Things to do in Berlin

Vibrant, trendy, and bustling with energy, Germany's capital is a hotspot for history lovers and cultural connoisseurs.

Our most recommended things to do in Berlin

Berlin: Small-Group Third Reich and Cold War Walking Tour

1. Berlin: Small-Group Third Reich and Cold War Walking Tour

Hear about the tumultuous contemporary history of Berlin on a guided walking tour to historical sights. Choose from group or private walking tour. Pass by sights like the German House of Parliament, Soviet War Memorial in Tiergarten, and Checkpoint Charlie. Meet your tour guide in front of the Brandenburg Gate, the site of many changes in 20th-century Berlin. Listen to commentary about the last days of the Second World War and hear how the gate came to be a symbol of reunification in Germany after 1989.  Learn about the curious Reichstag Fire of 1933 as you pass the German House of Parliament. Delve deep into the events that took place after the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor of Germany in 1933, what happened to this building since the fall of the wall in 1989. Continue your sightseeing tour by heading to the Soviet War Memorial in Tiergarten, where you’ll have the chance to examine Soviet military hardware. Walk to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, a poignant dedication to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. See the site of Hitler’s Bunker and stroll to Hermann Göring's enormous Ministry of Aviation building at the Detlev-Rohwedder-Haus, which was site where the GDR was founded in 1949. Next, you’ll head to see where the SS and the Gestapo institutions were located. Contemplate life on both sides of the Berlin Wall while gathering around a 200-meter long stretch of the wall. Despite the wall falling 30 years ago, standing here allows you to absorb the very palpable history of the city. Round off the walk with a stop at Checkpoint Charlie, where your guide will finish the tour with anecdotes about the infamous American versus Soviet tank standoff and the final hours before the wall fell.

Berlin: 1-Hour City Tour by Boat with Guaranteed Seating

2. Berlin: 1-Hour City Tour by Boat with Guaranteed Seating

Discover some of the key landmarks of Berlin on a sightseeing boat tour. Enjoy a relaxing river cruise on the Spree to take in the sights at the heart of this bustling city.   Depart from Friedrichstraße or Nikolaiviertel. Your 1-hour sightseeing tour will take you past the Reichstag (German Parliament Building), through the new Regierungsviertel (Government Quarter), all the way to the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of World Cultures). After turning at the Lutherbrücke (Luther Bridge), keep a look out for Schloss Bellevue (Bellevue Palace), the "Beamtenschlange" (civil servant housing), and the Siegessäule (Victory Column). Marvel at Hauptbahnhof (Central Station), Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral), Museumsinsel (Museum Island), and the Nikolaiviertal, the oldest residential area in Berlin. Arrive back either Friedrichstraße or Nikolaiviertel to finish the tour.

Reichstag: Private Tour with Plenary Chamber and Dome in German

3. Reichstag: Private Tour with Plenary Chamber and Dome in German

Visit the stunning Reichstag building, walk around its iconic glass dome, and explore Berlin’s government and parliament quarter on a private tour with a German-speaking guide to get a better understanding of Germany’s unique political history. Follow your guide as you take a stroll through Berlin’s parliament quarter along the banks of the River Spree. Walk by the impressive Brandenburger Gate and Pariser Platz and stop and see important governmental structures. Pass through the security check to get into the Reichstag building. Listen to an informative talk in the plenary chamber to learn insightful information about Germany’s parliament and as well as interesting details about the Reichstag building. Find out about the history and architecture of the building and its reconstruction by British architect Sir Norman Foster, which transformed it into one of the most modern and innovative parliament buildings in the world. Head up up to the top of the Reichstag to experience the highlight of the tour; a visit to the roof terrace and the glass dome of the building. From here you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Berlin.

