BRING THE WORLD HOME

A step-by-step guide

Berlin

in your pocket!

About this Guide

Welcome to our Berlin guide, where we have carefully selected the must-see places and added personal suggestions. It’s a quick and simple guide that you can consult at any time during your trip.

We have focused on providing useful and practical recommendations that will enhance your trip, including off-the-beaten-track locations. We consider this guide a compilation of our favorite spots in the city.

We have also included gastronomic suggestions that will delight your palate and immerse you in Berlin’s delicious culinary culture.

We hope you enjoy our guide and it inspires you to explore all the treasures that this wonderful city has to offer!

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Berlin

a little bit of history!

Berlin is a city rich in history and culture. Since its founding, it has been a pivotal place in European history and has undergone countless changes throughout the centuries.

The city was established in the 13th century as a small village on the banks of the River Spree. Over the following centuries, the city slowly grew into an important trading hub by the 17th century. In 1701, Berlin became the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia, which was one of the most powerful states in Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries.

In the 19th century, Berlin experienced significant growth and transformed into one of the largest cities in Europe. During this period, the city expanded greatly, and many iconic buildings and monuments were constructed, such as the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Cathedral, and Museum Island.

In the early 20th century, Berlin became the political center of Germany and served as the capital of the Third Reich under the control of Adolf Hitler‘s Nazi regime. During this period, the city underwent a massive transformation, with numerous buildings and monuments constructed to reflect the ideology and vision of the Nazi regime.

However, World War II had a profound impact on the city. Berlin was heavily bombed during the war, and much of the city lay in ruins.

Following the end of World War II, the Cold War ensued, and Berlin became a symbol of the division between the Western and Eastern blocs. Germany was divided into four occupation zones: American, British, French, and Soviet. These Allied powers also divided the city of Berlin into sectors occupied by each.

As tensions escalated between the United States and the Soviet Union, the border between the occupation zones became an increasingly strong ideological frontier.

In 1948, the Soviet Union attempted to block land and river access to West Berlin, where the American, British, and French sectors were located. This led to a major confrontation known as the Berlin Blockade, during which the Western powers organized an impressive airlift to supply the population of West Berlin for 11 months.

The division of Berlin became even more apparent in 1961 when the Soviet Union constructed the infamous Berlin Wall. The 155-kilometer wall, surrounding West Berlin, became a symbol of separation between the Western and Eastern ideological blocs. It was a physical and symbolic barrier that prevented people from crossing over.

For nearly three decades, the Berlin Wall served as a constant reminder of Germany’s division and the Cold War. However, in 1989, due to a series of political changes and popular protests, the wall finally fell. This marked the beginning of the end of Berlin’s division and, ultimately, the Cold War. In 1990, Germany was reunified, and the wall was demolished, bringing the city of Berlin together.

Since Germany’s reunification in 1990, Berlin has remained a vibrant and cosmopolitan city. It has experienced significant economic and cultural growth and has emerged as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.

emopty stairs

PUBLIC
TRANSPORTATION

Public transportation in Berlin has a rich history dating back to the late 19th century when the first trams were introduced.

Today, Berlin’s public transportation system is one of the most advanced and efficient in the world, consisting of trains, trams, buses, and the underground.

Upon arrival, you will need an ABC zone ticket to leave the airport and reach Berlin. You will mainly use ABC zone tickets for:

  • The airport
  • Visiting the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp
  • Visiting Potsdam.

To get around Berlin using public transportation, an AB zone ticket will suffice. A single ticket is valid for two hours in one direction.

Tickets can be purchased at train stations, kiosks, and ticket machines. You can also download the BVG app, which allows you to buy tickets and plan routes. Any ticket allows you to use all means of public transportation, and the BVG app is a useful tool for route planning and ticket purchase.

low-angle photo of dome building

MUST
VISIT
PLACES

Brandenburger Tor

The Brandenburg Gate is one of Berlin’s most iconic landmarks and a symbol of the city’s history. It is a neoclassical triumphal arch located on Pariser Platz and was built in the late 18th century. The gate has witnessed significant historical events, including the hat. division and reunification of Berlin. Today, it stands as a symbol of unity and serves as a popular tourist attraction.

