Berlin holidays from
Berlin city breaks
The greatest cultural extravaganza
Christmas Market Holidays
Feel the buzz of Berlin
Berlin is a remarkable capital, made even more remarkable by 20th Century events. It’s seen war, division, then unification – and emerged as one of Europe’s most fun and relaxed cities. Berlin satisfies urban explorers, culture cravers and ravers alike. It has 170 museums, Soviet architecture and 21st Century street art, while some nightlife venues stay open from Saturday evening until Sunday brunch. Speaking of food, you can indulge in everything from currywurst to baklava.
Visit the poignant Palace of Tears, where loved ones exchanged auf wiedersehens before crossing the Berlin Wall. Fancy a singalong? Head to Mauerpark on a Sunday for one huge karaoke party. For a night out, Kulturbrauerei is a former brewery housing bars, clubs and arts venues. Perfect your club-queue look first at the Bikini Berlin mall with its hip local fashion brands, and line your stomach with a doner kebab – said to have originated in Berlin – at one of the city’s many Imbisses. Chill with a river cruise or canoe trip on Berlin’s 100 miles of waterway. Book your flights to Berlin with us to bring out the best of your break.
Carefully selected Berlin city breaks
Best hotels in Berlin for all types of traveller
A grand dame of Berlin hotels, the Hotel Bristol Berlin has an 18-metre pool and a cosy bar behind its semi-circular facade. The nearby, ultra-modern H10 Berlin Ku'damm features stylish Pedro Pena-designed interiors and tempting fusion cuisine in its Salt & Pepper restaurant. Also close by is budget boutique hotel Max Brown Ku'Damm, with its copper pipes and exposed ducting muddled with mid-century furniture.
Vienna House Andel’s Berlin in Prenzlaueur Berg is a little bit retro, a little bit modern, and has a spa. Meanwhile, the Hotel de Rome, a Rocco Forte Hotel is a luxurious spa hotel in a handsome former 19th Century bank. Enjoy a drink on its rooftop terrace or afternoon tea in the grand Opera Court. Right next to the Brandenburg Gate, the distinguished Adlon Kempinski offers Michelin-starred dining, a splendid spa and butler service.
The contemporary Park Inn by Radisson Berlin-Alexanderplatz is, at 40 storeys, Berlin’s tallest hotel. Take in views of the nearby TV Tower and surrounding cityscape from the lounge bar. Or choose to stay at the Melia Berlin, on busy Friedrichstrasse, close to the River Spree and Museum Island. Upgrade to a Level suite and get exclusive lounge use.
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Berlin Christmas markets
When: 27 November – 31 December 2023
With over 60 Christmas markets, feel mesmerised in Germany’s capital. Go to the Berliner Weinachtszeit, behind the Alexanderplatz and take in the Christmas spirit at the captivating Charlottenburg Palace.
Berlin holiday FAQs
Make the most of your Berlin holiday
Berlin’s a year-round destination: in winter there are charming Christmas markets, while rooftop bars beckon come summer. The past is ancient history; Berlin is a thoroughly modern city with a fun reputation – you’d better start exploring.
What are the best things to do in Berlin?
1. Start your trip on a high by ascending the Soviet-era TV tower and taking in Berlin’s urban sprawl from the sky. Cycle, stroll or hop on a bus through the streets to travel from sight to sight with ease.
2. See two great Berlin sights at once for free: ascend into the Norman Foster-designed dome of the Reichstag, and look out over the Brandenburg Gate, the symbol of the city. Checkpoint Charlie marks the old divide between East and West Berlin, while the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is poignant, stark and sobering.
3. Berlin has 170 museums – the city’s UNESCO-listed Museum Island has five (including the Alte Nationalgalerie, where you can see works by Caspar David Friedrich), but the rest are close at hand. Squeeze into a Trabant at the interactive DDR Museum, binge on Bauhaus at the Museum of Design, or see the best modern art at the Berlinische Galerie.
4. Berliners love their brunch, and restaurants serve wonderful buffet spreads on Sundays that last until way past lunch. For dinner, try Turkish – Germany has the world’s largest Turkish diaspora. For a late-night snack you can’t beat a currywurst – a Berlin invention. The city even has a museum dedicated to the spiced sausage.
5. The Berlin Wall Memorial gives an impression of the structure that once divided a country. Located on the former border strip, it features a 70-metre stretch of the wall and a watchtower. It’s also home to the Window of Memorial, which commemorates those who risked their lives trying to cross it.
Which holiday type in Berlin is right for me?
This easy-to-navigate city is perfect for a short break. Checkpoint Charlie and the remaining Berlin Wall at East Side Gallery are must-sees on a first visit. Stay within easy reach of the best sights at the Hotel Riu Plaza Berlin.
Nurture your love of contemporary art at cool art space Urban Spree. See the famous Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra at the Philharmonie – tickets to the venue’s free Wednesday lunchtime concerts are sought after. Stay at the Hilton Berlin, near Checkpoint Charlie.
From techno to trance, clubbing in Berlin is quite an experience – nights out can last well into the next day. Tresor, in Mitte, is a legendary techno venue, while Berghain is one of the city’s best-known clubs. Carry ID and respect the door staff, who can be notoriously selective about who they let in. Stay at the Innside by Melia Berlin Mitte.
Start your luxury holiday in style and travel to Berlin in British Airways Club Europe, our business-class cabin, then install yourself in the Waldorf Astoria Berlin, the only deluxe hotel in the Kurfurstendamm area. Rejuvenate there in Germany’s only Guerlain spa. Dress yourself for dinner at KaDeWe, Berlin’s answer to Harrods.
Christmas markets appear magically all over Berlin from late November, selling authentic German handicrafts and conjuring a magical atmosphere. You can stock up on stollen and listen to the carols at iconic venues like Charlottenburg Palace and Alexanderplatz. Stay at the Hampton by Hilton to be near the latter.
Where are the best places to visit in Berlin?
In Mitte stroll along the Unter den Linden boulevard between the scenic Spree River and Brandenburg Gate. Ascend the TV Tower for stunning views from over 650 feet up. Visit lively Hackescher Markt, with its trendy boutiques, bars and cafes.
If you're staying in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, go to the opera, visit the imposing Olympic Stadium and shop for designer labels on Kurfurstendamm. Visit the landmark Kaiser Wilhem Memorial Church at Christmas to browse its excellent market, and head to Savignyplatz for lively bars, cafes and restaurants.
The red-brick Oberbaum Bridge links two districts once separated by the border, but now Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg is a united borough that’s countercultural and exciting. Stop by East Side Gallery, the Jewish Museum or Volkspark, a green oasis in an area dominated by Soviet-era blocks. Friedrichshain has the city’s highest concentration of clubs.
Even during communism the area north of Mitte was a magnet for bohemian artists and hip young things. Despite dramatic transformation since, Prenzlauer Berg retains its hipster vibe. Watch the world go by from a cafe, or visit PraterGarten, Berlin’s oldest beer garden, to cool off in summer.
Idyllic Tiergarten, famous for its boating lake, borders the totally modern Potsdamer Platz, which has been completely redeveloped - look out for the ‘cyberpunk’ architecture of the towering Sony Centre.
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