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Things to do in Berlin

Things to do in  Berlin

Welcome to Berlin

Once a city divided, Berlin has emerged as a vibrant and cosmopolitan capital of culture in Germany—and the affordable city has a more laid-back attitude than many other top European destinations. See history and modernity juxtaposed on the streets, with Communist architecture, world-class museums, and hip restaurants, nightclubs, and galleries sprinkled throughout the city. Explore neighborhoods such as bohemian Kreuzberg or attraction-filled Mitte. See the remnants of the Berlin Wall, walk under the Brandenburg Gate, or visit Checkpoint Charlie Museum before letting loose in a modern dance club. Or taste your way through Berlin’s respected culinary scene, which—similar to today's Berlin as a whole—touches on both German traditions and multicultural influences.

Top 15 attractions in Berlin

Reichstag

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The seat of Germany’s Parliament and one of Berlin’s most recognizable landmarks, the Reichstag building is an impressive feat of 19th-century architecture, with a futuristic glass dome and classical columns on its facade. The structure stands proudly on the River Spree’s southern bank, a stoic reminder of Berlin’s turbulent history.More

Gendarmenmarkt

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Located in Berlin’s Mitte district, the Gendarmenmarkt is arguably Berlin’s most magnificent public square, attracting a cluster of high-end restaurants and hotels, especially around Charlottenstrasse. Come wintertime, travelers come from all over Europe to shop at the square’s spectacular Christmas market and skate at the festive ice rink.More

Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor)

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The grand gateway to Unter den Linden Boulevard and Tiergarten Park, the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) is one of Berlin’s most recognizable landmarks. Built by Prussian kings, this monumental gate stood strong through World War I and the Cold War, becoming a symbol of reunified Germany and a poignant reminder of Berlin’s tragedies and triumphs.More

Alexanderplatz

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One of Berlin’s central meeting places, Alexanderplatz is full of attractions, buildings, restaurants, and shops. It’s a major hub for the U-bahn and S-bahn railway, buses, and trams, and houses the TV Tower (Fernsehturm), a famous Berlin landmark. The city center of East Berlin, Alexanderplatz also features a lot of socialist architecture.More

Berlin Wall

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At the height of the Cold War in 1961, socialist East Germany erected the Berlin Wall as an imposing concrete barrier that divided Berlin's eastern and western sides for nearly 30 years. In 1989, toward the end of the war and the fall of East Germany and communism in Europe, the wall's demolition began, thus reunifying Germany. Today, sections of the wall remain as permanent reminders of the days when the country (and Berlin) was divided.More

Checkpoint Charlie

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Once one of three Berlin Wall border points, bridging the divide between the Allied-occupied West Berlin and Soviet-occupied East Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie is one of the most important Cold War sites in Berlin. Today, a recreated guard house marks the site where numerous confrontations, escape attempts, and protests took place, and the adjoining Checkpoint Charlie Museum is a moving tribute to those who risked their lives to escape from East Germany and bring about the fall of the wall.More

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Holocaust Memorial)

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A somber yet striking memorial stretching over a 4.7-acre (1.9-hectare) plot in the center of Berlin, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Denkmal für die Ermordeten Juden Europas) was opened in 2005 to remember and honor the some 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust.More

East Side Gallery

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East Side Gallery is perhaps one of Berlin’s greatest displays of repurposing war remnants for the better. It uses nearly 1 mile (1.3 kilometers) of the old Berlin Wall as a canvas for commissioned pieces by artists from all over the world. The art is constantly changing and is a powerful symbol for tolerance, diversity, and urban art.More

Museum Island (Museumsinsel)

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Museum Island (Museumsinsel) is the apex of culture in Berlin. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, in the middle of the Spree river, hosts five world-renowned museums that are all architecturally and historically significant. Each museum features different collections, from ancient artifacts to romantic and impressionist works.More

Unter den Linden

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Running from Brandenburg Gate to the River Spree and Museum Island, Unter den Linden is Berlin’s most famous boulevard. Bordered by linden trees for which it is named, it is lined with some of the city’s top sights, such as the State Opera House. Just strolling along under the trees is a popular activity in itself.More

Topography of Terror

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A history museum of the Third Reich, Topography of Terror is housed in the former headquarters of the Gestapo secret police and the SS. Artifacts, photos, and videos examine the history of Hitler’s Germany on the site where the fate of Nazi political opponents was decided and the genocide of the European Jews, Sinti, and Roma was organized.More

Führerbunker

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Führerbunker translates from German to “leader’s bunker” and is the site of Hitler’s fortified underground air raid shelter. He died here by his own hand in the last days of World War II. Today all that remains at the site is an information board marking the bunker’s former location.More

Nikolaiviertel (Nicholas Quarter)

