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25 Top Tourist Attractions in Berlin
Last updated on October 3, 2023 by Touropia Editors - 4 Comments
The capital city of Germany is rich with history and culture. Badly fractured during World War II and the cold war, Berlin has recreated itself into an international city with diverse cultures and architecture. Explore the top tourist attraction in Berlin that still bears the scars of the recent past.
See also: Where to Stay in Berlin
In this post, we'll cover:
25. Oberbaum Bridge
The Oberbaumbrücke, or Oberbaum Bridge, spans the Spree River. The bridge is two stories high, and it links the districts of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. It ties together the former East Germany with the West, making it a historically significant as well as architecturally beautiful structure.
The Oberbaum Bridge is one of the most photographed landmarks in the whole city. It’s a sign of unity, a way to bridge the east and the west in the once divided Berlin. You can cross the bridge on foot, but the best views are further along the Spree from either side of the river.
24. German Historical Museum
The German Historical Museum, also known as the Deutsches Historisches Museum, is a fantastic place to visit if you want to see what Germans have been up to for the past two millennia. The museum covers all of German history up until the present day, and exhibits are laid out in a way that is easy to understand and highly entertaining.
The museum is housed in two adjacent buildings: The more traditional Armory, or Zeughaus, and the modern Exhibition Ball designed by I.M. Pei. You can browse through posters from World War II, see maps from the 19th century or admire contemporary sculpture done by modern German artists.
Kurfürstendamm, known to locals at Ku’damm, was built as a German answer to the Champs-Elysee in Paris. The wide road was lined with trees and ornate buildings were built along both sides. It is the heart of former West Berlin, and is still the city’s most popular shopping boulevard.
The side streets of Tauentzienstraße and Fasanenstraße are lined with malls and high-end flagship stores. If you’re in the area, be sure to check out KaDeWe, or the Kaufhaus des Westens. This is the largest department store in all of Europe, and it boasts virtually anything you might want to purchase from expensive shoes to fresh produce.
22. Berlin TV Tower
Located near the Alexanderplatz is the Berlin TV Tower, better known to locals at the Berliner Fernsehturm. This tower is the tallest structure in all of Germany, and its observation deck offers an incredible vantage point for amazing views over much of the city.
The Berlin TV Tower was built in the 1960s, and it is one of the most significant mid-century modern buildings in Germany. At the time of its construction, it was also a true engineering marvel. Just below the main observation deck, there is an upscale restaurant where you can enjoy the view with a drink or a full meal.
21. DDR Museum
The DDR Museum is appropriately located in the heart of the former government district of East Germany, and it is devoted to the history of the DDR, or the Deutsche Demokratische Republik.
When you visit, you can see what life was like in former East Germany. See the apartments people lived in, put on some of the most common clothing items from the period and check out the covert listening devices, or bugs, used to spy on citizens. Exhibits are in English as well as German.
20. Treptower Park
Alongside the river Spree, south of central Berlin, you’ll find Treptower Park. If you’re interested in WW2 history, then the park is a must-see destination in Berlin. The park is home to a large military cemetery as well as the enormous Soviet War Memorial that was built in 1949 to commemorate the Soviet soldiers who fell in the Battle of Berlin.
There are a number of plates set around the park, each of which memorializes certain battles. Beyond the historical significance, Treptower Park is an awesome place to walk along the paved pedestrian pathways, rent a rowboat for some time on the water or just have a drink in the park’s biergarten.
19. Berlin Wall Memorial
There are many different ways to see the Berlin Wall while in the city. If places like Checkpoint Charlie feel too touristy, head to the Berlin Wall Memorial, known in German as the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer. It’s a memorial to the countless men, women and children who died while trying to get across the wall.
There is also an adjacent documentation center on Bernauer Straße with additional exhibits and information, although much of it is in German. From the viewing platform, you can see what once was the no-man’s land between East and West Berlin.
18. Unter den Linden
This beautiful boulevard lined with linden trees is one of the main east-west routes through Berlin. The trees were first planted in the mid 1600s and are cared for and cultivated by the city. Over the centuries the boulevard has been extended and now stretches from Museum Island to the Brandenburg Gate.
Greatly damaged during the war, Unter den Linden has been renovated and is currently lined with many architectural sites and other tourist attractions in Berlin including the German Historical Museum, the Staatsoper, Altes Palais and the Palace Bridge.
17. Berlin Cathedral
There are many wonderful churches to see in Berlin, but the Berlin Cathedral is the largest and one of the most impressive. It was built at the start of the 20th century as a way to express the imperial power of Germany. The brick, neo-Renaissance cathedral is located in the area of Museum Island in the district of Mitte.
The enormous organ is a major point of pride in the cathedral, and it is still used for religious services. If you visit, you can climb to the top of the dome and enjoy views from the cathedral after touring the interior.
If you visit Berlin, you’ll almost certainly spend some time in Alexanderplatz. This large public square is right in the heart of the Mitte district, and it is the major hub for transport in Berlin. Today, it is also home to some of the most popular historic attractions in the city.
From the Alexanderplatz, you can see the Berlin TV Tower dominating the skyline, the World Clock and the Neptune Fountain. There are also plenty of local shops, restaurants and even a casino. The plaza is also home to the Galeria Kaufhof, one of the busiest shopping spots in the area.
15. Charlottenburg Palace
If you like touring palaces, then don’t miss the Charlottenburg Palace. This is the largest palace in Germany, and it is found in Berlin’s City West district. Charlottenburg Palace was constructed at the end of the 17th century, and the entire community of Charlottenburg grew around it.
Built in the Baroque style, and boasting beautiful gardens and outdoor sculptures, the palace is now open to the public. You can tour restored rooms and see the extravagant, rococo style in the apartments of Frederick the Great, and you can also see collections of porcelain, crown jewels and royal silver.
14. Victory Column
The Siegessäule, or Victory Column, was built toward the end of the 19th century in celebration of several Prussian military triumphs. The column originally stood in front of the Reichstag but was moved to the middle of Tiergarten by the Nazi government as part of a major urban redevelopment plan.
At the very top of the column is an angelic, winged figure that represents Victoria, the Roman goddess of victory. At the top of the Victory Column is an observation deck that allows for panoramic views over the city. There’s just one catch: There is no elevator. If you’re feeling up for it, take on the 285 steps to get to the top.
The Gendarmenmarkt is a major public square in Berlin that dates all the way back to the 17th century. Although many of the historic buildings in the Gendarmenmarkt were destroyed in World War II, several major landmarks remain.
With a visit to the Gendarmenmarkt, you’ll be able to see the Deutscher Dom and the Französischer Dom, or French Cathedral, which was built by the Huguenots in the early 18th century. The Gendarmenmarkt is also home to the beautifully reconstructed Konzerthaus, where the Berlin Orchestra performs. During the winter, Christmas markets are a major highlight at the square.
12. Topography of Terror
One of the more poignant attractions in Berlin is the Topography of Terror. This is an indoor and outdoor museum located on the exact site of the former Nazi government’s SS Reich Main Security Office.
Within view of the Berlin Wall, former prisons cells were excavated to showcase the tragedies and horrors of the Nazi regime. Exhibits explore the Jewish ghettos of Berlin, the criminals brought to justice at the Nuremberg Trials and a memorial to all those who perished at the hands of the Nazis. It can be emotionally tough to explore the Topography of Terror, but it an important historical stop to make.
11. Pergamon Museum
In Berlin’s Museum Insel you’ll find the fascinating Pergamon Museum. The whole museum is named for the Pergamon Altar, which is one of its most valued attractions on display. The Pergamon Museum is the most visited art museum in Germany, and it boasts an incredible collection of antiquities and treasures.
Touring the museum is a way to bring the ancient world to life. Some of the most notable attractions in the Pergamon include the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, the Mschatta Façade from a desert castle in Jordan and the Roman Market Gate of Miletus, which dates back to the 2nd century.
10. Hackesche Hoefe
Located at the far end of Oranienburger Strasse in the Scheunenviertel, the Hackesche Höfe is a complex that includes eight interconnected courtyards. It was designed and built by the architect Kurt Berndt, and the Art Nouveau façade was the work of August Endell.
As with many Berlin courtyard buildings, the complex was used for a mixture of offices, shops and flats. The buildings were only partially damaged during the WW2, but were mostly neglected while Germany was partitioned. Only after reunification, starting in 1993, was the complex extensively restored and it now looks better than it ever has.
Inside the Höfe you’ll find a wide variety of cafes, restaurants and shops that attract tons of locals and visitors each day. As you travel from one courtyard to the next to see more vendors, you’ll understand the unique nature of this complex.
Once the hunting grounds of the Brandenburg elite, the Großer Tiergarten is now an urban park in central Berlin. Commemorating a Prussian victory, the Berlin Victory Column stands in the park and is surrounded by a street circle.
Pedestrians can reach the column by using any of four underground tunnels. Near the Column sits Schloss Bellevue, the Beautiful Palace, which is the official residence of the President of Germany.
Occupying the southwest corner of the Tiergarten, the Berlin Zoo houses around 14,000 animals. The open-air habitats have made it one of the most popular zoos in Europe.
8. Check Point Charlie
One of the best known crossing points of the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie resonates with emotional and historical significance. Named by the Western Allies, the border crossing bore an ominous sign stating “You are leaving the American Sector”.
This was the single crossing point for members of the Allied forces and foreigners. The guardhouse which once stood here is now on display at the Allied Museum in Berlin-Zehlendorf.
A replica of a U.S. Army guardhouse stands at the crossing, and cobblestones are used to designate the former border spot. The best documentation on escape attempts and the original Checkpoint sign can be found in the museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie.
7. Potsdamer Platz
Art, entertainment and shopping can all be found in this vibrant corner of Berlin. The square was completely destroyed after the war but has been rebuilt into a modern plaza with landmark towers and a shopping arcade.
The area is seen as symbolic reconnection of the two halves of Berlin, joining the residents of both sides in a completely new part of the city. A replica of Germany’s first traffic light stands in the center with sleek, modern office buildings surrounding the platz.
The DaimlerChrysler Atrium offers a changing art exhibit while the Sony Centre features a Cinema Complex and Film Museum, a shopping mall and a 3D IMAX theater.
6. Memorial Church
The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is in the center of the Breitscheidplatz in Berlin. The original church was built between 1891 and 1895 by Kaiser Wilhelm II. During WWII the church burned down after it was hit by an allied bomb, only the broken west tower of the church was still standing.
In 1961 a new church, consisting of 4 buildings, was constructed around the remains of the old church. The concrete and glass structure is a fascinating counterpoint to the neo-Romanesque old church that it surrounds. Photos of the original church can be found in the remaining west tower along with some of the original mosaics.
5. Museum Island
Five museums comprise Museum Island which is located between the Spree River and Kupfergraben. As with many of the structures in Berlin, the old museum buildings were nearly destroyed during the Second World War but are now open.
The Altes Museum displays ancient Greek and Roman artifacts, while the Alte Nationalgalerie houses the largest collection of 19th century paintings and sculptures in Germany. The Nues Museum houses prehistoric pieces and Egyptian art, including the bust of Queen Nefertiti.
The Pergamon Museum contains another display of Greek and Babylonian antiquities. The Ishtar Gate and Pergamon Altar are here. Finally, the Bode Museum displays a large collection of sculptures, numismatic (coin) collections and a number of paintings.
4. East Side Gallery
The East Side Gallery is the longest stretch of the Berlin Wall still in existence. Often described as a memorial to freedom, it showcases paintings of artists from around the world.
The artwork, which began appearing in 1990, documents the changing time after the fall of the Berlin Wall as well as expressing hope for the future. Sections of the wall have been moved to facilitate construction and other portions have been damaged by erosion and vandalism.
3. Holocaust Memorial
Near the Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial is a simple, but powerful tribute to the Jews that died as a result of Hitler’s extermination plan. The 2,711 slabs are arranged in a wave-like pattern over 205,000 square feet.
Each stone is unique, varying from ankle high to over six feet tall. The paths between the slabs undulate with the overall effect being one of instability and disorientation.
There is no set pattern and visitors may walk in any direction through the peaceful, quiet stones. At the base of the memorial an underground information center offers information and personal stories of people affected by the actions of the Nazi party.
The Reichstag is the seat of the German Parliament and an historic landmark. A fire in 1933 and air raids during the Battle of Berlin in 1945 caused a great deal of damage.
The Reichstag sits near the Brandenburg Gate and was not fully restored until after the deconstruction of the Berlin Wall and the German reunification. Some historical scars, such as graffiti left by Soviet soldiers, were left as a tribute to the building’s difficult past.
The original building was designed by several architects and the mix of styles in the completed structure was somewhat controversial at the time, but now is appreciated by thousands of visitors each year. The glass dome at the top of the building provides a magnificent view of the city and visitors must register in advance to enter it.
1. Brandenburg Gate
Built in the late 1700s, the Brandenburg gate is the only surviving city gate of Berlin. The gate is in the western part of Berlin and marks the entrance to Unter den Linden. Used as one of the Berlin Wall crossings, the gate became a site of protest during the division of Germany and a place of celebration when the wall fell in 1989.
The gate was severely damaged in World War II and underwent extensive renovation in the early 2000s. Today it is fully restored and is the symbol of not only the turbulent history of the region, but also the reunification of East and West Berlin.
Map of Tourist Attractions in Berlin
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February 3, 2021 at 7:46 pm
I was in front of the Brandenburg gate in 1958 . A Russian soldier was walking back and forth in front of the gate. I was stationed at Babenhausen.
January 14, 2019 at 4:29 pm
A good list of Berlin cultural and historic sites. Thank you
September 21, 2018 at 12:51 am
I am visiting Berlin in a couple of days and your travel guide will be useful to me.
May 20, 2015 at 6:13 am
I will be visiting Germany soon and would like to know the best way to spend 2 to 3 days in the country.
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24 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Berlin
Written by Bryan Dearsley and Lura Seavey Updated Mar 22, 2023 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )
Berlin, the capital of Germany and the country's largest city, is also a major center of politics, culture, media, and science.
Noted for its cultural attractions, Berlin is home to the world-famous Berlin Opera and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, while its diverse art scene encompasses numerous events, galleries, and museums , including those on Museum Island , a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Despite the devastation of WWII, and following decades of decay to the east of the infamous Berlin Wall, the city has been rebuilt in a way that celebrates its successes while acknowledging a dark past.
Today, Berlin has earned a reputation as something of a youthful, hip tourist destination that offers an eclectic mix of places to visit, including new and classic architectural landmarks, dynamic entertainment, shopping, and a wide variety of sports and cultural institutions.
Whatever your interests, to help you get the most out of your sightseeing adventures, be sure to refer often to our list of the top tourist attractions in Berlin, Germany.
1. The Brandenburg Gate
2. the rebuilt reichstag, 3. museum island, 4. the berlin wall memorial, 5. german historical museum, 6. berliner fernsehturm: berlin's television tower, 7. mauer museum (checkpoint charlie museum), 8. charlottenburg palace and park, 9. gendarmenmarkt, 10. jewish museum berlin, 11. the german museum of technology, 12. memorial to the murdered jews of europe, 13. grosser tiergarten and the victory column, 14. pergamon museum, 15. the humboldt forum, 16. berlin cathedral church, 17. the topography of terror, 18. berlin zoological gardens, 19. tierpark berlin, 20. berlin-dahlem botanical garden and botanical museum, 21. ddr museum, 22. the nikolai quarter, 23. kaiser wilhelm memorial church, 24. französischer dom and the huguenot museum, tips and tours: how to make the most of your visit to berlin, berlin, germany - climate chart.
Berlin's most famous historic landmark is undoubtedly the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor). Once a symbol of a divided nation, it now stands as a symbol of unity and peace.
This impressively large Neoclassical gate was commissioned by King Frederick Wilhelm II in 1788, and its design was inspired by the Propylaea in Athens' Acropolis. The sandstone monument is 26 meters tall, standing in the Mitte district's Pariser Platz , just a block from the Reichstag building.
During the Cold War, its physical and symbolic position as a blocked gate along the Berlin Wall made it a frequent site for demonstrations by West Berliners. It's also famous for being the backdrop of US President Ronald Reagan's 1987 entreaty to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the wall.
It was also the scene of a poignant gesture in 1999, when political leaders from a variety of countries—including Germany's Angela Merkel, Russia's Mikhail Gorbachev, and Poland's Lech Walesa—together walked through the gate to commemorate the tearing down of the Berlin Wall 10 years earlier.
Visiting the Brandenburg Gate at night is a special treat, and undoubtedly one of the top free things to do in Berlin .
Address: Pariser Platz, 10117, Berlin
The Reichstag (Reichstagsgebäude) was originally completed in 1894 where the Neo-Renaissance palace served as the home of the German Empire's Imperial Diet until it burned in 1933. It was not used again until after the reunification of Germany, at which point it underwent a 10-year reconstruction and finally became the home of the German Parliament in 1999.
A highlight of this magnificent reconstruction is the replacement dome, the Kuppel. Made of glass, it offers superb views of the surrounding city, especially at night from the Rooftop Restaurant. If you're visiting in the summer months, be sure to check into the schedule of light shows and film nights for a memorable Berlin experience.
Note that entry to the Dome and Terrace is ticketed, and due to demand, it's recommended that tickets be requested in advance . While registration is available on the day, you should expect a two- or three-hour wait. Free English language audio guides are available.
Address: Platz der Republik 1, 11011, Berlin
Sandwiched between the River Spree and the Kupfergraben in a 400-meter-long canal, Spree Island—better known as Museum Island (Museumsinsel)—is one of the city's most important UNESCO World Heritage Sites .
Here, you'll find many of Berlin's oldest and most important museums , including the Old Museum (Altes Museum), built in 1830 to house the Crown Jewels and other royal treasures.
The New Museum (Neues Museum), destroyed during WWII, was rebuilt and opened again in 2009. It serves as the home of extensive collections from the Egyptian Museum, the Papyrus Collection, and the Collection of Classical Antiquities.
The Old National Gallery (Alte Nationalgalerie), opened in 1876, displays Neoclassical sculpture and paintings from 1815-1848, as well as Impressionist and early Modernist pieces. The Bode Museum houses a collection of Byzantine art, as well as a large sculpture collection spanning from medieval times to the late 1700s.
The city's most popular museum, the Pergamon features a Museum of Islamic Art, the Ishtar Gate, and reconstructed historic buildings from the Middle East. The newest museum attraction, the Humboldt Forum opened here in 2019 and houses the Ethnological Museum of Berlin and the Museum of Asian Art.
Address: Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin
The Berlin Wall originated in 1961 when East Germany sealed off that half of the city to prevent citizens from fleeing to West Germany. By the time it was torn down in 1989, the four-meter-high wall extended 155 kilometers, dissected 55 streets, and possessed 293 observation towers and 57 bunkers.
Today, only small stretches of this graffiti-covered travesty remain, including a 1.4-kilometer stretch preserved as part of the Berlin Wall Memorial (Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer). It stands as a chilling reminder of the animosity that once divided Europe.
Highlights of a visit include the Marienfelde Refugee Center Museum, with its exhibits relating to the one-and-a-half million people who passed through Berlin as refugees; the Günter Litfin Memorial, a former watchtower now set up as a memorial, which pays tribute to the first civilian killed trying to cross from east to west; and the Monument in Memory of the Divided City and the Victims of Communist Tyranny.
Be sure to also check out the Window of Remembrance and the Visitor Center with views over the remains of the wall. Guided tours are available in English.
