Latest posts by Michael Hodgson (see all)
- A day in the life bike touring in Europe - September 22, 2017
- A beginner guide to taking great travel videos with a smartphone - August 21, 2017
- We flew Turkish Airlines to experience the electronics ban – updated 7-13-17 - July 13, 2017
Berlin is one of our favorite cities in the world. It is cosmopolitan, worldly, quirky, exotic, bohemian, evolving, vibrant and so very, very alive — there is something to do or see or experience 24 hours a day if you are so inclined. Little wonder so many tourists, wanderers, artists, authors, musicians, actors and creative minds discover and fall in love with Berlin. Whether you are visiting for one day, two days, a week or more, the best way to begin your quest to find what to do in Berlin is here. Our resource guide and links, map, as well as numerous articles highlighting insider travel tips for you will ensure your visit to Berlin is memorable.
What to do in Berlin planning map
In the map below, pins mark the exact location of the sites and places to see mentioned in our articles and travel tips on Berlin, Germany. Zoom in or out on the map using the controls. Switch easily from map to satellite view. Click on each pin to pull up a tooltip with the name of the destination or location as well as any additional information, including links to stories and articles. This map is the perfect place to begin planning what to do in Berlin for one, two, three or more days.
Turkish Market - Neukölln
Along the street next to a canal, the Turkish Market has a true street market feel. It is not groomed! Turkish women mix with tourists and locals. You see serious shoppers and tourists with cameras. To learn more, read our story 5 Great Berlin Street Food Markets as well as Berlin Turkish Market: Flavors, Food, Deals In Oriental Bazaar Setting.
Markthalle Neun - Kreuzberg
Mind-boggling, really, the types of food, drink and true culinary delights, many of which are really pushing the envelope a bit. Burritos, oysters, burgers, grilled cheese, French cheeses, Sushi, Asian noodles, and much more. Fine wines, frothy international beers, even a Berlin-area whiskey distillery! To learn more, read our story 5 Great Berlin Street Food Markets.
Winterfeldplatz Markt - Schöneberg
German, all the way, but with a nouveau feel. Locals are out shopping for the week, others are dropping in for a little saunter and snack. To learn more, read our story 5 Great Berlin Street Food Markets.
Kulturbrauerei - Prenzlauer Berg
The “Culture Brewery” is a former brewery that has been transformed into a hot spot with stores, a museum, a grocery store, movie theater and a nice courtyard, where of course the food trucks pull in on Sundays. A much more mellow scene, with young families, couples, groups of friends, but not so many tourists. Tables and benches are set up but seating goes fast in nice weather. To learn more, read our story 5 Great Berlin Street Food Markets as well as Quick Prenzlauer Berg Travel Guide To A Berlin Hotspot.
Thai Wiese - Wilmersdorf
Noodles, salads, dumplings, satays, you name it! There is Thai food here you will likely not find in any restaurant in Berlin or in most other cities. Get a Thai massage even if you are so inclined. To learn more, read our story 5 Great Berlin Street Food Markets as well as Thai Park Berlin A Feast For Eyes And Tummies Seeking Yum Thai Food.
Q110 Bank of the Future
Earlier in 2016, HI Travel Tales wrote about a new kind of banking experience by Deutsche Bank called “Q110 Bank” or “Bank of the Future.” We were quite enthralled by the casual and friendly, yet efficient and hard-working experience. Granted, it can be a little alarming at first to search for a bank on the web and walk over to the front door, only to be stopped dead in your tracks, starting into a wide-open space that leaves you cocking your head and furrowing your brow: Is this really a bank? Or a coffee shop? Or a boutique??? Am I in the right place? Where are the counters? The offices? Learn more in our story, Q110 Bank of the Future In Berlin By Deutsche Bank Gets Revamp.
