I always claim that I don’t have a favorite travel destination. Clearly, I don’t know myself very well.
It’s when I think of Berlin, I get this warm, tingly feeling inside – which is the essence of the city if you ask me. Berlin is a theme park for grownups, a place where there’s something to do on any moment of the day. It’s the only city in the world I wouldn’t try to escape from, if, for some strange and unexplainable reason, you’d lock me up in it.
That’s also why I didn’t have any trouble coming up with 22 things to do in Berlin. Whether you want to spice up your knowledge on European history, visit quirky museums or go on a street art scavenger hunt, the German capital is the place to go! I could probably do a hundred more but I have to start somewhere. Here are 22 things to do in Berlin that you have to add to your bucket list right now. Thank me later and go have fun!
22 things to do in Berlin
1. Take a ride in a hot air balloon midst center. Depending on the weather conditions the hot air balloon from Die Welt departs every 15 minutes. Tickets cost €19,90 (Save 25% with the Berlin Welcome Card).
2. Feast your eyes on street art at the East Side Gallery. Every mural has its own story. Big plus: it’s free!
3. Check out the art installation at the Jewish Museum. The 10.000 metal faces represent the loss of the Jews, murdered in the war, which makes this part (and the whole museum, in my opinion) an intriguing place to visit. Walking on the installation makes an incredible sound that can be heard throughout the museum.
The famous Trabi at the Eastside Gallery.
5. Go on a scavenger hunt through Kreuzberg for street art. Houses, walls and sometimes entire blocks are decorated in the most bizarre murals. Stay away from Görlitzer Park, with all the crazy drugsdealers not the best place to hang around nowadays.
6. And while you’re in Kreuzberg anyway, check out the districts best shopping area at the Oranienstraße. This street offers many quirky and original shops and boutique’s for you to snoop around in. Cheap restaurants and bistro’s are scattered all over, so be sure to grab a bite on the go.
7. In Prenzlauer Berg, a more upscale neighborhood, you will find the Kulturbrauerei, a former brewery turned to hotspot for cultural activities. Enjoy a party, concert of beer, depending on when you visit.
8. See Berlin whilst driving in history. In other words, rent a Trabant at Trabi World and go on a true Trabi safari. This old car is one of the most important parts of Berlin’s history and in the unlikely event that you don’t care, I have to say this: they’re cute!
9. And when driving is too much for you, try visiting the Trabi museum, around the corner from Checkpoint Charlie. This small museum houses some original and colorful Trabants and costs only €5 (€2,50 when you have the Berlin Welcome Card).
10. Take a guided bicycle tour that takes you all over the city. Berlin on Bike, located in the Kulturbrauerei in Prenzlauer Berg, has great tours and entertaining guides who help you through the craziness of the city. Do bring a rainproof coat!
11. For just walking around and having fun, visit the Oranienburger Strasse. This street offers a versatile selection of activities, such as admiring the artsy Kunsthaus Tageles or learning about Judaism by visiting the Neue Synagogue, only the most beautiful synagogue in Berlin.
Tip: Sleep at the Generator Hostel for the full experience of this street. Did you know you can meet the ladies of the night?
12. Just around the corner of the Oranienburger Strasse awaits you one of my favorite places: The Ramones Museum (Krausnickstrasse 23). This museum and bar is a typical example of a collection getting out of hand. This homage to the fast four is a must for every music lover out there!
Street art in Kreuzberg
13. Among the restaurants and fast food joints in Kreuzberg, lies one gem I can’t help but tell you about. Mustafa’s Kebab (Mehringdamm 32) is famous throughout Berlin and beyond, and during the afternoons this place is booming! You’ll have to stand in line for quite a while, but I would lie if I said it wasn’t worth it.
14. Who knew you could spot wildlife in the very center of Berlin? During the night foxes can be seen from the Alexanderplatz and the nearby Spandauer Strasse.
15. Enjoy a breath of fresh air at the Grunewald forest, about 30 minutes from the city. Enjoy your day out by lake Slachtensee for ultimate relaxation!
16. Fall in love with the architecture at museum island. If you don’t happen to have an interest in art history, taking a stroll through it will suffice. Otherwise I’d suggest you spend at least half a day inside the many museums the island has to offer.
17. Wrap your lunch and eat picnic style at one of the many parks. The best thing about Berlin is the variety of it; for romantic strolls, go to Tiergarten. Fancy a picnic and browsing through some old junk? Try Mauerpark! On Sundays this park turns into a social gathering, including a flea market. Monbijou Park, although small, remains my favorite.
18. Check out Markthalle Neun in Kreuzberg on Thursday evenings for an explosion of international street food vendors.
19. Buy your friends an awesome gift or just sit down to enjoy a coffee at the Hackescher Höfe, a beautifully restored courtyard in Berlin Mitte.
20. Here’s a random tip for you: stand on the corner of the Gendarmenmarkt, on the side of the FranzFriedrichstadtkirche and simply look up. See the horse? It was put there by a local artist, who lives in the apartment attached to the same balcony. Out of practical reasons by the way, his apartment is way too small to house a life size horse statue.
21. Take a dip at Badeschiff, a swimming area right in the Spree river. After sundown this place transforms itself into a nightclub.
22. White Trash (Am Flutgraben 2) is a bar and restaurant you should visit for the name alone, but lucky for us great music and food will make your entire night anyway!
Read to go? Check out airfare for Berlin here.
(Or read my guide for finding cheap plane tickets first to get the lowest prices.)
And that’s all, folks! I can’t believe that it’s over already! Writing down these things to do in Berlin brought back so many of my favorite travel memories! I know I haven’t come close to the end of the list of awesome things to do in Berlin, but I do hope I have given you some – slightly off the beaten path – advice for your next trip to the German capital. I know the biggest highlights haven’t been mentioned in this post, but I’m sure you’ll find those without my help.
If these 22 things aren’t enough for you (I can’t say that I blame you), check out this awesome guide book about Berlin. This Citix60 guide on Berlin contains tips from 60 creatives who happen to live or work in the city.
In the meantime, let me know which of these 22 things YOU have added to your bucket list!
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