Address: Bernauer Straße 111, 13355 Berlin
Established to mark Berlin's 750th anniversary in 1987, the German Historical Museum (Deutsches Historisches Museum, or DHM) is a must-visit for those interested in learning more about the city's remarkably rich history.
This much-visited attraction consists of a number of historic exhibition halls jam-packed with fascinating displays of artifacts relating to various periods and events from the country's founding right up to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Other highlights include exhibits relating to medicine, fashion, religion, printing, art, and photography. Military buffs are also well catered to with the museum's vast collection of historic armor, weapons, and uniforms.
There's also a cinema located on-site, and a research library that's open to the public. English language guided tours are available, and for those expecting a longer stay (you'll want to, there's that much to see), there's a handy cloakroom and café.
Address: Unter den Linden 2, 10117 Berlin
Despite its age—it celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2020—the 368-meter-tall Berliner Fernsehturm (Berlin Television Tower) has lost none of its appeal to visitors to the city.
Since opening in 1970, Europe's third-tallest freestanding structure has attracted over 60 million visitors, most of them drawn for the spectacular views over Germany's capital.
Originally constructed to mark the prowess of communism (it's located in the former East Berlin district), the landmark can be picked out from pretty much every corner of the city, making it more significant as a symbol of the city's reunification in the 1980s.
Be sure to include the structure's observation deck in your visit, and if you're able to linger awhile, book a reservation at the 207-meter-high revolving restaurant.
Address: Panoramastraße 1 A, 10178 Berlin
Also of interest is the Checkpoint Charlie Museum (Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie). Marking the best-known crossing point between East and West Berlin, this fascinating tourist attraction features numerous displays and artifacts tracing the history of human rights, along with exhibits dealing specifically with the history of the Berlin Wall, and Checkpoint Charlie.
Situated next to the original guardhouse, the museum also highlights some of the most interesting attempts made by those trying to escape communist rule. These include an original homemade air balloon used in one successful attempt.
Also of interest is the nearby open-air BlackBox Cold War exhibit , which features sections of the Berlin Wall and related information stations.
Address: Friedrichstraße 43-45, 10969 Berlin
Berlin's oldest and largest Prussian estate, the late 17th-century Charlottenburg Palace was for decades the primary residence of German royalty.
Now beautifully restored, this huge palace has many extraordinary features, including a massive 50-meter-high central dome, opulent Baroque and Rococo décor throughout its expansive rooms, and a large garden that was inspired by the gardens at Versailles.
A highlight of the property's tour program is a visit to the New Wing , with its State Apartments and fine Banqueting Halls. Built in 1746, it's here visitors get a glimpse of the splendor in which the Prussian Kings and Electors lived, from Frederick I's bedroom and study with their fine furnishings and paintings, to the State Dining Room and 42-meter-long Golden Gallery with its rich, gilded stucco.
Over in the Old Palace is the Porcelain Cabinet, a room dedicated to a large historic porcelain collection and special exhibits, including the Crown Jewels and other royal items.
Other highlights are the Palace Park dating from 1697 and home to the New Pavilion (Neue Pavilion), built in 1788 in the style of a Neapolitan villa, and the Belvedere Teahouse with its fine collection of Berlin porcelain.
Be sure to visit the Mausoleum with its royal tombs, as well as the Grand Courtyard with its large statue of the Great Elector, Frederick William of Brandenburg. One of the top things to do in Berlin in winter is visit the Charlottenburg Palace Christmas Market , a spectacular display of more than 250 vendors and artisans exhibiting seasonal wares.
Address: Spandauer Damm 10, 14059 Berlin
The Gendarmenmarkt, one of Berlin's largest squares, is dominated by three historic landmark buildings: the Konzerthaus, the French Cathedral (Französischer Dom), and the German Cathedral (Deutscher Dom).
This picturesque 17th-century square is now one of Berlin's top tourist attractions and hosts numerous public events each year, including classical concerts on the steps of the Konzerthaus theater in the summer.
Come winter, the entire plaza becomes one of the most famous Christmas markets in Germany .
Konzerthaus : The Konzerthaus , built in 1821, is as famous for its architectural splendor as it is for the first-rate performances of Konzerthausorchester Berlin, one of the country's most popular symphony orchestras.
In front of the building stands a statue of the German poet Friedrich Schiller surrounded by four female figures who represent the artistic elements of Lyric Poetry, Drama, History, and Philosophy.
Cathedrals: The cathedrals are so named for their domes ("dom" is also the German word for cathedral) and are in fact not churches. The French Cathedral is home to the Huguenot Museum , and the German Cathedral exhibits the history of the German Parliament.
Alexanderplatz : Another well-known square in Berlin, Alexanderplatz was the center of East Berlin life and is now home to the World Time Clock, a popular meeting place. Nearby is the Television Tower (nicknamed Telespargel) with panoramic views of the city.
Address: Gendarmenmarkt, 10117 Berlin
Designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, the Jewish Museum Berlin (Jüdisches Museum Berlin) features a distinctive zinc-paneled exterior that makes it one of Berlin's most striking landmarks.
It was established in 2001, and inside visitors will find a wide range of historical artifacts and donated collections that illustrate the long history and struggle of Jewish Germans, from the Middle Ages to the present.
Exhibits include artwork, religious objects, and 24,000 photographs that have been preserved and recovered. Especially poignant is The Memory Void, where you'll find an installation called "Shalekhet," or "Fallen Leaves," a collection of some 10,000 iron faces spread across the ground. Sobering, to say the least.
The museum is also home to an extensive library and archives at the Academy of the Jewish Museum Berlin , where there are frequent educational programs. Museum galleries include sections dedicated to Hanukkah, anti-semitism, Middle East conflict, the history and culture of Jerusalem, and the life of Munich rabbi Leo Baerwald.
A variety of themed tour options are available, along with English language audioguides.
Address: Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin
The must-see German Museum of Technology (Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin) was established in 1983 to showcase and celebrate Germany's industrial and technological prowess.
There are plenty of fun things to do for kids and families in this popular museum, including taking in displays related to the Industrial Revolution, getting some hands-on experience in a reconstructed workshop. In addition, the museum offers a fascinating look at the vehicles that evolved alongside this rise in mechanization.
There are plenty of vehicles and aircraft on display, including a number of preserved steam engines dating back as far as 1843. Other highlights include riding in a vintage 1930s train from the museum to its locomotive depot on the weekends.
Guided tours are available in English. For those wanting to make a day of it (which is recommended), there's a restaurant and picnic spot located on-site.
Address: Trebbiner Straße 9, D-10963 Berlin-Kreuzberg
A remarkable testament to the people of Germany and their commitment to never turn a blind eye to the atrocities of the past, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas)—also known as the Holocaust Memorial —is another Berlin landmark that attracts tourists from all over the world.
Sitting on the eastern side of Tiergarten, this collection of 2,711 concrete slabs covers 19,000 square meters of uneven ground. Below the sprawling memorial is an information center that houses the letters, diaries, and photographs of Holocaust victims. An audioguide is available in English.
Address: Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin
Literally translated as the "Large Animal Garden," Berlin's Grosser Tiergarten has long been a major tourist attraction. Originally a royal hunting reserve in which deer, wild pigs, and other game were kept, it was transformed into a public park in 1700.
Attractively laid out with an abundance of trees and shrubs and expanses of grass and flower borders, the Tiergarten covers 210 hectares and is a favorite spot for relaxation, walking, and boating.
The park also contains numerous statues and monuments, including the 1880 Statue of Queen Luise , which depicts her with a relief recalling her care of wounded soldiers during the War of 1806. There's also an 1849 Monument to Frederick Wilhelm III , with reliefs reflecting the King's peace-loving disposition.
The most famous of the Tiergarten's monuments is the massive Victory Column (Siegessaule), a 70-meter-tall structure crowned by an eight-meter-high gold statue of Victoria. The statue, dubbed Golden Lizzy by locals, was completed in 1873.
It's well worth climbing the 285 steps to the top of this magnificent monument for the views over the Tiergarten . And if you look closely, you'll still see evidence of bullet damage caused during WWII.
Address: Str. des 17. Juni, 10785 Berlin
The Pergamon , the most visited of the Museum Island attractions, is also one of Berlin's top sightseeing destinations. It is home to three main galleries, each occupying a wing of the massive building, including the Middle East Museum, the Islamic Art Museum, and the Antiquity collection.
The artifacts, which narrowly escaped harm during WWII, were collected by German archaeologists during the 19th and 20th centuries from excursions to Egypt, the Middle East, and Asia.
Primarily focused on architectural marvels, including ornate façades and gates, some of the museum's most famous pieces are the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, the Roman Market Gate of Miletus, and the Mshatta Façade. A café and bookshop are located on-site.
One of the most popular attractions on Museum Island—a place that's already busting at the seams with great sightseeing opportunities—is the newly opened Humboldt Forum .
Established in 2019, this remarkable feat of construction sees two of Berlin's leading museum collections —the Museum of Ethnography (Ethnologisches Museum) and the Museum of Asian Art Museum (Museum für Asiatische Kunst)—now housed under a single roof: that of a completely reconstructed Berlin Palace. Both are considered to be the equal of leading museums around the world.
Visitors can now easily explore Germany's largest collections of non-European treasures , including a trove of more than 400,000 artifacts from across the globe.
Notable highlights include displays of ancient art from Asia, along with sizable collections focusing specifically on China. In addition to its theaters, the facility houses two restaurants and a shop.
Address: Schloßpl. 1, 10178 Berlin
Located on Museum Island next to the Lustgarten , the Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom) is one of the complex's most imposing buildings thanks to its 75-meter-high dome.
Built in the New Baroque style, the building is the largest church in Berlin and is divided into three main sections: the Memorial Church, the Baptismal and Nuptial Church, and the Parish Church. After decades of painstaking work to repair war damage, the church has been returned to its former glory.
Highlights of a visit include the Imperial Staircase, decorated with bronze cornices and 13 tempera paintings by Berlin landscape painter Albert Hertel in 1905. You should also plan to see the Imperial Gallery with its splendid views of Berlin.
Another popular feature is the Hohenzollern Crypt, which contains nearly 100 sarcophagi, coffins, and monuments from the 16th to 20th centuries.
Try to time your visit for one of the cathedral's many concerts, organ recitals, or special visitor services, and be sure to climb the 270 steps to the Dome for superb views over Museum Island. English language guided tours are available, and a café and shop are located on-site.
Address: Am Lustgarten, 10178 Berlin
Also known as the Museum of the Gestapo, the Topography of Terror (Topographie des Terrors) occupies the buildings that were once the central offices and prison of the Secret State Police and the headquarters of Gestapo operations during WWII.
The main exhibit focuses on the SS and police during Nazi rule, highlighting the terrible crimes that were committed and giving visitors a sense of the constant state of terror that was everyday life for Europeans under their control.
Exhibits include documents, photographs, audio, and film, and explore various themes, including persecution and extermination, occupied countries, and the postwar era.
Visitors are also invited to tour the historic grounds, which include remains of the Berlin Wall and the outdoor exhibition Historic Wilhelmstraße. Informative English language tours are available on Sundays.
Address: Niederkirchnerstraße 8, 10963 Berlin
Berlin Zoological Gardens (Zoologischer Garten Berlin) is the oldest zoo in Germany and remains one of Berlin's most popular attractions, welcoming 3.5 million guests each year.
Established in 1844 and completely rebuilt after WWII, the zoo has earned a reputation for its many successful breeding programs and is known for providing authentic habitats for the animals.
The zoo is home to nearly 20,000 animals big and small, from Arctic wolves to zebras. Famous residents include a pair of giant pandas, two species of giraffe, and a flock of diminutive African penguins.
The Zoological Gardens are also home to Europe's biggest aviary, as well as Aquarium Berlin , where you can watch more than 9,000 creatures swim in its 250 tanks, including reef and tiger sharks, jellyfish, tropical fish, reptiles, and insects.
Address: Hardenbergplatz 8, 10787 Berlin
Another zoo of interest is Tierpark Berlin . Spread across 400 acres and home to some 7,250 animals from 846 different species.
Opened in the 1950s, it's very nearly the equal of Berlin Zoo and is well worth a visit, especially if you're traveling with kids. Star creatures include its elephants (the zoo is known for its breeding program), polar bears, as well as a large herd of muskox.
If you're visiting in summer, be sure to time your visit to coincide with one of the regular late openings. And check out the zoo's website for details of special kids' programs, feeding schedules , as well as tours and unique animal experiences.
Address: Am Tierpark 125, 10319, Berlin
Originally the kitchen and herb garden of the Royal Palace, the Berlin-Dahlem Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum (Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem) was built in 1679 on the instructions of the Grand Elector.
Covering 126 acres, it is one of the world's largest botanical gardens , home to more than 20,000 species of plants that represent the flora of not only Europe but also tropical and subtropical environments in the Great Tropical House.
There are also gardens of medicinal plants and a large pond forming the centerpiece of the biotope for marine and marsh plants.
If you can, try to visit at Christmas, or during the attraction's annual "Botanical Night" event, considered one of the most romantic things to do in Berlin in winter.
Also worth seeing is the Electoral Garden with its 17th-century garden greenery, the garden restaurant, and the excellent Botanical Museum with its herbarium featuring more than two million plants and an extensive library.
Address: Königin-Luise-Strasse 6-8, 14195 Berlin
One of Berlin's newer tourist attractions, the DDR Museum opened in 2006 and offers a sobering look at life in East Berlin under communist rule.
Located in the old government district of East Berlin, this popular attraction features a variety of hands-on, interactive exhibits related to such areas of life as surveillance, the privations of everyday life, as well as a replica tower block.
Other highlights of a visit include a replica prison cell, interrogation room, cinema, along with accompanying information. Be sure to try out the Trabant simulator, which provides a realistic driving experience along the Berlin Wall in a classic East German vehicle.
A large collection of authentic artifacts from this time period are also on display.
Address: Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 1, 10178 Berlin
Berlin's Nikolai Quarter (Nikolaiviertel) is in the heart of the old city, and is where you'll find many of its oldest and most popular attractions, as well as plenty of interesting things to do beyond the usual places to visit.
This pedestrian-friendly quarter is known for its many small buildings set along narrow streets full of nooks and crannies, home to restaurants, cafés, and shops, along with craft workshops selling everything from basketry to wooden crafts.
Highlights include the district's many old fountains, lanterns, and lattice-windows on the older houses and historic buildings such as Ephraim Palace , built in the 1760s, which has exhibits dedicated to Berlin's rich artistic and cultural history, as well as an exquisite grand staircase.
Also of note is Knoblauch House , built in 1760 and representative of the former homes of the city's wealthy Jewish merchants and tradesmen.
Another favorite tourist spot is Berlin's most famous street, Unter den Linden . This broad avenue stretches some 1,400 meters and connects Pariser Platz in front of the Brandenburg Gate to the Lustgarten.
Today, the two car lanes on the Unter den Linden are separated by a wide, central pedestrian area that extends much of the street's length and provides a wonderful place to relax and take in the bustling city around you. Popular attractions are the Gendarmenmarkt , the Opera House , and St. Hedwig's Cathedral .
Address: Nikolaikirchplatz, 10178 Berlin
One of Berlin's most interesting landmarks, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche) is in many ways two churches: the ultra-modern new church designed in 1961, and next to it, the ruins of the original, including most of the 63-meter-high tower.
Completed in 1895 in honor of Emperor Wilhelm I, the original was destroyed in 1943, but its remains were incorporated into the new complex.
The result is now a major Berlin landmark that also serves as a war memorial, with exhibits installed containing mosaic remains, architectural remnants, and photos. The centerpiece is a figure of Christ from the old church and a Cross of Nails from Coventry Cathedral, destroyed by German bombs earlier in WWII.
Guided tours are available, and visitors are welcome to participate in Sunday services; Evening Music Services featuring cantatas, organ recitals, and choral music; and regular weekday services. A very popular Christmas Market is held outside the church each winter.
Address: Breitscheidplatz, 10789 Berlin
The Französischer Dom (French Cathedral) was constructed in 1705 by and for French Calvinists (Huguenots) who came to Berlin in the late 17 th century seeking religious freedom. Its ornate dome was later added in 1785, and repaired in the 20 th century after sustaining damage during WWII.
The church's tower is one of the best places to get a bird's-eye view of the city of Berlin , offering panoramic views over the Gendarmenmarkt and nearby landmarks like the Berliner Dom and Pergamonmuseum on Museum Island.
The freshly renovated Huguenot Museum is located in the tower of the cathedral, dedicated to the history of those who were forced to relocate as a result of the Reformation. The exhibits focus on the contributions made by these immigrants who, at the time the church was built, made up around 25 percent of the city's population.
The museum includes paintings, photographs, books, and furniture, and also hosts lectures and special programs throughout the year. It is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 12 noon to 5pm.
Address: Gendarmenmarkt 7, 10117 Berlin,
- Sightseeing: There are several great ways to see Berlin, whether by bus, bike, or on foot. One of the easiest ways to get around the city and learn a little about the history is on a double-decker, open-air Berlin City Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour . This tour offers 20 stops at various points of interest, with the option to get off or stay on the bus. For a more in-depth, feet-on-the-ground experience, the Explore Berlin Walking Tour offers a three-hour guided walking tour that includes major attractions, from the Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie to Hitler's former bunker. If you really want to get active, take a 4.5-hour guided Berlin Bike Tour to see the city's top attractions and learn about their history along the way.
- Day Trips: The Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Tour from Berlin is a six-hour day trip to one of the first concentration camps established by the Third Reich. Today, it is a national memorial. This is a historian-led tour and includes admission to the site. If you would like to visit iconic tourist attractions like Zwinger Palace and Frauenkirche, the Dresden Day Trip from Berlin provides an opportunity to get a guided walking tour of the historic city and then enjoy the afternoon exploring Dresden and the banks of the River Elbe at your leisure.
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Germany's Other Big Cities : The old imperial city of Frankfurt should be on your Germany itinerary, and in addition to is lovely setting on the River Main is well known for its cultural events, including being home to the Frankfurt Book Fair. Historic Munich is also a must-visit, especially for its stunning cathedral and Marienplatz , the city's central square, popular for people watching and enjoying a picture-perfect, pedestrian-only experience. In the north of the country, the port city of Hamburg -the country's second biggest city-is a delight to explore on foot, especially its old historic quays, canals, and docks.
Germany's Incredible Scenery : Picture Germany, and you'll no doubt conjure up the kind of images associated with picturesque Bavaria , the country's largest state and home to the kind of traditional sights of forests, mountains, and quaint little villages. The Black Forest is another area often visited by tourists, and is as famous for its thick forests as it is for its old farmhouses and pretty villages. For the country's most dramatic scenery, head to Garmisch-Partenkirchen , a mountainous region as popular with skiers in winter as it is hikers and mountain bikers in the summer.
Top Germany Travel Ideas : For a look at old Germany, be sure to include the romantic town of Rothenburg on your travel itinerary, as famous for its old walls and towers as it is for its remarkably preserved medieval architecture. The magnificent Rhine Valley region also makes for a great German vacation, especially one that takes in a Rhine River cruise through the stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the Rhine Gorge. A similar experience can be enjoyed in the equally attractive Mosel Valley , home to the old Roman city of Trier.