Berlin Wall

man kissing photo

The Berlin Wall was a physical barrier that divided the city of Berlin from 1961 to 1989. It was constructed by the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) to prevent its citizens from fleeing to West Berlin. The wall became a symbol of the Cold War and the division between East and West. Following its fall in 1989, it marked the reunification of Germany and is now commemorated through various memorials, museums, and preserved sections that offer insight into its history.

Museum Island

brown and white concrete building near river under blue sky during daytime

Museum Island, located on the Spree River, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a cultural hub in Berlin. It houses a unique ensemble of five world-renowned museums: the Altes Museum, the Neues Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie, the Bode Museum, and the Pergamon Museum. These museums showcase a vast array of artistic and historical treasures, including ancient Egyptian artifacts, classical antiquities, Islamic art, European paintings, and much more. Museum Island is a must-visit destination for art and history enthusiasts.

Reichstag

a german flag flying in front of a building

The Reichstag is the historic building that houses the German Bundestag, the federal parliament of Germany. Located in the heart of Berlin, it is an architectural masterpiece that combines historical elements with modern design. The Reichstag has played a significant role in German history, including the Weimar Republic and the Third Reich. After reunification, it underwent extensive renovation and became a symbol of democracy and transparency. Visitors can explore the building, enjoy the panoramic view from its dome, and learn about Germany’s political system.

Jewish Quarter

The Jewish Quarter in Berlin, also known as Scheunenviertel, was historically a vibrant Jewish neighborhood. It was home to a thriving Jewish community before World War II. The area witnessed a tragic decline during the Holocaust, but in recent years, there has been a resurgence of Jewish life and culture in the neighborhood. Today, the Jewish Quarter offers a mix of historical sites, such as the New Synagogue, along with Jewish-owned businesses, kosher restaurants, and cultural institutions that contribute to the preservation and celebration of Jewish heritage in Berlin.

Hidden Courtyards

Berlin is known for its unique architecture, and inside courtyards, also known as “Hinterhöfe,” which are an integral part of the city’s charm. These hidden courtyards can be found throughout Berlin, particularly in the older neighborhoods. Inner courtyards often offer a tranquil escape from the bustling streets, with their greenery, cobblestones, and sometimes even small cafes or shops.

TV Tower

The TV Tower, or Fernsehturm, is one of Berlin’s most iconic landmarks. Located in Alexanderplatz, it stands at a height of 368 meters (1,207 feet) and offers breathtaking panoramic views of the city. The tower was constructed in the 1960s and served as a symbol of East Germany’s technological prowess. Today, it remains a popular tourist attraction, allowing visitors to enjoy stunning vistas of Berlin’s skyline.

Tiergarten

Tiergarten is a vast urban park located in the heart of Berlin. Originally a hunting ground, it has transformed into a green oasis that spans over 200 hectares (500 acres). Tiergarten is beloved by locals and visitors alike, offering serene paths for walking, jogging, or cycling, as well as picturesque lakes, monuments, and gardens. It’s a perfect place to relax, have a picnic, or simply enjoy nature in the midst of the city.

Kreuzberg

Kreuzberg is a vibrant and multicultural neighborhood in Berlin. It gained a reputation as an alternative and artistic hub, attracting creative individuals from around the world. Kreuzberg is known for its diverse culinary scene, lively street art, and a vibrant nightlife. The area also has a rich history as a focal point for political activism and cultural movements, making it an exciting place to explore and experience Berlin’s dynamic atmosphere.

Gendarmenmarkt

Gendarmenmarkt is one of Berlin’s most beautiful squares and a prominent historical site. It is flanked by three magnificent buildings: the French Cathedral, the German Cathedral, and the Konzerthaus (Concert Hall). The square is often described as the most stunning ensemble of architecture in the city. Gendarmenmarkt hosts various events throughout the year, including a Christmas market, and is a popular spot for both locals and tourists to admire the architectural splendor and enjoy outdoor cafes.