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Step into Berlin’s Nicholas district (Nikolaiviertel) for a look at what the city was like during the Middle Ages. Though many of the buildings were built after World War II, St. Nicholas Church (Nikolaikirche) remains the city’s oldest church, dating back to 1230. Today, the quaint area offers a break from the hustle and bustle of Berlin.More

Bebelplatz

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Bebelplatz is a public square in the central ‘Mitte’ district of Germany’s capital city, Berlin. Today it is best known for being the site where some 20,000 newly banned books were burned by bonfire in 1933 on order of Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister, because they conflicted with Nazi ideology. The square is surrounded by notable historical buildings, including the German State Opera (Staatsoper); St. Hedwig’s Cathedral (built in 1747 and modeled after Rome’s Pantheon, it was the first Catholic church built in Germany after the Protestant Reformation); and the former Royal Prussian Library (Alte Bibliothek) which is now part of Humboldt University.All of the buildings on Bebelplatz were destroyed in World War II and reconstructed afterward. An easily overlooked monument in the center of the square simply contains a pane of glass, which the visitor can look through to see many rows of empty bookshelves underground. A nearby plaque quotes the 19th-century German poet Heinrich Heine with, ‘Where they burn books, at the end they also burn people.’More

Potsdamer Platz

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A symbol of a unified Germany, Potsdamer Platz in central Berlin was once a busy square with a major railway station. Second World War bombings completely destroyed it and then the Berlin Wall divided it, before being redeveloped into a thriving social and cultural hub.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Berlin

3-Hour Berlin Highlights Bike Tour
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The 10 Tastings of Berlin With Locals: Private Food Tour
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Berlin Highlights Small-Group Bike Tour
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Classic Bites and Culinary Trends Neighborhood Food Tour in Berlin
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Recent reviews from experiences in Berlin

star-5
most of Berlin in just a few hours
Stefan_I, Jan 2023
Private taxi tour through Berlin East and West and Kiez with pick-up about 3 hours
If you want to see the most important sites and hear their stories in just a few hours, then this is the perfect tour.
star-5
Coleslaw rocks
Eric_S, Jan 2023
Rude Bastards tour of Berlin (CYHIT)
Not just about history but the culture of Berlin and what to do in town as well.
star-5
Great walking tour
Alina_L, Jan 2023
Discover Berlin Half-Day Walking Tour
Our tour was very informative and a great way to see the highlights of Berlin.
star-5
Great way to get too know Berlin
Jacquetta_R, Dec 2022
Explore Berlin: Top Attractions Walking Tour
This tour was a great way to understand the history of Berlin and see all of the top attractions around the city.
star-5
A wonderful walk in Berlin
noura_a, Dec 2022
Discover Berlin Half-Day Walking Tour
The tour was organised and we saw most attractions in Berlin, highly recommend this tour and guid.
star-5
Totally worth it!!
Adrian_C, Dec 2022
Private Berlin Complete History All Day Tour
Awesome tour, got to see a ton of landmark’s all over Berlin.
star-5
A super amazing show
Fani_F, Dec 2022
ARISE Grand Show at Friedrichstadt-Palast in Berlin
It was definitely a great choice to see in Berlin, which we will never forget.
star-5
Great way to see Berlin.
Karen_M, Dec 2022
Big Bus Berlin Hop on Hop off tour with optional Walking Tour
Hop on Hop off bus - best way to see the sights of Berlin as it is big and so much to see and gets you to the areas without the hassles of trying to navigate yourself around - Walking tour with Roman was great as he had such in depth knowledge of the history -so would recommend to take this tour.
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5 stars - Perfect way to see Berlin!
Julie_B, Nov 2022
3-Hour Berlin Highlights Bike Tour
Highly recommend—perfect way to see Berlin!!!
star-5
Cold, but super fun tour!
James_K, Nov 2022
Best of Berlin Segway Tour
Segway also gives you the opportunity to see more of Berlin than a walking tour.
star-5
Great tour
Viktor_K, Nov 2022
Explore Berlin: Top Attractions Walking Tour
Really enjoyed Berlin also thanks to your tour around top attractions.
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Craft Beer Tour
Doug_E, Nov 2022
3.5-Hour Guided Original Craft Beer Tour in Berlin
We also got suggestions for other spots to visit while in Berlin.
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The Best guide ever
Michelle_C, Nov 2022
Private Berlin Complete History All Day Tour
We had a wonderful day with Steve Gibson he showed us all we wanted to see and more with a smile and sense of humour that had us engaged enthralled and happily exhausted.
star-4
Quick and informative
Randi_S, Nov 2022
Private taxi tour through city east and west history and architecture approx 2h
Great way to see all of the different areas in Berlin in a very short time.
star-4
Good tour!
Diane_M, Oct 2022
All-in-One Berlin Shore Excursion from Warnemunde and Rostock Port
But once in Berlin, we were able to see most important sites.
star-5
Great trip recommend👍
VilhjlmurSr_V, Oct 2022
Private Tour: Berlin by Trabant Stretch-Limousine
Very nice driver Micheal spoke very good english and was very well educated about the history of Berlin.
star-5
A Great Way to Spend a Morning in Berlin
Alan_M, Oct 2022
3-Hour Berlin Highlights Bike Tour
An enjoyable tour around a lot of the main tourist attractions in East / West Berlin.
star-5
Such a fun way to sightsee!
Stacy_M, Oct 2022
Rickshaw Tours Berlin - Groups of up to 16 people with several rickshaws
SUCH a fun time - and quite possibly one of the very best ways to see Berlin through the eyes of a local.
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Must do in Berlin !
Lucy_T, Oct 2022
Berlin Highlights Small-Group Bike Tour
Saw so many of the Berlin attractions in a couple of hours.
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Two thumbs up for Anika and Berlin!
Lisa_D, Dec 2022
Discover Berlin Half-Day Walking Tour
Her English is perfect and I enjoyed her stories and personal observations.
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All about Berlin

