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Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany. Berlin is full of history, culture, colour and infrastructure, making it the ideal city location to visit in Europe. It is certainly one of my favourite places in the world and I have visited 3 times so far (August 2018). Fun fact: Berlin was the first destination I went to on a plane, when I was 14!
There is so much to factor in when visiting Berlin, as it is such a vast city and there are so many things to see and do in Berlin. Here is my travel guide to Berlin so you don’t miss out and make the most of your time there.
Is Berlin worth visiting?
Absolutely yes! Berlin is an amazing city with so many things to do and places to see, that there is something for everyone when visiting Berlin. It is a such a big city which can be easily explored on foot, by bike or by public transport. To get the most out of your time visiting Berlin I recommend spending 3 days in Berlin and following an itinerary, so you fit in all the top attractions.
Getting to Berlin – Visiting Berlin from the UK
Berlin has two airports, Tegal and Schonefeld, both easily accessible from the city centre. I have flown to Berlin on all occasions, getting direct flights from Heathrow, Manchester and Liverpool airports in the UK. Flying from the UK to Berlin takes around an hour and a half.
Getting to Berlin Mitte from Schonefeld Airport
Once you have arrived at Berlin Schonefeld airport, head to the Schoenefeld Flughafen DB station and purchase an ABC ticket (around 4€). Get the train to Alexanderplatz Banhhof, which takes you next to the Fernsehen Tower.
Budget Accommodation in Berlin
City Stay Mitte Hostel – £21/night for 8 bedroom dorm (August 2018 prices)
There isn’t any aircon here which proves difficult during a heatwave in the summer, but usually European summers aren’t stupidly hot. The hostel is really close to Alexanderplatz and Hackescher Markt Stations so you can easily catch the Deutsche Banh, S-Banh or U-Banh. This makes it a great location to stay in when visiting Berlin. If you are doing an interrailing trip, you can use your interrail pass on the S-Banh.
City Stay Hostel has happy hour every night between 7 and 9 and an outdoor courtyard area to eat and drink in. There wasn’t any cooking / self-catering facilities here. They offer luggage storage so you can store your bags safely before check in or after check out.
Top Things to do in Berlin
Free Walking Tour
I couldn’t recommend taking part in one of these enough! It’s the ideal starting point when visiting Berlin for any Berlin tourist! Head to Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) and look out for the tour guides with red umbrellas. The Sandemans Free Walking Tour of Berlin is full of some of the best Berlin attractions and is so interesting and informative!
The tour takes between 2 and a half and 3 hours, with a coffee break in the middle! It covers some of the best places to visit in Berlin including Hitler’s bunker, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Checkpoint Charlie in the former American sector, Gendarmenmarkt, remains of the Berlin Wall and the Book Burning memorial at Bebelplatz.
The dome of Berlin Cathedral is one of the landmarks that dominates the Berlin city skyline. It is certainly a must see in Berlin. The current building was constructed in the early 1900s and a restoration on it took place between 1975 and 1993. You are able to see inside the cathedral and every 20 minutes guided tours are available, which are included in your entry price! For information about entry prices and current opening times, check their website.
Berlin Wall Memorial
The Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer is one of the most important places to visit in Berlin. You can find it on the poignant Bernauer Straße, extending 1.4km along the former border strip. The open air exhibition is free to all visitors and was created in 1998. You can also find some of the memorial on Ackerstraße.
The Reichstag building is the current home of the German parliament. The iconic Bundestag dome and roof terrace are open to the public. For visiting information check their website.
The Berlin TV Tower dominates the Berlin skyline. Construction was completed in 1969 and at 368m tall it’s the tallest structure in Germany. It is the highest public accessible building in Europe. Visitors can go to the observation deck at 203m for an amazing panoramic view of the city, or enjoy a drink here at the highest bar in Berlin. Current prices are 18,90€ for adults (Jan 2021), so something worth considering splashing the cash for when visiting Berlin.
