Germany’s capital city Berlin has been through a lot over the last century, and yet it’s still determined to move forward while remembering the past. It’s a place where history, an alternative lifestyle, modern innovations and a really interesting fashion scene clash together.

While Berlin’s history can be a little intimidating, don’t let that stop you from diving deep into the city’s quirky corners and interesting attraction. It’s got an overall friendly and welcoming vibe and it also seems determined to make itself a center for great food, a vibrant culture, and an exciting nightlife.

Walking through the streets of Berlin feels refreshing but you’ll always feel the weight of the past. This makes it one of the most unique cities to visit in all of Europe. And of course, there are plenty of amazing places to explore in Berlin.

So many, that you might feel a bit overwhelmed. But don’t worry, I’ve collected the best places to visit in Berlin in this insider guide below, so that you definitely won’t miss out on all the must-sees and hidden gems that the city has to offer.

Need a place quick? Here’s the best neighbourhood in Berlin:

BEST AREA IN BERLIN

Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf

Today a wealthy part of the city, it has several family-friendly attractions and activities as well as things that will apply to broader groups of travellers.

Places to visit:
  • Learn more about the area’s history and culture at the child-friendly Museum Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf.
  • See the official home of the German president at Bellevue Palace.
  • Descend into an old underground bunker to learn more about Berlin’s history at the Story of Berlin.

These are the BEST Places to Visit in Berlin!

Before we start, make sure you know where you want to stay in Berlin. The city is pretty big and there are plenty of unique neighbourhoods that all offer a different vibe. If you’re here to explore as many sights as possible, make sure you base yourself close to the city centre and public transport network. Alternatively, you could also get your hands on the Berlin City pass for discounted entry tickets to plenty of attractions and free use of trams and buses.

#1 – The Brandenburg Gate – The Absolute Must-Visit!

The Brandenburg Gate
One of Berlin’s most important monuments.
  • A must-visit place
  • Expect quite a few visitors
  • Represents the unity of Germany

Why it’s so awesome: Most people who are alive today know something of the trauma and sadness in Berlin’s history. For 30 years it was divided down the middle, and this monument existed in the land between the two sides of the city. It was also the backdrop for the celebrations of Berlin’s unification, which is why it must be part of your Berlin itinerary.

Of course, the dark history of the Brandenburger Torn doesn’t make it a super fun attraction, but it’s an incredible insight into the past and an important reminder of what happened not that long ago.

What to do there: If you don’t know a lot about Berlin’s history, this is your chance to learn some more. It is one of the most famous – if not THE most famous – attractions of Germany’s capital city, so be prepared to share the attraction with plenty of other tourists.

You can admire the massive structure, take the typical Instagram pics in front of it or admire a cool light show at night. While there are plenty of signs around that talk about the time before Berlin’s sides were united, it’s best to go visit with a local city guide if you want to know more about the details behind the construction, its history and other cool facts.

Insider tip: The gate is free of charge! If you can, visit at night to avoid the crowds and get a really sick picture of the lit-up monument.

#2 – Berlin’s Nightlife – A Diverse and Exciting Place to Visit

  • Best party-scene in Europe
  • Endless options

Why it’s so awesome: You can’t visit Berlin without hearing about the city’s insane nightlife. While it’s not technically a place to visit, there are just too many amazing venues to decide which one is the best. You can get bars, clubs and hidden hotspots all over the city and each of them offers a different vibe. One of the most famous nightclubs is Berghain but there are plenty of other and more unique nightlife places to visit.

What to do there: Dance the night away until your feet hurt – and then keep going. Go nude at Pornceptual, party through the weekend at Sunday Club, choose from all sorts of music genres at Hoe_Mies or dive into the techno scene at Suicide Circus or Tresor. There are endless options and trust me, you’ll struggle to decide where to go to!

#3 – Holocaust Museum

Holocaust Museum
Memorial to the murdered jews of Europe
  • Simple but impressive architectural masterpiece
  • A place of respect

Why it’s so awesome: There are some landmarks that you need to see when visiting or backpacking Berlin just because they’re important to the whole of humanity – and this is one of them. This memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is a part of Berlin’s attempt to come to grips with its own past. And this is clearly reflected through the solemnity and gravity of the site. It’s also a sobering reminder of the dangers of giving in to fear, hatred and mistrust.

