Things to do in
Berlin

Vibrant, trendy, and bustling with energy, Germany's capital is a hotspot for history lovers and cultural connoisseurs.

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Our most recommended things to do in Berlin

Berlin: 1-Hour City Tour by Boat with Guaranteed Seating

1. Berlin: 1-Hour City Tour by Boat with Guaranteed Seating

Discover some of the key landmarks of Berlin on a sightseeing boat tour. Enjoy a relaxing river cruise on the Spree to take in the sights at the heart of this bustling city.   Depart from Friedrichstraße or Nikolaiviertel. Your 1-hour sightseeing tour will take you past the Reichstag (German Parliament Building), through the new Regierungsviertel (Government Quarter), all the way to the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (House of World Cultures). After turning at the Lutherbrücke (Luther Bridge), keep a look out for Schloss Bellevue (Bellevue Palace), the "Beamtenschlange" (civil servant housing), and the Siegessäule (Victory Column). Marvel at Hauptbahnhof (Central Station), Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral), Museumsinsel (Museum Island), and the Nikolaiviertal, the oldest residential area in Berlin. Arrive back either Friedrichstraße or Nikolaiviertel to finish the tour.

Berlin: 2.5-Hour Boat Tour Along the River Spree

2. Berlin: 2.5-Hour Boat Tour Along the River Spree

Discover the center of Berlin via its major waterway, the River Spree, on a 2.5-hour boat cruise. See the main sights of the city from the water and feel the heartbeat of the bustling city. Start your roundtrip sightseeing tour on Friedrichstrasse and pass by the Federal Chancellery to reach Bellevue Palace, overlooking the Beamtenschlange (civil servant accommodation) and the Victory Column. Enjoy informative audio commentary as you see Berlin Central Station and the Interior Ministry before continuing on to Charlottenburg Palace. From there you will cruise past the Westhafen Canal, the Berlin-Spandau Ship Canal, the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Hamburger Bahnhof. You will then cruise back to Friedrichstrasse.

Berlin: TV Tower Fast View Ticket

3. Berlin: TV Tower Fast View Ticket

With over 1.2 million visitors a year, the TV Tower at Alexanderplatz is one of the most popular sightseeing attractions in Berlin. Due to the huge numbers of visitors wishing to check out the views each day, securing your entrance tickets in advance is never a bad idea. Thanks to this ticket, you'll benefit from fast track entrance. Bypass the endless lines of people waiting to enter and journey straight up to the observation deck without having to queue for hours. Incredible scenes await you at the top of Germany's tallest tower. Berlin sprawls out from beneath you, complete in all its glory. Keep an eye out for the city's famous icons such as the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, and Berlin Central Station. Admire the Olympic Stadium, the famous Museum Island next to the Berlin Cathedral, and the modern Potsdamer Platz complex.

Berlin: ARISE Grand Show at the Friedrichstadt-Palast

4. Berlin: ARISE Grand Show at the Friedrichstadt-Palast

Make your way to Berlin's iconic Friedrichstadt-Palast for the bright and vibrant ARISE Grand Show. Sit back in the comfort of your plush seat as you watch hundreds of dancers shift and move on the impressive stage. Lose yourself in the show's moving scenes and leave feeling uplifted. Start by admiring the glitzy exterior and foyer of Berlin's most impressive theater, the Friedrichstadt-Palast. Grab a drink and then take your seat facing one of the largest stages in the world, where you will watch an enthralling story come to life. Follow the adventures of the photographer and artist Cameron as he discovers love, loss, and everything in between. This new Grand Show will spark a torrent of emotions that will tug on your heartstrings. Poignant and moving, the show overflows with hope, happiness, and the joy of living.

Berlin: 1-Hour City Sightseeing River Cruise

5. Berlin: 1-Hour City Sightseeing River Cruise

Join a 1-hour round-trip boat tour that starts close to Hackescher Markt. Sit back and relax as you learn about the captivating history of Berlin from the onboard audio guide commentary. First, cruise along the River Spree to the Eastern part of the city, where you will see the Berlin Cathedral, the newly inaugurated Humboldt Forum, and the Marstall concert hall. Turning in front of the Mühlendammschleuse head back westwards past the oldest part of Berlin, the Nikolaiviertel. A little bit further down the river, learn more about Museum Island before cruising past Friedrichstraße before entering the Parliament district. See the Reichstag building, the Berlin Central Station, as well as the Federal Chancellery. At the House of World Cultures, the boat will turn around again and bring you back to the pier.

