What are the best activities in Berlin? The metropolis on the Spree attracts thousands of visitors every year. And not without reason. In the dazzling German capital, people from many countries of the world live. Either they were born here, moved in or on a visit. For everyone, there is an endless amount of leisure time in the multicultural city.
Things to do in Berlin
If you really want to experience Berlin, you should also look away from the typical sights. But what are the insider tips for Berlin? Which corners in Berlin are the most popular? This article lists many places and activities that every true Berliner knows. Every local or visitor should have tried it at least once in their lifetime.
The best attractions in Berlin
1Dine on the TV tower in the revolving restaurant
Anyone staying in the city should do it once. What? Look at Berlin from above and that from the TV tower. The 368 meter high building on Alexanderplatz offers a magnificent view of Germany’s capital. Since its opening in 1968, visitors have been queuing up. An elevator will bring you upstairs. A restaurant offers delicious food.
2Berlin youth: party on the RAW site
Especially among young people, the pubs, beer gardens, concert halls and live clubs on the RAW site in Friedrichshain are popular. Tourists from all over the world make a pilgrimage to the iconic 70,000 square meter area.
During the day, you will also find plenty of offers for activities such as a climbing and a skating hall. There are various food markets, an open air cinema and even a club with swimming pool. On warm summer nights party mood prevails until the early morning hours.
3Visit Festival of Lights
Every year in October, the Festival of Lights enchants thousands of Berliners and non-Berliners. For several days many well-known buildings shine in the most beautiful colors and sometimes in spectacular patterns.
4Mit dem schnellsten Fahrstuhl Europas fahren
In 20 seconds, the fastest elevator in Europe takes you to one of the most modern buildings on Potsdamer Platz – the Kollhoff Tower. From there you have a magnificent view over Berlin. And there is also something to eat and drink in the Café.So it can live! If you are ever at Potsdamer Platz, you should also look at the other modern buildings.
Potsdamer Platz, which was no-man’s-land during the GDR era, was redesigned in the late 1990s. Imposing is above all the Sony Center. But Potsdamer Platz has more to offer. Film fans are drawn to the Filmmuseum and the Boulevard of Stars, the Berlin counterpart to the Walk Of Fame. Kids should be interested in the Legoland Discovery Center. The Potsdam arcades invite you to go shopping.
5Take Pictures of Berlin from the Funkturm
Granted, it reminds a bit on the Eiffel Tower, but the Lange Lulatsch, as he is called in the Berlin vernacular, is a real Berliner. It was built in 1926 on the occasion of the third radio exhibition. It is 146.7 meters high and offers beautiful views of our city. Next door are the exhibition halls, where the radio exhibition still takes place every year in August or September.
6Take the subway convertible through Berlin’s underground
The U-Bahn-Cabrio looks like a rollercoaster in the Hollywood movie park. But this time the tour leads through the Berlin Underground. On this most unusual sightseeing tour through Berlin, guests travel for two hours along the metro lines. The special thing is that the train has no roof. The routes are lit only for the tour and at each station you get a fitting story told. Start and end of the convertible tour is the underground station Deutsche Oper in the district of Charlottenburg.
7Celebrate on the Admiralbrücke
There’s nothing like a balmy summer evening on the Admiralbrücke in Berlin-Kreuzberg. The infamous Party Bridge is one of the most popular and hip haunts for hipsters as well as tourists. With a beer from Späti in hand you can listen to the latest songs of young musicians.
When the sun sinks over the Landwehrkanal, an unforgettable sense of urban romance spreads. If you want to stay longer, you can order one of the best pizzas in Berlin at Il Casolare. The Italian restaurant delivers to the bridge, but the order takes at least an hour.
8Take a tour with the 100er bus
A sightseeing tour of the 100er bus is a must and cheap (for the price of a normal ticket). The 100er bus runs from the zoo to Alexanderplatz and passes by the most popular and well-known attractions. Victory Column, Reichstag, Tiergarten, Unter den Linden, The 200er bus runs almost the same route, only it also passes the Potsdamer Platz and ends at Volkspark Friedrichshain.
9Visit the largest dinosaur in the world, in the Natural History Museum
The Brachiosaur Brancai is the largest dinosaur in the world, at least what was left of him – his skeleton. But the Museum of Natural History, as it is officially called, has even more to offer than dinosaur skeletons: the history of evolution, stuffed animals, astronomy to the sounds of famous composers, minerals, fish and reptiles. Visiting this museum is not just for scientists, but for the whole family.
