Berlin, Germany’s beautiful capital with a rather divided past, is a fun and fascinating travel destination – and it’s only a couple of hours to the Polish border if you’d want to see what it’s like to be a Pole for a day. When you’ve seen the Brandenburger Tor as well as Check Point Charlie and the East Side Gallery a couple of times and your stomach is full of a tangy mix of sauerkraut and Bier (that’s German for beer, easy to remember, right?), you might be looking for cool adventures to do in the city.
Aaand that’s where we come in, to save the day! You see, we’ve put together a neat, fun although dark at times, list of really cool things to do in Berlin and decided to share it with you because we’d love for you to experience them too. Ready to be a Berliner? Great, let’s do this!
Pro tip: If your plan is to do a lot and see many different places you might want to get a public transportation day pass, to save some pennies!
Berlin is filled to the brim with street art, contemporary culture and both modern and slightly older history, so you’ll have no problem finding awesome Insta locations, but here are some gems that are especially fun!
If you do want to see all the famous sights but tour buses and walking tours aren’t your cup of tea, this is the perfect solution to your problem: it’s still a tour and you’ll be able to see all the iconic places, but from a hotrod car that you drive yourself! Cool, huh?! It might look like a soapbox car, but it has a four-cylinder engine and requires a driver’s licence, so don’t forget to bring yours!
It’s hard to visit Berlin without finding yourself face to face with remnants of its dark past, and at the Topography of Terror, you’ll get an insight in just how dark the actions of the Gestapo, SS and Reich Security Main Office were under Nazi rule. The systematic terror and the effects it had on victim groups are displayed here, as is how the Nazi propaganda affected the city of Berlin. On top of this, you can see the remnants of the actual buildings where a lot of this took place. It’s not the most cheerful place, but oh-so-important.
Will you look at that, another Nazi experience that’s also another tour! We do not plan these things, honest! During WWII Berlin was an important target for allied bombings and so the ground underneath the city was utilized and you can visit bunkers and learn about life during the air raids, or see the towers that Hitler had built to protect the city from said air raids, or – and this one is our favorite – you can walk by the tunnels that were made by citizens who wanted to outsmart the Wall and escape the East and also hear captivating stories about both success and betrayal.
Oh dear, another place haunted by the ghosts of the past! Why yes, but this is the last one, we can promise you that – and it’s a good one! You know those people who never made it to the West via the escape tunnels? Some of them ended up in prison, and that’s what this attraction is: a DDR (or GDR) institution, parts of which has been kept as they were when they were in use. Here you can see photos and artefacts from the prison, get a guided tour from a former inmate or even watch a VR movie that allows you to get an idea of what interrogations were like – but you won’t have to stay if you fail, promise!
As amazing all the Berlin sites and sights are, this is where the real adventure begins! The city is full of cool, exciting things to do and there’s something for everyone so it doesn’t matter if you’re just getting to know your inner daredevil or if you’ve been friends for years.
Since there’s so much fun to be had, we figured why not hit the ground running – but not literally, not with this one! Base flying at Alexanderplatz – one of Berlin’s most known and important squares – is a fantastic way to really see the city while at the same time getting your adrenaline pumping when you get released and fall 125 meters through the air – with a harness on, of course. Oh, and it’s open at night, too! No better way to see the bright lights of the city.
A mere 60 minutes away you’ll find a real little paradise for paddling. It’s the same river that runs through Berlin, but in the Spreewald, it divides into a network of incredibly scenic canals running through ancient forests and meadows and past rustic, picturesque farms – it’s like being in one of the Grimm fairytales, but a good one! The streams are not very strong so anyone can do some kayaking here without waking up with an aching arm and back the next day – unless you stay out all day, perhaps!
Look at that, another Wald! It’s the German word for forest, not that this place really needs an introduction – once you’re there you’ll know what’s up, which is climbing and lots of other fun stuff in the forest! There are 7 courses, from easy to very hard, and more than 100 climbing elements including wobbly wooden bridges, super-fast ziplines and nets that will make you work all your muscles – and there are refreshments too, if all the physical activity has made you thirsty!
If you’re into solving mysteries, figuring clues out and do well under pressure, you simply must try one of the great escape rooms in Berlin! Actually, it doesn’t matter if you’re any of those things, you’ll still have loads of fun trying to outsmart the Illuminati, find the lost treasure underneath the city, or get out of the vault that’s kept you safe during the nuclear war so that you can finally breathe some fresh air again. The riddles, rooms and resources are all very well thought-through and details, so you’re in for a really cool experience!
Berlin is so full of great culture, delicious food and lots of live music – and let’s not forget about the beer – that you’ll have no trouble enjoying your stay whatever you decide to do, but we hope that our list of awesome things will make it even more exciting and fun – and please don’t hesitate to share if you know of other amazing places!