It’s undoubtedly Europe’s coolest city. With 24-hour nightlife, a growing culinary scene and affordable living, Berlin has attracted people from all over the world. DJs want to play Berlin’s clubs (some of the best in the world) and artists want their work shown in the hundreds of independent galleries. There is always something interesting happening in Berlin.
And thanks to the city’s sprawling size and relative diversity, it’s now one of the world’s most hip cities. Whether visiting for a day, a weekend or a week, you should be able to use the travel guide below to find unique and interesting things to do in the world’s best city :-)
Where to Stay
Most Berlin hotels are within walking distance of Alexanderplatz, but boutique and designer hotels are scattered throughout the other neighborhoods. Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain and Prenzlauer Berg are easily accessible via public transportation and provide a more local experience for travelers. Neukölln is another great area to stay thanks to a handful of cool hipster hotels. Keep in mind that Berlin is a relatively safe city but, like anywhere else in the world, there can still be problems in some areas more than others.
I recommend using Airbnb to find apartment rentals in Berlin. Look for ones in Kreuzberg, Mitte (around Rosenthaler Platz) or Prenzlauer Berg. Also: anywhere along the U1, U2 or U8 U-Bahn lines will likely be especially convenient for visiting the city. You can also read my detailed neighborhood guide here for more tips on where to stay in Berlin.
- Michelberger Hotel – One of Berlin’s most popular hotels (book early!), this place just oozes cool. It’s literally dripping from the lobby ceilings with chandeliers made out of books! The hotel bar is accessible and open to the public so it’s a great spot to hang out even if you can’t snag a room. Recommended for singles and those traveling for events; sometimes they even throw secret parties in the garden & bar when musicians are traveling through. Room prices from 84€ per night.
- Gorki Apartments – A meticulously designed property (but not overdone), each room in this well-designed boarding house comes with a kitchen. The building was designed to appear like a typical Berlin apartment building and with many of the interior decorations coming from nearby flea markets, the designers have definitely succeeded. Room prices from 115€ per night.
- Cosmo Hotel Berlin – Located in the center of the city, this 4-star hotel is the type of place where you might bump into a Berghain DJ. Upper-floor rooms offer beautiful terraces with panoramic views over Berlin. And a trendy bar and the Scent Restaurant downstairs are the perfect chill-out space. Room prices from just 95€ per night.
- Hotel The Yard – Set in new building in Kreuzberg, The Yard offers a luxury apartment style in an affordable, basic hotel setting. The lobby doubles as a cafe and restaurant, and a quiet outdoor patio and swimming pool make it a pleasant spot to hang out when not sightseeing. The hotel’s location just steps from some of the city’s best museums (the Jewish Museum, Berlinische Galerie, and St Agnes gallery) plus its convenience on the subway, make it an excellent place to base yourself for a first-time visit to the city so that you can experience both the nightlife and culture. Room prices from just 95€ per night.
- Ku’Damm 101 – Located in West Berlin, this stylish design hotel has an amazing breakfast room with a panoramic view over the famous Kurfurstendamm shopping street. The Swiss-designed hotel is reminiscent of Bauhaus designs from the likes of Le Corbusier. The furniture is all well-designed and utilitarian, fitting well within the spacious rooms. Room prices from 66€ per night.
- Hüttenpalast – An indoor caravan hotel in Neukölln, the room prices are some of the best for such an unique hotel property. Room prices from 55€ per night.
- Hotel Indigo Alexanderplatz – It’s a small design hotel but the location can’t be beat if you need something convenient. Rooms are simple but cool with small flourishes of design. Just don’t expect a lot of frills. The only downside is the expensive breakfast option. Room prices from 100€ per night.
- Sofitel Kurfürstendamm Hotel – This luxury 5-star hotel on Kurfürstendamm (a popular shopping street in West Berlin) has all the style and elegance of a luxury property without being as stuffy as others. There’s definitely a sense of “cool” in the air here. Room prices from 160€ per night.
- Hotel Zoo – As a member of the esteemed Design Hotels network, the Hotel Zoo Berlin stands out as one of the most remarkable boutique hotels of the West. The individually designed rooms showcase a unique clash of modern design and historical elements. Some rooms feature contemporary open plan bathrooms while the original exposed brickwork serves as an echo of the past. The Hotel Zoo isn’t just a pretty face, though, and also offers an amazing breakfast in the Grace Restaurant. Room prices from 142€ per night.
- Circus Hotel & Hostel – Located in the coolest area of the Mitte neighborhood, Circus operates both a hotel and hostel in two separate buildings at Rosenthaler Platz. Rooms are very comfortable and the hostel even has a nice design to it. Check out their craft beers in the hotel bar, too! Double room hotel prices from 75€ per night, dorm prices from 19€ per night.
- Wombat’s Hostel – Prices aren’t cheap at this hostel in Mitte but the Wombat’s Hostel is a solid brand with great rooms, a fun bar and a good location. Dorm prices from 12€ per night.
- Generator Hostels – The Berlin properties from the popular European backpacker brand aren’t in the best Berlin locations, but they are convenient to public transportation and are popular with many solo backpackers. Dorm prices from 20€ per night.
Bars: Where to Drink
Berlin seems to be fueled by cheap beers (this is Germany, after all) but there are an increasing amount of cool bars and pubs worth visiting. Many have their own unique design, special events or even just serve really good drinks (think craft beers or contemporary cocktails). There are a lot of areas in Berlin great for drinking but the best of the best are going to be in Kreuzberg, Neukölln and Friedrichshain.
