Are you planning a trip to Berlin, but don’t know what to do? With so many attractions, activities, and events happening in the German capital, it can be hard to decide how best to spend your time.
Berlin is a vibrant city full of history and culture. From its iconic historical sites of the Berlin Wall and Holocaust Memorial to its diverse art galleries from classical paintings and sculpture in the Alte Nationalgalerie, to modern Pop Art at the Banksy Museum — there’s plenty for tourists of all interests to enjoy.
No matter what kind of traveler you are, there’s something in Berlin that’s sure to make your trip one-of-a-kind. Whether you’re looking for historic monuments or cultural events and festivals, here are some of the best things that you can do while in Berlin!
12 Top Things You Must Do When You’re In Berlin
Berlin is a vibrant city with an abundance of activities to do. From museums and galleries to 72-hour parties, there’s something for everyone in this diverse city. Follow our guide to the best things to do in Berlin for an incredible trip. Here are some of the top attractions and activities you must experience while in Berlin!
The Berlinale is one of the world’s most popular film festivals, held annually in February. It takes place at Potsdamer Platz and other locations around Berlin, such as Alexanderplatz and the Zoo Palast cinema. The festival also includes screenings at a renovated crematorium (silent green Kulturquartier) in Wedding. This year, the festival will explore Berlin’s history through 23 multimedia displays and interactive exhibits. Among these are a nuclear bunker, Erich Honecker’s Volvo limousine, and pieces of the Berlin Wall. These artifacts will take visitors on a journey from the first recorded mention of Berlin to German Reunification in 1990.
The Berlinale is an important event for both locals and tourists alike. It provides an opportunity to experience some of the city’s most iconic sites while also learning about its history. For those who can’t make it to the festival itself, there are plenty of online resources available that provide information about what’s happening during the event.
The Tiergarten is a large belt of thick foliage located in Berlin, Germany. It was once a hunting ground for the Electors of Brandenburg before being revamped in the 1830s by Prussian architect Peter Joseph Lenné. The park features monuments like the Bismarck memorial and pretty spots like the Luiseninsel and rose garden. Tiergarten is a large city park in Berlin, designed by Peter Lenné in the 18th century. It features sweeping lawns, shaded paths, woodsy groves, romantic corners, ponds, and creeks. In summer, several beer gardens can be found in the park such as Café am Neuen See and Teehaus im Englischen Garten.
The Tiergarten is an oasis of green amidst the hustle and bustle of Berlin’s city life. Visitors can enjoy leisurely strolls through its lush grounds or take part in activities such as boating on one of its many lakes. The park is also home to a variety of wildlife, including deer and wild boar.
Mauerpark is a popular Sunday flea market in Berlin, selling clothes from local designers and other items. Prices are increasing due to its popularity, but rare records and vintage clothes can still be found. The park also hosts Bearpit Karaoke, a weekly outdoor singing session with a mobile sound system. This is the perfect place to find unique items and enjoy some live music at the same time.
As temperatures drop, now is the perfect time to get outside before winter sets in. Enjoy a picnic or a stroll in one of Berlin’s parks such as Tiergarten Park or Viktoriapark. These parks offer plenty of activities for all ages, from walking trails to playgrounds and more. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing day out or an adventure-filled outing, these parks have something for everyone.
4. Explore Berlin by bike
Exploring Berlin by bike is a great way to experience the city. The flat terrain makes it easy to navigate and there are plenty of routes, parks, and canal paths to explore. Renting a bike is an affordable and convenient option for visitors who want to get around quickly and easily. It’s also important to be aware of the cobbles, tram lines, pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers on the roads; wearing a helmet is highly recommended for safety reasons.
For those looking for an even more immersive experience, taking a guided bike tour is a great way to discover the city’s best spots with a local guide. You can see famous attractions such as the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, and more while learning about their history from your guide. This is an excellent way to get off the beaten track and explore some of Berlin’s hidden gems. Cycling through Berlin is an unforgettable experience that should not be missed!
