The Best Things to Do in Berlin
Collected by Paul Sullivan , AFAR Local Expert
Berlin's unique history, including the legacy of World Wars I and II and the Cold War, has given the city an enormous variety of things to do and see: the rebuilt Reichstag, reminders of the Berlin Wall, terrific museums, and surprising green spaces. Take tours guided or self-guided to search out the city's street art, to explore Checkpoint Charlie, or to pop around all that Museum Island has to offer. Berlin gives a good amount of space over to try and teach people to keep history in mind as time gets in the way: the Jewish Museum is a must-visit as is the German Resistance Memorial Center near Potsdamer Platz.
Museum Island, Berlin, Germany
Visiting at least one of the five museums that make up Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a must for any serious culture-seeker in Berlin. A pioneering concept, this ensemble of public institutions brimming with exquisite artworks and...
Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Occupying a prominent space between Brandenburg Gate and Potsdamer Platz, this memorial (also known as the Holocaust-Mahnmal, or Holocaust Memorial) has almost 3,000 gray oblong pillars (stelae), arranged at varying heights, that form a kind of...
10969 Berlin, Germany
When Berlin was divided, Checkpoint Charlie was the most famous of the border crossings between the eastern and western halves of the city. It was here that Allied soldiers registered before crossing over into the Soviet-controlled sectors. Thanks...
Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Knesebeckstraße 1-2, 10623 Berlin, Germany
Bauhaus—the German design, crafts, and architecture school founded in 1919 by Walter Gropius—is one of the most famous design movements of the 20th century, and this Berlin museum shows its impressive breadth and influence. Designed by Gropius...
Mühlenstraße 3-100, 10243 Berlin, Germany
The most famous remaining stretch of the BerlinWall gets its name from its location on the east side of the Spree River, as well as from its collection of political and satirical murals. Originally painted just after the wall fell, the murals were...
Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin, Germany
The architecturally striking Jewish Museum is the best place in Berlin to get an overview of German-Jewish relations and to understand the nature of the integration ofthe two cultures before the Holocaust’s horrors. Designed by Daniel Libeskind,...
Invalidenstraße 50-51, 10557 Berlin, Germany
The contemporary and modern art museum Hamburger Bahnhof is named for the building's previous incarnation: a train station. The current museum opened in the mid-1990s after being a museum of transport & trains. Museum exhibitions change regularly,...
Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin, Germany
Teufelsberg, 14055 Berlin, Germany
Deep in Berlin's Grunewald Forest, Teufelsberg (literally, Devil’s Mountain; the name comes from the nearby Teufelssee, or Devil’s Lake) was once the site of a Nazi technology college. After the war, it was decided that the school would beburied...
Bernauer Str. 111, 13355 Berlin, Germany
Großer Wannsee, Berlin, Germany
Berlin is surrounded by lakes, and the star of the show is undoubtedly the Wannsee. Its waters lap at the Grunewald Forest and are dotted with yachting clubs and interesting cultural sights such as the House of the Wannsee Conference (where...
Herbert-von-Karajan-Straße 1, 10785 Berlin, Germany
It's hard to miss the distinctive tent-shaped, yellow Berlin Philharmonic Hall, considered by many to be one of the world’s best concert halls. Designed by Hans Scharoun, it was built in the 1960s as a replacement for one destroyed in World War...
Stauffenbergstraße 13, 10785 Berlin, Germany
Berlin’s German Resistance Memorial Center, close to Potsdamer Platz, recounts the city’s tales of resistance against the Nazis. The center is in the Bendlerblock, a historic military building where the expansion of the German navy was...
Opened in 2018, this contemporary museum showcases the notorious decade that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall in the city: one that saw the joy of an unexpectedly sudden German reunion merged with a rush of young artists and techno ravers...
Bülowstraße 7, 10783 Berlin, Germany
Urban Nation was founded back in 2013 by Yasha Young, originally as an official strategy to use Berlin’s facades as canvasses for creative and unique street art projects. Her work garnered plenty of attention and led to the opening, in 2017, of...
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