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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: 1-Hour City Tour by Boat with Guaranteed Seating

1. 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.

Berlin: Jewish Museum Berlin Entrance Ticket

2. Berlin: Jewish Museum Berlin Entrance Ticket

Let the largest Jewish museum in Europe impress you with its symbolic architecture and exceptional exhibitions. Discover how the zig-zag-shaped building designed by Daniel Libeskind creates its own language for Jewish history in Germany, with slanting walls, sharp angles, and gaping voids. The new core exhibition “Jewish Life in Germany: Past & Present” spans from the beginning of the early middle ages to the present day. During the chronological tour, a large space is dedicated to National Socialism and the time since the end of WWII. The exhibition alternates between historical periods and cultural insights. What is sacred in Judaism? Is there specific Jewish art? How do people practice Judaism in today’s society? Alongside the treasures of the museum’s collection including everyday objects and art, there are video and audio installations. There are also interactive stations that provide surprising insights. The museum is located centrally in the vibrant district of Berlin-Kreuzberg and is within walking distance from Checkpoint Charlie. With your JMB ticket, you are eligible to receive reduced-rate admission to the neighboring Berlinische Galerie on the day of your museum visit and the two following days. The Berlinische Galerie is only a 5 min stroll away from the JMB. Special exhibition from 9th February until 26th May (no extra ticket required) "My verses are like dynamite" from Curt Blochs Het Onderwater Cabaret. Between August 1943 and April 1945, the hitherto unknown German Jewish author Curt Bloch produced a unique work of creative resistance while in hiding in the Netherlands: Het Onderwater Cabaret. It comprises 95 booklets of handwritten satirical poems that deal with Nazi propaganda, the course of the war and other contemporary issues. Bloch illustrated each booklet with artistic title collages. Alongside all the original and digitized issues and other works that were also written underground, the show introduces his helpers and those who were with him in hiding, accompanied by eyewitness interviews and insights into Bloch's creative process. p>

Berlin: TV Tower Fast View Ticket

3. 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: 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 the parliament and government district. Cross the historical sector border 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.

Berlin: Boat Tour Along the River Spree

5. Berlin: Boat Tour Along the River Spree

Discover the center of Berlin via its major waterway, the River Spree, on a 2.5-hour boat cruise. See the main sights of the city from the water and feel the heartbeat of the bustling city. Start your roundtrip sightseeing tour on Friedrichstrasse and pass by the Federal Chancellery to reach Bellevue Palace, overlooking the Beamtenschlange (civil servant accommodation) and the Victory Column. Enjoy informative audio commentary as you see Berlin Central Station and the Interior Ministry before continuing on to Charlottenburg Palace. From there you will cruise past the Westhafen Canal, the Berlin-Spandau Ship Canal, the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Hamburger Bahnhof. You will then cruise back to Friedrichstrasse.

Berlin: Berlin Story Bunker Entry Ticket

6. Berlin: Berlin Story Bunker Entry Ticket

Immerse yourself in Berlin's eventful history and follow the audio guide's vivid explanations about the past from Imperial times to the fall of the Berlin Wall in a real bunker from the Second World War. Step back in time to the period of National Socialism and discover a piece of contemporary history. Learn everything about Hitler's rise to power and his reign of terror. Visit the award-winning Berlin Story Museum in the huge Berlin Story Bunker near Anhalter Bahnhof and Potsdamer Platz. Learn more about Berlin's eventful history at 50 stations with large installations, informative photos, and short films.

Berlin: Illuseum Berlin Entrance Ticket

7. Berlin: Illuseum Berlin Entrance Ticket

Take a break from the real world and step into the Illuseum Berlin. Located in the center of Berlin, the Illuseum is a place where nothing is as it seems and where fun, entertainment, and interactivity for visitors of all ages is the focus. Whether it's slate space or infinite space, baffling holograms, or an impressive tunnel, anyone can immerse themselves for a moment in a world full of illusions, allowing themselves to fall under the spell of their senses. Experience a one-of-a-kind museum where you will defy gravity, lose the ground under your feet, see yourself grow and shrink, and become inspired by optical illusions. As a special treat, check out clever play-areas made of sustainable wooden toys with many impressive 3D puzzles and riddles that are not only fun but also train your logical skills. It's easy to waste a day at this tricky fitness center for the brain.