Berlin: Plenary Chamber, Dome & Government District Tour

4. Berlin: Plenary Chamber, Dome & Government District Tour

On this guided tour of the parliament and government district of Berlin, you will get acquainted with some of Germany's political history. Begin your journey at Pariser Platz and continue to the parliament and government district. Learn more about famous buildings such as Hotel Adlon or Brandenburg Gate and see the sights from a different perspective. Cross the historical sector border at Brandenburg Gate and get interesting information on the Reichstag building and its complicated location at the Berlin Wall. Next, climb the dome of the Reichstag to learn more about the tasks and duties of the Bundestag. Hear the fascinating story behind the Reichstag building, its transformation into a modern landmark designed by Lord Foster, and about the interesting ecological concept Foster's work was built upon. Experience Berlin from above, enjoy the city's skyline, and learn more about the history of the city.

Reichstag: Tour with Plenary Chamber and Dome in German

5. Reichstag: Tour with Plenary Chamber and Dome in German

Visit the stunning Reichstag building, walk around its iconic glass dome, and explore Berlin’s government and parliament quarter on a captivating tour with a German-speaking guide to get a better understanding of Germany’s unique political history. Follow your guide as you take a stroll through Berlin’s parliament quarter along the banks of the River Spree. Walk by the impressive Brandenburger Gate and Pariser Platz and stop and see important governmental structures. Pass through the security check to get into the Reichstag building. Listen to an informative talk in the plenary chamber to learn insightful information about Germany’s parliament and as well as interesting details about the Reichstag building. Find out about the history and architecture of the building and its reconstruction by British architect Sir Norman Foster, which transformed it into one of the most modern and innovative parliament buildings in the world. Head up to the top of the Reichstag to experience the highlight of the tour; a visit to the roof terrace and the glass dome of the building. From here you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Berlin.

Berlin: ARISE Grand Show at the Friedrichstadt-Palast

6. Berlin: ARISE Grand Show at the Friedrichstadt-Palast

Make your way to Berlin's iconic Friedrichstadt-Palast for the bright and vibrant ARISE Grand Show. Sit back in the comfort of your plush seat as you watch hundreds of dancers shift and move on the impressive stage. Lose yourself in the show's moving scenes and leave feeling uplifted. Start by admiring the glitzy exterior and foyer of Berlin's most impressive theater, the Friedrichstadt-Palast. Grab a drink and then take your seat facing one of the largest stages in the world, where you will watch an enthralling story come to life. Follow the adventures of the photographer and artist Cameron as he discovers love, loss, and everything in between. This new Grand Show will spark a torrent of emotions that will tug on your heartstrings. Poignant and moving, the show overflows with hope, happiness, and the joy of living.

Berlin: TV Tower Fast View Ticket

7. Berlin: TV Tower Fast View Ticket

With over 1.2 million visitors a year, the TV Tower at Alexanderplatz is one of the most popular sightseeing attractions in Berlin. Due to the huge numbers of visitors wishing to check out the views each day, securing your entrance tickets in advance is never a bad idea. Thanks to this ticket, you'll benefit from fast track entrance. Bypass the endless lines of people waiting to enter and journey straight up to the observation deck without having to queue for hours. Incredible scenes await you at the top of Germany's tallest tower. Berlin sprawls out from beneath you, complete in all its glory. Keep an eye out for the city's famous icons such as the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, and Berlin Central Station. Admire the Olympic Stadium, the famous Museum Island next to the Berlin Cathedral, and the modern Potsdamer Platz complex.

Berlin: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour with Live Commentary