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Berlin Travel Guide
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20 Best Things to Do in Berlin, Germany
Berlin's history of battling ideologies makes for some of the most fascinating sightseeing in Europe. Explore the remnants of the Berlin Wall at the East Side Gallery , which has been transformed by colorful murals into the largest open-air
- All Things To Do
Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) free
U.S. News Insider Tip: A nice souvenir video of the Brandenburg Gate can be captured by taking a taxi on the northbound road (Bundesstraße 2) that loops around the Brandenburg Gate. Keep your camera steady out the window, and you’ll have an impressive panoramic video. – Michael Cappetta
Inspired by the Acropolis entrance in Athens , the Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) is one of the most-photographed sites in Berlin. Located in Pariser Platz (Paris Square), one of the city's most famous squares, the Brandenburg Gate was built for King Frederick William II starting in 1788. Designed by royal architect, Carl Gotthard Langhans, the sandstone structure stands 85 feet high.
Reichstag Building Reichstag Building free
A symbol of Germany's past, present and future, the Reichstag, or Parliament Building, is a blend of different architecture styles from the late 20th to late 21st centuries. It symbolizes the country's path from a dark past to a brighter future.
Originally constructed between 1884 and 1894, the building was destroyed by arson in 1933, an act that marked a turning point in the history of the Third Reich. It was then bombed during World War II and didn't become the seating house of government again until 1999, when the distinguishing glass dome was added. Today, a visit to the dome is popular among travelers thanks to the stunning views it provides, particularly of the Tiergarten . If you're interested in a more in-depth history lesson, heed the advice of past travelers and take advantage of the free audio guide available to visitors.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe free
The Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas (which translates to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe or, more simply, Berlin's Holocaust Memorial) consists of a sloping, wave-like grid of 2,711 concrete pillars constructed to memorialize the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Some of the pillars stand as tall as 15 feet.
Many visitors choose to simply walk among the gray slabs, but if you're interested in learning more about the history, you can descend to the underground visitor center, which displays information about the victims, including photographs, diaries and farewell letters. Recent travelers said they felt incredibly moved by the sheer size of the memorial (it spans more than half a square mile), and most highly recommended a visit when in Berlin. Reviewers note the memorial is within a five-minute walk of the Brandenburg Gate and across the street from Tiergarten Park , making it easy to visit all three top attractions.
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Topography of Terror Topography of Terror free
The Topography of Terror ( Topographie des Terrors ) museum sits on the site of the Gestapo and SS Police's former headquarters during World War II. By walking the grounds and touring the documentation center, travelers can learn about the atrocities committed by the German officers that once worked at this very site. In addition to the WWII history on display here, you’ll also see part of the Berlin Wall in the front of the building.
Other interesting exhibits that detail Berlin between 1933 and 1945 are found on the grounds, including excavated portions of the old building. For a more in-depth look at the museum, you can take the free English-speaking tour, which is offered Saturdays and Sundays at 3:30 p.m. (Most exhibits are listed in German and English.) You'll want to sign up at the reception desk 30 minutes before the tour starts.
Berlin Wall Memorial Berlin Wall Memorial free
Located in the center of Berlin, the Berlin Wall Memorial stretches for a little less than a mile along what was once the border that divided the city in two. Upon arriving at the memorial, you can stop into the visitor center to watch a short film on the history of the Berlin Wall, as well as explore a handful of exhibits. Visitors will learn about the political and historical context that led to the wall’s construction, its fall and the reunification of Germany.
Once you are finished in the visitor center, head across the street to see preserved remnants of the border strip. In addition to part of the Berlin Wall itself, you will find the Chapel of Reconciliation, a rebuilt structure that serves as a place of remembrance for the lives that were lost at the wall.
East Side Gallery East Side Gallery free
The East Side Gallery refers to the longest intact section of the Berlin Wall, which stretches for nearly a mile. If you want to experience the wall for the first time, this is the place to do it. After the Berlin Wall's fall in 1989, more than one hundred international artists congregated here, painting murals that depicted the world's joyous and optimistic reactions to the end of the Cold War era. What exists today forms the world's largest open-air gallery, featuring more than 100 murals.
Despite its distance from the main tourist attractions (a little less than 5 miles), the East Side Gallery still wins high praise from past travelers, who say it’s worth the side trip to see this history up close. Recent visitors suggested going early in the day to avoid crowds.
Museumsinsel (Museum Island) Museumsinsel (Museum Island)
Museumsinsel (or Museum Island) is the name given to a group of five museums, the Baroque-style Berlin Cathedral and large gardens clustered on a tiny island in the River Spree. Built between 1823 and 1930, some museums present a different aspect of German history and art, while others spotlight global arts and antiques, such as the Egyptian Museum and Pergamon Museum .
When you visit, see if you can guess which museum hangs which art; there's the Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery), the Altes Museum (Old Museum), the Neues Museum (New Museum), the Bode-Museum and the very popular Pergamon Museum.
Tiergarten Tiergarten free
The expansive Tiergarten sprawls 519 acres from central Berlin westward and attracts visitors looking for respite from the city's clamor. The name of the park translates to "Animal Garden," and it is also known as "Berlin’s Green Lung." The land where the park sits previously served as a royal hunting ground for select Germans during the late 17th century. Nowadays, visitors can still get a glimpse of animals by visiting Zoologischer Garten (the Berlin Zoo) located within the park. You can also stroll, jog or bike through the most popular green space in Berlin. For many locals, no visit to Tiergarten is complete without stopping at its two beer gardens, in particular Café am Neuen See, which occupies a picturesque lakefront perch.
The Tiergarten also houses the Victory Column, which was erected in 1873 to commemorate Prussia's victory in the Franco-German War. Visitors can climb to the top of this monument to enjoy great views of Berlin.
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Charlottenburg Palace (Schloss Charlottenburg) Charlottenburg Palace (Schloss Charlottenburg)
Beginning its life as a summer home for the royal family in the late 17th century, Schloss Charlottenburg became a lavish palace after Frederick the Great commissioned some 18th-century upgrades and additions. Now the complex can take more than a day to tour from top to bottom. Located 6 miles east of Berlin’s city center, this is a popular destination for tourists interested in history and architecture.
Inside the baroque palace, you can view Frederick I and Sophie Charlotte's living quarters, the chapel and the Neuer Fluegel (New Wing) where Frederick the Great once resided. You can also venture outdoors to the Royal Gardens, the family mausoleum and even an ornate teahouse.
Berlin Cathedral Berlin Cathedral
Located in the Museum District of Mitte, the Berlin Cathedral spans more than 67,000 square feet, making it the largest Protestant church in Germany. Along with its size, the cathedral is also recognized for its beauty – it shares a similar design to Rome ’s St. Peter's Basilica . Its interior features gold accents, intricate mosaics and imperial staircase. Along with the cathedral’s dome, which is accessible to visitors via a set of 270 steps, another highlight is the marble and onyx altar. More than one million visitors stop by the Berlin Cathedral annually for worship services, tours, concerts and special events. Visitors traveling with children should review the cathedral’s event calendar to see if any kid-friendly activities, such as family concerts, align with your visit.
Recent visitors use words like “peaceful” and “iconic” to describe the cathedral. Some reviewers complained about the admission costs, but others said it’s worth the price to be able to view the stunning interior and climb the dome for outstanding views of the city.
TV Tower (Fernsehturm) TV Tower (Fernsehturm)
U.S. News Insider Tip: The TV Tower is conveniently located near the Alexanderplatz station and shopping district. Schedule some extra time to visit some of the unique local shops. During the holiday season, this area is also home to a beautiful Christmas market. – Michael Cappetta
For the ever-popular panorama of the city, the Berliner Fernsehturm (TV Tower) is a great place to go. Originally constructed in the late 1960s to widely broadcast television signals across Germany, the TV Tower is still the tallest structure in Germany (standing at 1,207 feet), and it's guaranteed to provide quite the view. Visitors can take one of two elevators to the top. If the 40-second trip makes you hungry, stop by the rotating Sphere Restaurant or Bar 203 for some light refreshments.
Pergamon Museum Pergamon Museum
Note: The Pergamon Museum will be closed beginning in October 2023 for extensive renovations. It will reopen in spring 2027, according to the museum’s website .
The Pergamon Museum, located on Museumsinsel (Museum Island) on the River Spree, is one of travelers' favorite museums. Recent visitors used words like "remarkable" and "jaw-dropping" to describe the museum, which was completed in 1930 and houses many works that are important to the development of ancient art and architecture. Filled with an impressive collection of Greek, Roman, East Asian and Islamic art, exhibits include pieces like the reconstructed Ishtar Gate from Babylon and the Pergamon Altar – a massive monumental Greek temple that is believed to date back to 180 B.C. Other highlights include the Market Gate of Miletus, which dates back to the second century and the Mshatta Façade, which hails from a Jordanian desert castle.
Friedrichstadt-Palast is home to the world’s largest theater stage. The theater’s roots date back to 1867, though the building that is used today opened in 1984 after the original theater had to be demolished in 1980 for safety concerns. Since its reopening, the theater has been used for entertaining circus performances, vaudeville acts, comedy and musicals. Every February, the theater hosts film screenings as part of the Berlinale, or Berlin International Film Festival.
Recent travelers enjoyed the theater’s beauty. Travelers also added that the theater’s location is very convenient as it sits within walking distance of other major tourist attractions, such as the Brandenburg Gate and Reichstagsgebäude .
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Berlin Beer Gardens Berlin Beer Gardens
No trip to Berlin is complete without visiting a classic biergarten (beer garden). Biergartens in Berlin are popular with locals for summer afternoon and evening activities – plan ahead so you don’t end up in a long queue on a hot day.
One of the most popular beer gardens is Prater Biergarten, which is located just 2 miles north of the city center. The historic beer garden first opened in the mid-1800s. Open daily starting at noon, Prater offers a classic menu of pilsners, along with tasty grilled sausages from the region of Thuringia. Other classic snacks included baked potatoes with cheese curds and pretzels. Before visiting the biergarten, make sure to check the weather forecast: it’s only open weather permitting.
Berlin Christmas Markets Berlin Christmas Markets free
The festive Christmas markets in Berlin attract thousands of travelers each year for their unique food, shopping, beverages and holiday cheer. With dozens of Christmas markets to choose from, it is important for travelers to take the time to research which area they would like to visit, and which theme they would like to experience.
One of the most historical and romantic Christmas markets in Berlin is located at the Charlottenburg Palace . Christmas lights and decorations adorn the largest palace in Berlin to welcome visitors to a winter wonderland. Hundreds of vendors exhibit booths in the palace's plaza, where guests stroll through for holiday gifts and treats. A more classic Christmas market, which has historically opened on Nov. 21 and runs through Dec. 22, is located in the town of Spandau, which is located approximately 10 miles from Berlin’s city center and a 30-minute ride on public transit. At the Spandau Christmas markets, travelers navigate a large plaza that is decorated with Christmas lights and trees to shop hundreds of vendors from around the world. The charm of being in the middle of Spandau's town square adds to the enchantment of shopping at a classic German Christmas market.
Berlin Story Bunker Berlin Story Bunker
The Berlin Story Bunker is an immersive museum spread across five floors that invites visitors to explore centuries of Berlin and German history. World War II and Hitler are a major focus of the museum (a recreation of Hitler’s personal study and a model of the bunker where he died by suicide in 1945 are among the displays). In fact, the 70,000-square-foot museum is housed within a concrete World War II bunker that’s connected to the Anhalter railway station. Open since 2014, the museum contains multimedia displays, large-scale photographs, short films, sculptures and other art installations.
Recent visitors said the information was well-presented and called the museum a must for history buffs. Because of its size and the amount of reading required, it’s recommended that you set aside at least three hours for your visit.
Potsdamer Platz Potsdamer Platz free
Pre-World War II, Potsdamer Platz was Berlin's main plaza – and a bustling one, at that – but the ensuing wars left it ravaged. After the Berlin Wall fell and the Cold War ended, companies like Sony and Daimler moved in and built their headquarters on the square, thus revitalizing the area.
But global companies weren't the only ones credited with rejuvenating the plaza: Attractions like the Deutsche Kinemathek, a museum dedicated to German film and TV, the Boulevard der Stars – Berlin's answer to the Hollywood Walk of Fame – and the Theater am Potsdamer Platz, the largest show stage in Berlin, also set up shop. Families will enjoy the nearby LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Berlin and a sizable mall, The Playce. Plus, with a casino and one of Berlin's largest movie theaters, the entertainment possibilities are nearly endless.
Checkpoint Charlie Checkpoint Charlie
Many say a visit to the Checkpoint Charlie border crossing should not come without a visit to the Haus am Checkpoint Charlie, or the Checkpoint Charlie Museum. Checkpoint Charlie was the most popular border crossing between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War. It has also had a starring role in major films, including the James Bond franchise.
Experts and travelers say the museum gives context to what's left of the border crossing, and indeed you will find chilling stories of those who escaped from East to West via the Berlin Wall – as well as stories about those who didn't. You'll also get a thorough history of the Berlin Wall.
Art & Culture
Mauerpark Mauerpark free
Mauerpark is a 37-acre park that was officially opened in 1994. The park's name translates to "Wall Park:" It's located on the land in between the walls that separated East and West Berlin, formerly known as “death strip.” Don’t let that sinister name deter you; the park is now known for its "open-air culture in the middle of Berlin" and it provides a great activity space for travelers. What's more, the park has several barbeque areas, making it a perfect spot to prepare an outdoor meal during the summer.
If your visit to Berlin overlaps with a Sunday, set aside time to visit Mauerpark to peruse its flea market. It’s one of Berlin's largest second-hand shopping events, and features hundreds of vendors selling unique antiques, clothing, furniture, products and other wares. In addition to the flea market, live music, pick-up sports games and other events take place on weekends.
Olympiastadion Berlin Olympiastadion Berlin
U.S. News Insider Tip: Review the upcoming schedule of events for Olympiastadion Berlin and try to catch a Hertha BSC football match – the energy is electric! – Michael Cappetta
Olympiastadion Berlin is a large, majestic stadium in Berlin's Olympischer Platz neighborhood that has the capacity to host up to 74,000 fans. The stadium is known as the home of Hertha BSC, a popular German soccer team, and host to a variety of special events throughout the year, including Lollapalooza Berlin, an annual music festival held in September. It's also known for its dark history. The stadium originally opened in 1936 for the Summer Olympics, often referred to as the "Nazi Olympics" for the widespread Nazi propaganda on display during the games.
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The 16 best attractions in Berlin
The German capital can be a little overwhelming, so where do you start? These are the best attractions in Berlin
While we’ve managed to keep this collection of the best attractions in Berlin to a concise 16, the German capital is a never-ending source of fascination, excitement and entertainment. Berlin is one of the modern world’s most important cities, a place whose reputation routinely sees it top bucket lists and best-ofs alike, as people from all over the world head here to see the famous buildings, explore the incredible museums and overindulge in Europe’s most exciting nightlife .
Berlin is a city that does it all and does it in an undeniably unique manner. This is Berlin, and don’t you forget. The restaurant scene is dizzyingly diverse, and shopping here is a white-knuckle experience all in itself.
Here to guide you through it all is Berlin local Anna Geary-Meyer. It can be easy to find yourself making plans to move to Berlin, but don’t forget to embrace your inner tourist and experience the classic attractions that this place has to offer.
RECOMMENDED: 📍 Full guide to the best things to do in Berlin 🏡 The best Airbnbs in Berlin 🛏 The best hotels in Berlin
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Best attractions in Berlin
1. Brandenburger Tor
- Historic buildings and sites
The Brandenburger Tor (or The Brandenburger Gate if you're not so great with German) is an absolute must-see attraction if you're visiting Berlin. Fun fact: From 1814 until 1919, only the royal family and members of the aristocratic Pfuel Family were allowed to travel through the centre archway. Which wouldn't have been so fun for us normal folk. Now, it no longer causes divisions. It's said to represent peace and unity and is one of Germany's best known landmarks.
Time Out Tip: for the best pics, take ’em from the east side so that you can see Tiergarten between the pillars.
2. Neues Museum
After a long period of restoration, from suffering severe damage during World War III, the Neues Museum got back up and running back in 2009. It's now arguably one of the best museums to visit from Berlin’s UNESCO-listed Museumsinsel (Museum Island). It's an unforgettable home for a whole host of different artefacts from ancient history to the present day. From Egyptian art to unique prehistoric objects. This museum will feed your curiosity and is a great way to expand your world knowledge.
Time Out Tip: be sure to properly take in the building itself. All those rennovations have turned the Neues into a fully-fledged architectural gem.
3. Holocaust Memorial (Denkmal für die ermordeten Juden Europas)
- Monuments and memorials
Architect Peter Eisenman’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is intentionally disorienting: it’s a striking sculptural statement that invites visitors in, only to create a feeling of unease. There’s no vantage point or overview; to fully engage with the structure you need to walk into it. It’s haunting in places, especially on overcast days and near the middle of the monument, where it’s easy to feel a sense of confinement. Early criticism often focused on the monument’s lack of specificity – there are no stars of David here, no obvious symbolism or recognition of German culpability – but it has since won grudging recognition from many former critics.
Time Out Tip: be sure to get there when the visitor centre is open (Tue-Sun, 10am-6pm). Its exhibitions are exceptionally informative.
4. East Side Gallery
Running along the River Spree for 1.3km (0.8 miles) from Oberbaum Bridge to Ostbahnhof is one of Berlin’s most photographed tourist sights. This is the largest remaining section of the Wall still standing, decorated with 101 paintings by international artists from 1990. Dmitri Vrubel’s striking portrait depicting Brezhnev and Hönecker’s kiss – a Soviet sign of great respect – is easily its most iconic image. In 2017, in an attempt to prevent the sort of vandalism that had plagued it in recent years, a metre-high metal fence was erected around the perimeter of the Wall, an irony not lost on visitors.
The riverside views are great, too, and best enjoyed with a cold späti beer. There aren’t many places in Berlin where you’re encouraged to engage in shameless, unironic photo-taking, so this is definitely the place to whip out the selfie stick.
5. Botanischer Garten & Botanisches Museum
- Parks and gardens
The Berlin Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum were landscaped at the beginning of the 20th century. Today it’s home to 18,000 plant species, 16 greenhouses and a museum. The gardens make for a pleasant stroll, but the museum is a bit dilapidated and there’s no information in English. Every Monday, they run a wild mushroom advice workshop, so feel free to forage away in the nearby forests.
6. Gedenkstätte Berlin-Hohenschönhausen
First the site of a canteen for the Nazi social welfare organisation, this building housed a remand prison which the Soviets turned into ‘Special Encampment No.3’ and which the Stasi later expanded. Excellent guided tours are led daily by ex-prisoners; their personal testimony adds chilling immediacy to the bureaucratically spare interrogation rooms, the concrete ‘tiger cage’ in which 30 minutes of walking per day was permitted and the cramped cells where prisoners were forced to sleep in a mandated position. The museum houses a permanent exhibition, which reveals the stories of former prisoners, and there are also temporary exhibitions, often curated from the memorial’s own collection of 15,000 GDR artefacts.
7. Jüdisches Museum
Named as the largest Jewish museum in Europe (38,000 square feet of floor space to be exact), Daniel Libeskind’s beautiful, yet deliberately oppressive building houses a masterful museum devoted to the turbulent history of Judaism in Germany. It was opened in 2001, with a permanent exhbition that tells the stories of prominent Jewish figures and their impact. Here, you'll also be able to find out about Jewish holiday traditions, the difficult road to emancipation and more. Side note: this museum is a popular one so arrive in the morning to avoid long queues and crowds!
