From the minute you land in bustling Berlin, the city engulfs you with its bohemian vibes, parks, restaurants, and wacky spots. Whether your idea of fun is catching an art exhibit, discovering a historic landmark, or enjoying the nightlife until the early hours, I can assure you that this city has you covered!

Locals will tell you that the real city lies beneath those overly touristy spots, and after exploring Berlin for myself, I quite agree with them! Berlin is packed full of treasures—and I do mean packed!

From bizarre bodega finds to hidden courtyards and open-air art galleries in former NSA spy stations, there are heaps of secrets concealed in plain sight.

So, let’s venture off the beaten track in search of the MOST EXQUISITE hidden gems in Berlin!

Laura stood next to the Berlin Wall in front of a barrier with a stern face
Berlin starts here.
Photo: @Lauramcblonde

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What’s Berlin Like?

It won’t take you long to realize that Berlin is a city that never fails to seduce its visitors with its quaint cafes, amazing eats, and oodles of history.

While it’s laden with history, Berlin is the kind of eccentric place that’s always evolving while still honoring its complex past – something that only adds to its charm.

An irrepressible energy greets you as soon as you step out on its street, all enhanced by its hipster venues, raucous nightclubs, and graffiti-lined lanes. No wonder Berlin attracts free spirits, entrepreneurs, and creative travelers alike!

Brandenburg Gate in Berlin with sunset behind
Aint no secret!
Photo: @Lauramcblonde

The city is home to some world-famous landmarks, including the Brandenburg Gate which is easily one of the most recognizable structures in the city. Built between 1788 and 1791, this is Berlin’s last remaining city gate and believe me when I say it’s quite a sight to behold!

Speaking of popular spots, it wouldn’t quite be a trip to Berlin without a stop by Berghain which just so happens to be the most exclusive club in the city.

It’s known for its exceptionally wild parties that can literally last for days. Brace yourself for a bit of a wait though since the lines are insane. I’m talking 5 to 6 hours of wait time, if not more. It’s also super difficult to get into (some would say impossible), but that’s all part of the fun!

By the way, I also recommend getting an EasyCity Pass for free travel on public transportation and fabulous discounts on various events and attractions.

But enough about the popular stuff and let’s check out the secret spots instead!

15 of the Best Hidden Spots in Berlin

Planning a trip to Germany? Brace yourself: Berlin will hit you like a whirlwind!

Whether it’s the food, the culture, or the exceptionally friendly people, this is one city that knows how to charm its visitors. Here are 15 of the best hidden spots that will only enhance your stay in the city!

1. Stroll Through the Hidden Backyards

THE most curious and exciting hidden gems in Berlin: the Backyards!

Berlin’s got a pretty dope urban scene, but what lies behind the main streets is even more INSANE. This 2-hour tour will take you through the Scheunenviertel neighborhood, where you’ll discover a whole different side of Berlin brimming with explosive colorful graffiti and street art.

Hidden Backyards Guided Walking Tour in German
Wherever the journey leads.

Your journey will be highlighted by vibrant art, color, and a lot of curious history stories. Your guide will tell you all about the origins and transformations of this area, which is damn curious. You’ll also learn more about both the historic and contemporary Jewish cultural hub that surrounds the New Synagogue.

More artsy experiences await around Berlin’s hidden backyards, as you stop by Schwarzenberg House which houses several art studios, and the Heckmann-Höfe courtyard which is a popular hangout spot among the locals. Get ready to stroll all around Berlin, so make sure you’re equipped with your favorite walking shoes.

  • Rating: 10/10- Bucket list essential!
  • Cost: $21
  • Personal Opinion: Definitely don’t skip this one!

2. Browse through the Shakespeare and Sons Bookstore

I always enjoy moseying around indie bookstores when I travel around Europe and in my opinion, Shakespeare and Sons is one of the best hidden gems in Berlin for bookworms!

a girl walking through a bookstore looking for a book
How much time could you spend between those shelves?
Photo: @amandaadraper

Named after its Parisian counterpart, the bookshop managed to maintain its 1960 spirit throughout the years. As such, you can expect plenty of nostalgia with a distinctively vintage decor. I was told that some of the shelving units actually date back to the 1960s, something that only adds to the charm of the place.

