Anyone planning a trip around Europe has to make Berlin a priority. It is one of the most forward-thinking and adaptable cities that you can ever visit. Besides, the city is synonymous with exciting stories of its past, captivating tales of its present, and immense optimism about its future.
You have modern tolerance and historic tragedies on opposing ends. Or put differently, there’s a lot in its turbulent history and the current business acumen, architectural designs, and memorable entertainment in the city’s two contrasting worlds.
These glaring contrasts make it a great destination for sightseeing. However, a visit without a proper itinerary will prove costly, overwhelming, and less rewarding.
Yet, there are incredible lessons in exploring the ruins of the infamous Berlin Wall, enjoying the Prussian palaces’ complexity, and sightseeing at the Reichstag. There are also rich museums, the iconic TV Tower, and the natural look of the Tiergarten.
But enough with the spoilers! Let’s discuss some of Berlin’s must-visit attractions.
Awesome Things to Do in Berlin, Germany
If there is a single building that says the entire German story as it should be told, it is the Reichstag. It has every detail of Germany’s past and present. Being the venue of the German Parliament, the building also depicts the story of the country’s future.
It portrays a neo-Baroque architectural structure that anyone enthusiastic about architecture will be passionate about.
However, the building’s historical transformations over the years remain the talking points. The Reichstag has survived fire infernos, Nazis, wars, bombs, and unimaginable national divisions. But despite such a trying past, the structure is now the symbol of Germany’s new political era. It is now an open space and, unbelievably, one of the most democratic areas that you can visit by filling an online form in advance.
Museum Island or Museumsinsel Berlin
You can’t go to Berlin and fail to visit Museum Island. As the name suggests, Museumsinsel is a famous island located within River Spree. It boasts of the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage status award, and it consists of a Baroque-style cathedral and up to five unique museums.
Interestingly, each museum signifies a different characteristic of German art and history. The Pergamon is the most popular of the five and undoubtedly one of the most visited by tourists who dare to explore Europe. Bode museum specializes in Antique art, Byzantine art, and extraordinary sculptures, while Neues museum is a favorite point for lovers of Ancient Egyptian Art.
The other two museums are Altes and Alte Nationalgalerie. The former is all about Greek, Roman, and Etruscan art, while the latter is a National Art Gallery with early Modernist, Romantic, Neoclassical, and Impressionist artwork. So, a visit to Museum Island presents you with a chance to get the best history and art.
Even when we want to forget it, a visit to Germany will always bring up memories the Cold War and Nazi’s of WWII. One of the most notable places for such history is Templelhofer Feld. It was a popular airport where most of the drama unfolded. The airport was in operation until 2008.
Notable happenings at Tempelhof airport include taking off the World War II Stuka and dropping supplies for more than 2.5 million Berliners. It still features memorable runaways in which you can enjoy exciting walks, cycling, surfing, skating, running, baseball, basketball, and much more.
Clubbing at Berghain or Panorama Bar
Clubbing is a popular activity for most people around the world. But even if you are a seasoned enthusiast of night clubs, what awaits you in the Berghain is not your ordinary pop and dance kind of clubbing experience. Thus, it would be best if you went there with a very open mind as you wait to experience the surprises.
While there are several other excellent clubs nearby for club hoppers to sample out, the Panorama Bar remains a favorite for most visitors and natives alike. It is a nerving techno temple that will show you the other side of Berlin. Just ensure that you don’t show up too drunk and be ready to brave the long queues at the entrance.
Visit the Berlin Wall Memorial
You can’t talk about the history of Germany without a mention of the Berlin Wall. While it no longer exists in whole as it used to, remnants of the wall remain, including a section that is nearly one-mile long. We believe that it makes an incredible experience to relive the Berlin Wall’s existence when you visit the city.
Part of the Berlin Wall Memorial visit includes watching a short film that tells the history of the Berlin Wall. Also, you can visit the bookstore as well as view of an array of exhibits associated with the wall. All of these happen at the visitor center.
One of the most outstanding technological achievements in Berlin lies in the Brandenburg Gate. The design of the structure draws inspiration from the architectural outlook of Acropolis in Athens, Greece. Located within the famous Pariser Platz, the site is the right place for you if you want a memorable picture to take back home.
It was built in 1788 for King Fredrick Wilhelm II, and the structure has since remained an exciting depiction of Germany’s history. The rich history dates back to the Napoleonic invasions, the Nazi parades, and the division and later reunion of East and West Berlin when it remained within “no man’s land” during the Cold War. Interestingly, it is now a symbol of German unity.
Visit the Schaubuhne
Germany is a renowned Avant-garde theater capital. And it takes pride in some of the most lavish state-funded theaters. Excitingly, the Schaubuhne remains the most popular. While it was established in 1928, it remains a famous host radical Schaubuhne ensemble that has since the 1970s been synonymous with the theater.
You can still enjoy famous acts from popular names from Switzerland, Britain, France, and Germany. Notably, most theater performances are in German, but you will occasionally find enjoyable French or English shows.
Bathing in Lakes
Swimming pools provide an incredible experience. But the feeling of enjoying the uncontrolled waters of lakes is unimaginable. A drive to north-eastern Berlin to the state of Brandenburg treats you to unlimited natural lakes.
The land of 3000 lakes, as Brandenburg state is popularly known, will treat you to appealing lakes that are pretty accessible. You can choose to bathe or swim depending on the weather and your personal preferences. Bathing or swimming in lakes provides idyllic scenes and excellent antidotes to night parties.
If you are a Jew or know about the story of Europe’s murdered Jews, then visiting the Holocaust Memorial is a must. The memorial consists of up to 2711 concrete blocks. Interestingly, the blocks are of different sizes, with the tallest ones about 15 feet high.
It features an open space and a structure to freely walk in and pay your tribute to the six million massacred Jews. There is also a visitor center in the underground section where you can learn some facts about the entire incident.
Just a few meters away from the memorial is the exact place where Hitler hid at the culmination of World War II. It is now a shared parking lot, but you can ask natives or your guide for some amazing stories of this particular hideout. Of course, there are lots of theories.
When you feel that it is time to seek respite from the hustle and bustle of the city, a park will always come to mind. And there is no better alternative than Tiergarten or Animal Garden. It is the most expansive park in Berlin and sprawls a massive 519 acres.
Tiergarten park is a favorite place for relaxing, strolling, and jogging. And if you are a fan of bikes, you can rent a bike and enjoy a ride as you witness the natural green scenery.
It is a place where you can grab a bottle of beer, a piece of sausage, or just some personal time to relax and sunbathe. Besides, you can drop by the Berlin Zoo located within the park and catch a glimpse of some of your favorite animals.