Planning to visit Berlin and the surrounding region? Start your trip planning here!
Keep reading this page for an overview of what to do and see in the Berlin area. Or check out one of our more in-depth guides:
- Berlin hotel guide (best hotels in downtown Berlin)
- Perfect 2+ day itinerary for Berlin
- Castles and palaces in and near Berlin
- Best Berlin day trips
- Best Berlin museums
- Best Berlin art museums
- 12 Berlin Christmas markets
Ok, let’s a take a look at the beautiful Berlin area and everything it has to offer!
This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I my earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Read our full disclosure here.
Berlin, what a city! One of the top travel destinations in Europe, Berlin offers a wide range of sights, food and drink, and activities to keep you busy and happy.
Berlin is in north eastern Germany in what used to be East Germany (the GDR or DDR). It’s a city-state, meaning Berlin is both a city and a German Bundesland (state). I used to live near Berlin and have visited many times over the years. I never get tired of exploring Berlin.
The capital of Germany, Berlin is a must-see for many visitors. Home of the Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, and the Berlin Wall, you’ll never run out of things to do in and around Berlin. Even if you’ve been to Berlin before, I recommend visiting again – the city has changed so much over the years!
Berlin is a big city but it doesn’t feel big and overwhelming. If you stay downtown you can walk to many of the popular sights. And it’s easy to get to take public transportation all over the city.
If you’re only in Berlin for a day or two, maximize your time by taking the Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour! In just a couple hours you can see a lot of the city, which then leaves you time to zero in on one or two sights you want to explore in more depth.
What to Do and See in Berlin
READ our guide on what to do in Berlin!
Whether you’re into history, art, architecture, food and drink, nature, or spontaneous adventures, you’ll find plenty to see, see, and experience in and around Berlin! Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Brandenburg Gate
- Museum Island
- Take a river cruise
- Berlin Wall Memorial
- Pariser Platz
- TV Tower
- Tiergarten Park
- Swimming in local lakes
- Charlottenburg Palace
- Holocaust Memorial
- Unter den Linden
- Jewish Museum
- Checkpoint Charlie
- Topography of Terror
- German Spy Museum Berlin
- Tempehofer Feld Airport
- DDR Museum
Where to Stay in Berlin
If you’re just visiting for a few days, a hotel is likely the best choice for lodging. Fortunately, Berlin has a hotel to suit every traveler’s wants and needs. Here are some options to explore in ideal city locations:
Berlin Tours & Tickets
READ our guide on the best things to do in Berlin!
Berlin has so many tour options that you will be spoiled for choice! Here are a few highlights.
Berlin Day Trips
One of the best things about making Berlin your home base is that you have countless day trip options! Here are a few ideas:
Best Berlin Travel Guides
These are our two favorite travel guides. We typically buy a Rick Steves guide whenever there’s one available. And I highly recommend the Culture Smart books – I always read one before visiting a new country because they have so much useful cultural information (I usually read it on the plane). You can get a hard copy or Kindle version.
Getting To Berlin
Berlin is easy to reach via train, bus, car or plane. If arriving from the US, consider flying directly into Berlin’s new Brandenburg Airport. On a recent trip to Germany, we found flying right into Berlin (instead of Frankfurt) super easy and stress free. You can take an express train from the airport into the city or arrange an easy airport transfer here.
If you want to visit several cities in Germany, consider flying into Berlin and out of another city like Hamburg, Stuttgart, Cologne/Düsseldorf or Munich (we do this all the time now). To travel between cities, consider the train or renting a car. Taking a bus or flying are also options, although we personally prefer the ease and comfort of German trains (even if they’re not as punctual as they used to be)!
Getting Around Berlin
You can easily walk all over Berlin and many tourist sites are in the city center. For the sites that are further away you can hop on a tram, bus, U-bahn or S-bahn. Or take a small group tour of Berlin in an historic Trabi do the Hop On Hop Off Bus Tour!
Berlin Brandenburg (new!)
Train Travel Times to Berlin
Munich > Berlin = 4-4.5 hours
Frankfurt > Berlin = 4 hours
Hamburg > Berlin = 1.5 hours
Salzburg > Berlin = 6-6.5 hours
Paris > Berlin = 8.5-10 hours
Rome > Berlin = 14-20 hours
Prague > Berlin = 4-5 hours
Berlin is full of greenery! More than 44% of the city consists of forests, rivers, and other green areas.
|ULTIMATE GERMANY TRAVEL RESOURCES|
|We’ve gathered some of our essential travel guides, websites, and other information to help you plan the best vacation! We use these resources ourselves and share them to save you money, time, and stress so you can focus on enjoying and making the most out of your time in Germany.|
GERMANY TRAVEL BUNDLE: Our Ultimate Germany Travel Bundle gives you the best tools, up-to-date tips, and expert insights to easily and efficiently tackle the travel planning process. You’ll get our custom Trip Planning Map, which shows you the best sights, hotels, castles, and more – because seeing where things are in relation to each other makes trip planning SO much easier! You also get our Trip Planning Spreadsheet, City Cheatsheets, How-to Videos, Germany Trip Planning Guide, and Trip Planning Spreadsheet!
BOOKING FLIGHTS: To find the the best flights deals, we recommend checking Kayak, Skyscanner, Expedia, Travelocity. These websites are also great for getting rental cars.
ACCOMMODATIONS: We recommend using Booking.com since they have widest range of accommodations available from hostels, boutique hotels, luxury chains, aparthotels, at the best prices. For vacation homes, we suggest checking VRBO. We also have accommodation guides on different destinations (Hamburg, Cologne, Munich, Stuttgart, and more to come!) in our website.
TRAINS & BUSES: For point-to-point or regional train tickets (great for day trips or groups) within Germany, or tickets originating in Germany to other European destinations, we recommend buying them on the Deutsche Bahn (German Rail System) website. If you want to buy a rail pass for Germany (or elsewhere in Europe), buy them on Rail Europe. For buses, FlixBus offers tickets for routes within Germany and to other European countries. FlixBus is often cheaper than trains but can take longer.
TRAVEL CREDIT CARD: One of the best ways to make travel to Germany more affordable is by booking free flights. Using the points accrued with our Chase Ink credit card (and a few others), we haven’t had to pay for flights to Europe in the past 10 years!
TICKETS AND TOURS: We always recommend exploring a new city for the first time with a Hop On Hop Off Bus tour (ride it all the way around for the entire 1.5-2 hour tour). Here is our guide on the best Hop On Hop Off Bus tours for different German cities. For guided walking tours, day trips, private tours, and skip-the-line tickets, Get Your Guide is our go to!
WHAT TO PACK: Not sure what to bring to Germany? Check out our 2-week minimalist packing guide for tips on traveling light, and our Germany packing list for our must-pack items. Bonus: check out our guides on finding the best travel purse and best travel scarf with a hidden security pocket.
TRAVEL CONSULT: If you feel like you need more help and guidance beyond these resources, book a travel consult with us! We offer personal live sessions where we’ll help you with things like planning your itinerary, showing you how to book train or skip-the-line tickets, and answer any other questions you have about traveling to Germany.