Main attractions and popular spots in Berlin

things to do in Berlin
Shutterstock
Updated 2024-05-07 12:11

Berlin never disappoints those who are ready to have fun. The city offers boundless opportunities for adventurers of all ages and group sizes. So, whether you are alone, with friends, or with your family, Berlin has something entertaining to offer — all you have to do is leave your home and board Berlin's U-Bahn or S-Bahn. From leisurely walks in the park to sightseeing and shopping, you will struggle to stay still in Berlin, a city that never stops moving — and understandably so!

With your crowd or alone in Berlin

Outdoor spaces have long been prioritized in Berlin's city planning. A small park or an outdoor seating area can always be found a short walk away. Table tennis is a very popular activity in Berlin, so you may want to get a pair of paddles and invite your friends for a game or two. Aside from these corner sit-ins, large parks draw crowds, especially in the summertime. For example, Tiergarten, near Brandenburger Tor (the famous Berlin gate), is a sprawling oasis of meadows, woods, and lakes. You can easily find yourself spending all day in this infamous old park. A more recent addition to Berlin's parks list is Tempelhof. Locals love this spot! It used to be an airport, but in 2008, the city converted it into an outdoor recreation spot. You can spend the afternoon lying in the sun, drinking beer, and hanging out with friends. Berliners are known for loving the sun, so this may become a spot of yours to socialize or people-watch. If you're feeling more adventurous, there is a range of outdoor rental companies offering bikes and rollerblades. 

Berlin museums are for me time

There are lots of museums in Berlin, and some of the biggest and most important museums are centrally located. Museum Island hosts seven museums in total, including the Pergamon Museum with the old Babylon Gate (which is closed for refurbishment until 2037). Just for its architectural value, this structure is worth visiting and revisiting. From Museum Island, you can walk to the Brandenburger Tor, Checkpoint Charlie (a reminder of the partition of Germany to East and West Germany during the Cold War), and the Holocaust Memorial, an outdoor plaza filled with block statues. 

If you're walking around, not sure what to do, head to Urban Spree. This is an amazing 1700-sqm-big art collective space, hosting art exhibitions, music events, shops, and a food court. During the warmer months, head out to check one of the many pop-up flea markets dotted around the city — you will always come across something worth purchasing to rejuvenate your home. Regardless of the time of the year, Berlin's largest flea market happens every Sunday in Mauerpark, a green open space replacing the Berlin Wall. On the way, you will find beer gardens and cottage-like vendors (i.e., small food shops serving goodies such as Currywurst). You can continue your walk to the Berlin East Side Gallery, the largest open-air gallery in the world, whose paintings are on the former grey Berlin Wall that, since 1989, became a symbol of hope and reconciliation. 

City tours for all ages in Berlin

There are several highly-recommended tour services, which are a great option if you're exploring Berlin with younger members of your family, who are less inclined or able to walk extensively, or if you prefer to see the city from the comfort of a seat. The hop-on hop-off tours, well-known in so many cities worldwide, are time efficient and equipped with new technology such as mobile phone apps and wifi on board. For those who like walking, there are walking tours, and the cost is not fixed but based on donations. They usually guarantee that you will see a more local and tourist-free side of the city. 

Whether you explore Berlin with family, friends, or alone, remember that Berliners love individuality and freedom. At the same time, Berliners can be cliquey, meaning that it won't be easy to meet new people in a bar that you attend by yourself. However, shared experiences are a great way to start conversations. Of course, you can always meet other expats in Berlin through expat.com's Berlin forum and plan an activity together in advance.  

Good to know: 

Berlin is a family-friendly city. Keep in mind, however, that Berliners may have different social standards than you around children. For instance, drinking in front of kids is fine, as is drinking a beer while walking down the street.

Useful link: 

Berlin city sightseeing

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.