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Things to do in Berlin

The capital city of Germany is rich in history and culture.

Despite the physical damage faced in World War II and the Cold War’s psychological impact, Berlin has recreated itself into an international city.

More than 135 million tourists visit Berlin to see how it celebrates its successes while acknowledging its dark past.

Discover the top tourist attractions in this fascinating city with our list of the things to do in Berlin.

Tourist attractions in Berlin

Berlin TV Tower

Berlin TV Tower
Jotily / Getty Images

Berlin TV Tower is the tallest building in the city and consists of an observatory and a revolving restaurant.

The viewing platform is 203 meters (666 feet) high and offers beautiful 360-degree views of Berlin. 

The locals refer to the Berlin Tower as Berliner Fernsehturm.

If you want to see the city of Berlin bathed in colorful lights, it is best to be at the TV Tower half 30 to 40 minutes before sunset. 

Reichstag Building

Reichstag Building in Berlin
Frankpeters / Getty Images

Reichstag Building is where the German Parliament sits in Berlin. 

Every year around 3 million tourists head inside the world-famous Reichstag to discover its architecture, history, and symbolism.

You can see Berlin’s panoramic views from Reichstag’s glass dome, or take a seat and watch Bundestag in action, or grab a cup of coffee at the rooftop restaurant. 

Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin
TomasSereda / Getty Images

Brandenburg Gate symbolizes Berlin’s division into East and West – and, since the fall of the Berlin Wall, it stands for a reunited Germany. 

Brandenburg Gate is a must-visit for every tourist in Berlin and attracts 12 million visitors annually. 

Locals refer to it as Brandenburger Tor.

It is perhaps the only part of the ruins of Berlin Wall that still stands strong. 

Pergamon Museum

Kids in Pergamon Museum
Image: Pio3

Pergamon Museum is the biggest and most spectacular Museum on Museum Island in Berlin, making it the most visited museum in Germany.

It consists of three wings – Antiquity Collection, the Islamic Art Museum, and the Middle East Museum – all of which leave visitors spellbound. 

Pergamon Museum is known for its stunning reconstructions of massive ancient structures such as the Pergamon Altar, the Ishtar Gate, the Processional Way from Babylon, the Market Gate Miletus, and the Mshatta facade.

Neues Museum

Neues Museum, Berlin
Image: En.wikipedia.org

Neues Museum is the second most famous attraction on Berlin’s Museum Island, after the Pergamonmuseum.

The Museum boasts 9,000 plus exhibits divided into three collections – Egyptian and Papyrus, Prehistory and Early History, and Classical Antiquities. 

Visitors from far and wide visit to see Egyptian Queen Nefertiti’s bust – she is to Neues Museum what Mona Lisa is to the Louvre Museum.

Berlin Story Bunker

Berlin Story Bunker
Image: Berlinstory.de

At Berlin Story Bunker, you immerse yourself in the city’s turbulent history in a real bunker from the Second World War.

The tour inside the 6,500-square-metre WWII bunker recreates some of the most infamous events in German history leading up to Hitler’s suicide.

The museum is a frightening reminder of a war that claimed 70 million lives, and is understandably intimidating.

DDR Museum

DDR Museum in Berlin
Image: Ddr-museum.de

The DDR Museum in Berlin documents life in East Germany before the wall came down in 1989.

The DDR Museum brings the German Democratic Republic back to life and is divided into three themed areas – Public Life, State and Ideology, and Life in a Tower Block.

The museum is the brainchild of ethnologist Peter Kenzelmann, who wants to show the newer generation what it was to live in the Soviet-backed part of Berlin. 

The best part of exploring the DDR Museum is that the items on display aren’t locked up in glass cases. 

Panoramapunkt Berlin

Panoramapunkt Berlin
Image: Berlin-welcomecard.de

Panoramapunkt Berlin is an outdoor observation platform that provides a 360-degree view of the city, especially Potsdamer Platz. 

This viewing deck is at the top of the Kollhoff Tower, at the height of 100 meters (328 feet) above the city streets. 

From the observation deck, one can view landmarks such as TV Tower, Berlin Cathedral, Museum Island, Brandenburg Gate, Victory Column, Bellevue Palace, etc., and many other fascinating sights.

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp
Image: Sachsenhausen-sbg.de

Sachsenhausen Memorial tells the story of one of the biggest concentration camps on German territory from 1936 to 1945.

The camp is located in a small town called Oranienburg, 22 miles (35 km) from Berlin.  

It housed around 200,000 inmates who were exploited as forced labor by local industry. 

Thousands of these prisoners died due to inhumane working and living conditions or were gassed, shot, or subjected to medical experiments.

Bode Museum

Bode Museum in Berlin
Image: Smb.museum

The Bode Museum brings together Byzantine art and one of the world’s largest sculptural collections. 

