Berlin

Berlin

A city once divided is now united by diversity and open-mindedness.

Berlin doesn’t claim to be Europe's most beautiful capital, but it's a city that represents Europe's past, and its future. It's hard to believe that only one generation has passed since Berliners tore down the Berlin Wall; now the city echoes with open-mindedness.

Find accommodations in Berlin

Things to Do in Berlin

The Brandenburg Gate

Monuments

"Victory" takes on a new meaning on top of the Brandenburg Gate. The spectacular Quadriga Statue of Lady Victory was placed on the gate in 1791, then stolen and restored. She also survived allied bombing in WWII and spent decades within earshot of the Berlin Wall. She still crowns this 12-column gate today, having witnessed Berlin’s rise, fall and growth.

Accommodations near The Brandenburg Gate
  • Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin
  • Open every day
The Reichstag

Institutions

The Reichstag is the building that could. Survivor of bombings, fire and revolution, today it’s one of Berlin’s most iconic buildings. The famous glass dome was designed by Sir Norman Foster, which led to the building’s rebirth as a symbol of the "New Berlin." If you’d like to visit the dome at the top, book free tickets in advance on the government’s website (www.bundestag.de).

Accommodations near The Reichstag
Holocaust Memorial

Monuments

Remembered and never to be forgotten, this four-acre field commemorates the millions of Jews who were killed in WWII. Thousands of concrete blocks of differing heights and sizes give the impression of watching waves roll. An evening walk through the rows, especially when they’re covered in snow and ice, gives the site a poetic poignancy.

Accommodations near Holocaust Memorial
Potsdamer Platz

Popular Areas

This complex is the perfect place to indulge your senses. This area was resuscitated from the rubble of the Berlin Wall and is now a famous cultural hub for the "New Berlin." Crane your neck back to see the Sony Center’s ceiling of lights, take in culture at the Berlinale Palast or enjoy a pick-me-up at one of the world-class cafés or restaurants.

Accommodations near Potsdamer Platz
  • Potsdamer Platz, 10785 Berlin
  • Open every day
Kulturforum

Museums

Today a play, tomorrow a musical – Kulturforum offers a treat for every day. This complex is a collection of buildings offering an array of cultural experiences. Wander the divine sculpture gardens of the New National Gallery, or transport yourself to a musical paradise with an evening at the Berlin Philharmonie. Kulturforum’s calendar is filled with dozens of events throughout the year.

Accommodations near Kulturforum
Checkpoint Charlie

Monuments

Checkpoint Charlie should be on your list of places to visit; it's the most famous of the former Cold War border crossings between capitalist West Berlin and communist East Berlin. In the large (and free) open-air museum, explore the history of the Berlin Wall, the border controls and the big players during the Cold War.

Accommodations near Checkpoint Charlie
  • Friedrichstraße 43-45, 10117 Berlin
  • Open every day
Museum Island

Museums

Buy one, get four more – for a small fee. One island, five prestigious museums, and one day is all you'll need for a round trip to the ancient world. At the Pergamon Museum, wonder at a full-scale reconstruction of Babylon’s Ishtar Gate; gaze into Queen Nefertiti's all-knowing eyes at the Neues Museum, or be classically inspired by the Altes Museum's ancient marble statues.

Accommodations near Museum Island
Jewish Museum Berlin

Museums

Learn the A-to-Zs of Jewish history. This spectacular building is shaped like a warped Star of David and was designed by "wunderkind" Polish architect, Daniel Libeskind. The kaleidoscopic walls and ceilings are intended to disorient the visitor and present art and artifacts in a unique light. The artifacts cover a wide scope and include many eras of German-Jewish art.

Accommodations near Jewish Museum Berlin
Alexanderplatz

Popular Areas

"Alex" is every Berliner’s best friend. Berlin Alexanderplatz—or "Alex" for short—has an exciting history. In the 1920s, Marlene Dietrich’s voice resounded from the bars and clubs of the square's famous nightclubs. The area has lost its glamorous edge, but Neptunbrunnen Fountain, the Berlin TV Tower and the Alexa Shopping Centre add zest (and photo ops) to this plain square.

