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Things to do in Berlin

Things to do in  Berlin

Welcome to Berlin

Once a city divided, Berlin has emerged as a vibrant and cosmopolitan capital of culture in Germany—and the affordable city has a more laid-back attitude than many other top European destinations. See history and modernity juxtaposed on the streets, with Communist architecture, world-class museums, and hip restaurants, nightclubs, and galleries sprinkled throughout the city. Explore neighborhoods such as bohemian Kreuzberg or attraction-filled Mitte. See the remnants of the Berlin Wall, walk under the Brandenburg Gate, or visit Checkpoint Charlie Museum before letting loose in a modern dance club. Or taste your way through Berlin’s respected culinary scene, which—similar to today's Berlin as a whole—touches on both German traditions and multicultural influences.

Top 15 attractions in Berlin

#1
Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor)

Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor)

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The grand gateway to Unter den Linden Boulevard and Tiergarten Park, the Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) is one of Berlin’s most recognizable landmarks. Built by Prussian kings, this monumental gate stood strong through World War I and the Cold War, becoming a symbol of reunified Germany and a poignant reminder of Berlin’s tragedies and triumphs.More
#2
Reichstag

Reichstag

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The seat of Germany’s Parliament and one of Berlin’s most recognizable landmarks, the Reichstag building is an impressive feat of 19th-century architecture, with a futuristic glass dome and classical columns on its facade. The structure stands proudly on the River Spree’s southern bank, a stoic reminder of Berlin’s turbulent history.More
#3
Topography of Terror

Topography of Terror

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A history museum of the Third Reich, Topography of Terror is housed in the former headquarters of the Gestapo secret police and the SS. Artifacts, photos, and videos examine the history of Hitler’s Germany on the site where the fate of Nazi political opponents was decided and the genocide of the European Jews, Sinti, and Roma was organized.More
#4
Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie

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Once one of three Berlin Wall border points, bridging the divide between the Allied-occupied West Berlin and Soviet-occupied East Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie is one of the most important Cold War sites in Berlin. Today, a recreated guard house marks the site where numerous confrontations, escape attempts, and protests took place, and the adjoining Checkpoint Charlie Museum is a moving tribute to those who risked their lives to escape from East Germany and bring about the fall of the wall.More
#5
Alexanderplatz

Alexanderplatz

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One of Berlin’s central meeting places, Alexanderplatz is full of attractions, buildings, restaurants, and shops. It’s a major hub for the U-bahn and S-bahn railway, buses, and trams, and houses the TV Tower (Fernsehturm), a famous Berlin landmark. The city center of East Berlin, Alexanderplatz also features a lot of socialist architecture.More
#6
Berlin Wall

Berlin Wall

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At the height of the Cold War in 1961, socialist East Germany erected the Berlin Wall as an imposing concrete barrier that divided Berlin's eastern and western sides for nearly 30 years. In 1989, toward the end of the war and the fall of East Germany and communism in Europe, the wall's demolition began, thus reunifying Germany. Today, sections of the wall remain as permanent reminders of the days when the country (and Berlin) was divided.More
#7
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Holocaust Memorial)

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Holocaust Memorial)

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A somber yet striking memorial stretching over a 4.7-acre (1.9-hectare) plot in the center of Berlin, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (Denkmal für die Ermordeten Juden Europas) was opened in 2005 to remember and honor the some 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust.More
#8
Museum Island (Museumsinsel)

Museum Island (Museumsinsel)

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Museum Island (Museumsinsel) is the apex of culture in Berlin. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, in the middle of the Spree river, hosts five world-renowned museums that are all architecturally and historically significant. Each museum features different collections, from ancient artifacts to romantic and impressionist works.More
#9
Gendarmenmarkt

Gendarmenmarkt

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Located in Berlin’s Mitte district, the Gendarmenmarkt is arguably Berlin’s most magnificent public square, attracting a cluster of high-end restaurants and hotels, especially around Charlottenstrasse. Come wintertime, travelers come from all over Europe to shop at the square’s spectacular Christmas market and skate at the festive ice rink.More
#10
Unter den Linden

Unter den Linden

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Running from Brandenburg Gate to the River Spree and Museum Island, Unter den Linden is Berlin’s most famous boulevard. Bordered by linden trees for which it is named, it is lined with some of the city’s top sights, such as the State Opera House. Just strolling along under the trees is a popular activity in itself.More
#11
Nikolaiviertel (Nicholas Quarter)

Nikolaiviertel (Nicholas Quarter)

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Step into Berlin’s Nicholas district (Nikolaiviertel) for a look at what the city was like during the Middle Ages. Though many of the buildings were built after World War II, St. Nicholas Church (Nikolaikirche) remains the city’s oldest church, dating back to 1230. Today, the quaint area offers a break from the hustle and bustle of Berlin.More
#12
Potsdamer Platz

Potsdamer Platz

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A symbol of a unified Germany, Potsdamer Platz in central Berlin was once a busy square with a major railway station. Second World War bombings completely destroyed it and then the Berlin Wall divided it, before being redeveloped into a thriving social and cultural hub.More
#13
Führerbunker

