7 Great reasons to visit Berlin

7 Great Reasons to Visit Berlin

With more bridges than Venice, 180km of navigable waterways within the city limits and a diverse gastronomy scene, Berlin certainly has more to offer than first meets the eye.
Here’s seven reasons why a visit to Berlin should be part of your European holiday plans.

1. Abundance of Green Spaces

Believe it or not, Berlin is a very green city. Home to over 2,500 public parks and gardens, approximately one third of the city’s area is covered by forests, parks, gardens, rivers, canals and lakes. Tiergarten, once the hunting grounds for Prussian Kings, is now Berlin’s largest and most popular inner-city park, close to Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Zoo and Bellevue Palace. Spend time relaxing under the shady boughs of leafy trees, walk along the winding pathways and pay your respects at the many memorials.
Explore the Tiergarten in Berlin, Germany

2. A Food Lover's Paradise

From cheap eats to Michelin star restaurants, Berlin has a diverse gastronomy scene which reflects the immigrant history of the city. Home to the largest Turkish community outside of Turkey, the tasty Döner Kebab, is literally found on every street corner. Other street food favourites include Currywurst, (sliced Bratwurst served with ketchup and plenty of spicy curry powder), Eisbein, (crispy and succulent pork knuckle accompanied with sauerkraut) and the Berliner, (a sweet pastry, similar to a doughnut filled with marmalade or jam, dusted with icing sugar). For more refined dining, Berlin is home to 23 Michelin Star Restaurants (2019) of which the two star Tim Raue, specialising in modern Asian fusion, is a popular choice by locals and tourists alike. Surprisingly, the city was also named the Vegetarian Capital of the World by the culinary magazine Saveur in 2015 and is a great city for vegans. However, no trip to Berlin is complete without sampling the Berliner Weisse beer, a local specialty dating back to the 16th century, which can be enjoyed in many of the beer gardens during summer or at a good old fashioned pub.
Sample the currywurst in Berlin, Germany

3. Art Galleries

Berlin is home to more than 400 art galleries, contrasted with a vibrant street art scene, with many buildings coated in graffiti tags and murals, adding to its grungy vibe. East Side Gallery, the longest surviving section of the Berlin Wall measuring 1.3km, is the world’s largest open-air gallery, with over 100 artists contributing to the mural since the wall came down in 1989. In contrast, the Alte Nationalgalerie, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, comprises European paintings from the 18th to the 20th centuries including works from renowned artists such as Claude Monet, Auguste Renoir and Karl Blechen.
Alte Nationalgalerie Berlin, Germany

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4. Museums

As well as an appetite for art galleries, Berlin is home to over 180 museums. Take the time to explore Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site along the River Spree, housing five museums and art galleries, built between 1830 and 1930. Spend your day exploring Pergamonmuseum, Bode-Museum, Neues Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie and Altes Museum. Another interesting museum worth visiting in Berlin is the Jewish Museum Berlin. Designed by architect Daniel Libeskind, this is one of the city’s most eye-catching landmarks, easily recognised by its zinc-panelled exterior. The Wall Museum East Side Gallery tells the story of the Berlin Wall through the eyes of the people and describes the attempted escapes to enter West Germany. Be sure to visit Checkpoint Charlie, the best known crossing point between East and West Germany which has featured in many spy novels and thrillers.
Visit the Jewish Museum, Berlin, Germany

5. Historical Landmarks

With a dramatic history dating back to the 13th century, Berlin is best known as the Nazi Germany capital during WWII and during the Cold War saw the rise and subsequent fall of the Berlin Wall. Today this city is home to numerous monuments and museums that pay tribute to its tumultuous and prolific history. The neoclassical Brandenburg Gate, erected in 1789 is an iconic landmark that symbolises the eventful European history, which divided Germany but now acts as a symbol of peace. Charlottenburg Palace, built in the late 17th century, is Berlin’s oldest and largest Prussian estate. Reconstructed after WWII, the grand interiors are decorated with lavish baroque and rococo décor. Prepare yourself as you pay your respects at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also known as the Holocaust Memorial, built in remembrance of the six million Jews killed during the Holocaust. Featuring 2,711 grey concrete slabs of varying heights, its uneven flooring is meant to evoke a sense of uncertainty.
Admire the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Germany

6. Buzzing Nightlife

Dubbed the city that never sleeps, due to no strict club closing times, this party-filled city comes alive late at night right up until breakfast time. A major stop for touring musicians and bands, the city also has an unrivalled DJ and club culture with some of the world’s best DJs flocking here to spin their decks. Dance the night away at the notorious techno club Berghain. Alternatively, grab a beer at a beer garden, see a comedy show or listen to some live music at the State Opera House.
Enjoy a night out at the Berlin State Opera House

7. Bicycle Lanes

With low levels of road traffic and very few hills, Berlin can be easily explored by bike, helped by its highly developed bicycle lane system and keen cycling culture. It’s estimated that Berlin has 710 bikes per 1,000 residents and the city is bursting with bike repair shops and cycling cafes. Hire a bike at many places throughout the city or join a cycling tour to follow the Berlin Wall Trail.
Go cycling along Berlin's many bicycle lanes
Start planning your visit to Berlin with a three night stay in Germany’s capital city with our selection of travel itineraries below including 12 day Eastern Europe Explorer, 13 day Berlin & the Baltic States and 24 day Jewels of Europe with Eastern Europe Explorer.

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