8. Berlin: Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour with Live Commentary

Explore Berlin's top sights on a convenient hop-on hop-off bus ticket. Listen to facinating stories about the city with live commentary. Have the freedom to jump on or off throughout the validity of your ticket. Visit top areas like Tiergarten, Gendarmenmarkt, and Potsdamer. If, for example, you start your tour at Kurfürstendamm, you will pass the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and reach KaDeWe, one of Europe’s largest shopping centers, through Tauentzienstraße. Next you continue on to Lützowplatz and the embassy district at the Tiergarten and over to the Philarmonic and the West Berlin Kulturforum. The next stop is the historically significant Potsdamer Platz. In the 1930s, it was one of the most public squares in Berlin. After the Second World War, this was no man’s land, where the Berlin Wall divided the city. Today, seeing the vibrant life and the newly erected towers reminiscent of New York’s urban canyons, you will hardly believe that for years there was nothing here other than the Berlin Wall, spring-guns and GDR soldiers. Also, the Legoland Discovery Center is on Potsdamer Platz. From there, continue to Berlin’s other important historical sites. In the Niederkirchner Straße you can find the city parliament, the Martin-Gropius-Bau, a museum with changing exhibitions, the Topography of Terror, which exhibits the history of the Nazis and of the Jews’ suffering under the Nazis, as well as the Ministry of Finance, which was once the Nazi Ministry of Aviation. From there you drive on to Checkpoint Charlie, one of the former border crossings between East and West Berlin. A permanent exhibition looks back at the Cold War period. On Friedrichstraße you come across one of the nicest spots in Berlin, the Gendarmenmarkt, with two similar buildings, the German and French Cathedrals. The Konzerthaus Berlin is in the middle of the square. After the Gendarmenmarkt it’s on to Alexanderplatz and the TV Tower. The stop for these sights is the Neptune Fountain. This used to be the Berlin City Palace. Here you will also have the opportunity to go shopping. The next stop is Karl-Liebknecht-Straße, in front of the Radisson Hotel. From here you can transfer on to a boat if you wish to experience Berlin by boat as well as bus. Also, the Aquadom, Sealife Berlin and the Berlin Dungeon are located at this stop, as well as the Berlin Cathedral, which holds the sarcophagi of the Hohenzollern family. From here you can also admire the golden dome of the New Synagogue on Oranienburger Straße. The “Hackeschen Höfe” are only a few minutes away. Next you'll go over the glamorous street Unter den Linden to the Museum Island, Bebelplatz, Humboldt University and to the stops Unter den Linden 36 (Friedrichstrasse) at ZDF Capital City Studios and Unter den Linden 74, where one of Berlin’s most important attractions is located: Madame Tussauds Berlin. From here the ride continues to the Brandenburg Gate. On the way you will see the UK, Russia, France and US embassies, followed by the Holocaust Memorial. The stop there is at Platz des 18. März. The road leads on past the Reichstag and the government district. You will soon reach the new Hauptbahnhof. From here you have the world-famous view of the German Chancellery, the Reichstag and – as a special surprise – Berlin’s “Fujiyama”. Finally you will cross Berlin’s ‘green lung’, the Tiergarten. This park is bigger than New York’s Central Park. The tour then brings you past the Congress Hall to the stop at Bellevue Palace, the official residence of the President of Germany. From here you can also see the Siegessäule with the golden Victoria statue at the top. On the way back to Kurfürstendamm you will see, for example, the old Hauptbahnhof of former West Berlin, the Technical University and much more. The stops: 01 - Kurfürstendamm 231 (in front of Karstadt) 02 - KaDeWe (main entrance) 03 - Lützowplatz (opposite Hotel Berlin) 04 - Philharmonic / Kulturforum 05 - Potsdamer Platz (at Kolhoff-Tower) 06 - Potsdamer Platz / Linkstraße 07 - Topography of Terror 08 - Checkpoint Charlie (at the Checkpoint Charlie Museum) 09 - Gendarmenmarkt, Markgrafen- / Taubenstraße 10 - Alexanderplatz, Red City Hall, Neptunbrunnen (not in service during the Christmas market in December) 11 - Karl-Liebknecht Str. 5, (to the boat) 12 - Museumsinsel 13 - Humboldt University 14 - Unter den Linden 36 / Friedrichstraße 15 - Unter den Linden 74, Madame Tussauds Berlin (out of order) 16 - Brandenburg Gate, Ebertstraße 17 - Reichstag, Scheidemannstr. 18 - Hauptbahnhof, exit Rahel-Hirsch-Straße 19 - Haus der Kulturen der Welt 20 - Bellevue Palace 21 - Bikini Haus, Budapester Straße 22 - U-/S-Bahn station Zoologischer Garten

