.