Bebelplatz

Bebelplatz is a historic square in the center of Berlin. It is most notable for being the site of the infamous Nazi book burning in 1933. Today, the square is a significant memorial to the event, marked by a transparent plate set into the ground that allows visitors to peer into a room filled with empty bookshelves. Bebelplatz is also surrounded by prominent buildings, such as the State Opera and Humboldt University, adding to its cultural and historical significance.

Berlin's History

Berlin’s History: Berlin’s history is incredibly rich and complex. It has witnessed major historical events, such as the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, World War II, and the division of Germany. The city has undergone significant transformations, evolving from a divided and war-torn capital to a unified and thriving metropolis. Berlin embraces its past through numerous historical landmarks, museums, and memorials, ensuring that the memory of the city’s turbulent history is preserved and remembered. Today, Berlin stands as a symbol of resilience, creativity, and unity.

Nikolaiviertel: Nikolaiviertel is a historic district in Berlin, known for its quaint charm and medieval architecture. It is home to the oldest surviving church in the city, Nikolaikirche, and offers visitors a glimpse into Berlin’s past.

YAAM (Young African Art Market): YAAM is a vibrant cultural center and outdoor venue in Berlin, dedicated to promoting African arts, music, and culture. It showcases live performances, hosts events, and provides a platform for African artists and creatives.

Markthalle Neun: Markthalle Neun is a popular food market located in Kreuzberg, Berlin. It features a variety of local and international food stalls, offering fresh produce, artisanal products, and a bustling atmosphere for food enthusiasts.

Mauerpark: Mauerpark is a beloved park in Berlin, famous for its Sunday flea market and lively karaoke sessions. Visitors can browse through a wide range of vintage items, enjoy live music, and participate in the communal singing at the amphitheater.

Potsdamer Platz: Potsdamer Platz is a bustling public square in central Berlin. It is a major transportation hub, commercial district, and entertainment destination, featuring modern architecture, shopping centers, theaters, and restaurants.

Badeschiff: Badeschiff is a unique swimming pool located on a floating platform in the River Spree. It offers visitors the chance to swim and relax while enjoying panoramic views of Berlin’s skyline.

Beer gardens: Berlin is renowned for its beer gardens, which are outdoor spaces where people can enjoy traditional German beer and food in a relaxed atmosphere. These gardens provide a social gathering place for locals and tourists alike.

RAW-Gelände: RAW-Gelände is an alternative cultural and entertainment complex situated in Friedrichshain. It features art spaces, music venues, bars, clubs, and graffiti-covered buildings, attracting a diverse crowd of artists, musicians, and nightlife enthusiasts.

Tempelhofer Feld: A former airport turned public park. It offers vast open spaces for recreational activities such as cycling, skating, and kite-flying. The park also has historical significance, as it served as a lifeline during the Berlin Airlift.

Berliner Unterwelten: Offers a series of guided tours that explore the underground bunkers, tunnels, and hidden spaces beneath the city. It provides a fascinating insight into Berlin’s history during World War II and the Cold War.

The GDR Museum: This museum provides a comprehensive look into life in East Germany during the period of the German Democratic Republic. It showcases exhibits and artifacts that illustrate the political, social, and cultural aspects of the GDR era.

The Turkish market am Maybachufer: A vibrant street market in Berlin’s Neukölln district. It offers a wide range of fresh produce, spices, textiles, and other goods, while also providing a glimpse into Berlin’s multiculturalism and Turkish community.

Klunkerkranich: A rooftop bar and garden located atop a shopping center in Berlin’s Neukölln district. It offers stunning views of the city skyline, live music performances, and a unique atmosphere for visitors to relax, socialize, and enjoy a drink.

KulturBrauerei: This is a historic brewery complex turned cultural center with a vibrant atmosphere, hosting various events, performances, and exhibitions.

The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra: A renowned concert hall known for its exceptional acoustics and home to the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, offering world-class classical music performances.

