Things to do in Berlin
When it comes to European capitals, Berlin is a real scene-stealer, mixing glamor with grit, top museums with underground clubs and ethnic eats with gourmet temples. Berlin is a city for everyone, whether posh or punk. The German capital is a city to watch in terms of art, design, fashion, and music. It’s a veritable cauldron of cultural cool, stemming from Berlin’s atmosphere of experimentation and tolerance. Long in history’s cross-hairs, modern Berlin is an utter triumph.
Throw yourself into the history of the city at the DDR Museum, where daily life under the Iron Curtain comes alive through engaging exhibits and detailed displays. It is one of the most interactive museums in the world, allowing visitors to touch and hold artifacts while they learn everything there is to know about East Germany, from how kids were potty trained to how much engineers earned.
Next door to the DDR Museum lies Berlin’s best brain candy. A UNESCO-recognized complex of museums, the Museumsinsel holds treasures from over 6,000 of world history. Spend your time wrapping your head around the Greek Pergamon Altar and standing in the radiance of the azure Babylonian Ishtar Gate, then visit Nefertiti, the Egyptian queen whose bust is the star of the museum.
Spend an afternoon exploring the Gendarmenmarkt, one of the most elegant squares on the continent. The impeccably reconstructed Konzerthaus, or concert house, anchors the square along with two cathedrals, one Catholic and one Protestant. Also on the square is the Hugenottenmuseum, dedicated to the history and art of Protestants who fled France to find religious freedom in Berlin. Nearby is the Deutscher Dom, a free museum showcasing the emergence of Germany’s democratic parliamentary system since the late 19th century.
Just a short walk away is the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin’s most iconic landmark. Built in tribute to King Frederick Wilhelm II in 1788, today the arc is a symbol of German reunification. The city’s Holocaust Memorial is close by, offering a poignant reminder of the Nazi-planned genocide of the Jewish population. Designed by American Peter Eisenman, the 4.7-acre memorial is made in a grid pattern marked by nearly 3,000 concrete slabs on an undulating field. The slabs create a confusing, uneasy atmosphere that represents the Nazi system’s break with humanity. Open on all sides, there is no prescribed path through the memorial, so let your feet and heart be your guide.
Catapult back in to the present and get a glimpse at the future of fashion on Tauenzienstrabe and Friedrichstrabe, two of the city’s best shopping districts. Both have an old-world charm that mixes high-end designers with more alternative and affordable styles. There, you can indulge in the latest trends before they hit stores elsewhere or find vintage threads for about the same cost as a loaf of bread.
The city’s nightlife is defined by it’s vibrant club scene. Don’t plan on going out until midnight because the clubs don’t come alive until 2 or 3am, but once they do, it will be worth the wait. There are no fixed closing hours in the city, so feel free to dance until the sun comes up to some of the continent’s best DJs spinning progressive, avant-garde and techno music. Make friends with the locals throughout your visit, because some of the best clubs are underground, popping up in old warehouses, basements or even residential backyards. Discovering these hidden wonders is all part of the adventure of exploring this lively and hip city.
5 Best Things to do in Berlin
Berlin is easily one of the coolest cities in Europe. It’s a combination of glamour and grit, full of top museums and galleries, delicious food, and a crazy nightlife. There’s such a wide variety of things to do in Berlin, and there’s something to suit everyone.
1. Spend a day on Museum Island
At the eastern end of Unter den Linden is Museum Island, a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site, and is home to five of Berlin’s most important museums lying. Two not to be missed are the spectacular Pergamonmuseum, one of the world’s major archaeological museums, and the Neues Museum, home to the Egyptian bust of Neferiti. A day ticket is available allowing entrance to each museum.
2. Walk the Berlin Wall
The Wall was mostly demolished between June and November 1990, although a restored stretch remains along the southern border of Wedding and Mitte. Visit Checkpoint Charlie, the famous east-west border control during the Cold War and now a tourist center, for comprehensive display boards telling the Wall’s story. Graffiti has been removed from the northern section of the Wall, however, the one-mile stretch known as the East Side Gallery is dedicated to art and preserves the paintings made on the eastern side when the Wall was brought down.
3. See the Sights by Bike
Hiring a bike is one of the best ways to see the sights especially if you’re pressed for time. Central Berlin is well supplied with bike-rental outlets, and the city has a welcoming cycle culture, complete with cycle lanes and cyclist signs at the traffic lights. Most of the big sights are clustered together and are conveniently close to each other, meaning it’s easy to cover a lot of ground in one day, as well as getting some fresh air and exercise!
4. Visit the Berlin Zoo
A trip to Berlin isn’t complete without a trip to Europe’s most popular zoo, Zoologischer Garten & Aquarium in the Tiergarten. Having opened in 1841, it’s also the oldest zoo in Germany. It’s home to almost 14,000 creatures, among them rare and endangered species. Situated in beautifully landscaped gardens, there are plenty of spots for picnics, or on a rainy afternoon, visit the aquarium where you’ll find extraordinary sharks, crocodiles, insects and amphibians.
5. Skydive with GoJump Berlin
Skydiving with GoJump Berlin is the experience of a lifetime. Step out of your comfort zone, jump out of plane, and experience the most exhilarating adrenaline rush of your life. With its modern facilities, professional service and friendly team, it’s easy to see why GoJump is the number one skydiving centre in Germany. Visit the shop in the Bakermans Coffeehouse at Knaackstrasse 99 for bookings, open 7 days a week, 8am – 6pm. Or, call GoJump on 030 245 34 030.
Berlin Geographical Location
Berlin is located on the northeastern side of Germany close to the border of Poland and is the largest city in Germany.
The population of Berlin is approximately 4,500,000.
German is the official language of Germany and English can easily be found within tourist areas as a second language.
Berlin Predominant Religion
- 34% Protestant
- 34% Roman Catholic
- 3.7% Muslim
- 28.3% None or Other
After the reunification of East and West Germany, there has been a noticeable increase of citizens without a religion as East Germany was atheistic under the communist regime.
The Euro is the official currency of Germany.
There is moderate rainfall throughout the year in Berlin and it is normally cool year-round. Berlin experiences moderate winter temperatures and annual snow flurries.
Berlin Main Attractions
- East Side Gallery
- Holocaust Memorial
- Brandenburg Gate
Other Attraction in Berlin
- Pergamom Museum
- Topography of Terror
- Potsdamer Platz