Top 10 Things to Do in Berlin : With Online Tickets & Tours
Berlin is a treasure chest of sights that leaves even the most seasoned traveler spoiled for choice.
With so many options, it can be quite difficult to settle on your must-sees - especially if you're short on time.
Not to worry, we've compiled a list of the top 10 things to do in Berlin that you definitely shouldn't miss. Best of all, we've also prepared the right online tickets for you, so you don't have to waste precious time in long queues.
Finally, you will find answers to frequently asked questions about Berlin, which will help you plan your trip better.
But first, let's take a look at important sightseeing tips. Let's go!
Tip: If you have time and want to discover even more of Berlin, take a look at our comprehensive post with the 50 best sights in Berlin. If you want to do something unique besides the classics, check out our list of 25 extraordinary attractions.
1. City Pass for Berlin
If you are traveling to Berlin and want to make the most of your time and budget, it is worth considering buying a City Pass. We recommend the Berlin Welcome Card, the official City Pass of the city of Berlin. You have the choice between different variants.
Most popular are the Berlin Welcome Card All Inclusive, with free admission to over 30 of Berlin's top attractions, unlimited travel on public transport, a 1-hour tour of the Spree River, and much more, as well as the Berlin Welcome Card Classic, which offers free travel on public transport in zones ABC and up to 50% discount at numerous partners in Berlin.
- Learn more about this City Pass and even more available tourist cards for Berlin in our detailed article: Best City Pass for Berlin | Comparison of Prices & Included Activities.
2. Public Transport in Berlin
Berlin has a very well developed, efficient and reliable public transport system. The network of S-Bahn, U-Bahn, bus, streetcar, regional train and train covers the entire city area and makes getting around very easy for locals as well as tourists. Fares are affordable and based on fare zones.
In addition to the Berlin Welcome Card, Berlin travelers can also take advantage of the Easy City Pass. The card allows unlimited use of public transportation within fare zones AB or ABC, as well as discounts at more than 100 local partners, including museums, attractions, restaurants and more. With various durations from two to six days, the Easy City Pass is a great investment for anyone looking to make the most of their time in the city.
- Read more: Public transport in Berlin
3. Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour of Berlin
Our next sightseeing tip is a big favorite among Berlin travelers: a Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour. On the Tour, you'll discover Berlin and its top sights comfortably from the seat of a double-decker bus. Along the way, you can hop on and off at any of the stops to see your favorites up close or visit them from the inside. It's easy to get an excellent overview of the German capital in a single day.
You can choose from 24-hour or 48-hour tickets with various routes. Many tourists like to buy the combination ticket with hop-on hop-off bus ride and one hour boat ride on the river Spree. For the combo ticket, we recommend our partners Stromma and BWSG below.
Top 10 Things to do in Berlin
Now let's move on to the actual top 10 things to do in Berlin.
1. Spree River Tour
Let's start our list of the top 10 things to do in Berlin with the picturesque Spree River. Winding through the heart of the city, the river offers a welcome change from the hustle and bustle of the city streets with its beautiful riverside promenades, lush green parks, and charming boat tours. Stroll along the banks of the Spree, take a breather at a waterfront café, or - even better - join a Spree cruise.
For many tourists, the boat trip along the idyllic waterway is one of the most beautiful experiences in Berlin and is considered the absolute highlight of their Berlin trip. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that a Spree cruise is one of the most popular activities in Berlin. During the boat trip you can admire many landmarks of the city, including the Reichstag, the Museum Island, the Berlin Cathedral and the Nikolai Quarter, from a unique perspective. During the trip, you will hear exciting information about the history of the city and the Berlin landmarks you pass on your way via the on-board loudspeaker or the "Berlin Spreefahrt" app from YourMobileGuide.
Read more details about the river in our ultimate guide about the Spree and check out our detailed post about Spree Cruises.
2. Brandenburg Gate
We continue with the imposing Brandenburg Gate, the symbol of German unity and one of the most important landmarks in the city. The neoclassical triumphal arch, completed in 1791, rises on Pariser Platz, at the end of the magnificent Unter den Linden boulevard, and is the only surviving city gate of Berlin's original 18 city gates.