Berlin’s most famous concert hall, home to the world-renowned Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, is also its most architecturally daring: a marvellously puckish piece of organic modernism. Designed by Hans Scharoun, the golden building with its distinctive vaulting roof opened in 1963. Its reputation for superb acoustics is accurate, but it does depend on where you sit. Behind the orchestra, the acoustics leave much to be desired, but in front (where seats are much more expensive), the sound is heavenly. The Berlin Phil gives about 100 performances in the city during its August-to-June season, plus 20 to 30 concerts around the world.
9. Soviet Memorial (Sowjetisches Ehrenmal am Treptower Park)
One of Berlin’s most impressive public monuments, this memorial to Soviet soldiers killed in the Second World War (one of three in Berlin) and military cemetery is located in a peaceful park in the east of the city. It’s as bombastic and intimidating as you would expect. Treptower Park covers a huge area and is visit-worthy in itself, so combine your stop with a bike ride along the Spree or a stroll to the nearby Karpfenteich (carp pond). In summer, you can enjoy a riverside coffee at one of the park’s restaurants and cafés.
10. Haus am Checkpoint Charlie
Once the flashpoint between East and West, today the former Checkpoint Charlie border crossing offers tacky souvenir stalls, coach-loads of trippers and actors pretending to be US and Soviet guards, but it also features this fascinating little museum which is sure to please children and adults alike. The founder of Haus am Checkpoint Charlie, Dr Rainer Hildebrandt, opened it as a non-violent protest against the Wall, with the purpose of recording the events that were taking place at the best-known crossing point. He believed it was essential to be ‘as close as possible to the injustice itself, where human greatness fully unfolds’. Today the museum tells of heroic escapes, successful and unsuccessful, with great sensitivity.
11. Tempelhofer Feld
Famous for its Nazi and Cold War history, Tempelhof airport ceased operation in 2008. Now, you can stroll down the runways where Second World War ‘Stuka’ dive bombers took off and where, during the famous Berlin Airlift after the Soviets blockaded West Berlin in 1948, the Western Powers landed supplies for the city’s 2.5 million residents in one of the greatest feats in aviation history. Today the 368-hectare open space of runways and grasslands is much enjoyed by walkers, kite-surfers, cyclists, runners and skaters alike.
A short walk from the busy shopping street of Karl-Marx-Strasse in Neukölln, you'll find the iconic and charming village of Rixdorf, centred around Richardplatz. Here, you'll find an ancient church among beautiful early 18th-century buildings. Plus, there’s even a horse-and-carriage business still in operation which will allow you to take a lovely your around the grounds. There is also an annual Christmas craft market held in the square. So, plenty to do and see in this small but intriguing village.
13. Museum für Naturkunde (Natural History Museum)
Berlin’s Natural History Museum will be a sure-fire hit with any under-10s. The biggest (literally) draw is the skeleton of a Brachiosaurus dinosaur, which weighed 50 tonnes at death and stands proud at four storeys high. But don’t miss the creepy ‘research collections’, which show off some of the museum’s store of over a million pickled animals suspended in jars of alcohol. Berlin’s most famous polar bear, Knut, who died in 2011, is also stuffed and on display.
14. Kaufhaus des Westens (Department Store of the West)
KaDeWe, the legendary department store, is more than a century old and has stood at the heart of the city’s shopping scene through thick and thin. It stocks an impressive range of high-end designers and has tried to shed its stuffy image by bringing in upbeat younger labels. As opulent as ever, the space is also home to the quintessential luxury food-hall experience in a city otherwise teeming with budget supermarkets. With delicatessens, butchers, pâtisseries and grocers, and plenty of prepared foods to take away, the olfactory experience as you move between sections is a delight in itself. Head up another level to reach a cavernous glass-roofed restaurant with a fine view of Wittenbergplatz below.
15. Prater Biergarten
- Bars and pubs
- Prenzlauer Berg
In the mid-16th century, brewing beer during summer was outlawed in Bavaria due to the drink’s rapid deterioration in the heat. Instead, brewers were encouraged to build cellars next to the River Isar in which to store beer for summer drinking, and thus, the Biergarten was born. Situated in leafy Prenzlauer Berg, Prater Garten is decidedly more Munich than Berlin and lures an appreciative crowd with beer, sausage and pretzels.
There’s a running joke among Berliners (though not an especially clever one) that Spandau, the westernmost of the city’s twelve districts, isn’t really part of the capital. Whatever the case may be, this picturesque area is absolutely worth a day trip. Spread out along the River Havel, Spandau’s old town is the site of a gorgeous Christmas market each winter, and the medieval Zitadelle is one of Europe’s best-preserved fortresses.
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17 Best Things to Do in Berlin
By Eliot Stein and Krystin Arneson
More than thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the German capital's intoxicating mix of grit, glamour, and anything-goes expression born from historical repression has made it one of the most dynamic cities on earth. Where else can you saunter through Prussian palaces, venture into Nazi-era bunkers, tour the world's longest outdoor art gallery, and lose yourself in Europe's most famous techno temple? (And that's just day one.) So bring an open mind, pack your stamina, and get ready to dive into all the city has to offer. Read on for the very best things to do in Berlin.
Click the link to read our complete Berlin city guide .
Landwehr Canal Arrow
You visit the Brandenburg Gate and Reichstag to sightsee in Berlin. You wander the Landwehr Canal to fall in love with Berlin. Arguably the city's best people-watching spot, the canal unites two of its hippest 'hoods (Kreuzberg and Neukölln, called "Kreuzkölln") into the beating heart of the city's bohemian counterculture scene. In fact, one of the most quintessential Berlin experiences you can have is grabbing a €1 beer from a spätkauf (Berlin’s version of a bodega) and sitting along the canal’s grassy banks under a weeping willow tree. You'll be surrounded by scruffy hipsters, Turkish families, hard-nosed Berliners, and everyone in between. A well-marked footpath runs along the canal through much of Berlin. In addition, benches, biergartens, bocce courts, and other welcome distractions invite you to sit and linger.
Hackesche Höfe and Haus Schwarzenberg Arrow
Beneath its rough exterior, Berlin hides elegant urban courtyards behind the Altbau buildings that survived World War II. In the heart of Berlin’s central Mitte neighborhood, Hackesche Höfe is a cluster of eight café- and boutique-filled public courtyards dating from 1907. Following a complete renovation to restore the interconnected höfs (courtyards) to their former glory, the labyrinth reopened in 1996. Several doors down on Rosenthaler Straße, Haus Schwarzenberg is Hackesche Höfe’s gritty, graffiti-covered brother, and it offers a fascinating glimpse of what much of Berlin looked like before gentrification swept in.
Charlottenburg Palace Arrow
Built in 1699 as a summer residence for Sophie Charlotte, wife of King Friedrich I, this massive, multi-winged baroque structure is Berlin’s largest palace. Heavily damaged in World War II and rebuilt and restored over several decades, the palace is home to a number of priceless collections, including royal porcelain and silver, crown jewels, and important 18th-century French paintings by artists such as Antoine Watteau. The rooms themselves, most of which were entirely reconstructed, feature ornate plasterwork, gilding, and frescoes, all based on original designs. The highlight is the gardens, created in the French and English style, with orderly hedges, fountains, ponds, and tree-lined gravel paths.
Berliners swarm the city’s outdoor spaces in the summer, and Müggelsee has long been a crowd favorite: It’s a popular spot to pass an afternoon when a short Ryanair hop to the Italian coast isn't in your weekend plans. Of course, this is an inland lake and not the sea, but it’s a respite on hot, AC-less days for city residents. The lake's golden sand is smoother than you might expect and is absolutely fine in bare feet. There's usually plenty of room on the beach to spread out, just don't set up camp too close to the curmudgeonly swans that strut the shoreline.
Berlin Wall Memorial Arrow
This free indoor/outdoor museum and memorial is the best place to learn how the Berlin Wall sprung up, practically overnight, what life was like in the former East German state, and the heroic (and heartbreaking) attempts people made to reunite with their families. As you walk along this one-mile stretch of Bernauer Strasse, an open-air exhibit features photographs and signs detailing the stories on either side of the barrier. There’s also a preserved piece of the original border wall and a watchtower, as well as an indoor visitor center with exhibits chronicling the political and historical events surrounding the city’s division.
Treptower Park Arrow
Summer in Berlin is practically synonymous with sunny afternoons whiled away in Treptower Park, located along the banks of the Spree River. Berliners head here en masse after winter’s hibernation to picnic and drink Spati beers in the park’s wide expanses—and there’s plenty of room to hold them all, with 207 acres of green space. Those feeling a little more active head to the park for running or walking; tourists come to catch a Stern und Kreis City Tour by boat that departs from the food-stall-lined riverside jetty. This being Berlin, there’s some serious history behind it (the Soviet War Memorial is a cemetery for 5,000 Soviet soldiers), and stargazers should check out the Archenhold Sternwarte, which boasts the world’s longest refracting telescope.
Mauerpark Flea Market Arrow
Located along a former part of the Berlin Wall that was a militarized no-man’s land known as the “Death Strip,” the area that is now Mauerpark (“Wall Park") was where guards stationed in watch towers would shoot would-be escapees trying to flee from East Berlin to West. Today, the attack dogs and soldiers are gone, and in their place, the city’s largest and best outdoor market is held every Sunday. Surrounding the bustling market in the trendy green space is something of an anything-goes circus, filled with jugglers, picnickers and the world's largest karaoke party, known as Bearpit Karaoke.
Ask any proud Berliner and they’ll tell you that you don’t go to a döner kebab shop for the ambience, and Tadim is no exception. Located smack-dab in the heart of Kreuzberg’s bustling Turkish epicenter, Tadim has been attracting culinary pilgrims for more than 20 years. Inside, you'll salivate at simmering hunk of meat rotating on the spit like a glistening, fatty disco ball. A few sterile chairs and tables round out the place. It’s simple and straightforward, just as a proper kebab joint should be. Going to Berlin and not eating a döner kebab would be like going to Naples and not eating pizza—it’s cheap, it’s delicious, and it’s informal. You can eat in, take it wrapped to go, or stand and eat it outside—there’s really no wrong way to eat at Tadim.
Perhaps no club in Berlin (or the world, for that matter) is more hallowed than Berghain. Set in a former East German power station, this cavernous, nondescript warehouse is the Holy Grail for techno fans, hosting three-day-long debauchery-induced raves. Every weekend, the club attracts some of the best DJs from all over the planet to spin and pump beats so intense that they ring in your bones instead of your ears. Things generally kick off well after midnight and hit their stride toward 3 a.m. or 4 a.m.; and this is a black jeans and Converse kind of city, so if you dress in expensive heels and cute tops, you won’t get in anywhere.
Reichstag Building Arrow
Reduced to rubble after one of history's most infamous fires in the 1930s, and then rebuilt decades later, the stately Reichstag is arguably Germany's most iconic landmark . The building has been home of Germany’s parliament (the Bundestag) since 1999 and now serves as a symbol of the country’s reunification. Today, a glistening glass dome designed by starchitect Norman Foster sits atop the grand old structure, and anyone with an advanced booking can ascend its 755-foot-long ramp for sweeping views over the city. The Reichstag dome is one of the most enriching free experiences for first-time visitors to the city, where a troubled past exists side by side with a trendsetting future. Few places employ this juxtaposition quite as well as this monument to freedom and openness, which was literally built atop the site that saw Nazis rise to power.
Brandenburg Gate Arrow
This triumphant neoclassical arch is Berlin’s most famous monument and the only remaining gate of the 14 that originally surrounded the city when it was a proud Prussian metropolis. Since then, Napoleon and Hitler have stormed through it and the world watched as thousands of Berliners swarmed the site with sledgehammers to topple the nearby Wall in 1989. Ever since, this Acropolis-inspired 1791 monument has come to symbolize German reunification. Conveniently located within easy walking distance of a trio of boldfaced Berlin sites ( Tiergarten Park , the Reichstag , and The Holocaust Memorial ), the Brandenburg Gate serves as a central meeting place for tourists.
Museum Island Arrow
Berlin's Smithsonian on the Spree, Museumsinsel (“Museum Island”) is a UNESCO-inscribed collection of five world-class museums and a must-see for anyone coming to Berlin. Spanning 6,000 years of art and history, the island’s ensemble of museums (The Altes Museum, Neues Museum , Alte Nationalgalerie, Pergamonmuseum , and Bode Museum) represent the pinnacle of Germany’s museum collection. Here, visitors can come face to face with Nefertiti; ascend an ancient altar dedicated to Zeus; and marvel at Monet, Cézanne, and Degas’ landscapes before crossing the bridge back to mainland Berlin.
Sammlung Boros Arrow
A renovated Nazi-era bunker in the now-posh Mitte district houses this private collection of contemporary art, owned by Christian and Karen Boros (who actually live in an apartment on the roof). The selection of sculpture, paintings, photographs, and installations by international artists, including Ai Weiwei, Thomas Ruff, Tomás Saraceno, and Olafur Eliasson, rotates every four years. A guided tour across its five floors reveals not only the impressive collection but also the long history of the bunker, which was used as a Nazi air raid shelter and later became an underground techno club (you can still see vestiges of fluorescent paint in some rooms and stairwells). Tours (required) book up months in advance, so plan accordingly.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe Arrow
A short walk from Brandenburg Gate , this sprawling, maze-like set of 2,711 concrete columns is a haunting reminder of the atrocities and toll of World War II and Germany’s main memorial to the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Officially called the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the site occupies an entire 205,000-square-foot city block and was designed by American architect Peter Eisenman after an exhaustive 17-year planning process. The memorial’s abstract design offers no explanation or prescribed walking path, but simply invites visitors to enter and become swallowed in its tomb-like slabs.
East Side Gallery Arrow
With more than 100 paintings, the East Side Gallery is the world's largest (and longest) open-air art gallery. The 0.8-mile stretch of the Berlin Wall, which runs parallel to the Spree River, once trapped East Germans inside. But when the rest of the Wall came crumbling down in 1989, this stretch remained and became a concrete canvas for international artists, who splashed it with murals between February and June of 1990.
Tempelhofer Feld Arrow
Built by Hitler’s henchmen and used as a lifeline by some two million people during the Allied Airlift, Tempelhof Airport is now a sweeping urban playground that’s larger than Central Park . On sunny days, thousands of Berliners come to jog down the abandoned runways, bike under the old radar station, and grill next to grounded Cold War-era planes. Stay long enough and you’ll see beekeepers in the lawn, windsurfers on the runway, cricket players by the tarmac, zipliners in the forest, and much more.
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Attractions & Sights in Berlin
© Antje Kraschinski
Berlin is more than 775 years old and over the decades, all generations have left their monuments and landmarks in town. The densest array of sights in Berlin lies east of the Brandenburg Gate, on either side of Unter den Linden. In the city west visitors should take a look at the broken shard of the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche, which serves as a brutal reminder of World War II. Close by starts the famous boulevard Kurfürstendamm.
Top 10 Berlin Sights and Attractions
The Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, Museum Island and more: A trip to Berlin wouldn't be complete without visiting these attractions and sights. more
A-Z: All Attractions and Sights
From Alexanderplatz to Zoo: the most important attractions and sights in Berlin from A to Z. more
Berlin's Sights by Theme
From architecture and history to parks and gardens: the most important sights in Berlin sorted by topic. more
© visitBerlin, Foto: Nele Niederstadt
Architecture: The Most Impressive Buildings in Berlin
Where old meets new: the Berlin cityscape features buildings ranging from the Middle Ages to the modern age. Discover Berlin's most intriguing architectural gems. more
© visitBerlin, Foto: Mo Wüstenhagen
Viewing Platforms & Viewpoints
Viewpoints, observation terraces, public roof terraces and observation towers: Discover the best views of Berlin. more
© visitBerlin, Foto: Andi Weiland
Barrier-free sights in Berlin accessible for wheelchair users, visually impaired and blind people as well as deaf and hearing impaired people. more
The Brandenburg Gate is Berlin's most famous landmark. A symbol of Berlin and German division during the Cold War, it is now a national symbol of peace and unity. more
The Reichstag building with its famous glass dome is one of the most visited sights in Berlin. It is seat of the German parliament, the Bundestag. more
From a symbol of Prussian military victory to a popular tourist spot: Berlin's Victory Column has reinvented itself through the ages. more
Checkpoint Charlie was the best-known border crossing between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. At the height of the Berlin Crisis in 1961 U.S. and Soviet tanks faced each other here. more
The TV Tower on Alexanderplatz is Berlin's most prominent landmark and the tallest building in Germany. Its steel sphere contains an observation platform and a gourmet restaurant. more
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe or Holocaust Memorial near Brandenburg Gate commemorates the up to six million Jewish victims of the Nazi Holocaust. more
East Side Gallery
After the German reunification, artists have turned this former stretch of the Berlin Wall into the largest open-air gallery in the world. more
Berlin Palace (Humboldt Forum)
Located in the Berlin Palace, the Humboldt Forum is a modern museum inviting visitors to engage in a dialogue between art and science. more
Experience the extraordinary side of Berlin: from sights and history, to hidden oases and a bustling restaurant scene, the capital has a lot to offer. more
Guided tours and organized city tours in Berlin: for visitors, tourists and students. more
© visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle
River Cruises & Boat Trips
River cruises and boat trips in Berlin on Spree river, on Landwehr canal or over the Wannsee. Get your tickets here. more
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Must-Visit Attractions in Berlin
A trip to Berlin wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Reichstag, East Side Gallery or the city’s iconic TV Tower. The German capital’s must-visit attractions encompass world-class museums, poignant street art and awe-inspiring architecture. Tourist attractions get a bad rap – they can be expensive, corny and, worst of all, crowded. But in Berlin , with its rich and turbulent history, the prime attractions offer the opportunity to learn about the city’s complex past in engaging, dynamic ways – from Prussian palaces and the World War II years to the Cold War and beyond. And that’s before even mentioning Berlin’s world-class collection of museums , which head much further back in time. However, don’t think you need to spend your vacation time waiting in queues as many of these attractions can be booked online, meaning you can go straight to the heart of the action, sometimes even with an expert guide. Did you know – Culture Trip now does bookable, small-group trips? Pick from authentic, immersive Epic Trips , compact and action-packed Mini Trips and sparkling, expansive Sailing Trips .
View all trips, snap photos of murals at east side gallery.
Located on the east bank of the Spree in Friedrichshain , the East Side Gallery is an outdoor art gallery of murals painted on the longest-remaining section, 1,316 metres (4,318 feet), of the Berlin Wall. The original works, painted in 1990, were created as a monument to the fall of the divide and the “peaceful negotiation of borders and conventions between societies and people”, according to the artists’ initiative behind it. You can explore it for free, but to get the full context of the era – and to dig into East Berlin’s storied history and subcultures a little deeper – it’s worth considering a guided tour.
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Experience the best city views from the tv tower.
Built as a Soviet symbol of power in East Berlin, the TV Tower is to Berlin as the Eiffel Tower is to Paris when it comes to architectural city icons. With a cocktail bar and great views from the top awaiting you, why stand in line with everyone else when you could upgrade to a skip-the-line ticket? Top tip: Try to time your visit for sunset.
