What to see and do in Berlin
Berlin is one of my favourite European cities. It’s easy to get to, fairly cheap to experience and full of history and culture.
I stayed in an Airbnb about 10 minutes walk away from Mitte, the most central borough of Berlin. Berlin is so huge and there’s loads to see, so I did lots of walking while I was there, but they have excellent public transport systems which are easy to use if you don’t fancy walking.
Here are a few things you could do in Berlin:
Historical walking tours
If you want to learn more about the second world war and how it impacted Berlin, I would highly recommend a walking tour.
I went on a four hour historical tour, led by a guide who describes what happened during the war and the significance of the places you are visiting. The tour I went on visited Museum Island, Brandenburg Gate, Unter den Linden, Potsdamer Platz, Checkpoint Charlie, the Reichstag, the Jewish Memorials, part of the Berlin wall, Hitler’s bunker and many more sights.
Below is an image of the Memorial of the Murdered Jews. Its an incredibly moving memorial that not only overcame me with emotion at the time, but has resonated with me ever since.
Tip: The walking tour is free, but your guide will probably be a student who earns their wage from tips at the end of the tour, so it’s good custom to tip them well 🙂
Climb up the TV tower
The Berlin TV Tower is a broadcasting tower, built by the German Democratic Republic in 1969. It’s now also a landmark, tourist attraction and restaurant. The tower is the highest viewing point in Europe and well worth a trip to the top.
Can you get into Berghain? Housed in an old power plant and known for its ‘hedonism’ it’s one of the most famous nightclubs in the world. However, the strict and quite random door policy mean its hard to get into. Infact, some people queue for three hours just to be turned away! Good luck if you try!
Spot the bears
There are bright and colourful bears dotted around Berlin, warmly known as Buddy Bears. Similar to the cow parade in Zurich and New York, Klaus and Eva Herlitz decided to start a street art project in Berlin using bear sculptures. There are over 100 bears around the city, how many can you spot?
Remaining Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall was a concrete barrier that divided East and West Berlin from 1961 to 1989. It went up almost overnight, tore families apart and took the lives of many brave people who tried to escape it. Although the wall was demolished in the late 80’s, you can still see where it stood and there are parts that are still fairly stable (and covered in amazing street art.) It’s definitely worth a visit to learn more.
Alternative walking tour
The alternative walking tour is the same format as the historical tour, but the guide takes you to hidden gems and art-focused locations across Berlin. It’s less structured than the historical tour, and at some points I questioned whether our guide was making some of the information up, but it’s an experience. Plus, you finish the tour on a man-made beach by a reggae bar!
Rent a bike
The residents of Berlin love their bikes. You’ll find cycle points all over the city and lots of places to use your bike. They’re ideal if you want to travel a greater distance and see more of Berlin.
Have you been to Berlin? I’d love to know what you got up to in the comments below.