A place filled with so much historical significance, it’s no wonder there is an abundance of things to do in the vibrant city of Berlin. From the famous Checkpoint Charlie to the bustling Flea Market at Mauerpark, explore this unpretentious city and discover the colourful culture that has blossomed from its dark history. Take a look at some of the best things to do in Berlin.
Venture up to the highest point of Berlin and discover a whole other world at the top of the Berliner Fernsehturm (also known as Berlin’s TV Tower). Built over 50 years ago, during the German Democratic Republic era, this remarkable landmark now defines the city’s silhouette and is one of the best places to take in the history of Berlin. Located right next to the famous Alexanderplatz, not only is this television tower the highest building in Europe which is open to the general public, it’s also a symbol of the reunified Germany.
Make your way up to nearly 370 metres into the sky, marvel at the panoramic views over the city from the viewing platform, and watch the warm sunset hues glow behind the buildings as you enjoy some delicious food in its revolving Sphere Restaurant.
Need a place to stay? Look no further than the wonderful Monbijou Hotel. This stylish sanctuary boasts a slight gentleman’s club atmosphere, classic décor and is only ten minutes away from Alexanderplatz making it the ideal city escape. After a long day of exploring, enjoy a classic cocktail or two from the bar, cosy up by the fireplace and watch the world go by with the 360 degree views of the enchanting Berlin from the RoofTop Terrace.
Known as one of Berlin’s most famous landmarks, step inside the mighty German Parliament building of Reichstag. This neo-Baroque edifice is a symbol of a new era in German politics and is an absolute must-visit. After the fire in 1933, the federal Reichstag building was brought back to life in 1999 with a more playful and democratic space designed by Sir Norman Foster, and has now become one of the most prominent tourist attractions.
The highlight of the building is its magnificent glass dome — an attribute for political transparency that sheds light onto the Bundestag below, thanks to the energy-efficient mirrors. So, indulge in the sweeping vistas across the historical city and capture the perfect photograph inside this photogenic, architectural beauty. Although it’s open to the public and free to get in, you must remember to book in advance online a couple of days before!
Discover the musical heart of Berlin here…
Not only is the Berliner Philharmonie an architectural beauty designed by architect Hans Sharoun, but it’s also home to one of the best orchestras in the world, the legendary Berliner Philharmoniker. This golden hall seats around 2400 people, has sloping walls and a tent-like ceiling and you can even sit behind the orchestra if you’d prefer to get up close and personal too!
So why not take an hour out of your day and enjoy some free lunchtime music in the Philharmonie’s foyer every Tuesday? Where music students show off their free recitals from 1pm, shy away from some sightseeing for an hour and completely indulge in 40-50 minutes worth of great jazz and classical music. Any donations will be donated straight to the UNICEF charity.
Located just ten minutes away, discover the perfect stay at the magnificent Hotel Zoo. A place of pure extravagance, luxury and a blissful home away from home, indulge in the bright interiors that reflect the colourful culture of the city of Berlin, and take a step back in time to the spirit of the 1920’s Berlin glamour — a place you won’t want to miss!
Taking place every Sunday, wander through one of Berlin’s biggest and most popular flea markets located next to Mauerpark. The stalls here are all run by private dealers, selling everything from second-hand clothes and antique furnishings, to musical instruments and vintage goods and is the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon!
The Flea Market in Mauerpark (Flohmarkt am Mauerpark) sprawls with hundreds of locals and tourists every week, regardless of the weather, but that’s likely because it is so much more than just your average market. During the summer months, this flea market turns into a mini festival. From tasty food trucks to the mass karaoke sessions in the amphitheatre, browse through all sorts of displays from the stalls, collect some old vinyl records to add to the collection, listen to the musicians playing to small crowds and indulge in the true hustle and bustle of Berlin’s Mauerpark Flea Market.
Head over to the Museum Island and discover an ensemble of five magnificent museums. Nestled on Berlin’s Spree River, this UNESCO World Heritage Site truly is one of the most outstanding places to visit in the city. Each museum is completely different from one another, showcasing the richness and sophistication of the 19th-century victories.
Walk the steps into 2000 years of ancient history in the Pergamon Museum; explore the extensive collection of Egyptian antiquities in the Neues Museum; marvel at enchanting treasures from ancient Rome and Greece at the Altes Museum (Old Museum); wander through centuries in the Bode-Museum and indulge in famous works of art from 19th-century Europe in the Alte Nationalgalerie, including artists such as Caspar David Friedrich, Paul Cézanne and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
Once a division between the East and West side of Berlin, now the world’s longest open-air gallery, be sure to explore the wonderful works of art on the famous East Side Gallery — the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall. This 130km long wall is located on the east bank of the Spree in the alternative area of Friedrichshain and is protected with a memorial status.
Admire over one hundred murals and artworks that document the political changes in 1989/90, all by 118 artists from all over the world and learn about the wall’s history. From Dmitri Vrubel’s famous Fraternal Kiss, to Birgit Kinders’ Trabant car breaking through the wall, this historical open-air gallery is free to explore and a must for a visit to Berlin.
Dating back to 1948, why not visit the first 'premium cinema' in Germany? Offering a luxury cinematographic experience, this magnificent cinema was once a cafe and now one of the most incredible cinemas around, and is certainly one of the cool things to do in Berlin. From an illuminated glass ceiling to seriously comfy adjustable leather seats, sit back and relax, enjoy a welcome cocktail when you arrive and fully immerse yourself in the grand example of the 1950’s movie-going luxury. A visit to Berlin’s Astor Film Lounge truly is a feast for the eyes — there’s even valet parking!
Checkpoint Charlie is possibly one of the most famous landmarks in Berlin with a serious amount of history. Known to be the crossing point between East and West Germany, stand in the crosshairs of the Cold War and capture the political division of this iconic gateway. Although it’s now become a complete tourist trap, it truly is one of the most essential places to visit during your time in Berlin if you wish to fully understand its historic past. Take a step back to the brink of WWIII, indulge in the original guard booth that’s now been moved into The Allied Museum and see an original piece of the Berlin Wall.
Formed of 136 modern and luxurious rooms, the Mondrian Suites couldn’t be more perfectly located. Just a few minutes away from Checkpoint Charlie and some other brilliant sites, this enchanting hideaway is nestled on a quiet courtyard and boasts the perfect home away from home. Indulge in the soothing atmosphere, enjoy your own fully furnished kitchen and balcony, then make your way up to the Rooftop Terrace to take in the magnificent views over the bustling city of Berlin.
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