With its majestic-looking dome, the neo-baroque building immediately catches your eye. After all, it is one of Berlin’s most beautiful buildings.

The exhibits at Bone Museum cover several centuries, from the end of the Roman Empire to the nineteenth.

The Christian Orient, Byzantium, Ravenna, Italian Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque eras are only a few art movements represented. 

Hamburger Bahnhof

Hamburger Bahnhof Musuem in Berlin
Image: Smb.museum

Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin houses one of the best collections of contemporary art in the world.

At this museum in a building of the former train station, you will see art from the 1960s to the present day. 

It is locally known as Museum für Gegenwart and presents its collection in various exhibitions.

Whatever be your interest – Pop Art, Expressionism, or Minimalism – the museum helps you how each art form developed over the years.

Madame Tussauds Berlin

Guests in Madame Tussauds Berlin
Image: Madametussauds.com

If you want to add some glamour to your holiday in the German capital, look no further than Madame Tussauds Berlin.

At Berlin’s wax museum, you get to see centuries-old waxwork techniques and rub shoulders with world leaders, politicians, movie stars, sportspersons, and more. 

It is a fantastic opportunity to take lots of photos with celebrities, and kids and teenagers love the chance to snap selfies with stars. 

Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum Berlin
Image: Visitberlin.de

The Museum of Natural History in Berlin is locally known as Museum für Naturkunde.

At the Museum, you immerse yourself into the natural world, follow the development of life, and discover how different forms of life evolve. 

This journey of discovery starts with Alexander von Humboldt and Charles Darwin and ends with modern-day explorers of life on Earth.

Berggruen Museum

Painting in Berggruen Museum
Image: Smb.museum

The Berggruen Museum houses one of the most important art collections of classical modernism by a who’s who of contemporary artists.

It is home to the once-private art collection of patron Heinz Berggruen.

Berggruen showcases works of master artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Paul Klee, Georges Braque, Paul Cézanne, Alberto Giacometti, and others.

There are around 120 Pablo Picasso masterpieces at Berggruen Museum.

German Spy Museum

German Spy Museum
Image: Deutsches-spionagemuseum.de

The German Spy Museum is a permanent exhibition dedicated to one of the world’s oldest professions – spying. 

No place is better suited for a museum on spies than Potsdamer Platz in the center of Berlin – the Capital of Spies. 

German Spy Museum Berlin displays more than one thousand exhibits in its 3000 m² (32.000 sq ft) exhibition space.

Altes Museum

Altes Museum in Berlin
Image: Smb.museum

Visit the Altes Museum to witness one of Germany’s most prominent Neoclassical structures. 

It was Berlin’s first museum and is the nucleus of Museum Island. 

Its columns, large entrance, and portico etc were inspired by the Pantheon in Rome.

You will admire the antique collection, which includes a permanent exhibition on Greek, Etruscan, and Roman art and culture. 

Under the treasure chamber’s sky-blue ceiling, see sculptures such as the Berlin Goddess, as well as gold and silver jewellery.

You’ll also find a coin collection with over 1,300 objects dating back to antiquity.

Legoland Discovery Centre

Father and daughter in Legoland Discovery Centre Berlin
Image: Legolanddiscoverycentre.com

Legoland Discovery Centre Berlin is the ultimate Lego indoor playground fit for kids and adults. 

Various stations and play spaces await you to marvel, participate and try.

The attraction is aimed at children aged 3 to 10. To gain entry to the place, adults must bring a child.

Illuseum Berlin

Kids enjoying Illuseum in Berlin
Image: Illuseum-berlin.de

Step into the Illuseum Berlin to take a break from the real world.

Nothing is as it seems at the Illuseum, and visitors of all ages participate, have fun, and get entertained.

At this fantastic family destination in the heart of Berlin, everyone immerses themselves in the world of illusions.

You will be spellbound by the optical illusions in this one-of-a-kind museum.

Alte Nationalgalerie

Alte Nationalgalerie building
Image: Smb.museum

The Alte Nationalgalerie (or Old National Gallery) houses paintings and sculptures from the 19th century. 

Together with the Altes Museum, the Bode Museum, the Neues Museum and the Pergamon Museum, it forms the core of Berlin’s Museum Island.

The Museum has a stunning collection of Neoclassical, Romantic, Biedermeier, Modernist, and Impressionist art in Berlin.

Visitors also love Alte Nationalgalerie’s majestic architecture and how inside there is minimal yet elegant decor, highlighting the artworks.

Museum of Photography

Helmut Newton's photographs at Photography Museum
Image: Helmut-newton-foundation.org

Museum of Photography in Berlin (locally known as Museum für Fotografie) attracts photographers and photography enthusiasts worldwide.