Accommodations near Alexanderplatz
  • Alexanderplatz, 10178 Berlin
  • Open every day
East Side Gallery

Popular Areas

Each crack in the Wall tells a thousand stories. On the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall, graffiti depicts dozens of instantly recognizable images from the Cold War. Look for Russian leader Brezhnev and East German leader Honecker locking lips in a loving embrace, or artist Thierry Noir's vivid colors, alongside the immortal words: “No more wars. No more walls. A united world.”

Accommodations near East Side Gallery

Accommodations and Hotels in Berlin

Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin

9.3 Wonderful

Score from 2216 reviews

$266

Average price per night
  • Unter den Linden 77, Mitte, Berlin
Berlin Marriott Hotel

8.9 Excellent

Score from 1892 reviews

$136

Average price per night
  • Inge-Beisheim-Platz 1, Tiergarten, Berlin
Hotel Gendarm nouveau

8.7 Excellent

Score from 873 reviews

$110

Average price per night
  • Charlottenstraße 61, Mitte, Berlin
Motel One Berlin-Potsdamer Platz

8.9 Excellent

Score from 1129 reviews

$92

Average price per night
  • Leipziger Platz 12, Mitte, Berlin
Hotel Zoo Berlin

8.8 Excellent

Score from 1111 reviews

$167

Average price per night
  • Kurfürstendamm 25, Charlottenburg, Berlin
Kempinski Hotel Bristol Berlin

8.3 Very good

Score from 1545 reviews

$116

Average price per night
  • Kurfürstendamm 27, Charlottenburg, Berlin
Scandic Berlin Potsdamer Platz

8.9 Excellent

Score from 5194 reviews

$79

Average price per night
  • Gabriele-Tergit-Promenade 19, Mitte, Berlin
Waldorf Astoria Berlin

9.1 Wonderful

Score from 1023 reviews

$211

Average price per night
  • Hardenbergstr. 28, Charlottenburg, Berlin
Garden Boutique Hotel

8.6 Excellent

Score from 159 reviews

$106

Average price per night
  • Invalidenstr. 122, Mitte, Berlin
Discover Berlin

Popular Neighborhoods in Berlin

Mitte

328 properties

Near the sleepy residential neighborhood of Moabit, you’ll find the lush forests and groves of Tiergarten. The Berlin Philharmonic and New National Gallery offer a dose of culture. Wedding is home to Berlin’s students and young professionals, with affordable housing plus bars and clubs for hanging out late into the night.

Berlin City Center

313 properties

Start your Berlin adventure in the historic center. In addition to the famous Berlin Cathedral and Brandenburg Gate, the DDR Museum is a hands-on, interactive space where you can learn about the city’s history. Explore Hackescher Market for a fabulous find, or Kurfürstendamm for brand-name shops. Alexanderplatz hosts the famous Christmas Market.

Charlottenburg

168 properties

This art-filled district is home to affluent city-dwellers. There’s a country feel to the lush grounds at Charlottenburg Palace, which houses a collection of opulent treasures. Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church is an unforgettable place to spend an afternoon, followed by a splurge at KaDeWe, Continental Europe’s largest department store.

Schöneberg

88 properties

Diversity is the norm in Schöneberg, in Western Berlin, and the area is steeped in bohemian style. The out-of-use Tempelhof Airport hosts barbecues and concerts without a plane in sight, and the men of Nollendorfplatz wave their rainbow flags proudly. The liberty bell in Rathaus Schöneberg—the historic town hall—tolls with the sounds of freedom.

Prenzlauer Berg

85 properties

Parents play with their children in the parks around Prenzlauer Berg. The cozy cafes were designed to offer a taste of home. Discover some rare finds in Kastanienallee's eclectic boutiques, or savor a cool beer under the chestnut trees in Kollwitzplatz. On Sunday, outdoor karaoke reverberates through Mauerpark, where the hunt for flea market treasures begins.

Friedrichshain

70 properties

Friedrichshain is where lovers love and the young-at-heart play. The conversation—and coffee—flows in Boxhagener Platz’s eateries. Boutiques and bars fill the center, and the thumping beats of Revaler Strasse’s clubs spread fun into the night. The famous East Side Gallery memorial is a stretch of the Berlin Wall covered in murals.

Kreuzberg

54 properties

Couples walk hand-in-hand by the waterfall in Viktoriapark, while the experimental Gleisdreieck Park shows what a former no-man’s-land combined with a little imagination can create. Hours can be spent meandering through time across Graefekiez’s urban landscape. At dusk, the sun sets over Oberbaum Bridge and Schlesische Strasse's nightlife takes over.

Tiergarten

53 properties

Leaves dance on the morning breeze in Tiergarten Park, before Potsdamer Platz bursts to life as a network of malls and eateries. The sound of Berlin's orchestra floats through the Kulturforum Cultural Complex. Bellevue Palace glows a little more in the evening light, just as the nocturnal animals of Berlin Zoo wake up.

Neukölln

36 properties

Neukölln is as funky as it is modern. The residents move from urban art galleries to dive bars, so it's no surprise that the area is the center of Berlin's creative scene. Exotic scents waft from the cafes and restaurants on Weser Strasse. Walk along the multicultural streets, symbolic of the New Berlin.

Local Tips for Berlin

Teufelsberg
Alan by Alan

Alan has lived in Berlin since 2002 and his family speaks three different languages at home.

The Teufelsberg (Devil’s Mountain) on the western fringes of the city is Berlin’s highest point. It was constructed from rubble during Berlin’s reconstruction after World War II. Despite its modest stature (374 ft), it offers tremendous views of nearby lakes and forests.

Savignyplatz
Nadine by Nadine

Nadine grew up in Charlottenburg and has always enjoyed hanging out around Savignyplatz.

Charlottenburg's nightlife has a lot to offer, especially the restaurants around Savignyplatz. The 12 Apostel serves wagon-wheel-sized pizzas, while the “Dicke Wirtin” (Fat Hostess) bar and restaurant and the “Diener” (Server) curiosity restaurant have long traditions in Western Berlin’s culinary life.

Zollpackhof Beer Garden
Kate by Kate

Nine years in, Kate says forget New York – Berlin is truly the city that never sleeps!

If you’re at Berlin Central Station and have some time to kill before your train arrives, why not wander along the River Spree and visit the Zollpackhof restaurant and beer garden? German, Austrian and Mediterranean dishes can be found here, alongside international wines and draught beers.

Winterfeldtmarkt
Elisabeth by Elisabeth

Originally from the UK, Elisabeth has lived in Berlin since 2008 and loves Schöneberg's vibrant mix of cultures.

Are you a foodie? This is the place to be on Wednesdays and Saturdays. This farmer’s market has a huge and colorful array of local produce, including fresh fish, meats, cheeses, fruit and vegetables – as well as delicious homemade cakes, fresh pasta, street food and snacks to go.

Hot Rod City Tour
Nicole by Nicole

Nicole spent several years as a crew member on cruise ships, but is now back in her hometown.

The Hot Rod City Tour is one of the funniest ways to explore Berlin. The tour guides are more enthusiastic than others I’ve experienced and seem to really enjoy life – and telling a good joke. It’s one of the best sightseeing tours I’ve ever been on!

YAAM
Alex by Alex

Alex grew up in Berlin and has spent a lifetime exploring every facet of the city.

One of the best beach bars in the city, YAAM is a laid-back African & Caribbean club and weekend market on the River Spree. Tucked away behind the East Side Gallery, it’s a great place for evening drinks and delicious Caribbean food (try the Jamaican jerk chicken).

  • Stralauer Platz 35, 10243
  • www.yaam.de
  • Open Wednesday to Sunday 12 pm – 11:59 pm
Königliche Gartenakademie (Royal Garden Academy)
Anna by Anna

After 7 years, Anna still marvels at Berlin's multiculturalism and the fact that it's always awake and alive.

This place was created to promote gardening for both amateurs and pros. I love sitting in the café garden while reading with a cup of tea or just looking around. It’s an urban oasis that helps to elevate your energy levels. Plus, you can get ideas for new arrangements – even if you have a small balcony!

  • Altensteinstraße 15a, 14195
  • www.koenigliche-gartenakademie.de
  • Open Monday to Saturday 10 am – 7 pm, Sunday 10 am – 4 pm. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
Berlin Unterwelten
Emily by Emily

Brit Emily loves Berlin's open-mindedness, and after 4 years, has no intention of leaving.

You have to explore the maze of tunnels and bunkers under the city. They’re untouched by the developers that have modernized the rest of Berlin. The places covered by the Berliner Unterwelten tours give you a different view of the city’s history. Bring a coat – it’s cold down there!

Treptower Park
Rebecca by Rebecca

Kiwi Rebecca has been in Berlin since 2007 and loves this vibrant and exciting city.

This large park next to the River Spree is home to some hidden treasures. There’s a beer garden and an abandoned amusement park. For history buffs, this one is a definite must-see: the vast Soviet War Memorial, commemorating the Red Army soldiers who fell during the Battle of Berlin.

Take one of the walking history tours with a guide they are available in a variety of languages and cover several subjects. A visit to Potsdam Sanssouci Park is well worth the train journey

If you are going to see some of the museum's in and around Berlin I would definitely recommend the museum pass. It gives 3 consecutive days access to all museums in the program (you get a book telling you which ones with the card). You only need to go in to three museums and you have pretty much broke even on the cost of the card. It also cuts out most of the ticket queues as you just show the card to get in. You do still need a timed ticket for some museums though so read the signs as you will be refused entry if you don't have one, they are free but where required you must have one. If you are going to the Pergamon museum I would recommend getting there before it's scheduled opening time. I got there half an hour before the advertised time and was let in. A couple of hours or so later and there was a 2hr queue just to get tickets. It is also stupidly busy on weekends as buses ship a lot of tourists in from the surrounding cities and countries so I would avoid these days if possible.

everything the guide books can`t say.

Gemaldegalerie in Kulturforum at Potsdamer Platz

My husband and I travelled round with a Berlin welcome travel card which covered all mode of transport for five days. Very good value as you travel underground, overground, bus, tram with ease and they came every 3-5 minutes. My husband and I covered quite a distance in the five days we were in Berlin. I would recommend this ticket.

Booking.com asked travelers...

Why do you recommend Berlin for food?

If you're in the Kreuzburg area, cross the pretty bridge after the East side Gallery, there are lots of great & cheap places to eat. You can get a decent meal for €4.50 & ice cream for €1. & there are sines funky little bars around there too.

Primark, malls, Sunday flee markets

Fantastic city for either cycling or walking. It has an outstanding, easy to understand bus, train, tram & underground transport system so make sure you buy a Welcome to Berlin card.

big city with lots of variety!

Transportation

Berlin Transportation

Air – Schönefeld Airport

Schönefeld Airport is Berlin’s main international airport. The most convenient way to reach the center of Berlin is by train. Follow the signs across a covered walkway to the station. Catch the S9 train to Ostkreuz, then switch to the S7 train for the Hauptbahnhof/central station. Schönefeld is in Zone C and tickets are available at machines inside the station. Taxis are available just outside the airport – trips to the center take around 35-40 minutes and cost around EUR 40.

Air – Tegel Airport

Tegel Airport is 5 miles north of Berlin. The fastest way to reach Alexanderplatz (in the center) is by TXL JetExpressBus. Purchase a ticket at a machine inside the station, then head toward Terminals A and B. The bus departs right outside every 10-20 minutes between 4:30 am – 11 pm. It takes around 28-40 minutes to reach Alexanderplatz. Taxis are readily available at every terminal – they cost around EUR 25 and it takes about 20 minutes to get to Alexanderplatz.

Bus

In the west of Berlin, bus services run far more frequently than in the east. The major bus terminals can be found at Hauptbahnhof and Alexanderplatz. Bus stops are easily identifiable on the street and timetables are clearly displayed. Tickets cost around EUR 2.60 or EUR 6.70 for a day pass and can be bought directly from the driver. Buses in the city center generally run between 6 am – 12 am on weekdays and 7 am – 12 am on weekends, depending on the route. Night buses are also available.

Tram

In the east of Berlin, the vast network of trams runs more frequently than in the west. Trams are bright yellow and the stops are marked by a square white sign with "H" inside a bright yellow circle (the same signs for buses). You can get on at any entrance and buy a ticket on board from a vending machine (coins only). Berlin is divided into Zones A, B and C, so make sure you’re buying the right ticket. To get off, press one of the buttons on the poles.

Taxi

Official taxis are cream-colored with black and yellow signs on the roof, and are readily available in the city. Just hail one from the street or go to a taxi stand. Fares are reasonable and increase incrementally based on the kilometers traveled. It’s best to plan to pay with cash, since credit cards aren't always accepted. The taxi industry is heavily regulated, so the chance of being ripped off is low. Tips of 5-10% are standard for exceptional service.

Car

Berlin is a "driver’s city." Many roads have red-brick bike lanes on both sides which drivers should pay attention to. Speed limits in the city center are under 30 mph. Parking lots and on-street metered parking spaces (which only accept coins) are available, but can be difficult to find. If you plan to bring your own car, you might need to get an "Umweltplakette" (emissions certificate) to enter certain parts of the city.

Bike

Biking in the city can be stressful, so get outside the center for some established bike paths. The city is relatively flat and the roads have bike lanes, identifiable by red bricks or white lines. There are many idyllic bike paths and cycling along parts of the Berlin-to-Copenhagen trail is especially popular. Bike rental costs around EUR 10 per day, depending on the vendor. Bike rentals are located in the main areas of the city, especially around the main train stations.

Train

Berlin's main train station is Hauptbahnhof; from here, catch the S7, S5 or S75 trains directly to Alexanderplatz in the east or Zoologischer Garten/Kurfürstendamm in the west. Outlying districts are reachable from Alexanderplatz by train, U-Bahn, buses and trams. The central "Ring Train" goes around the border of Zone A and runs from 4:30 am – 1:30 am on weekdays, and 24 hours on Friday and Saturday. Tickets cost around EUR 2.60 or EUR 6.70 for a day pass, and can be purchased from machines on the platform.

Food in Berlin

Top Restaurants in Berlin

Upscale Dining
German
Tucher am Tor

Conveniently next to the Brandenburg Gate and near other tourist hot spots, Tucher am Tor is known for up-market takes on traditional German food. The ideal place to stop for lunch during a heavy day of sightseeing.

Upscale Dining
International
Käfer

Käfer is located on the roof terrace of the German government building, the Reichstag. Diners with a reservation can usually skip the lengthy security queue and head straight up to the restaurant to enjoy the spectactular views.

Upscale Dining
Gourmet
Facil

This stylish restaurant offers high-end European cuisine and has been awarded 2 Michelin stars. The open-plan dining area looks onto a green courtyard. The lunch menu is a must.

Upscale Dining
International
Vox

Vox is an elegant restaurant that serves modern European dishes with Asian influences as well as a range of freshly prepared sushi. There is also a lounge bar, serving exquisite cocktails and over 240 whiskeys.There is live music from 22:00.

  • Marlene-Dietrich-Platz 2, 10785 Berlin
  • Open weekdays 6:30–10:30 and 12:00–14:30 and 18:30–00:00, Satursday 6:30–14:30 and 18:30–00:00, Sunday 6:30–14:00 and 18:30–00:00.
  • www.vox-restaurant.de
  • 0049 3025531772
Mid-Range Fare
American
Tizian Lounge

Upon stepping into Tizian Lounge, you can tell it has been designed by one of New York's most famous interior designers. The food lives up to the stylish surroundings, as the burgers are something else. Perfect for a posh lunch or dinner of just enjoying a glass of champagne in the lounge.

Upscale Dining
Italian
Grill Royal

The food at Grill Royal is indulgent and delicious! The staff are always friendly and the menu is superb. They're known for their quality steaks but their fish dishes are definitely worth a mention.

Upscale Dining
French
Paris Moskau

This gourmet restaurant serves excellent French food with a modern edge. The food is delicious but I would go for the cheese selection alone!

Upscale Dining
Japanese
Tim Raue

At Tim Raue, Aisian food is given a European make-over á la nouvelle cuisine. The dishes are always presented beautifully and it's really interesting how international flavours are combined.

Mid-Range Fare
German
Weinbar Rutz

The wine bar serves a small but delicious range of meals alongside a great range of drinks, while the restaurant offers impressive set menus of innovative dishes and accompanying wines.

Mid-Range Fare
German
Maultaschen Manufaktur

Maultaschen Manufaktur is the place to go for some Southern German hospitality! Maultaschen are a traditional Swabian dish and are ideally accompanied by a cold pint of Rothaus.

Upscale Dining
Gourmet
Reinstoff

This restaurant serves avant-guarde Michelin star food in a relaxed atmosphere. The innovative menu is accompanied by an extensive range of wines.

Mid-Range Fare
German
Georgenbraeu

This is a great option for a family or group of friends looking to experience some traditional German fare. Get yourself a pint of Georgenbraeu's self-brewed beer to go with your Gulasch or Schnitzel!

Upscale Dining
International
Restaurant Lochner

Restaurant Lochner is a family-run restaurant focussing on high quality produce and excellent service. They offer a range of set menus with wine but all dishes can be ordered a la carte.

Mid-Range Fare
Mediterranean
Lei e Lui

Lei e Lui is a 100% organic restaurant that sources ingredients locally and focusses on healthy, delicious meals. The menu has medditerranean influences and offers a large variety of vegetarian options.

Cheap Eats
Vietnamese
CoCo Banh Mi Deli

CoCo is the best place in Berlin to get your hands on a Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich but they also offer great salads and omlettes. There's a lot of veggie options too!

  • Rosenthalerstrasse 2, 10119 Berlin
  • Open Monday to Thursday 11:00–22:00, Friday to Saturday 11:00–23:00, Sunday 12:00–22:00.
  • www.co-co.net
  • 0049 3024630595
Mid-Range Fare
American
St Oberholz

It's no secret that Berlin is overrun with hipsters. Well, if you want to see them up close, Oberholz is the place to go. If you can find space between the laptops, they do a good coffee and bagel.

Mid-Range Fare
Irish
The Lir

There's plenty of craic and magnificent fish & chips to be had in this very authentic and non-touristy Irish pub just around the corner from the Tiergarten park. Guests can watch football, warm their hands on the log fire or relax in the beer garden under the shade of the coconut tree (honestly!).

Cheap Eats
Mexican
Dolores

A Delores burrito is the only thing that will keep you going if you're trying to see all the sights in Berlin. They're known for their generous portions, fresh ingredients and their amazing hand-made corn chips.

  • Rosa-Luxembourg-Strasse 7, 10178 Berlin
  • Open every day 11:30–22:00, Sunday 13:00–22:00.
  • www.dolores-online.de
Cheap Eats
German
Zeit Für Brot

The bakery uses organic ingredients to make their bread freshly everyday. We recommend grabbing a coffee and a Zimtschnecke in the morning to set you up for the day.

Cheap Eats
German
Joris

A great place to stop by for a light lunch of a baked potato or a salad, Joris is excellent value considering all dishes are prepared fresh from quality ingredients. The staff are lovely and the atmosphere is very relaxed.

  • Brunnenstrasse 158, 10115 Berlin
  • Open Monday to Saturday 09:00–20:30.
Cheap Eats
Caribbean
Merle's Rothi & Rum

Not far from the Bergmannkiez neighbourhood, Merle's serves Trinidadian food in a great atmosphere and the rum punch is definitely a must!

Cheap Eats
German
Curry 36

For a truly authentic Berlin experience, brave the queues at Curry 36 for the classic Berlin dish of currywurst! The perfect end to an evening of exploring the bars down Gneisenaustrasse.

Upscale Dining
American
Brooklyn Beef Club

Prepare yourself for the best steak of your life. The Brooklyn Beef Club may be a bit of a splurge but it's the perfect place to go for an indulgent special occasion. Make sure you sample a drink from the well-stocked bar!

Mid-Range Fare
American
Louisiana Kid

The chicken jambalaya at Louisiana Kid is pretty much the only thing that will warm you up after being out and about in the harsh Berlin winter. One of the few places in Berlin to serve very spicy food, this place is cosy and comforting as well as great value.

  • Alte Schönhauserstrasse 2, 10119 Berlin
  • Open every day 12:00–00:00.
  • 0049 3020615334
Mid-Range Fare
Turkish
Osmanya

This extravagant restaurant serves excellent Ottoman cuisine. Vegetarians are well catered for and all meat is halal. Try the selection of mezze starters!

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