20 Things You Shouldn’t Miss in Berlin

Berlin Cathedral Russell's World

1. Free Walking Tour of Berlin

Heading to Berlin for a long weekend? Schedule a free walking tour of Berlin with Sandemans Tours to get your barring straight from the city. The tour is an excellent way to gain an understanding of Berlin when you’re short on time. Our guide was Zabi, and I would give him five stars. Zabi was such an awesome guide that kept you engaged throughout the whole tour. Keep in mind that these tours are considered free but you should tip your guide at the end.

2. Beer and Currywurst Tour

My family loves to drink, so of course, we found a drinking tour. The tour is a bit like an elegant pub crawl, well, as elegant as drinking beer and eating sausages can be. Our tour included two small groups, with 9 people total and our guide, Dr. Bastian (a 30 something Ph.D. who just loves to drink beer and teach people about it.) Dr. Bastian took us to 4 or 5 very unique bars in Berlin, stopping at local currywurst stands between each stop. At each stop, we were given a number of beers to ‘sample’ while Dr. Bastian taught us about each type of beer. We really enjoyed the tour and would recommend it to any beer lovers out there looking to find a local drinking experience. Find more information about the Berlin Beer and Currywurst Tour here.

Beer & Currywurst Tour Berlin Germany

3. Brandenburg Gate

The Brandenburg Gate is one of the famous landmarks in Germany. It’s also a great photog stop.

Brandenburg Gate Berlin Germany

3. Site of Hitler’s Bunker

The site of Hitler’s bunker isn’t very appealing, but the history that lies under the now parking lot is intriguing.

Hitler's bunker site Berlin Germany

4. Memorial of the Murdered Jews of Europe

The Memorial of Murdered Jews of Europe, also known as the Holocaust Memorial, is very close to the Brandenburg Gate. Stroll through the gray, concrete blocks and reflect on the loved ones who have been lost over the horrific acts of history. The designer Peter Eisenman never said what the real meaning behind the memorial was. As you get lost in the aisles, reflect on what you might think Eisenman wanted you to feel when visiting this site. I personally felt a mix of emotions, trapped, lost and lonely.

Holocaust Memorial Berlin Germany Holocaust Memorial Berlin Germany

5. Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie is a historic landmark, but honestly, it isn’t that awesome. It just two actors (they aren’t even real American soldiers) standing at a post, charging two euros to take a photo with them. I did enjoy stopping here on the free Berlin tour to hear about the history from our guide.

Checkpoint Charlie Berlin Germany

6. The Berlin Wall

Well, you can’t go to Berlin without taking a photo of a piece of the Berlin Wall. You’ll find random sections of the wall throughout your travels of the city.

Berlin Wall Germany

7. TV Tower

Known as the tallest building in Europe and has excellent views of the city. Did I mention they have a bar at the top and you can make a reservation to have dinner in the revolving room? You can make a reservation to head up to the bar that will allow you to skip the lines.

TV Tower Berlin Germany

8. Book Burning Memorial

Head to Bebelplatz, a public square, which is the site of the famous Nazi book burning ceremonies took place. In the middle of the square, you’ll find a memorial that consists of a window set into the cobbles, giving a view of empty bookcases.

Book Burning Memorial Berlin Germany

9. Eat German Food at Augustiner

If you’re looking for a traditional German experience, look no further than Augustiner. From the atmosphere to German beer hall, and delicious traditional German food; you will not be disappointed. Traditional German Beer Hall: Augustiner

10. Berlin Cathedral

The Berlin Cathedral is such an iconic building in Berlin. During WWII the building was severely damaged. The windows were all blown out, and a massive fire broke out through the roof lantern of the dome. The Cathedral sat abandoned until reconstruction started in 1975 and reopened in 1980. This Cathedral is stunning inside and out. Also, be sure to climb your way up to the roof for excellent views of the city. It’s worth the climb.

Berlin Cathedral Germany

11. The Reichstag

The Reichstag is home to the German Government. This stunning government building was destroyed during WWII and reconstructed and completed in 1999. When visiting the Reichstag, you’ll find yourself inside the giant glass dome, and you can view the city from within the dome along with a free audio tour of the city buildings. You must book a reservation in advance, and it’s free, you can do this here.

Reichstag Berlin Germany Reichstag Dome Berlin Germany

12. Monkey Bar and Restaurant Neni

Take a visit to the zoo and stop over at Monkey Bar to grab a drink and watch the monkeys from above. If you’re hungry, Neni is an excellent restaurant that is on the same floor as Monkey Bar. The food is delicious! Try to get a seat by the window, stunning views of the city.

Restaurant Neni Berlin Germany Lamb Kabob Neni Berlin Monkey Bar Berlin Germany

13. East Side Gallery

East Side Gallery is an iconic landmark in Berlin and shouldn’t be missed on your trip to Berlin.

14. Explore Berlin’s Museum Island

Berlin’s Museum Island is filled with five world-renowned museums, and in 1999, the Museum Island complex was inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage site. Find more information on each specific museum on the Berlin Tourism Site.

