All our hotels in Berlin
Browse hotels in Berlin
Areas in Berlin
Points of interest
Getting from Berlin's airports to the city centre
You'll likely be touching down at Berlin Brandenburg Airport if you're flying to Berlin. This is the city's primary international airport, which used to be called Berlin Schönefeld Airport. The airport is just south of central Berlin, connected by road and rail to the city. Wondering how to get to Berlin from the airport? It couldn't be simpler! Airport Express trains run regularly throughout the day and night.
If you've hired a car or brought your own, pick a hotel with parking to make your time in Berlin even easier.
Exploring Berlin's history
The history of Berlin starts in the 13th century; since then, the city has seen many ups and downs. Reminders of the Cold War and World War II can be seen across modern-day Berlin through memorials, museums and remnants of the Berlin Wall. Exploring Berlin's significant role in European and world history is a must if it's your first time.
The Brandenburg Gate is Berlin's most famous historical landmark. Once a part of the Berlin Wall, the Gate marked the division between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. Today, it symbolises peace and unity in the city. It's also the backdrop to the German capital's annual New Year firework display!
Make this your first stop when visiting Berlin. The Brandenburg Gate overlooks Pariser Platz, one of the most attractive historic squares in the city and another must-see when you're there. The towering sandstone gate is the only one of its kind left, one of the earliest and best-preserved examples of neo-classical architecture in Germany. It was built between 1788 and 1791, inspired by the entrance to the Acropolis in Athens.
The Reichstag is Berlin's historic government building. It was opened in 1894, so it's seen plenty of its nation's ups and downs. Today, it houses the Bundestag of Germany's parliament.
Visiting the dome of the Reichstag Building is a must and one of the top things to do in Berlin. The glistening glass dome encases a spiral walkway for visitors to explore, with panoramic views of Berlin as the reward. The dome and uncovered rooftop terrace are open to the public year-round. Admission is free, but you'll need to register for a timed ticket in advance.
The Berlin Wall was a barbed wire and concrete barrier built to separate East and West Berlin from 1961 to 1989. It was built by the German Democratic Republic during the Cold War to stop people from moving between Soviet West Berlin and East Berlin.
The wall was pulled down by celebrating Berliners in 1989 when it was announced that citizens could pass freely between its two sides. Today, you can see remnants of the wall throughout the city – a lasting symbol of the Cold War and the city's subsequent liberation.
Checkpoint Charlie, on the border of Berlin districts Friedrichstraße and Zimmerstraße, is a reminder of the city's separation during the Cold War.
The checkpoint booth became the most famous crossing between East and West Berlin after an American and Soviet tank confrontation in October 1961. In more recent years, it's also been a setting for many thrillers and spy stories in novels and on the big screen, including James Bond Octopussy and The Spy Who Came In From The Cold.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Berlin's Holocaust Memorial is one of the most iconic globally, a vast, immersive sculpture designed by American architect Peter Eisenman. The 19,000-square-metre installation is centrally located, close to the Reichstag building and the Brandenburg Gate.
It comprises 2,711 concrete slabs of varying heights set on uneven ground. Visitors can wander among the slabs, one minute surrounded by tourists and Berliners, before being alone in shaded seclusion the next. The abstract nature of the memorial lets visitors confront the genocide in their own way.
Want to explore Berlin's history but prefer a break from the remnants of war? The city's beautiful cathedral is an ideal place to start. The towering dome of Berlin's Cathedral Church is one of the most iconic parts of its skyline. Up close, notice the dome's elaborate ornamental design and the breathtaking facade of the building.
The Berlin Cathedral dates back to the 15th century. However, today's building has been improved and extended over the years. Architect Julius Carl Raschdorff was inspired by the Italian High Renaissance and Baroque styles. Inside, the many intricate mosaics, gold details and statues add to the cathedral's impact. Finish your visit by climbing the 270 steps to the dome's rooftop walkway – one of the best ways to enjoy views of Berlin.
If you love beautiful architecture, history and gardens, Charlottenburg Palace might be your favourite stop in Berlin! One of the city's best-loved sights, the once Royal residence is called Charlottenburg after Sophie Charlotte of Hanover, the first Queen consort in Prussia and the wife of King Frederick I.
When visiting the most magnificent palace in Berlin, you can explore the staterooms, the Golden Gallery, the Silver Vault and the Porcelain Cabinet. Afterwards, head outside to stroll around Charlottenburg Palace Park, designed by French landscape architect Siméon Godeau – a day to remember from start to finish!
Museums and galleries
As well as historical points of interest, Berlin boasts many world-class museums and galleries. Whether you want to delve a little deeper into local history, see artwork from German masters or enjoy contemporary collections in a modern space, there's an institution here for everyone.
Did we mention Museum Island? Berlin's museum complex is one of the most significant areas in Europe, given UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 1999.
East Side Gallery
Berlin's East Side Gallery is more than just a place to enjoy art. Visit this permanent, open-air memorial in East Berlin and look at the artwork decorating the most extended surviving section of the Berlin Wall. The stretch of wall is 1.3 kilometres long, home to more than 100 paintings commenting on the political changes seen in Berlin. Dmitri Vrubel's Fraternal Kissand Birgit Kinder's Trabant are two of the gallery's best-loved pieces.
The Altes Museum sits on Berlin's famous Museum Island, part of the beautiful UNESCO World Heritage site. The building itself is a stunning Neoclassical design built between 1823 and 1830. The museum's collections include objects of classical antiquity.
The main floor houses art of ancient Greece from the 10th to 1st century BC. Explore unique stone sculptures, vases, crafts and jewellery displayed by the theme before heading into the second chamber to discover an ancient coin collection. Upstairs, see the world's most extensive Etruscan art and archaeology collection outside Italy. Priceless Roman artefacts include Hildesheim silver and portraits of Caesar and Cleopatra.