Eating Currywurst is a must if you are in Berlin. The “national dish” of the Berliners was created for the first time in 1949 by Herta Heuwer in the district Charlottenburg. There are countless Currywurst stalls in Berlin. The best known is Konnopke’s snack bar in the Schönhauser Allee in the district of Prenzlauer Berg. The popular snack bar has been around since 1930. Curry 36 on the Mehringdamm is also famous.
11Shopping in KaDeWe
The KaDeWe (Department Store of the West) is the largest department store on the European continent. The shopping paradise on Tauentzienstraße has been attracting visitors since 1907. I admit, it is not cheap to shop there, but only a stroll through the KaDeWe is an experience you will never forget. My tip: the food section on the sixth floor serves delicacies from all over the world.
12Boat trip on the Spree
The best way to explore historic Berlin is on a boat trip on the River Spree. Popular is the bridge ride on the Landwehrkanal and the Spree, which crosses the city. The ships pass many well-known historic buildings, such as the Berlin Cathedral and the Reichstag. You will also get to know the new government buildings that were built around the turn of the millennium during the journey.
Visit the graves of famous Berliners in the Dorotheenstädtische cemetery
At the Dorotheenstädtische cemetery you will find many famous Berliners. The list of prominent and great Berliners who have been buried here is endless. Ernst Litfaß, who invented the Litfaßsäule, Karl Friedrich Schinkel, who was probably Berlin’s best-known architect, and Gottfried Schadow, who created the Quadriga on the Brandenburg Gate, are but a few names.
The cemetery was built in 1762. At that time it was still at the gates of Berlin, because it was forbidden to bury the dead within the city. Bertolt Brecht and Helene Weigel lived and worked in the house next door. The house is a memorial and can be visited.
14Explore the Tiergarten
The Tiergarten is the largest park in Berlin and comparable to Central Park in New York and Hyde Park in London. He was a former hunting ground of the elector – hence the name. There are three things that you should definitely do there: rowing, listening to the carillon, and wandering around the gas lantern museum. When the weather is nice, I recommend to discover the Tiergarten with the rowboat. The boat rental is located on the New Lake.
Every Sunday afternoon at 3:00 pm the Carillon, a carillon, is heard. It is located near the House of Cultures, also called Pregnant Oyster. In the evening, there is nothing more romantic than walking around in the gas lantern museum. The Gas Lantern Museum has a historic collection of gas lanterns from all over Europe and is free.
15Take the ferry from Wannsee to Kladow
During the division of Berlin was the Wannsee, a popular destination of West Berlin. Even today he has lost nothing of his popularity. Many excursion boats start from the pier. A popular ride is the ferry F10 to Kladow, a chic suburb in Spandau. The tour lasts about 20 minutes – you pay the price for a normal ticket.
During the trip, you will pass by Strandbad Wannsee, to which Berliners have flocked since 1907. In Kladow there are good opportunities to eat and drink and to watch boats swinging dreamily in the harbor. You can also take a nice hike to Sacrow, known for its church. In GDR times, it was inaccessible.
16Drive through the city on the Ringbahn
The S-Bahn lines S41 and S42 also called Ringbahn, operate within the city. During the approx. 60-minute tour you drive through the trendy district of Prenzlauer Berg, through Neukölln and Wedding, which are becoming increasingly popular, see the radio tower and the new “Tempelhofer Freiheit” park, which is located on the former Tempelhofer Feld airport.
17Visit the Nefertiti on Museum Island
The New Museum houses the bust of Nefertiti. The beautiful Egyptian attracts thousands of visitors every year. Other interesting museums on Museum Island are the Old Museum (Greek and Roman Art, Coins), the Pergamon Museum (Oriental Art), the Old National Gallery (19th century paintings) and the Bode Museum (Museum of Byzantine Art , Coin collection sculptures)
18Learn all about the Berlin Wall at the Berlin Wall Memorial
If you want to know the history of the Wall, you should not miss this place. Here you will not only find an original piece of the Berlin Wall, but also information boards in German and English, an observation tower and a documentation center. In the Reconciliation Chapel, every day at 12 o’clock a devotional service is held for the wall dead people. Also around the Bernauer Straße you will find a lot of informative and interesting information about the history of the Wall.