Get lost in the Pergamon Museum
There’s a lot of historical ground to cover at Museum Island ’s Pergamon Museum, which comprises three mini-museums: the Collection of Classical Antiquities, the Museum of the Ancient Near East, and the Museum of Islamic Art. However, it’s not just paintings. Here, you can gaze up at the reconstructed Ishtar Gate of Babylon and peek into the beautifully detailed 17th-century Aleppo Zimmer, a room from a merchant’s house from the Syrian city. It’s one of Berlin’s most popular attractions, so be sure to book your visit online.
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Discover beautiful sculptures at the Bode Museum
Completed in 1904 as the fourth museum on Berlin’s famous Museumsinsel, the Bode Museum is the place to go for sculpture and stunning Byzantine art. However, there’s much more, including pieces from the Italian Renaissance and an expansive coin collection. Given just how popular the island’s museums are, it is highly recommended to purchase a ticket online so that you can avoid long waiting times.
Immerse yourself in works of art at the Alte Nationalgalerie
Berlin’s original national gallery, established in 1861, is a haven for art lovers. Inside the imposing building is an incredible collection of works spanning from Neoclassicism and Romanticism through to French Impressionism and early Modernism, including pieces by Manet, Monet and Cézanne. Given that it’s one of the country’s largest collections of 19th-century artwork, people do tend to queue for it – skip right past them with this skip-the-line ticket.
Discover ancient cultures at the Neues Museum
Reopened in 2009 after extensive restorations, the Neues Museum is one of the jewels among Berlin’s 170-plus museums. Here, you can get a glimpse of Nefertiti’s famous bust, learn about ancient Egyptian and Nubian cultures and trace the footsteps of our ancestors via artefacts dating from the Stone Age through to the Middle Ages. With so much to see, it’s a shame to spend time waiting in line – head straight in with a bookable ticket.
Enjoy a picnic at Tempelhof
During the summers, Berliners flock to the old runways of Tempelhof to grill bratwurst sausages on the grillplatz (barbecue area) of the airport-turned-public-park . However, that’s not the only draw. Reserve a guided tour of the old terminal building – which runs 1.2 kilometres (0.7 miles) end to end – for an inner glimpse of the workings of the colossal structure, including the massive network of air-raid shelters.
Learn about Germany’s history at the DDR Museum
One of Berlin’s most family-friendly visitor attractions, the DDR Museum is an interactive museum about East German life during the Cold War . It’s a genuine delight for both kids and adults. Get behind the wheel of an East German Trabant car, and walk through an authentic Cold War-era apartment. Also, snoop through the files of a secret Stasi listening post. It’s one of the city’s most popular museums, with a queue that frequently runs out the door and down the riverside, so booking online is highly recommended.
Visit the Topography of Terror
History looms large in Berlin, and few places more so than at the Topography of Terror. It was once the headquarters of the Nazis’ secret state police, the SS. More than 1.3 million people visited the site in 2018, making it one of Berlin’s most-visited attractions. While admission is free, a tour that stops off at the site will give visitors a thorough grounding in its history and context.
Learn about Berlin’s Jewish heritage at the Jewish Museum Berlin
Opened in 2001, Europe’s largest Jewish museum is an important part of Berlin’s Jewish heritage and a must-stop for any visitor to the city. Not only is its comprehensive walk through Jewish cultural history fascinating and sobering, but interacting with Daniel Libeskind’s architectural addition to the museum is a powerful part of the experience. Get the most out of your time at the museum by stopping there as part of a guided tour.
Grab a beer at Teufelsberg
Germany’s capital offers more than its fair share of unique experiences , and leading the pack is Teufelsberg, deep in Grunewald Forest. The site is a former US spy station built during the Cold War to listen to the Soviet-controlled Eastern Bloc. Although it’s a wonderful place to wander – there’s even a rather quirky biergarten up there – a guided tour is undoubtedly the best way to learn about the site’s darkly fascinating history.
Peruse vintage stalls at Mauerpark
Berliners know Mauerpark as the site of karaoke Sundays during the famous weekly flea market (and a frequent spot for marriage proposals), but the green expanse was originally the site of a border strip between East and West Berlin. A wander through the stalls of vintage and second-hand clothes and delicious street food is always a treat – especially if you’re able to catch a particularly passionate karaoke performance. However, a guided tour is a great way to get a dose of history, too.
Enjoy a bite to eat at the Reichstag
Anyone interested in political history or current affairs should make a point of visiting Berlin’s Reichstag, the seat of the German parliament and a stunning work of architecture . It’s a Neo-Baroque design with a futuristic dome built on top. A visit here should definitely be topped off with a stop at the building’s restaurant – the only parliament building in the world with one open to the public. Take care of every part of the visit in one go with a bookable ticket that reserves your entrance time, gets you into the building and holds a restaurant table for after you’ve explored.
Satisfy your curiosity at the Natural History Museum
A visit to the city’s Museum für Naturkunde, or Natural History Museum, begins with a dinosaur and continues through exhibition halls covering themes such as the cosmos, minerals, evolution in action and even more dinosaurs. In the museum’s so-called “wet collection” alone, there are more than 1 million animals preserved in alcohol. It’s definitely a great place to spend the day with the kids . However, to maintain critical levels of sanity, purchasing a skip-the-line ticket, complete with an audio guide and cloakroom access, is a good idea.
Wander through Charlottenburg Palace
For a special evening out in Berlin, a trip to Charlottenburg Palace will have you feeling like royalty. Located in the west of the city, Berlin’s largest palace isn’t just available for walking through on day trips . It also plays host to special events, such as a concert experience that features members of the Berlin Residence Orchestra performing then-contemporary hits from Bach and Handel. Be sure to buy tickets early though – it tends to sell out quickly.
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Places to Stay
Street wise: a stop-by-stop guide to oranienstrasse, berlin.
A Time-Traveller’s Guide to Berlin With Arne Krasting
The Greener Guide to Seeing Berlin More Sustainably
Hip Apartments in Berlin You’ll Want to Call Home
Where to Stay in Berlin and Experience It Like a Local
Guides & Tips
Culture trip's guide to berlin.
Food & Drink
The best german restaurants in berlin, germany.
See & Do
See a different side of berlin with these unique tours.
Innovative Tours That Offer a Different View of Berlin
Bars & Cafes
The best bars and cafés for board games in berlin.
Queer Nightlife in Berlin: The Best LGBTQ Bars and Clubs
City on a Plate: Seeing the Real Berlin With Germany’s Most Exciting Restaurant
Black Friday Offers on Our Trips
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Berlin Tourism: Best of Berlin
Travel advice, essential berlin.
Berlin Is Great For
Currywurst around the clock.
Beer gardens galore
Travelers' pro tips for experiencing Berlin
In the words of those who've been there before ...
What is the best way to get there?
Berlin is served by two airports; Berlin Tegel (TXL) in the northwest and Berlin Schoenefeld (SXN) in the southeast.
If arriving in Berlin by train from other major cities in Europe, you’ll disembark at Central Station (Hauptbahnhof). To plan your route and check timetables, use this link.
Do I need a visa?
If you’re visiting Berlin from outside of the EU, check if you need a visa here.
When is the best time to visit?
Summer (May-September) For weather that’s ideal for sitting in beer gardens and wandering around Berlin’s parks, visit during the summer of months of May to September. To avoid peak crowds, head to the capital outside of the European summer school holidays, which span July and August.
Berlin hosts an exciting program of cultural events throughout the year as well, including the Festival of Lights and Jazzfest Berlin in October. Or, travelers can browse postcard-worthy Christmas markets in December, and, of course, don’t miss the Berlin International Beer Festival in August.
For more information on Berlin’s weather and when to go, check out some tips here.
Public buses in Berlin are regular and easy-to-use. The double-decker 100 bus passes top Berlin sights such as Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, Berlin Zoo, and Tiergarten. Check this website for more info on bus timetables.
Berlin has both a U-Bahn (subway and underground ) and S-Bahn (light-rail) network. To plan your journey, go here.
Berlin has a tram network that’s interlinked to the trains and bus systems. The vending machines for tram tickets only accept cash.
Drive2Day, WunderCar, and Uber are all readily available in Berlin.
Are there local customs I should know?
- The Mandala Hotel
- Grand Hyatt Berlin
- Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin
- Park Inn by Radisson Berlin Alexanderplatz Hotel
- Meliá Berlin
- Mustafa's Gemuese Kebab
- Burger Turm
- Reichstag Building
- Topography of Terror
- Museum Island
- Discover Berlin Half-Day Walking Tour
- Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Memorial Tour from Berlin
- Third Reich Berlin WalkingTour Hitler and WWII
- Big Bus Berlin Hop on Hop off sightseeing tour
- Berlin Icebar Experience Including 3 drinks
Berlin travel guide: what to see, do and eat in Berlin
This guide is for tourists who want to visit Berlin. If you want to move to Berlin, read my moving to Berlin guide .
You might need a visa to visit Germany. It depends on your citizenship:
- EU , EEA and Swiss citizens You can visit Germany without a visa. You can stay as long as you want. You can also live and work in Germany.
- Other Schengen area residents You can visit Germany without a visa. You stay in Germany for 90 days in a 180 day period. 1 If you want to stay longer , or work in Germany , you need a residence permit .
- Citizens of other countries People from certain countries can visit Germany for 90 days without a visa. Other people need a Schengen Visa to visit Germany. A Schengen Visa costs 75 €. 2 You can apply for a Schengen visa at the German embassy or consulate in your country .
Visa requirements by country – Federal Foreign Office
How to travel to Berlin
Fly to the Berlin Brandenburg airport . Use Kayak , Omio , Rome2Rio or Google Flights to book your flight.
To get from the airport to the city, you can…
- Use public transit (recommended) Take a train from BER airport to Berlin. It takes 30 to 45 minutes. Use Google Maps or BVG Fahrinfo . The airport is in zone C, so you must buy an ABC ticket. The ticket costs 4 €. You can buy tickets at the airport, near the train platform. You can pay with cash or a credit card. 3 Validate your ticket before you get on the train. – How to use public transit
- Take a taxi There are taxis outside the BER airport. A ride from the airport to the city centre costs at least 50 €. 4 You can also book a taxi with Uber or FreeNow . You can pay with cash or a credit card. 5
- Rent a car You can rent a car at the airport. There are kiosks for different car rental companies. You can also rent a Miles car.
By intercity bus
Intercity buses are often cheaper than planes or trains. Use Rome2Rio or Omio to buy bus tickets. Some buses let you bring a bicycle.
Most buses have free Wi-Fi, power outlets and a small toilet.
Most intercity buses arrive at…
- Berlin Brandenburg airport , 45 minutes from the centre
- Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof (ZOB), 25 minutes from the centre
- Alexanderplatz , in the centre
If you arrive at BER airport, you need an ABC train ticket to get to Berlin. It costs 4 €.
Intercity trains are more comfortable, but also more expensive. They arrive directly in the city centre. Most trains have free Wi-Fi, but it’s often unreliable. Some trains let you bring a bicycle.
Most trains stop at the central train station, Berlin Hauptbahnhof . This is in the middle of Berlin.
Use Rome2Rio , Omio , Bahn.de or Google Maps to find a train route. To pay less, use the Super Saver Fare or book your tickets long in advance.
By car or motorcycle
You can drive in Germany with a foreign driving licence. You might need a translation or an International Driving Permit.
Who can drive in Germany ➞
Driving in Berlin is easy, but free parking is hard to find.
Most parking spaces in the centre cost 1 € to 4 € per hour. 6 Use Parkopedia to find a free or paid parking space. Most parking spaces outside of the central neighbourhoods are free. Motorcycles can park on the sidewalk for free.
You can also park outside the city and take the train to Berlin. There are free Park and Ride (P+R) car parks . You can park your car there for free, and take the train to Berlin. You can find them on this map (in Multi-mobility), or with this list .
The area inside the Ringbahn is an environmental zone . You need a green environmental sticker to drive in this area. You can get a green sticker at most gas stations around Berlin. Motorcycles don’t need a green sticker to enter this zone.
Information about the environmental zone – Berlin.de
By car sharing
BlaBlaCar lets you ride with drivers who travel to Berlin. You meet them in one place, and drive together to another city. Car sharing is usually cheaper and faster than intercity buses, but it takes more planning.
How to get around in Berlin
How to find your way around berlin.
Google Maps works really well in Berlin. It also works offline. The BVG app and the Jelbi app let you see train schedules and buy train tickets, but it does not work offline. Maps.me and OsmAnd have offline maps and directions.
How to use public transit in Berlin
Berlin has very good public transit. It’s the best way to get around, even when you have a car. Just make sure you buy the right ticket and validate it . If you are caught with the wrong ticket, you will get a 60 € fine .
You can buy a 24 hour, 7 day or 1 month ticket. It’s cheaper than buying a ticket every time. There’s also the WelcomeCard , a ticket that gives you rebates on museums and attractions.
How to use public transit ➞
How to rent a bicycle or a scooter
This is the best way to see Berlin . Berlin is very flat and has a lot of bike paths, so it’s easy to ride a bicycle or a scooter. You can rent them for around 10 € per day.
When I have visitors, this is my favourite way to show Berlin. I take my visitors along the river Spree and the Landwehrkanal.
Where to rent a bicycle ➞
Where to rent an electric scooter ➞
How to rent a car
You don’t need to rent a car in Berlin. It’s easier to use public transit. If you have an International Driving Permit or a EU driver’s licence, you can drive in Germany.
Where to rent a car ➞
What to see and do in Berlin
There are many lists of things to see in Berlin. See visitBerlin.de , WikiVoyage and Lonely Planet .
- Berlin Wall ( Berliner Mauer ) Some parts of the Berlin wall were preserved. There is preserved part of the wall and a free museum on Bernauer Straße . The East Side Gallery is another part of the wall that was turned into a gallery.
- Berlin Cathedral ( Berliner Dom ) The most famous church in Berlin. You can visit it, or relax on the grass in front of it. It’s on the museum island , close to many old museums.
- Berliner Unterwelten Bunker, tunnel and air raid shelter tours. The tours are in German, English, French, Spanish and more. I have done 3 of their tours. They are very interesting.
- Brandenburg Gate ( Brandenburger Tor ) The iconic gate on Berlin’s East-West axis.
- Christmas markets In November and December, you can visit Berlin’s Christmas markets. There are dozens of them. Many are in scenic locations. There are dozens of kiosks that sell hot drinks, food, sweets and home-made goods. The Christmas markets are open from the middle of November to the end of December.
- East Side Gallery A long mural painted directly on the Berlin wall.
- Mauerpark Every Sunday, this park hosts a big flea market and an open air karaoke. Many musicians also play music there.
- Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe Next to the Brandenburg gate is a large holocaust memorial and museum. You can walk through the memorial.
- Museum island ( Museuminsel ) Museum island is home to the Berliner Dom, and many of the biggest, oldest museums. If you like beautiful old buildings, it’s worth a visit.
- Oberbaum Bridge ( Oberbaumbrücke ) A beautiful bridge that goes across the river Spree. It’s right next to the East Side Gallery. You can also kayak on the Spree to get a really good view on the bridge.
- Palace of tears ( Tränenpalast ) A small, free museum about the border control between East and West Germany. It’s in the old border crossing point, right next to the Friedrichstraße train station.
- Reichstag building ( Reichstagsgebäude ) An iconic building. You can visit the cupola and the rooftop, and learn about the history of Berlin. It’s free, but you must make an appointment .
- Soviet war memorials There are many memorials to the Red Army, who liberated Berlin in 1945. There are big memorials in Tiergarten , Treptower Park , and in Schönholzer Heide . The biggest one is in Treptower Park.
- Tempelhof airfield ( Tempelhofer Feld ) This giant former airfield is where many Berliners go to relax, drink beer, skate, kite surf and cycle. It’s a great place to visit on a sunny day.
- Teufelsberg** Teufelsberg is an artificial hill. There is a cold war listening station at the top. It’s now an open air gallery with a really good view of Berlin. If you don’t want to pay to visit Teufelsberg, you can visit Drachenberg, the other hill next to it.
- TV tower ( Fernsehturm ) The TV tower in Alexanderplatz is visible from almost anywhere in Berlin. You can take an elevator to the top of the tower, and get a panoramic view of Berlin.
- Victory Column ( Siegessäule ) The Victory Column in Tiergarten sits on Berlin’s East-West axis. You can go up the tower and see Tiergarten, the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag building from above.
visitBerlin.de – Official website with really good information
You can find events on visitBerlin.de , Facebook and Resident Advisor . You can find live music on Resident Advisor , Bandsintown , Songkick and Echtzeitmusik .
- Berlinale film festival – February This is the third largest film festival in the world, after Cannes and Venice. You can meet movie stars, and see all kinds of films.
- Cherry blossom – April and May After the reunification, a Japanese TV channel donated 10,000 cherry trees to Berlin. Most of them were planted where the Berlin wall was. Every spring, the cherry trees bloom and cover the alleys in rose petals.
- Fête de la Musique – June 21 A music festival in the entire city. There are musicians and concerts in every part of the city.
- Zug der Liebe – End of August The Zug der Liebe is a big parade with techno, dance and a lot of happy people.
- Berlin Pride (CSD) – End of July A big LGBTQ+ parade with music trucks. It’s one of the largest Pride events in the world.
- Christmas markets – Middle of November until end of December Germany is famous for its Christmas markets. Berlin has dozens of different markets, including alternative markets like the Japanese Christmas market and the Naughty Xmas Market.
Official event calendar ➞
Public holidays in Berlin ➞
Guided tours are a great way to discover Berlin. Use GetYourGuide or Airbnb experiences to find walking tours, or look at this list . I highly recommend the Berliner Unterwelten tours.
Outside of Berlin
If you have a bit more time, Potsdam and Wannsee are worth seeing. You can get there by train. Potsdam is in zone C , so you need an ABC ticket.
In the last week of April, you can also see the Baumblütenfest in Werder. It’s one of the largest folk festivals in Brandenburg .
Clubs in Berlin
Berlin is famous for its techno clubs. It can be hard to get into certain clubs. Clubs don’t let everyone in. For example, they often reject tourists, big groups, drunk people, and people under 21 years old. 7
In Berlin, people don’t wear fancy clothes to go clubbing. If you dress too nice, you won’t get in. 8 Ask the locals what the unofficial dress code is.
Most clubs have a cover charge. You must pay 5 € to 15 € to get in. Clubs in Berlin stay open until the morning. The party starts late, and the busiest time is around 2AM. You can buy presale tickets for club events on Resident Advisor . When you have tickets, it’s easier to get in. 9
Find club events on Resident Advisor , or follow clubs on Facebook and Instagram.
What to eat in Berlin
Typical berlin street food.
- Currywurst – Currywurst is street food. It’s a pork sausage with a curry and ketchup sauce. It’s usually served with fries ( mit Pommes ) in a cardboard plate. Curry 36 is a good place to try a Currywurst mit Pommes . Konnopke’s Imbiss is another famous place.
- Döner kebab – The standard street food in Berlin. The best kebab places are a secret, but the worst kebabs are usually in train stations and tourist areas.
- Gemüse döner (also called a chicken döner) – A döner kebab with chicken and fried vegetables. Mustafa’s , K’Ups and Rüyam are some of the most famous chicken Döner places.
Typical Berlin dishes
Cuisine of Berlin – Wikipedia
Fleischerei Domke and Englers Unikat have cheap, traditional working class dishes. For something fancier, try Max und Moritz .
Tipping in restaurants
Most people tip in German restaurants, but it’s okay if you don’t. The waiter won’t be rude to you if you don’t tip. German waiters don’t need tips to survive, but it’s a big part of their income.