What to do there: This isn’t a place to come to chatter and take photos. And in fact, you’ll probably find that you don’t want to. This monument is deliberately created to invite people in, and then has a distinctly uneasy vibe that suits the subject matter. Parts of the site are extremely haunting, in a way that’s hard to describe, and once you get to the center of it the sense of confinement is hard to take and extremely memorable.

When you visit, make sure to be respectful. Some of the blocks that are further on the outside might look like a great spot to sit or climb on, but be aware that there is plenty of police around to stop people from using this site as a playground.

Insider tip: Bring a snack with you. There are plenty of benches around where people can sit down and admire the impressive monument. It’s the perfect place to sit back and just appreciate your life for a while.

#4 – The Judisches Museum – Possibly one of the most important places to visit in Berlin

Judisches Museum berlin
The largest Jewish museum in Europe
  • Definitely not ideal for kids
  • Worth a visit just for the interesting design

Why it’s so awesome: The idea of a Jewish museum in Berlin was first floated in 1971, on the 300th birthday of the formation of the city’s Jewish community. After a lot of time, it finally opened in 2001. The building and the museum were designed by Daniel Libeskind and became an important part of the city, its history, and its attempt to understand its own past.

What to do there: Next to the Brandenburger Tor, this is another one of the most important landmarks in Berlin, mainly because it opens the floor for the Jews to tell their own story through their own words. It’s an intensely personal museum that fights to tell the stories of how the Jews contributed to their communities and how their culture adapted to life in Berlin. This story obviously takes a tragic turn, and the strength of the stories makes it feel very close, real and personal in a way that shouldn’t be missed.

Insider tip: Since this is a popular and important attraction, be prepared to share the museum with quite a few other visitors. It’s best to purchase tickets online so you can skip the line.

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#5 – Tiergarten – One of the most incredible free places to go to in Berlin

Tiergarten
Nice break from the city
  • Berlin’s version of Central Park!
  • A great place to relax all year-round

Why it’s so awesome: If you’re looking for a great and cheap place to spend an afternoon, then this is the perfect place. Tiergarten is an enormous garden right in the middle of the city. It was once used by the Kaiser as hunting grounds and is now one of the largest urban gardens in Germany.

What to do there: This is the type of place where you can relax and do whatever you like to do in parks. Walk around and explore the sites. There’s a Victory Column in the middle of the park, which commemorates a Prussian victory, and an ornate palace at the garden’s edge. If you don’t feel like walking, just take some friends and a picnic and hang out, enjoy the sun, and relax. It’s seriously one of the best free things to do in Berlin!

Insider tip: If you have a full itinerary for the day, this is the perfect place to sit back and let your feet relax a little bit before heading to the next attraction. You’ll see plenty of people bring blankets and frisbees during the summer months.

#6 – Neues Museum – A fascinating educational place to visit in Berlin

Neues Museum in barcelona
History lovers, make sure you add this museum to your Berlin itinerary!
  • Full of interesting history
  • Actually pretty cool just to look at too

Why it’s so awesome: With the drama and sadness of Berlin’s more recent history, you could be forgiven for forgetting that it actually has a much longer history filled with tragedy, significance for the future, and majesty. But this museum will remind you! It’s on Berlin’s UNESCO listed sites and holds artefacts from early and ancient history. If you want to learn about more than just the city, this is the place to go.

What to do there: A trip to this museum is the perfect answer to an otherwise slow museum. This is where you’ll learn about the earliest inhabitants of Berlin, Germany, and Europe as a whole. Make sure you check out the ancient Egyptian bust of Queen Nefertiti, one of the most famous women in the very long history of humanity.

While this might not be the most interesting place to visit for everyone, it is a great spot to explore on a rainy day. Tickets start from 6 Euros per person but you can easily purchase them online for easy and super fast access.

Insider tip: Neues Museum is part of Berlin’s Museum Island, a museum complex in the northern part of the historic city centre. If this is not the right spot for you, there are plenty of other things around that you could explore.

The East Side Gallery
Really cool open-air gallery in Berlin!
  • The largest open-air gallery in the world.
  • Consists of 105 paintings
  • Paintings or ON the Berlin wall
  • A whole 1.3 kilometres of history and art

Why it’s so awesome: This huge gallery features a long stretch of the Berlin Wall that has amazing works of art across it. After the wall fell in 1989, 118 artists from 21 countries went to work on this section, using the wall as a backdrop for their political and social commentaries.

