What are the best activities in berlin? The metropolis on the spree attracts thousands of visitors every year. And not without reason. People from many countries of the world live in the dazzling German capital. Either you were born here, moved here or are visiting here. For everyone, the multicultural city offers an almost endless range of leisure activities.
things you should do in berlin
if you really want to experience berlin, you should also look beyond the typical sights. But what are the insider tips for berlin? Which corners of berlin are the most popular? This article lists many places and activities that every true Berliner knows about. Every local or visitor should have tried them at least once in their life.
What to do in berlin? Here is a list of the best attractions and sights in berlin.
1. Dine on the television tower in the revolving restaurant
there’s a revolving restaurant in the dome of the berlin television tower for a 360 degree panoramic view photo: bigstock
2. Berlin for young people: party on the RAW grounds
pubs, beer gardens, concerts: the RAW site in friedrichshain photo: bigstock
The pubs, beer gardens, concert halls and live clubs on the RAW grounds in friedrichshain are especially popular with young people. Tourists from all over the world make a pilgrimage to the iconic 70.000 square meter area.
During the day, you can also find plenty of offers for activities like z.B. A climbing and a skating hall. There are various food markets, an open air cinema and even a club with a swimming pool. On warm summer nights there is a party atmosphere until the early morning hours.
the cassiopeia nightclub with subculture flair& livemusic program at the RAW area photo: bigstock
3. visit the festival of lights
the berlin dome during the festaval of lights photo: bigstock
Every year in october, the festival of lights enchants thousands of berliners and non-berliners alike. For several days many famous buildings shine in the most beautiful colors and sometimes in spectacular patterns.
4. Riding the fastest elevator in europe
Potsdamer platz, berlin photo: bigstock
in 20 seconds, europe’s fastest elevator will take you up to one of the modern buildings on potsdamer platz – the kollhoff tower. From there, they have a magnificent view over the whole of berlin. And there is also something to eat and drink in the cafe.This is the way to live! if you are already at potsdamer platz, you should also have a look at the other modern buildings.
potsdamer platz, which was a no-man’s land during the GDR era, was redesigned at the end of the 90s. Especially impressive is the sony center. But potsdamer platz has even more to offer. Film fans are drawn to the film museum and the boulevard of stars, berlin’s equivalent of the walk of fame. the kids might be interested in the legoland discovery center. The potsdamer arkaden invite you to go shopping.
5. photographing berlin from the funkturm
The radio tower is affectionately called the long lulatsch by the berliners photo: bigstock
admittedly, it does look a bit like the eiffel tower, but the long lulatsch, as it is called in 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. right next door are the trade fair halls, where the radio exhibition is still held every year in august or september.
The subway convertible in berlin photo: michael F. Mehnert – own work , CC BY-SA 3.0, link
The U-bahn convertible looks like a roller coaster in the hollywood film park. But this time the tour leads through the berlin underground. On this most unusual city tour of berlin, guests travel for two hours along the routes of the subway system. The special thing about it is that the train has no roof. the routes are illuminated just for the tour and at each station you are told a suitable story. the cabrio tour starts and ends at the deutsche oper subway station in the charlottenburg district.
7. celebrating on the admiralbrucke
Nothing beats a balmy summer evening on the admiralbrucke in berlin-kreuzberg. the notorious party bridge is one of the most popular and hottest meeting points for hipsters as well as tourists. With a beer from the spati in your hand, you can listen to the latest songs of young musicians here.
When the sun sets over the landwehrkanal, an unforgettable feeling of city romance spreads. If you want to stay a little longer, you can order one of berlin’s best pizzas at il casolare. the italian restaurant delivers to the bridge, but the order takes at least an hour.
the 100 bus in berlin passes by the most famous sights photo: bigstock
a sightseeing tour with the 100 is a must and also cheap (for the price of a normal ticket). the 100 goes from the zoo to alexanderplatz and passes the most popular and famous sights. Siegessaule, reichstag, tiergarten, unter den linden, the 200 goes almost the same route, only it also passes potsdamer platz and ends at volkspark friedrichshain.