It is a small museum with 2,000 square meters of photographs, exhibitions, and insights into the history of photography, including works and cameras by world-renowned Helmut Newton.

Guests can see collections of photographs from the nineteenth to the twenty-first centuries.


Gemäldegalerie in Berlin
Image: David von Becker / Smb.museum

Gemäldegalerie in Berlin houses one of the world’s most important collections of European paintings ranging from the 13th to 18th century.

The German gallery’s highlight is its fantastic collection of German and Italian paintings from the 13th to 16th century.

Visitors can see masterpieces from artists such as Jan van Eyck, Pieter Bruegel, Albrecht Dürer, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Peter Paul Rubens, Rembrandt, Jan Vermeer van Delft, etc.

The Prussian government began collecting the artworks in 1815, and today its chambers display more than 1,500 masterpieces. 

The Wall – Asisi Panorama

The Wall – Asisi Panorama
Image: Juli Sonne

Yadegar Asisi is an Austria-born artist known for creating some of the world’s most extensive 360° panoramas.

In Berlin, he has created The Panorama DIE MAUER (the Berlin Wall), which reflects the atmosphere and day-to-day life of 1980s Berlin in the shadows of the Berlin Wall.

On the Panorama, Asisi has depicted everyday life he experienced in the West Berlin district of Kreuzberg in the 1980s.

You get to see the way people lived on both sides of the Berlin Wall – despite being just a stone’s throw away.

Body Worlds Berlin

Body Worlds Berlin
Image: Bodyworlds.com

Body Worlds Berlin is a unique exhibition where visitors see real plastinated human bodies and learn about how our bodies work.

While learning about human anatomy, you will also learn how happiness affects our body and vice versa. 

Body Worlds – The Happiness Project has toured more than 100 cities in Europe, America, Africa, and Asia and attracted more than 40 million visitors. 

Many also refer to it as Berlin’s Dead Body Museum. 

Sea Life Berlin

Sea Life Berlin Aquarium
Image: Visitsealife.com

Sea Life Berlin is a fascinating underwater world where visitors get unique and exciting insights into the beautiful world of the seas. 

Guests discover over 5000 fascinating creatures in 37 natural freshwater and saltwater pools. 

As you move between exhibits, you will follow the course of the water from the sources of the river Spree to the depths of the Atlantic.

Kids and adults love coming face-to-face with fascinating sea animals in the glass tunnel. 

Berlin Dungeon

Berlin Dungeon
Image: Thedungeons.com

At Berlin Dungeon professional actors take you on an 800-year trip through the city’s history, from the Middle Ages to the twentieth century.

You’ll see the dark side of Berlin’s past in 11 terrifying and entertaining presentations.

Surprising spectacular effects and realistic 360-degree scenery are in store for you at the popular destination.

You will discover the legend of the frightening White Lady, travel into the Hohenzollern Labyrinth, and meet Carl Großmann, the most notorious serial killer.

Neue Nationalgalerie

Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin
Image: Smb.museum

The Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) in Berlin is dedicated to the art of the 20th century and showcases masterpieces from Nationalgalerie’s diverse collection.

The twentieth-century paintings on display at Neue Nationalgalerie are from various European and North American artists.

‘Potsdamer Platz’ by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, ‘The Skat Players’ by Otto Dix, and ‘Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue IV’ by Barnett Newman are the most popular with visitors. 

World Balloon with Perfect View

World Balloon with Perfect View
Image: Air-service-berlin.de

World Balloon with Perfect View, which takes off from the center of Berlin, is a fantastic way to get a different perspective about the city. 

Berlin’s World Balloon is one of the world’s most enormous helium balloons and offers a unique experience. 

Thousands of locals and tourists take the World Baloon with Perfect View each day and ascend to a height of around 150 meters (500 feet). 

Computer Games Museum

Computer Games Museum in Berlin
Image: Computerspielemuseum.de

If you have ever played a game on your computer or mobile, you will love the Computer Games Museum in Berlin. 

Locally it is referred to as Computerspielemuseum.

It is the first European museum for video and computer games, which appeals to both adults and kids and gamers and non-gamers. 

The museum has more than 300 computer games related physical exhibits – rare originals, classics still in working order, and unique art pieces.

Berlin Icebar

Icebar Berlin
Image: Berlinicebar.com

Everything at the Berlin Icebar is made out of ice and it is the No 1 thing to do in Berlin Nightlife on Tripadvisor. 

The attraction is maintained at -10°C (14°F), and visitors experience what it is like to be stranded on the North Pole and enjoy three complimentary drinks out of a glass made from ice.

All visitors get a thermal coat and gloves to withstand the arctic temperatures.

The actual Icebar is maintained at -10°C, but in the Lounge bar it is comfortably warm. 


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This article was researched & written by

Edited by Rekha Rajan & fact checked by Jamshed V Rajan

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