Jewish Cemetery at Schönhauser Allee
Recognized as Berlin’s second Jewish cemetery and opened in 1827, the setting of the “Jüdischer Friedhof” is as beautiful as it is somber. This is where you will find the grave sites of many famous Jewish people, including the artist Max Liebermann. To learn more, be sure to read our story, Quick Prenzlauer Berg Travel Guide To A Berlin Hotspot.
Artist's War Memorial Bethlehemkirchplatz
The memorial on the Berlin Bethlehemkirchplatz (Bethlehem Church Square) is actually the work of Spanish artist Juan Garaizabel to commemorate the Bohemian Bethlehem Church. This small church was built for Bohemian evangelical refugees in about 1735 and was a center of the community. It was destroyed by bombing in 1943. Read more in our Photographer's Diary, Artist's War Memorial At Berlin Bethlehemkirchplatz.
Cafe Anna Blume
One of our favorite coffee and cake destinations is Café Anna Blume with an incredible outside patio, perfect as a place to kick-back and enjoy any time of day. To learn more, be sure to read our story, Quick Prenzlauer Berg Travel Guide To A Berlin Hotspot.
Museum at Pankow
To learn more, be sure to read our story, Quick Prenzlauer Berg Travel Guide To A Berlin Hotspot.
Museum in the Kulturbrauerie (Alltag in Der DDR)
And an absolute must-visit is the Museum in the Kulturbrauerie – “Alltag in Der DDR.” (Free admission). Open since 2014, this relatively new, very lively, interactive, permanent exhibit is stunningly well created, showing visitors what everyday life was really like in the DDR (former East Germany, a.k.a. GDR). To learn more, be sure to read our story, Quick Prenzlauer Berg Travel Guide To A Berlin Hotspot.
Oderberger Strasse Fire Station
This, the oldest fire station still on duty today in Germany, was opened on Nov. 26, 1883. Don’t stand in the driveway as emergency vehicles still come and go … with urgency. To learn more, be sure to read our story, Quick Prenzlauer Berg Travel Guide To A Berlin Hotspot.
Judengang (Jewish Walkway)
Literally translated, the name means the “Jewish Walkway” and runs from Knaackstrasse to Senefelderplatz in the Kollwitz area, providing access to the rear entrance to the Jewish cemetery on Schönhauser Allee. To learn more, be sure to read our story, Quick Prenzlauer Berg Travel Guide To A Berlin Hotspot.
Built in 1902 as a public bathhouse for Berlin and constructed in German Renaissance style, this magnificent building and pool fell into disrepair and went out of service in the mid 1990’s. The building was purchased by the neighboring GLS Language School and is now part of that campus, renamed the Hotel Oderberger and open only since January 2016. To learn more, be sure to read our story, Quick Prenzlauer Berg Travel Guide To A Berlin Hotspot.
Berlin Underground Tours - Gesundbrunnen station
Underground city tours always seemed to be a tourist come-on to me, but then we discovered Berlin Underground tours. Not a for-profit business, not a tour that drops you off in a gift shop, not a tour that starts in a bar and highlights raucous partying, this is the real deal in Berlin’s Underground. Learn more in our story, Haunting History on Berlin Underground Tours.
Süsse Sünde (Sweet Sins) walk-up ice cream counter across the street for desert (try “Schoko-Chili-Sauerkirsch” aka Chocolate Chili Sour Cherry, “Pfirsich-Lavendula” aka Peach-Lavender, etc…). Learn more by reading our story, Dine, Wine, Dawdle and Doze When Visiting Berlin.
Sowohl Als Auch Restaurant and Coffee House
Another wonderful place to sit and while away time is at a sister location to Café Anna Blume, the “SowohlAlsAuch” restaurant and coffee house, diagonally across the street. To learn more, be sure to read our story, Quick Prenzlauer Berg Travel Guide To A Berlin Hotspot.
Potsdamer Platz is an important public square and traffic intersection in the center of Berlin, Germany, lying about 1 km south of the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag, and close to the southeast corner of the Tiergarten park. Learn more in our Discover Berlin Walking Tour: Shortlist of Top Sites.
