Berlin hosts some of the most beautiful attractions in the world. Whether you are looking for historical sites or to let loose and see some adventure, Berlin guarantees an unforgettable experience. Here are 10 things to do on your next vacation to Berlin:
1. Visit The Berlin Wall Memorial
The Berlin Wall is one of the most famous places in Berlin, but how do you really know about the Berlin Wall? The best place to learn about the Berlin Wall and the division of Germany is the official Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Strasse, north of the center. Artists in Berlin have claimed areas of the wall as a canvas for their craft. Take a tour of the wall and witness the history and artistry of the Berlin Wall. It is open 24hrs and is completely free.
2. Take a walk in the Grunewald forest
Have a picnic at Berlin's largest forested area. Explore the woods by foot, bicycle or horseback and if the weather is great, you can venture into the clean waters of Schlachtensee or Wannsee, the nearest of the forest’s several freshwater lakes. There is also a man-made hill, Teufelsberg, made by the Allies after World War II from the city's rubble.
3. Explore Tempelhofer Freiheit Park
Tempelhofer Freiheit is a former airport by the name of Tempelhof Airport. It is now abandoned and it's airfield make a wonderful park. The park is perfect for lying in the sun, kiteboarding, jogging, cycling, roller-blading, dog-walking and barbecuing. The 1200-metre-long terminal building is used for tours and events.
4. Get your groove on at a festival
Festival season starts off each year in the midst of winter with the Berlinale Film Festival in February, which sees thousands of Berliners and foreigners retreat warm cinema halls to watch the best new film releases. The outdoor season starts on May 1 with the MyFest street festival in the Kreuzberg district. Berlin's main street party is the multicultural Karnaval der Kulturen parade in late May. Listen to live music all over town during Fete de la Musique, on 21 June, as well as the Christopher Street Day gay parade in late June. Finally, the city's main landmarks and buildings are breathtakingly lit up during the Festival of Lights in October.
5. Take a Selfie
Posing for four shots in Berlin’s Photoautomaten is almost a must in Berlin. These black and white photo booths are open all hours and scattered across the city. The photos only take a few minutes to print and provide a brilliant souvenir of your time in the city. Draw back the curtain and get your pose on or cram in your friends for a fun set of snaps.
6. Dance until you drop
Berlin's weekends stretch well into weekdays which makes it ideal for partying. If you're looking for a party scene you can head to Berghain/Panorama Bar, a European techno that was formerly a factory or goes to Salon Zur Wilden Renate for an underground house party vibe, with three main dance rooms along with other corners tucked away off the sides and mezzanine levels for nosing about.
7. Devour a classic currywurst
Berlin has several takeaway eateries throughout town. Currywurst is the combination of pork sausage, cut into slices, covered with a mixture of ketchup and curry powder and then served with a bread roll or fries. In Berlin, Currywurst a culinary institution, eaten commuters, students, boozers and tourists alike. Konnopke’s Imbiss on Schönhauser Allee has been serving Currywurst since 1930. The veggie staple comes in the shape of Falafel: deep-fried chickpea balls to be specific. These beauties are served up with salad in flatbread and drizzled with yogurt or tahini, reflecting the presence of the Turkish population here.
8. Consider a day at Berlin Zoo
If you are traveling with your family, the Berlin Zoo is great for a family outing. You can visit the Zoologischer Garten & Aquarium in the Tiergarten. This is the most popular zoo in Europe and the oldest zoo in Germany, having opened in 1841 on the site of the King Frederick William IV’s pheasantry. It has almost 14,000 creatures, among them rare and endangered species. There is also an aquarium, where you'll find remarkable sharks, crocodiles, insects, and amphibians. The dark corridors with colorful illuminated tanks and curious fishes swimming are awe-inspiring.
9. Enjoy a film at dusk
Kulturforum Potsdamer Platz or Friedrichshain Open Air Cinema, which often show original language versions of films in English, offers screenings that are quite popular. In order to get the best seats, early arrival is encouraged and refreshments are usually available and evening shows normally run from sunset into the dark.
10. Go on an Urban tour
Photographers, graffiti artists and the plain curious are all drawn to Berlin's many abandoned and ruined places, and several websites are dedicated to 'urban exploration' self-guided tours. You can visit places such as the Treptow district, the former Spreepark amusement park where the Ferris wheel and other rides are slowly being swallowed by the forest, and can be visited on a tour or just by wandering in. There is also the former CIA listening post on Teufelsberg hill as well as the Olympic Village, the Beelitz Heilstätten hospital, and several Nazi or Soviet military areas.