Museum Island Berlin Germany

15. Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace along with the garden is absolutely beautiful. It a little outside of town but if you’re in Berlin for more than a couple of days, head out and see the Palace.

16. Attend Cosmic Comedy

On the first night of our Berlin adventure, we decided to attend an English comedy show at Cosmic Comedy. For ten euros, we got pizza, a shot, and an awesome comedy show. If you are looking for something do at night, I would highly recommend you check our Cosmic Comedy Berlin.

Cosmic Comedy Berlin Germany

17. Climb Up Victory Column

After visiting Reichstag, stroll through Tiergarten and climb your way up Victory Column for some epic sites of Berlin.

18. Gendarmenmarkt

Visiting in the Advent season—a charming Christmas market is held at Gendarmenmarkt. On either side of the square, you’ll find towers called the Deutscher Dom and the Französischer Dom. They are both stunning works. Such a magical place to visit a Christmas Market.

Gendarmenmarkt DomGendarmenmarkt Christmas Market

19. Visit Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church might be one of my favorite buildings in all of Europe. The church was destroyed in WWII during an air raid. The public was very adamant about preserving the remains and was considered the ruined tower to be the “heart of Berlin.”

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church Berlin Germany

20. Christmas Markets

If you make the trip to Berlin during the Advent season, a Christmas Market or two needs to be on your list. Our favorite Christmas Market is Gendarmenmarkt. You’ll find everything from fancy sit-down restaurants, street food, live music, to local vendors selling tons of Christmas gifts.

Berlin, Germany Christmas Market Food Stand Berlin Christmas Market Nativity PyramidGendarmenmarkt Restaurant Christmas MarketBerlin Christmas Market Russell's World

Have you been to Berlin before? What would you add to my list of things you shouldn’t miss?

Berlin 20 Things you shouldn't miss

 

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13 Comments

  1. Hey 🙂 love your article about Berlin. It’s a very useful read for anyone travelling to Berlin. We’ve been there once. We liked the Brandenburg Gate the most, and of course, some beer too. But since we only live 5-hour drive away from Berlin, we must come back and do some things suggested in your blog post! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us!

  2. Thank you for this comprehensive list of ideas for Berlin! We’d love to get to Berlin soon and will be saving this list for reference. I imagine the Holocaust memorial was very moving. Would also love to check out the Berlin Wall, the Cathedral, Christmas Markets, and definitely the walking and beer tours!

  3. I remember the Berlin Wall coming down. I was in college and during college started my family. Berlin was not really a tourist destination in my youth and now I realize why. So much building took place in the 90’s. It’s as if the cities soul was reborn and the real Berlin came out of hiding. The Reichtag look amazing. Like something out of a science fiction novel, which is very befitting of the seat of NAZI power.

  4. This is a wonderful list of places you should not miss when in Berlin. I would love to go to the Berlin Wall and a few other places as I have never been here. Thank you for sharing this great list, I am going to save this for when I go.

    1. Ariel-Thank you for stopping by and reading. I hope you can someday make it to Berlin. It’s a great place and full of history.

  5. It’s always interesting to read about a place I know quite well from someone else, it gives you a whole different perspective. Until now I didn’t know about the beer and currywurst tour 😆 and I must admit that I’ve never been to the Reichstag; but will the next time I’m in Berlin.
    Next time you’re going, you might wanna try authentic food from Berlin rather than the Bavarian looking food at the Augustiner Keller. At the Nikolaiviertel close to Alexanderplatz are some traditional restaurants where all the writers and cabaret people used to hang out. Gute Reise!

    1. Renata-Thanks for suggesting different food options. Eric and I are actually going back to Berlin in April/May, we will have to get Nikolaiviertel a shot. I have to admit, Bavarian food is a little heavy for me.

  6. Thanks for a great list. I love history, so I would have a great time seeing the remains of the Berlin Wall and visiting the cathedrals. And of course, the moving tributes to those who lost their lives in WWII would be a moving experience. I’m going to have to save this list in case I get to visit Berlin.

  7. I still can’t believeI haven’t been to Berlin yet in spite of living near Paris! Nice round up of the city’s attractions, the Jews memorial looks quite amazing, but like you I particularly like the church with the broken roof from WWII. I had never heard of it!

  8. So many interesting things to see and do in Berlin! The city is certainly seeped in history and while all of it isn’t very peaceful, it is good to go back and learn from those events that shaped history! I love architecture so the cathedral looks very very gorgeous. Walking tours are the best! would love to visit the graffiti areas:)

  9. Berlin is one of my favorite cities in all of Germany. We never run out of things to do. I love all the Cold War museums…my favorite is the DDR Museum…a must-see.

  10. Berlin has always been a place that has intrigued and fascinated me. Books about the cold war days gave a sinister aura to Berlin in my imagination. I would love to visit the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie for these used to lay a major part of the spy novels that I read.

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