16 Amazing Things to See in Berlin
So you’re planning to visit Berlin and wondering what are the best things to see and do? Known for its history, arts and culture scene, and wild party atmosphere, you’ll never find yourself with nothing to do in Berlin!
Bursting at the seams with history and culture, Berlin is a thrilling destination for all types of travellers. But deciding where to go and what to see can be tricky, especially if you’re only here for a short trip. Whether you want to explore the countless museums and galleries, party night after night in any one of Berlin’s legendary clubs, or simply explore it like a local, this guide will help you plan your time. Curious about what you can see and do in the German capital? Then read on to discover our recommendations for 16 Amazing Things to See in Berlin!
1. Checkpoint Charlie
Named by the Western Allies, Checkpoint Charlie was the most popular border crossing point between East and West Berlin in the Cold War. What was once a tense location for people crossing the border, is now a popular tourist attraction.
2. Brandenburg Gate
Arguably Berlin’s signature attraction, the Brandenburg Gate was commissioned in 1788 by King Frederick William II of Prussia as a sign of peace. However, during the Cold War this landmark turned into a symbol of division in Germany, and around the world. After the collapse of the Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate has become one of the most popular landmarks in Berlin and is now considered an emblem of unity. It’s also the site for several national celebrations, including World Cup Championships and New Year’s Eve concerts and fireworks.
3. Mauer Park
Easily one of the most popular urban parks, our next suggestion for things to see in Berlin is Mauer Park. It’s a great place to eat, sing, dance, and just take in the vibe. There’s always something going on here! The spirit of Mauer Park is infectious and you’ll leave with fond memories when you leave Berlin.
4. Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is a solemn, but necessary landmark to see in Berlin. Located near Brandenburg Tor, the memorial is a series of concrete slabs all standing at various heights. As you walk through it, you’ll be confronted with a feeling of uncertainty, which is exactly the feeling the architect wanted to evoke. We recommend heading to the underground information centre as well, which is also free to visit.
5. Berlin Fernsehturm
For a 360-degree panoramic view of the city, head to Berlin Fernsehturm (TV tower). It’s easily the most recognizable landmark in the skyline, so it had to be included in our list of things to see in Berlin. The viewing platform has tons of information plaques describing noteworthy spots in the city below. Make sure you book your ticket in advance so you don’t miss out on this incredible view!
Home to the German government, this amazing building is a must see in Berlin. You can take free guided tours of the building, which will help you understand the complex history of the country and the way the current government works. But if you’d rather just chill on the front lawn and admire the exterior, that’s not a bad way to pass the time!
If you want to visit museums, then Museuminsel is a must for amazing things to see in Berlin! Home to 5 different museums, it’s also a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site.If you had to pick just one to visit, we recommend the Pergamonmuseum. It features some incredible archaeological structures such as the two-storey Roman Gate of Miletus and a partial recreation of the Pergamon Altar. Other museums here include the Altes Museum, the Neues Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie, and the Bode-Museum. And even if you don’t plan on visiting one, it’s a beautiful location to walk around and photograph. We highly recommend you check it out!
8. East Side Gallery
What’s left of the Berlin Wall has been turned into a massive street art piece, and is an amazing thing to see in Berlin. The one-mile stretch known as the East Side Gallery has several permanent murals, while other sections change from time to time. All pieces either depict a plea for global peace, or are emotional depictions of feelings in East Germany during the Cold War.
9. Charlottenburg Palace
If you have the time, this is another great Berlin landmark to see. Located a little outside the city, Charlottenburg Palace is a great option for a mini day trip. Built by Friedrich II for his wife Sophie Charlotte in 1695, this imposing structure features a mesmerising interior and picturesque gardens. It’s definitely optimal to visit in the late spring or summer!
10. A Bike Ride
Berlin is a huge city, but it’s also extremely bike friendly. It’s actually the best way to get around and see the city anyway, so make it part of your plan! Bike rentals can be found all over the city, but if you’re a guest of Sunflower Hostel in Friedrichshain, you can rent one from them!
One of the few buildings left in Berlin that showcases Nazi architecture, the Olympic Stadium actually began as a horse-racing track. However, it was rebuilt in 1936 for the Olympics, which ended up being a rather historical event. It was here where black American athlete Jesse Owens won four gold medals in track and field. He was credited with, ‘disproving Hitler’s myth of Aryan supremacy’.
Like most big cities, you’ll want to stay away from the city centre and nearby tourist attractions if you want to do some shopping. Our favourite neighbourhoods for shopping include North Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, and Kurfürstendammstraße. But if you want to stick to flea markets, or vintage shops, you’ll find tons in Kreuzberg!
Grunewald is where you want to go if you love the outdoors. This park is huge, and is full of things to do and ways to pass the time. Walk, bike, swim, horseback ride, or simply relax: all of these are possible at Grunewald. Situated to the south west of Charlottenburg, this park is one of our favourites to escape the city, and you can easily get here by bike.
14. Visit an Art Gallery
As you can imagine, Berlin is a hotspot for arts and culture. And as a result, you can visit any number of art galleries exhibiting a variety of art and cultural pieces. Our top pick is the Kulturforum – a place that would satiate any art lover. But if you simply walk around the city, you’re bound to find tons of displays of street art!
15. Party All Night
Whether you’re coming to attend a festival, or want to just soak up the best of the Berlin nightlife scene, you’ll have plenty of options no matter the time of year. There are tons of places where you can drink and party until the morning. A city where techno and underground music thrives, you’ll miss out on the experience of a lifetime if you don’t enjoy a night out!
16. The Berlin Philharmonic
The Berlin Philharmoniker is globally renowned as one of the world’s finest orchestras, and attending a performance is a treat! It’s a nice way to spend an evening if you want to listen to some beautiful classical music, or have a romantic night out. While it’s not a typical backpacker activity in Berlin, it’s one that we feel deserves a mention!
Where to Stay in Berlin
Berlin is home to lots of different kinds of neighbourhoods, but our favourite is Friedrichshain in East Berlin. Book accommodation at Sunflower Hostel, minutes away from the Berlin Wall and tons fo great Berlin clubs. This hostel offers bicycle rentals, a common lunge, bar, private rooms, and shared dorms. If you want to get a trendy experience in Berlin this is the hostel to stay at!
8 Amazing Things to See in Berlin
Now that you have a better idea of the things you can see and do in Berlin, it’s time to start planning! No matter what your taste or style of travel, Berlin definitely has something waiting for you.
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