Berlin: 3.5-Hour Spree & Landwehrkanal Boat Tour

6. Berlin: 3.5-Hour Spree & Landwehrkanal Boat Tour

Experience Berlin from a new perspective on a sightseeing cruise along the Landwehr Canal and River Spree. See more than 40 bridges and learn about their history, from modern structures to ancient bridges. Climb aboard the boat at Friedrichstrasse and let the fascinating blend of modernity and tradition inspire you on this relaxing and informational cruise through the German capital. With your audio guide (if option booked), learn the history behind each bridge as you sail. See Berlin from the water as you cruise past the German Museum of Technology, the famous Potsdamer Platz, and the interior ministry. Enjoy the unique view from aboard the boat.

Berlin: TV Tower Window Seat Restaurant Ticket & Fast View

7. Berlin: TV Tower Window Seat Restaurant Ticket & Fast View

Journey high above Berlin and enjoy a meal at a revolving restaurant in the 200-meter tall TV Tower at Berlin's Alexanderplatz. Enjoy priority entrance and experience a fantastic view of the city from your window seats at the "Sphere" restaurant (food not included). Enjoy skip-the-ticket line access to the TV Tower and head straight up to the Sphere restaurant where a window seat table will be waiting for you. Sit down to a delicious meal as Berlin rotates below you. After your meal, head to the observation deck and see the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, and Hauptbahnhof from above. Enjoy the view along the banks of the Spree, admire the Olympic Stadium and see the famous Museum Island, home to the Berlin Cathedral.

Berlin-Wannsee to Potsdam 3-Hour World Heritage Cruise

8. Berlin-Wannsee to Potsdam 3-Hour World Heritage Cruise

This boat cruise takes you from Wannsee along the Havel River to Potsdam and back. Cruise through the palaces and gardens of Potsdam and Berlin, a UNESCO World Heritage region. Here you’ll have the opportunity to experience Prussia’s history. The chain of lakes in and around Berlin attracts visitors from all over the world. Visitors can relax at one of the lidos or walk around the picturesque natural landscape that extends along Wannsee and the Oberhavel lakes. Discover the rich history of two regions near Berlin: the southwest and north. Famous personalities, such as the painter Max Liebermann or the playwright Heinrich von Kleist, lived and worked in Wannsee, making it a place of historical importance. The historical places give you the opportunity to go back in time and relive history. The cruise takes you from Wannsee to Kladow, passing by Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island), Nikolskoe, and the Church of St. Peter and Paul. Continue on towards the Savior's Church, Cecilienhof Palace and its old dairy farm, and the Glienicke Bridge. Float by the Babelsberg Palace, Flatow Tower, Hans-Otto-Theater (Schiffbauergasse), "Freundschaftsinsel" (Friendship Island), and Potsdam/Lange Brücke before returning back to Wannsee.

Berlin: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus with Boat Options

9. Berlin: Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Bus with Boat Options

Discover the city at your own pace with the Berlin hop-on hop-off bus. Freely wander the city on well-equipped sightseeing buses. Explore Museum Island, amble down the Ku'Damm, the famed shopping street, and catch a glimpse of divided Berlin at Check Point Charlie. Visit the Brandenburg gate or the Reichstag with its marvelous glass dome. There are a wide variety of options, with buses traveling the entirety of the city. To get even more out of your trip to Berlin, combine your bus pass with a spree to your experience. You can redeem your boat ticket at any time and add a relaxing 1-hour river cruise on the Spree to your experience. During the summer, there is also a guided walking tour available, so you can learn even more in-depth, insider knowledge about the sights and landmarks. The stops for the bus tours are: Line 1 (Bus) • Alexanderplatz • Rotes Rathaus • Museum Island • Friedrichstrasse • Brandenburger Tor • Reichstag • Hauptbahnhof • Haus der Kulturen der Welt • Bellevue Palace • Siegessäule (Victory Column) • Kurfürstendamm • KaDeWe • Lützowplatz • Kulturforum • Potsdamer Platz • Mauerreste • Check Point Charlie • Gendarmenmarkt Line 2 (Bus) • Alexanderplatz • Frankfurter Allee • East Side Gallery • Ostbahnhof • Alexa • Rotes Rathaus

