Have you ever thought about visiting Berlin, the capital of Germany and one of the biggest cities in Europe? We have looked into the best things to do in Berlin to make sure that you can feel the city’s vibe and the unique story it has to tell. Even if you have never planned to go to Berlin, our top 10 recommendations for Berlin might change your mind!
Here is a guide to all the best things to do in Berlin!
1. Reichstag Building
Close to the city center you will find the German parliament in which various political events take place. Visitors can enjoy an amazing view over the city from the rooftop terrace, but you should make a reservation a day in advance because there might be a huge demand for tickets. The imposing glass dome on the Reichstag is an architectural masterpiece and has been part of several movies and art projects, for instance when it was completely wrapped in an aluminium layer by Christo and Jeanne-Claude in the 1995. Around the Reichstag area you will also find many government buildings, such as the Federal Chancellery but also the Brandenburg Gate, our second favorite spot.
2. Brandenburg Gate
Undoubtedly, it is the symbol of the city and the reunification of Germany: the Brandenburg Gate. Completed in 1791, it was just one of many old city gates back in the days. In front of the gate, a decorative square named Pariser Platz was created where many important buildings of the city are still located today, such as the historic Hotel Adlon or the Academy of Arts.
Already visible from far away and with 368 meters the highest building in Berlin, the Fernsehturm is one of the most commonly used symbols for Berlin. Built in the 1960s, it offers visitors a unique 360° panorama view over the city. Traveling up with the lift is for sure one of the best things to do in Berlin and you can easily reach it by public transport as it is located directly on Alexanderplatz, the center of the old East Berlin.
In the immediate vicinity of Friedrichstrasse, the exclusive shopping street in Berlin-Mitte, you will find the Gendarmenmarkt as one of the most beautiful squares in Berlin. With its concert hall designed by Schinkel as well as the German Cathedral and the French Cathedral, there are three architectural highlights and cafés in which you can especially have a good time in summer. From Gendarmenmarkt you can also get around other top attractions easily by using hop-on buses that go from the square all the time.
5. Berliner Dom
The dome of Berlin is one of the most beautiful buildings Berlin has to offer and. Nearby you will also find the German Historical Museum and the Museum Island which is designed in an ancient style. A lot of people come here during the summer time to relax in the sun on the green area in front of the dome or to have a cold drink in the evening right next to the waters which you can find here. For a chill time with your friends, this is definitely one of the best things to do in Berlin.
The Kurfürstendamm extends from the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church to Berlin’s upmarket residential area on the Halensee. It is Berlin’s most popular shopping street, where the most exclusive brands and major fashion chains have settled, for instance in the KaDeWe which is the largest department store on the European mainland. On KaDeWe’s rooftop you can also enjoy a delicious dinner which is highly recommended!
7. Schloss Charlottenburg
Just outside the center the magnificent Charlottenburg Palace is a major landmark. It was once owned by the Prussian head of state Friedrich III. Built around 1700 for his beloved and admired wife Sophie-Charlotte, it lies in the midst of a castle park directly at the Spree river. If you do not want to walk through the park, you can also visit the Charlottenburg museum which is placed directly opposite in the Schloßstraße.
8. Museum Island
The Berlin Museum Island is a UNESCO world heritage and you will find the city’s major exhibition venues here: the Alte Museum, the Neues Museum, the Bode Museum, the Pergamon Museum and the Alte Nationalgalerie. With their collections, the houses present more than 6,000 years of art and cultural history.
9. Berlin Wall Memorial
On Bernauer Straße between the districts of Wedding and Mitte we suggest to explore the Berlin Wall Memorial. It consists of the monument to the victims of the division, a documentation center and the chapel of reconciliation. Thanks to a preserved wall section with watchtower, you can still visit the border fortifications today.
10. Potsdamer Platz
Before the Second World War, Potsdamer Platz was the busy center of the city but after 1945 and until the reunification its previous meaning for residents of the city became less relevant. However, after 1989 it completely changed again and today the Sony Center, skyscrapers and countless stores characterize this area as an important city hub. If you want to see some celebrities passing by, Potsdamer Platz is the place where you might find most of them – not just during the film festival!
What to expect from your trip to Berlin
Hopefully you will feel more confident about your trip after reading our 10 recommendations for the best things to do in Berlin. As the city’s size is incredible, it has even more attractions to offer but with these tips you are already on the safe side to say you actually have been to Berlin after you have left. However, stay curious and keep your eyes open because you never know what else you might discover!