Teufelsberg: A man-made hill in Berlin, constructed from the rubble of World War II, and now a popular spot for outdoor activities with a captivating view of the city, as well as an alternative artist colony.

Holzmarkt: A lively riverside area with a focus on sustainability and creativity, featuring a mix of restaurants, bars, cultural spaces, and a vibrant market.

Charlottenburg Palace: A magnificent palace built in the baroque style, showcasing opulent interiors, beautiful gardens, and hosting cultural events.

House of the World’s Cultures: A cultural institution promoting intercultural exchange and contemporary arts from around the world, offering exhibitions, performances, and discussions.

Checkpoint Charlie: A historic crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold War, now a popular tourist site with a small museum dedicated to the history of the Berlin Wall.

Kaiser Wilhelm Church: A partially destroyed church that serves as a memorial to the devastation of World War II, with its damaged spire and an adjacent modern church building.

Siegessäule: A triumphal column in the center of Berlin, providing panoramic views of the city from its observation deck and representing Prussian military victories.

Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe: A powerful memorial consisting of a vast field of concrete slabs, commemorating more than six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

Topography of Terror: A museum located at the former headquarters of the Gestapo and SS during the Nazi regime, offering exhibitions and documentation about the crimes committed during that time.

Red Town Hall: The seat of the government of Berlin, characterized by its distinctive red brick facade and serving as the city’s administrative center.

German Historical Museum: A comprehensive museum showcasing German history from medieval times to the present day, featuring numerous artifacts and exhibitions.

Soviet War Memorial: A memorial dedicated to Soviet soldiers who fell during the Battle of Berlin in World War II, featuring a large statue and a cemetery.

Peacock Island: A picturesque island on the River Havel, known for its lush landscapes, a small castle, and peacocks roaming freely.

New Synagogue: A stunning Moorish-style synagogue rebuilt after its destruction in World War II, serving as a center for Jewish worship and cultural events.

Oberbaumbrücke: An iconic bridge connecting the neighborhoods of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg, adorned with striking towers and serving as a symbol of Berlin’s unity.

Molecule man: A contemporary sculpture consisting of three interconnected aluminum figures located in the Spree River, representing the merging of East, West, and the center of Berlin.

Sachsenhausen: A former concentration camp located in the outskirts of Berlin, now serving as a memorial and museum to honor the victims and educate visitors about the atrocities of the Holocaust.

Potsdam: A nearby city often associated with Berlin due to its historical significance and close proximity. Potsdam is known for its beautiful palaces, gardens, and landmarks, including Sanssouci Palace and the Cecilienhof Palace where the Potsdam Conference took place.

Berlin’s history is incredibly rich and complex. It has witnessed major historical events, such as the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, World War II, and the division of Germany. The city has undergone significant transformations, evolving from a divided and war-torn capital to a unified and thriving metropolis. Berlin embraces its past through numerous historical landmarks, museums, and memorials, ensuring that the memory of the city’s turbulent history is preserved and remembered. Today, Berlin stands as a symbol of resilience, creativity, and unity.

Berlin is all of this and more! We understand that the best way to get to know a city is by exploring its streets and discovering every secret they hold. We can’t think of a better way to show you the city than for you to visit with us on a Free Walking Tour.

Tours and Activities in Berlin

bread knot on pink surface

FOOD
AND
DRINKS

Currywurst

Currywurst is an iconic Berlin fast food dish. It consists of a grilled or fried pork sausage that is typically cut into slices and served with a ketchup-based sauce seasoned with curry powder. It is often accompanied by fries or bread rolls.

Kebab

a close up of a person holding a hot dog

While not originally from Berlin, kebab has become a popular street food in the city. It consists of grilled or roasted meat (usually lamb or chicken) served in a pita bread with various toppings such as salad, sauces, and vegetables.

Eisbein/Haxe

Eisbein or Haxe, is a traditional Berlin dish made from pork knuckle. It is typically slow-cooked or roasted until the meat is tender and served with sauerkraut and boiled potatoes.