What to do there: You can’t travel to Berlin without experiencing and thinking about all the turmoil this city has been through over the last century. And this wall will show you another side of that unrest. So, spend some time contemplating the artworks and the artist’s chosen canvas. It’s an interesting commentary on the issues of the time and the beliefs of the people who lived through it.

Insider tip: If you’re big on Instagram game, this is going to be a great place to shoot a couple of epic and unique shots. Keep in mind that you won’t be the only one wanting to take pics, so be sure to come at an earlier time of the day.

#8 – Museum Island – A fascinating educational place to visit in Berlin

Museum Island
A must-see in Berlin.
  • A UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Multiple museums combined
  • Day-worth of exploring

Why it’s so awesome: Museum island is a complex that includes a lot of different museums. The site itself has been named a UNESCO world heritage site and includes some of the most visited museums in Europe. The Neue Museum, which I talked about before, is also part of the Museum island. You’ll also find the famous cathedral perched on the island.

What to do there: You’ll find a museum for all tastes at this site including the world-famous Pergamon museum where you can see Islamic Art, the Ishtar Gate, and the Bode Museum for sculptures and art from the ancient world. If you plan to go to more than one museum then you should get the 3-day museum pass and make a day of it.

Alternatively, you could also just get individual tickets for each museum, just keep in mind that you might have to wait in line since the Museum Island is a very popular attraction, especially during Berlin’s peak tourist season.

Insider Tip: Make sure you take your own food and drink to the island, as there are very few shops that sell food and water and they do so at a very high price.

#9 – Berlin Zoo – More than just a cage!

Places to Visit in Berlin
Enjoy the old part of Berlin
  • Great place for families and kids
  • Highly ethical zoo
  • Massive area
  • Bring snacks!

Why it’s so awesome: The Berlin Zoo is one of the biggest and most important zoos in all of Europe. It provides safe homes for countless endangered species. Unlike other zoos, this place actually works on reintroducing animals to their natural habitat. With over 35 hectares and over twenty thousand animals, it’s one of the most comprehensive collections of species in the world.

What to do there: You can walk through the zoo and learn about all types of different animals. This is the perfect place to bring your kids and teach them about nature. It’s also a great way to inform yourself about how to respect nature and animals correctly. The zoo offers special programs for kids, such as feeding times and tours.

Insider tip: Please note that the Berlin Zoo isn’t just a regular zoo. It’s a home for endangered species and lives up to high ethical standards, so you can visit without any worries.

#10 – The Berlin Cathedral – A beautiful and scenic place to check out in Berlin

The Berlin Cathedral
Stunning church in Berlin
  • The largest and most famous church in the city
  • Architecturally striking and opulent

Why it’s so awesome: This building is the largest church in the city and it’s also one of the hotspots in Berlin for tourists. It has a striking green dome that looks amazing in photos and is surrounded by lush green areas that are great for a picnic and contrast nicely with the church. It’s taken decades to renovate the church, but now it’s returned back to its former glory and impresses with amazing architecture and a great play of colour.

What to do there: The best thing to do around the cathedral is to take a blanket and some snacks with you and have a picnic while admiring the beauty of the building. In fact, many locals spend the sunny afternoons around the monument. Make sure to take lots of pictures and tour the inside of the cathedral as well.

The Berlin cathedral is located just opposite the famous Museum Island, so you could even spend all day here just exploring what this part of the city centre has to offer.

Insider tip: For a small fee, you can climb the 270 steps up to the top of the dome and take in the great views over Museum Island, which is another cool attraction I’m gonna get to shortly.

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#11 – Mauerpark – One of the most amazing places in Berlin!

Mauerpark
Stroll around this beautiful park
  • Great weekend hotspot!
  • Holds events and flea market

Why it’s so awesome: This area used to be part of the Cold War era death strip but since then it’s been turned into a place of fun and nature. This seems to be a fitting memorial, to have so much beauty and joy where there was once so much pain, and it’s a great place to escape from the city during the week or to enjoy events pretty much any time. It also has a flea market on Sundays that locals and tourists alike swear by.

What to do there: This is an extremely popular part of Berlin, so expect large crowds, especially over the weekend. If you’re in the city on Sunday, make sure you turn up for the flea market, which is an absolute city favorite for locals and visitors alike. During the warm summer months, there are a lot of fun, free events held here as well, so find out what’s on and just show up! Also, try the Bearpit Karaoke for a few laughs!