How to tip in Germany ➞
Where to stay in Berlin
There is no “down town Berlin”. There are many popular neighbourhoods, and each one has a different personality. If you stay anywhere in the Ringbahn , you should be okay.
- Hotels: Booking.com
- Hostels: Hostelworld
- Vacation apartments: Airbnb or Wimdu
- Long term apartments: see How to find an apartment in Berlin
If you are more patient, you can also use CouchSurfing and BeWelcome . People host visitors for free, and spend time with them during their visit.
Shopping in Berlin
In Germany, shops and supermarkets close on Sundays . Most restaurants, tourist attractions, Spätis and gas stations stay open on Sundays.
Always have cash with you . Some restaurants and businesses only accept cash and Girocards . Most street food kiosks and Spätis only accept cash. Cards are rarely accepted for small transactions.
If you live outside the European Union , you can get a refund for the VAT you paid in Germany. For example, if you buy a laptop in Germany and bring it home in the United States, you can get the 19% VAT back. It’s not easy to do.
VAT refund process – Federal Foreign Office
If you visit from another EU country, your SIM card will also work in Germany. You make calls, send SMS and use mobile data without any extra costs.
German power outlets
Germany has Type F power outlets. They have a voltage of 230V, and a frequency of 50Hz. Before you visit Germany, check if your devices will work there. You might need a travel adapter to charge your devices.
Power sockets in Germany ➞
Free Wi-Fi in Berlin
If you don’t have mobile data, you can find free Wi-Fi everywhere:
- All U-Bahn stations have free Wi-Fi. Look for the “BVG Free WiFi” network.
- Some S-Bahn stations also have free Wi-Fi. Look for the “WIFI@DB” network.
- REWE and Lidl supermarkets have free Wi-Fi. 10 Some Edeka supermarkets also have free Wi-Fi.
- Hotels and hostels have free Wi-Fi for their guests.
Map of public Wi-Fi hotspots – publicwifi.eu
Prepaid SIM cards for tourists
You can buy a prepaid SIM card at the airport, and at Vodafone, Telekom and O2 stores. Saturn and MediaMarkt also sell and activate SIM cards. You must show your passport and a registration certificate to activate the SIM card, but store employees will just use your passport and the address of your hotel. 11
Information about SIM cards in Germany ➞
Google Maps works really well in Berlin. If you need offline maps, use OsmAnd or Maps.me . Google Maps also works offline , but you can’t get directions.
You should also download the BVG app or the Jelbi app to buy train tickets. It’s easier than the ticket machines, and it’s in English. The Jelbi app also lets you book cars, scooters, bicycles and taxis.
Be a good tourist
You don’t need to speak German. People in the tourism industry often speak English. If you are not sure, ask first. Museum exhibitions are in German and English. Signs in tourist areas are also in English. If you want to live in Berlin , you should learn German . If you are just visiting, English is fine.
Do I need to speak German in Berlin? ➞
In Germany, tipping is optional. In general, people tip up to 10% for good service, or round the amount on the invoice.
Things you should not do
- Do not walk on the bike paths Look down, and make sure you’re not blocking a bicycle path. If you walk on the bike path, cyclists will ring their bell, scream at you or even bump into you.
- Do not put your glass bottles in the trash People collect empty bottles and return them for money . Don’t make people search for bottles in the trash. Put your empty bottles next to the bin. In some parks, bottle collectors ( Flaschensammler ) will walk around and ask for your empty bottles.
- Do not joke about Nazis and the war You probably shouldn’t joke about this. It’s not funny, and it’s not original.
Berlin is a safe city even at night, but crimes still happen. Pickpockets steal phones and bags in trains and restaurants.
Cannabis is illegal in Germany . You can still buy it from dealers in parks, but it’s a really bad idea. You will get bad weed, and it’s often contaminated with chemicals.
Magic mushrooms, cocaine and MDMA are also illegal. If you buy MDMA or ecstasy in Berlin, the KnowDrugs app can help you verify what you buy.
How to buy weed in Berlin ➞
Emergency numbers in Berlin ➞
Where to find lost things in Berlin ➞
Auswärtiges Amt ⤴
web.archive.org , berlin.de ⤴
berlin.de , hotel.de ⤴
reddit.com/r/berlin , reddit.com/r/berlin ⤴
unternehmen.lidl.de , kaufda.de ⤴
expatica.com , traveltomtom.net , teltarif.de , prepaid-data-sim-card.fandom.com ⤴
Home » Travel » Destinations » Berlin off the Beaten Path: 13 Unique Places to Visit
Berlin off the Beaten Path: 13 Unique Places to Visit
Berlin is on nearly everyone’s list when traveling to Germany. And given the city’s history, art, and feel-good, hip vibe, it’s easy to see why. While places like East Side Gallery, Brandenburg Gate, and Check-Point Charlie draw the biggest crowds, there are also tons of fantastic things to do in Berlin off the beaten path.
Of course, a trip to the capital isn’t complete without exploring some iconic landmarks. But after a long day of visiting touristy attractions and restaurants, you’ll want to check out these unique places in Berlin.
This city deserves to be explored more than the average tourist tends to do. Here are a few ways you can experience Berlin like a local and take in the city’s authentic culture.
This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. For more information, click here .
Things to do in Berlin off the beaten path
See a concert at berliner philharmonie.
Every Tuesday at 1pm, the Berliner Philharmonie hosts a free (yes, you read that correctly, FREE) concert, and surprisingly, not a lot of people know about it. You’ll mainly find locals on their lunch break and the odd group of like-minded travelers. It’s actually one of the most famous concert halls in the world, so it’s pretty cool that you can see a show for free.
It’s easy to get to as well, located just a block from the major transport hub Potsdamer Platz. The concerts are hugely popular among locals and spots can fill up quickly, so aim to arrive at least 30 minutes before the show. You can also buy food and drinks at the venue, so settle in for a casual lunch concert.
Shop at Bikini Berlin
A concept mall located on Breitscheidplatz, Bikini Berlin is unique in that it lets independent retailers rent space in the mall on short contracts, which means it is continually evolving. It’s a hipster spot and suits the vibe of Berlin.
Among the few well-established chain stores and cafes, you can expect to find a range of boutique stores. You can also head to the terrace on the top of the building, where you can admire views of Berlin Zoo while having a bite to eat.
Opening hours: 10am-6pm Monday-Saturday, closed Sundays .
If you are looking for more shopping, head to the huge Mall of Berlin (the largest in the city), or Alexanderplatz, where you will find huge chain stores, the Alexa shopping mall, and various markets.
Stop by the Soviet War Memorial in Treptower Park
Among all of the historical and memorial sites in Berlin, this Soviet War Memorial is often missed.
Located in Berlin’s Treptower Park, it is both a war memorial and cemetery that was built to remember 7,000 of the 80,000 Red Army soldiers who died in the battle of Berlin. It’s one of three Soviet Memorials in Berlin (the other two are located in Pankow and Tiergarten), and makes up a triptych with two Russian memorial statues.
Visit the abandoned airport at Tempelhofer Feld
Sitting quite literally in the centre of the city, Tempelhofer Feld is Berlin’s abandoned airport. What was once one of Europe’s most iconic pre-World War II airports is now Berlin’s largest park, perfect for hosting a huge range of activities on its ground.
Frequented by skaters, basketballers, and many more locals, the coolest part is that some of the main indoor terminals are open for wandering. It’s an eerie experience that offers unique photo opportunities.
Opening hours: 7:30am-5pm daily.
Wander the Museum of Natural History
Berlin has an utterly massive amount of museums. Most of these are situated on the aptly named Museum Island, which is where most people head to get their history and art fix.
Despite being one of the world’s most impressive natural history museums, Berlin’s Museum of Natural History is often overlooked by travelers. However, it’s worth a visit to see the impressive collection, especially since it’s centrally located within walking distance of Berlin HBF. You could easily spend a day here, but 2-3 hours is enough to see the highlights.
Opening hours: 9:30am-6pm Tuesday-Saturday; 10am-6pm Sundays; closed Mondays.
Hunt for street art
Still looking for more street art after visiting East Side Gallery? Well, Berlin has plenty more to offer, and without the crowds, too!
Head to the Warschauer strabe S-bahn station, where you will find a huge range of street art in the area. This hip neighborhood is full of non touristy things to do in Berlin, with flea markets on Sundays, outdoor bars, and live music.
Book your Berlin street art tour and workshop here!
Save me for later!
If you have more time to spend in Germany, why not head to Cologne or Nuremberg ? These two beautiful German cities are calling you to visit!
Where to eat like a local in Berlin
A fan favorite among locals and clued-in travelers, Peter Pane is the spot to go for a good burger. Choose from a huge selection of deals which include a burger, side, and drink (the cocktails are worth trying!), and enjoy the cozy and relaxed vibe.
It’s perfect for a pre-night out feed or a quick lunch stop between sightseeing. Conveniently located across the road from Berlin HBF station, it’s a burger you won’t regret.
Just a 5-minute walk from Berlin HBF station sits the extremely authentic Zollpackhof, which features both an outdoor beer garden and restaurant on the river. Opt for a beer in the beer garden, or head inside for a traditional German meal picked from a huge menu.
Zollpackhof is extremely popular among locals, so bookings are essential, especially in the peak season.
Missing the sport that you normally watch at home? Belushi’s Bar has got you covered. One of Berlin’s top secrets, this bar and hostel in one that is not yet widely discovered. Check the schedule online to see which sporting events they are streaming and head in for a pub food and drinks while watching those sporting events that you just can’t miss.
If avocado toast and good coffee for breakfast is your thing, then Districkt Coffee is the place for you. It’s a popular spot among locals for brunch, so head in early to grab a table and enjoy the delicious range of breakfast options.
Visit later in the day for a quick coffee and a cheesecake, because you definitely deserve it! Located in the Mitte district just a short walk from the Memorial to the Berlin Wall, the walk there will take you through a residential area to find this little gem.
RELATED: 2 Days in Cologne: Itinerary for First Time Visitors
Where to go for a night out in Berlin
Beach clubs are popular in Germany, and YAAM (Young African Art Markets) is a favorite among locals. Featuring street art, musical events, and a cool hang out place, YAAM welcomes everyone to enjoy a drink.
Located in the hotel Amano Grand Central located across the road from Berlin HBF station, Apartment bar is a cool and cozy bar with comfy lounge chairs, ambient lighting, and an outdoor terrace. Try one of the classic cocktails, and opt for a shot of the Berliner Luff liqueur, a must when visiting Berlin.
Admittedly, this place isn’t typically what you would consider “off the beaten path in Berlin”. Basically everyone who wants to go clubbing in Berlin tries to get into the world famous Berghain.
What is off the beaten path, however, is actually getting in! The security is a little scary and known to only let in around 20% of people. They have a “type” and will decide before you even open your mouth to say “hello” if they will let you in or not. Half the fun is seeing if you get in, and if you do, it’s not an experience many travelers can say they have had.
Top tips for getting into Berghain : Wear black, stay quiet in the line and learn some basic German!
Visiting Berlin at Christmas time
From late November through Christmas eve, Berlin hosts nearly a dozen holiday markets across the city. Most visitors tend to flock to the famous Gendarmenmarkt and Tiermarkt stalls. But if you want to stick with the off path Berlin theme, you should head to Sophienstraße’s Eco Christmas market for sustainable goods and treats.
Use this Germany Christmas market itinerary to plan a magical winter train trip across the country!
Explore Berlin with a local guide
To truly experience Berlin like a local, you need an expert who knows the city inside and out. Discover Berlin’s quirky cafes and hidden secrets with one of these tours:
- “Wild Kreuzberg” walking tour
- Customized city tour with a Berlin local
- Berlin street art tour with interactive workshop
Berlin travel tips
Where to stay in Berlin
For a nice stay in a convenient location, book at the Hotel Amano Grand Central .
It’s not only home to the aforementioned Apartment Bar, but also centrally located across from Berlin HBF station. Plus, the hotel offers a brilliant buffet breakfast, nice rooms, and multiple lounge areas.
If hostels are more your thing, the One80 Hostel offers hip lodging in both dorms and private rooms, as well as a courtyard, bar, and club on site.
Getting to Berlin
Berlin is a major transport hub in Germany, and you can fly directly from many cities in Europe and within Germany itself. If you are flying in from outside of Europe, it can be cheaper to fly to Frankfurt first depending on the time of year, so it’s worth checking prices. Most of the time a stopover in Frankfurt is necessary anyway.
Already in Germany? Fortunately, the country’s trains are frequent and comfortable. A five hour train ride north from Cologne, and a couple of hours from Nuremberg and Munich, it’s easy to make your way to Berlin without a car.
Getting around Berlin
There’s no shortage of public transport in Berlin. The S and U-Bahn trains will take you just about anywhere and are very affordable, and the trams are another great option. Cabs are also common in the area, but generally you can get whereever you want to go with public transport and/or a short walk.
I adored my time in this city. After traveling around Madrid and elsewhere in Spain and Germany, it was wonderful to spend over a week in Berlin.
As I have German heritage, I enjoyed meeting up with distant friends and relatives, and really seeing the city for more than its tourist hot spots (of course, I visited all those places too!). The experience did not disappoint at all, and I quickly learned how much Berlin has to offer.
Once you get off the beaten path in Berlin, you won’t want to stop! It’s a special feeling to know you have truly seen a place beyond its tourist hot spots. Berlin is the perfect place to chill out and explore thanks to its welcoming people and its good vibe.
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Emma writes about all things travel & adventure. From travel guides, resources, and off the beaten path recommendations, her blog has everything you need to inspire your next adventure!
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11 things to know before heading to Berlin
Jul 14, 2023 • 7 min read
Berlin is famous for its party spirit and liberal view on life © Elen Marlen / Getty Images
Berlin has risen from the ashes of its troubled 20th-century past and grown into one of the most liberal and safe cities in the world.
Looking at Berlin today, it's hard to imagine that the city was divided by barricades for nearly three decades during the Cold War.
After living for several years in the German capital, I've learned the unspoken language of the city: how to behave in certain circumstances, how to avoid uncomfortable situations, and the do’s and don’ts when the sun goes down.
Berlin is full of magic, positive energy and excitement – but there are places where a little caution is wise. Here are the top things you need to know before a visit to Berlin.
1. Travel at off-peak times
Berlin is Germany's top tourist destination, and there's a lot of competition for hotel rooms and transport at peak times. The city is always busy during the summer season from June to September; visiting either side of this period means cooler weather but smaller crowds and slightly lower prices.
Things also get very busy during Oktoberfest and at Christmas – unless you're sold on crowds and long waits for drinks, you'll have an easier, cheaper trip at other times of the year.
2. Book tickets in advance
It's a good idea to book tickets or make reservations ahead of time for major sights, particularly if you want to tour the Reichstag . You can try your luck for a space after you arrive by dropping by the Reichstag Visitors' Centre on Scheidemannstrasse, but it's very popular.
The book-ahead rule also applies to reservations at prestigious restaurants such as Coda , Rutz , Horváth or Kin Dee .
3. Save money on transport
Traveling from the gleaming new Berlin Brandenburg Airport to the center by taxi is expensive. Instead, take either the FEX Airport Express train, Deutsche Bahn train RE7 or RB14, or the slower S-Bahn 9 train to Hauptbahnhof station in central Berlin; the train station is in Terminal 1.
If you plan to use public transport in Berlin , it's worth downloading the BVG Tickets app for Berlin's public transport company, Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe, before you come.
You can use it to buy a 24-Stunden-Karte (day pass), which covers all forms of public transport for 24 hours. The Berlin Welcome tourist card covers public transport and discounted entry to sights; buy it online to save even more euros.
The 8 best day trips from Berlin: history, nature and plenty of fun
4. Dress codes depend on the district
Unlike the rest of Germany , where smart casual dress dominates, Berlin is a city with no rules when it comes to fashion. Whether you wear a tight leather suit or a floral crown, you'll be welcomed with open arms.
Trends change depending on which district you visit. In Charlottenburg and Mitte , people tend to wear fancier and more elegant clothing, while in laid-back Kreuzberg or Neukölln , you’ll rarely find anyone showing off the latest catwalk collection.
Techno culture has significantly influenced the dress code in Berlin. Dark clothes with rips or holes, leather and combat boots are the standard when wandering around Berlin’s coolest districts. However, travelers trying to imitate this style to enter Berlin’s most famous techno clubs may end up being rejected.
Berlin accepts everything and everyone, but when it comes to fashion, what counts is being authentic. I once went to a renowned techno club in Berlin wearing just my sleeping attire – be yourself, and you'll usually get a warm welcome.
5. Manners matter in Berlin
Berliners are a relaxed bunch, but manners are important. Etiquette when meeting new people is to shake hands and say guten morgen before noon, guten Tag between noon and 6pm, or guten Abend after 6pm.
Germans use the same word – Entschuldigung – to say “excuse me” (to attract attention) and “sorry” (to apologize). If drinking wine, the proper toast is Z um Wohl – with beer, it's P rost .
6. Talking about Germany’s past
Germans are still very ashamed of the country's 20th-century history; it’s a sensitive topic, and locals tend to avoid talking about it.
This said, while older generations are tired of having to explain themselves and answer uncomfortable questions, younger Berliners are more willing to confront the events that occurred during this dark time and help travelers to understand it better.
Nevertheless, this is a topic that you should broach carefully. Jokes about Hitler or the Nazis are intolerable – Berliners understand the curiosity of most travelers and are often willing to carefully talk about the past but treat the topic with respect and try not to offend anyone by accident.
Nazi symbols are banned by authorities nationwide, and displaying flags or using a certain kind of rhetoric or specific Nazi gestures can lead to heavy fines and even imprisonment.
7. Avoiding pickpockets in Berlin
As in any major city, pickpocketing is a common problem in Berlin. Beware of stealthy thieves in busy touristy areas. Places like Alexanderplatz , Zoo-Garten and Mitte are frequented by opportunists looking for an easy target, and the Berliner S-Bahn and U-Bahn are notorious for pickpockets during rush hour.
Reduce the risks by keeping your valuables in your backpack and holding it in front of you on transport. Keep a tight grip on your bags in large crowds – especially on the U-Bahn and S-Bahn. Avoid falling asleep while taking public transport; dozing travelers are a favorite target for pickpockets stealing wallets and phones at night.
German police are generally helpful and friendly to tourists. Most officers speak English and should be your first port of call if you are lost, robbed or encounter any uncomfortable situation.
8. Tips for safe protesting in Berlin
Protesting is considered one of the most important rights in Germany, and usually, a positive atmosphere pervades. Berlin is filled with young, well-educated and liberal people, so there’s usually some kind of protest every week, demanding action on issues as diverse as climate change, human rights and European politics.
While most protests are peaceful and friendly, they can be crowded and intense and in some cases, marches can turn violent. Scuffles have been a common feature of Labor Day (May 1) protests since the 1980s, and the marches have become a symbol of Berlin’s rebellious identity. Attending is not for the faint-hearted.
What starts out as a friendly party in the districts of Prenzlauer Berg , Friedrichshain or Kreuzberg, can turn violent if clashes break out between radical groups and the police. The risk of rioting has decreased significantly since the 2000s, but travelers looking for a trouble-free trip may want to stay away from the protests.
9. Use of illegal substances
According to millions of party people, Berlin’s nightlife is the best in the world. From iconic techno clubs, such as Berghain , Tresor and Watergate , to smaller and more intimate venues outside the Ringbahn, nightlife in the German capital goes all night long – and it's often assisted by the use of illegal substances.