5. Tempelhofer Feld
Tempelhofer Feld is a 368-hectare open space located in Berlin, Germany. It was once the site of Tempelhof Airport, a famous airport with a long history of Nazi and Cold War events. Today, the former runways and grasslands are used by many people for leisure activities such as walking, kite-surfing, cycling, running, skating, and more. The area also houses a covered market with stalls serving locally sourced veg and meats as well as a microbrewery and bakery from Milan. Themed events are held regularly at the market.
The airport was decommissioned in 2008 and is now a public park. It is known for its flat space crisscrossed by former runways and taxiways, perfect for cycling and skating. Tempelhof was also the site of the Berlin Airlift of 1948-49, which saw Allied forces supply food to West Berliners during the Soviet blockade of West Berlin. This event marked
6. Brandenburg Lakes
The Brandenburg Lakes is a beautiful and tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of city life in Berlin. With over 3,000 lakes scattered throughout the state, there is no shortage of opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities such as swimming, sunbathing, fishing, and boating. Many of these lakes are easily accessible by public transport, making them an ideal destination for those looking to get away from it all.
The Brandenburg Gate is one of Germany’s most recognizable sights and stands at the intersection of Unter den Linden and Ebertstraße. It was erected in the 1790s at the behest of Prussian King Frederick William II and features a chariot pulled by four horses atop 12 Doric columns. Throughout its history, this iconic structure has been charged with emotion and meaning – from WWII to the Berlin Wall – making it a must-see attraction for visitors to Brandenburg.
7. Take to the streets
Berliners love to take to the streets for a variety of reasons. Whether it’s for political demonstrations or street festivals, there’s always something going on in the city. The Schaübuhne am Lehniner Platz is a renowned avant-garde theatre that hosts leftfield names from Germany and beyond. Performances are mostly in German, but some are subtitled in English or French. For those looking to explore outside of Berlin, a day trip to the classical music city of Klaistow is a great option.
As autumn approaches, Berliners can enjoy activities such as picking up Halloween pumpkins and transitioning into cooler weather and shorter days with fun fall activities. There are plenty of ways to make the transition easier while still having fun. From exploring new cities to attending cultural events, there’s something for everyone when it comes to taking to the streets in Berlin.
Sanssouci is a stunning summer palace located in Potsdam, Germany, just outside of Berlin. Built-in the 18th century by Frederick the Great, it is an iconic symbol of Prussian history and culture. The palace and its gardens are open to visitors who can explore the ornate Bildergalerie and Neue Kammern. Sanssouci is a great way to escape the hustle and bustle of Berlin for a day.
The palace itself is an impressive sight with its yellow-and-white facade and grandiose interiors. Inside, visitors can admire the intricate stucco work, frescoes, and marble sculptures that adorn the walls and ceilings. Outside, they can wander through the sprawling gardens which feature terraces, fountains, ponds, statues, and pavilions. The grounds also contain several other buildings such as the Orangerie and Belvedere which offer spectacular views of the surrounding area.
9. Astor Film Lounge
The Astor Film Lounge is a luxurious cinema experience in Germany, offering welcome cocktails, doormen, and valet parking. It dates back to 1948 when it was originally called the Kino im Kindl or KiKi. After renovations and a name change, the Astor Film Lounge still offers movie-goers an elegant 1950s experience with its illuminated glass ceiling, comfortable seats, and gong to announce the film.
The Deutsche Kinemathek is Germany’s film and television archive which opened its museum in 2006. Here visitors can explore vintage posters, costumes, scene sketches, photos, and original props from Weimar-era silent movies like Nosferatu and Metropolis. There is also a special exhibition dedicated to Marlene Dietrich as well as archive footage of momentous 20th-century events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall or Germany winning the World Cup in 1954.
10. Brunch at Isla
Berliners are increasingly seeking out more interesting breakfast options than the traditional cold cuts and bread, and Isla in Neukölln is a great spot for brunch. With a focus on zero waste and seasonal, sustainably sourced ingredients, Isla offers a unique experience that is sure to satisfy any brunch enthusiast. Another popular brunch spot worth checking out is Rocket + Basil in Tiergarten.
