Things to do in Berlin
Berlin is bustling with activities, day and night, so no matter what you’re in the mood for there are plenty of activities in Berlin to make your stay worthwhile.
There’s always something to do in Berlin! If you’re an art lover, check out Berlinische Galerie, a former glass warehouse repurposed to show contemporary art, photography, and architecture. It’s home to a permanent collection that dates back to the 1870s. At the other end of the city, is MountMitte, Europe’s largest inner-city beach/outdoor amusement park. Complete with a high rope course and a view of Fernsehturm, MountMitte is a must for traveling families. Berlin is no sleepy city and finding a great nightclub is easy. Berghain is one of Berlin’s top-rated clubs, with hypnotizing music that’ll have you dancing well into morning. Sisyphos is another hotspot with multiple dance floors, both indoor and outdoor. Looking for an evening off your feet? There are over 50 theaters in Berlin, including The Deutsches Theater (live theater performances), the Deutsche Oper Berlin (one of Berlin’s three opera houses), and the Berlin Philharmonic (one of seven orchestras in Berlin).
Four billion dollars and five years were sunk into the building of this supposed future-scape just so that one of its main squares—Marlene-Dietrich-Platz, mind you—could host a McDonald’s, a Starbucks, a sad-looking casino, and Mamma Mia!, the musical.
Located near Potsdamer Platz, the retro-inspired Victoria Bar has become a favorite haunt for locals looking to escape the harried city life. Inside the decor includes dark walnut tables, green booths, and dim lighting.
The Reichstag, with its transparent Norman Foster dome and top-notch collection of contemporary art (cue Gerhard Richter’s stunning interpretation of the German flag in the lobby), is a blessing upon the urban grid and a serious statement about Western democracy’s chances of survival.
Magazine junkies relish Motto Berlin for its archives of artsy, hard-to-find publications.
A branch of the well-known German housewares and lifestyle retailer Manufactum, Brot & Butter is housed inside the seven-story Hardenburg at Ernst-Reuter-Platz, built in the 1950’s.
Walter Gropius’s 1919 Bauhaus Manifesto championed the synergy of art and craftsmanship in design—and the sleek, beautifully made merchandise offered here reflects that marriage. Many of the shop’s housewares and objets are iconic representations of Bauhaus design—like Marianne Brandt’s 1926 ash
Just behind Potsdamer Platz—and anchoring the jagged golden twins that are the Philharmonic and the city library—sits the starkly modern glass cube of the New National Gallery, designed in the 1960s by Mies van der Rohe.
Ever since Berlin’s first tented fashion week took place at Brandenburg Gate in the summer of 2007, the city’s up-and-coming fashionistas have been rapidly carving a high-style niche in the city.
The concert hall, by architect Hans Scharoun, is widely considered one of the best in the world and still the greatest artistic joy the city has to offer. The audience is seated like the U.N. General Assembly around the warm, glowing orchestra stage.
The club hosts an energetic bingo night in addition to bills of see-them-now bands.
Berlinomat sells mostly Berlin-sourced stuff: books, clothes, a cookie cutter shaped like the Fernsehturm (Berlin’s famous TV tower).
Founded by Michael Oehler and Angela Spieth in 1992, Trippen is committed to producing and selling sustainable, environmentally-friendly, and functional footwear.
Stay in the fashionable Mitte ("middle") district, since it's convenient to major sites including the Reichstag and Potsdamer Platz. Browse the area's many boutiques, including Bioladen, the organic-food store found throughout the city.
Facing the lovely Gendarmenmarkt square, this vast, pillared space created by Berlin architects Pierre Jorge Gonzalez and Judith Haase is Berlin’s answer to Paris’ Colette.
Part church and part memorial, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church serves as a reminder of the destructiveness of war and the human will to survive.