Bar crawls aren’t excessively popular in Berlin but if you’re looking for a street full of great bars, check out Weserstraße in Neukölln. The bars here change quite a bit and new ones are popping up all the time, but you can’t really go wrong with a night out on Weserstraße. And while you’re there, keep your eyes out for the giant frogs!
- Lerchen und Eulen – Moscow Mule cocktails and a cozy interior. A friend set her hair on fire in this bar (I’m not kidding) and no one noticed, so, uh, this place is amazzzzzing! It’s a smoking bar so unless the weather’s good and you’re sitting outside, you will come home with a smoky scent.
- Ä – It’s got a simple name (if you can pronounce it with the umlaut) but there’s nothing simple about this laid-back bar in Neukölln. At the corner of Weserstraße and Fuldastraße, Ä has a few rooms (and basement dance floor when they feel like it) and thankfully the smoking section is kept separate.
- Hotel Bar – Kreuzberg hipsters come here after hanging out on the nearby Admiralbrücke. It can be very smoky inside. They’ve also got a bistro — good for lunch!
- Klunkerkranich – Berlin’s best summertime bar! On the rooftop of a shopping center’s parking garage in Neukölln, Klunkerkranich is custom-built each season. Pro tip: skip the entrance fee and hang out at the smaller bar by the entrance. The bar’s only open March through December.
- Mein Haus Am See – This bar at Rosenthaler Platz is open 24/7 and has one of the best views in Berlin: at the top of the stadium style seating, looking down on all the cute hipsters below. They usually have DJs on in the early evenings and it gets loud as the evening progresses.
- Liberacion – It’s a more alternative bar, located in Friedrichshain not far from the super-cool area around Boxhagener Platz. It attracts a lot of students, hippies and queer folks for its random parties & events. Just be careful going to the bathroom here, it feels like you may never return.
- Multilayerladen – A cool hipster place hidden behind the Kaiser’s supermarket at Kottbusser Tor. Once walking through the curtain, you’ll find cheap drinks, good DJs and a cool vibe from the other visitors.
- Locke Müller – They serve some of the best cocktails in Kreuzberg. It’s got the Berlinerische atmosphere with a smoky atmosphere, but the bartenders really know their drinks. €8 for a cocktail can be expensive for Berlin, but worth it here.
- Gastón – In trendy Neukolln on Weserstrasse, this little Spanish tapas bar serves cheap beer and affordable tapas. With outdoor seating on a quiet street corner, you may just think you’re back in Spain.
- O Tannenbaum – This kitschy bar and club near Hermannplatz (in Neukölln) is decorated with fake Christmas trees and lawn furniture. They often have great DJs and it’s always open late.
- 8MM – This bar in Mitte, near Senefelderplatz, is known for its great music and awesome DJs. It’s got a great atmosphere on the inside and might just remind you of Brooklyn. Also worth checking out is Neu! Bar by the same owners.
- Facciola – A popular Italian wine bar in Kreuzberg, near Görlitzer Park, the cozy bar attracts fun and lively crowds. The friendly bartenders will hook you up with recommendations on what to drink, or else you can just nibble on the high quality Italian meats and cheeses. Visit on Thursday evenings for their regular apertivo hour when snacks are available with your wine purchases.
With Berlin’s growing start-up scene, cafés have become the “it” place for freelancers and self-employed entrepreneurs. Co-working spaces are popular in Berlin and new ones seem to open up every month. But still, with the Berlin café culture, it’s all about the coffee…
- St Oberholz – This cafe at Rosenthaler Platz serves consistently decent coffee, but the real attraction is the free wifi and large workspaces. It’s Berlin’s best co-working café, often full of hipsters with MacBooks.
- Godshot – This friendly cafe in Prenzlauer Berg serves great coffee, has little coffee workshops and even sells Australian Tim-Tams for 1€ each!
- Café CK – It’s a chic and trendy café but with good wifi and conveniently located in Prenzlauer Berg. But the soothing interior design and the top-quality coffee make it a great place to relax. Bonus: it never seems very crowded.
- Bonanaza Coffee Heroes – One of Berlin’s first new wave coffee houses, Bonanza Coffee Heroes is well known among connoisseurs. Located on the beautiful Oderberger Strasse, it’s just steps away from Mauer Park. Be warned that it’s a very small space so often crowded on the weekends.
- Oslo Kaffeebar – I first discovered this place while taking a German language class at a nearby school. With a cozy interior and good coffee, it’s one of my favorite places to chill out in a cool but quiet atmosphere.
Food & Restaurants
Berlin may not be known as a foodie destination, but over the years I’ve lived here, I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in the quality and quantity of good places to eat. Berlin’s food scene today rivals many of Europe’s top cities and it keeps getting better and better! Recently, Berlin was even named the vegetarian capital of the world…pretty surprising for the capital of Germany!
If you’re looking to sample a mix of Berlin’s best restaurants, try a food tour. There are a handful of different companies offering food tours in Berlin, but so far, my favorite is Bitemojo–a new app that just recently launched in Berlin and offers eight different food tours through Berlin’s various neighborhoods. I sampled a vegetarian tour through Neukölln (one of my favorite neighborhoods!) and for just 25€, it’s an incredible value – the cost of the tour includes food and drinks at at least six different Berlin restaurants! Get the Bitemojo app on iOS or Google Play and use promo code TRAVELSOFADAM for an exclusive discount.
- CoCo Bahn Mi – A great Vietnamese sandwich shop in Rosenthaler Platz. Perfect for an affordable and tasty lunch!