Schnitzel

A breaded and fried meat dish that is popular in Berlin. It is typically made from veal or pork and is pounded thin before being coated in breadcrumbs and fried until golden and crispy. Schnitzel is often served with lemon wedges and potato salad.

Bratwurst

A type of German sausage that is commonly found in Berlin. It is made from pork, beef, or veal and is seasoned with a variety of herbs and spices. It is typically grilled or pan-fried and served with mustard, sauerkraut, and bread rolls.

Käsespätzle

A German pasta dish that is popular in Berlin. It consists of small, soft egg noodles cooked and layered with grated cheese, typically Emmental or Gruyère. The dish is baked until the cheese is melted and bubbly, creating a comforting and hearty meal.

Königsberger Klopse

These meatballs are made from ground veal or pork, mixed with onions, eggs, and bread crumbs. They are poached in a broth flavored with white wine, capers, and lemon zest. The dish is traditionally served with creamy mashed potatoes and a tangy white sauce.

Kartoffelsuppe

A traditional German potato soup that is also enjoyed in Berlin. It typically consists of potatoes, onions, leeks, and carrots cooked in a flavorful broth, often with the addition of bacon or sausage. The soup is hearty and comforting, especially during colder months.

Sauerkraut

A fermented cabbage dish that is commonly eaten in Berlin. It is made by finely shredding cabbage and fermenting it with salt. The result is a tangy and slightly sour condiment that is often served as a side dish with various meat dishes.

Brezel

A baked bread product that is popular in Berlin. It has a twisted knot shape and a chewy texture. Brezels are often enjoyed as a snack or served with sausages, cheese, or mustard.

bread on white ceramic plate

TYPICAL
DESSERTS

Apple Strudel

a pastry and a cup of coffee on a table

This is a traditional German dessert that can also be found in Berlin. It consists of a thin and crispy pastry filled with chopped apples, nuts, raisins, and spices like cinnamon. It is served hot and can be accompanied by vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.

Pfannkuchen

baked doughnuts on tray

A type of donut filled with jam or cream, commonly served in bakeries and cafés.

Bienenstich

Bienenstich, or “bee sting” in English, is another popular dessert in Berlin. It is a yeast cake filled with vanilla cream and topped with a layer of caramelized almonds.

Kaiserschmarrn

These are fluffy pancakes that are torn apart in the pan and served sprinkled with sugar, usually accompanied by applesauce or other fruits, or even vanilla ice cream.

a row of beer glasses sitting on top of a wooden tray

SOME
TYPICAL
DRINKS

Beer

three clear drinking glasses on brown wooden table

An integral part of Berlin’s drinking culture. The city is known for its diverse beer scene, offering a wide range of styles including lagers, pilsners, wheat beers, and craft brews. Some popular local breweries in Berlin include Berliner Kindl, Berliner Pilsner, and Bierfabrik.

Berliner Luft

a man eating a donut

A traditional Berlin liqueur. It is a peppermint schnapps that is often enjoyed as a digestif or mixed into cocktails. Berliner Luft has a refreshing and minty flavor, and it is a popular choice among locals and tourists alike.

Berliner Weisse

A sour beer style that originated in Berlin. It is a light, tart, and effervescent beer typically served with a fruity syrup, such as raspberry or woodruff. Berliner Weisse is a popular summer drink and is often enjoyed as a refreshing beverage on warm days.

Club Mate

A caffeinated carbonated soft drink that has gained a cult following in Berlin. It contains mate extract, which is derived from the South American yerba mate plant. Club-Mate has a unique taste with hints of herbal and fruity flavors. It is often consumed as a pick-me-up energy drink or mixed with alcohol to create cocktails.

Glühwein

Also known as mulled wine, is a warm spiced wine that is popular during the winter months, especially around Christmas markets. It is made by heating red wine with various spices such as cinnamon, cloves, and orange peel. Glühwein is often enjoyed as a festive and warming drink to combat the cold weather.

blue and brown tote bag

SHOPPING

Kurfürstendamm

people walking on street near high rise building during night time

Kurfürstendamm, commonly referred to as Ku’Damm, is one of Berlin’s most famous shopping streets. Located in the affluent Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district, Ku’Damm offers a mix of high-end boutiques, luxury brand stores, department stores, and renowned designer shops. It is a vibrant hub for fashion enthusiasts and features popular shopping centers like KaDeWe.

