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Thing to do in Berlin, Germany

. Friday, 2 February 2018 .

Back in December I visited Germany for the first time, spending 5 days in the capital of Berlin. It was such a cool city and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't visited before. In case you do decide to head to Berlin, here are the things I'd recommend doing while you're there.

Walking Tour

A walking tour is a great way to get to grips with a new city. I did a FREE walking tour with Sandemans, it lasted 3 hours and I honestly couldn't recommend it enough. The tour starts at 11am from a meeting point by the Brandenburg gate and our guide was unbelievably knowledgable. The groups tend to be a bit larger than a typical paid tour and they do ask you to tip at the end, but it is still better value to leave a decent tip than book onto one of the pricier city tours. You could obviously just walk around the city yourself, but for me, the added information you get from a guided tour is invaluable. You'll also gain a lot of "insider knowledge," such as the best places to visit, the best time to beat the crowds or the cheapest way to do all the things you want to do. 
First stop = Brandenburg Gate

Berlin Cathedral

Berlin Cathedral
Berlin Cathedral is a sight to behold! The first thing you'll notice as you approach is its incredible size. It is a truly magnificent building with beautiful stone work and architecture.The Cathedral is located on Museum Island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and admission costs €7 for an adult or €5 for a reduced ticket. Included in the admission price is access to the museum, the crypt and the view from the dome walkway. The cathedral is an operating church so there are religious services held here regularly. When I visited we were lucky enough to catch a choir rehearsing and despite not being religious I still loved listening to their incredible voices. The Hohenzollern Crypt is located beneath the cathedral and contains over 100 sarcophagi and burial monuments from the past four centuries; some are fairly plain with others are lavishly decorated. For me the highlight of the visit though was climbing to the top of the cathedral to the dome walkway which gives you incredible views over the city. I'd definitely recommend you do this at sunset as I did because the views are simply spectacular.
Admiring the view from the top of the Cathedral

East Side Gallery

Artwork at the East Side Gallery
The East Side Gallery is the longest continuing section of the Berlin Wall that remains; 1316 meters of open-air gallery along the River Spree. Painting of the wall began almost immediately after the wall was pulled down, with 118 artists from 21 countries contributing their work. The gallery was officially opened in 1990 and a year later was protected with memorial status. The wall itself is free to walk along; there is also a museum for the wall but it is quite pricey to visit (€12.50/€6.50) and most people I spoke to said it wasn't worth it so I personally didn't visit. I was a little disappointed to see some of the artwork defaced by graffiti, but it doesn't take away from the overall impression. A lot of the artwork is very political in nature and conveys messages; some more discreet than others. But I'd definitely recommend walking along the wall with other people, as I loved discussing the potential meaning and messages behind the artwork with someone else. 
Artwork at the East Side Gallery

National History Museum

I am personally a massive history nerd, so I always jump at the chance to visit a history museum when I'm in a new city. As with many history museums, Berlin has numerous dinosaur skeletons which are always a hit with me. The museum is actually home to the World's largest dinosaur skeleton! They also had some very clever machines that when you looked at the skeletons through the eye-piece made them come alive, allowing you to watch the dinosaurs roaming in what would have been their habitat. Plus it houses the most complete specimen ever found of an ancient bird called Archaeopteryx (no, I have no idea how to pronounce that either). Another highlight of the visit for me was their biodiversity room, which houses over 3,000 preserved species; some a pretty small but others are HUGE.

Visit Christmas Markets

Drinking mulled wine at Nostalgischer Weihnachtsmarkt 
This one is of course seasonal, but if you're in Berlin anywhere near Christmas you cannot miss out on visiting a Christmas market (or six). There are over 60 different markets throughout the city, each with its own appeal. If you do a google search you'll find so many different articles telling you which markets are the best to visit but my advice would be to visit a few; more famous ones, lesser known ones, huge ones and smaller ones. Each has their own charm and you'll have very different experiences. My personal favourite was Nostalgischer Weihnachtsmarkt which is located just off Bebelplatz. It's quite a small market but has a little bit of everything and a quaint, traditional feel to it. 


