What’s hot in Berlin? Six wonderful things to do
There’s a little bit of something for everybody in Berlin, whether you want to immerse yourself in history, embark on a shopping spree or explore the city’s glorious attractions.
The WWII and Nazi Era sites are some of the most fascinating and emotionally-moving aspects of a trip to Berlin.
Key things to see include the Reichstag building, Checkpoint Charlie, Grunewald Station, the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp, the remains of the Berlin Wall and the Holocaust Memorial.
Green outdoor strolling
If the weather is pleasant (which it often is in Berlin), there are many gorgeous parks where you can go strolling, cycling or picnicking for the day. And Berlin is a lot greener than you might think. Some of the largest and most beautiful parks include Tiergarten (next to the zoo), Treptower Park (towards the south) and Grunewald, a beautiful 3,000-hectare forest west of the city.
You’re never too old to be an animal lover! The Berlin Zoological Garden brings you close to an array of animals, from polar bears to gorillas and rhinos. Tickets will cost you about €20, which also includes entry to the adjacent aquarium. If marine life is your thing, you should also check out AquaDom and Sea Life (about a 15-minute walk from Alexanderplatz).
Museums, museums, museums
In addition to the war museums, there is much museum exploring to do in Berlin. One hot spot is Museum Island on the River Spree in central Berlin. It houses five of the main museums in the city: Pergamon, Bode, Neues, Alte Nationalgalerie and Altes Museum.
Wondering what to see inside? Highlights include life-size replicas of the Pergamon Altar of Ancient Greece, the Ishtar Gate of Babylon (both in the Pergamon Museum), and Nefertiti’s Bust (Neues Museum).
Berlin’s rich and varied history, from the Kingdom of Prussia to the modern day, have left it with a wealth of diverse architecture. If spectacular monuments are what you want to see, we recommend Charlottenburg Palace, the Berlin Cathedral, the Berliner Philharmonie, Oberbaum Bridge, and (of course) the Brandenburg Gate alongside Pariser Platz.
If it’s modern beauty you want to see, take a trip to the Sony Center at night.
Whether you’re keen to stock up on fun things or treat yourself to the best in luxury goods, Berlin is a fun place to shop. The prime place to be is Kurfürstendamm, built in the 15th century and now one of the most famous shopping avenues in the country.
If it’s markets you’re after, your must-sees should include Markthalle Neun and the flea markets at Straße des 17.Juni and the Bode Museum. Want luxury buys, food and views? KaDeWe, as the locals know it, is the spot to be.
Essential Berlin tips
- Berlin is thrilling any time of year, but going in spring or autumn can mean beating the crowds, the hot weather and the peak season prices.
- Save with passes, such as a Berlin WelcomeCard, a Museum Pass, a Berlin Pass or a City Tour Card. These usually include free or discounted travel on public transport and/or cheaper museum/attraction entry.
- Carry cash with you; not everywhere in Berlin takes credit card.
- If you feel overwhelmed with your choices, take a city tour. Many, such as the Original Free Berlin Tour and the Alternative Berlin Walking Tour, are free. Just remember to bring good walking shoes!
- Looking for a tourist information centre? There’s one right by the Brandenburg Gate.
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