I literally spent hours wandering through the bookshelves of the ‘Rare Book’ section which has plenty of literary treasures that you might not find elsewhere.

Grab a book (or two!) then, head to the secret corner—the cozy café nearby. This bookshop also doubles as a hidden gem café since it serves fresh bagels and delicious coffees all day long.

  • Rating: 10/10 – Bucket list essential!
  • Cost: FREE (Manage your budget wisely—there are MANY interesting books!)
  • Personal Opinion: Definitely don’t skip this one!

3. Visit the Historic Markthalle Neun Farmer’s Market

Did you know that there used to be around 14 (if not more) gorgeous markets in Berlin? Unfortunately, only three of them have survived the test of time but believe me when I say they’re well worth a visit!

Now if you don’t have time to visit all three, I highly suggest visiting the historic Markthalle Neun Farmer’s Market, located in the Kreuzberg district.

Gaya Street Sunday Market
I’d buy the whole store…

An absolute treasure of a place, this market dates all the way back to 1891 and was renovated in 2011. You’ll be seduced by this place that smells like a bakery at dawn with so much fresh produce and prepared local delicacies.

In fact, I suggest that you visit on the third Sunday of the month so you can attend the Breakfast Market which features classic German breakfast fare. Alternatively, you can always catch the market’s ‘Street Food Thursday’ which is held each week. Foodies know that these markets are cultural experiences in their own right and that they’re a blast for all senses… You know they really are!

  • Rating: 7/10- Hidden Gem Alert
  • Cost: FREE
  • Personal Opinion: Well worth the detour for a unique experience.
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4. Look Out for the Manhole Covers

I know what you’re probably thinking. Manhole covers…on a list of secret spots in Berlin? Well, you only have to look down to know what you’ve been missing!

One of Berlin’s most unusual and quirkiest aspects is very often missed by travelers in their hurry to get from one attraction to the next. But if glance down, you’ll notice that Berlin’s drain covers are actual works of art. In fact, the ones around Alexanderplatz are exceptionally ornate with some beautiful carvings.

Some of them even compile the best sights in Berlin, including the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag Building, the Television Tower, and more. Prepare to be surprised by this hidden gem.

  • Rating: 7/10 – Hidden Gem Alert
  • Cost: FREE
  • Personal Opinion: A unique perspective of Berlin. Just look down!

5. Enter a Cosmos of Lights and Sounds

If you’re hanging out with your friends and seeking a unique thing to do in Berlin, DARK MATTER promises an experience through lights, sounds, and movements. And no… you won’t be feeling too dizzy:)

With over 1,000 square meters of multimedia installations, DARK MATTER is all set to deliver a unique experience with choreographies of colors and luminous forms.

DARK MATTER Experience Entry Ticket
Can you see that reflection?

Located in a converted factory, this activity starts in a pitch-black room. From there, you’ll be guided through immersive artworks, some with audiovisual elements and some featuring spectacular light compositions. As you move through the exhibits, you’ll even be able to partially interact with some of the objects.  

It’s an immersive experience where you won’t even feel time passing by. However, because of its expansive light installations, this activity isn’t suitable for people with epilepsy.

  • Rating: 7/10 – Hidden Gem Alert
  • Cost: $25
  • Personal Opinion: Well worth the detour for a unique experience.

6. Explore Fotografiska

I stumbled upon this secret spot in Berlin completely by accident and the art aficionado in me loved everything about this place!

Now, Berlin itself is a masterpiece, brimming with energy and artsy scenes waiting to be discovered. And Fotografiska is a great opportunity to expand your cultural horizons and enjoy amazing food, drinks, and world-class visual arts.

Fotografiska Entry Ticket

Originally founded in Stockholm, Fotografiska recently opened its doors in Berlin and boy does it pack a serious punch!

There are almost 5,500 square meters of space to explore, all spread across no less than 6 levels. You’ll find an eclectic blend of photography and visual arts featuring both rising stars as well as world-renowned artists alike. There’s sooo much to see so don’t forget to bring your favorite travel camera.

  • Rating: 7/10 – Hidden Gem Alert
  • Cost: $16
  • Personal Opinion: Well worth the detour for a unique experience.