19Admire Berlin’s history at the Red Town Hall
The Berlin city hall also called Rotes Rathaus was opened in 1868. Here sits the Governing Mayor and his Senate. The name Red Town Hall is derived from the bricks from which it is built. A frieze decorates the town hall, on this frieze you can study Berlin’s history until the mid-19th century.
20Take a Walk on the Tempelhof field
Tempelhof Airport was closed in 2008. The former runway was opened in 2010 as a park. Here you can enjoy not only running and the unique width, but also skating, kite flying, barbecue and much more. Many interesting events take place during the year.
21Take the park railway through the Wuhlheide
In the greenest district of Berlin in Treptow-Köpenick, lies the Wuhlheide, which offers many opportunities for relaxation. I recommend you to explore the Wuhlheide with the park railway, the children and young people volunteer. The leisure center FEZ is a paradise for children.
22Walk on overgrown tracks in the freight yard in Pankow
Once upon a time here was a marshalling yard. Now you can walk on wild tracks, admire an ancient locomotive, admire a turnstile and other remnants of the steam locomotive era. The landmark, an old water tower, can be seen from afar.
23Take the tram 68 through Köpenick
Köpenick is the greenest district in Berlin. Take a ride on the tram 68 from the Köpenick S-Bahn station to Schmöckwitz to get to know Berlin’s greenest district. The bank railway, as it is also called, passes, among other things, the castle Köpenick and the regatta course Grünau.
24Enjoy the Britzer Gartenn
One of the most beautiful parks in Berlin is the Britzer Garten. In 1985, the Federal Garden Show took place here. It created a versatile park with lawns, lakes, streams and theme gardens. During the good season there are regular events. Particularly popular are the Fire Flowers and Classical Open-Air Concert in August and the tulipan exhibitions in spring and dahlia fires in autumn. Have fun with a ride on the park railway through the area. There are plenty of opportunities to stop off.
25Try Berliner Weisse in a beer garden
Berlin’s oldest beer garden is the Prater in Prenzlauer Berg. He was founded in 1837. There are also many events here. The Berliner Weisse is a wheat beer that is drunk with a dash of raspberry or woodruff syrup. It is especially delicious on hot days. Berlin has not only beer gardens, but also beach bars. End the day on a warm summer evening in a beach bar is an unforgettable experience.
26Visit the night animal house in the zoo
The Berlin Zoo is the most species-rich zoo in the world and the oldest in Germany. It has been around since 1844. Apart from monkeys, lions, elephants and Co. you can also observe exotic animals in the night animal house, which is located in the basement of the Predator House. In the dark, you can see various animals, which in the evening, when all the visitors have left the zoo, the lights are turned on, the animals then sleep. It is a bit different in the night animal house than with humans humans.
27Visit the New Synagogue Center Judicaium
The New Synagogue in the district of Mitte is the eye-catcher in the Oranienburger Straße, one of the most popular streets in Berlin. Although the New Synagogue of 1866 survived the pogrom night of 1933, it was destroyed during the Second World War. The restored building is now called Centrum Judaicum is now an information center and houses an exhibition on the history of the synagogue.
28Have a picnic at the Fairy tale fountain in Volkspark Friedrichshain
Not only for children, this charming fountain is popular on which fairy tale characters frolicking by the Brothers Grimm. The fountain was laid out in 1911/13 by Ludwig Hoffmann. Other attractions in Volkspark Friedrichshain are: Mount Klamott, a rubble mountain, which was sung by the band Silly and the cemetery of March fallen, where the dead of the revolution of 1848 found their last rest. By the way! The Volkspark Friedrichshain is the oldest public park in Berlin. It was built in 1846 as the first municipal green area in Berlin.
29Walk on the traces of Heinrich Zille in the Nikolaiviertel
The oldest district of Berlin is popular in all seasons. In winter, many cute restaurants and cafés are inviting to warm up. In summer you sit outside and enjoy an ice cream or a beer. Already Heinrich Zille enjoyed his beer in the walnut tree, the oldest pub in Berlin. But not only culinary delights have the Nikolaiviertel to offer. You can learn more about Heinrich Zille, his life and his work in a museum dedicated to him.
The garlic house has an original Biedermann decor. Or how about the hemp museum? The Nikolaikirche is the oldest church in Berlin. It was started around 1230 and rebuilt several times. The towers were added in 1878. There are no church services going on in the church today. It is used as a museum. You can also go shopping in the Nikolaiviertel in the small charming shops.