Berlin: Third Reich and Cold War Walking Tour

8. Berlin: Third Reich and Cold War Walking Tour

Gain an in-depth insight into the contemporary history of Berlin on a guided walking tour of historical sights. Choose from a group or private walking tour and discover notable landmarks such as the German House of Parliament, the Soviet War Memorial in Tiergarten, and Checkpoint Charlie. Meet your guide in front of the Brandenburg Gate, the site of many changes in 20th-century Berlin. Learn about the chaotic days of the Second World War and hear how the gate came to be a symbol of reunification in Germany after 1989.  Hear the story of 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, and what happened to the building since the fall of the wall in 1989. Continue your tour by heading to the Soviet War Memorial in Tiergarten, where you’ll have the chance to examine some examples of 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 then make your way to Hermann Göring's enormous Ministry of Aviation building at the Detlev-Rohwedder-Haus, which was the site where the GDR (East Germany) was founded in 1949. Then, see the former headquarters of the notorious SS and Gestapo. Contemplate life on both sides of the Berlin Wall while gathering around a 200-meter-long stretch of the former barrier. Despite the wall falling 30 years ago, standing here allows you to absorb the still 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, leading to the reunification of Germany.

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

9. 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 from Nov.- Jan.) 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 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: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus with Boat Options

10. Berlin: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus with Boat Options

Embark on an unforgettable journey through Berlin with a flexible Hop On - Hop Off bus tour. Dive into the heart of the city at your leisure on our panoramic sightseeing buses uncovering the treasures of Berlin’s landmarks such as the Museum Island and the Berlin Palace, the iconic Ku'Damm, and witness the historic remnants of a divided city at Checkpoint Charlie. These comprehensive bus routes cover the entire city, offering you the opportunity to visit landmarks like the majestic Brandenburg Gate or the Reichstag with its stunning glass dome. Delve deeper into the city’s secrets and culture with the Essential and Explore options that include a delicious CurryWurst (Sausage with CurrySauce) and the incomparable 1.5-hour Walking Tour focused on the Third Reich. Explore Tickets include as well an amazing Evening Tour that detours the remnants of the Berlin Wall and shows you the vibrant districts of Prenzlauer Berg and Kreuzberg. You can also top up your adventure by choosing options with the 1-hour boat tour along the Spree river. The stops for the bus tours are: Red Line (Bus) • Alexanderplatz • Rotes Rathaus • Museum Island • Friedrichstrasse • Brandenburger Tor • Reichstag • Hauptbahnhof • Haus der Kulturen der Welt • Bellevue Palace • Siegessäule (Victory Column) • Kurfürstendamm • KaDeWe • Lützowplatz • Kulturforum • Potsdamer Platz • Mauerreste • Checkpoint Charlie • Gendarmenmarkt Blue Line (Bus) • Alexanderplatz • Frankfurter Allee • East Side Gallery • Ostbahnhof

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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.

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What people are saying about Berlin

Overall rating

4.5
(130,486 reviews)

Paul made a great guided tour, very interesting with a lot of information and on the other hand making a very simple perception and understanding. No boring lectures at all! Great tour, 100% recommended.

The guide was so nice and helpful and easy to undarstand. She explained everything with calmness and wad entuistiatic to explain to everybody the amasing and sad history. Just amacing guide.

Tour guide names Nana was absolutely the best!! So much know, humor and she was so great with our kids.

Our trip was too short . I think we reached break even point but didn’t really save money

Amazing place with so much information. Really enjoyed my visit.