KaDeWe

grey concrete building near road during daytime

KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens) is one of the most famous department stores in Europe and a must-visit shopping destination in Berlin. Located on Ku’Damm, KaDeWe is a symbol of luxury and elegance. The store offers a vast selection of high-end fashion brands, luxury goods, cosmetics, gourmet food, and home decor. KaDeWe is known for its luxurious ambiance, exceptional customer service, and its impressive food hall, which is a paradise for food lovers.

Mauerpark

Mauerpark is a popular public park located in the Prenzlauer Berg district. While it is primarily known for its lively Sunday flea market, Mauerpark also offers a variety of shopping opportunities. The flea market attracts locals and tourists alike, offering an assortment of vintage clothing, second-hand items, vinyl records, and handmade crafts. Visitors can also find food stalls, live music performances, and a vibrant atmosphere at Mauerpark.

Hackescher Markt

Hackescher Markt is a vibrant square in the Mitte district of Berlin and a bustling shopping destination. The area is characterized by its historic buildings, cobblestone streets, and a diverse range of shops. Hackescher Markt is particularly renowned for its fashion boutiques, independent designer stores, and unique concept shops. It also offers a mix of art galleries, trendy cafes, and restaurants, making it a popular spot for both shopping and cultural experiences.

Prenzlauer Berg

Prenzlauer Berg is a trendy neighborhood in Berlin that offers a unique shopping experience. Known for its bohemian atmosphere, Prenzlauer Berg is home to numerous independent boutiques, vintage stores, and artisanal shops. The area is particularly renowned for its flea markets, where visitors can find a wide range of vintage clothing, antiques, and handmade crafts.