9. visit the world’s largest dinosaur at the natural history museum
the dinosaur exhibition at berlin’s natural history museum – photo: museum fur naturkunde berlin
brachiosaurus brancai is the largest dinosaur in the world, at least what is left of it – its skeleton. But the museum of natural history, as it is officially called, has more to offer besides dinosaur skeletons: the history of evolution, stuffed animals, astronomy set to the sounds of famous composers, minerals, fish preserved in alcohol and reptiles. A visit to this museum is not only for scientists, but for the whole family.
invalidenstr 43, 10115 berlin
tuesday – friday 9.30 – 18.00 o’clock
weekend and holiday 10.00 – 18.00 o’clock
Currywurst, one of the most popular berlin specialties – photo: pixabay
Eating currywurst is a must when you are in berlin. The "national dish" of the berliners was created for the first time in 1949 by herta heuwer in the district of charlottenburg. There are countless currywurst stands in berlin. The most famous is konnopke’s imbiss in schonhauser allee in the district of prenzlauer berg. The popular imbiss has been around since 1930. curry 36 on mehringdamm is also well known.
11. shopping at the kadewe
The kadewe or department store of the west in berlin photo: bigstock
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’s not cheap to store there, but just a stroll through the kadewe is an experience you’ll never forget. my tip: in the food department on the sixth floor you can find delicatessen from all over the world.
The berlin cathedral seen from the other side of the spree photo: bigstock
The best way to explore historic berlin is to take a boat trip on the spree river. The bridge trip on the landwehr canal and the spree, which runs right through the city, is very popular. the ships pass many famous historical buildings, like the berlin cathedral and the reichstag. You will also get to know the new government buildings, which were built around the turn of the millennium, during the trip.
13. visit the graves of famous berliners at the dorotheenstadt cemetery
The grave of karl friedrich schinkel photo: by anah from new york – flickr, CC BY 2.0, link
at the dorotheenstadtische cemetery you will find many famous berliners. the list of prominent and great berliners buried here is endless. Ernst litfass, who invented the litfass column, karl friedrich schinkel, who was probably berlin’s most famous architect, and gottfried schadow, who created the quadriga on the brandenburg gate, are just a few names. The cemetery was established in 1762. At that time it was still outside the gates of berlin, because it was forbidden to bury the dead inside the city. Bertolt brecht and helene weigel lived and worked in the house next door. the house is a memorial and can be visited.
through the tiergarten you come to the victory column and the branderburg gate photo: bigstock
The tiergarten is the largest park in berlin and comparable to central park in new york and hyde park in london. it was a former hunting ground of the electors – hence the name. there are three things you should do there: row, listen to the carillon and wander around the gaslamp museum. if the weather is nice i recommend to discover the zoological garden by rowing boat. The boat rental is located at the new lake.
Every sunday afternoon at 15.00 o’clock sounds the carillon, a glockenspiel. It is located near the house of cultures, also called pregnant oyster. In the evening there is nothing more romantic than wandering around the gaslamp museum. the gaslamp museum has a historical collection of gaslamps from all over europe and is free of charge.
15. take the ferry from wannsee to kladow
the boat landing stage in berlin kladow – photo: bigstock
During the division of berlin, the Wannsee was a popular destination for the west berliners. Even today it has lost nothing of its popularity. Many excursion steamers depart from the pier. one popular trip is by ferry F10 to kladow, a chic suburb in spandau. the tour takes about 20 minutes – you pay the price for a normal ticket.
during the ride you will pass the beach bath Wannsee, where berliners have been flocking to since 1907. In kladow, there are opportunities to eat and drink well and to watch boats swing dreamily in the harbor. you can also take a nice hike to sacrow, which is famous for its church. Inaccessible during GDR times.
You can ride the ringbahn once around berlin photo: bigstock
The S-Bahn lines S41 and S42, also known as the ringbahn, run within the city center. During the ca. 60-minute tour takes you through the trendy district of prenzlauer berg, through neukolln and wedding, which are becoming increasingly popular, see the funkturm and the new park "tempelhofer freiheit", which is located on the former airport tempelhofer feld.