#12 – The TV Tower

The TV Tower
Bring your camera!
  • Really crowded, so expect lines

Why it’s so awesome: You can see pretty much the whole city from this tower, which is Berlin’s most iconic landmark. It also plays host to over 1.2 million visitors a year, which makes it the most popular attraction in the city. It isn’t particularly interesting on its own, it’s an ordinary tower, but the views more than makeup to its aesthetic appeal.

What to do there: Take the elevator to the observation deck. You’ll be 203 meters up in the sky and be able to see the whole city from that vantage point. This is the perfect place for that iconic photo of you in Berlin, so make sure you take advantage of it and bring your camera!

Since this is a super popular attraction all year long, you can expect to share the view with quite a few other visitors. In order to reduce the waiting time in line, be sure to purchase your tickets online beforehand.

Insider tip: If you’re feeling extra fancy, you can even make a reservation for a window table at the TV Tower restaurant. It’s not the cheapest place to eat, but the view definitely makes up for it. It’s one of the most unique experiences you can have in Berlin.

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#13 – Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie
One of the most important landmarks in Berlin.
  • A border crossing between East and West Berlin
  • Setting for many thrillers and spy novels

Why it’s so awesome: If you want a slightly creepy, more personal view of what the city was like when it was divided by the Berlin Wall then you need to visit this site. This is the most famous border crossing between East and West Berlin and until 1989 it signified the border between capitalism and freedom and communism and confinement. It’s also the site of a few stand-offs between America and the Soviet during the Cold War.

What to do there: Visit the site and try to imagine what it was like for people who had to move through the checkpoint. There’s a sign above it that reads “You are now leaving the American sector’, a warning that’s incredibly ominous in this context. Over the years, this checkpoint has become almost a symbol of the conflict during the Cold War, which is why it’s one of the most important points of interest in Berlin today.

#14 – Berlin Wall Memorial

Berlin Wall Memorial
The Berlin Wall Memorial is a central memorial site of German division
  • Partly steel reconstruction
  • Remembrance for the victims of the Berlin Wall
  • 1.4km long, 12-foot-high

Why it’s so awesome: This site is more informative than other museums and will teach you all about the history of the Berlin Wall. It’s the ideal place for history nerds that really want to dig in deep. This wall split the city in two and stretched 1.4 kilometers across the city. You’ll be able to see the fortifications that once stood along this wall as well as the infamous ‘death strip’.

What to do there: This is an incredibly important historical site, so make sure you take the time to explore it. Marvel at the watchtower and ‘death strip’ and learn more about the sites through the interactive displays that are dotted throughout the area. Just remember that not all of the displays are safe for children, so be careful if you bring them to this site.

Insider Tip: The Berlin Wall is usually part of most Berlin Walking Tours, so if you want to find out directly from a local guide be sure to join one.

#15 – Kurfürstendamm

  • The Champs-Élysées of Berlin
  • Shopping and hotel street
  • Great for people watching too

Why it’s so awesome: If you’ve got some spare money, Kurfürstendamm is one of the best spots to go to in Berlin. It’s a massive avenue filled with all sorts of shops and plenty of charming cafes. It’s also a place to see and be seen. This is where you can find cool designer boutiques right next to high-end fashion stores. While staying on Kurfürstendamm is insanely expensive (think 5-star hotels), it’s perfect for shopping or a chill afternoon stroll.

What to do there: Spend all the money you got! But if you’re not keen on that, walking down the avenue for window-shopping is just as cool. There are an insane amount of designer shops and even some automobile exhibitions that can be visited. This is Berlin’s best most famous shopping street, right alongside “Unter den Linden” so you’ll share the boulevard with plenty of other visitors.

#16 – Charlottenburg Palace

Charlottenburg Palace
Another iconic landmark
  • Stately baroque palace
  • In the heart of Berlin
  • Stunning architecture

Why it’s so awesome: You might not think of Berlin in connection with palaces, but this residence will teach you otherwise. It was built in the 18th century for the Prussian rulers and is a perfect example of the baroque still that’s been so popular through the ages.