Have you ever been to Berlin? If so, what would you recommend to do there?

Back in December I visited Germany for the first time, spending 5 days in the capital of Berlin. It was such a cool city and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who hasn't visited before. In case you do decide to head to Berlin, here are the things I'd recommend doing while you're there.

Walking Tour

A walking tour is a great way to get to grips with a new city. I did a FREE walking tour with Sandemans, it lasted 3 hours and I honestly couldn't recommend it enough. The tour starts at 11am from a meeting point by the Brandenburg gate and our guide was unbelievably knowledgable. The groups tend to be a bit larger than a typical paid tour and they do ask you to tip at the end, but it is still better value to leave a decent tip than book onto one of the pricier city tours. You could obviously just walk around the city yourself, but for me, the added information you get from a guided tour is invaluable. You'll also gain a lot of "insider knowledge," such as the best places to visit, the best time to beat the crowds or the cheapest way to do all the things you want to do. 
First stop = Brandenburg Gate

Berlin Cathedral

Berlin Cathedral
Berlin Cathedral is a sight to behold! The first thing you'll notice as you approach is its incredible size. It is a truly magnificent building with beautiful stone work and architecture.The Cathedral is located on Museum Island, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and admission costs €7 for an adult or €5 for a reduced ticket. Included in the admission price is access to the museum, the crypt and the view from the dome walkway. The cathedral is an operating church so there are religious services held here regularly. When I visited we were lucky enough to catch a choir rehearsing and despite not being religious I still loved listening to their incredible voices. The Hohenzollern Crypt is located beneath the cathedral and contains over 100 sarcophagi and burial monuments from the past four centuries; some are fairly plain with others are lavishly decorated. For me the highlight of the visit though was climbing to the top of the cathedral to the dome walkway which gives you incredible views over the city. I'd definitely recommend you do this at sunset as I did because the views are simply spectacular.
Admiring the view from the top of the Cathedral

East Side Gallery

Artwork at the East Side Gallery
The East Side Gallery is the longest continuing section of the Berlin Wall that remains; 1316 meters of open-air gallery along the River Spree. Painting of the wall began almost immediately after the wall was pulled down, with 118 artists from 21 countries contributing their work. The gallery was officially opened in 1990 and a year later was protected with memorial status. The wall itself is free to walk along; there is also a museum for the wall but it is quite pricey to visit (€12.50/€6.50) and most people I spoke to said it wasn't worth it so I personally didn't visit. I was a little disappointed to see some of the artwork defaced by graffiti, but it doesn't take away from the overall impression. A lot of the artwork is very political in nature and conveys messages; some more discreet than others. But I'd definitely recommend walking along the wall with other people, as I loved discussing the potential meaning and messages behind the artwork with someone else. 
Artwork at the East Side Gallery

National History Museum

I am personally a massive history nerd, so I always jump at the chance to visit a history museum when I'm in a new city. As with many history museums, Berlin has numerous dinosaur skeletons which are always a hit with me. The museum is actually home to the World's largest dinosaur skeleton! They also had some very clever machines that when you looked at the skeletons through the eye-piece made them come alive, allowing you to watch the dinosaurs roaming in what would have been their habitat. Plus it houses the most complete specimen ever found of an ancient bird called Archaeopteryx (no, I have no idea how to pronounce that either). Another highlight of the visit for me was their biodiversity room, which houses over 3,000 preserved species; some a pretty small but others are HUGE.