Curiosities of Berlin

  • Berlin has more bridges than Venice, with around 1,700 bridges in total.
  • Hitler’s bunker is now a car park. Contrary to popular belief, the underground refuge of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler during the last days of his life is no longer accessible.
  • Berlin is filled with parks, gardens, and wooded areas, in fact, more than any other major European city, about one-third of Berlin is green space.
  • Nudity (FKK) is not a cause for shame or discomfort in Berlin. You can see naked bodies in parks and lakes, or even peeking out of an apartment window during the summer.
  • Berlin dresses in black. Berlin’s style is best described as modern without being luxurious, and black is the tone that best fulfills its purpose.
  • Electronic music in Berlin is globally recognized, thanks to its vibrant club scene and DJs. The city is especially known for techno, and clubs like Berghain and Tresor are famous worldwide.
  • Although the German economy remains strong, it still relies on cash. The reason behind this dates back in German history, where unprecedented inflation and financial and institutional instability in the early 20th century left a strong impression on that generation, which persists to this day. Because of this, Germans seem to be reluctant to go into debt, and credit cards are viewed with suspicion.
  • The famous Ampelmann is an icon of former East Berlin. Traffic lights in the shape of a green man with a hat are unique to the German capital and can be found in various parts of the city.
  • The Berlin Zoo is the largest and most visited in Europe, as well as one of the oldest.
  • The Weissensee Jewish Cemetery: This is one of the largest Jewish cemeteries in Europe.
  • Pfand is a deposit and return system in Germany. When you buy a bottle of a drink, such as a bottle of water or soda, you pay an additional deposit on the purchase price. You can return the empty bottle to a store or return machine and receive the deposit back. You will also see many people leaving bottles on the street to help those in need.
  • Pfand is a deposit and return system in Germany. When you buy a bottle of a drink, such as a bottle of water or soda, you pay an additional deposit on the purchase price. You can return the empty bottle to a store or return machine and receive the deposit back. You will also see many people leaving bottles on the street to help those in need.
  • The city is renowned for its vibrant alternative scene, ranging from occupied spaces and underground clubs to art and experimental music events. If you’re looking for something different and unique to explore in the city, you’ll definitely have no shortage of options.
  • With over 70 natural lakes, Berlin is one of the European cities with the largest amount of fresh water. These spaces offer a tranquil sanctuary for those seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
  • There are about 1,000 Spätis (late-night shops) throughout Berlin. They are diverse shops where you can buy drinks, snacks, tobacco, SIM cards, and a thousand other things. Originating in 1951, they quickly became popular after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Nowadays, they are a meeting place for any pre-party.
  • It is legal to drink alcohol in the street.
  • Berlin is considered the capital for dog lovers in Germany, with over 200,000 dogs in the city. Dogs must be registered, and an annual tax is paid for them.
  • The public transportation system in Berlin spans an impressive 4,473 kilometers, making it one of the most extensive in the world. That’s equivalent to traveling around the Earth 8.7 times. And that’s not even counting the 120 kilometers of tram lines.
  • Berlin is renowned for its vibrant urban art and graffiti scene, attracting artists from all over the world to leave their mark on the city’s walls. The neighborhood of Kreuzberg, in particular, is famous for its murals.
  • Despite being nine times larger than Paris, Berlin has a much lower population density with only 4,100 inhabitants per square kilometer. This creates a sense of greater spaciousness and room in the city.
  • The East Side Gallery holds the title for being the longest open-air art gallery in the world, spanning 1,316 meters in length and featuring over 100 murals by artists from around the globe.
  • The Bauhaus School of Design was founded in Weimar in 1919 but later relocated to Berlin. The school had a profound influence on architecture, design, and visual arts worldwide, and many of its graduates became highly influential figures in the art, design, and architectural fields.
  • Berlin has been home to many important writers and poets throughout history, including Bertolt Brecht, Heinrich Heine, Thomas Mann, and Franz Kafka. The city boasts a rich literary tradition and is dotted with numerous bookstores and literary cafés.
  • During the hyperinflation period, the value of German currency plummeted so rapidly that people used banknotes as fuel for heating, as it was cheaper than buying wood. Due to their low value, the banknotes were printed on one side only.
  • In January 1919, one U.S. dollar was equivalent to 8.9 German marks. By November 1923, one dollar was worth 4.2 TRILLION marks.
  • The partition of Berlin into two cities due to the Berlin Wall during the Cold War had a significant impact on the city’s culture. After the fall of the wall, the city experienced a cultural renaissance and transformed into a hub of creativity and experimentation.
  • The city is filled with vintage photo booths where you can get a great keepsake: a strip of 4 black and white photos.
  • Due to the division of the city during the Cold War, many important buildings and streets in Berlin are duplicated. For this reason, if someone gives you their address, they will include the postal code, so you’ll know which of the two streets to go to.
  • “Berliner Schnauze” is a German term that describes the direct and sometimes brusque character of Berliners. It’s a straightforward and unfiltered way of speaking associated with humor and irony, although it may appear rude to those who are not accustomed to it. It is considered an expression of Berlin’s authenticity and honesty.
  • Berlin has the longest street in Germany. Karl-Marx-Allee, located in the Friedrichshain neighborhood, stretches over 2 kilometers and serves as one of the city’s main thoroughfares, as well as a symbol of the former GDR.
  • Berlin boasts a vibrant and diverse theater scene, offering a wide variety of plays ranging from the most traditional to the most experimental. Avant-garde theater is particularly strong in Berlin, and many theaters offer shows in English and other languages.
  • Berlin is known for its alternative and avant-garde fashion style. The city is home to a multitude of independent designers and vintage fashion stores.
  • Berlin is home to 180 museums, more than the average number of rainy days in the city, with some of the most intriguing ones to visit being the Hamburger Bahnhof, Sammlung Boros, Martin Gropius-Bau, König Galerie, and Berlinische Galerie.
  • Berlin has a superfan base for David Hasselhoff, after he performed his hit single Looking for Freedom around the same time as the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
  • Approximately 3.4 million döner kebabs are sold daily in around 1,500 döner establishments in Berlin.
  • The Nordbahnhof train station in Berlin was closed during the construction of the Berlin Wall. During the Cold War, the station fell within the Death Strip, and trains passed through it without stopping. Now, it can be visited as a historical monument.
  • Although Berlin is not close to the coast, it offers several urban beaches along the banks of the Spree River. These sandy beaches are constructed during the summer and provide residents and visitors with a place to relax and enjoy the sun.
  • In the district of Hohenschönhausen, you can find the former prison of the Stasi, the feared secret police of East Germany. This place has now been turned into a museum, and guided tours led by former prisoners are available to learn more about the history and life under East Germany’s secret police.

