This post lists some of the top things to do in Berlin at night. Since the fall of the Wall, Berlin has established itself as one of Europe's cultural and party hotspots. Unsurprisingly, the city lights up at night, with areas like Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain, and Mitte at the center of the busy nightlife. However, Berlin's cultural side is not to be written off after dark either! Live music and never-ending special events provide a fun alternative to the vibrant club scene. (en español)
(1) VIEW THE CITY LIGHTS FROM ABOVE
Berlin has multiple landmarks that can be climbed by night (and day) and may offer a stunning view of the city from above.
- Reichstag (Free)
The Reichstag, the German parliament building, was adorned with its modern cupola in 1999 and has since provided an excellent view of the Brandenburg Gate and downtown area. Entrance is free and the dome is open until midnight every day, but tickets but must be reserved at least two hours in advance. For tips on how to get tickets and prepare for your visit, click here.
- TV Tower (Fernseherturm)
A 40 second elevator ride transports you 200 m up to the revolving sphere of the TV Tower that dominates the Berlin skyline. The revolving sphere contains a restaurant and an observation deck, so you can sit and enjoy a meal while getting a 360⁰ view of the city without leaving your seat.
- Berliner Dome
The Berliner Dome requires a little more work with its 270 steps up to a walkway surrounding the 70 meter high cupola, however the gorgeous views of the Museum Island, Rotes Rathaus, and surrounding area make the climb worth it. The Dome, built in the baroque style and finished in 1905, and the burial crypt of the royal Hohenzollern house are worth an exploration of their own. The Berliner Dome is open until 20:00 every day (7€, /reduced 5€).
(2) Take a stroll through the Brandenburg Gate and Unter den Linden (Free)
The icon of Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate, is lit up at sundown, making it a beautiful sight at both day and night. Stroll down Unter den Linden towards the Museum Island or stop by one of the restaurants on the Gendarmenmarkt, enjoying a view of the brilliantly lit German and French Domes and Schauspielhaus.
(3) Learn about the night sky at the Wilhelm-Förster-Observatory and Planetarium (Budget)
The Wilhelm-Förster-Observatory and Planetarium offers stargazing and educational tours multiple times a week (Admission: Observatory 3€, Planetarium and Observatory 5-10€). While stargazing is only possible if the sky is clear, a tour of the equipment is offered at the observatory on cloudy days. At the planetarium you have the opportunity to lie under a virtual night sky while enjoying programs that include anything from scientific presentations to pop concerts.
(4) Enjoy music of every genre
From the world renowned Berlin Philharmonic and three opera houses to its small and popular jazz clubs (like the B-Flat and A-Trane), Berlin's lively music scene caters to every imaginable music taste. Big names also frequently perform at large concert halls like the Mercedes-Benz Arena, Waldbühne, or Columbia Halle.
(5) Watch a show - anything from cabaret to ballet
Multiple theater and stage shows have also made Berlin their home. The revue show of the Friedrichstadt Palast is a spectacle encompassing 160 participants per performance, while the renowned Staatsballet exquisite ballerinas flutter across the stage. Other highlights include the Blue Man Group and the countless theaters and companies. Get an overview of current shows and events here.
(6) Learn something new at the Long Night of the Museums, Sciences, and Castle Night
Berlin is known for its incredible museums, and for a few nights a year, over 70 of them open their doors until 2:00 am during the Long Night of the Museums, allowing visitors to explore their incredible collections, specialized workshops, and museum hop in buses shuttling between main museus. Similar events are held for research institutes and universities in the Long Night of the Sciences and the Sanssouci Castle in Potsdam during Castle Night (Schlössernacht).
(7) Marvel at the Festival of Lights (Free)
One week a year the monuments, streets, and landmarks of Berlin are illuminated with the colorful light displays and installations of international artists. Wander around Mitte to enjoy the highest concentration of light shows and marvel at the transformation of the well-known landmarks into gigantic works of art.
(8) Discover the Berlin nightlife
Like many big cities, Berlin and its famous nightlife is defined by its diverse neighborhoods, which reflect unique aspects of the metropolis and its population. Explore Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg, where the in-crowd gathers in hip or dimly lit dive bars, or go to Mitte, where Berlin's wealthier residents swarm to sip swanky cocktails.
(9) Dance the night away
Berlin's club and electronic music scene has become infamous worldwide and is the perfect next step after discovering the bars in one of the aforementioned neighborhoods. Head to the Watergate or Berghain, the most famous club in the city, but prepare for a strict door policy with a reasonable chance of being denied, particularly at the latter.
(10) Berlin in the Summer
With its mild summer nights and long hours of sunlight, Berlin seems to blossom in the summer. Residents and visitors alike make use of the break from the gray winters to flock outside and enjoy seasonal entertainment and events.
(11) Open Air Theaters
Various open air movie theaters pop up throughout the city in the summer, showing anything from current Hollywood blockbusters to international art house movies. Head to the theater at the Kulturforum to be close to the bars at Potsdamer Platz and Mitte for post-movie drinks.
(12) Enjoy a drink at a Beach Bar
Berliners are nothing if not resourceful, and that includes making use of the warm summer nights to fuel up on vacation feelings in the heart of a northern European city. 'Beach bars' have cropped up around the banks of the Spree and various green spaces, providing Berliners with an escape from the concrete jungle, with their imported sand and tropical cocktails. Check out the Yaam in Friedrichshain for a Caribbean flair or the Strandbar Mitte with its gorgeous view of the lit up Museum Island.