- Maroush – This cheap eatery at Kottbusser Tor probably serve’s the best shawarma in Berlin – no joke! It’s tiny and not really a sit-down place, but if you’re looking for something cheap and delicious to eat, this is it.
- Markthalle Neun – This Kreuzberg market hall is home to Berlin’s best food events, including the always popular Street Food Thursday (you guessed it: every Thursday evening). They do other food markets, sometimes specifically around certain meals such as breakfast or dessert. Be warned that sometimes you have to pay to just enter the hall. Street Food Thursday is an experience, but it’s also very crowded. I tend to prefer the smaller street food market Bite Club.
- Tiergartenquelle – My favorite German restaurant in Berlin, this old-school bar and restaurant sits underneath an S-Bahn station. Portions are huge (and I’m not exaggerating), the beer is cold and the staff is super friendly.
- Dong Xuan Center – This warehouse complex in Lichtenberg (that’s in East Berlin, accessible via tram) sells just about everything. Besides being an import center for random goods from Asia, there’s also a great Vietnamese restaurant.
- Thai Park – Great for the summertime, Berlin’s unofficially titled “Thaipark” is really just a weekend street food market reminiscent of those you’d find in Thailand. Full of Thai families, hipsters and picnicking Berliners, it’s a great place to spend an afternoon (or even an entire day). Many of the vendors sitting on the grass even make homemade cocktails such as mojitos or caipirinhas.
- Berlin Burger International – Another cheap eats in Berlin, this Neukölln restaurant is one of my favorite burger places.
- The Bird – Widely regarded as one of the better burger joints in Berlin, it’s a nice American-style bar that serves great burgers (even if they come on English muffins).
- Nollendorfplatz Chinese Noodles – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve bought a big box of €2.50 “Chinese” noodles at the Nollendorf U-Bahn station. The woman who runs the shop is super nice!
A typical Berlin brunch means a buffet-style meal with sliced deli meats, cheeses, soft-boiled eggs and fruits. And sausages – this is Germany, remember? But that doesn’t mean Berlin’s best brunches are tepid affairs. Several cafés and restaurants have found ways to make the Berlin brunch memorable. Plus, there are even a surprising amount of vegan brunch options!
- Bateau Ivre – This French bistro located on Kreuzberg’s always popular Oranienstrasse is great to visit morning, noon or night. But their tasty brunches (meat & cheese plates) and rustic interior make it a great place for leisurely brunches.
- California Breakfast Slam – Go here for American-style egg plates, pancakes and the occasional bit of hair in your food (kidding – that only happened to me once!). They’ve also got Huevos Rancheros, though – yumm!
- Scent Restaurant – Located inside the Cosmo Hotel lobby in Mitte, this restaurant is run by chef Ottmar Pohl-Hoffbauer. His menu features eco-friendly and sustainable foods sourced from local & regional markets and vendors. A three-course set meal is going to come at a better value than many of the other high-end restaurants, and the quality just as good. The menu changes seasonally but the innovative desserts and starters are exceptionally good—expect a lot of surprising flavors such as a sweet & spicy kimchi and savory ice creams.
- Café Anna Blume – You’ve probably read about this place in other travel guides, magazines or maybe you’ve just seen it on Instagram…and rightfully so. Anna Blume serves one of Berlin’s most picturesque brunches!
- Datscha – Want to try something a bit different? This Friedrichshain café serves a delicious Russian brunch with blinis and pelmini, plus a whole array of vegetarian options. On Sundays they offer a buffet brunch (typical for Berlin).
- Café Morgenrot – This queer-friendly bar & cafe also serves a vegetarian/vegan brunch every weekend. It’s just next to the K86 squat house (the Tuntenhaus). It’s a queer/gay squat and a lot of the parties & live music at Morgenrot (in the evenings) are free and fun.
Nightclubs: Where to Dance & Party
With more and more people visiting Berlin not for its tourist attractions but for its cutting-edge culture, much of the action in Berlin takes place at the city’s countless nightclubs. Resident Advisor lists what DJs will be where, but I also recommend checking the Open Airs Berlin Facebook page (especially during the summer).
For students and younger travelers, Magnet Club and Lido are decent choices for their indie music parties.
- Any U-Bahn station will do – see this. You’ll find most of the pop-up U-Bahn parties in Kreuzberg, around Schlesisches Tor, Görlitzer Bahnhof and Kottbusser Tor.
- Berghain/Panorama – Of course. The NYTimes has called it the “best club in the world” and its door policy is notorious. Formerly a gay club, it’s really for everyone — especially those that love to dance.
- Chalet – I really love this club. The music is good, the crowds are into it and the beer garden is perfect for chill-out periods. Inside the run-down buildings that make up the club it’s often hot and sweaty—just as it should be.
- Weekend Club – Located in one of Berlin’s few skyscrapers, this cool club overlooks Alexanderplatz with a rooftop terrace and indoor area great for groups and all-night parties. In the warmer months, make sure you stay until sunrise!
- Cassiopeia – It’s a consistently good club on Revaler Strasse. R&B and hip-hop nights are the most popular and the beer garden courtyard and rock-climbing are perfect in the summertime.
- Birgit und Bier – It’s a beer garden, but one that hosts a number of cool festivals, events and parties. There are regular gay parties here, too – and when you get hungry, the kitchen serves pizza.
- Astra Kulturhaus – This indie club (also on Revaler Strasse) gets some of Berlin’s best live music and the parties usually continue afterward.