What to do there: Take pictures of the palace inside and out and then spend some time in the gardens. The green spaces surrounding the palace are almost better than the building itself and many people say that they’re one of the most beautiful gardens in the city as well. You can also find a Tea House and the Orangery in the garden which are worth a visit as well.

#17 – Reichstag

Reichstag
This historic edifice is super popular in Berlin.
  • One of the most famous places in Berlin
  • Berlin’s seat of power and home to the German parliament

Why it’s so awesome: This stately building is the seat of power in Germany and it also has a turbulent history behind it. In 1933, there was a fire at the site which prompted the persecution of political opponents and it also took a lot of damage in World War II. The completion of repairs took until after the fall of the Berlin Wall, but now it’s intact and still functions as a place of power in Berlin.

What to do there: You can book an appointment online to tour the building and enjoy the lush and stately rooms as well as a visit to the top of the building’s glass dome. This will give you some amazing views across the city, so it’s well worth making the extra effort. Simply walking past the monument is also pretty worth it since the building is quite an attraction in itself.

#18 – The Park Inn Hotel – Not your typical activity…

The Park Inn Hotel
Not for the faint of heart!
  • For the thrill seekers
  • Not ideal if you’re afraid of heights

Why it’s so awesome: If you’re looking for something more exciting than museums, then take a trip to this hotel. It’s located in Alexanderplatz, one of the city’s centers, and is 125 meters high. After a quick chat to the desk clerk, you can take the elevator to the top and then jump off the building. Yes, literally. It’s called base flying and it’s similar to bungee jumping, as well as a lot of fun.

What to do there: You can go base flying during the day or at night for some amazing views. Onlookers are welcome, so you’ll have someone there to witness your courage and take photos of your screaming face as you jump. You can also get an official view of your jump or take your own video camera and have someone record the action for you.

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    #19 – The Botanical Garden – A nice quiet place to see in Berlin

    The Botanical Garden
    Very special place to relax
    • Enjoy stunning nature
    • Holds 22,000 different plant species
    • Combined with a museum
    • Indoor and outdoor space

    Why it’s so awesome: When you spend all your time in a city you need a place where you can connect with nature. This botanical garden is absolutely huge, with plenty of room for everyone who wants to breathe in some fresh air and looking at artistic flower and plant displays.

    What to do there: This is the perfect place to just wander around and enjoy the scenery. You’ll see ivy-covered buildings, giant bamboo and a profusion of colorful waterlilies sure to delight gardeners and non-gardeners alike. There are over 22,000 different species of plants in this garden, so you’ll need to put aside a bit of time to see everything.

    #20 – Berliner Unterwelten

    Berliner Unterwelten in berlin
    You’ll get to explore the city’s undergrounds
    Photo: SP2011 (Wikicommons)
    • Unique place to visit
    • Explore the secret underworld

    Why it’s so awesome: When the tide started to turn during the Second World War and defeat looked possible, the authorities started to build bunkers under the city. This eventually became an underground system of tunnels and bunkers that both sides used during the Cold War. In fact, during this period a lot of money was spent creating multi-use rooms like subway stations and underground car parks to keep the population safe from a nuclear war.

    What to do there: There are more than 3,000 shelters under Berlin, so make sure you have a guide who can lead you to the most interesting ones and give you some background on the sites as well. After spending a little time in this underground maze, you’ll understand why it’s one of the most unusual things to do in Berlin and one of the most popular as well! There are a few different types of tours through the tunnels, so choose the one that appeals to you the most.

    Insider Tip: For now, there are no available tours online. If you want to find a private guide, be sure to check with your Berlin accommodation for help.

    #21 – Monster Kabinett

    Monster Kabinett in berlin
    Quirky hidden gem
    Photo: Fred Romero (Flickr)
    • Part art gallery, part haunted house.
    • Not ideal for kids
    • A bit creepy
    • But also pretty fascinating

    Why it’s so awesome: Created by an art collective called the Dead Pigeon Collective, this is a warehouse full of strange art. It contains metallic masterpieces as well as costumed people ready to put on a show on Thursdays and Friday nights. During these events, you’ll be confronted with skittering spider robots, malformed sculptures, and more in a weird and very effective modern version of a haunted house.

    What to do there: This is one of the most unusual things to do in Berlin and the location fits with that as well. The gallery is in a dark alley and you can’t really tell that you’ve reached it until one of the members of the collective greets you. It’s obviously a safe place to visit, but it is very scary, so leave the kids behind and show up on a Friday or Thursday night year-round for a fun evening out.