Berlin: Reichstag, Plenary Chamber, Cupola & Government Tour

9. Berlin: Reichstag, Plenary Chamber, Cupola & Government Tour

Join a guided walk through the government district. Visit the plenary chamber and dome of the Reichstag building and gain insight into the history of the district on this 60-minute walk along the River Spree. See the old government buildings as well as the modern government and parliament buildings built after 1995. See Jakob-Kaiser-Haus, Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus, and the Federal Chancellery. Pass through the security check to get into the Reichstag building. Listen to an interesting talk in the plenary chamber, and learn about German parliamentary history as well as interesting details about the Reichstag building itself. Hear about the history and architecture of the building as well as the reconstruction by British architect Sir Norman Foster that transformed it into one of the most modern and innovative parliament buildings in the world. Step onto the roof terrace and witness the glass dome of the Reichstag building. From here, enjoy the breathtaking views of Berlin. Stay up on top of the Reichstag for as long as you like, as long as it is not after closing time at midnight.

Berlin: Ticket to "Golden Years" The Twenties Variety Revue

10. Berlin: Ticket to "Golden Years" The Twenties Variety Revue

Welcome to the roaring twenties. At the Wintergarten Varieté, a dazzling evening blurring the lines between past and present is on the menu. The opulent show production "Golden Years" – The Twenties Variety Revue harkens back to Berlin’s most sinful decade, the golden 1920s, while at the same time diving head first into the new 2020s. Not only the stage, but the ambience of the entire building transfigures, true to form, into the perfect 1920s establishment. Witness a transcendent spectacle of high-quality acrobatics and live music, which will whisk you away into a world populated by magicians and dancers. Experience an evening that could have occurred 100 years ago at the old Wintergarten on Friedrichstraße.

Frequently asked questions about Berlin

What top attractions are a must-see in Berlin?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Berlin?

The best day trips and excursions from Berlin are:

Potsdam

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Berlin

The Crazy Tourist is a travel resource that covers destinations all around the world. In its website, you can find all the information and details you need for planning a trip to Berlin.

What should I do on my first trip to Berlin?

Berlin’s past and present meet on the east side of Tiergarten park. This is along the route of the Berlin Wall and dominated by the Reichstag, which is the historic the seat of the German Federal Parliament, caught between east and west after the war. From here you can head along the stately Unter den Linden boulevard to Museum Island, a UNESCO site loaded with internationally important museums and home to Berlin Cathedral.

What are some hidden gems to see in Berlin?

Berlin’s smallest district is easy to miss, as it’s tucked into the riverbend north of the Tiergarten park. During a search for new social housing concepts in the 1950s the area was chosen for the groundbreaking Interbau development. Some 50 great architects like Oscar Niemeyer, Walter Gropius and Alvar Aalto contributed designs. Now, Hansaviertel is a forgotten treat for any fan of Modernist architecture.

How much time should I spend in Berlin?

A tightly packed long weekend is enough to get a feel for Berlin. In a day or two you'll cover most of the landmarks, memorials and museums around the central Mitte borough. After that your curiosity will draw you away from the center to the bordering neighborhoods. Sometimes scruffy but always fresh and full of surprises, these areas will inspire return trips to Berlin in the future. You could easily devote a day to each of Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain, Prenzlauer Berg and Neukölln.

What food is Berlin known for?

If there’s a dish that just shouts Berlin, it has to be Currywurst. Arriving in the immediate post-war, this comforting streetfood is bratwurst in ketchup seasoned with curry powder and served with fries. One possible inventor was the food kiosk owner Herta Heuwer, said to have gotten hold of the curry powder from British soldiers stationed in West Berlin. Berlin also had a hand in developing the world-famous döner kebab. The recipe for this stuffed pita was perfected by Turkish guest workers in the 1970s and adapted for local tastes.

What is the best way to get around Berlin?

Berlin has excellent public transport, and every part of the city is served by one or more lines of the U-Bahn, S-Bahn, Straßenbahn (tram) or bus network. The Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) has an excellent route planner in English to make life even easier. And with no tall hills, hundreds of kilometers of designated bike lanes and an ever-growing cycle infrastructure, Berlin is also made to be seen on two wheels. In fact, one of the best ways to see the Berlin Wall is via the Mauerradweg, a trail following the course of the barrier and its former border control roads for 100 miles.