Berlin also offers a unique atmosphere for outdoor socializing during the warmer months, with locals taking a relaxed approach to it. Outdoor drinking is a popular pastime in Berlin, with beer gardens, rooftop bars, and parks providing an ideal setting for enjoying drinks with friends. Whether you’re looking for an interesting brunch spot or just want to relax outdoors with some drinks, Berlin has something for everyone.
11. Cruise Berlin by boat
Cruising the River Spree is a great way to explore Berlin from a unique perspective. Numerous tour operators and kayak rental services are available, so you can choose the experience that best suits your needs. City-centre tours are also offered, allowing you to get up close and personal with some of Berlin’s most famous landmarks.
One of the most popular boat tours is the 1-hour Berlin City Tour by Boat with Stern & Kreis. This tour provides an informative look at Berlin’s history, as well as stunning views of its iconic sights. Boats have both indoor and outdoor seating, so you can enjoy the tour in any weather. To ensure you don’t miss out on this incredible experience, it’s recommended that you book in advance!
12. Visit the Brandenburg Gate
The Brandenburg Gate is one of the most iconic landmarks in Berlin, and it’s a must-see for any visitor. Located at the western end of Unter den Linden, this 18th-century neoclassical monument was once part of the city’s defensive wall. Today, it stands as a symbol of peace and unity and is a popular spot for tourists to take photos.
Must-Do Activities in Berlin
Berlin is one of the most vibrant cities in Europe, with a wide range of activities and attractions to explore. Whether you’re looking for culture, history, nightlife, or just a good time, Berlin has something for everyone. Here are some of the best things to do in Berlin:
- Visit the Berlin Wall – The Berlin Wall is one of the most iconic symbols of the Cold War and a visit to the city is not complete without seeing it. There are several sections of the wall that have been preserved for visitors to see, including the East Side Gallery, which is the longest remaining stretch of the wall and features a number of colorful murals and graffiti.
- Check out the Brandenburg Gate – This iconic 18th-century monument is a symbol of the city and one of the most famous landmarks in Germany. It’s located at the end of Unter den Linden, a boulevard lined with linden trees.
- Explore Museum Island – This UNESCO World Heritage site is home to five of Berlin’s most important museums, including the Pergamon Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie, and the Neues Museum.
- Visit Prenzlauer Berg – This trendy neighborhood is known for its charming cafés, vintage shops, and street art. It’s a great place to stroll around and get a feel for the local culture.
- Take a stroll through Tiergarten – This beautiful park is located in the heart of the city and is a great place to relax, have a picnic, and enjoy nature.
- See the Reichstag Building – The Reichstag building is the seat of the German parliament and a famous building that has a great history, Visitors can go to the dome of the Reichstag and enjoy a panoramic view of the city.
- Visit Checkpoint Charlie – Checkpoint Charlie is one of the most famous sites in Berlin, and it’s a must-see for anyone visiting the city. This was once the most heavily guarded border crossing between East and West Germany during the Cold War.
- Go to Alexanderplatz – Alexanderplatz is one of the most popular squares in the city, and it’s a great place to people-watch, shop and relax.
- Experience Nightlife – Berlin is known for its vibrant nightlife scene and has a variety of bars, clubs, and music venues to choose from.
- Visit the Holocaust Memorial – The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is a powerful and moving tribute to the victims of the Holocaust. It’s a must-see for anyone interested in understanding the city’s past.
Berlin is an amazing city with so much to see and do. Whether you’re looking for a cultural experience, a night out on the town, or just some time to relax, Berlin literally has something for everyone. From the iconic Brandenburg Gate to the lively bars and clubs of Kreuzberg, there’s no shortage of things to do in this vibrant city. Berlin is one of the most vibrant cities in Europe, and it’s no surprise that it’s a popular destination for travelers. With its rich history, diverse culture, and exciting nightlife, there are plenty of things to do in Berlin.