Germany’s capital is often underrated, when in fact there is a staggering choice of things to do in Berlin. World-famous landmarks, fascinating history, superb shopping and a thriving nightlife are all on offer in this unique city.
The historic and the ultra-modern collide in Berlin, which is simply bursting with culture and must-see attractions. On Berlin holidays visit Checkpoint Charlie and the remaining Berlin Wall at the East Side Gallery – a stretch of the wall that is adorned by graffiti. Hire a bike from your hotel and see the sights by bicycle – we’d recommend a leisurely cycle around the Tiergarten. Soak up the culture on Museum Island. Shop ‘til you drop at luxury department stores or quirky flea markets. Sip cocktails at a trendy bar, dance into the small hours or enjoy a Michelin-starred meal at the Adlon Kempinski.
For stark reminders of Berlin’s communist past, visit Checkpoint Charlie and the largest remaining section of the Berlin Wall at the East Side Gallery. Visit Berlin Zoo, one of the oldest in Germany, and the impressive Berlin Aquarium. Take in breathtaking city views from the Soviet-built TV Tower at Alexanderplatz. The iconic Reichstag also offers wonderful vistas looking towards the world-famous Brandenburg Gate.
Shopping in Berlin
Pick up some gourmet goodies at Berlin’s famous KaDeWe department store. For designer label shopping, make your way to chic Kurfürstendamm or Friedrichstrasse. Hunt for bargains at a flea market or browse the alternative fashion boutiques in trendy Hackescher Markt and bohemian Prenzlauer Berg. Make sure you stop at Fassbender and Rausch for delectable chocolate treats and Europe’s first chocolate restaurant.
Berlin Christmas Markets
Soak up the festive atmosphere at a choice of 50 Christmas markets in Berlin. Pick up some gifts while enjoying the sweet sound of carol singing at the popular Schloss Charlottenburg and Kaiser Wilhelm Church markets. Experience the Sony Center’s Winter World, complete with ice rink, at buzzing Potsdamer Platz.
Experience Berlin nightlife
Berlin is renowned for its vibrant nocturnal scene and love for techno and clubbing - but you'll also be greeted by uber funky bars and pop-up venues. Rodeo nightclub and restaurant, housed in a war-era post office building, is a highlight of the lively Oranienburger Strasse. Buzzing bars and thriving cafés are to be found in Prenzlauer Berg and Hackescher Markt. Locals queue for entry into hip nightclub Berghain, in a former power plant in Friedrichshain.
Have your photograph taken at the famous Checkpoint Charlie border crossing and visit its fascinating museum. Immerse yourself in culture on Museum Island and learn about life in the former German Democratic Republic at the interactive DDR Museum. For fans of Berlin’s signature dish, there is even a Currywurst Museum. Many of Berlin’s museums and memorials are free of charge – ideal for those visiting on a budget.
Berlin outdoor adventures
Berlin’s appeal is enhanced by its lush city parks and urban beaches, which line the banks of the river Spree during the summer months. The city is best explored by bicycle, whether it’s the Tiergarten or Tempelhofer Park, an unused domestic airport which provides a vast open space. Berlin’s lake beaches are the place to go when temperatures soar – lounge on a striped Strandkorb, or beach basket, at Strandbad Wannsee in the west.
Our guide to Berlin
Experiences in Berlin
Explore the best of Berlin with these exciting and fascinating experiences
Visit Sachsenhausen, one of the first concentration camps established by the Third Reich, on a full-day trip from Berlin. Meet your host in either the east or west of the city — the choice is yours — and then travel together by train (at your own expense) to the town of Oranienburg, which is less than an hour away. You will be accompanied by an expert historian guide, who will provide important facts about Sachsenhausen, parts of which serve as a national memorial to the prisoners who lived and died there.
Discover Berlin’s fascinating past and embrace its eclectic present on this four hour walking tour through the historic centre of Mitte. Walk along the Berlin Wall, stroll down Unter den Linden to Brandenburg Gate, see the Reichstag and Holocaust Memorial, hear the story behind Checkpoint Charlie and learn about the Topography of Terror museum. Your knowledgeable guide will begin the tour with an overview of Berlin, before taking you to top sights and concluding the tour at the beautiful square of Gendarmenmarkt.
Board an open-top double decker bus and tour Berlin with a guided commentary. Or hop on and off at your leisure, taking the time to visit many of the easily-accessible top attractions en route. These include the world-famous Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie, impressive Berliner Dom and enchanting Charlottenburg Palace. Add a one hour boat trip to your tour and see Berlin from a different perspective as you cruise along the river Spree. Bus tickets are valid for a 48-hour period.
Gain an essential insight into Berlin’s Nazi past on this enlightening walking tour of the infamous Third Reich sites. Accompanied by your knowledgeable guide, you’ll visit Wilhemplatz, where Joseph Goebbels transformed an 18th-century palace into the sinister Propaganda Ministry. The half-day tour also takes you to Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse, which Himmler’s SS and Gestapo headquarters turned into the most feared address in the Third Reich. It concludes above the site of the bunker where Hitler famously committed suicide.
Avoid the queues and skip the line with this great value experience, which gives you fast-track entry during the morning (before 11am) and at night (after 9pm). See the sights of Berlin from 666 feet, from the 360-degree observation platform of the TV Tower and admire some of Berlin’s most iconic landmarks from a different perspective. Grab yourself a drink or snack at Berlin's highest bar and enjoy the magnificent surroundings below, including Berlin Cathedral, Checkpoint Charlie, the Charlottenburg Palace and Brandenburg Gate.