Once a symbol of the division of the city into East and West, today it stands for the eventful history of Berlin like no other building. It is living testimony to the German dawn of democracy and reunification. A selfie from the Brandenburg Tour is almost a must... The building is crowned with 12 Doric columns and artistic reliefs of the Quadriga, a four-horse carriage with an impressive sculpture of the goddess of victory, Victoria.
- For more exciting details the landmark has to offer, like “the room of silence” and its history, check out our full Brandenburg Gate guide.
3. Reichstag Building
The Reichstag building on Republic Square is not only one of the top things to do in Berlin, but also one of the most important in all of Germany. The architectural masterpiece was built between 1884 and 1894 by the architect Paul Wallot in neo-Renaissance style and has been the seat of the German Bundestag since 1999.
Today the Reichstag is the most visited parliament in the world. In addition to a session in the plenary hall, interested parties can take part in one of the free tours of the Reichstag building. The main attraction, however, is the glass dome and the roof terrace, which offer a magnificent panoramic view of Berlin. The restaurant in the Reichstag building, which entices with modern German cuisine, is also very popular. Visiting the Reichstag building is free, but only possible with prior registration.
- For more registration details and other helpful information, see our complete guide to the Reichstag building.
- Reichstag Tour: Booking a Reichstag Tour not only saves you the hassle of registering, it also gives you an insightful experience together that also covers the government district. Book using the link below to secure your spot!
4. Museum Island
The Berlin Museum Island is the largest museum ensemble in the world and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. With the Pergamon Museum, the New Museum/Egyptian Museum, the Old Museum, the Old National Gallery and the Bode Museum, there are five world-class museums here.
The heart of the Museum Island is the Pergamon Museum with the Pergamon Altar and the Ishtar Gate, but Nefertiti in the New Museum is also a crowd puller. Since 2019, guests visiting Museum Island have been welcomed in the James Simon Gallery as the central entrance area. If you need a break, you can simply find a nice spot in the Pleasure Garden, a two-hectare green oasis that was transformed into a pleasure garden in the 17th century under the Great Elector.
- You can find all the details about the museums, the exhibits and other sights in our Museum Island Guide.
5. Berlin TV Tower
Visiting the Berlin TV Tower is an unforgettable experience that you should not miss. With good reason, it attracts over 12 million visitors every year. As the tallest building in Germany, it offers one of the best views of all of Berlin from its viewing platform at 203 meters, including Museum Island, the Brandenburg Gate, the Spree River and much more. If visibility is good, you can even see up to 70 km away.
But that is not all! The real highlight of the Berlin TV tower is the Sphere restaurant. Imagine enjoying a delicious meal while the tower ball slowly rotates on its own axis and offers you a spectacular all-round view of the breathtaking skyline of Berlin. This unique dining experience is the perfect way to celebrate a special occasion or just to share an unforgettable evening with loved ones.
- For more information on tickets, highlights and history, check out our complete guide to the Berlin TV Tower.
6. Berlin Cathedral
The magnificent Berlin Cathedral is one of the most beautiful sights in the German capital. With a total height of 116 meters on a floor area of almost 6800 square meters, it is the largest Protestant church in Germany.
The mighty, turquoise-green dome that characterizes Berlin's silhouette can certainly be understood as a Protestant answer to the Catholic St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Those who climb the 270 steps of the dome are rewarded with a great panoramic view of historic Berlin. Under the tower, on the other hand, is one of the most important dynastic burial sites in Europe, the Hohenzollern crypt.
- Note: Although it is a church, you have to pay an entrance fee to visit the Berlin Cathedral.
- Read more about admission, history and fun facts in our complete guide to Berlin Cathedral.
7. East Side Gallery
Another must-see attraction in our list of top things to do in Berlin is the East Side Gallery. With a length of 1,316 meters, it is now the longest continuous section of the Berlin Wall. When you visit the open-air gallery, you can not only admire breathtaking works of art, but also really immerse yourself in the history of Berlin. On display are 106 dynamic artworks by 118 artists from 21 countries, all created in the months following the fall of the Wall, and covering themes of peace and political statements.
