By Travel + Leisure and Travel + Leisure Staff
March 14, 2016

There’s no denying that Berlin is a city of contradictions: the capital is dotted with reminders of Germany’s history (fragments of the Berlin Wall are one example) as well as booming nightclubs and cutting-edge galleries.

At world-famous clubs like Berghain, it’s not unusual for ravers to arrive on Saturday and stay until Monday morning. Revelers may also enjoy karaoke at the stone amphitheater in Mauerpark (also home to an open-air festival and flea market every Sunday) or a less loud form of dance at the Staatsballett Berlin.

What to do in cooler-than-cool Berlin besides party? Enjoy Berlin’s outdoorsy side by biking or skating on the tarmacs of the 954-acre park Tempelhofer Feld (originally a Cold War-era U.S. military airport) or the verdant Grünewald. We recommend picnicking on the shores of a freshwater lake.

No visit to Berlin is complete without ordering the full Samovar tea ceremony from the pillow-laden floors of Tajik Tea House (a gift from the former Soviet republic, Tajikistan) or perusing the hip shops and hangouts lining Hackesche Höfe. Finally, travel back to the 19th century and admire the restored Baroque-style gardens that flourish at Charlottenburg Palace.