East Side Gallery
This is without doubt a must see when visiting Berlin. Established in 1990, this open air gallery consists of 105 murals painted directly onto 1316m of the former Berlin wall. It is potentially the largest and longest lasting open air gallery in the world and is definitely one of the best attractions in Berlin, seeing an average of over 3 million visitors a year. You can find the East Side Gallery on Mühlenstraße in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg and has official status as a Denkmal (heritage protected landmark.
‘The East Side Gallery is understood as a monument to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the peaceful negotiation of borders and conventions between societies and people’ – Künstlerinitiative East Side Gallery
Mauer Park is found in the Prenzlauer Berg district of Berlin. The name translates to Wall Park, referring to it’s time as a part of the former Berlin wall and it’s ‘death strip’. Today the park is one of the most popular places for young Berlin residents and has also become a site for sustainable improvised nightlife, especially in the summer. This is certainly a vibrant attraction to add to you list of things to see in Berlin.
An 800m strip of the former Berlin Wall can still be found in the park today, a popular place for Berlin graffiti artists to display their work. Flohmarket am Mauerpark has been open every Sunday since 2004.
Tiergarten is Berlin’s most popular inner city park. At 520 acres it is one of the largest parks in Germany. You can find the Tiergarten just a short distance from the Reichstag building. A popular landmark here is the Berlin Victory column which was built to commemorate the Prussian victory in the Danish-Prussian War in 1864.
Volkspark Humboldthain is a memorial garden named after the natural historian Alexander von Humboldt. There’s an open air swimming pool here as well as the Humboldthain Flak Tower (Flakturm III), a former world war 2 bunker which you can enjoy a tour of, or just marvel at the panoramic views of the city from here.
Hire a Bike
As Berlin is such a large and spread out city, a great way to see everything is to do it on a bike! I recommend hiring a bike from Lila Bike at Schönhauser Allee 41, Neukoln. The first 24 hours of bike hire is 8€ followed by 5€ for each day after that. A 20€ refundable deposit is required per bike. The bike hire here is the cheapest I’ve seen in the city and the staff are great. There are great cycle paths and lanes all around around the city so cycling is a fun, easy and efficient option when visiting Berlin.
Street Art Tour
Once you’ve got your hands on a bike you can take yourself on a self-guided street art tour around the Kreuzberg area! When visiting Berlin, you don’t want to miss out on checking out some of the best street art and graffiti in the city. If you fancy more than just a self-guided tour there are a variety of Berlin alternative walking tours available to give you a better insight into the street art in the city and the history behind it.
Check out my self guided street art tour of Berlin here!
Go to a Nightclub
Berlin clubs have a reputation to say the least. Some of the most famous and prestigious can have you queuing for 3-4 hours. I went to Watergate on Falckensteinstraße in Kreuzberg. The club overlooks the River Spree with great views of it downstairs on the Water Floor and floating deck terrace.
Check out some of the best nightclubs in Berlin.
Food and Drink in Berlin
You can find this little juice bar on Eberswalder Straßer just opposite Mauer Park. They sell a massive variety of fresh juices, smoothies and acai bowels. Follow them on Instagram!
Found at 3 different locations around the city, Bonanza coffee roasters is the ideal place for any coffee lover to grab their morning (or afternoon or evening) coffee fix when visiting Berlin.
This lovely brunch spot was found at Alte Schönhauser Straße 61, but sadly since I wrote this post it has closed it’s doors forever!
Enjoyed reading ‘Visiting Berlin’?
Check out some more of my Germany content:
- Berlin 3 Day ItineraryThe German capital is a vast and vibrant city with so much to do, so follow this Berlin 3 Day Itinerary to make the most of your time there.
- Berlin Street Art Tour: Exploring KreuzbergThe graffiti in and around Berlin is something any traveller will want to check out. See how you can conduct your own free Berlin Street Art Tour here.
- Visiting Berlin: A City GuideVisiting Berlin is likely on most travellers bucket list. Here is my guide of the best ways to spend your time visiting Berlin.
[…] big city of Berlin has a lot to offer any visitor! When you’re visiting Berlin you are definitely going to want to make the most out of your time […]