Berlin: 2.5-Hour East Side Boat Cruise with Commentary

10. Berlin: 2.5-Hour East Side Boat Cruise with Commentary

Experience a special East Side boat cruise, 25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Besides numerous sights in the old and new center of Berlin, see also the recent changes in the area surrounding the East Side Gallery. The roundtrip boat cruise starts at the pier by the old stock exchange building, near the Hackersche Höfe. Relax onboard the boat as you listen to detailed information in English and German and enjoy a delicious food service (own expense). After passing by the cradle of Berlin – Mühlendamm Lock – the tour continues on past Radialsystem V, an energy forum, Berlin Ostbahnhof and the Mercedes Benz Arena. Pass under the Oberbaum Bridge into the east harbor with its many new residents including Universal Music, MTV, Coca Cola, and Label 1 and 2. You will also pass by the Badeschiff at Arena Treptow and the Molecule Man sculpture. Journey back to Berlin-Mitte and see the Nikolaiviertel, the palace construction site, and the Humboldt Forum. The famous Museum Island begins at the Berlin Cathedral. Pass under the Weidendammer Bridge to reach the area around Friedrichstrasse with the Schiffbauerdamm, the Tränenpalast (Palace of Tears), and Friedrichstrasse station. Cruise past the government district where you will see the Reichstag building and the Federal Chancellery. You will also see the most modern railway stations in Europe from the water – Berlin Central Station. Pass by Bellevue Palace – the seat of the Federal President – before heading back to the starting point, the old stock exchange building.

Frequently asked questions about Berlin

What top attractions are a must-see in Berlin?

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Berlin

The Crazy Tourist is a travel resource that covers destinations all around the world. In its website, you can find all the information and details you need for planning a trip to Berlin.

What should I do on my first trip to Berlin?

Berlin’s past and present meet on the east side of Tiergarten park. This is along the route of the Berlin Wall and dominated by the Reichstag, which is the historic the seat of the German Federal Parliament, caught between east and west after the war. From here you can head along the stately Unter den Linden boulevard to Museum Island, a UNESCO site loaded with internationally important museums and home to Berlin Cathedral.

What are some hidden gems to see in Berlin?

Berlin’s smallest district is easy to miss, as it’s tucked into the riverbend north of the Tiergarten park. During a search for new social housing concepts in the 1950s the area was chosen for the groundbreaking Interbau development. Some 50 great architects like Oscar Niemeyer, Walter Gropius and Alvar Aalto contributed designs. Now, Hansaviertel is a forgotten treat for any fan of Modernist architecture.

How much time should I spend in Berlin?

A tightly packed long weekend is enough to get a feel for Berlin. In a day or two you'll cover most of the landmarks, memorials and museums around the central Mitte borough. After that your curiosity will draw you away from the center to the bordering neighborhoods. Sometimes scruffy but always fresh and full of surprises, these areas will inspire return trips to Berlin in the future. You could easily devote a day to each of Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain, Prenzlauer Berg and Neukölln.

What food is Berlin known for?

If there’s a dish that just shouts Berlin, it has to be Currywurst. Arriving in the immediate post-war, this comforting streetfood is bratwurst in ketchup seasoned with curry powder and served with fries. One possible inventor was the food kiosk owner Herta Heuwer, said to have gotten hold of the curry powder from British soldiers stationed in West Berlin. Berlin also had a hand in developing the world-famous döner kebab. The recipe for this stuffed pita was perfected by Turkish guest workers in the 1970s and adapted for local tastes.

What is the best way to get around Berlin?

Berlin has excellent public transport, and every part of the city is served by one or more lines of the U-Bahn, S-Bahn, Straßenbahn (tram) or bus network. The Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) has an excellent route planner in English to make life even easier. And with no tall hills, hundreds of kilometers of designated bike lanes and an ever-growing cycle infrastructure, Berlin is also made to be seen on two wheels. In fact, one of the best ways to see the Berlin Wall is via the Mauerradweg, a trail following the course of the barrier and its former border control roads for 100 miles.

What are the best months to visit Berlin?

