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Berlin

See the best of Berlin and get Local Tips

Berlin moves to its own beat. Whether you’re here to be artsy or here to party, you’ll find yourself drawn to the city’s cutting-edge culture, the grit and the grandeur, and the history that stares you in the face at every turn.

Top Attractions

Berlin top attractions 500px
Victory Column (Siegessäule)
berlin victory column

 

This monument to Prussian war victories was moved in 1938 from its original home in front of the Reichstag to the heart of the Tiergarten park.

 

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. It's quite a climb, but it's worth it.

 

Reichstag
reichstag 2

Germany's parliament building has witnessed a lot since it was first completed in 1894. 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
brandenburg gate 2

This towering gateway was built in the 18th century and now stands as a symbol of reunified Germany, as well as a gathering place for both locals and visitors to Berlin.

 

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
memorial to the murdered jews (2)

Germany’s central 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
checkpoint charlie (2)

On the corner of Friedrichstrasse and Zimmerstrasse sits the most famous border crossing between East and West Germany, Checkpoint Charlie.

 

Travel back in time and pose for a photo at the symbol of the city's division, and where numerous civilian escapes were attempted. Pay a visit to the Mauermuseum for the full experience – it’s open every day of the year.

Berlin Cathedral
berlin cathedral

A monumental landmark on the city’s skyline, Berlin’s largest church is not technically a cathedral, but the name – Berliner Dom in German – has stuck.

 

Entry is €7 and includes the Baptismal and Matrimonial Chapel, the museum and the breathtaking Dome walkway. If grand graves are your thing, visit the Hohenzollern Crypt, where Prussian royals rest in ornate sarcophagi.

Museum Island
museum island

Berlin’s incredible museum complex houses five world-renowned museums which hold artworks and artifacts 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
berlin wall fraternal kiss

At 1.3km, 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.

brandenburger tor disco

Head outside

 

Berlin is a city that transforms with the seasons. When fall 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 sees locals and visitors flock to the parks to relax in the greenery.

berlin beach cafe

Dress for the party

 

Pulsating beats, discerning bouncers, and scenes to suit every taste make Berlin 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. That said, you should always feel comfortable with what you’re wearing – in Berlin, it’s always best to be yourself.

berlin pretzel

Lose the meat

 

Unlike much of Germany, Berlin is extremely welcoming to 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.

Anja-100px

Anja, 27

"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!"

 

Get 20% off Lonely Planet travel guides

 

From essential info to insider tips, learn everything there is to know about Berlin with 20% off Lonely Planet guide books for Eurail customers. Just use the promo code EURAIL20 at checkout.

Getting to Berlin by train

train

Trains will get you to Berlin from every corner of Europe. Most of them terminate at Berlin Hauptbahnhof, the largest train station in Europe. You can find all trains to and from Berlin in the Eurail Timetable.

 

From Paris to Berlin

Paris - Berlin

From Amsterdam to Berlin

Amsterdam - Berlin_1

From Vienna to Berlin

Vienna - Berlin

Flights and public transport

plane

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. 

Public transport

The only thing easier than getting to Berlin is getting around once you’re in the city. You can 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. And with maps on every street corner, Berlin goes out of its way to make sure you find yours!