11 Best Things To Do in Berlin

You will be captivated by Berlin's history, but also by its way of life and the contrasts between its neighborhoods. Take note of its must-see places!

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

7 min read

11 Best Things To Do in Berlin

Brandenburg Gate | ©Hakon Sataoen

Berlin is one of the cities that has fascinated me the most because of the stories that every corner tells. In contrast to the respect that instills the Holocaust memorial or the remains of the Wall, Berlin is also a modern city full of life. Here are my 10 must-sees of Berlin.

1. Take a guided tour of Berlin

The Berlin Wall, East Side Gallery Museum| ©Nick Fewings
The Berlin Wall, East Side Gallery Museum| ©Nick Fewings

I always defend that if you have to choose only one experience in a city you are visiting for the first time, a guided tour is the one that will bring the most to the traveler. In a city that has as much to tell as Berlin, this recommendation becomes even more relevant.

Since Berlin is a fairly large city with many significant places, the guided tours of Berlin are, for the most part, divided by zones.

You will get to know the best things to see and do in the center of Berlin, but you will also get into the heart of Berlin's neighborhoods, some of them as unique as the Jewish quarter of Berlin.

Book a guided tour of Berlin

2. Take a cruise on the Spree River

Berlin boat cruise| ©Dennis Jarvis
Berlin boat cruise| ©Dennis Jarvis

Berlin is a city that constantly demands your attention and energy and for that reason there will be times when you need a break and simply want to enjoy the city and its sights in a relaxed way. When this happens I recommend you to take a one or two hour cruise on the Spree River and tour the city.

Book a dinner cruise in Berlin

3. Tour the city by tourist bus

Sightseeing bus through the streets of Berlin| ©Janusz Jakubowski
Sightseeing bus through the streets of Berlin| ©Janusz Jakubowski

You have to take note of this recommendation, especially if you are only going to be in the German capital for a few days. Taking a pass for the tourist bus is not only a comfortable way to get panoramic views of Berlin while strolling through the city, it is also an ideal way to move between its main points of interest saving time and long walks.

But Berlin is also an ideal city to move by bicycle, as in other central European capitals. There are few more fun ways to get around the city than with these recommended bike tours. Dare and experience the city your way!

Book a seat on a Berlin sightseeing bus

4. Visit the Museum Island

Bode Museum| ©Reiseuhu
Bode Museum| ©Reiseuhu

Berlin has one of the most important museum complexes in Europe and is located on the so-called Museum Island. Presided over by the emblematic Berlin Cathedral, this area is home to five important museums:

  • The Pergamon Museum: the most visited thanks to antiquities such as the Pergamon frieze or the Miletus market gate, although currently closed for works.
  • The Old National Gallery: with classicist, romantic, impressionist and modernist works.
  • The Old Museum: first museum of Prussia.
  • The New Museum: with an important collection of Egyptian art.
  • The Bode Museum: of Byzantine art.

If you want to visit these and other museums during your trip I recommend you to take a look at the Berlin Welcome Card and Berlin Pass tourist cards that include free or discounted admission to these museums.

Book your ticket for Berlin museums

5. Photograph the views of the city from the television tower

View of Berlin from the TV Tower| ©bvi4092
View of Berlin from the TV Tower| ©bvi4092

Visiting a city and wanting to see the aerial views of it is a classic for all travelers and there is always a special place from which to do so, which is usually also a symbol of the city in question. In the case of Berlin the TV tower located on Alexanderplatz is this site.

Besides being the tallest building in Berlin with 368 meters, it is also a key landmark in the German capital. It was built during the years of the German Democratic Republic as a symbol to extol communism. You can visit it all day for approximately 18 euros.

Book tickets to the Berlin TV tower

6. Visit Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace| ©Dmitry Makeev
Charlottenburg Palace| ©Dmitry Makeev

This 18th century palace, built to serve as the summer residence of the first queen consort of Prussia, Sophie Charlotte, is one of the largest and most important palaces in Germany. It is somewhat distant from the center, but can be easily reached by public transport.

