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The Best Things To Do in Berlin

Berlin Best Things To DoNot long ago, I worked on a project called A Perfect Day in Berlin with British Airways for their shiny new Facebook App (see exhibit A if you’re just itching to know which six things I picked.)

Drunk with power, I put together an itinerary of the best way to spend 24 hours in the city and ignored my existential angst at the use of the title “Perfect Day.” (What is perfect, how can it be perfect, what does perfect mean anyway?) I based my choice on two visits to Berlin, both with local expert input, and spent my time exploring the city’s 20th and 21st century histories respectively.

Next week, I’m heading back. And while last time, many of you shared your suggestions with me, this time around I thought it would be useful to streamline some of my research  - and to add your suggestions – here.

Bookmark away then folk. Find the Perfect Day in Berlin whistlestop tour over here. And find all sorts of Berlin tips, tricks and inspiration below.

It’s my way of saying thank you- I hope you find it useful.

The Best Things to Do in Berlin: List Resources

48 Hours in Berlin – The Independent

Berlin in summertime, rich on practical details

Slow Travel in Berlin - Uncornered Market

Gorgeous photos and in depth advice from temporary residents Uncornered Market

Top Ten Things To Do in Berlin - Just Travelous

Tick off the tourist hot spots with this list from Berlin local Yvonne

Top Ten Wacky Things to Do in Berlin - The Guardian

Alas, I didn’t get a chance to try these personally – yet. Maybe next week?

20 Great Things To Do in Berlin – Time Out

Clearly there’s some overlap by now but if you want to be thorough, check out this list.

Alternative Berlin

Free tours taking in the cityscape’s street art.

Context Travel*

I’m not normally one for a tour. But I love, love, LOVE context tours. Run by academics they take an in-depth, unusual look at a city’s landscape and history and sometimes it seems as though Berlin only exists to provide rich material for a Context tour.

Berlin Kastanienallee

The Best Things to Do in Berlin: Tips From Readers (That I Didn’t Get to Test…)

Rent a bike

Oh, how I wish I had listened to this tip. The scenery from the Tiergarten to the Brandenburg Gate right on to the TV tower is fascinating and worth an overland trip. But it’s a long, long way in the cold winter’s rain, which brings me to the next main recommendation…

Visit in summer

Yes, well, what can you do? At least Berlin looked pretty in the snow…

 Visit Kreuzberg

I will. Next week. And feed back about this bad boy turned good part of Berlin.

Eat Food From Everywhere

I stuck with traditional German dishes last time (with a festive helping of gluhwein the time before.) Yet loads of you raved about the international food so perhaps next time I’ll branch out.

Berlin Brandenburg Gate

 

The Best About Berlin For Me – The History

Tempelhof Airport and Unexpected Emotion – Go See Write

An American looks at his country’s role in the Berlin airlift and in subsequent years

The Berlin Wall, The Unheard Story

My experience with women my age who grew up as the wall came down. Both sides of the wall. Both sides of the story.

East Side Gallery

The largest open air gallery in the world, painted on remnants of the Berlin Wall.

The Best Things To Do in Berlin If You Only Have One Day

Congratulations on reading this far! You can find the recommendations with a map on the Facebook app here. But if you hate Facebook and just want to skim read my list, then here’s what I’d recommend:

 1) The Berlin Wall Memorial

Sets the stage for all the wall remnants you’re going to find all across the city

2) The Topography of Terror

Housed in the former Gestapo HQ, this exhibition examines the horror of the Nazi party and gives an insight into Berlin during World War Two.

3) The Currywurst Museum

Lightens the mood a little and brings you from the past to the present through the medium of food. Currywurst is Berlin’s signature dish and it’s born from the cultural mix left in the city at the end of WWII. Plus, the museum is just around the corner from Checkpoint Charlie in case you want to make a quick detour there.

4) Cafe Cool in Kastanienallee

Browse for vintage clothes and records, stop for tea or indulge in a full lunch in this quirky part of town.

5) Fernsehturm Viewpoint

Head up the TV tower at twilight to see the city lights come alive

6) The Brandenburg Gate

Walk (or cycle) from the tower to the gate for the full Berlin tourist experience. History took place here when Reagan implored Gorbachev to tear down this wall. Today, watch out for men in communist soldier costumes dancing Gangnam style…

The Best Things To Do in Berlin If You Live Here

Shh…I have some secret tips but I’m not sure if I should share them yet. Let me know in the comments if you think I should…

7 Responses to The Best Things To Do in Berlin

  1. August Samora March 12, 2013 at 3:53 pm #

    I will definitely go for historical places! What’s more interesting than Nazi and WW II in our history?

    • Abi King March 27, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

      The Cold War? Only joking…there’s so much fascinating history there.

  2. Adam March 17, 2013 at 1:46 pm #

    Not a bad list! But did you hear about the recent protests regarding the East Side Gallery? A developer and the city are planning to remove pieces of it to make way for new construction – an interesting development considering it’s one of the most touristic parts of Berlin.

    If you want some more tips, check out my guide here: http://bit.ly/XrSX0h

    • Abi King March 27, 2013 at 8:33 pm #

      I heard that there are lots of arguments about what to conserve and what to clear away. I can kind of see both sides overall – it’s important to remember the past but also not to stay trapped there. I hadn’t heard about that latest development to affect the East Side Gallery.

      That’s a great list – thanks for posting it. Even more inspiration for my next time there ;-)

  3. Charlotte September 18, 2013 at 4:24 pm #

    Luckily most of the East Side gallery has stayed, but my heart was in my mouth as I saw the bulldozers and everything coming :(

  4. silia January 30, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

    Helloooo there,
    these are the things that I like to do in Berlin. I hope you like it and find it useful for your trips!
    http://theviennesegirl.com/the-viennese-girl-goes-to-berlin/
    Thank you
    Silia

    • Abi King January 31, 2014 at 7:55 pm #

      Very useful – thank you. I love the chocolate suggestion. Plus there are a couple I don’t know yet – something for next time!

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