- Kaffee Burger – It’s a small indie club in Mitte with performances, DJs or special events just about every night of the week. It’s a bit small and smelly, but the crowd is usually cool.
Gay-friendly cafes and bars can be found throughout the city, though historically the streets around Nollendorfplatz in Schöneberg were the gay-friendly hotspots. Today you’ll find gay bars all over the city, though—even in the places you might least expect. The new gay Berlin has pretty much moved over to Neukölln where you’ll find gay clubs, queer bars and even occasional drag shows.
Popular gay parties include Buttons (formerly called Homopatik) at //about: blank and Revolver (and other nights) at the fetish-friendly Kit Kat Club. Though I tend to go for the smaller parties in more indie clubs like below. In Schöneberg you’ll find a lot more fetish clubs, but Hafen, Heile Welt and Tom’s Bar are all relatively tame bars worth checking out in that area. Other than those, spend your time in Kreuzberg, Neukölln or Friedrichshain where even if the bars aren’t labeled gay, you’re still likely to run into queer boys and girls on the dancefloor.
- Tom’s Bar – It’s a bit of an institution for gay Berlin. The bar has 2-for-1 drinks on Monday nights and a certain stench in the air (maybe coming up from the popular darkroom in the basement). Not for the faint-hearted though, the bar shows gay porn on the TV screens. Many tourists from the nearby Gay Hostel show up here.
- Schwuz – One of my favorite clubs in Berlin, Schwuz is gay every night with regular themed parties. My favorite is the first Friday of the month when it’s “London Calling” night with indie Brit-pop and occasionally live music. Also popular is the Madonnamania night (only when there’s a 5th Friday in the month).
- GMF – This is your stereotypical gay party. Think pop music, attractive boys without their shirts and just generally a lot of fun. It’s every Sunday night.
- Möbel Olfe – It’s a gay bar but you might not know it (except for the giant sign out front proclaiming “Homo Bar.” It’s a smoking bar so you won’t come home smelling pretty if that’s what you’re after.
- Silver Future – Located on trendy Weserstrasse in Neukölln, this quirky queer bar is a great place for a meetup or a casual drink.
- More gay Berlin recommendations are available here.
There is also a great Berlin meetup in Berlin for LGBT travelers – check the local gay magazine for more information.
Art Galleries & Museums
Thanks to Berlin’s unique history in the world, the city has long been a hotspot for creative professionals and entrepreneurs. And what the city’s 100+ museums lack in world-class collections, they make up for in attracting new artists and exhibitions.
- Zozoville – It’s a small gallery near Kottbusser Tor with quirky exhibits. If you can’t make it during their awkward opening hours, they also usually have a stand at the Boxhagener Platz Sunday flohmarkt.
- NGBK Gallery – This Kreuzberg gallery usually has cool exhibitions from young and emerging Berlin (and international) artists. It’s hidden behind an equally interesting art bookstore.
- Hamburger Bahnhof – Inside a former train station, the contemporary art museum houses some truly unique and interesting art collections. Check for their special exhibitions, however, as they get a good variety of modern art.
- Museum for Film & TV – This quirky museum (in Potsdamer Platz) has permanent exhibitions about Germany’s film industry
- Museum of Photography – Located just behind Zoologischer Garten, it’s a great photo museum and gallery with permanent exhibits from Helmut Newton.
- Shakespeare & Sons – It’s not an art gallery or museum, but it’s a great bookstore (same owner as the bookstore by the same name in Prague).
I like to say that Berlin doesn’t has much in terms of tourist attractions, but what it lacks in things to see it makes up for in history. Berlin has its iconic buildings of course (Brandenburg Gate, Berlin Cathedral, TV Tower) but they’re mostly just pretty buildings perfect for Instagram, with very little worth seeing or doing on the inside. Still, Berlin is very much a living city, with new and exciting things happening every day. The city is constantly changing and growing, with special thanks to the fact that it was once a divided city and only relatively recently reunited.
- Berlin Wall Memorial – Maybe you’ve heard of the East Side Gallery, but if you’re actually interested in learning a bit of history, this where you’ll actually prefer to visit. There’s a well-done museum and an open-air memorial on the site of the former Berlin Wall.
- East Side Gallery – It’s not as cool as you think it is, but the open-air gallery is probably why you came to Berlin in the first place.
- Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Memorial – Located just a short distance outside of Berlin, Sachsenhausen is free to visit if you’re interested in learning more about the Holocaust. You can take sightseeing tours (which include important historical information) for as little as $20 from central Berlin, departing every day.
- Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe – It’s a powerful memorial located just steps away from Brandenburger Tor. Also make sure you walk across the street and visit the oft-forgotten Gay Holocaust Memorial.
- Reichstag dome – Germany’s parliament building is also one of the city’s best tourist attractions. You can go inside, and if it’s summertime, you can even walk around on the roof!
- Get the lowest prices by booking tickets in advance. Berlin is one of the world’s busiest cities for tourists, so prepare yourself and save some time by booking in advance! Get good deals on Viator.com here.
Parks & Platz’s
Berlin has the unique accolade of being one of Europe’s greenest cities. With a massive park in the middle of the city, Tiergarten, there’s no shortage of green space in Berlin. Each neighborhood, or kiez, also seems to have their own public space for street festivals, weekly farmer’s markets, gelato-eating or ping-pong.
- Görlitzer Park – It’s where all the hippies, hipsters and druggies hang. Try not to get stabbed. Also: it’s the equivalent to San Francisco’s Dolores Park if you know what that means.
