Germany’s capital, Berlin captivates visitors all year round with its edgy urban culture and exciting atmosphere. There’s always something cool to do in the hub of German art and culture, Berlin, whether it’s taking in a classic German opera, checking out a piece of experimental theatre in a funky underground venue or drinking in the magic of the Berlin Festival of Lights. Stately historical monuments such as the Brandenburg Gate and German Parliament alongside futuristic shopping malls and art galleries make Berlin a holiday destination with something special for everyone.
Things to do in Berlin, Germany
What better place to start your Berlin sightseeing than with 360° views from the top of the tallest building in Germany, the Berliner Fernsehturm. The television tower stands at an impressive 368 metres tall and from here you can get a good feel for the layout and massive expanse of the city of Berlin.
Erected almost overnight by the government in 1961, the Berlin Wall divided east and west Germany for 28 years. Even though it was demolished in 1989, parts of it are still visible today. A 1.3 kilometre section of the Berlin Wall is now dedicated to art as part of the East Side Gallery, the world’s largest open-air art gallery. More than a hundred paintings of all styles and by artists from all over the world adorn this unique Berlin attraction. You can learn more about the history of the Berlin Wall with a visit to the Checkpoint Charlie Museum, at the sight of the famous crossing point between east and west Berlin.
The beautiful Renaissance architecture of the German Parliament building, the Reichstag, makes it one of the most visited Berlin sights. Badly damaged by fire in the 1930s, Berlin’s Reichstag has undergone extensive renovations that include a modern-looking glass dome, bringing old and new together seamlessly.
At one end of Berlin’s grand boulevard, Unter den Linden, the Brandenburg Gate has become a symbol of the reunified city since the fall of the Wall. Constructed in the 18th century, the Brandenburg Gate once marked the boundary between east and west Berlin and the square surrounding it was a wasteland. A visit to the Brandenburg Gate is now a fascinating and moving experience.
Also along the Unter den Linden is the stately German State Opera House. Originally constructed as the Royal Opera House in 1743, it was notable at the time for being the first purpose-built opera house not connected to a palace. Now it stages a range of classical entertainment from opera and ballet to orchestral concerts.
To get a break from the hustle and bustle of the big city, try a walk through the oldest public park in Berlin, the Tiergarten. You could spend hours strolling through the lush green avenues and admiring the colourful floral displays or even pay a visit to the Berlin Zoo, which has been resident inside the Tiergarten since 1844.
If your Berlin holiday happens to coincide with the city’s Festival of Lights, you’re in for a treat. For 10 days in October more than 50 iconic Berlin landmarks from the Brandenburg Gate to the Berlin Cathedral are illuminated by colourful designs and moving images. Musical performances accompany many of the light shows adding an extra dimension to this enchanting Berlin experience.
Whichever time of year you visit Berlin, you’re sure to be swept up in the excitement and charm of this dynamic city.