Famous for more than it’s techno music and clubbing scene, art and museums full of history, incredible stories and the remains of the Berlin Wall, Berlin is packed full of activities and unique spots to check out as you travel through one of Germany’s most well known cities.
There’s plenty of reasons why so many claim Germany’s capital as their favourite city in Europe. It’s not difficult to see why you’ll be hard pressed to find a European city that offers as much in the way of culture, food, and art, as Berlin does without breaking the bank too.
Whilst most of Berlin’s main attractions are within good walking distance of each other, the U-Bahn is still essential in getting to some places further afield. A seven-day pass costs €30 per person, which is great value for money given how much there is to do in the city.
The best way to see the city is by walking as much of it as you can. There are plenty of walking tours available, or of course, you could improvise your own. East Side Gallery is an excellent starting point; at 1316 metres long, the former section of the Berlin Wall is the world’s longest open-air gallery, and the artistic talents on show give you a taste for Berlin’s street art.
From East Side Gallery, head towards Checkpoint Charlie; the most famous checkpoint used to enter and leave East Berlin during the time of the Berlin Wall.
Sitting on the site that was once the headquarters to the Gestapo during the Nazi regime, the indoor and outdoor museum, the Topography of Terror should also be on everyone’s list of museums to visit. As with the Holocaust Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, both sites provide a sombre feel to the city, but mark a key moment in history. Around the corner from the Holocaust Memorial is the Brandenburg Gate, one of Europe’s most iconic landmarks. It’s played witness to many key moments in history, including John F. Kennedy’s famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech.
Then, head to the Reichstag to learn about the German government, past and present. A tour of the government building can take around two hours and like a lot of Berlin’s historical attractions, it’s free to enter. Given its popularity, we recommend pre-booking to avoid any queues on the day.
For a panoramic view across the city, the Berliner Fernsehturm is deserving of a visit. Whilst this can be booked beforehand, booking on the day might be your best bet. It’s important that the weather is good enough to get a decent view.
Other notable mentions include the DDR Museum, the Olympiastadion (built for the 1936 Olympics) and Tempelhofer Feld, a former airport turned public park where you can rent bikes or scooters to explore all 950 acres of open space. Whilst the latter two are a little further out, they’re definitely worth the extra journey on the U-Bahn.
EAT AND DRINK
Schwarzwaldstuben, a restaurant in Mitte, is a glorious find.
As with most of Berlin, it’ll be at its liveliest as the evening continues into the night.
The atmosphere is lively, but it’s the staff at Schwarzwaldstuben that really make it. Take time to sit at the bar and listen to their stories and recommendations for the city. If you want a break from German food, there’s Santa Maria, a Mexican restaurant in Kreuzberg. Although the seating can be quite cramped during peak hours, the chilled vibe and decor makes for an excellent dinner setting. They are also home to some of the best burritos we’ve eaten! For a caffeine fix, a slice of cake or a healthy salad, we love Homera in the Charlottenburg area.
Berlin is notoriously known for it’s nightlife and there really is somewhere to club until daylight in every corner of this city. If you’d prefer to head to the bars, then we love Luzia, one of Oranienstrasse’s most popular ones. Equipped with wall paintings from local street artists Chin Chin, and an outdoor terrace, Luzia’s atmosphere is a microcosm of the vibe that can be felt throughout the entire city.
In a city so rich in history and culture, you most certainly will not be short of things to do. It’s easy to spend a long weekend in Berlin and barely scratch the surface of its offerings. It’s definitely somewhere to visit for a memorable trip that won’t leave you disappointed.