- Tempelhof – Berlin’s most unique tourist attraction is the former Tempelhof airport. Since the airport’s closing, the huge open land has been converted into a public park. Parts of the park have been converted into everything from organic community gardens to mini-golf courses. Bring a bike with you to get the full experience and try racing the kite-surfers!
- Mauer Park – Visit on a Sunday afternoon to witness something “so Berlin” (read: super cool and unlike anything you’ve probably seen before). Come for the outdoors karaoke but don’t bother to do your shopping in the flohmarkt (flea market).
- Winterfeldtplatz Platz – There’s a great farmer’s market on Saturdays here with good food.
- Boxhagener Platz – Visit on Sundays for the hipster shopping market—everything from fashion t-shirts to used books & records. With antique furniture and other bric-a-brac mixed in for good measure.
- Badeschiff – Not really a park, the Badeschiff (part of Arena Club) is a swimming pool floating in the River Spree. And if you don’t think that’s cool enough, just imagine the place full of sexy hipsters in the summertime. Only 5€ entry, too!
Travel Tips & Local Blogs
For more Berlin travel tips and suggestions, check out some of my favorite blogs and resources:
- CeeCee.cc – The weekly Cee Cee email newsletter (every Thursday!) features cool events, club info and restaurant & art gallery openings. Just subscribe before you visit and unsubscribe after to avoid getting too many advertisements.
- VisitBerlin.com – The official tourism portal for Berlin, the site is full of helpful tips, suggestions and even a blog with more regular updates! Visit Berlin also sells the Berlin Welcome Card — a useful pass you can buy for anywhere from 2-5 days and includes free public transportation and reduced entry to many museums.
- SlowTravelBerlin.com – A site full of historical and long-form stories about Berlin as a tourist destination. Check the website for tour listings every weekend.
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the best nightclub fehlt. this is the kuhdorf!!! not so bad is the speicher and the matrix. dancing under the u-bahn!
completely agree with the below comment. please go back to where you came from ignorant hipster gringo
Being a “Hipster” is not a real job.
Also, calling yourself a hipster is the lamest thing I’ve seen in the internet for a while. Lamer than wearing socks with sandals.
So I was in Berlin last week and since I’m a hipster (hahahaha) I was happy to find your guide. Because we had only 3 days in the city we couldn’t check out everything but I’m happy to say that some of your tips helped us a lot.
California Breakfast Slam – Oh god I loved it so much, ate for like 20€ and it was worth every euro.
Dolores – Perfect start for the trip, enjoyed it a lot.
“Chinese” noodles at the Nollendorf u-bahn station – We checked it out when we were in the neighborhood and it was just right for lunch break.
I’m definitely going back to Berlin soon and will check out your other tips too. Thanks a lot!
PS: Since we discovered some places on our own, I can recommend the Burgeramt (great burgers for small prices) and a bar called Dachkammer (check out the first floor in the evenig) in Friedrichshain.
Love your hipster bike! I know you mean about dancing in the UBahn – so many times I’ve seen people get on with their little stereos on wheels. It’s great to get you into the mood before a night out (if it’s your type of music I guess, haha!). A mate of mine wrote about cool bars and clubs in Berlin too: http://www.handsoffourholiday.com/want-to-see-the-quirky-side-of-berlin-visit-some-of-the-coolest-bars-in-germanys-capital/
I’m finally going to get to see Berlin this year! We’re off on a mini honeymoon in April and came straight here to check out your tips. Am literally going to spend the entire evening reading all your suggestions of things to do!
I will be visiting Germany at the end of June from the U.S. My first trip out of the country and I am beyond stoked. Stoked across this page and man I am thanking you already. I have a friend in Stuttgart but she will be off on honeymoon a few days after I get there so I’ll be left to my own vices while traveling through Berlin, Prague and Zurich while over there. These tips will be a great starting point for sure!
Glad to hear you’re finding this guide useful Jerm. Enjoy Berlin!
Nice places you have collected here mate – I visited Berlin in February(God I will not do that again). I have to say it was quite warm during the day but when you wake up in the morning it is like -3 C and you can barely walk. I loved the The Memorial Church (Gedächtniskirche) & the Victory Column (Siegessäule)
it is so wrong.
the hipsters in leipzig are much more avant-garde and soooo cool.
everybody shall just go to leipzig
leipzig is THE place to be.
forget about berlin, berlin sucks.
Thanks for sharing the information. Good for the traveler going there first time. It is a nice collection of all what one can do in Berlin. Thanks once again.
It might be worth mentioning that Badeschiff is only open from May to September. I was looking forward to going during my upcoming visit, booo.
LOVED this post thanks Adam – will help so much as I introduce myself to the city!! :)
You’re going to love Berlin Brooke! Looking forward to meeting you here in Berlin sometime :)
I’m so happy to have found this post. It will be such a great help. I’m taking a solo trip at the end of November and I can’t wait to see ALL of the things!!! Thank you! :)
What a great guide Adam – tips galore on where to find the best places in Berlin! Thanks for the details…. going to check out a few this afternoon…. Rachael, http://www.cumulusdiaries.com
Was in Berlin for only 1 day in 2010. found the city fascinating with the history and stores with items going back I history. And the Jazz history was fanominal
I’ll be reading this on the plane to Berlin. Can’t wait to explore the city. Took me long enough to finally go there…
Hi, great and usefull informations, gonna look at it again at the next trip to böörlin (2 weeks :) )!
