Top 11 Tips Berlin
Berlin, Germany’s hip capital, is a true metropolis in Europe with almost four million inhabitants. It is the vibrant heart of the techno scene and the city is famous for its nightlife and clubs. For most people, the city is therefore reasonably well known, but even if you have been there before, Berlin still has plenty to offer for a city trip. For example, did you know that there is a lot of nature in the city? With all its parks and its location at the river Spree, Berlin is a surprisingly green city. An ideal destination for a weekend break and also suitable if you want to travel more sustainably. The city is easily accessible by train. Flying is therefore not necessary for this city trip! Moreover, it is a great city to explore by bicycle. Do you want to know what to do in Berlin during your weekend break?
- Take a Free Walking Tour
If you are visiting Berlin for the first time, a guided free walking tour is an easy way to see the most important Berlin sights. These city walks start at the square at the Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) in the district of Mitte. This district is situated in the heart of Berlin and is the tourist centre of the city. The walk goes past famous Berlin sights such as Checkpoint Charlie, the Holocaust Memorial and the Berlin Wall. If you are travelling alone, such a tour is also a good way to meet other people.
2. Relax in the largest and oldest park, Tiergarten
In the middle of the city centre lies Berlin’s largest and oldest park, Tiergarten. Walking or cycling through it, you might just forget you’re in Berlin. When the weather is nice, you’ll see many people picnicking and sunbathing. The atmosphere in Berlin is very open-minded, so don’t be surprised if there are people sunbathing naked in the parks. In the park, you will find several nice places where you can eat and drink something. A nice place I have been being Café am Neuen See. It is situated next to a small lake, which is called, you guessed it, Neuen See. You can also rent a boat or canoe here. Nice to do on a beautiful sunny day in Berlin!
3. Explore Kreuzberg and Victoria Park
Do you want to get off the beaten track? Then the district of Kreuzberg is certainly a recommendation. A cosy, multicultural district with many nice restaurants, coffee shops and (flea) markets. For example, go to the Bergmannstrasse or the Marheineke Markthalle. In Kreuzberg, you will also find Viktoriapark, a relatively small park with a high hill with a viewpoint and a real waterfall. You can start your day well with a full breakfast, something Germans like to do outside, at Tomasa Villa Kreuzberg at the entrance of the park.
4. Visit Tempelhoffer Park
A special place and one of the top 10 Berlin attractions that you should definitely not miss is Tempelhofer Park in the Tempelhof district of the same name. A former airport that was closed in 2008 and is now used as a park. Typical Berlin, an abandoned airport that is now a cool multifunctional park. It’s a popular place for picnics, barbecues and you’ll see lots of people running, skating and cycling. How often can you cycle or walk across an airstrip? There are also performances and allotments where people socialise and grow their own fruit and vegetables.
5. Canoeing down the Spree
If you are like me and the weather is nice in Berlin, rent a canoe and see the city from a whole different side! Canoeing is really fun to do in Berlin. You can moor at various fun places along the way and take a break. The canoes can be hired from a small island in the River Spree, which you can reach via a bridge. This is a nice place to go anyway. There are several canoe routes you can do in Berlin, depending on how much time you have. We went to see the following sights, among others: Molecule man, the artwork of Jonathan Borofsky and the oldest and most beautiful bridge in Berlin, the Oberbaumbrücke, and made a stop for pizza and Aperol spritz at one of the cosy restaurants along the water.
6. Discover Berlin by bike
If you have no idea what to do in Berlin or if you want to discover the highlights quickly, cycling in this lively city is highly recommended. Berlin is pre-eminently a city to explore by bicycle. You can rent a bike yourself or book a bike tour through Berlin. The great thing about a bicycle tour is that you can see more of the top 10 Berlin sights because you can cover greater distances by bicycle than by foot. Of course, you can also choose a tour off the beaten track. There are three different tours that you can book; a tour along with the highlights of Berlin, a street art tour or discovering the alternative side of Berlin by bike.
7. Go in search of the most beautiful street art
Berlin is known for the many street art spots scattered all over the city. So it’s great to discover all this at your leisure. Street art in Berlin has a long history that goes back to the 60s. The best way to discover the most beautiful murals is with a street art tour. Such a tour gives much more context to everything you see passing by in the city. Moreover, it allows you to discover the hidden places with real gems of art. There are several tours available, for € 14,- per person. You can take a 3-hour walking tour along with special street art. Or, even more fun, you can dive into Berlin’s real underground street art scene and get to work with graffiti yourself during this street art workshop. How much fun is that when you’re in Berlin?
8. Walk along the East Side Gallery
An iconic spot for street art in Berlin is the East Side Gallery. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, 118 artists painted the remaining section of the wall here, often with political subjects. This part of the Berlin Wall is the most famous and longest part (1316 metres) and is also a peace monument. The East Side Gallery is one of the sights in Berlin that you should not miss during your city break.
9. Go to the Mauerpark
If you visit Berlin at the weekend, go to the Mauerpark on Sunday afternoon. Definitely recommended on sunny days. Although it is a rather ugly park on other days, thousands of people gather here. The Sunday afternoon in the Mauerpark is especially known for the karaoke that often takes place in the amphitheatre. But there is also a very nice market with clothes, jewellery, accessories and street food. In addition, music is played all over the park and street artists perform. A perfect place to go if you still need to recover from the nightlife or if you feel like having a relaxing afternoon in Berlin. In the neighbourhood opposite the park entrance, you will also find a wide selection of good and atmospheric restaurants.
10. Drink a beer in the oldest Biergarten
Berlin may have a character all of its own, but it is still the capital of Germany and so a beer in one of Berlin’s beer gardens should not be missed during your city break. For example, visit Prater, Berlin’s oldest beer garden, and have a beer among the chestnut trees. This beer garden is located near the Mauerpark and can be combined with a Sunday afternoon in the park. And perhaps the most beautiful of the beer gardens is Das Haus am Neuen See in Tiergarten, one of the Berlin attractions mentioned earlier in this article.
11. Climb the Berlin Cathedral
In the museum district of Berlin, in the Mitte district, you will find another of Berlin’s important sights, the Berliner Dom. An impressive church that does not only impress from the outside. The interior of the building is also beautiful to look at. If you visit Berlin Cathedral, don’t forget to climb up the stairs for a 360-degree view of Berlin. The neighbourhood where the Berliner Dom is located is beautiful to walk through anyway. The imposing buildings are sure to impress!