Nefertiti is the main attraction in the new museum in berlin photo: bigstock
in the new museum is the bust of nefertiti. the beautiful egyptian attracts thousands of visitors every year. Other museums worth seeing on museum island are: the old museum (greek and roman art, coins), the pergamon museum (art from the orient), the old national gallery (paintings from the 19th century).century) and the bode museum (museum of byzantine art, coin collection sculptures)
The berlin wall memorial in berlin (photo: bigstock)
If you want to learn about the history of the wall, this is a place you should not miss. Here you will not only find an original piece of the berlin wall, but also information boards in german and english, a lookout tower and a documentation center. In the chapel of reconciliation, a prayer service for the dead of the wall takes place every day at 12 noon. also around bernauer strabe you will find a lot of informative and interesting things about the history of the wall.
19. admire berlin history at the red town hall
the red town hall in berlin photo: bigstock
the berlin city hall also called red city hall, was opened in 1868. this is where the mayor and his senate sit. the name red town hall comes from the bricks it is built of. A frieze decorates the town hall, on this frieze you can see the history of berlin until the middle of the 19th century. study the history of the twentieth century.
Folk festival on tempelhofer feld in berlin photo: bigstock
the airport tempelhof was closed in 2008. the former rolling field was opened in 2010 as a park called tempelhofer feld. Here you can not only run and enjoy the unique expanse, but also skate, fly kites, barbecue and much more. Many interesting events also take place during the year.
21. Ride through wuhlheide on the park railroad
a round trip with the steam train through the wuhlheide costs 4 euro – photo: public domain, link
in the greenest district of berlin, in treptow-kopenick, lies the wuhlheide, which offers many opportunities for relaxation. I recommend you to explore the wuhlheide with the park railroad, which is run by children and young people on a voluntary basis. the FEZ leisure center is a paradise for children.
The former freight station in pankow is a super photo motif photo: wikipedia
Once there was a railroad yard here. Now you can walk on overgrown tracks, admire an ancient locomotive, a turnstile and other remnants from the steam locomotive era. the landmark, an old water tower, can be seen from afar.
23. Take streetcar 68 through kopenick
by christian liebscher (plate) – own work , CC BY-SA 3.0, link
Kopenick is the greenest district of berlin. on a ride with the streetcar 68 from the S-bahnhof kopenick to schmockwitz you will get to know berlins greenest district. The uferbahn, as it is also called, passes among other things, the castle kopenick and the regatta course grunau.
The britzer garten is one of the most beautiful parks in berlin photo: bigstock
one of the most beautiful parks in berlin is the britzer garten. in 1985 the federal horticultural show took place here. A multifaceted park with sunbathing lawns, lakes, streams and themed gardens has been created. During the beautiful season, regular events take place. Especially popular are the fire flowers and classical music open-air concert in august and the exhibitions tulipan in spring and dahlia fire in autumn. a ride on the park railroad through the park is a lot of fun.
There are plenty of places to stop.
25. drink berlin white in a beer garden
Biergaten on the spree, berlin photo: bigstock
The oldest beer garden in berlin is the prater in prenzlauer berg. It was founded in 1837. Many events also take place here. berliner weibe is a white beer 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. Ending the day in a beach bar on a warm summer evening is an unforgettable experience.
the main entrance of the berlin zoo photo: bigstock
the berlin zoo is the most species-rich zoo in the world and the oldest in germany. It exists already at this place 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 observe different animals, which in the evening, when all visitors have left the zoo, the light is switched on, the animals then sleep. It is just a little different in the night animal house than with us humans.
27. visit the new synagogue centrum judicaium
the new synagogue in the district of mitte photo: bigstock
the new synagogue in the district of mitte is the eye-catcher in oranienburger strabe, one of the most popular streets in berlin. The new synagogue from 1866 survived the pogrom night of 1933, but was destroyed in 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.
The fairy tale fountain in the volkspark friedrichshain – source: by inductor – en.Wikipedia.Org, public domain, link
Not only children love this charming fountain, on which fairy tale characters from the brothers grimm romp around. the fountain was created in 1911/13 by ludwig hoffmann. other sights in the volkspark friedrichshain are: mount klamott, a mountain of rubble that was sung about by the band silly and the cemetery of the martyrs, where the dead of the revolution of 1848 found their last resting place. by the way! The volkspark friedrichshain is the oldest volkspark in berlin. It was built in 1846 as Berlin’s first municipal green space.