Late April and early May are right in the middle of asparagus season, when many restaurants in the city publish special menus for this coveted local delicacy. There is never a bad time to be in Berlin, but at the height of summer the cafe and restaurant terraces, markets, outdoor events and waterways add a little magic to the cityscape. There’s also something memorable about stepping out of a club or bar blinking after the sun has come up.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

Open and multicultural, Berlin has a diverse and fast-moving food scene. Some of the humbler parts of town are a gastronomic journey of discovery, and this goes for Neukölln. Around Sonnenallee and Karl-Marx-Straße you can sample every cuisine from Yemenite to Bulgarian. International flavors and innovative ideas abound at the Mediterranean, Southeast Asian and Middle Eastern joints in hip Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

As Berlin has spent so much of the last century divided, there isn't a single central commercial area, but rather a choice of great streets and neighborhoods. The most famous street is Kurfürstendamm, which has international brands, the immense KaDeWe department store and ample high-end boutiques the further west you go. Also upscale is Friedrichstraße, a prominent shopping street before WWII, and has rediscovered that prestige since reunification.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Berlin?

Many of Berlin’s defining landmarks and biggest attractions are in the Mitte borough, literally the middle of the city. Here first-time visitors can take in the big sights and museums, but also understand Berlin as a once divided city. Friedrichstraße is a convenient choice for short stays, as you’ll be perfectly central, with the Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate to the west and the famous institutions of Museum Island to the east.

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Berlin?

Even the trendiest neighborhoods have Kindercafés, which are child-friendly establishments with dedicated areas and toys for younger kids. Berlin also brims with lush parks, from Tiergarten to the vast reclaimed airport at Tempelhofer Feld, all easily reached by public transport. There are also several swimmable lakes on Berlin’s outskirts, with wide sandy beaches and lots of child-friendly activities.

What is the best thing to do in Berlin for solo travelers?

Traveling solo also means traveling light, and there’s no better way to enjoy Berlin’s many museums and art galleries. Partly thanks to the city’s low rents, Berlin’s art scene is effervescent, and you can check out showcases like the KW Institute for Contemporary Art and Contemporary Fine Arts. Solo travelers can also freely dive into Berlin’s many outdoor and covered markets, and Markthalle IX and Karl-August Platz are great places to start.

What is the best thing to do in Berlin for couples?

Berlin has some exquisite Baroque and Rococo palaces that can be adored in the company of a loved one. Schloss Charlottenburg and Potsdam’s Sanssouci rest in dainty gardens. Few cities have quite as much to see from the water as Berlin, and you can gaze at the Reichstag or Berlin Cathedral on a gentle cruise. If you have the time you can take a leisurely trip downriver as far as the Havel River and Potsdam.

What are the best annual events in Berlin?

Held across ten days in February, the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) is the city’s biggest cultural event. Berlinale has been going since 1951, and puts on public screenings at special venues like Potsdamer Platz and Alexanderplatz, but also a transformed crematorium complex. Newer to the scene is Berlin Art Week in September, when dozens of major institutions take part in an action-packed program of exhibitions, fairs and one-off events.

Planning Your Visit

  • When to go?

    Unless you're averse to crowds, visit Berlin over the summer, when the city's relaxed street-life is at its most contagious. Include a Sunday to experience one of the bustling flea markets.

  • Where to stay?

    Every Berlin neighborhood has its own character. Charlottenburg is relatively flash, with Mitte a trendier alternative. Prenzlauer Berg is the city's café-culture capital, populated by young families. Schoeneberg is renowned for its gay clubs and bars, while Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg also provide plenty of nightlife options─most a little rough around the edges!

  • How to get around?

    Berlin is covered by trains, trams, taxis, and buses. Train stations are largely unmanned with machines to buy tickets from. Many tourists mistakenly think the trains are free before being fined €60 by inspectors!
    The Berlin WelcomeCard covers public transport in Berlin and Potsdam for 2-5 days, and also provides discounts at many restaurants and attractions, including the Berlin Dungeon.

Good to know

  • Language
    German
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+01:00)
  • Country Code
    +49
  • Best time to visit
    May through September the weather is ideal.

Other Sightseeing Options in Berlin

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What people are saying about Berlin

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 93,095 reviews

A totally relaxing and serene morning, especially after the previous day of a 3.5 hr walking tour (which was wonderful, BTW) but for old blokes like me very tiring trying to keep up. The river presents a totally different perspective. Well worth it.

Very emotional but totally worth it! Highly recommend this tour! There's quite a bit of facts not shared publicly so was very interesting to learn something new.

The room with dinosaurs alone makes it totally worth it. It is not that huge, it took us about 1 hour to pass it.

Very good activity what allows to see Berlin from different sides. Enjoyed the descriptions of places to see.

The best way how to get to know the Berlin and it’s places what you want to explore more.