7. Sing your Heart out at Monster Ronson’s Ichiban Karaoke

Self-described as ‘the best and most famous karaoke bar in Germany and the whole of Europe’, Monster Ronson Ichiban Karaoke is a real doozy as far as karaoke bars are concerned!

Open until 4 a.m. on most days (6 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays), this club offers various types of events, so be sure to check their calendar to see if there’s anything you’d like to catch while in Berlin.

Be sure to check out the Berlin QueerCityPass which offers free rides on public transportation and discounted entry to various venues including Monster Ronson’s Ichiban Karaoke, Connection Club, Grosse Freiheit 114 Bar Berlin, and more!

  • Rating: 6/10 – Worth a Deeper Look
  • Cost: $30
  • Personal Opinion: There’s substance under the surface.
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8. Go in Search of Berlin’s Off-the-Grid Enclaves

Grafitti, street art, magic… That’s Berlin on a sunny day! If you’d like to get off the beaten track, I can vouch for this off the grid street art tour that’ll take you to lesser-known enclaves filled with illegal graffiti, vibrant murals, and quirky works of art.

Berlin Street Art Walking Tour - Off The Grid
Profound. Charming. Berlin.

Not only will you get to avoid the tourist crowds, but you’ll also get to explore the city’s most creative neighborhoods while learning about how art is used as a form of political messaging in Berlin. Best of all, you’ll get to potter about a street art gallery filled with commissioned urban artwork.

Rob, my guide, explained what the art was about and the art techniques used and he was very good at mixing humor with the script.

For an authentic experience, I would recommend staying in sly Berlin hotel, and when the sun sets, roll Volkspark Friedrichshain with a picnic basket and some local treats.

  • Rating: 6/10 – Worth a Deeper Look
  • Cost: $23
  • Personal Opinion: There’s substance under the surface.

9. Stand Up Paddling and Yoga on the Spree

This experience goes way beyond your regular Berlin itinerary but if you’re really seeking something truly unique, you’ll totally love this one.

Let’s introduce you to the new trend of Stand Up Paddling Yoga on the Spree. In this retreat, you’ll be doing so much yoga and river paddling while watching Berlin from a completely different angle.

Stand Up Paddling and Yoga on the Spree
Grounding.

This unique opportunity caters to solo travelers seeking outdoor thrills with the city landscape in the background. You’ll get wet and refreshed, you’ll challenge your boundaries, and have a good laugh while trying to keep your balance and breathe at the same time.

When you aren’t twisting and stretching, there will be time to relax and enjoy the magnificent setting of where you are staying in Berlin. I particularly enjoyed my time at Hotel Ludwig van Beethoven which is directly opposite Hasenheide Park and has the best city views.

  • Rating: 8/10 – Genuine Delight
  • Cost: $34
  • Personal Opinion: A true hidden gem, sure to make you smile.

10. Bike Your Way Through Berlin’s Top Secrets

It won’t take you long to realize that Berlin is super bike-friendly! Berlin boasts over 1,000 km of dedicated bike lanes, making it one of the best cities in the world for cycling.

Fancy a day trip around Berlin? I recommend this guided bike tour that’ll take you through some of the best hidden treasures, idyllic places, and green pathways.

Your biking journey spans approximately 17 kilometers through which you’ll experience exactly the opposite of a typical sightseeing tour.

As I cycled down through parks and bikeways, the guide was telling us stories and facts about the city with knowledge, humor, and heart. Berlin is so worth seeing from this perspective.

  • Rating: 9/10 – Worth Bragging About.
  • Cost: $32
  • Personal Opinion: An impressive find you’ll tell friends about.

11. Discover the Sachsenhausen Memorial and Potsdam

A piece of the Berlin Wall in Potsdamer Platz, Berlin, Germany
The Berlin Wall
Image: Nic Hilditch-Short

If you’re visiting Berlin and already thinking of WWII, you should visit the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. This site contains layers of history, some centered around key moments in Berlin’s past.

Your guide will take you through a profound historical journey and share detailed stories and facts about the camp’s history, how it was run, how the jobs were distributed, and the atrocities committed there.

You’ll also be visiting the old Slavic town of Postdam and walking through its royal palaces and gardens.