29. following in the footsteps of heinrich zille in the nikolai quarter
Nikolaiviertel, berlin photo: bigstock
berlin’s oldest quarter is popular at any time of year. In winter, many cosy restaurants and cafes tempt you to warm up. In summer you can sit outside and enjoy an ice cream or a beer. even heinrich zille enjoyed his beer in the nussbaum, berlin’s oldest pub. But the nikolai quarter has more to offer than just culinary delights. More about heinrich zille, his life, his work you can learn in a museum dedicated to him.
The nikolaikirche is the oldest church in berlins photo: bigstock
the knoblauchhaus has original biedermann furnishings. 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 only in 1878. Today there are no more services in the church. It is used as a museum. By the way, you can also store well in the charming little stores in the nikolai quarter.
Cafe kranzler in berlin – photo: bigstock
Who does not know the kurfurstendamm?? The elegant boulevard is teeming with stores, restaurants and cafes. The most famous is probably the cafe kranzler, which is located at this place since 1958. Once there under the famous red and white awning coffee drink, you should not miss. The former knuppeldamm, on which the electors rode to the hunting lodge grunewald, was built at the end of the 19th century. the reichstag was developed into a magnificent boulevard at the end of the nineteenth century.
31. listening to the bells of the kaiser-wilhelm memorial church
the kaiser-wilhelm-memorial church on hardenbergplatz in berlin photo: bigstock
let yourself be enchanted by the ringing of the bells of berlin’s most famous church. The kaiser-wilhelm-gedachtniskirche or memorial church was built in 1895 and destroyed in the second world war except for the tower. This made it a landmark of our city – a landmark against war! A new house of worship and a new tower were added to the memorial church at the beginning of the 1960s.
The dome of the berlin reichstag photo: bigstock
a visit to the reichstag and the magnificent dome is a must during your berlin visit. 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 1884-1894 by paul wallot. The inscription "to the german people" was added in 1916.
33. visit the peacock island and explore the havelchaussee with bus 218
peacock island, berlin photo: bigstock
A small paradise lies in the havel. on peacock island there are no cars and no restaurant; only nature, a few buildings and of course the peacocks. Well known is the small white castle, built at the end of the 18th century.was built at the beginning of the twentieth century. you can reach the peacock island by ferry. You can reach the landing stage with the 218 bus, the historic bus travels along the havelchaussee. During its journey, it passes the Grunewald forest and picturesque bays that invite you to swim on hot days. You can get off at individual stops to explore individual places in more detail. You can climb the grunewald tower or visit the mysterious cemetery (friedhof grunewald forst), where suicides found their final resting place.
olympic stadium, berlin photo: bigstock
"hahohe hertha BSC "blare the fans in the well-attended olympiastadion. it’s saturday afternoon and hertha has a home game. 1892 the favorite of the berliners was founded. Today hertha has its seat in the olympiastadion. 1936 the stadium was built for the olympic games. in 2006 the stadium was rebuilt for the soccer world cup. other attractions are the 77 m high bell tower, which you can climb, and the sports museum.
35. visit the charlottenburg palace
charlottenburg palace, berlin photo: bigstock
The charlottenburg palace gave its name to the district of charlottenburg. From 1695 it was built for sophie charlotte, the wife of elector friedrich III. Built in the village of lutzen. in her honor, lutzen was renamed charlottenburg. the palace can be visited. Just as worth seeing as the palace is the palace park. It was originally built 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.
Gendarmenmarkt, berlin photo: bigstock
the gendarmenmarkt is one of the most beautiful squares in berlin. The German dome and the French dome were built at the beginning of the 18th century. built at the end of the 19th century. the twin domes (the dome) were added in 1785. They gave the two churches their names. The concert hall (former theater) was built in 1825 by karl friedrich schinkel. A statue of friedrich schiller stands in front of the schauspielhaus.