Let legendary works such as the socialist brother kiss by Honecker and Brezhnev and the Don't miss the satellite breaking through the concrete. Other popular graffiti are "Wall Jumper", "Diversion to the Japanese Sector", "Dancing for Freedom" and "The Colorful Heads". If you want, you can continue your journey through Berlin's Wall history in The Wall Museum in the former Mühlenspeicher watchtower. Here you can learn more about this eventful chapter in the city and the impact that the Berlin Wall had on citizens.
- Read more details about this part of the wall in our complete guide to the East Side Gallery.
You already know one highlight at Alexanderplatz. But in addition to the Berlin TV Tower, the largest square in Germany has much more to offer. Alexanderplatz is one of the most visited places in Berlin. More than 360,000 people are out and about on the square in the northern end of the Berlin-Mitte district every day. This even makes it the fourth busiest square in Europe.
Shopping fans in particular will get their money's worth with the wide range of shopping opportunities at Alexanderplatz. The huge Alexa and Primark shopping centers are particularly popular, but small shops, restaurants and a cinema also attract Berliners and tourists. Other attractions are the World Clock, the Fountain of Friendship of Nations, Alexander House and the Berolina House. Here you will also find the Park Inn Hotel, which offers the exciting opportunity to try Base Flying - a rapid descent down the facade of the hotel...
- For more details, see our complete guide to Alexanderplatz.
9. Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie is a symbol of the Cold War and the division of Germany. During the Cold War, the military checkpoint of the American occupying forces was the scene of intense political tensions and even served as the backdrop for Hollywood spy thrillers such as "James Bond - Octopussy".
Today it is a tourist attraction with great appeal and a very popular photo opportunity, although the control barracks, barrier and sandbags are only faithful replicas. To get a glimpse into the life of the people who lived in East Berlin during the Cold War, it is worth visiting the "Wall Museum - Haus am Checkpoint Charlie" located here.
- Read more: Checkpoint Charlie
10. DDR Museum
We conclude our list of top things to do in Berlin with the DDR Museum. A fascinating journey through time to the former GDR awaits you here! In the DDR Museum you will learn everything about life in the German Democratic Republic. Experience history up close while learning all sorts of things at the same time.
Authentic originals and interactive installations that are unique worldwide are just waiting to be touched and tried out. Don't miss the faithfully furnished five-room prefab apartment, the monumental In Praise of Communism mural, and the opportunity to touch many of the interactive exhibits. The absolute highlight, however, is the Trabi driving simulation in an original Trabant P 601.
- Read more: DDR Museum in Berlin
FAQ - Frequently asked questions about Berlin
Berlin has something to offer for everyone. Don't miss the must-see attractions like the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag and the East Side Gallery.
Art lovers can explore renowned museums and galleries such as the Museum Island, the Jewish Museum and the DDR Museum, and foodies can look forward to delicious street food in the Markthalle Neun for traditional German cuisine.
Berlin's legendary nightlife lures people to techno clubs like Berghain, and the city's parks and green spaces invite you to take a relaxing break in the countryside. The Kurfürstendamm or the Alexa shopping center are ideal for a shopping spree.
Depending on your interest and budget, Berlin offers a variety of great areas to live in. Berlin-Mitte is a popular and central district with many historical sights, shops and restaurants. Kreuzberg and Neukölln are trendy districts with a vibrant nightlife and street art. You can find more information about the individual districts of Berlin in our article 12 Berlin districts: places of residence during your stay.
For hotel recommendations, take a look at our Berlin Hotel Guide which contains lists of different hotel categories including central Berlin-Mitte hotels, cheap 3-star hotels, 4- and 5-star hotels and more.
Berlin offers an excellent gastronomic scene with a wide range of offers for every taste and every budget. From traditional German cuisine to international delicacies, there is something for everyone.
Check out our comprehensive Restaurant Guide for some of the best restaurants and cafes. In it you will find insider tips on typical Berlin dishes and recommendations for restaurants in the city, no matter what the occasion.
Berlin nightlife is legendary. Popular neighborhoods like Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain and Neukölln are home to a variety of bars and clubs, including the famous Berghain, known for its techno music and strict door policy.
But Berlin has even more to offer: from jazz clubs and comedy clubs to theaters. With affordable prices and a solid reputation for security, you can party the night away without breaking the bank or feeling insecure. Check out our Berlin Nightlife Guide for more details and recommendations for bars, clubs and more.
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From Berlin nightlife to extraordinary attractions
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