Ah yes, Berlin! Believe it or not, the first thought that raced through my head was the character played by Pedro Alonso in the Netflix series Money Heist. However, the capital city of Germany is in so many ways much more than you can imagine.
The largest city by area and population, straddling River Spree banks, Berlin is gifted with a stupendous climate with nearly one-third of its areas decorated with natural scenic beauty. It’s no wonder that Berlin is a major tourist attraction.
According to a recent study by Statista.com, Berlin is one of the most popular destinations in the country and in Europe, with 14 million tourist arrivals in 2019. With Berlin’s residential population over 3.6 million, you can guess things can get pretty crowded.
Nevertheless, the city is imbued with culture, offering over 794 travel accommodation establishments for visitors to stay. Hence it doesn’t come as a big surprise that by 2019 a record 34 million tourist overnight stays were logged.
In light of this information, let’s take a quick look at some of the unique experiences you can have only in Berlin.
Exploring creative talents at the CFA & Galleries
The CFA (Contemporary Fine Arts) is an art gallery in Berlin that is well known internationally by modern and fashionable artists.
The gallery offers dynamic exhibitions of work by upcoming talented and inspiring artists while offering a minimalist setting to bring out the best in fine art, by creating focus and removing all distractions in the surroundings.
In general, art aficionados will find numerous art galleries around Berlin to gratify their needs. These include the likes of:
- Berlinische Galerie
- Carlier Gebauer Gallery
- Grimmuseum Art Center
- Kunst-Werke Institute of Contemporary Art Berlin
- Sammlung Boros Collection
Get beer flowing through your veins at ORA & various other bars
Did you know that Germany is the most permissive place in the world when it comes to consuming alcohol? At a very young age, people in Germany are allowed to drink beer and kids are actually taught how to drink wisely. While Berlin is known for its techno clubs, the capital is also known for its chilled-out bars.
ORA is a fine place to start your beeriest fest ever. The place is designed to give off a vintage look that showcases the historic pharmacy in which it is located. Other great bars in Berlin include:
- Clarchens Ballhaus – open-air, spacious, and great for day drinking.
- Das Hotel – offers a classic living-room style bar that makes you feel at home almost instantaneously.
- Hops & Barley – they brew not only beer but also cider along with specialty offerings.
- Tante Lisbeth – retro-inspired bar with a hidden 1960s style bowling alley in the basement.
Hang out with stars on the big screen
Whether you’re an occasional moviegoer or an avid film lover writing down every detail of the cinema experience, Berlin has several movie theatres and cinemas to keep you entertained.
- CineStar Original and IMAX – big place, tons of choices and comfy seats.
- Delphi LUX – exclusive, secluded, and tiny little independent art-house cinema.
- Kino International – simply wow, gigantic and mesmerizing place, you simply cannot miss it.
- Zoo Palast – OMG! The light and rain show before the film starts will have you coming back for more.
Live like royalty at the Adlon Kempinski and other hotels
Berlin offers numerous choices to stay overnight, which has made the competition fierce for attracting tourists. Many five-star hotels compete to offer the best in facilities and accommodation.
However, you will find Hotel Adlon Kempinski on the top of the food chain with four restaurants, a gym, spa, and an indoor pool along with a bar and terrace. Some of the best alternatives include:
- Grand Hyatt Berlin – offers 321 sophisticated guestrooms and 21 luxurious suites with scenic views of Tiergarten.
- Hilton, Berlin – landmark hotel in the city’s scenic heart with elegant suites and excellent dining.
- Hotel de Rome, A Rocco Forte Hotel – one of the most prestigious hotels in Berlin with classic architecture.
- The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin – luxury hotel that reflects Berlin’s golden age with rich art and decorations.
Reminisce on the past at Gendarmenmarkt and other landmarks
With landmarks on every corner, Berlin offers you a touch of its history and appeal everywhere you go. Majestic square Gendarmenmarkt, for example, will take your breath away. The glory of this architectural ensemble is sure to enchant you whether you visit at day or night.
While many of its structures were damaged during WWII, today you can see them restored to their past glory. Other must-see landmarks in Berlin include:
- Berlin Cathedral – a dynastic tomb and a Protestant church built between 1894 and 1905.
- Berlin Victory Column – designed by Heinrich Strack to commemorate the victory in the Danish-Prussian War.
- Brandenburg Gate – an 18th century neoclassical monument that Instagrammers will fall in love with.
- Reichstag – a historic edifice in Berlin that underwent reconstruction in 1990 led by architect Norman Foster.
- Rotes Rathaus – the town hall of Berlin; its name is derived from its red brick façade.
Outdoor fun at Kornerpark and recreational venues
As I mentioned earlier, Berlin has got something to offer for everyone, including an abundance of parks and recreational areas to soak up the sun. Whether you’re relaxing with friends or working on some content writing, there’s a green space in the city for you.
The Kornerpark is a state park in Berlin that occupies nearly 2.4 hectares, all the while resembling a palace garden. You can find a cascade with fountains on the eastern side while the western region features a café and a temporary art gallery. Other choices for outdoor fun include:
- Britzer Garten – themed gardens and 10 acres of lake area make this geological garden bewitching.
- Charlottenburg Palace Gardens – home to the biggest Christmas Market you can find in the city.
- Mauerpark – on Sundays, this place becomes a hustling flea market, ideal for tourists.
- Treptower Park – perfect for your day out and for walking, jogging, cycling, as well as canoeing.
Eat to your heart’s content at Nobelhart & Schmutzig and other restaurants
Food is love, and it doesn’t take much to be a foodie in Berlin. With a range of cuisines and restaurants all around the city, you will hardly miss a day without tasting something truly refreshing and satisfying.
Mitte is Berlin’s busiest and central borough. Here you will find Nobelhart & Schmutzig offering European style dishes and a fine dining experience that will keep you ordering more.
But that is not all. There are various delicious delicacies and restaurants to try out on your trip to Berlin, including:
- Liu Nudelhaus – Sichuan noodle dishes, bustling atmosphere, authentic Chinese food.
- Otto – sustainable food, authentic German dishes, and wine bar featuring natural wine list.
- Shiori – Japanese cuisine offering delectable kingfish sashimi, sake, and perfect for Omakase.
- Yafo – a fun diner offering Middle Eastern food with late-night dance which the staff joins too.
Indulge in retail therapy at Mall of Berlin and other venues
For some, it’s not a trip away unless you’ve been shopping! Thankfully, Berlin has plenty to offer for some retail therapy, even if it’s just for window shopping. The LP12 Mall of Berlin is where you can find all of your favorite international brands, including Armani Exchange, Massimo Dutti, Douglas, H&M, and Zara, to name a few.
Then there are other shopping venues including the likes of Bikini Berlin, ALEXA Berlin and Gropius Passagen. Bikini Berlin features rooftop views of animals at Berlin Zoo along with a dining complex. ALEXA Berlin is near Alexanderplatz and has an area of 56,200-meter squares, hence also one of the largest shopping centers in Berlin.
Discover more must-visit places in Berlin
It is important to know here that this post is neither a complete nor an exhaustive list of unique experiences waiting for you at Berlin.
The place is brimming with clubs and places to visit that can have you occupied to the point where you just want to settle in and stay there for a lifetime. Berlin offers a cultural mix where the old fuses with the new.
The best time to visit is from May through September, where the weather is simply fantastic for outdoor activities, strolling the city, and losing yourself to art and music around you. For fashionistas, the Berlin Fashion Week is held twice annually in January and July.
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