Things to do in Berlin

Activities, attractions and tours
Museum Island showing a city and street scenes

Berlin Attractions

Berlin, one of the oldest and most storied cities in Europe, offers a variety of local places, attractions, and activities any tourist can enjoy. The city is full of historical attractions, outside cafes, and a nightlife that's hard to beat.

Because there are so many things to do in Berlin, Expedia recommends you carry a map of the area at all times with you. If you're unsure about where to go, try taking an aerial tour of the city first. The city's main attractions, including the Reichstag, the Parliament and parts of the Berlin Wall, can all be seen from above. Berlin tours from the air also offer an extra audio package for individuals who wish to learn about the city's history at the same time.

After experiencing breathtaking views of the city, a visit to Museum Island should be a must see on everyone's list on their Berlin excursions. While there are many top museums located in this UNESCO heritage site, the Neues Museum, which houses some of the best Egyptian artifacts to date, is a place that cannot be missed.

Germany is famous for its loud-singing and friendly citizens, and there is no other place like Mauer Park where this rings true. Mauer Park is one of the most well-known local spots in Berlin and offers tourists an excellent way to experience some German festivities. Once you're there, however, you will have so much fun you may never want to leave.

There are so many attractions in Berlin that many people often have a hard time figuring out which ones to visit. While many tourists only plan to spend a weekend in this wonderful city, the amount of Berlin activities available will keep you here for much longer than anticipated.

Top things to do in Berlin


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Berlin must see attractions

1. Alexanderplatz

Alexanderplatz is a pedestrian and transport hub, including everything from high-end shopping to panoramic views of the city. Named after the Russian Csar Alexander I and later becoming the center of East Germany during the Cold War, today's "Alex" includes all the luxuries of a Western metropolitan center.
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With its stark, 1960s layout, “Alex” is a showcase of Communist-era architecture and a lively central meeting place for locals.

2. Brandenburg Gate

The history of Brandenburg Gate – an enormous, sandstone, neoclassical arch – is inextricably linked with the history of Berlin and Germany. Built in 1791 to mark the entrance to Unter den Linden, Berlin's grandest boulevard, the arch was originally created as a symbol of peace. Standing 85-feet (30-meters) high, the Brandenburg Gate was modeled on the gateway to the Acropolis in Athens. When Napoleon defeated the Prussians in 1806, he marched triumphantly through the gate into Berlin, before taking the gate’s crowning statue, Victoria, the Goddess of Victory, back to France as a spoil of war. Victoria was later returned and once again sits atop the gate driving her chariot of horses.
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This symbol of German unification ranks alongside Paris' Arc de Triomphe as one of Europe’s most iconic and emotive monuments.

3. Berlin Zoological Garden

Berlin Zoo, or Zoologischer Garten in German, covers 84 acres (34 hectares) in the impressive Tiergarten park in the city center. The zoo opened in 1844 and was almost completely decimated in World War II. Now one of Europe's great zoological gardens, it’s home to nearly 18,000 animals from 1,500 species. It's attracted its fair share of celebrity too. It was here the polar bear Knut became an international star a few years ago, idolized through merchandise and TV appearances, before sadly passing away in 2011.
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Say “guten tag” to some of the world’s most exotic creatures in one of Europe’s most comprehensive and elegant zoos.

4. Potsdamer Platz

Potsdamer Platz is one of the world’s great success stories in urban renewal. After World War II, when Berlin was divided along political lines, Potsdamer Platz (Potsdam Square) became a no-man's-land. Once the busiest traffic intersection in Europe, it was suddenly stranded between East and West Berlin. When the Wall came down, the reunified city was desperate to return the square to its former glory. Design competitions were held and the entire area became Europe’s largest building site. Today it’s filled with daring architecture, corporate headquarters, residential areas, shopping plazas, cinemas and public spaces. Most importantly it has created a healing link between the once divided city.
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Berliners come to celebrate their city in this public square, which was leveled during World War II and isolated in the Cold War.

5. Checkpoint Charlie

Learn about the history of Checkpoint Charlie, a well-known monument in Berlin. Discover the fascinating museums and shops in this vibrant area.
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Learn about the history of Checkpoint Charlie, a well-known monument in Berlin. Discover the fascinating museums and shops in this vibrant area.

6. Kurfürstendamm

Head to Charlottenburg’s famous boulevard to experience the glamour of old Berlin coupled with the style of contemporary cosmopolitan Europe. The historic Kurfuerstendamm is one of the city’s oldest streets and was built as a route to a prominent hunting lodge now on the outskirts of the city. Today, exclusive boutiques, major department stores and luxury hotels line Kurfuerstendamm, or Kudamm as locals sometimes call the street. At its eastern end find a somber reminder of the bombings of Berlin during World War II.
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Often described as “Berlin’s Champs-Élysées,” this elegant promenade is the city’s premier shopping strip and is punctuated with a moving war memorial.

7. Friedrichstrasse

Lined by some of Germany’s most exclusive department stores and surrounded by major historical attractions, the Friedrichstrasse cultural and shopping precinct in Berlin’s Mitte district has undergone extreme change since the fall of the Berlin Wall. However, at its center find one of the city’s most unusual tourist attractions, throwing you back into the Cold War era. Friedrichstrasse is today one of Berlin’s most visited streets. It is home to Checkpoint Charlie, one of the very few Cold War border crossings between East and West Berlin.
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Cutting through Berlin’s Mitte district is a street known equally for its Cold War history and its upmarket department stores.

8. Berlin Wall Memorial

The Berlin Wall Memorial is a picturesque green space on the site of an old churchyard in Mitte, the city’s center. It is a commemoration to life during the 30-year division of Berlin.
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A serene outdoor museum traces the history of one of the 20th-century's most infamous constructions.

9. Berlin TV Tower

See a bird’s-eye view of of Berlin from Alexanderplatz’s iconic TV Tower (Fernsehturm). The distinctive Berlin landmark reaches 1,207.3 feet (368 meters) into the sky and is the tallest structure in Germany. The tower’s viewing platform offers 360-degree views at 666 feet (203 meters) above the ground. Take in the view while enjoying a meal at Fernsehturm’s revolving restaurant.
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Take in breathtaking views of Berlin and enjoy a meal in a revolving restaurant inside the sphere of this iconic tower, the tallest structure in Germany.

What to do in Berlin

Free Things to Do in Berlin

Sightseeing on a budget in Berlin? Spend time instead of cash on awesome experiences.

Deutsch-Russisches Museum Berlin-Karlshorst - Check if there are any special exhibits or tours on at this fascinating museum.

Yellow Man Mural - Feed your artistic and cultural cravings here and witness creativity and talent at work.

Shell-Haus - Architecture fans will certainly enjoy marveling at the modern design of this landmark.

Gedenkstätte Deutscher Widerstand - Roam around this historic attraction and find out a few secrets from long ago.

Parisier Platz - Amble down the streets and immerse yourself in the vibe of this bustling local haunt.

Museum Island - Take things at a slower pace and enjoy some relaxation time near the water.

Victory Column - Introduce yourself to a local and learn why many tourists stop to visit this place.

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church - Get a deeper understanding of the local beliefs at this place of worship.

Teufelsberg - Unwind and let the natural surroundings here restore your mind.

Körnerpark - Nurture your green thumb and be wowed by the beautiful and diverse plants on display.

Things to Do in Berlin with Kids

Berlin is a fantastic place for a family getaway. Bring the kids along and have a go at these family friendly experiences together:


 

Looking for sports, concerts, or theater events in Berlin? Search event tickets to see what's happening today, or to plan what to do this weekend!

 


 

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