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).
Start the morning in the 543-acre park in the city's center. Walk along the shaded paths to wind up at the Brandenburg Gate.
British architect David Chipperfield’s nimble rebuilding of the Neues Museum was such a feat of renovation and reconstruction that the city admitted the public to the empty building for several days in March 2009 to show off the achievement.
Starchitect Daniel Libeskind’s boldly designed museum building—an angular assemblage of zinc-coated panels that’s been called both visionary and blasphemous—houses exhibits that pay powerful tribute to both the devastation and hope of the Jewish people.
Located in Tiergarten, the Gemäldegalerie is one of the most highly regarded museums in Germany. The museum’s collection, founded in 1830, contains European art dating from the 13th through the 18th century.
The market stretches along the Maybachufer bank of the canal. Sample a smorgasbord of fat navel oranges, hot spinach böreks that flake to nothingness in your grasp, glowing aubergines, piles of octopus glistening in olive oil, every gradient of feta known to the Bosporus.
Oranienstrasse in Kreuzberg, the former center of radical West Berlin, is now one big sidewalk café spiced with kebab shops and leading-edge, cheap-chic boutiques like this one.
Dine at this lively pub, filled with mismatched furniture. Try the Schweinschnitzel or ravioli-like Maultaschen with a Rothaus beer.
A traditional German biergarten, Schrörs am Müggelsee is situated along a lake in the Köpenick area of the city. Customers sit at umbrella-shaded tables on the patio that directly overlook the lake, where boats pass quietly over the calm waters.
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.