    #22 –Liquidroom – One of the more unique places to visit in Berlin!

    Liquidrom 1
    Really cool spa in Berlin
    Photo: Mitch Altman (Flickr)
    • Great place to relax
    • Saltwater pool
    • Cool inside and outside design

    Why it’s so awesome: This complex looks like a collection of tents, a design meant to evoke its past as a train station around the time of the Second World War. But these days, the building is far more modern and contains top of the line spa facilities and saunas where you can relax with the latest wellness technologies.

    What to do there: If you love spas then you simply must experience this one. The baths and saunas are great and perfect for heating and relaxing all the tension from your bones, but you definitely can’t miss the saltwater floating pool. The pool is in an architecturally fascinating room with high arches and multi-colored lights and music plays constantly. The music ranges from classical to techno and it’s designed to be heard underwater while you relax and float. This could be very relaxing, but it might also remind you of movies about mind control, so try to keep an open mind when you take your time in this pool.

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    #23 – Kreuzberg

    Kreuzberg
    Home to students and artists, this area is super cool.
    • Popular district
    • Full of unique cafes
    • Great for shopping

    Why it’s so awesome: Berlin is one of the most popular places to travel in the world at the moment and neighborhoods like this one are the reason why. It’s filled with amazing shops, galleries, cafes, restaurants, and bars. So, no matter what you enjoy doing, you’ll have a great time when you spend an afternoon or evening in this area.

    What to do there: This is one of the best places in Berlin when you don’t have an itinerary or a clear goal. Instead, just wander and see what you find. The buildings and streets are beautiful, the vibe is upbeat and modern, and when you get tired you can stop in at one of the cafes or restaurants for a tasty drink or snack!

    Insider Tip: Kreuzberg used to be one of the sketchier neighborhoods in Berlin, but has since changed thanks to students, young entrepreneurs and a very chilled out community.

    #24 – The Pergamon Museum

    Pergamon Museum berlin
    Possibly the most controversial museum in Berlin
    • Part of the UNESCO World Heritage
    • Controversial exhibitions

    Why it’s so awesome: Located on the Museum Island, this museum houses reconstructed, monumental buildings that were taken from Turkey. Since its opening in 1930, there has been ongoing pressure to return these cultural treasures to their home as the legitimacy of the acquisition is a little suspect. But while the Pergamon Altar and the Market Gate of Miletus are in Berlin, you absolutely must go to see these spectacular displays.

    What to do there: This is a display of history that you need to see while you’re visiting Berlin. The museum itself was damaged during the Second World War and many of its displays were taken by the Red Army. Some were returned, however, which gives extra history and weight to the already staggering pieces on display. Make sure you check out the south wing, where the Professional Way of Babylon, the Ishtar Gate and the Market Gate of Miletus are kept.

    Insider tip: The Pergamon museum is the most popular one on Museum island. Therefore, you can expect quite a few visitors. While you can enter the museum with an individual ticket, it’s also part of the city pass I spoke about earlier.

    #25 – The Museum of Unheard of Things – Quite the quirky place in Berlin!

    • Quirky place
    • Only for the open-minded ones
    • Small but interesting

    Why it’s so awesome:The objects in the collection are arranged all over the walls of this museum, but each of them tells a strange tale or myth that’s both fantastic and almost convincing. Don’t expect to hear about facts, this is a super creative place that allows your imagination to run freely. The stories are incredibly entertaining, if not a bit confusing sometimes but if you appreciate that kind of art, you should really stop by.

    What to do there: Like any other museum, you need to explore the items at this museum and read their descriptive labels. But there the resemblance stops because this is unlike the majority of museums. Make sure that you check out the ‘petrified water’, the story about the cow-pie worshipping community, and how sacramental wine lost its color. The curator of the museum has gathered and created stories of all different types, and it’s an absolute pleasure to visit the imaginative and slightly strange world that has resulted.

    #26 – The DDR Museum

    DDR Museum in berlin
    You’ll get to enjoy an immersive experience
    Photo: Andreas Praefcke (Wikicommons)
    • Interactive exhibitions
    • Depicts life in the former East Germany

    Why it’s so awesome: This museum isn’t so much awesome as fascinating and unsettling. When Berlin was divided, the eastern side became known as the DDR or Deutsche Demokratische Republik. This police state existed between 1949 and 1990 and was ruled by fear and suspicion. Some people estimate that one in ten people in that state worked as an informant for the Stasi and this museum explores the relics of that history.

