Best Things to Do in Berlin
Find information on all of the best things to do in Berlin, updated for 2019, including free things, nighttime activities, the city’s top attractions, museums, and points of interest in one convenient location!
TOP 10 EVENTS AND THINGS TO DO IN BERLIN
Below are our suggestions for the top 10 things to do in Berlin. Follow each link to a much more comprehensive page on that particular topic.
For more ideas on popular attractions and tours, be sure to read our post outlining and combining the various tourist attraction discount passes available to you in Berlin.
1. Head up to the Top of the TV Tower
It’s hard to settle on the “Number One” sight in Berlin seeing as there are so many monuments all around you, but starting with a panoramic view of the city? Yes, please!
Right in the middle of Alexanderplatz, you can shop to your heart’s content, listen to one of the many incredible buskers, or even jump on the in-ground trampolines before taking an elevator up the tallest building in the city!
2. Tour the Reichstag and Visit the Dome
If heights aren’t your thing, you can still get a panoramic view of the city from a much more manageable height in the dome of the Berlin Parliament. Tours are free, but make sure you get your tickets in advance because tours are often booked weeks or even months in advance during the high season!
The Reichstag also puts you right next to other must-see sights such as the Brandenburg Gate, Unter den Linden, and The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.
Pro Tip: The American Embassy, located in the same plaza, occasionally hosts free events for Americans in the city!
3. Discover Berlin on a Walking Tour
We offer several guided walking tours, free tours, and self-guided tours.
Our guided tours are free to sign up to, operate on the pay-what-you-like or what-you-can-afford model, and are well-reviewed on TripAdvisor, Google, Yelp, Facebook, and more.
There are lots of options to make your way around the city, but a guided tour gives you all the sights with little-to-none of the planning!
There are several bus tours available in the city, including a few different hop-on-hop-off options which allow you to explore at your own leisure.
There are plenty of amazing river tours that take you through all of the meandering currents and allow you to see the city from a different perspective.
Or if you’re really enjoying the European lifestyle, join a bike tour!
4. Visit a Museum… ISLAND?!
Most major cities across the world will have a great spread of museums, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find 5 incredible museums within walking distance on the same plot of land that anyone can walk to. Not to mention the fact that with the purchase of one ticket you can visit as many of them as you want before 6 pm.
- Pergamonmuseum (Pergamon Museum)
- Neues Museum (New Museum)
- Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery)
- Altes Museum (Old Museum)
There are also plenty of other great options that are free or very inexpensive, especially with a discount ticket (i.e. student).
- The Topography of Terror
- The Holocaust Museum
- The DDR Museum
- The Germany History Museum
- The German Spy Museum
5. Go See a Concert or Show
No matter when you choose to visit Berlin, you’ll find artists from all genres, from the biggest rappers to the most famous orchestras and shows of all forms playing at anything from arenas to intimate venues to beautiful concert halls.
If you’re looking for a big performance, consider heading out to one of the following popular venues:
And if you’re looking for more fun after dark, make sure to check our post about things to do in Berlin at night.
6. Head to a Sporting Event
Not known for its sports teams, Berlin can still sate the desire of visiting sports fans!
It may be referred to as Fußball (pronounced foose-ball) instead of Soccer or Football, but the Bundesliga is one of the most intense leagues in Europe to see a game, and Hertha, the local club, are quite the competitors.
It’s also worth noting that the Berlin Marathon takes place every September with more than 300,000 applicants and 35,000 runners racing through this incredible city.
7. Step Back into History
Berlin was the epicenter of two world wars, and its history was completely shaped by the aftermath. Even today, 30 years later, you can still follow the path of where the Berlin Wall stood throughout the entire city.
There are too many incredible sights and experiences to name, but some of the best are listed below:
- Take a photo with the guards at Checkpoint Charlie
- Walk along The East Side Gallery, a piece of the Berlin Wall that is still standing – and has been converted into a mural
- Locate Hitler’s Bunker
- Visit and climb the Victory Column in the center of Tiergarten
- Soviet War Memorial
8. Explore the Latest Trends
Every 10 years since the Wall fell or so, the trendy neighborhood has changed slightly. We’re currently in the middle of the “Kreuzberg” era, and that’s the perfect neighborhood to visit if you’re interested in the hippest bars, restaurants, trends, and art.
