There are a few things I would say Berlin is known for: the currywurst, a…
For under €10!
You’re going to Berlin? That’s fantastic! Berlin is definitely one of the coolest capital cities in Europe. It’s also kind of like another world. Anything goes in Berlin and you can be anyone you want. There is so much to do in Berlin, I had trouble keeping the list down to just ten. Use this as your Berlin travel guide, here are ten things to do!
1) Free walking tour. Duh!
I am not sick of writing it, I am not sick of doing it, free walking tours are the best things to do in Berlin and in any city! SANDEMAN’s New Europe free walking tours are some of the best free walking tours I have ever done (and I proudly say this with no compensation from the company). The tour guides are so well informed about the history of the city, and so clearly love this place, it is hard not to fall in love yourself. They work on tips, so you decide how much the tour was worth at the end.
Cost: €5-€10, but you tip whatever you feel!
2) Have a photoshoot by the East Side Gallery
When the Berlin wall came down in 1989, a lot of the wall was removed, but there are still a few places where the wall still stands. The East Side Gallery is a part of the wall that has become a huge gallery for street art. Each piece tells a story. Some are funny and use bright colours, others are more solemn and serious. Every piece is beautiful, and is really one of the most Instagrammable places in Berlin.
3) The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
As far as memorials go, this has to be one of the most incredible. Spanning an entire city block, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in an immersive monument which encourages people to walk through it. The stones are different heights, the ground is uneven, and as you walk into the middle, the sounds of the city disappear. All of a sudden, you’re alone and it’s silent. It’s beautiful and solemn. It is a place of contemplation and warning. As an added bonus, check out the museum underneath and do the audio guided tour. It’s beautifully done.
Cost: Free! (The audioguide in the museum does cost a few euros)
4) Go to Teufelsberg for a picnic
You may not find this in any other Berlin travel guide….. In the middle of Grünewald Forest, is a man-made hill called Teufelsberg, created from rubble and debris moved from Berlin after World War II. The Americans used the Radomes -weatherproof enclosures that protects a radar antenna – atop the hill as listening stations during the Cold War. When the Berlin wall fell, the equipment was removed, but the Radomes and buildings remained. It’s now what I believe is a squatter’s paradise, and is open to the public! Read the full story about my day at Teufelsberg here!
Cost: €8 to enter and to wander about.
5) Mauerpark on a Sunday afternoon
If it’s a sunny day and a Sunday, Mauerpark is the perfect place to go. The flea market sells everything from jewellery to vintage clothes, antique furniture to beautiful art. Around every corner is someone playing music. We saw a group playing funky brass music, we found an African drum circle, a moody solo autoharp player, and even a DJ with a set up out of his van. Starting around 3pm, in the Bearpit, a huge amphitheatre, a man named Joe hosts Bearpit Karaoke! Here, people have the chance to volunteer to sing their fave song in front of the crowd. Read a story about when I did Bearpit Karaoke here!
Cost: €2-€5. Joe works by donation!
6) Check out a techno club!
Berlin is known for its clubbing and techno scene where the party doesn’t stop until Monday morning…and even then. If you’re looking for something to do on a Friday or Saturday night, head out on the town and prepare yourself for a wild night. Berlin is also home to one of the most exclusive clubs in the world, Berghain. Exclusive because not everyone gets in, and nobody knows why! Read a story about how Michael and I got into Berghain here!
Cost: It depends on the club and their cost of cover… Hopefully it’s under €10
7) Eat a Döner kebab.
You’ve heard “go to Berlin, eat a currywurst!” and yes, sure, eat a currywurst in Berlin. It’s really just a hot dog in ketchup with curry powder sprinkled on top. They’re ok, but not my fave. The REAL treat and best thing to do in Berlin is the döner kebab. Freshly sliced meat from the rotisserie stuffed into freshly warmed bread, layered with sauce and vegetables, and all for the very reasonable cost of €3-€4 (don’t pay more than that)!
8) Drink a Wegbier
On the top of the list of things to do in Berlin, is drink your beer anywhere: the parks, the sidewalk, even the train (although technically not on the S-Bahn). The word ‘wegbier’ literally translates to ‘away beer’. Basically, it’s a beer you take to go. You can drink anywhere and beer is cheaper than water! Head to the closest Späti (the store in which you buy a wegbier), find a Berliner or take a Gösser Radler, and grab a bottle from the back — it will be the coldest. Then, do as the Berliners do, and drink anywhere!
Cost: €1.80 for a Berliner
9) Take a photo in a Photoautomat!
Scattered around the city are photo booths, known as Photoautomats. Here, for only €2, you and your friends can pose for four photos that are printed into a beautiful photo strip. Some of the cameras shoot in colour, some are B&W, some will be busier than others with lines leading up to them, some will smell like pee, and might even have someone sleeping inside! No matter what, you will get a series of four beautiful photos that will make you laugh every time.
Cost: €2 per four photos
10) No Berlin Travel Guide would be complete without a Biergarten!
My fave is the Prater Biergarten. It’s in the middle of the city, and the whole place is just community-style seating. You can buy beers and classic German snacks like hotdogs and pretzels. How can you go wrong with a beer and a wurst on a sunny summer day?!
Cost: €2 for a beer, €2 for a dog!