Berlin is edgy and ever-changing. With many expats and many more filing in by the week, the city has truly become an innovative hub for young people, start-ups, and collective work culture. If you so happen to find yourself in what I’d like to dub one of Europe’s coolest cities for young people, you’re gonna wanna work your way through this Berlin Bucket List in order to see, do, and eat your way around the city properly! Get ready, there’s a lot on offer!
1. Currywurst mit Pommes
You’ve just arrived so you’re probably hungry. Even if you’re not — try one. For the veggie and vegans out there fear not! Berlin is incredibly animal-free-food friendly, so a veg or vegan option won’t be too far away – just do a little research in advance. OH! mit fries = with fries, of course!
Try: Curry 36.
2. See the Berlin Cathedral up close
Next thing on the agenda – a bit of touristing. This 19th century Cathedral is pretty speccy and helps put into perspective the very many different architecture themes on offer in Berlin.
3. Visit the Brandenburg Gate
…and a little more touristing. If its your first visit here, you can’t not!
4. Shop at the Mauer Park Flee Market
One of my favourite things to do whilst living in my Berlin apartment was to wander the few kilometres to Mauer Park on sundays and snag some bargains in the morning. Be sure to come early, this place is full of people from noon onwards!
5. Walk along the Berlin Wall
Time for a little history. Although most of the Berlin Wall was demolished long ago, parts of it have been restored in Wedding and Mitte as a sign of the past, whilst Berlin is always looking toward the future. You can learn much about the Berlin Wall and this period of history among the free information points, so be sure to spend some time here exploring and learning.
6. See the East Side Gallery
The East Side Gallery is a section of the Berlin Wall that has been used as a form of expression, stretching around 1.3 kilometres in length and full of graffiti to commemorate freedom in Berlin. The gallery is really impressive and unique to Berlin, plus its free!
7. Visit a Photoautomaten
YES! Was my first reaction when I learned about the old photo booth machines still in action throughout Berlin. If you’re walking around the city you’re bound to run into one, so be sure to carry some change (usually 4 euros) in order to hop in the booth and make a memory the old way!
8. Visit the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
The Jewish history of Berlin is still very much seen throughout the city, especially at the artistic memorial designed by Jewish architect Daniel Libeskind. The memorial takes the shape of an exploding Star of David in the form of 2,711 blocks. For a more emotional walk through history, also visit the Holocaust museum whilst in Berlin.
9. Climb the Reichstag
For the best view in Berlin, you’ll need to visit the Reichstag (home to the German government). Entrance is free but you’ll need to register in advance to secure a spot — entirely worth the little extra effort!
10. Visit Museum Island
If you’re a museums fan, you’re gonna be on cloud nine in Berlin as there’s much to see in the area known as Museum Island (which yes, is technically a little island). Located in Mitte (central), you could easily pass a day here visiting the many museums that cater to any and all interests.
11. Eat a Burger at “The Bird” in Prenzlauer Berg
One thing is for sure in Berlin: the food is great and I mean GREAT. If you’re after a burger and fries, look no further than the bird. It is also located in a really nice residential part of town to wander around, so be sure to spend some time here in the leafy wonderland!
The bird: Am Falkplatz 5
12. Spin 360 at Potsdamer Platz
So you might not need to come here for any other reason than shopping, but if you like busy crowds and streets full of people then Potsdamer Platz can be pretty fun to have a look around.
13. Have a picnic in Tiergarten
Because who doesn’t like picnics!? Of course, you’ll need to be in Berlin in the summer for this… winters can be pretty harsh, dull and grey!
14. See Checkpoint Charlie
Back to some touristing around the city: you really can’t come to Berlin without spotting Checkpoint Charlie, the most known checkpoint in the city that still looks today as it did decades ago.
15. Explore Kreuzberg
If you’re like me and like to find the coolest neighbourhood in town and explore it like a local, then be sure to hop on some transport of any kind and make your way over to Kreuzberg; surely Berlin’s coolest neighbourhood to explore.
16. Eat a Wiener Schnitzel
Because you’re in Germany of course!
17. *Maybe* visit an Abandoned Theme Park
Now for legal reasons I can’t really tell you to do it, but there is a slightly higher than normal probability I have done it myself (check out this video) and it was a fun/fun on the fun scale. Luckily I didn’t get caught (my friend did) and I’ll be honest and say there wasn’t a whole lot of backlash. Seriously if you’re up for a lil’ thrill, this is a fun adventure (its called Spreepark if you wanna do some more research).
18. Visit the German Christmas Markets
If you’re lucky enough to be in Berlin during November/December (or unlucky if you don’t like the cold weather!!) then you simply must visit the German Christmas Markets. Gendarmenmarkt is my all time fave and always full of lots of locals.
19. Street Food Thursday
If you like street food and you’re up for anything (anything good, mind you), then make your way over to street food thursdays between 5-10pm at Markthalle Neun.
20. Ride a bicycle ’round town for the day
One thing is for sure when visiting Berlin – you’ll soon realise this city is HUGE. Do as the locals do and rent a bike for the day to get around and tick the above items off the list… otherwise, you’ll be here a whole week or more!