37. Attend a show at the friedrichstadt-palast
Friedrichstadt-palast in berlin photo: wikipedia
To visit a show in friedrichstadt-palast is an experience you should not miss at all. Unique performances have been taking place here since 1984. The variety and revue theater on friedrichstrasse is one of europe’s leading show stages, whose representative feature is, among other things, its traditional girlseries is.
park sanssouci , potsdam photo: bigstock
If you are in berlin for a longer time, consider a day trip to potsdam. the state capital of brandenburg has so much to offer. Most visitors are drawn to the sanssouci palace and its magnificent palace park to follow in the footsteps of the Jews. Frederick II. To walk. The king had his dream palace, where he wanted to spend carefree days, built in 1744. Another dream palace is the new palace, which the king did not have built until 1763. the historic old town attracts visitors with its newest attractions, the rebuilt palace, where the brandenburg state parliament now meets, and the excellent museum barberini. The old castle was demolished after the second world war, the nikolai church and the old town hall with the golden atlas statue are also worth seeing.
39. the jewish museum
The jewish museum in berlin mitte photo: bigstock
the architecture of the jewish museum alone is extraordinary. a modern building in the shape of a broken davidstern and an old kammergericht from 1736 form the ensemble. inside you can expect 2000 years of german jewish history. The holocaust tower is oppressive and frightening.
night club in berlin – photo: bigstock
simon-dach strabe in friedrichshain is the top address. here one club, one bar, one restaurant after the other is lined up. Friedrichshain, mitte and kreuzberg are the hottest areas you should visit in berlin if you want to party.
41. Visit the Berlin cathedral and the palace square
Berlin cathedral and television tower in mitte photo: bigstock
The berlin cathedral is the largest church in berlin. the current church was designed by julius raschdorf in 1905. Worth seeing is the hohenzollern crypt. There you can see how high infant mortality was back then, whether rich or poor.
on the palace square you can watch the humboldt forum, the old palace of the hohenzollern family, which stood on this side for over 500 years and was demolished in 1950, being rebuilt.
tip: from the dome of the berlin cathedral you have a magnificent 360 degree view of berlin’s city center.
42. find the sunken library on bebelplatz
Bebelplatz, berlin photo: bigstock
For the development of the bebelplatz was friedrich II. Responsible. He initiated the construction of the hedwig cathedral in 1749-1773, which is impressive not only from the outside. the old library, also known as the commode because of its shape, dates from 1770. the monument " sunken library" by micha ullmann commemorates the book burning of 10. may 1933, on this day the nazis burned works of erich kastner, thomas mann and many other undesirable writers here.
43. exploring the hackeschen hofe
the kinocafe in the hackeschen hofe in berlin photo: bigstock
The Hackesche Hofe building complex consists of seven courtyards. built in 1906/1907, they are germany’s largest enclosed courtyard area. Each courtyard is a world of its own. Here you can store, visit theaters and cinema performances.
The restaurants and cafes in the hackeschen hofe, renovated in 1993, are a popular meeting place for night owls and tourists alike.
44. Walking through the brandenburg gate
Brandenburg gate, berlin photo: bigstock
walking through the brandenburg gate is a must for every berlin visitor. It is the emblem of our city. A symbol of division and reunification. for in wall times it stood in the niemandsland. In general, the brandenburg gate has an eventful history: it was built in 1788-91 by karl gottfried langhans, as part of the akise mauer, the city wall of the time. The quadriga comes from shadow. 1808 napoleon stole the quadriga and brought it to paris. It did not return to berlin until 1814.in 1987 ronald reagan gave his moving speech" mr.Gorbachev tear down this wall." a memorial plaque near the brandenburg gate commemorates it.
45. Visit the holocaust memorial
Holocaust memorial, berlin photo: bigstock
since 2005, this memorial commemorates the cruelest crime ever committed against humanity – the extermination of 6 million jews. Between 2752 steals you can walk around. A subterranean place of information educates about the holocaust.
46. watching the sunset over berlin from a skybar
The klunkerkranich is very popular with young people – photo: klunkerkranich
Rooftop bars are also hotspots for youngsters and romantics in berlin. The sky bars above the city’s rooftops offer breathtaking views and, of course, grandiose photo panoramas. if the rooftop terrace can also boast a pool or a club, so much the better.
for example the klunkerkranich is located on the parking deck of the neukolln arcaden. the hip rooftop bar is the perfect place to sip a beer while listening to live jazz and looking out over berlin’s eclectic old rooftops.