See the best of Berlin
Berlin always has a trick or two up its sleeve. Whether you came here to explore the rich history, the artsy alleys or the vibrant nightlife, you'll find yourself lured into its scene-stealling grandeur and grit, and the many surprises that hide in every street corner.
- Victory Column (Siegessäule)
In the heart of the Tiergarten stands one of Berlin's finest architectural landmarks. Originally built in front of the Reichstag, the Victory Column, standing at 67 meters, symbolizes the Prussian war victories.
Buy a ticket for €3 and climb the 270 steps up towards the golden Goddess of Victory for an incredible 360-degree view of Berlin. The climb is a bit of a challenge, but it's worth it.
First completed in 1894, the Reichstag is home to the German Parliament. This building is both a historical edifice and architectural wonder. It also represents Germany's commitment to renewable energy with its massive solar panel roof and abundance of natural light. Take a free 90-minute guided tour or simply explore the distinctive glass dome for panoramic views across the city, plus a peek into the debating chamber directly below.
Security is tight, so you'll need to book your visit in advance and bring your passport or ID with you.
- Brandenburg Gate
Designed by Prussian masterbuilder Carl Gotthard Langhans, this 18th-century monument is one of Berlin’s most famous landmarks. This towering royal city gate symbolizes Germany’s history of reunification.
Admire the monument's neo-classical style inspired by the gateway to the Acropolis in Athens, and explore the rest of the Pariser Platz.
- Holocaust Memorial
Standing on a 4.7-acre field, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe commemorates the 6 million Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
Made up of 2,711 concrete slabs of different heights with sloping floors, it’s an abstract, open site that creates an unconventional place of remembrance. Both the memorial and the underground information center are free to visit.
- Checkpoint Charlie
Derived from the NATO phonetic alpahabet, Checkpoint Charlie is the third border crossing opened by the Allies in Berlin. It sits on the corner of Friedrichstrasse and Zimmerstrasse separating East and West Germany.
Travel back in time and pose for a photo at the symbol of the city's division, and where numerous civilian escapes were attempted. Visit the Mauermuseum from €14.50 to see original escape objects including a mini submarine and a hot air balloon!
- Berlin Cathedral
A towering landmark in the cityscape, Berlin’s largest church is not technically a cathedral, but the name – Berliner Dom in German – has stuck.
If you think the façade is remarkable, the interior is just as impressive! Entry is €7 and includes the Baptismal and Matrimonial Chapel, the museum and the breathtaking Dome walkway. Check out the Hohenzollern Crypt, where Prussian royals rest in ornate sarcophagi.
- Museum Island
In the district of Mitte lies Berlin’s incredible museum island which houses five world-renowned museums. This unique ensemble houses unique artifacts and artworks with collections spanning from over 6,000 years of human history.
If you don't have much time to explore, head for the popular Pergamon Museum to see the bust of Nefertiti and the Ishtar Gate. Note that the hall containing the Pergamon Altar is currently closed for refurbishment.
- East Side Gallery
Stretching up to 1.3 km, the East Side Gallery is the longest open-air art gallery in the world. As soon as the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, 118 artists set to work on the east side, resulting in iconic images and colorful political commentary.
The walk along the wall is free and open to all. Look out for Dmitri Vrubel’s Fraternal Kiss and Birgit Kinders’ Trabant.
The city of Berlin transforms dramatically with each season. When autumn descends, Berlin replies to the shorter days by illuminating the streets with festivals like Berlin Leuchtet and the Festival of Lights. Christmas markets pop up across the city in the winter, while spring and summer are perfect for outdoor picnics or a walk in the park.
Dress for the party
Famous for its techno and electronic pop music scene, Berlin is one of the most sought-after nightlife destinations in Europe. The city's clubs are famous for their strict door policies, so research the dress code in advance and try to blend in. You can never go wrong with black, but it's important that you should always feel comfortable with what you’re wearing – in Berlin, it’s always best to be yourself.
Lose the meat
While Germany is famous for its hearty sausages and meaty meals, Berlin is also a welcoming haven for vegans, vegetarians, and anyone interested in sustainable eating. If you want to eat like a local, try out some of the city’s abundant vegetarian and vegan options, and enjoy the city's conscientious “Third Wave” coffee scene. Of course, you can always grab the typical currywurst or döner kebab near the Mehringdamm U-Bahn stop.
"Berlin is an amazing place for vegetarians and vegans. Vegetarian options are a normal thing in many restaurants like in Il Ritrovo, Nil, or Rembrandt Burger. My personal favorite is 1990 Vegan Living. Cash is king in Berlin so don’t forget to bring some cash with you!"
Getting to Berlin by train
Trains will get you to Berlin from every corner of Europe. Most journeys end at Berlin Hauptbahnhof, the largest train station in Europe. You can find all trains to and from Berlin in the Interrail Timetable.
From Paris to Berlin
From Amsterdam to Berlin
From Vienna to Berlin
Flights and public transport
Flying into Berlin gives you the choice of two main airports: Schönefeld (SXF) and Tegel (TXL). There’s no real difference in travel time from these airports to the city center. Tegel in the north-west is nearest, but is only connected to the city by bus. From Schönefeld in the south-east you’re able to take a train, which will get you to the city faster.
Getting around the city is convenient even for first-time travellers. Make use of the underground rail (U-Bahn) and suburban rail (S-Bahn), which cover most of the city. On top of that there are buses, trams, ferries and bicycles for rent. There are city maps on every street corner so you can navigate your way across the city with ease!