The Best of Berlin
Berlin is what you make it: an endless study in history, a marvel at technology and innovation, a cultural hub with rich diversity, a pumping entertainment hub, and a food lover’s dream. Few destinations in the world can offer such a kaleidoscope of experiences for natives and visitors alike. Making a "Best of Berlin" list is no easy feat, but here are our top picks of places to explore in Berlin. Let's dive in!
What are the Must-See Places in Berlin?
Berlin is much more than bratwurst and beer. Germany's capital city beams with unmissable attractions at every corner. Rain or shine, your trip to Berlin is incomplete without visiting these three incredible places:
1. Reichstag Building
The glass dome of the historical Reichstag Building glistens over the Berlin skyline. This building houses the German Parliament (the Bundestag), and it symbolizesLink opens in a new tab the unity of the city’s complex past with its forward-thinking future.
Book an ascent to the top of the dome, which stands at 755 feet, for a breathtaking panoramic view of Berlin. Enjoy a guided tour of the Bundestag, and then treat yourself to a coffee and a meal at the Kaefer, which is right in the Parliament building.
2. Brandenburg Gate
Close to the Reichstag is Berlin's most famous monument, the Brandenburg Gate. Built in the late 1700s, the entrance to the Acropolis inspired it in Athens. It has since come to symbolize the reunification of Germany, and millions of travelers have visited this impressive site.
3. East Side Gallery
The East Side Gallery is the world's longest open-air art gallery. It is also the longest preserved piece of the Berlin Wall, on which artists from 21 countries painted murals to celebrate the unification of Germany. Prepare to walk the 0.8-mile stretch of concrete canvas in this one-of-a-kind gallery.
What are the Best Museums in Berlin?
There's a world of history to explore in the magnificent museums in Berlin. The city has a long, complex past, enough to fill 175 museums and art collections all around the capital.
Whether you seek to explore ancient art and archeology or dive into the most dynamic contemporary art scene in Europe, you will undoubtedly need more than a weekend to check out the best museums in Berlin. Our top picks are:
1. Museum Island
The Museum Island is a collection of five museums: The Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Pergamonmuseum, and Bode Museum. The Island carries about 6 millenniums of Germany's best art and history, plus ample representation worldwide. This UNESCO World Heritage Site needs at least three days to explore, so book your Museum Island pass in advance.
2. Charlottenburg Palace
The Charlottenburg is Berlin's largest palace, which has survived damage from WW2 and decades of restorations. Today, the Charlottenburg Palace is full of priceless treasures, including crown jewels and French paintings. On top of that, the breathtaking gardens are a must-see, from the meticulous hedges to the ponds and fountains.
3. Jewish Museum Berlin
For a truly otherworldly experience, proceed to the Jewish MuseumLink opens in a new tab Berlin. It is a well-loved landmark for its collection and architecture. A palatial entrance leads to angled walls, mazes, voids, and surreal installations. The Jewish Museum Berlin guarantees you an unforgettable experience no matter how many times you visit.
What are the Best Areas to Stay in Berlin?
Berlin is simply huge (about nine times the size of Paris), and you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to accommodation. With 12 districts, 96 localities, and hundreds of neighborhoods, Berlin has a place for every kind of visitor. Here are our recommendations for the best areas to stay in Berlin.
First-time visitors to Berlin will love Mitte. It is very close to many attractions in Berlin, including the Brandenburg Gate and Museum Island. Mitte boasts some of the best restaurants in the city as well. It's also well connected with public transport like the S-Bahn and subway lines, so you can plan your Berlin adventures right from Mitte.
If you're on a tighter budget or simply love an alternative hipster vibe, Friedrichshain is among the best areas to stay in Berlin. In addition to super affordable hostels, there's lots of street art, ethnic cafés, and a vibrant nightlife in Friedrichshain.
Mingle with the diverse residents of Kreuzberg to get your cultural fix during your Berlin vacation. You will notice the significant Turkish population that influences so many aspects of Kreuzberg, plus a healthy selection of art galleries, museums, and independent boutiques.
What are the Best Outdoor Markets in Berlin?
No trip to Berlin is complete without a weekend exploring the outdoor markets. This is the best way to get an authentic feel of Berlin and interact with the locals and ex-pats. You will find everything from antiques to fresh produce to high-quality homewares. Here are our best outdoor markets in Berlin:
1. Boxhagener Platz
Fondly called "Boxi," the Boxhagener Platz flea market takes place every Sunday in Friedrichshain. It is full of charming treasures like old records and figurines, mid-century homewares, and second-hand furniture. After exploring the Boxi, stop by the amazing up-and-coming restaurants around the market.
There are some priceless vintage pieces hidden away in the laid-back Arkonaplatz Market. Books, clothing, and furniture are some of the offerings in this market. Start your Arkonaplatz adventure early enough. Otherwise, all the best goods will be gone by 10:00 in the morning.
3. Straße des 17. Juni Market
The Straße des 17. Juni in Central Berlin is a street named after the East Germany uprising on June 17, 1953. The Straße is the host of Berlin's oldest and greatest flea market. Dealers and collectors have offered incredible rarities at the Straße des 17. Juni since 1978. Here you will find antique statues, commemorative plaques, haute couture clothing, vintage film cameras, and so much more.
Berlin is, without a doubt, one of the coolest cities in the world. It is a genuinely inexhaustible destination. No wonder Berlin is on the bucket list of history buffs, art enthusiasts, foodies, fashionistas, collectors, club-hoppers, you name it. Ultimately, Berlin is one thing: FUN. Book your trip today.