The interior of the Palace retains most of the original decoration and is open to the public every day except Mondays. In addition to the various experiences you can enjoy at Charlottenburg Palace, the real jewel of the palace are its gardens where you can stroll freely for free.

Book a guided tour of the Charlottenburg Palace

7. Visit the Mauerpark market

Detail of a stall at the Mauerpark market.| ©Roman Kraft
Detail of a stall at the Mauerpark market.| ©Roman Kraft

If you are going to spend a Sunday in Berlin, reserve it to go to the Mauerpark market and to attend one of the concerts that will surely be there in the evening. This place is an example of the alternative culture that is becoming more and more important in the city of Berlin.

The Mauerpark market sells antiques, vintage clothing, art pieces, homemade food and curiosities of all kinds and is located in one of the most important green spaces of the city along with the Tiergarten. The atmosphere of this place will not leave you indifferent.

8. Climb the dome of the Reichstag

Interior of the Reichstag dome| ©Sven Przepiorka
Interior of the Reichstag dome| ©Sven Przepiorka

I already mentioned that the German Parliament deserved a separate visit and one of the reasons is its glass dome. You will have seen hundreds of photos of visitors next to this architectural curiosity, but the feeling of walking through its maze of mirrors can not emulate any portrait.

It is open to the public all day for free and from there you can watch members of the German government at work. I recommend you to avoid weekends and holidays because it is usually quite crowded. I leave you this post to see how to book tickets for Reichstag Berlin.

9. Enjoy the nightlife in Kreuzberg neighborhood

Kreuzberg neighborhood at night| ©David Soto-Karlin
Kreuzberg neighborhood at night| ©David Soto-Karlin

Not everything in Berlin are museums and monuments. The city is also known for its nightlife and one of the areas where this is most present is the Kreuzberg district, also known as the Turkish quarter by immigrants living in the area. Although this neighborhood has much to offer at all hours of the day.

If you want to know one of the most alternative and authentic areas of Berlin be sure to stroll through this neighborhood at dusk. During the day you will find excellent kebab stalls, interesting stores and on Fridays a flea market that is worth a visit.

10. Try the beer, currywurst and pretzel

Beer and currywurst in Berlin| ©James Cridland
Beer and currywurst in Berlin| ©James Cridland

It was inevitable to name German beer as one of Berlin's must-tries (in some places, in fact, you'll find it's even cheaper than mineral water). Try as many varieties as you can and let yourself be recommended. If you are a lover of this drink, I also recommend that you consider a guided tour with tasting included by the most important bars in Berlin.

Book a beer tour in Berlin

11. Other essential plans near Berlin

There are mandatory stops near the German capital that, either for its unique views or for the importance of recent history they represent, you can not miss on your trip to Berlin:

Potsdam, residence of the Prussian royal family

Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, this small bourgeois city located about 20 km from Berlin is undoubtedly one of the best possible excursions. It has its own Brandenburg Gate, older than Berlin and its Cecilienhof Castle or its Bridge of Spies will not leave you indifferent.

I tell you in this post how to get from Berlin to this beautiful city.

The Sachsenhausen concentration camp, a necessary visit

It is necessary to know history in order not to repeat it. You cannot leave Berlin without visiting the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Meet this concentration camp, a model of Nazi Germany, where you will see the watchtowers, the barracks or the punishment rooms.

I recommend that you first find out how to get to Sachsenhausen from Berlin.

Book an excursion to Sachsenhausen

Tips for traveling to Berlin

Being one of the most visited European capitals and with so many options to visit, I recommend you to plan your trip well so you don't leave anything out. Therefore, I leave you these necessary tips for traveling to Berlin.

In addition, if you are traveling with children it is better not to leave anything to improvisation and it is advisable to have the transfers between the airport and Berlin.

What to do in Berlin month by month

If you are still to decide the date of your trip, do not miss these guides to the best plans in the German capital:

They are also available by time of the year:

Plan your trip according to its duration

I also recommend that you make an itinerary according to the days you are going to be in the city. But don't worry, I know it's not easy, that's why you have these fabulous guides, so you only have to worry about enjoying Berlin: