Berlin has been one of my favourite places to travel to. There is just so much to see and do here! Below you’ll find a list of must-try experiences in the city during your travels.
1. Attend a Fußball Game (Soccer)
There is nothing quite like attending a soccer game in Europe, let alone Germany. Let me tell you, Germans take their soccer very seriously! When I visited Berlin I had the chance to attend a Union Berlin game and it was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. If you think hockey fans during playoff season are intense, think again! I think my friends and I were the only people in the entire stadium not dressed in team colours or wearing any team paraphernalia. In fact, fans are so proud of their teams that they even had their own chant which they sang throughout the game to cheer them on!
Tip 1: Buying tickets in the standing area is much less expensive and more fun as this is where all the action happens!
Tip 2: If you plan on enjoying a beer (or four!) buy as many as you can hold as the lines can get quite long!
2. Take a Walking Tour of the City
In my opinion there is no better way to see a new city than to walk it! You can get a completely different perspective than you would if you were simply driving past and can spontaneously stop along the way much more easily. If you’re new to a city, a walking tour is a great way to orient yourself to your surroundings, meet locals and gain knowledge about your new temporary home.
Tip: Many hostels offer free walking tours so be sure to ask before booking a paid tour!
3. Go Biking in Tiergarten
My second favourite way to get to know a new city is by biking. Unlike many cities in North America, Berlin is one of the most bike friendly cities I have ever been to. In fact, I saw way more bicycles than I did cars during my time there. If you are a little unsure about navigating the busy streets of Berlin right from the get go, biking the quiet trails of Tiergarten is a great way to get started! Pack a lunch and go exploring for the day.
4. Shop on Kurfürstendamm
Essentially Berlin’s version of Fifth Ave in NYC, Kurfürstendamm (nicknamed K-Damm by locals) is the ultimate destination for high-end shopping. Not to worry if this isn’t in your budget as there are also tons of more reasonably priced chain stores along the street as well (think Zara, Pull & Bear, etc.). It’s tons of fun just to walk around and window shop.
Be sure not to miss the famous Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe), the largest department store in continental Europe! You could seriosuly get lost in there for hours.
5. Go Clubbing in the Kreuzberg/Friedrichshain Area
A seriously one of a kind experience, clubbing in Kreuzberg was one of my favourite experiences when visiting Berlin! Clubs in the city do not have set closing hours like they do in Canada so you could literally dance the night away if you wanted to.
A few things to note (as these are things that I was unaware of when I first went):
- There is no need to dress up or wear high heels in most clubs. Just look presentable but make sure to be comfortable as you will be on your feet all night long!
- As clubs close much, much later, crowds don’t start to arrive at the clubs until 2-3AM (which I found crazy since this is usually when I am headed home!).
- There is tons of delicious food in the surrounding area so be sure to grab some on your way home. I recommend trying out a döner!
6. Learn All About the Cold War
If you’re the least bit interested in history, notably the Cold War, then you’re in for a treat! There are endless museums, memorials and sites to see where you will learn all about the Cold War. Here are my top choices:
- East Side Gallery – The largest section of the Berlin Wall (1.3 km to be exact!) that is still standing. Not only is it a priceless piece of the city’s history, it is also the largest open-air gallery in the world and one of Berlin’s best known landmarks.
- DDR Museum – One of the best museums I have ever been to, here you’ll be able to completely immerse yourself in life in the GDR. There are puzzles, games, interactive displays, etc. so it is a great place for people of all ages!
- Checkpoint Charlie – The most well-know border crossing of the Berlin Wall during the Cold War. There is also a great museum!
- Gedenstätte Berliner Mauer – An outdoor memorial and museum.
7. Have Kafe und Kuchen in a Platz
A typical German activity, having a piece of cake with a cup of coffee is a great way to spend an afternoon. My favourite places were Gendarmenmarkt (all of the cafes in the area are quite good) and Cafe Buchwald.
8. Drink Beer in a Bierhaus
You obviously need to drink as much beer as humanly possible when in Germany. There are tons of bars in the city so just pick one and sample a few beers. My favourites were the white beers! Alternatively, you could also pick up a few bottles at the corner store and have a small party in your hotel room, but I think the atmosphere of a bar is much better.
For a true Bierhaus feel, head to Hofbräu München Bierhaus near Alexanderplatz! They have great food and even better beer. I actually got a beer as big as my face (and felt way too accomplished after drinking all of it haha).
9. Chow Down on Some Currywurst
If Berlin could be associated to a particular food, currywurst would be it. Currywurst is a mix of french fries, bratwurst cut into slices and ketchup mixed with curry powder. I know it might look pretty gross, but it’s amazing! You’ll find this weird but extremely delicious concoction pretty much everywhere in the city, but the absolute best place to get it is at Curry 36.
10. Haggle for Goods at Markets
A favourite of mine in any given city, exploring markets is a great way to get to know the city a little bit better. You’ll find vintage goods, foods, and one of a kind souvenirs. There are tons of markets throughout the city, but my personal favourite is the Mauerpark Flohmarkt on Sundays.
Tip: Germany is also especially famous for it’s Christmas markets during the holiday season so be sure to check those out as well if you are visiting during the holidays!
Want to know more? Check out our other posts about Berlin here!
Have you ever been to Berlin?
What are you most excited about doing on your visit there?
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