Topography of Terror Museum
Museumsinsel (Museum Island)
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Reichstag Parliament Building
Berlin Tourist Information - Europa Center
The Europa Center at Breitscheidplatz is not just one of the most famous shopping centres in the city. It also distinguished by its location in the heart of West Berlin. The legendary Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe), the Kurfürstendamm shopping street, the Berlin Zoo, and the historic Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, are only a few steps away from here. The Berlin Tourist Information Centre here is also open on Sundays.
Berlin Tourist Information - Tegel Airport
Perfect for Berlin visitors arriving at Tegel airport. The Berlin Tourist Info Centre is located near the Gate 1 in Terminal A. It is open daily from 8 am to 9 pm.
Berlin Tourist Information - Berlin Central Station
In the shopping area at the new Berlin Central Station in a good position opposite the DB Information at the entrance Europaplatz you find the Berlin Tourist Info Centre. As soon as you arrive in the city, you can come here to make hotel bookings, get information and buy tickets. The new Berlin Central Station is a fascinating example of contemporary architecture, greeting travellers to the city with a bright and friendly atmosphere and a fantastic choice of shops. Centrally located, it is very close to the government quarter.
Berlin Tourist Information - Brandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate is Berlin's signature attraction. A visit to Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Tourist Info Centre in its south wing can be easily combined with a leisurely stroll along the Unter den Linden boulevard with its numerous places of interest. The Reichstag with its striking glass dome is also just a few minutes' walk from Brandenburg Gate.
Berlin Travel Weather
Click on the image below to launch our 36-hour forecast.
Getting to and from Berlin
- By Train – It is easy to get to Berlin on either the fast train (InterCityExpress) or the other lines (InterCity, EuroCity, and InterRegio). For booking information, go to the Deutsche Bahn website here. Trains will depart or arrive primarily from the Berlin Hauptbahnhof (Berlin’s central train station and also its newest station), Ostbahnof (the east train station connects with S-Bahns going to Friedrichstraße, Alexanderplatz, or Bahnhof Zoo), and Südkreuz (north-south trains pass through here), Bahnhof Spandau (the ICE train from Hamburg / Hannover stops here).
- By Plane – Most international flights will arrive and depart from Tegel TXL International Airport. There is no S-Bahn or U-Bahn station near the airport. To connect to the local trains and U-Bahn requires riding the TXL Express Bus or taking Express Bus X9. Both arrive and depart right outside the airport terminal.
Getting Around In Berlin
The official Berlin website offers detailed information regarding transportation, including ticket, fare and route map information. This is also the clearest way to understand the various tariff zones that Berlin is divided into — AB, BC and ABC.
- U-Bahn, Bus, Tram – (operated by BVG — bvg.de) Use the company’s Journey Planner to find the best routes combining all forms of public transportation, including the S-Bahn, between point A and B. Be sure to download the BVG app to use on your Android or iPhone.
- S-Bahn – The local railway and a subsidiary of the Deutsche Bahn (the German railway system), and an often faster and more direct way to get places that are farther apart. It also runs mostly above ground.
The Euro is the currency Germany. Use the calculator from Oanda below to help you manage your money exchanges and know how much something selling in Euro would cost in dollars.
Learning at least a few key phrases of the local language will be helpful and appreciated, even if many Germans (especially the younger generation) do speak English quite well. Be sure to read A German language cheat sheet for travelers and A traveler’s guide to dining and shopping in Germany before you go. Both have downloadable PDF’s you can take with you.
