Things to do in Berlin

Must-see fun Berlin sights  

Is Berlin the most vibrant city in Europe? We like to think so. In the past 20-odd years, the German capital has transformed itself into an edgy, radical city with a burgeoning nightlife scene and plenty of creative spaces. Check out the colourful murals along former sections of the Berlin Wall, spend an evening in a hipster hangout or simply go for a walk and stumble across something new – there’s always something excitingly cool popping up in Berlin. Take a look at our exciting range of Berlin holidays and start planning your next trip to this creative capital city!

  1. Visit the inspiring art mile
  2. Learn more about the city's history 
  3. See Berlin's most majestic monument 
  4. Admire the palace of the Reichstag 
  5. Be amazed in front of the Berliner Dom 
  6. Get your fill of art at the Hamburger Bahnhof 
  7. Experience a night out 
  8. Try some Berlin parklife 
  9. Visit an abandoned airfield 
  10. Make a pilgrimage to Bowie's building 
  11. See the animals being fed 
  12. Then try the Berlin beer 
  13. Or a cocktail with a view 
  14. Enjoy some café culture     

1. Visit the inspiring art mile

Berlin’s East Side Gallery has a history – and then some. This stretch of the Berlin Wall is located in East Kreuzberg, and is one of the world’s largest open-air art galleries. If you’re looking for things to do in Berlin that combine the old with the new, then you’ve come to the right place. This section formed part of the long stretch of wall that once separated East and West Berlin, and when the wall eventually came down in 1990, some sections remained standing. Since then, artists have created colourful murals which line the walls now, celebrating both the transformation and creativity the city is so proudly renowned for today. There’s a museum at one end of the wall which tells the story of its history – check out the interviews with the former border guards.  

2. Learn more about the city's history

Both historically and architecturally pleasing, the Jewish Museum Berlin is one of the most significant places to visit in Berlin. Situated in the West Kreuzberg area of the city, this vast museum is renowned for its interactive displays, moving exhibits and other hands-on aspects, such as the vertical walls of dark concrete. Throughout the museum, various elements portray the history of Jewish people’s experiences over the past 2000 years. Particularly powerful is the 24m high Holocaust Tower, an unheated concrete silo, representing the helplessness and persecution of the Jews during the war. You'll also find Checkpoint Charlie, the historic crossing point from East to West Berlin, where Allied and Soviet tanks famously faced-off during the crisis of 1961. On Cora-Berliner-Straße, you’ll find 2,711 concrete plinths of different heights. Finished in 2004, the Holocaust Memorial is a powerful and sobering reminder of the horrors inflicted on the Jews during the war. 

3. See Berlin's most majestic monument

Right next to the Holocaust Memorial is the Brandenburg Gate, perhaps the most famous symbol of the tumultuous history of Berlin. Built in 1788, Brandenburg Gate shouldn’t be missed out from anyone’s itinerary. Napoleon stole the famous statue from the top of it when he defeated the Prussians, however it was returned only ten years later when the Prussians made their comeback. Sixty percent of the city was levelled during The Second World War and even the Brandenburg Gate didn’t escape unharmed, with its full restoration only finishing in 2005. It’s a stone’s throw from Tiergarten (the city’s oldest park), a beautiful stretch of parkland for a picnic or picturesque stroll. One of the best ways to take it in is by strolling along Unter den Linden, before paying a visit to the museum next to the gate which tells the story of this 300-year-old former city gate.

4. Admire the palace of the Reichstag

Set in the grand Unter den Linden government quarter, the Reichstag is one of the stand-out sights in Berlin. This historic building is the seat of the German Parliament, and has seen a lot of action since it was built between 1884–1894, from fascism to revolution. If you want to take in the incredible views from the roof terrace and glass dome, you’ll need to book onto a free guided tour, or by dining at their restaurant; hardly a difficult choice!  

5. Be amazed in front of the Berliner Dom

Dramatic,striking and elegant, the Berliner Dom is a wide-set, Neo-Renaissance cathedral topped with a huge green dome. Straddling the riverside, this mighty edifice is a Baroque-styled cathedral with Italian Renaissance touches. Climb the 270 steps to get up close and personal with the modern, glass dome, which offers impressive views over the city.  

6. Get your fill of art at the Hamburger Bahnhof

Tempelhofer Feld was an airport until it shut in 2008 and now the runways and airfield have become a huge park.It's open from sunrise to sunset, and you'll find lots of people flying kites, riding bikes around the runways (you can hire them there) and roller blading.It's also got a barbecue and picnic area if you fancy eating alfresco.

7. Experience a night out

There are few bars as "unique" as Das Klo on Leibnizstraße - the name of the bar translates as ‘The Toilet’.The toilet seat on the front door squirts you as you walk in and out and the tables give you the occasional electric shock.You've probably heard of Berghain, the most famous club in Berlin, however it isn't always the easiest place to get into, so it's good to have a back-up plan. Asphalt (Mohrenstraße 30) plays upbeat, feel-good house while Watergate overlooks the river Spree and the beautiful double-decker Oberbaum Bridge, and goes for more minimal techno.If you're going out clubbing, you want to head out late, nothing really gets going until 2am.

8. Try some Berlin parklife

The relatively modern Gorlitzer Park is the hub where the Kreuzbergians hang out - it was once a train station and depot.While you're on Gorlitzer Strasse, make sure you try some of the cool cafes with outdoor seating. We recommend The Nest which has a modern Mediterranean menu.Berlin also has the second largest Botanical Gardens in the world.Visit the huge greenhouses then find a quiet place to sit and hang out (as long as you don't mind the sound of croaking frogs every now and again). There's also a cafe with a terrace, if you want to sit and have a coffee or an ice cream.  

9. Visit an abandoned airfield

Tempelhofer Feld was an airport until it shut in 2008 and now the runways and airfield have become a huge park.It's open from sunrise to sunset, and you'll find lots of people flying kites, riding bikes around the runways (you can hire them there) and roller blading.It's also got a barbecue and picnic area if you fancy eating alfresco. 

10. Make a pilgrimage to Bowie's building

David Bowie's apartment, at Hauptstrasse 155, was where he lived in the mid-to-late 1970s and is a popular spot with fans of the British singer.Bowie, who passed away in 2016, wrote some of his most creative works during his time in Berlin, including most famously, "Heroes". 

11. See the animals being fed

Berlin Zoo is the oldest in Germany and has established itself as one of the most visited in the world. You'll see all the usual favourites here, including polar bears, hippos and elephants.

12. Then try the Berlin beer

Schluessenkrug has a large beer garden to relax in and it's handily just round the corner from the zoo.Berlin also has a major craft beer scene, and there are several micro-breweries to visit if you want to try some bespoke Berlin beer.

13. Or a cocktail with a view

Take in all the best sights in Berlin from one spot, at the Berliner Fernsehturm. It’s the futuristic-looking addition to Berin’s skyline, and one of the best things to do in Berlin involves whizzing up to the very top of it. Located in Alexanderplatz, the former TV tower stands at 368m tall. At the top, you can take in the clear views of the city; there’s also a photographic exhibition detailing how the tower was built. We recommended heading to the cocktail bar at the top for twilight. But be aware as you sip your Mojito, the bar spins around once every 30 minutes if you think you're only imagining the room is moving. 

14. Enjoy some café culture

Like most European cities, Berlin has its own distinct cafe culture.If you like your neighbourhoods to be creative, head to Kreuzberg and check out the cafes, restaurants, galleries and independent shops there. 

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