The Neues Museum is also on Museum Island, set inside a Neoclassical and Renaissance Revival listed building. It's home to archaeological treasures from ancient Egyptian and Nubian cultures.
Start by learning about the history of the collection and the study of Egyptology. Then, explore galleries of objects and artwork which bring the period to life. See sculptures, texts and literary works spanning from Ancient Egypt to late antiquity. There's also a level dedicated to Egyptian everyday life, the afterlife and gods.
Another listed building on Berlin's Museum Island, the Alte Nationalgalerie, is home to the Nationalgalerie, or National Gallery of German Romantic and Impressionist masterpieces.
The Alte Nationalgalerie is home to around 1,800 paintings and 1,500 sculptures, including Johann Gottfried Schadow's famous Princesses Luise and Friederike, paintings by Schinkel and Friedrich, critical works from German Roman artists, and various European paintings from the Barbizon school.
The Bode Museum was once called the Kaiser-Freidrich-Museum. It's home to the Sculpture Collection and the Museum of Byzantine Art. Not to mention the Münzkabinett (the world's most significant coins and medals collection).
See Donatello's Pazzi Madonna and Antonio Canova's Dancer at the Bode Museum. Plus, the collection of ancient German sculptures is one of the largest in the world.
The Pergamonmuseum is another beautiful institution on the UNESCO site, built on the orders of German Emperor Wilhelm II in the Stripped Classicism style. It's home to some of the Berlin State Museums' most impressive collections: the Antikensammlung (Antiques Collection), the Vorderasiatisches Museum (of Southwest Asian art) and the Museum für Islamische Kunst (Museum of Islamic Art).
The Pergamon Altar (180–160 BC) is the Pergamonmuseum's most significant highlight, a Hellenistic masterpiece depicting Olympian gods in battle with the Giants. The museum is also home to the earliest written documents known to humankind and monumental architectural works unlike any globally.
History aside, Berlin boasts an exciting modern landscape, including many attractions for couples, families and solo travellers. From sprawling green spaces to sleek towers offering breathtaking views of the city below, there's something fun for everyone in Berlin.
Berlin is also home to music and nightlife, not to mention many of the world's best restaurants and bars. German culture is shaped by its natural landscape, unique history, architecture and delicious food and drink. Whether you have a long weekend or a more extended period to spend, planning a trip to Berlin is always worthwhile.
Berlin Zoological Garden
The Berlin Zoo is the oldest and best-loved zoo in Germany, open since 1884. It's also home to 1,200 species, the widest variety of any zoo worldwide!
Visit Berlin Zoological Garden to see animals from around the world. The Empire of Cats is unmissable, home to a pride of lions, tigers and jaguars. The Panda Garden is where you'll see the only giant pandas in Germany. Zebras, reindeer, bison and more live in the romantic heart of the zoo. This picturesque area lets visitors see what the attraction was like 100 years ago. The World of Birds and Eagle Canyon are more highlights, while the petting zoo is a favourite among little ones.
Berlin Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum
The Berlin Botanical Garden and Botanical Museum (BGBM) covers an area of 43 hectares, home to around 22,000 plant species, including many rare and extinct plants worldwide. Enjoy strolling around the smooth, scenic trails when you visit BGBM at any time of the year. Stop off at the lakeside and see the tropical greenhouse, an Art Nouveau masterpiece restored to its original condition.
Where to go shopping
If you want to explore some of Europe's best shops, you've come to the right place! Berlin is home to many beautiful shopping boulevards, indoor shopping centres and charming markets. From designer clothes and accessories to antiques and artisan produce, you'll find a few perfect gifts or treats for yourself when you head out shopping in the city.
But just where do you go shopping in Berlin? Kurfürstendamm is one of the most famous shopping streets in the city, a leafy stretch studded with designer stores. Window shop or treat yourself at Armani, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent or one of many more high-end shops here. Or visit Bikini Berlin, a permanent concept department store next to Berlin Zoo!
Humana thrift stores are scattered throughout the city, perfect for vintage lovers and bargain hunters. Contemporary concept stores are popular in the German capital; look out for Voo Store, Andreas Murkudis or Studio183 for forward-thinking fashion and accessories.
Where and what to eat and drink
Berlin has an exciting food and drinks scene, from famous street snacks you won't find anywhere else to some of the world's best restaurants and bars. With so much to choose from, just where do you start?
Traditional foods to try in Berlin
There are some unique dishes you can't skip while you're in Berlin.
- Currywurst. One of the most popular sausage meals in Germany - a pork sausage topped with ketchup and curry powder, usually served sliced with fries on the side
- Schnitzel. A flattened fillet of meat, breaded and fried in butter
- Pretzels. A knotted bread available in various flavours, from cheese and seeds to chocolate and fruit - the original is a German classic!
- Berliner pfannkuche. A type of doughnut usually filled with jam, vanilla cream or chocolate
- Strudel. The traditional German apple dessert, stewed fruit wrapped in filo pastry, cinnamon and sugar, usually served with vanilla cream
The best restaurants in Berlin
Visiting Berlin for a special occasion? Or just want to mark your trip with a memorable meal? There are plenty of excellent restaurants in Berlin for lunch or dinner worth shouting about.
- Eniss44. Fine dining in a former schnapps factor
- Kumpel & Keule. Quality German cuisine in a laid-back setting
- Das Lokal. For an excellent seasonal menu that changes week to week
- Coda. A Michelin-starred menu comprised of only desserts and drinks
- Konnopke's. The first place to serve currywurst in East Berlin – still one of the best today!
- Barra Berlin. A wine bar and small plates spot walking the line between fancy and friendly
- Burgermeister. For one of the best burgers in Berlin