Berlin is full of history, edifying, incredible and famed for its electric party scene.
Jump in the lift to the very top of the seat of Germany’s parliament and admire Berlin sprawled below. Climbing The Reichstag is an example of Berlin’s quintessential mix of new and old. The old building was erected in 1884 but became dilapidated during the Second World War. It was re-constructed with the addition of the expansive glass dome, where ascending a spiral stairway will lead to an awesome 360 of Berlin.
See the wall
The longest remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall, known as the Eastside gallery, is a mile long outdoor art exhibition. The wall is a fascinating and symbolic structure of what once split the city into East and West. There are about 100 paintings covering the wall in splashes of vibrant colour.
Take a reflective walk through the Memorial to the murdered Jews in Europe, set across a five-acre site south of the Reichstag. The site was design by Peter Eisenman and is replete with grey concrete blocks of varying sizes arranged on a slope. It is disorientating and the uniform layout is a haunting reminder of Berlin under Nazi rule. There is also an underground information centre, including a tribute to the 6 million Jews murdered during the Holocaust.
Into the wild
Berlin is one of the champion cities for penny watching backpackers or those on a tight budget
because of its abundance of free activities.
If city life is proving too hectic, head for Grunewald, Berlin’s largest forest easily reached via S-bahn. The verdant and sobering woods are complete with walking trails, bike tracks and picnic areas. If it isn’t too cold you can even dip your toes into one of the fresh water lakes, which freckle the forest landscape. Or if you’re feeling adventurous you could always ride on horse back through the pine trees. For any activities abroad make sure you are covered by the right policy
in case of any unexpected eventualities.
See the sights by foot
There is no better way to take in all Berlin has to offer than a guided tour of its streets. New Berlin has free daily tours, which begin at the Brandenburg Gate and finish in the Lustgarden, the old royal gardens. Tours depart twice a day and are led by English speaking experts. If you have recently arrived in the city this is a fantastic way to acquaint yourself with its roads.
Picnic in peace
Tiergarten is the city’s largest park and was formally a hunting ground in the 17th century. Now the park is a playful mixture of rolling lawns, formal gardens picnickers, Frisbee enthusiasts and beautiful lakes.
Dig out some gems
Hallentrödelmarkt Treptow is a mammoth indoor flea market where treasures lurk on the varied stalls and each shadowy corner is full of trinkets and knickknacks. Perfect for a rainy day.
An island of museums
Berlin’s state museums are free for the last four hours of the day on Thursday evenings and five of the city’s greatest museum are on this UNESCO listed Museum Island. The Old National gallery is truly impressive with a collection of classical antiques.