SOUVENIRS

Ampelmann merchandise

Step into East Berlin’s past with Ampelmann merchandise. Featuring the iconic pedestrian traffic light symbol, these products evoke a sense of nostalgia and unity, preserving a piece of history that’s etched into the city’s fabric. It is one of the most emblematic souvenirs to be found.

Trabant Car Memorabilia

The Trabant car represents an era gone by. It was the emblematic car used in the GDR by its citizens, a piece of history of the divided city of Berlin. Miniature models or keychains of this iconic East German vehicle capture the spirit of Berlin’s unique past.

Beer Steins

Raise a toast to tradition with classic German beer steins. Adorned with regional designs, these mugs encapsulate the convivial spirit of German beer culture.

German Chocolates

Indulge in the sweet side with high-quality chocolates from renowned brands like Ritter Sport or Rausch. Each bite is a sensory journey through the city’s culinary delights.

Brandenburg Gate-themed Items

The Brandenburg Gate stands as a symbol of unity and freedom. If you are not sure what souvenir to get maybe one featuring this iconic landmark could be a great option.

Currywurst Sauce

Spice up your memories with bottles of currywurst sauce, a beloved Berlin street food. Take home the flavors of the city and savor them with every bite. If you are in doubt of what to eat in Berlin, just check out our ultimate food guide!

Museum and Gallery Prints

Immerse yourself in the city’s thriving art scene with prints and posters from renowned museums and galleries. Some of them might make a great memory or gift for the loved ones.

Berlin Wall Memorabilia

Commemorate the resilience of Berliners with pieces of the wall, small bits that narrate the tale of a divided city and its triumphant reunification. Please understand that these pieces need to be bought as it is not legal to “grab your own”.

Bear related Souvenirs

Embrace the city’s mascot with memorabilia adorned with city motifs or the emblematic coat of arms. We love these ones!

If you want to discover the complete and up-to-date list of the best souvenirs from Berlin check out our blog:

General recommendations

The service is generally included, but it’s common to leave a tip (around 10%).

Bring cash! Like in other parts of Germany, Berliners are wary of anything other than cold, hard cash. Many shops and restaurants do not accept card payments.

In Berlin, bike lanes are sacred spaces, so avoid walking on them or you’ll soon find out why we recommend it.

Beware and avoid people asking for signatures in tourist areas, shell game players (the ball under three cups game), and pickpockets in general, especially in crowded areas.

Plan your trip well in advance, as Berlin is a vast city.

Avoid buying “used” public transportation tickets from individuals outside of the stations, as they are often counterfeit or expired. Consequently, ticket inspectors will fine you or even accuse you of forgery.

Go for a Berlin brunch! Good areas would be for example Bergmannstrasse or around the Wasserturm in Prenzlauer Berg.

Almost all shops and businesses in Berlin are closed on Sundays. This is a common practice in Germany, where Sunday is traditionally a day of rest and relaxation. Therefore, it’s important to keep this in mind!

In general, malls and clothes shops will also not open until 10 or 11am.

Many Berliners speak English, but it’s always a good idea to learn some basic phrases in German before your trip and show interest in their culture.

If you liked this guide and want to support us, visit our website and discover our exciting range of unique and personally designed souvenirs for Berlin!

 You can also support us by following us on our social media platforms: Instagram and Facebook
 
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