Todays live escape games trend can’t be unseen and should be added to the list. There are great escapes games all over europe and the adventures will always be a new exciting experience.
For Berlin i recommand my friends the Hipster Escape Party. The theme is so great implented, the feeling in the room and the puzzles are so great done, that already at start a good funny mood comes in and the happiness to solve all barriers to escape will funny up the whole day, for the cheap price the new exiciting experience was totally worth it.
Thanks for the guide! Great post!
Adam! I love the article, and it inspired me a lot prior to travelling to Berlin. My family and I had such a great time in Berlin that I had to write my own article with a few alternative spots http://www.reformatt.com/blog/berlin
Hopefully it contributes a bit :)
Glad to hear that you enjoyed Berlin!
I hope you are well?
I wanted to speak to you because I just wrote a book about Berlin and I wanted to ask you about how to promote it in the city and get it out there.
The plot relates to crime there, I have got a lot of positive reviews on the general snippets and I never did this before, so I would love your advice.
I LOVE Berlin. A great guide with amazing photos! Reading this is making me need Currywurst!
My fiancé and I head to Europe on honeymoon in June. We’re spending a weekend in Berlin and we can’t wait to explore. This is the best guide to the city I’ve found so far. We were planning on booking the Gorki Apartments before I read this and this just helped us feel more confident about making the reservation.
Awesome to hear that Lauren. I’m sure you’ll have a great holiday. Thanks for using my guide!
Live right outside of Leipzig but love going to Berlin. Great article!
Great article! You should really add CocoLiebe bar/restaurant in Rixdorf as one of the best new places too, especially on a Thursday night they have a stunning ambient indie band, Alright Gandhi, playing free while you eat, it’s one of the best things I’ve done in a while.
Awesome list – quite glad I’ve been to lots of the food places and literally heard about the Russian brunch place yesterday – gotta get there quick! We write about Berlin too as we LOVE this city! Maybe we shall bump into each other sometime soon :)
I am thinking of going to berlin in August – do you know where i can find a list of events that are taking place ?
Hi Ayokor – Check the event listings of AwesomeBerlin, SlowTravel Berlin, Sugarhigh — you can see the links linked to above in the “Local Blogs & Resources” section
I wouldn’t be talking to the Roma or “Bohemians”as you called them, in Berlin if I were you.
Hi Adam. I’ve found your site so helpful in planning my trip to Berlin and Amsterdam this summer. Thank you! Since you live in Berlin, I thought you’d be the best person to ask this question: Is there a significant different in tourist-crowd levels on a weekend in early August versus a weekend in early September? I know August is peak tourist season. But I often hear that most Europeans head to the sea in August, so perhaps it’s not really that much more crowded then. What do you think? (A weekend in August works better for us, but we’ll wait til September if there’s a significant advantage.) Thanks!
Hey Lindsay, I don’t honestly know but I think the difference should be relatively negligible. Universities don’t actually get started until October here, so both months are going to be before school starts.
I knew your guide was perfect when you mentioned a Banh Mi spot and Huevos Rancheros! Being from a fabulous food city in the US, we miss great food terribly. So looking forward to our 1st trip to Berlin in October. Thanks for all the info you provide..by far the best city guide I’ve ever found!
Awesome guide!! I am going to Berlin in August and staying until the end of December. I’ll be studying at Freie Universität Berlin. Right now I am leaning towards Kruezberg for my stay but need some better input. I am 21 years old and want to live somewhere with cool bars, good cafes and restaurants that are not too expensive (student budget haha), and close to or near the best nightlife. I love electronic music so ideally ones centered around that. Also a place with gyms nearby and parks would be great! Any more ideas Adam? Also if Kruezberg is ideal for me are there specific neighborhoods within that I should look for? Let me know what you think! I definitely want to live somewhere where it’s young, artsy, and could meet locals and students. Thanks in advance!
Hey Denis! To be honest, no matter where you stay in Berlin, it’s easy to get around. A lot of Freie Universitat students end up staying somewhere convenient to the school, maybe Nollendorfplatz or along the U3 in Schoneberg – it’s not the most exciting areas though. Gyms and parks are everywhere in Berlin so I wouldn’t worry about that one either – the city is the greenest capital in Europe! Look for student housing and you’ll find where the students are :)
Also, check out my blog’s FAQs for more tips about moving to Berlin.
You have missed “TAUSEND” on the list of where to drink. However, the BAR TAUSEND & CANTINA only with minimum age of 18.
Ah yeah, I know Bar Tausend but it’s expensive and not really my style.
Ahh Berlin.. How it’s growing. My wife is a East Berlin from “behind the wall” times. East & West Berlin is so different still and an amazing place to learn about their past. Berlin is so well connected with it’s Trams, Trains etc and the U-Bahn parties are the best haha. For me, I stay in Freidrichshain. It’s the place to be, Simon Dach Strasse has great bars as does Boxhager. Warschauser Strasse has the bahn & everything you need close to the Mitte. Definitely hire a bike (about 6euros a day).
You want Currywurst??? Konnopke in the East is HANDSDOWN the very best Sausage in the world! Westies will try tell you it’s Curry36 but from a outsiders perspective… Konnopke is the bomb. If your a yank…The West is for you, if you want the REAL Berlin…You’ll know where to find it. EAST baby!
Oh P.S. If you got a group of friends, do the Bierbike. Loads of fun haha
Thanks for this guide! I am in Berlin now, and it is so helpful! :)
I am moving to Berlin in two weeks and this blog post has got me so excited! The brunch looks delicious and the outdoor karaoke sounds hilarious.