30Stroll on the Kurfürstendamm and drink coffee in Café Kranzler
Who does not know him, the Kurfürstendamm? This elegant boulevard teems with shops, restaurants and cafés. The most famous is probably the Café Kranzler, which has been located here since 1958. Once there under the red-white awning. The former Knüppeldamm, on which the electors rode to the hunting lodge Grünewald, was expanded into a magnificent boulevard at the end of the 19th century.
31Listen to the bells of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
Let yourself be enchanted by the bells of the most famous church in Berlin. The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church or Gedächtniskirche was built in 1895 and destroyed in World War II except for the tower. That made her a symbol of Berlin – a landmark against war! A new church and a new tower got the Memorial Church in the early 1960s.
32See Berlin from above from the Reichstag dome
A visit to the Reichstag and the grand dome is a must during your visit to Berlin. The spectacular dome was designed by Sir Norman Foster and added in 1999. From there, you can capture great views of the capital with your camera. The Reichstag was built in 1884-1894 by Paul Wallot. The inscription “The German People” was added in 1916.
33Take a Trip to the Pfaueninsel and explore the Havelchaussee by bus 218
A little paradise is in the Havel. There are no cars and no restaurant on Peacock Island; only nature, a few buildings and of course the peacocks. Known is the small white castle, which was built at the end of the 18th century.
You can reach the peacock island with a ferry. The pier can be reached with the 218 bus, the historic bus goes along the Havelchaussee. During his journey he passes the Grunewald and passes picturesque bays that invite you to swim on hot days. You can get off at individual stations and explore more specific places. You can climb the Grunewald Tower or visit the mysterious cemetery (Grunewald Forest Cemetery), where suicides found their last resting place.
34Following in the footsteps of Berlin’s most popular football club Hertha BSC in the Olympic Stadium
“Hahohe Hertha BSC” roars the fans in the well-attended Olympic Stadium. It is Saturday afternoon and Hertha has a home game. In 1892, the darling of the Berlin was founded. Today, Hertha is based in the Olympic Stadium. In 1936 the stadium was built for the Olympic Games. In 2006, the stadium was rebuilt for the World Cup. Other attractions include the 77m high bell tower, which you can climb and the sports museum.
35 Visit the Charlottenburg Palace
The Charlottenburg Palace gave the district Charlottenburg its name. From 1695 it was for Sophie Charlotte, the wife of the Elector Friedrich III. built in the village Lützen. In her honor, Lützen was renamed Charlottenburg. The castle can be visited. Just as worth seeing as the castle is the castle park. It was originally created in 1695. In a mausoleum rests the young deceased queen Luise. Other buildings in the park are the Belvedere and the New Pavilion. All these buildings can be visited.
36eExplore the Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin’s most beautiful place
The Gendarmenmarkt is one of the most beautiful squares in Berlin. The German Cathedral and the French Cathedral were built at the beginning of the 18th century. The twin domes (the Döme) were added in 1785. They gave their names to the two churches. The Konzerthaus (former theater) was built in 1825 by Karl Friedrich Schinkel. In front of the theater is a statue of Friedrich Schiller.
37Watch a show in the Friedrichstadt Palast
Visiting a show in the Friedrichstadt Palast is an experience you should not miss. Since 1984 unique performances are taking place here. Here is the longest girl series in the world at home.
38Make a day trip to Potsdam
If you are in Berlin for longer, you should consider a day trip to Potsdam. The state capital of Brandenburg has so much to offer. Most visitors are attracted to Sanssouci Palace and its magnificent castle park. To transform Frederick II. The king had his dream palace, where he wanted to spend carefree days, built in 1744. Another dream palace is the New Palace, which was built by the king until 1763.
The historic old town attracts with its newest attractions, the rebuilt castle, where today meets the parliament of Brandenburg and the excellent museum Barberini. The old castle was demolished after World War II, also the Nikolaikirche and the old town hall with the golden Atlas statue are worth seeing.
39Visit the Jewish Museum
Even the architecture of the Jewish Museum is extraordinary. A modern building in the form of a broken Star of David and an old court-house from 1736 form the ensemble. Inside you can expect 2000 years of German Jewish history. The Holocaust Tower is oppressive and frightening.
40In the evening in Berlin: Celebrate the night in a club
The Simon-Dach Straße in Friedrichshain is the top address. Here is one club, bar, restaurant after another. Friedrichshain, Mitte and Kreuzberg are the hippest areas you should visit in Berlin if you want to party.