Dealers loitering next to Warschauer Strasse, Kottbuser Tor and Görlitzer Park offer all kinds of substances out in the open. While we wouldn't presume to tell you how to live your life, it’s risky to buy illegal drugs on the street when visiting a foreign country.
Many of the drugs sold on the streets to tourists are altered or laced with dangerous ingredients. If you don’t know what you’re taking, it can lead to dangerous complications. You'll have fewer hassles all around if you steer clear of drugs and stick instead to Germany's excellent beers.
Top 20 free things to do in Berlin
10. Night-time safety in Berlin
Even though some areas of Berlin are rather poorly maintained, the city is generally a safe place at night. Walking back home after a couple of drinks is very normal for locals and tourists, and hassles are rare.
While most travelers won’t encounter any problems during their stay in the German capital, it’s sensible to be a bit more cautious after dark, as in any large city. Avoid walking around flashing expensive items and gadgets, and be aware of your surroundings.
Be ready to change paths if you see a group of aggressive drunk people loitering on the street, and avoid quiet side streets and parks after dark.
If you're traveling solo, it’s best to err on the side of caution and take a taxi or an Uber rather than walking back to your hotel.
11. Berlin scams to be aware of
One scam that surfaces from time to time in Berlin is fake police officers, who stop tourists under the pretense of searching for drugs or counterfeit money – part of a ruse to steal valuables.
Demand to see ID cards from police officers. Also, avoid buying “used” public transport tickets from people outside stations – they're often forged or expired.
This article was first published March 2022 and updated July 2023
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- 10 Places To Visit In Berlin You Must Not Miss On Your 2023 Germany Trip
23 Mar 2023
A city as old as 775 years has much to offer than just a vacation. Berlin—the capital city of Germany is one of the busiest metropolises of today’s time. The city invites thousands of tourists from all over the world to come and explore the most time-tested and vibrant culture in the history of human civilization. The seat of many political events that changed the fate of world history, the soil that gave birth of heroes of unmatched valor, of wars, of revolution and much more, the divided city has a lot to tell to its visitors. Germany’s capital city Berlin, dates back to the 13th century. It has a long story to tell its visitors through its iconic architectural structures and places. There are many iconic places to visit in Berlin that brings to life each and every page of world history.
10 Famous Places To Visit In Berlin
There are countless places to explore and learn in Berlin, here is a list of must visit places which will make your journey a really memorable one. Take a look!
- Academy Of Arts
- Berlin Cathedral
- Memorial To The Murdered Jews Of Europe
- Jewish Museum
- Museum Island
- Brandenburg Gate
- Charlottenburg Palace Gardens
- Treptower Park
1. Academy Of Arts
Dating back to 1697, the then-named Prussian Academy of Arts was founded by King Frederick. It came to be known as Academy of Arts after it was acquired by the Prussian treasury in 1902. One of the best places to visit in Berlin, Germany, it is one of the architectural structures in Germany that has changed many political hands and even faced bombardment during World War II, got divided into western and eastern branches during the Cold War and have managed to survive to this date to present to the world the rich art and cultural evidences that it has been able to preserve for so many hundreds of years.
Entry fee: Depends on the exhibition Timings: 10 am to 7 pm
Must Read: Berlin Nightlife Guide: 15 Places You Must Visit For Witnessing The Nocturnal Wonders Of The City
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2. Berlin Cathedral
Located in the Museum Island, The Protestant Berlin cathedral happens to be one of the major Berlin attractions. It is one of the oldest architectural structures that was first built as a parish church in the year 1465 on the banks of Spree River. It has seen the rise and fall of empires and its construction stretched till the year 1903 only to be re-opened past the GDR year in 1993. The church is made out of more than ninety sarcophagi and tombs displaying the various glorious political and religious moments etched in the mosaic of the tombs. The Dome’s organ containing in excess of 7000 pipes is one of the largest in the whole of Germany. If you’re in Germany, the cathedral is among the most gorgeous places to visit in Berlin, Germany .
Entry fee: 10 Euros (adults), 7.50 Euros (students) Timings: 10 am to 6 pm (Monday to Friday), 10 am to 5 pm (Saturday), 12 pm to 5 pm (Sunday)
3. Memorial To The Murdered Jews Of Europe
Holocaust Memorial, the very mention of the term runs a chill through the spine. The evidence to the darkest period in the history of human civilization, this memorial stands in silence as a remembrance of thousands of Jewish victims who fell prey to the Nazi genocide during the Second World War. A stretch of land covered with 2771 grey rectangular blocks made of concrete and an information office that has preserved the documents, recording and biographical details of the Holocaust, the memorial is among the most visited Berlin tourist places.
Entry fee: Free Timings: Always open
Suggested Read: Germany Nightlife: An Ultimate Guide To Experience A Kaleidoscope Of Drinks And Music
4. Jewish Museum
An emblem to the German-Jewish history, the Jewish Museum is also one of the remarkable places to visit in Berlin in December. Comprising of three buildings, the museum encapsulated the era of Jewish settlement in Germany that left a deep impression of the Holocaust on the psyche of the city of Berlin. Designed by one of the descendants of a family that was killed by the Nazis, named Daniel Libeskind, the lightning bolt structure (top view) and design of Jewish Museum happens to be a rare and distinguished art of architecture besides its political significance. The elaborate structure is open for the visitors to explore and wonder at the sheer work of creativity and art.
Entry fee: 3 Euros Timings: 10 am to 10 pm
5. Museum Island
A city as old as Berlin is sure to be densely populated with museums. How else will the city preserve the centuries-old memories that have helped it to evolve the way it has. The city houses a cluster of five museums built on a small island on the Spree River. Constructed between the years 1824 and 1930, the architectural monuments holds in its collection of art and historical evidence that span over thousands of years of human civilization, and your Berlin sightseeing isn’t complete without paying a visit to it.
It is a treasure trove preserving a private collection of the Prussian rulers. The first and the oldest of the museums happen to be the Altes Museum. This and the other four museums were inspired by the Forum of ancient Rome and constructed with a mission to preserve artifacts and scientific evidence from time to time. A visit to this museum will prove to be an ever-enriching experience if you are searching for places to visit in Berlin in one day.
Entry fee: 9 Euros Timings: 1 pm to 7 pm, closed on Saturdays & Sundays
Suggested Read: Oktoberfest Germany: Bottoms Up Your Mugs At The World’s Largest Beer Fest
6. Brandenburg Gate
Such is the twist of time! The erstwhile symbol of the divided city now stands as a symbol of unity and peace. Yet another emblem of the harsh political dictates that fell upon the people of Berlin, the Iron Curtain that mindlessly separated the East and West Berlin during the cold war. In November 1989, the fall of Berlin took place followed by the monument resurrecting itself as a peace symbol that brought the two parts of the city together.
As we can see, the city bears the scars of the past with a smile and this is one of them. Invariable, it is one of the most visited tourist spots in Berlin. Visit this place to experience another important historical event. See how people come with friends and families to spend time and frequent the same spot, the same patch of land that was strictly for ‘no thoroughfare.’
Entry fee: Free Timings: 9 pm to 12 pm & 2 pm to 5 pm, closed on Saturdays & Sundays
7. Charlottenburg Palace Gardens
Apart from the remains of the past that is so carefully preserved in this city, Berlin is also home to some of the most beautiful parks that are Berlin top attractions. One of them is Charlottenburg Palace Gardens, the first baroque garden in Germany. Also one of the oldest gardens that date back to 1695, it features a carp pool and sprawling lawn lined with plants and trees trimmed in a box shape and tri-color gravel. While the garden provides the right ambiance for family outings, the palace is also one of the most beautiful architectural wonders that entice the tourists. This is one of the most popular historical places to visit in Berlin in summer.
Entry fee: Free Timings: 10 am to 5 pm, closed on Mondays
Suggested Read: 9 Restaurants In Berlin That Offer Delicious Food, Gorgeous Views & Luxury, All On One Platter
An erstwhile part of the Berlin wall, in the Prenzlauer Berg district, Mauerpark is one of the finest Berlin tourist attractions. It is popular among diverse age group making it an ideal spot for a family outing. During the weekends, it also turns into a flea market and a karaoke stage. The strip of the erstwhile Berlin wall has turned into an open canvas for street artists. It is a complete package – an open ground under the sky, a place to relax, rewind and get entertained.
9. Treptower Park
Much said about the city and remains of its glorious and tumultuous park. Let’s now pay a visit to the Spree River – the stillness of the water that balances the hustle bustle of the city that is rushing around it from dawn to dusk. Treptower Park places itself just by the banks of the Spree River and serves as an ideal spot for boating, jogging, taking a stroll or just being around. It is that fun place to visit in Berlin that one must not miss out!
Suggested Read: 26 Invigorating Places To Visit In Germany That Will Compel You To Stay Here Forever
One of the most important and the busiest locations which happen to be a seat for numerous tourist spots as well is Alexanderplatz. Located in the Mitte District of Berlin, some of the major crowd pullers in this area include the 365-meter television Tower, the highest construction in Berlin, Alexa shopping mall, World Time Clock to name a few. This area of Berlin has been an eminent location that has been a part of all its political turmoil and social development. If you are looking for places to visit in Berlin in two days, Alexanderplatz is the place to be.
Further Read: Berlin In June: What All Places Should You Visit On Your Trip To Germany
We hope that after knowing about places to visit in and around Berlin, you are excited to visit these places soon. So, plan a trip to Europe today and head to spectacular destinations like Germany and Austria.
For our editorial codes of conduct and copyright disclaimer, please click here .
Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In Berlin
What are the places to visit in Berlin in one day?
Berlin Cathedral, Charlottenburg Palace Gardens, Jewish Museum, and Brandenburg Gate are some of the best places to see in Berlin in a day.
What are the places to visit in Berlin for free?
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Brandenburg Gate, Mauerpark, and Charlottenburg Palace Gardens are some of the best places to visit in Berlin.
What is Berlin famous for?
Berlin is home to spectacular museums and galleries. The most prominent amongst them are the Dahlem Museums, Egyptian Museum, Berlin Cultural Forum & New National Gallery, Museum of Arts & Crafts, Brücke-Museum, Berlin Museum, Museum of Transport and Technology, and Jewish Museum Berlin.
Is Berlin expensive?
Berlin is amongst the cheapest capital cities in Western Europe. It is an ideal place for budget travellers and backpackers featuring world-class museums, affordable food, electrifying nightlife, and pocket-friendly stays. The place offers numerous affordable options to holidayers from across the world.
What can I do in Berlin?
You can plan to visit popular tourist places in Berlin including Reichstag, Berlinale, Tiergarten, Schaübuhne am Lehniner Platz, Tempelhofer Feld, Markthalle IX, Brandenburg lakes, Mauerpark, Sanssouci, Berghain, Freiluftkino, etc.
What are the best places to visit near Berlin?
The following are the nearby beautiful places in Berlin to plan a day trip - Sanssouci Palace, Spreewald, Saxon, Leipzig, Beelitz, Bad Muskau, Devil’s Bridge in Kromlau, Wannsee, Britzer Garten, Müggelsee, and Wittenberg.
What can I eat in Berlin?
You can try eating the following things in Berlin - Mustafa's Gemüsedöner, Mixed BBQ platter from Chicago Williams BBQ, Burger from The Bird, Magic John's Pepperoni Pizza, Currywurst mit Pommes from Curry 36, Konnopke’s Imbiss, Käsespätzle from Lebensmittel Mitte, etc.
What is the most visited place in Berlin?
The Rebuilt Reichstag is the most visited tourist place in Berlin. Other popular tourist attractions in Berlin are The Brandenburg Gate, Museum Island, The Berlin Wall Memorial, German Historical Museum, Berliner Fernsehturm, Checkpoint Charlie Museum, Charlottenburg Palace and Park, and more.
Where can I go shopping in Berlin?
The following are the best places for shopping in Berlin: 1. Alexa Shopping Center 2. Kurfürstendamm 3. Mall of Berlin 4. Hackescher Markt 5. East Side Mall 6. Friedrichsstraße 7. Schlossstrasse
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Things To Do In Berlin
Top hotel collections.
Near Olympiastadion Berlin
Near Berlin Central Station
Near Zoo Berlin
Near Messe Berlin
- Filter (33)
- Garden & Park (6)
- Landmark (5)
- Sightseeing (4)
2 km from city center 1 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
The Reichstag is the seat of the German Parliament, called the Bundestag. Its most striking feature, the glittering glass dome is accessible by lift for a magnificent 360 degree view of the city, located on Platz der Republik.
2. Brandenburg Gate
2 km from city center 2 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
A symbol of peace and unity, the Brandenburger Gate symbolises the reunification of Germany. The military monument representing both victory and separation is now located at Pariser Platz.
3. Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
2 km from city center 3 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
Berlin’s most popular monument, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, is dedicated to the Jewish victims who lost their lives here. It is located in close proximity to other popular tourist spots, Brandenburg Gate and Potsdamer Platz.
4. Check-out East Side Gallery
3 km from city center 4 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
East Side Gallery is a segment of the Berlin Wall that has been converted into an open-air gallery. As illustrated on the wall, artists from all over the world expressed that era's global euphoria through political statements, personal musings and artistic vision. It is located in Berlin-Friedrichshain.
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0 km from city center 5 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
The Berlin Cathedral is located in the northern side of Spree Island. If there is just one cathedral on the agenda, it got to be this one. It is the largest listed protestant church in Germany.
0 km from city center 6 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
Berlin’s iconic TV Tower, also known as Berliner Fernsehturm, is part of the city’s old architecture just like most other historical attractions in the capital city. It is located in the Alexanderplatz.
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7. Museum Island
0 km from city center 7 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
Museum Island is home to a unique ensemble of 5 eminent museums, Berlin Cathedral and Lustgarten Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is located on the northern part of an island in the river Spree in the heart of Berlin city.
8. Check Point Charlie
2 km from city center 8 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
Checkpoint Charlie has been central to several thrillers and espionage films, including James Bond (read, Octopussy)! This is actually a replica of an old border between East and West Germany during the cold war, built near the Wall Museum house.
1 km from city center 9 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
One of the most beautiful squares in Berlin, the Gendarmenmarket is surrounded by the French Cathedral, German Cathedral and the Konzerthaus. The square stands for harmony, with the French as well as the German Cathedral.
10. Take a Stroll in Tiergarten
10 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
Tiergarten is the oldest and most renowned public park with a large amount of the city’s green space. Accessible from any part of Berlin, the park also includes monuments, memorials and other attractions.
11. Charlottenburg Palace
7 km from city center 11 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
Summer palace for Sophie Charlotte, the first queen of Prussia, the Charlotten Palace takes its name after her. It is a Baroque architecture located in Charlottenburg in western city centre of Berlin in the district of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf.
12. A Day Trip to Sanssouci Park
29 km from city center 12 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
Located in Potsdam, Germany, Sanssouci Park has been a part of the UNESCO Heritage List since 1990. This park was built surrounding the Sanssouci Palace and is famous for its extraordinary terrace complex. It also houses a mesmerizing fountain at its center.
Discover More About Sightseeing & Tourist Attractions in Berlin
Nightlife in Berlin - 19 Things to Do at Night in Berlin
13. Victory Column
4 km from city center 13 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
Victory Column is one of the main tourist attractions located at the Großer Stern (Great Star) in Tiergarten in Berlin, Germany. It was built to commemorate the victory of Prussia (a prominent state of Germany in the past) in the Danish-Prussian War.
14. Relax in the Nature at Tempelhof
14 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
Tempelhof is lively, historic and centre of all the governance in Tempelhof Schöneberg district of Berlin. Tempelhof Airport now a nature park visited by tourists as well as the locals.
15. Unwind at Mauerpark
2 km from city center 15 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
Mauerpark, located in the Prenzlauer district in Berlin, remains to be one of the most well-known places to visit among the youth residents of Berlin. This park is a centre for people showing their talents while having fun.
16. Zoo Berlin
5 km from city center 16 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
Germany's oldest zoological garden, the Berlin Zoo is one of the landmarks in the capital city. On the southwest corner of the Tiergarten, this zoo is known to have the most comprehensive species of animals. It is an ideal family day out.
17. Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
5 km from city center 17 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
Originally built in 1890, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church is one of the major landmarks residing on the Kurfürstendamm (Berlin’s extremely famous avenue). It is one of the most important churches in Berlin.
18. Berlin Wall Memorial and Documentation Centre
2 km from city center 18 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
If there is one fragment of history almost everybody is acquainted with about Berlin, it is the Berlin Wall. Stretching along Bernauer Strasse is this memorial of Berlin Wall.
19. Roam Around Alexanderplatz
1 km from city center 19 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
Alexanderplatz is a popular tourist and transport hub in the Mitte district of Berlin, Germany. This large public square is home to various shopping hubs, food outlets and other entertainment venues.
20. Pergamon Museum
1 km from city center 20 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
Pergamon Museum is Berlin's most frequented museum owing to the exquisite collection it has to flaunt, such as striking reconstructions of archaeological buildings. It s located on Museum island.
21. Jewish Museum Berlin
0 km from city center 21 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
The Jewish Museum Berlin is the largest Jewish Museum in Europe. It showcases the cultural, social, and political history and present life of the Jews in Germany. This zig-zag-shaped building has a new core exhibition - “Jewish Life in Germany: Past & Present.”
22. Sammlung Boros
1 km from city center 22 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
Located in a WWII Nazi bunker in Mitte, Sammlung Boros showcases is one of the finest private collection of contemporary art. One of Berlin's most interesting collections of art including several paintings and sculptures, given its location.
23. Topography of Terror
2 km from city center 23 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
Topography of Terror is a historic site is situated on Niederkirchnerstrasse, a street in Berlin, Germany. Topographie des terrors also has been through phases of demolition and reconstruction in the past.
24. Treptower Park
6 km from city center 24 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
Located in the Alt-Treptow in the Treptow-Köpenick district of south of Central Berlin, Treptower Park is one of the most acclaimed green spaces in Berlin. The park is situated alongside river Spree.
25. Stroll Around Nikolai Quarter
0 km from city center 25 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
Nikolaiviertel is where you witness the old charm of Berlin other than being a modern city in Germany. The district has been known as a historical place and is still conserved like earlier.
26. DDR Museum
0 km from city center 26 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
Half museum and half theme park, the DDR Museum pulls the Iron Curtain on an extinct society. You wil have a first hand experience of the life in East Germany under the socialism regime. How did it feel to be monitored in your homes or sit behind the feels of Trabi, you shall have the answers.
27. Bellevue Palace
4 km from city center 27 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
Located on the banks of river Spree in Berlin, the Bellevue Palace is the official residence of the Federal President of Germany. It is a magnificent white building with a neoclassical style of architecture offering a splendid view of the River Spree.
28. French Cathedral Berlin
1 km from city center 28 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
The French Cathedral of Berlin is located in the heart of Berlin’s public square, Gendarmenmarkt. Contrary to popular belief, this structure is not a cathedral but a tower. It has a twin tower known as the Konzerthaus. The only noteworthy decoration in the church is the extravagant organ with a golden spiked corona.
29. Konzerthaus Berlin
1 km from city center 29 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
Located on the Gendarmenmarkt square the Konzerthaus is now a famous concert hall in Berlin. The Konzerthaus also houses a music club and a modernly built Werner Otto Hall. The interior is a mixture of white and golden classical decor while the exterior of this hall is a detailed reconstruction of Schinkel’s old playhouse.