Thanks for sharing.
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I blindly came to Germany from L.A. to visit friends in the west side of the country. Tomorrow I’m heading to Berlin and I realized, I had no idea what to do! After reading this blog, I am so excited to be in the city for a week! Looking forward to visiting your other blogs and cities.
So happy to find this blogpost! We are moving with my “GerMan” in 2 weeks from NRW to Berlin for 6 month. This will be my guide there :) Thanks :)
Cool! And check out our regular meet-up in Berlin if you’re ever looking to make new friends: https://facebook.com/travelsofadam/events/
Thanks Adam :) Could I maybe ask you for your opinion? We are considering two flats. One in Charlottenburg and the other one nearby Arkonaplatz. The one in Charlottenburg is definitely closer to our work/school, however Charlottenburg tends to appear somehow too calm, even boring. The other one would mean cca. 30 mins way to our destinations – i guess it´s still OK in Berlin.
We don´t really know these districts, but what we like, is to meet new people, having a good coffee, go out wining and dining… Which place would you recommend for a half a year living in Berlin, during spring – summer?
I would appreciate any idea, which could help us to solve our dilemma :)
Arkonaplatz definitely has a lot more action in the immediate nearby streets. Charlottenburg is beautiful but they don’t call it Charlottenboring for nothing ;-)
In all seriousness, though, Chalorttenburg is quite nice and there is some cool stuff out there – it’s very family-friendly as well. Arkonaplatz, though, is also in a great family-friendly area and cool to many more bars, cafes, parks and restaurants. If it were my decision, I’d go with Arkonaplatz but please please please take this with a grain of salt considering I don’t know anything really about you! I will say that transportation is pretty great in Berlin and getting around is hardly ever an issue. A 30 minute ride really isn’t a bad commute and I know plenty of people who travel longer distances to commute b/c they choose to live in more trendy/hip areas…
Thank you, Adam, it´s really kind from you to helo us in orientation :) Charlottenboring, lol :D I´ve never heard it like that before, but my impression was similar. Hopefully, we can meet soon on one of your events :)
Hey Adam! Myself and my boyfriend are going to berlin and we were thinking of staying in the hotel lux 11, were a young couple and we want to stay somewhere cool and accessible do you know if that would be a good choice? Thanks
Hey Jessica – I don’t really know that hotel, but it’s in a decent area. For young couples, I do really think that the Michelberger is a good choice—they’ve got a great bar and lobby plus it’s in a really cool & hip area. Definitely caters to a young adult audience :)
Me and my wife are visiting Berlin in April, staying at the 25hr Bikini hotel on Budapester Str. any recommendations where to eat, drink and visit in that area?
That’s a nice area Gareth and a great hotel. Definitely check out the hotel’s rooftop bar, Monkey Bar, and the rooftop restaurant, Neni — both are excellent though you might want to make reservations as it can get crowded!
Check out some of the restaurants and cafes nearby at Savignyplatz—one of my favorite places is Schwarzes Café. The Helmut Newtown photography museums is also near your hotel, as is the C/O gallery – both are fantastic places for photography fans. You might also check out the Literaturhaus which is a great spot for lunch, plus a cool bookshop with some really unique events.
Know anything about Wolfsburg? Was just told by my job I’m leaving this Saturday to work there for 6 months. Just a southern boy in the US from Nashville about to venture to Europe for the first time. Do German women love Southern US accents? lol
I don’t really know anything about Wolfsburg, sorry Mick! I’m sure your southern accent will be charming for most Europeans :)
Me and a few friends bought flights over to Berlin with a view to go to the Germany-England match… But we’ve decided we’d rather check out the local bars, cocktail bars and nightclub instead of forking out a load of money for the game. That said, we would still like to watch it, so can you recommend any nice (not lager lout) bars what would be showing the football?
I’ve already saved a few of your bar recommendations to check out, so cheers for that! 8mm, A, Lerchen und Eulen, Locke Muller and Neu! Bar are my kind of place… And not too far from where we’re staying!
Check out Badfish Bar — kind of in the same area and they show a lot of matches/sports/events whenever something noteworthy is on. I’d check with them to see if they’re showing that game, though. But it’s a pretty popular expat hangout for Brits, Americans and Canadians so there’s a good chance :)
Hi Adam heading to Berlin bank holiday weekend. Staying at i31. Husbands 50th surprise so wanting to make it as memorable as possible.
Followed your recommendation list to Anna Blum’s for brunch and later walked past the Scotch & Sofa further down the road. Very intriguing/retro furnished/ great drinks & the staff match the venue. We thought we should recommend it for any future blogs & people reading your blog- from reading your blog, we’ve discovered great places in Berlin and the Scotch & Sofa def fits with your other recommendations!
I would add that anyone looking for nightlife should look for a hotel or hostel in the east, some of the best nightlife is here. I can recommend the one80 hostel at Alexanderplatz.
Also if you’re out late be wary of pick pockets. A guy approached my mate for a handshake, then turned it into some weird arm wrestle. It was only once he had gone, my friend realised he had his Roley swiped. Though to be fair if that guy knows how to take off someone’s watch without noticing, I guess he deserves it!
Hey Adam –
I’ve heard very mixed things about Chalet (one that it’s incredible, two that you won’t get in if you’re not a local). I’m Canadian, and well I can speak basic German, it’s definitely not on a high level. Will I have difficulty getting in? Is there a better time to try?
Came across your website and loved it! I’ve been wanting to visit Berlin since I was 17, and now I’m 29 and finally going :) your guide will be very useful.