When to visit

May through the end of summer has temperate weather ideal for biergartens, park lounging, and the sidewalk cafés—three staples of the Berlin scene. While July and August are busiest, late spring, when the Carnival of Cultures hits, and early fall, with Oktoberfest and the Festival of Lights, are smart bets. Bone-cold winter brings the cheapest deals on airfares and lodging.

Currency
Euro (€)
Time Zone
CET (UTC +1)
Country Code
+49
Language(s)
German

A local’s pocket guide to Berlin

Serena Viscovo

Serena is one of the many expats who's spent time living in Berlin, where she biked everywhere and enjoyed endless nights out with friends—life was sweet in Kreuzberg.

The first thing you should do in Berlin is...

get a BVG travel card or the Berlin Welcome Card, although Berlin is also perfect for bikes—rent one if you can.

A perfect Saturday in Berlin...

includes brunch, flea market browsing, and a sunset beer along the canals. Too cold? An exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof or a visit to one of the many art galleries in Mitte are the perfect indoor alternatives.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

the Jewish Museum. With its innovative display, the unique architecture, and all the different exhibits, it offers a real space for reflection on the Jewish past and present.

To discover the "real" Berlin...

Head to a lake (Wannsee is probably the most famous one), where locals like to relax and swim, clothed or otherwise.

For the best view of the city...

try Teufelsberg for a hillside view plus American Cold War spy stories, or Klunkerkranich for a more chilled sunset view with drinks.

One thing people get wrong...

is going to Berlin to eat German food. Explore the different cuisines: Turkish, Japanese, Lebanese, Italian, French, Korean, African—pick one and enjoy the ride.

People Also Ask

What's Berlin famous for?

Berlin is a dynamic and creative city that’s famous for its street art, architecture, abandoned buildings, museums, nightlife, startup culture; and top landmarks such as the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag building. A city once divided—the Berlin Wall stood for 28 years from 1961–1989, until Berlin was reunified.

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How many days in Berlin is enough?

A minimum of four days in Berlin is recommended. This should give you enough time to check out top landmarks such as Brandenburg Gate and Berlin Cathedral; see the remnants of the Berlin Wall and cool street art at East Side Gallery; and explore hipster neighborhoods such as Kreuzberg and Prenzlauer Berg.

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What is the most visited place in Berlin?

The most visited place in Berlin is the Reichstag—the seat of the German government. The building dates back to the 19th century, and sits beside the River Spree. It’s possible to go inside and take an elevator ride up to the glass dome roof terrace, which offers 360-degree city views.

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What you should see in Berlin?

Spend a day at Museum Island; eat street food in Kreuzburg; and for great architecture, visit the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, and Berlin Cathedral. People-watch from cafes near Simon-Dach-Strasse in Friedrichstrasse; see the murals at East Side Gallery; take a walk in the Tiergarten; and go vintage shopping in Prenzlauer Berg.

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What's cool about Berlin?

Berlin’s creative and eclectic neighborhoods make it a cool place to visit. Eat great street food at Markhalle Neun in Kreuzburg, visit Friedrichshain for techno clubs and secret cinemas, and go to Neukölln for vegan cafes and independent stores. Also, check out the abandoned buildings—including old spy stations, and derelict amusement parks.

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Is Berlin touristy?

Yes, just like other capital cities, Berlin has places where tourists flock and souvenir stands can be found—such as around Brandenburg Gate. However, there are plenty of neighborhoods to escape the typical tourist trail; head east to Prenzlauer Berg, which has lots of great bars near Kollwitzplatz.

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Berlin information

Number of Attractions

118

Number of Tours

655

Number of Reviews

28,617

Currency

USD
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