Berlin is one of those cities that will surprise you. It doesn’t have this romantic, picturesque scenery like Rome or Paris, but it will definitely be a city you will never forget. Usually, I write a top 5 list, but with Berlin, there’s no way I can limit myself to just 5. Even 10 is hard! Here is my top 10 things to do in Berlin:
One of the most iconic monuments of Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate is one of the first stops you need to make when visiting Berlin. Built in 1791, this gate has seen much of Berlin’s history; world wars, the Berlin Wall, and many, many tourists. If you find yourself wandering there at night, it is completely illuminated and, in my opinion, even more impressive.
You can’t go to Berlin and not see Checkpoint Charlie. This is the most famous checkpoint of the city, separating the American sector and the East, and one of the few places where you could cross from one side to the other. You can also check out the museum next door with a ton of history of the wall and all sorts of escape stories.
Currywurst mit Pommes
Another thing to try in Berlin is Currywurst. Invented in Berlin, it consists of a sausage covered in a curry-ketchup sauce with fries (or a bread roll) on the side. During the summer you can find vendors on the street selling them for €1.50 or you can go to a specialty restaurant!
East Side Gallery
This outdoor gallery will give you a good feeling of what it was like to live with a wall in the city. With over 1.3km of Wall and a park on the other side, you can hear people playing and laughing while having no way of reaching them. It’s definitely a strange feeling. Make sure to admire the art, each piece with the theme of freedom.
Holocaust Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Right next to the Brandenburg Gate, there is this field of grey rectangular stones of various heights. This powerful memorial represents the organized chaos that was the Holocaust. The colour of the stones remind us of ashes, and the shape of the tombstones most Jews never had. There is also has a museum in the basment, which I highly recommend.
Visit the Museum Island
This island on the river Spree has five huge and internationally recognizes museums, all with incredible architecture, right next to the Berlin Cathedral. All wonderful places to visit and admire inside and out.
Alex, as the locals call it, is a big pedestrian public square right next to the TV Tower. Take some time to figure out the World Clock and find out what time it is back home, maybe do a little bit of shopping around Galeria Kaufhof, visit the Rotes Rathaus or even climb inside the TV Tower! If you happen to be in Berlin during the holidays, there are Easter and Christmas markets that take place right in the square.
The first thing you will do when going into Potsdamer Platz is look up and spin 360, I garantee. This public square, also quite close to the Brandenburg Gate is covered by a tent-like roof. It hosts the Museum of Film and TV, Lego Land, is next door to many other museums and the Panorama Punkt, which has Europe’s fastest elevator and a wonderful view of Berlin. At night the roof is lit up in changing colours which you can watch as you relax at the House of 100 Beers.
Shop at a flea market
Berlin is host to many, many flea markets full of all sorts of treasures. For example, Markhalle Neun, Flea Market am Mauerpark and even the Street Food Thursday market or Bite Club.
Also near the Brandenburg Gate, this is another building that has seen quite a lot of Berlin’s history. Built in 1884, it has been at the centre of German politics and is now the parliament building. It was heavily damaged during the war but was renovated and a new glass copula was added. You can climb inside the copula and have an amazing view of the city.
I could add another 100 things to do in this amazing city, but ten is a good start!
Have you been to Berlin? What would you add to this list?