I wanted to know if there’s a good jazz scene in Berlin, can you please recommend any places / bars where we can hear some great live jazz. We prefer blues rather than classical style, but anything goes really ..
Hey! Check out b-flat in Mitte (near Rosenthaler Platz). Wednesdays they do a free jam session.
Could you please recomend wich spot is a cool place to visit and see Graphic Design – Art and Clothing?
Try the Bauhaus Archiv museum for design history. And maybe a lot of the indie fashion shops in Mitte and Kreuzberg, as well as the art galleries – there are many!
Hey Adam, Brilliant blog :) I am writing a report on the creative scene in Berlin (fashion,graphic,music etc etc.). I was wondering if you could direct me to a any particular district or zone where they hang out or work out of. Thanks..
Kreuzberg and Neukolln are going to be your best bets. Look out for galleries and small art shops there. Also check out the Modular shop at Mortizplats—it’s where a lot of creatives buy their supplies ;)
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Excellent blog mate. Four of us are venturing from Scotland for a 3 night stay in mid-August. We’ve booked the Generator Hostel in Mitte, but I’m starting to feel that this may be off the beaten track in terms of the best bars, clubs and places to eat?!
Is there any clubs with a laid back, indie/rock tune sort of atmosphere (i.e. nothing too techno!) in the area or en route to some good bars, places that do traditional or craft beers without being too old fashioned in nature?
Hey Mike – yeah personally I don’t really care for the Generator Hostels’ location but in Mitte, you should check out these indie/hip bars and clubs: Kaschk (craft beer and shuffleboard), Kaffeburger (indie club) and Mein Haus am See (24-hour bar/cafe/club).
Hi Adam! I was wondering if you have any info or advice on your blog about obtaining a residency permit. My boyfriend and I and heading to Munich end of September and would like to stay through until March. So we will have an apartment and hopefully jobs! Let me know of any key pointers or musts going this route. Ps we are American.
Hey – check out my blog’s FAQ page (see link at top of page) which has more info on residency permits and visas!
Adam – really enjoy your blog. My bf and I are looking forward to visiting in October. As for places to stay, I was reading up on Ackselhaus and Blue Home, which looks nice/cool, if expensive. What are your thoughts? I’ve heard that area is kind of quiet and one review (albeit from 2013) suggested that “hipsters hate that area.” So maybe I already know your answer:). That said, it does look really nice and boutique-y, which I prefer and mapping it, it’s only a 20ish minute walk from Hackescher Markt.
Should I stick with your recommendations (and others) and go with either the Circus Hotel or Gorki (both of our other options right now) or is the Ackselhaus “nice/cool” factor enough to forget that it’s not in a hip area? Thanks!
Thank you Thank you KC! I don’t actually know the Ackselhaus but just looked it up – it’s still a great area ;) You’d be close to Senefelderplatz and Volkspark Friedrichshain – it’s a much more posh and ritzy area than others but still very nice!
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Thank you for keeping this blog, I already found a few good tips in it for my next trip to Berlin (7th time, yay!).
Are there any tips about dresscode for nightlife/bars mainly?
Heard that you tend to fair better if you’re dressed more casual? Coming from the UK where we tend to dress up for a night out.
Yep – casual is king here! Dress to dance, not to impress. More Berlin fashion tips here.>
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What good bars and nightlife is there in Tempelhof? We have just booked into a guesthouse Pension Friedrich-Wilhelm and wanted to know whats around. Thanks
Definitely check out Schillerkiez!
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Berlin-guide-for-foodies which is sorced from the original B Hipster guide, could not find it on the BiteMojo site that you recommended ! Paul L Texas, USA
Hi Paul – it was a one-time promotion, but please send me an email and I can try and track down a copy for you :)
Great blog you have! I’m traveling to Berlin from the US alone and staying for a week in April. I was wondering if you can recommend any decent hostels within the Kreuzberg area. I’m also hoping that I can meet people there who would like to go dancing in any of those epic gay parties! Any info would be great.
Hey Dave – check out these hotels near Kreuzberg. I stayed at Baxpax Kreuzberg a long time ago and had a great time – plus it’s in an awesome location (just across from Club der Visionaire. I’ve heard great things about The Cat’s Pajamas hostel, too—it’s near Hermmannplatz so it’s convenient to a lot of the Weserstrasse/Neukolln bars. 36 Rooms is also supposed to be nice but sells out fast…I think it’s small.
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Too old for Berghain too big for jockstrap and chaps so coming in August with my partner and a straight but user friendly girlfriend. Any good friendly (gay) bars that you could recommend
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What a great guide! I’ve visited Berlin from Texas texas for the past 5 years & I adore the city. Your guide is the most comprehensive English site I’ve read on this city.
I’m surprised you didn’t mention Lab or Der Boiler.
For those of us who like those type of gay establishments, what is a good resource for what’s happening? I’m really struggling because Lab has a fetish night I am not a fan of this coming Saturday…
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Great post! On our last trip to Berlin we had a beer at Klunkerkranich watching a nice sunset :)
A different place to have a coffe or brunch is Café Ole in Neuköln is run by deaf-mute people, very nice guys!
If you heading to Berlin, I recommend combing this it with visiting Warsaw. Both cities has magical yet different feeling. I really liked how easy-going nightlife in the capital of Poland is. Places like New Orlean Club really stand out (great pole dancing shows there!)
I’m missing on this list Clärchens Ballhaus, not-so-hidden gem :)