Führerbunker

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Führerbunker translates from German to “leader’s bunker” and is the site of Hitler’s fortified underground air raid shelter. He died here by his own hand in the last days of World War II. Today all that remains at the site is an information board marking the bunker’s former location.More
#14
Berlin TV Tower (Berliner Fernsehturm)

Berlin TV Tower (Berliner Fernsehturm)

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Soaring 1,207 feet (368 meters) over Alexanderplatz, Berlin’s TV Tower (Berliner Fernsehturm) is Germany’s tallest structure. Built to mark the 20th anniversary of the German Democratic Republic in 1969, the tower was intended to be a symbol of East Germany’s achievements as a socialist society. Today it’s one of the capital’s most visited landmarks, affording 360-degree views over the entire city.More
#15
Berlin Victory Column (Siegessäule)

Berlin Victory Column (Siegessäule)

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Standing 67 meters (220 feet) high and topped with a 35-tonne gilded figure of Victoria – the Roman goddess of victory in battle – the Berlin Victory Column was inaugurated in 1873 to commemorate Germany’s (or Prussia, as it was called then) victory over Denmark in the Danish-Prussian War of 1864. Lovingly nicknamed ‘Golden Lizzie’ by Berlin locals, the sandstone memorial was designed by German architect Heinrich Strack and sits on a red granite base adorned with columns; it originally stood in Königsplatz, which is today’s Platz der Republik. In the run up to World War II, the column was moved to the center of the Tiergarten park as part of Hitler’s plan to rebuild Berlin as the grandiose capital city of the Third Reich. The viewing platform at 50 m (164 ft) gives panoramas over the gardens and down the Strasse des 17 Juni 31 to the landmark Brandenburg Gate – ironically today a symbol of Germany’s freedom from tyranny – but visitors have to climb 285 steps up a winding spiral staircase to get there.More

Trip ideas

Street Art in Berlin

Street Art in Berlin

Top activities in Berlin

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Memorial Tour from Berlin
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Capital Dinner Cruise at Sunset with Sightseeing of Berlin
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All-in-One Grand Berlin Shore Excursion with WIFI from Warnemunde Port

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3-Hour Berlin Highlights Bike Tour
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Berlin Bike Tour
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Berlin Bike Tour

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An Evening at Charlottenburg Palace: Dinner and Concert Ticket
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Recent reviews from experiences in Berlin

star-5
Very relaxing and enjoyable
Andy_H, Aug 2022
Capital Dinner Cruise at Sunset with Sightseeing of Berlin
Fun and relaxing time on the boat, get to see Berlin from a different perspective.
star-5
Interesting way to see some of the sights
ZELDA_W, Aug 2022
Jetbike Berlin
He also suggested other sights to see and took time to answer all our questions about the route.
star-5
A wonderful, relaxing evening
Marianne_R, Aug 2022
Berlin Dinner Cruise.
The dinner cruise was a wonderful relaxing way to see some of the sights of Berlin, especially after a day of walking in the city.
star-5
Best Welcome to Berlin one could ask for!
Sabrina_M, Aug 2022
Berlin Private Sightseeing Tour with vehicle and Photographer Guide
We truly enjoyed remembering our trip with the beautiful photos taken by Valeri and he provided a great resource for activities, points of interest, restaurants, etc for our stay.
star-4
Put on your Walking Shoes!!
Gary_C, Jul 2022
Discover Berlin Half-Day Walking Tour
Touched on lots of the key sights to see in Berlin, including some interesting places.
star-5
You must do this tour!!
Bradley_L, Jul 2022
Private Berlin WWII and Cold War History Tour with Local Expert Guide
I did this tour as an introduction to Berlin, as it was my first time to visit the city.
star-5
A tour you need if you have very short time in Berlin
pang_s, Jul 2022
Private taxi tour through Berlin East and West and Kiez with pick-up about 3 hours
And just within 3 hours, Gunther has drove us through all the famous attractions within Berlin.
star-4
Great way to see Berlin's sites
Laura_P, Jul 2022
Private Half-Day Highlights And City Bike Tour of Berlin
Our one critique is that our guide was very knowledgeable, but he spoke softly and his English was a bit rusty, so it was often difficult to hear/understand.
star-5
Highly recommend this tour!
Lydia_M, Jul 2022
Berlin Highlights on Foot: Private 3-hour Walking Tour
We were able to see the major highlights of Berlin with Joanna explaining the sights and it’s history in a very interesting way.
star-5
Excellent
Louise_S, Jul 2022
Discover Berlin Half-Day Walking Tour
Great to see so much of Berlin.
star-5
Must Do!
John_K, Jul 2022
Private Berlin Complete History All Day Tour
We were able to see all the major sites in Berlin.
star-5
Private excursion for 5 in Berlin
Kathy_M, Jul 2022
Warnemuende Shore Excursion: Private Berlin Tour
This was by far the best way to see Berlin!!!
star-5
Loved this tour, a highlight of my weekend in Berlin
Sheree_Y, Jun 2022
Evening Berlin Food Tour by Bike
Riding a bike through the summery Berlin streets was amazing.
star-5
Great tour for an overview, knowledgeable guide
JenYuan_W, Jun 2022
Explore Berlin: Top Attractions Walking Tour
I am not sure if it wasn’t part of the planned itinerary but it would be great to see these two main attractions as well.
star-5
Trip on the Bus around Berlin
Ana_M, Jun 2022
Berlin City Hop-on Hop-off Tour with Optional Cruise
As an older adult who wanted to see as much of Berlin as possible without having to walk miles this was a great experience.
star-5
A Day in Berlin
Darrell_L, Jun 2022
Berlin Private Sightseeing Tour with vehicle and Photographer Guide
A great way to see Berlin and see experience the amazing history.
star-5
Enjoyable and personable social experience in Berlin
Eric_H, Jun 2022
Off the Beaten Track in Berlin: Private Kreuzberg Tour
Showed us much and recommended more that we plan to see again and some for the first time the next time we are in Berlin.
star-5
Excellent knowledge and perfect presentation
Anja_S, May 2022
Explore Berlin: Top Attractions Walking Tour
We walked the Top Attractions Walking Tour with Insider Tour's excellent guide, English Rob from Machester - a wonderful story teller and also historian, which will make your tour even more interesting.
star-5
Brill
Ian_R, May 2022
Capital Dinner Cruise at Sunset with Sightseeing of Berlin
Nice boat, different way to see Berlin.
star-5
Great tour & great way to see the city
serena_r, May 2022
Private Walking Tour: World War 2 and Cold War Sites in Berlin
We had a great tour with Sebastian, he was incredibly knowledgeable and took us to all the best sights in Berlin!
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All about Berlin

