Top 20 things to do in Berlin

Look no further, here are the top 20 things to do in Berlin

Top 20 things to do in Berlin

Berlin has a long history and has been occupied by a few kings and nations. It has been the capital in the German area since the 15th century, and has been under control of the Kingdom of Prussia, the German Empire, and of course the Third Reich. After World War II, Berlin and Germany was split in two by the victorious countries, to West Germany and West Berlin, and East Germany and East Berlin, until the end of the 20th century. The city is once again an important hub for industry, economy, culture, politics and so on. Tourists come here every year to see the old and new structures, and they enjoy their stay here. If you want to see Berlin and what it can offer, see this list of the top 20 things to do in Berlin.

  1. Brandenburg Gate
    As one of the most known landmarks of Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate is visited by almost every tourist that comes to Berlin. This beautiful neoclassical monument served as a sort of city gate, and is based on the Acropolis of Athens. It has a symbolic meaning, and therefore loved by many who come here or leave here. It is often visited by ambassadors and political figures from other countries as well.
2. Pariser Platz
The Pariser Platz stands before the Brandenburg Gate and serves as one of the cultural hubs of the city. People like to meet here as it is both beautiful and easy to access. It was named after Paris as an honour for the anti-Napoleon Allies’ occupation of the city. Important buildings and the French Embassy are also located here.
3. Charlottenburg Palace

The Charlottenburg Palace is the largest palace in Berlin, and has been commissioned and used by the Prussian kings back in the day. It was the main royal residence for a time. The beautiful baroque and rococo architectural and decorative styles are both very apparent inside and outside. The Golden Gallery, the State Dining Room and the Banqueting Halls are all spectacular and definitely worth a visit as one of the things to do in Berlin.

4. Gardens of Charlottenburg Palace
Many people come here not for the palace itself, but for the Gardens of Charlottenburg Palace. The beautiful gardens were at first designed in a baroque style, and later redesigned in an english style. The place also has other buildings that are worth a visit, like a mausoleum for royalty, a belvedere, a pavilion and a theatre. The garden has a carp pond as well. The place serves as an excellent place for recreation.
5. Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
Originally built as a protestant church of the Evangelical Church in Germany, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church was damaged during World War II, and only a spire remains of it. It is now used as a memorial site with photos and remaining artifacts, and the new modern building is built next to it. The remains of the old church have been given the “the hollow tooth” nickname due to the way it looks now. The old and new buildings and the difference between them is worth seeing.
6. Under den Linden
The Under den Linden is a long boulevard in Berlin that connects the Museum Island and the Brandenburg Gate. The boulevard is lined with beautiful lime/linden trees (hence the name, “under the linden trees”). The first trees were planted in the 17th century, but the boulevard was damaged during the war, so some of it had to be repaired. The boulevard is a frequently visited for both its beauty and since it connects famous tourists attractions.
7. Museum Island
The Museum Island is located at the northern part of an island on the river Spree. Just like its name suggests, the place has five large museums. These are the Old Museum, the New Museum, the Old National Gallery, the Bode Museum and the Pergamon Museum. If you like museums and exhibitions, then this place must be definitely high on the list of things to do in Berlin, as all five of these museums are spectacular both inside and outside. If you want to know more about the individual museums, see this link.
8. Berlin Cathedral
The Berlin Cathedral is located on Museum Island, and it’s the largest church in Berlin. It is part of the Evangelical Church of Germany, and has been built in a baroque style. The cathedral is popular both among religious and non-religious people, and is also visited for its very high dome, from which a beautiful view of the museum islands awaits.
9. Potsdamer Platz
The Potsdamer Platz was once destroyed during the war, but it has been rebuilt since and now serves as a hub for business and entertainment. The place is full of large buildings and large companies that own them. Shopping opportunities are also high in this part of Berlin. Part of the Berlin Wall was located here, so now the place also holds a symbolic meaning for the reconnection between the two halfs of Berlin.
10. Berlin Wall
Probably one of the most famous landmarks of Berlin is the Berlin Wall, or what remains of it. The wall was built to stop refugees from crossing from East Berlin to West Berlin as a 155 km long wall, with many observation towers and checkpoints along the wall. Today only parts of it remain, which are usually covered with graffiti. Some of it is now part of the Berlin Wall Memorial.
11. Checkpoint Charlie
The most known crossign point of the Berlin Wall was the Checkpoint Charlie. Today, only a replica of it remains, with a museum nearby telling stories of the escape attempts and dedicated to human rights.
12. Tiergarten
The Tiergarten was once the hunting ground of the elite of Berlin. The park is the largest one in Berlin, and is obviously very popular among citizen and tourists alike as a sport of recreation. The centerpiece of the Tiergarten is the Victory Column.
13. Victory Column
Built in the second half of the 19th century, the purpose of the Victory Column was to commemorate several Prussian victories. The high column with its statues and its surroundings is quite popular among tourists, and those who wish to see a great view of Berlin can climb the tower for a price.
14. Bellevue Palace
The Bellevue Palace is located on the banks of the Spree river, near the edge of the Tiergarten. Its name stands for “beautiful view” in French, noting the view of the river. It’s the official residence of the President of Germany.
15. Gendarmenmarkt
The Gendarmenmarkt is a popular and busy square in Berlin. It is a famous cultural spot with its picturesque buildings and style. Christmas markets are also held here for the same reason. It houses three famous buildings, the French Church, the German Church and the Konzerthaus Berlin.
16. Konzerthaus Berlin
Located at the Gendarmenmarkt, the Konzerthaus Berlin is a frequently visited concert hall. The building is beautiful both inside and outisde. Although it was damaged during the war, it has since been renovated. Infront of the building is a statue dedicated to Friedrich Schiller, the Schiller Monument, with four statues around it representing lyric poetry, drama, history and philosophy.
17. Grunewald Forest
The Grunewald Forest is suprisingly part of Berlin. The forest is filled with different kinds of trees which offer a beautiful setting for strolls inside the forest. Smaller and larger lakes provide places for watersports and bathing when the weather is good. Other places of note are a hunting lodge, the Grunewald Tower and an older radar and spying facility.
18. Alexanderplatz
The Alexanderplatz is a public square and a cultural and transportation hub. Citizens often refer to the place as Alex. The square and its surroundings have numerous points of interest, like the World Clock which display the current time of cities all around the world, the Fernsehturm which is a large television tower, a shopping mall, and various others.
19. Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is a memorial dedicated to the Jews that died during World War II due to the extermination plans of Hitler. 2711 concrete slabs are placed in a wave-like pattern at the square. All of them are different in sizes, symbolizing instability and disorientation. Visitors are free to walk among these, but it goes without saying that one must be mindful of those coming here to mourn their loved ones. An underground information center offers stories and pictures of the holocaust, with around 3 million names of jews that died during these events written there.
20. Reichstag
Perhaps one of the most well-known buildings of Berlin, the Reichstag is the meeting place of the German parliament. It was damaged by both the Reichstag fire of 1933 and the air raids during the Battle of Berlin. It has been renovated and is now in use. Visitors can view the inside of the building, and (with prior registration) view the new glass dome at the top of the building.
If you want to see other beautiful christmas markets like the on in Berlin, check out this list. Or if you to see more places that hold relics of war, see our collection of them here.