Whoever thought we would stay up all night to go to museums? When the Long Night of Museums in Berlin rolled around this year, however, we were there – along with many thousands of our best friends for the night. This year, the 20th birthday of the museum...read more
As the burgeoning and bustling capital of Germany, Berlin offers an addicting restaurant scene with any international or trendy cuisine you may desire. But in keeping with its gritty, artistic ways, Berlin has a superior street food market scene. We show you 5 great Berlin street food markets you won’t want to miss.read more
Germany’s capital of Berlin offers every international food imaginable, in restaurants, street markets or, in the case of the most authentic Thai food in the city, spread across a park. Thai Wiese (Thai Park) comes alive every weekend with arguably the best Thai food in Berlin.read more
Just 1 hour and 30 minutes east of central Berlin by car, near the Polish border and the Oder River is the site of the biggest battle of WWII fought on German soil. Memorializing this battle at at Seelower Höhen (Seelow Heights) and located at the highest point overlooking the farmlands below sits the Museum Seelower Höhen.read more
The Schiffshebewerk Niederfinow was completed in 1934 and is part of the Haavel-Oder waterway connecting the Elbe and Oder river basins. The waterway begins in Berlin at the Spandau lock and opens into the West Oder at the border area between Poland and Germany. Watching ships being raised and lowered in this ship elevator is amazing. A true engineering marvel.read more
Earlier in 2016, HI Travel Tales wrote about a new kind of banking experience by Deutsche Bank called “Q110 Bank” or “Bank of the Future.” We were quite enthralled by the casual and friendly, yet efficient and hard-working experience. The concept we wrote about had been active for several years without much change (the branch itself originally opened in 2005), so Deutsche Bank decided it was time to re-think its original “concept bank” and try out something different. The update was unveiled on Nov. 18, 2016, on a rainy day near the outlet not far from Checkpoint Charlie in central Berlin (Mitte).read more
Underground city tours always seemed to be a tourist come-on to me, but then I discovered Berlin Underground tours. Not a for-profit business, not a tour that drops you off in a gift shop, not a tour that starts in a bar and highlights raucous partying, this is the real deal in Berlin’s Underground.read more
One of our favorite areas to highlight in our Prenzlauer Berg travel guide (and there are so many wonderful places it is hard to pick just one) is indeed along Kollwitzstrasse and around the Kollwitzplatz (named after artist Kathe Kollwitz appropriately enough — check out her artwork at Artsy’s Käthe Kollwitz page). Farmers markets, street festivals and more are regular occurrences.read more
As we sat at dinner at Café Anne Blume sipping wine on the patio on a warm summer evening, I became entranced by the colors of a small market across the street. I just had to “paint and draw” the scene using my iPad for this watercolor view from Café Anna Blume.read more
The Jewish cemetery at Schönhauser Allee in Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin, is a beautiful, peaceful and yet haunting place to wander. It is well worth at least an hour. Keep in mind that men are asked to cover their heads, so if you do not have a hat, be sure to don a kippah as you will see Michael did in this video — available at the front entrance in a small basket.read more
The memorial on the Berlin Bethlehemkirchplatz (Bethlehem Church Square) is actually the work of Spanish artist Juan Garaizabel to commemorate the Bohemian Bethlehem Church. This small church was built for Bohemian evangelical refugees in about 1735 and was a center of the community. It was destroyed by bombing in 1943.read more
A concierge? A gift and trinket store? A bar and coffeehouse? Waiters and fine décor? This is a bank? Yes, this is Germany’s “Deutsche Bank” — the so-called “Bank of the Future” in central Berlin, the company’s one-and-only concept bank where it tests ideas for the world.read more
Where to stay in Berlin
You can search for other hotels and accommodations using our Booking.com search box, below. By booking your stay using Booking.com, we receive a small commission and you pay no more than if you would have booked directly … which helps us keep the lights on here in our offices, so thank you in advance for your support.
Our friends at TripHappy.com have an excellent guide to help you decide where to stay – Where to Stay in Berlin – A Comprehensive Guide to the Best Areas to Stay in Berlin.
HITravelTales.com City Guides
Read our other “What to do in …” guides to help you plan your next holiday to great cities around the world.