    What to do there: There are more than 200,000 relics in this museum, but the reason why it’s worth seeing is because it’s been set up to allow you to become immersed in the world behind the Berlin Wall. You can walk into an East German apartment and watch a television show created by the state, or pick up the telephone and hear the click of someone listening in. This sounds like a claustrophobic world, and it is, but it’s also a unique look into a very different way of life that most westerners can’t even imagine.

    Insider Tip: While this place carries quite a dark history, it’s actually one of the best places to visit with slightly older kids if you want them to learn about the harsh past in the most gentle way possible.

    #27 – The Museum für Naturkunde – A fascinating educational place to visit in Berlin

    The Museum fur Naturkunde berlin
    Offering you insight into nature world!
    • The biggest natural history museum in Germany.
    • Great for kids!

    Why it’s so awesome: This museum contains amazing collections of minerals, paleontology exhibits, and zoology displays. Some of the displays go back thousands, if not millions of years, and include the oldest bird known to have existed, extinct animals, and the world’s largest chunk of amber. So, if you’re interested in the history of the natural world, this museum is a Berlin must see.

    What to do there: While you’re in Berlin, make sure that you put aside a few hours or even an afternoon to check out the marvels on display. Check out the mounted dinosaur, which is the tallest in the world even if that includes the bones from other dinosaurs and the wet collection. The wet collection contains thousands of fish and sea creatures preserved in glass jars, many of the jars more than 100 years old. This collection fills an entire room that’s been specially designed for them, and because of the way the lights are designed, the whole place shines with a beautiful, yellowed glow.

    #28 – The Gendarmenmarkt

    The Gendarmenmarkt
    Beautiful architecture
    • One of the largest squares in Berlin
    • Cool events during summer
    • Includes three beautiful and historic buildings

    Why it’s so awesome: This picturesque square is one of the most popular attractions in Berlin for tourists and it’s easy to see why. It plays host to a variety of public events throughout the year including classical concerts and the world-famous Christmas market in December. But even when there’s nothing going on, the stately 17th-century square still contains a number of important buildings and landmarks that are worth exploring.

    What to do there: First, check out if there are any events in the square while you’re in the city and make sure you attend. There’s nothing like being part of everyday life in Berlin and this is a great way to do it. If there’s nothing on, spend some time in the square to explore the French and German Cathedrals and the Konzerthaus theater. They’re all architecturally amazing and you’ll be able to get some great photos in front of them!

    Insider Tip: Just like the Alexander Platz, this place is ideal for people watching!

    #29 – The Museum of the Gestapo (Topography of Terror)

    Museum of the Gestapo in berlin
    Very graphic but super interesting
    • Outdoor & Indoor exhibitions
    • Explore the old Nazi ideology
    • Old Nazi headquarter

    Why it’s so awesome: The Topography of Terror occupies the buildings that were used as offices and prisons by the Gestapo and the Secret State Police during the Second World War. The exhibits don’t shy away from this history, instead, they focus on giving visitors a good idea of how terrifying it must have been to be under the control of such a violent and capricious military force.

    What to do there: You might want to avoid this museum if you struggle with graphic displays as they can be found everywhere in this museum. If you do go, make sure you check out the videos, photographs and audio from this time. They explore issues like persecution, extermination, and occupation and they also address the time after the war, when Berlin was struggling to recover from the atrocities. This is an important and memorable display, but it definitely isn’t a comfortable one.

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    FAQ on the Best Places to Visit in Berlin

    Find out what people want to know about the best places to visit in Berlin

    Final Thoughts on the Coolest Places to Visit in Berlin

    Berlin is a city with an interesting and sometimes tragic history that shouldn’t be forgotten. That’s why it’s so important that as many people as possible experience the best places to visit in this city. It’s a reminder of the dangers of hatred, confinement, and segregation.

    And Berlin’s determination to move forward is also a reminder of the strength of the human spirit. So, make sure you have the trip of a lifetime while you’re in this city by choosing the attractions you’re most interested in seeing from my complete list. If you’re looking for even more things to do when visiting the city, check out some of the amazing Berlin day trips too.


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