Personally, I found great joy in exploring the hidden corners of Potsdam on my own, allowing my mind and soul to reflect as I walked around the area.

  • Rating: 8/10 – Wanderluster Approved
  • Cost: $65
  • Personal Opinion: An under-the-radar winner, prepare to be wowed.

12. Uncover Berlin’s Secret Food

Food is no secret, but this tour is all about uncovering Berlin’s delicious hidden gems.

The best European cities have the most delicious food scene and Berlin offers exactly that. This tour will take you on a journey to discover the secret German food and the culinary culture of Berlin.

a casserole Greek dish with a brown crust sits on a blue plate
Delish food is part of the journey!
Photo: @danielle_wyatt

Your guide will take you through the city’s vibrant street food scene, starting with the legendary Mustafa’s Kebab, the name in Berlin street food. You’ll also visit a classic Berlin deli to pick up some traditional German biscuits and you’ll hear the story behind each bite.

The tour includes tasting the traditional Northern cuisine and Flammkuchen (Tarte Flambee). Foodies will be glad to learn that the tour even features trying Currywurst, a famous Cold War staple, at the best spot in town.

  • Rating: 8/10 – Genuine Delight
  • Cost: $92
  • Personal Opinion: An absolute haven for foodies! 

13. Catch a Comedy Show

With new gags every week, the Quatsch Comedy Club is one of Berlin’s most popular stand-up comedy clubs – and for good reason! Not only is this the oldest club in Berlin but it’s continuously innovating its shows and adding new performers so there’s always something fresh that awaits.

Quatsch Comedy Club Die Live Show
Wait until you laugh your heart out

You’ll be able to select your seating category, not actual seats so I recommend that you head there earlier (at least an hour before the show) to pick the best seats!

  • Rating: 6/10 – Worth a Deeper Look
  • Cost: $40
  • Personal Opinion: There’s substance under the surface.

14. Look for the Hidden Brass Bunnies

Looking for underrated places in Berlin to explore with the family? How about embarking on a self-guided hunt for the brass bunny plaques scattered across the city?

While you may not necessarily notice them etched into the pavement and road at first – most tourists are completely oblivious to them – I assure you that once you start to notice these life-size rabbit plaques, you’ll quickly start to see them all over the place.

These plaques were set up to honor the many rabbits that once lived in the no-man’s land formed after the erection of the Berlin Wall. When the Wall was torn down, the rabbits moved to the green spaces and parks.

In 1999, a local artist named Karla Sachse set up over a hundred bunny silhouettes in and around the areas where the rabbits used to live. Unfortunately, some of the brass plaques are now buried under asphalt but it’s still possible to spot some of them across the city, especially along Chausseestraße.

  • Rating: 6/10 – Worth a Deeper Look
  • Cost: FREE
  • Personal Opinion: There’s substance under the surface.

15. Grab a Coffee at Britzer Garten

If you’re a slow traveler who wants to escape the daily grind while reconnecting with nature, then you may wish to head up to Britzer Garten.

Covering an area of over 200 acres, this garden is an absolute green lung in Berlin! It’s got playgrounds, rhododendron woods, a rose garden, hills, lakes, and even multi-hued flower patches based on the season.

Britzer Garten also happens to be home to the whimsical Café Am See. This hidden gem café was designed by a local architect who’s passionate about organic architecture and believe me when I say there’s nothing quite like sitting down to one of their delicious cakes after trudging through the garden!

  • Rating: 8/10 – Genuine Delight
  • Cost: Free
  • Personal Opinion: A true hidden gem, sure to make you smile.

FAQs About Hidden Gems in Berlin

There’s still more to come. There’s still more to come. Here are more hidden treasures in Berlin to put on your map.

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Final Thoughts About Hidden Gems in Berlin

It’s no secret that Berlin holds some of the most historical and incredibly artsy sites in Europe – not to mention an abundance of secrets. So, ditch those guidebooks and let your wanderlust run free as you explore those incredible hidden gems in Berlin!

Do you have some extra time to spare? Then you can even consider planning a backpacking trip across Germany for the adventure of a lifetime!

A couple sits on a bench in a garden overlooking a river in Berlin.
The true feeling of fulfillment.
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