When to visit

May through the end of summer has temperate weather ideal for biergartens, park lounging, and the sidewalk cafés—three staples of the Berlin scene. While July and August are busiest, late spring, when the Carnival of Cultures hits, and early fall, with Oktoberfest and the Festival of Lights, are smart bets. Bone-cold winter brings the cheapest deals on airfares and lodging.

Currency
Euro (€)
Time Zone
CEST (UTC +1)
Country Code
+49
Language(s)
German

A local’s pocket guide to Berlin

Serena Viscovo

Serena is one of the many expats who's spent time living in Berlin, where she biked everywhere and enjoyed endless nights out with friends—life was sweet in Kreuzberg.

The first thing you should do in Berlin is...

get a BVG travel card or the Berlin Welcome Card, although Berlin is also perfect for bikes—rent one if you can.

A perfect Saturday in Berlin...

includes brunch, flea market browsing, and a sunset beer along the canals. Too cold? An exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof or a visit to one of the many art galleries in Mitte are the perfect indoor alternatives.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

the Jewish Museum. With its innovative display, the unique architecture, and all the different exhibits, it offers a real space for reflection on the Jewish past and present.

To discover the "real" Berlin...

Head to a lake (Wannsee is probably the most famous one), where locals like to relax and swim, clothed or otherwise.

For the best view of the city...

try Teufelsberg for a hillside view plus American Cold War spy stories, or Klunkerkranich for a more chilled sunset view with drinks.

One thing people get wrong...

is going to Berlin to eat German food. Explore the different cuisines: Turkish, Japanese, Lebanese, Italian, French, Korean, African—pick one and enjoy the ride.

People Also Ask

What's Berlin famous for?

Berlin is a dynamic and creative city that’s famous for its street art, architecture, abandoned buildings, museums, nightlife, startup culture; and top landmarks such as the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag building. A city once divided—the Berlin Wall stood for 28 years from 1961–1989, until Berlin was reunified.

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How many days in Berlin is enough?

A minimum of four days in Berlin is recommended. This should give you enough time to check out top landmarks such as Brandenburg Gate and Berlin Cathedral; see the remnants of the Berlin Wall and cool street art at East Side Gallery; and explore hipster neighborhoods such as Kreuzberg and Prenzlauer Berg.

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What is the most visited place in Berlin?

The most visited place in Berlin is the Reichstag—the seat of the German government. The building dates back to the 19th century, and sits beside the River Spree. It’s possible to go inside and take an elevator ride up to the glass dome roof terrace, which offers 360-degree city views.

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What you should see in Berlin?

Spend a day at Museum Island; eat street food in Kreuzburg; and for great architecture, visit the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, and Berlin Cathedral. People-watch from cafes near Simon-Dach-Strasse in Friedrichstrasse; see the murals at East Side Gallery; take a walk in the Tiergarten; and go vintage shopping in Prenzlauer Berg.

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What's cool about Berlin?

Berlin’s creative and eclectic neighborhoods make it a cool place to visit. Eat great street food at Markhalle Neun in Kreuzburg, visit Friedrichshain for techno clubs and secret cinemas, and go to Neukölln for vegan cafes and independent stores. Also, check out the abandoned buildings—including old spy stations, and derelict amusement parks.

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Is Berlin touristy?

Yes, just like other capital cities, Berlin has places where tourists flock and souvenir stands can be found—such as around Brandenburg Gate. However, there are plenty of neighborhoods to escape the typical tourist trail; head east to Prenzlauer Berg, which has lots of great bars near Kollwitzplatz.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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