What are the best months to visit Berlin?

Late April and early May are right in the middle of asparagus season, when many restaurants in the city publish special menus for this coveted local delicacy. There is never a bad time to be in Berlin, but at the height of summer the cafe and restaurant terraces, markets, outdoor events and waterways add a little magic to the cityscape. There’s also something memorable about stepping out of a club or bar blinking after the sun has come up.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

Open and multicultural, Berlin has a diverse and fast-moving food scene. Some of the humbler parts of town are a gastronomic journey of discovery, and this goes for Neukölln. Around Sonnenallee and Karl-Marx-Straße you can sample every cuisine from Yemenite to Bulgarian. International flavors and innovative ideas abound at the Mediterranean, Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern joints in hip Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

As Berlin has spent so much of the last century divided, there isn't a single central commercial area, but rather a choice of great streets and neighborhoods. The most famous street is Kurfürstendamm, which has international brands, the immense KaDeWe department store and ample high-end boutiques the further west you go. Also upscale is Friedrichstraße, a prominent shopping street before WWII, and has rediscovered that prestige since reunification.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Berlin?

Many of Berlin’s defining landmarks and biggest attractions are in the Mitte borough, literally the middle of the city. Here first-time visitors can take in the big sights and museums, but also understand Berlin as a once divided city. Friedrichstraße is a convenient choice for short stays, as you’ll be perfectly central, with the Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate to the west and the famous institutions of Museum Island to the east.

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Berlin?

Even the trendiest neighborhoods have Kindercafés, which are child-friendly establishments with dedicated areas and toys for younger kids. Berlin also brims with lush parks, from Tiergarten to the vast reclaimed airport at Tempelhofer Feld, all easily reached by public transport. There are also several swimmable lakes on Berlin’s outskirts, with wide sandy beaches and lots of child-friendly activities.

What is the best thing to do in Berlin for solo travelers?

Traveling solo also means traveling light, and there’s no better way to enjoy Berlin’s many museums and art galleries. Partly thanks to the city’s low rents, Berlin’s art scene is effervescent, and you can check out showcases like the KW Institute for Contemporary Art and Contemporary Fine Arts. Solo travelers can also freely dive into Berlin’s many outdoor and covered markets, and Markthalle IX and Karl-August Platz are great places to start.

What is the best thing to do in Berlin for couples?

Berlin has some exquisite Baroque and Rococo palaces that can be adored in the company of a loved one. Schloss Charlottenburg and Potsdam’s Sanssouci rest in dainty gardens. Few cities have quite as much to see from the water as Berlin, and you can gaze at the Reichstag or Berlin Cathedral on a gentle cruise. If you have the time you can take a leisurely trip downriver as far as the Havel River and Potsdam.

What are the best annual events in Berlin?

Held across ten days in February, the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) is the city’s biggest cultural event. Berlinale has been going since 1951, and puts on public screenings at special venues like Potsdamer Platz and Alexanderplatz, but also a transformed crematorium complex. Newer to the scene is Berlin Art Week in September, when dozens of major institutions take part in an action-packed program of exhibitions, fairs and one-off events.

Other Sightseeing Options in Berlin

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What people are saying about Berlin

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 93,095 reviews

Very good and informative tour! Justice, our tour guide, was very knowledgeable about the history. She allowed time for question and to creat conversation about the subject. I was really pleased with the tour and the guide! Definitely would recommend to anyone who wants to learn more about african colonisation and German history! And the bonus is that I made some new friends so truly recommend specially if you are alone.

Our great Aussie guide paul was a captivating guide . He helped piece together Berlins history in a way that was Interesting and easy to understand .

Totally recommend for those who are interested in learning more about German and European history.

Mikhail was so knowledgeable, interesting and personable. Vielen Dank Mikhail!

Actors were very good and it was very entertaining