Visit Christmas Markets

Drinking mulled wine at Nostalgischer Weihnachtsmarkt 
This one is of course seasonal, but if you're in Berlin anywhere near Christmas you cannot miss out on visiting a Christmas market (or six). There are over 60 different markets throughout the city, each with its own appeal. If you do a google search you'll find so many different articles telling you which markets are the best to visit but my advice would be to visit a few; more famous ones, lesser known ones, huge ones and smaller ones. Each has their own charm and you'll have very different experiences. My personal favourite was Nostalgischer Weihnachtsmarkt which is located just off Bebelplatz. It's quite a small market but has a little bit of everything and a quaint, traditional feel to it. 


Have you ever been to Berlin? If so, what would you recommend to do there?

25 comments

  1. Lovely post! I'm visiting Berlin at the end of this month, so this is really handy to know! I'll check out some of these places you've listed for sure! x
    Emily | thatcreativegenius.wordpress.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you have an incredible time in Berlin! ❤

      Delete
  2. Hi, Berlin is somewhere that I have always wanted to visit but never got round to it. I think when I do it will be at Christmas so that I can visit the famous markets. Love the idea of a walking tour.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely go at Christmas time, it was incredible! ❤

      Delete
  3. Sounds like you had an incredible time, so glad that we did most of the same things you recommended. Except the Christmas markets of course as we went in summer. We’d love to see Berlin during the festive season though! The views from the cathedral is just amazing isn’t it!

    Jessica & James | www.foodandbaker.co.uk / www.foodandbakertravels.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely go back during the festive period - they really go all out! ❤

      Delete
  4. I’m planning on going to Berlin next year! I’ll definitely keep this post in mind, thanks for sharing x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Definitely do, it's an incredible city! I hope you love it as much as I do ❤

      Delete
  5. I've never been to Berlin, this post has just confirmed my need to visit - it looks like such an interesting city! x

    http://www.chloeharriets.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I cannot recommend it enough - such an awesome city! ❤

      Delete
  6. I love Berlin! Such an amazing city! with so much history, art and things to see! I have been once and I really want to go again! xx corinne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had to stop myself including like 20 different things in this post as there's just SO much to do! ❤

      Delete
  7. Never thought of going to Berlin but after seeing this post I would actually really like to go, it looks like a beautiful place. Also great pictures :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A lot of people have said that to me, but I honestly couldn't recommend it enough! ❤

      Delete
    2. Haha, it looks like a great place! And I want to start going new places and travelling more x

      Delete
  8. Wow it looks like you had such an incredible trip to Berlin, visiting some amazing places! I've recently been thinking of where it would be nice to go on holiday with my boyfriend, so this has decently been added on the list of possibilities!

    Amy,
    https://creativenails.uk

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow, Berlin looks like a must-see city! The Cathedral looks especially beautiful, I would love to explore the crypts! Thank you for the tips about the free walking tours as well, all of the insider information about what times to beat the queues etc. sounds just invaluable! Your photos are stunning and I'm so glad that you enjoyed yourself so much!

    Abbey x http://www.abbeylouisarose.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you enjoyed the post! The day I visited the cathedral was definitely my favourite day out of the whole trip! ❤

      Delete
  10. Super cool!

    I doubt I'll ever go to Germany because there are so many other places that rank higher on my list BUT with this post I can vicariously live through you!

    S .x http://ramblingsofayoungprgirl.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It wasn't somewhere that was really on my radar until very recently, there are always SO many places on my list! Haha ❤

      Delete
  11. I love Germany, but I've never been during Christmas! I have been to a German themed Christmas market in England though, so I bet the real thing is incredible!

    Alice | Dainty Alice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd always wanted to go to Germany so it just made sense to hit two birds with one stone and do it during the festive period! I love the German-inspired market you get in the U.K but the real things were just something else! ❤

      Delete
  12. I absolutely love this post, Chloe! Germany is very far up my list of places I'd love to visit. Something really stands out for me with Germany and Berlin looks like a gorgeous city. I'd definitely go to the cathedral and the open air gallery!

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So glad you enjoyed the post! Definitely visit Berlin if you get the chance! ❤

      Delete

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