30. Volkspark Friedrichshain
2 km from city center 30 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
Volkspark Friedrichshain is an urban public park in the Friedrichshain neighbourhood of Berlin. The park is filled with lush greens and offers visitors a walking-jogging trail, a quaint pond, playgrounds, and an elegant rose garden. Visitors can enjoy picnics with a fresh breath of air in this park.
31. A Day Trip to Sachsenhausen
33 km from city center 31 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
Sachsenhausen, a then-Nazi concentration camp, is located in Oranienburg in Germany. Visitors can see the preserved barracks, gas chambers, execution sites, museum, and archives containing historical documents and personal accounts of horrifying atrocities committed.
32. Take a Spree River Boat Tour
10 km from city center 32 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
Flowing through the centre of Berlin, the Spree River is perfect for a cruise. The waters are mesmerizing and surrounded by flora and fauna. The cruises along the river cover some aesthetic places of tourist attraction that have a rich cultural and historical significance for Berlin. Apart from these, there are also several other boat tours that include delectable meals or a view of the sunset!
33. Book a Hop On Hop Off Tour
83 km from city center 33 out of 33 Things To Do in Berlin
A Hop On Hop Off Tour is the perfect way to explore any place as it allows you to visit a place whenever and wherever you wish to. It has no starting or ending points, it just moves through the city and you can 'hop on' the bus from any stop and 'hop off' it at any place of your liking.
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Places to Visit in Berlin
- Places To Visit
Tourist Places in Berlin
Here is the list of best places to visit in berlin:.
The Brandenburg Gate
One of the top Berlin tourist attractions, The Brandenburg Gate is the first Greek revival building in the city built between 1788 to 1791. This beautiful building was inspired by the monumental gateway located at the Acropolis in Athens, designed by architect Carl Gotthard Langhans. This iconic structure is 26 metres in height, 65.5 metres long surrounded by two rows of six Doric columns.
The Rebuilt Reichstag
One of the top places to see in Berlin, the Rebuilt Reichstag is home to the parliament and is a symbol of democracy. One of the most fascinating facts about the building is its efficiency to produce energy. The dome of the building is designed and built to help the building use natural lighting and ventilation. The Rebuilt Reichstag is also one of the most important art venues in the city with an amazing art gallery with permanent and temporary exhibitions.
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Visit one of the most unique museum complexes which is home to five museums in the city. This UNESCO world heritage site is located on a spree island and is one of the most important historical centers of Berlin. The five museums which make up Museum Island are the Altes Museum, Neues Museum, the Bode Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, and the Pergamon Museum.
Berlin Wall Memorial
Located in the centre of the city, the Berlin Wall memorial is a memorial site that is dedicated to the German division. Extending 1.4 km along the border strip, the wall memorial was constructed to stop the violence on the Bernauer Strasse. Visit the outdoor exhibition where you can learn more about the history of the division and the victims of the division.
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German Historical Museum
One of the top Berlin tourist attractions, the German Historical Museum is the most important building in Berlin with Baroque architecture. One of the most important attractions of the museum is its permanent exhibition which depicts the history of Germany. The exhibition has over 6000 objects on display including many paintings and artefacts. The museum is also known to host many temporary exhibitions throughout the year.
Also known as Berlin Television tower, Berliner Fernsehturm is one of the most iconic symbols and landmarks in the city. Visit the tallest building in Europe which is open to the public at a height of 368 metres above the ground. One of the top attractions of the tower is its viewing platform which will help you witness an amazing 360-degree panoramic view of the city. Visit the revolving restaurant in the tower which is a perfect place to enjoy a delicious meal.
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Checkpoint Charlie Museum
The Checkpoint Charlie Museum is one of the popular museums in the city which showcases the stories of the history of the Berlin Wall and people escaping East Germany. Built-in 1963, the museum was created in a two-room house which displayed photographs from the Berlin wall. The museum has many artefacts such as photographs, videos and miniatures that depict the details of the inhabitants trying to cross the border.
Visit one of the most beautiful squares in Berlin which is known for some of the most famous buildings in the city. You can witness the three popular buildings: the German cathedral, the French cathedral, and the concert hall located here. Witness the statue of the most popular and renowned port in Germany, Friedrich Schiller, located at the square. Opened in the 17th century, the square was built to accommodate 20,000 protestors who had been expelled from France.
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Charlottenburg Palace And Park
Visit one of the most beautiful Berlin tourist attractions, the Charlottenburg Palace And Park which is a beautiful baroque garden. Enter the palace and admire the beautiful halls, rooms, and collection of paintings by 18th-century French artists. Visit the Oak Gallery, where you can witness the family portraits of the Royals. You can stroll across the gardens filled with ponds, fountains, and beautiful sculptures.
Top Experiences To Do in Charlottenburg Palace And Park
Opened in 2001, the Jewish museum is one of the most popular museums featuring the social, political, and cultural history of the Jews who lived in Germany. The museum is also home to a permanent exhibition that showcases the life of the Jews in Germany through various artefacts. You can witness many artworks, documents, photographs, and videos dating back to the 1940s.
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German Museum Of Technology
The German Museum Of Technology is one of the top Places to see in Berlin where you can learn more about the history of technology. Visit all 14 sections of the museum where you can witness the development of energy and communication technology throughout the years. Enter the Spectrum Science Center where you can witness the new Aeronautic and Space Collection which will help you learn more about the fundamentals of science and technology.
Memorial To The Murdered Jews Of Europe
Also known as the Holocaust memorial, the Memorial To The Murdered Jews Of Europe is dedicated to Jewish victims who lost their lives in the Holocaust. One of the most popular attractions of the memorial is the 2711 concrete slabs of different sizes designed to create an impression of instability. Enter the museum where you can learn more about the story of the Holocaust terrors and many artefacts relating to the tragedy.
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Grosser Tiergarten And The Victory Column
Also called "Animal Garden", Grosser Tiergarten is one of the most famous public parks in the city. One of the top tourist attractions, the park is popular among tourists and locals for various activities like jogging, skating, and cycling among many others. This is also one of the most popular spots for picnicking and ball games. One of the most popular times to visit the park is during summer when you can enjoy the sound of music played by a carillon.
Pergamon Museum is one of the most frequently visited and the most important archaeological museums in the city. Witness the amazing collection of Classical Antiquities, the Museum of the Ancient Near East, and the Museum of Islamic Art which are located on the two floors of the building. The museum lets you discover the diverse and historical architecture of the middle east.
Top Experiences To Do in Pergamon Museum
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The Humboldt Forum
The Humboldt Forum is a museum located right across from Museum Island. Witness the amazing architecture of the building which is a combination of ultra-modern building elements and sculptural façades of Berlin’s former Baroque palace. One of the most popular attractions in the museum is the sculptor hall on the ground floor where you can witness original sandstone figures.
One of the top places to visit in Berlin, the Cathedral church is a beautifully decorated church with fascinating architecture and history. One of the top attractions of the church is its dome which is the main landmark of the city. The church has an interesting history dating back to the 15th century when it was a part of the Berlin city palace. The Palace was transformed into a church in the 19th century by architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel.
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The Zoological Garden is one of the oldest zoos in Germany and home to over 20200 animals from over 1380 species. Established in 1844, the zoo is spread across 35 hectares with various attractions. The zoo is also home to the Berlin aquarium which is one of the most popular public aquariums in the world. Other famous attractions here include a big cat house, a hippopotamus house, and a nocturnal animal house, among others.
Top Experiences To Do in Zoological Garden
Gärten der Welt
Also called the gardens of the world, Gärten der Welt is a recreational park spreading across 21 hectares. The Beijing Institute for Classical Garden Architecture was responsible for creating the "Garden of the world" and used materials from China to build the entire structure. Inaugurated in 1987 in Berlin, the garden is divided into various sections like Japanese, Balinese, Oriental, Korean and Christian gardens.
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Lustgarten is one of the popular public parks in the city which is located on Museum Island. The park originally started as a kitchen garden in the 16th century, then became the residence of the elector of Brandenburg. The Lustgarten was later turned into a royal garden in the 17th century by garden designers Michael Hanf and Johann Sigismund Elsholtz.
Potsdamer Platz is a famous shopping area with a nightlife district located in West Berlin. One of the top attractions in the city, the square was completely damaged during the second world war. The Potsdamer Platz was restored back to its original form after the fall of the Berlin wall. The area was also known to be one of the most important places for commercial activity in the 19th century.
Kurfürstendamm is one of the most famous shopping streets in the city which stretches up to 3.5 kms. The streets are filled with many designer boutiques, departmental stores, cafes, and luxury brands among many others. The shopping street starts from Breitscheidplatz and the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche and ends at the Rathenauplatz.
Oberbaum Bridge is one of the most beautiful and the most photographed bridges in the city. With two towers, an elevated underground line, and a pedestrian walkway with a vaulted cloister reminiscent, Oberbaum Bridge is known for its amazing features. The bridge is known to connect the districts of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg across the Spree River.
Opened in 2006, DDR Museum is dedicated to showcasing the everyday life and culture of life in the German Democratic Republic. The museum is popular for showcasing the personal experience of the lives of the people during many events which took place in the German Democratic Republic. The museum is one of the top places to see in Berlin which has received over half a million visitors.
Top Experiences To Do in DDR Museum
Alexanderplatz is the largest square in Germany which is home to cinemas, restaurants, shops, and many other attractions. The square has a very fascinating history dating back to the 19th century when it was home to a military parade and exercise ground. In 1882, after the opening of the railway station, the square became an important transport junction.
Topography of Terror
Located in the historical site of the main organs of Nazi terror, the Topography of Terror is a museum that deals with confrontation. The museum tries to showcase the inner workings of Nazi Germany’s ideology and its motivations. Visit the location where the Nazis used to plan and govern the majority of crimes committed by them.
People Also Ask About Berlin
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Which are the best Berlin day tours that I can book from Thrillophilia?
- Berlin Food Bike Tour
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- Trabi Safari Tour in Berlin
- Historical Walking Tour in Berlin
- Berlin Hop on Hop off Bus with River Cruise
- Berlin Off The Beaten Path Walking Tour
- Spree River & Landwehr Canal Boat Tour
- Seven Lakes Tour from Berlin
- Berlin Third Reich Walking Tour
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The Berlin City Map
Always know where you’re going
How do I get to my hotel from the main station? How far is Alexanderplatz from the Brandenburg Gate? Where is the Ku’damm and the Gedächtniskirche? Whether by car, on foot or by bus and train, the Berlin map is an absolute must in all luggage, for orienting yourself on the Berlin streets.
Those wanting to step off the tourist trail and immerse themselves in typical city life in the capital won’t get lost when they have the Berlin city map and its enclosed directory on hand. There are tips about leisure activities, museums, palaces and memorials including a short description, addresses and opening times on the Berlin city map for all those looking for additional inspiration for their day trips. Plus the map lists info about city sightseeing tours, bike rides and boat trips. You can easily order the Berlin city map from home at the visitBerlin Shop for just €1 (plus postage).
The Berlin City Map includes:
- Map of Berlin's city centre
- Berlin public transport schedule and stops (S-bahn (city train), U-Bahn (metro), bus, tram)
- Addresses of the most important sights and leisure activities
- Tips about city sightseeing tours, bike rides and boat trips
- Indication of car parks (including multi-storey parking)
- Berlin tourist info addresses
- Former trail of the Berlin Wall
Order the Berlin City Map here!
Alternatively, you can obtain the Berlin City Map at Berlin Tourist Info Centres.
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Home » Travel Guides » Germany » 15 Best Day Trips from Berlin
15 Best Day Trips from Berlin
Berlin is a cosmopolitan, hipster-cool capital, with historic sites and modern attractions in equal measure. Here lies the Berlin Wall, with its epic street art; here stand some of the most exclusive and elusive clubs in Europe; here is World War II history in the Reichstag and Checkpoint Charlie; here is modern art and spectacular art galleries.
Berlin is a great place to spend some time on a European adventure, if you’re looking for a place with diverse appeal, great food and epic nightlife.
But if you want to explore further afield, then there’s plenty to do in its surrounds as well.
Here are fifteen fantastic day trips that you should make from the German capital.
1. Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp
A visit to Sachsenhausen is certainly a worthwhile, if sobering, addition to your Berlin itinerary.
The closest camp to the capital, at Sachsenhausen you can take a tour of the premises, and learn more about the horrific reality of life at a Nazi concentration camp.
It might leave you feeling sad rather than uplifted, but this day trip certainly provides a worthwhile history lesson, and the poignant memorial displays are well worth a visit.
‘Arbeit macht frei’ (work will set you free) still hangs imposingly above the entrance.
Just a short hop from Berlin lies pretty Potsdam, with its intriguing Dutch Quarter, the Russian-influenced Alexandrovka, and the main attraction: Sanssouci palace.
The city as a whole is beautiful, but the palace really takes the biscuit, with its beautiful Chinese teahouse, extensive gardens, and the New Palace in pride of place.
Sanssouci certainly gives the Palace of Versailles in France a run for its money.
Spend as much time as possible wandering round and soaking up the atmosphere, before heading back on a coach to Berlin.
Just two hours from Berlin sits the pretty riverside city of Dresden.
Theatres, castles, and beautiful buildings a-plenty characterise this southwest German gem.
Take some time to stroll through the main squares – Theaterplatz and Schlossplatz – and cross the Augustus Bridge to get a view out along the river.
A visit to the Old Town won’t go amiss, either: don’t neglect to visit the old market square and the new market.
Dresden is eminently walkable, so make sure you’ve grabbed your comfiest trainers for this fantastic day trip.
4. Lehnitz Sea
From Tegel, you can take a boat trip all the way out to Lehnitz Sea, passing through the calm waters of Berlin’s surrounds.
You’ll float on down through the Tegel Sea, the Oberhavel and pass through the Lehnitz Lock on the Oder-Havel Canal.
Sit back, relax and enjoy the ride as you explore Berlin’s extensive waterways, finally getting a glimpse of Friedrichsthal and Malz at the trip’s furthest point before making your way back to the capital.
It’s a great choice if you need a break: the calm waters of the canals will soothe your soul.
By boat, you can make it all the way to Rüdersdorf from Berlin in a day – a great chance to explore its famous Museum Park.
En route you could also choose to stop off at the cute historic towns of Köpenick and Friedrichshagen, whose rustic buildings and laid back pace of life are sure to appeal.
The riverside journey is a fantastic way to discover more of rural Germany, from the extensive waterways of the Müggelsee to the quaint habitations that fringe the water.
Get your camera out and keep it handy, for you’ll certainly want to get snap-happy on this cruise.
Wannsee often finds itself a spot on lists of best day trips from Berlin, and it’s easy to see why.
The largest European inland beach is ever-popular among tourists and locals alike, and sometimes it can be hard to find yourself a spot to lay your towel.
Even still, it’s a great day trip – especially in summer when you can soak up the sunshine, swim and simply relax.
Insider tip: just a little distance from Wannsee is the quieter spot of Kladow.
Just hop on a ferry and you’ll escape the crowds but still score the benefits of the sandy-shored lakes and tranquil grasslands.
Under two hours by train from the capital, if you feel like a change of scenery but don’t want to stray beyond the city life, perhaps Hamburg is a good option for you.
It’s very different from Berlin, as a port city, but it’s got more than enough to field an entertaining trip out from the capital.
Hamburg certainly has atmosphere to be soaked up as you meander among the boats tied up in the harbour, or explore the famous fish market.
The UNESCO World Heritage status earned by Germany’s second-largest city in 2015 is well-deserved.
And, for something more thrilling, you can check out Heide Park to experience the twists and turns of its rollercoasters – both wooden and steel.
Saxony’s largest city is surprisingly cool: more chilled out and much cheaper than the capital, it has begun to attract Germany’s young creatives, and this certainly shows.
The Altstadt (old town) is well worth a look round, with its impressive Saxon architecture.
Leipzig also holds a lot of cultural appeal in its museum offerings: with options from Bach to fine art, most will be able to find something to tempt them.
There are also lots of great restaurants in the city, and some excellent street art.
Pfaueninsel, or Peacock Island, provides something a little different for a diverting day trip.
Just 1.5km in length, and a mere 0.5km wide, Peacock Island makes for easy exploration, yet it still provides plenty to do.
Spend time marvelling at its historic buildings such as the Kavaliershaus, and of course, pointing out the island’s many peacocks.
Peacock Island Castle is another key draw, built in the late 18th century by Frederick William II. It’s amazing how much is packed into this tiny stretch of land.
This picturesque forest is a real steal of a day trip – you’ll likely encounter more locals than tourists among the trees.
There’s hardly a better place to get back to nature so close to Berlin, and Spreewald has trails a-plenty for walking, cycling and exploring by water.
Hiring kayaks is a fun, unusual option for discovering the UNESCO-protected nature reserve, if you feel like a change from endless wandering by foot.
Stop off at the lagoon village of Lehde, or the cute fishing village of Leipe, for a peek at rural German life at its most peaceful.
11. Tropical islands resort
A strange concept for a resort, perhaps, but Tropical Islands is a fantastic place to spend the day with the family, once you’ve exhausted all the manifold cultural attractions around the capital.
Make this a day to relax, and splash about in the largest indoor pool in Europe.
Housed inside an old aircraft hangar, the Tropical Islands resort has plenty to keep kids and adults alike occupied for the day – waterfalls, lagoons and a tempting array of waterslides.
The lido in Wandlitzsee is a bit of a hidden spot – but it’s so close to Berlin that you wouldn’t believe it.
It’s certainly a relaxing place to spend a day out: simply pack a picnic and soak in the tranquillity of the lakeside area.
If you feel like doing something more active, there are rowing boats available for hire, and of course there are plenty of swimming options – as well as diving boards if that floats your boat.
There are different areas to set up camp, so if you’d prefer a bit more of an escape, you can head further round the lake for more peace and quiet.
13. Brandenburg an der Havel
Brandenburg an der Havel is just the thing for outdoor lovers, with its lakes, nature and myriad walkable attractions.
The town centre is worth having a look around, and for a thrilling ride visitors should hop on the small tram that hurtles around the streets.
Check out the old market square, marvel at the stilted constructions on the riverside – and if you’re still looking for things to do, then browse the local wine shop, Belmondo.
Take yourself up to the highest point of the city for spectacular views of greenery interspersed with red roofs peeking through.
14. Saxon Switzerland National Park
On the fringes of the Elbe River lies Saxon Switzerland National Park – a popular spot for German locals, but lesser known by the tourist masses.
Densely forested paths trickle throughout the park, but one of the key highlights of the place is the Bastei Bridge.
Crafted among the limestone pillars that the park is famous for, the bridge forms an imposing and impressive mark on the landscape.
There are great views from the bridge itself, too: panoramic vistas of the tree-carpeted Elbe Valley.
15. Devil’s Bridge
As the name might suggest, the Devil’s bridge (Rackotzbrücke in German) is another place where the main attraction is a bridge.
Arching attractively over the water, if you see it from just the right spot in calm waters you can get a great picture of a perfectly circular reflection – and in autumn, the red and gold of the trees show the place in a gorgeous backdrop.
It’s housed in the Azalea and Rhododendron park, was commissioned in 1860 – and has been delighting visitors ever since.
15 Best Day Trips from Berlin:
- Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp
- Lehnitz Sea
- Tropical islands resort
- Brandenburg an der Havel
- Saxon Switzerland National Park
- Devil’s Bridge