- Go on a Graffiti Tour
- Treat your palate in the Turkish Markets
- Have a famous Döner
- Take our self guided Kreuzberg tour.
You may not explore as many historical sights here, but this will be your favorite area to have a laid-back time with an ice-cold Berlin classic drink such as a Radler or Club Mate.
9. Enjoy the Outdoors
Berliners certainly know how to take time off and the fact that the city is so far north means that, especially during the summer, there are plenty of hours of sunlight to enjoy. You can use these to wander the streets, sit outside a café, swim at one of the lakes, or lounge in one of the dozens of beautiful parks.
- Visit the converted airfield, Tempelhofer Feld
- Stroll through Tiergarten
- Explore the ever-popular “Sees” (lakes) that are frequented by locals and tourists alike, such as Schlactensee or the smaller Krumme Lanke
- Join other cinephiles and see a movie outside in different locations across the city!
Pro Tip: Visit Mauerpark on Sunday and explore the famous flea market!
10. Get a Tourist Discount Pass
A tourist discount pass affords you discounted entry into most of NYC’s most popular attractions.
While the passes themselves certainly aren’t free, if you plan your itineraries well, you will end up getting one or two attractions for free each day.
There are several different types of passes, so be sure to read our comparison post to learn about how you can save the most money on your trip.
Honorable Mention: Go on a Food Tour
If you want some help finding the best food to eat in Berlin, consider taking a Secret Food Tour which covers a variety of different dishes you can find in the city.
Their main tour includes meals such as chicken shawarma, homemade schnitzel, flammkuchen and many other great options.
Alternatively, this company also offers a vegan food tour which covers options such as vegan sushi rolls, summer rolls, coconut lemongrass soup and more.
Finally, if you’re interested in grabbing a few drinks while you’re at it, you can either add an upgraded drinks package to any of their tours or take their Berlin beer tour!
Each of these food tours covers both the best food in the city and some of the history behind how each meal became a popular choice in Berlin.
FREE (AND ALMOST FREE) THINGS TO DO
Berlin is one of the least expensive cities in Germany, but that doesn’t mean every traveler can’t benefit from some free activities. Below is a list of our top 13 free things to do.
For even more inspiration, check out our post on Free Things To Do in Berlin.
- Walk along history with the Berlin Wall
- Learn about German politics over the years on a tour of the Reichstag
- See the Soviet War Memorial
- Get lost in The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
- Visit a free museum
- Shop for Berlin knickknacks and treats at a flea market
- Enjoy the outdoors and the sunshine in a park
- Peek into the zoo while enjoying a coffee
- Swim and tan at the lakes
- Sit on the canal and watch the beautiful swans
- Explore a bookshop and take some time to read
- Hear some amazing classic music
- Take part in a walking tour
It’s hard to find a time when all of Berlin is asleep, in fact it’s as if half of the city wakes up after the sun sets! There are plenty of sights, events, snacks, and drinks that you can enjoy until the very early hours of the day and they are NOT to be missed!
For a more in-depth look at what to do when the sun goes down, please check out our post top things to do in Berlin at night.
Below are the top 12 from this page.
- View the city lights from the Reichstag, the TV Tower, or the Berliner Dome
- Take a moonlit stroll through the Brandenburg Gate and down Unter den Linden
- Learn something at the Wilhelm-Förster-Observatory and Planetarium
- Enjoy some music from the genre of your choice
- Watch a theater show
- Explore the Long Night of the Museums, Sciences, and Castle Night
- Marvel at the Festival of Lights
- Sip a tasty drink in one of the hundreds of hip bars
- Party, Party, Party in the Berlin club scene
- Lounge in the summer
- Watch a film outdoors
- Visit the “beach” and have a drink on the canal
THINGS TO DO IN BERLIN BY MONTH AND SEASON
We have also created guides based on the time of year. Click on the links below for the corresponding time that you plan on being in Berlin.
- January (weather)
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