You are coming to Berlin, and you want to know what to see and do. Here are my recommendations.

Berlin is affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. You might not be allowed to travel to Berlin at the moment. For more information, see this page.

How to travel to Berlin

You can reach Berlin by car, bus, train or plane. Use GoEuro or Kayak to find the best way to get to Berlin.

By plane

The best way to find cheap airline tickets is to use a flight comparison website. Google Flights and Kayak are my favourites, but there are other options.

There are two airports in Berlin:

  • Schönefeld airport (SXF): a larger airport outside the city. It's 30-60 minutes from the city centre by train.
  • Berlin Brandenburg airport (BER): the new airport. It's right next to Schönefeld airport. It will open in November 2020.
  • Tegel airport (TXL): a smaller, more central airport. It's 20-40 minutes from the city centre by bus. It will close in November 2020.

From BER or SXF to Berlin by public transport (recommended): Take a train or bus to get from the airport to the city centre. The ticket only costs 3.60€. The buses also run at night. The RE7 train is the fastest way to get to Berlin, but there are other options. The airport is in zone C, so you need an ABC ticket. It costs 3.60€. If you have the wrong ticket, you can get a fine.

From BER or SXF to Berlin by taxi: There are taxis waiting for you at the airport. Taking a taxi will be very expensive. It's cheaper to take the train.

From TXL to Berlin by bus (recommended): The best way to get from Tegel to the Berlin city centre is to take the TXL bus. Tegel is in Zone B, so you need a regular AB ticket. It costs 3.30€.

From TXL to Berlin by taxi: There are taxis waiting for you at the airport. Tegel is not very far from the city centre, but a taxi is still much more expensive than a bus.

By bus

Intercity buses are usually the cheapest mode of travel, and several bus lines have stops in Berlin. FlixBus is the most popular bus company.

    Use GoEuro to find buses from your city to Berlin.

    Most intercity buses stop at Schönefeld airport, Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof (ZOB) or next to Alexanderplatz. All of these stops are well connected to public transit. Schönefeld is far from the city. ZOB is 25 minutes from the city centre. Alexanderplatz is in the city centre.

    Most buses come with free Wi-Fi and power outlets under the seats.

    By train

    You can also reach Berlin by train. Trains give you much more leg room, bigger bathrooms, a generous luggage allowance, fewer delays and a smoother ride. Additionally, trains usually stop at Hauptbahnhof, very close to the city centre. Trains sometimes have free Wi-Fi and power outlets, but neither is guaranteed.

    Use GoEuro to find the best train connection to Berlin.

    By car or motorcycle

    Central Berlin is an environmental zone. The area inside the Ringbahn is part of the green zone. You can only drive in this area if you have a green environmental sticker. You can get this sticker at most gas stations around Berlin.

    Parking in the centre can be difficult. It's easier to park far away and travel to the centre by train. Motorcycles can park on the sidewalk for free.

    By car sharing

    BlaBlaCar lets you hitch a ride with other people who are travelling to Berlin. It's a cheaper way to travel between European cities, especially when the bus schedules don't suit your needs.

    How to get around in Berlin

    Once you are in Berlin, getting around is fairly easy thanks to the city's excellent public transit network.

    Finding your way around Berlin

    The BVG app has the most accurate public transit schedules, but does not work offline. However, there is free Wi-Fi at most U-Bahn station.

    These apps can help you find your way around Berlin:

    • BVG app: The official app of Berlin's public transport company. It has the most accurate schedules, but only works online. There is free Wi-Fi at the train stations, so that's not a problem. You can buy public transport tickets with this app.
    • DB Navigator: The official app off the Deutsche Bahn (the German railroad company). Lets you plan long distance trip and purchase tickets. You can buy public transport tickets with this app.
    • Google Maps: Helps you find routes, attractions and restaurants. Lets you download an offline map of the city. You can search places offline, but you can't get directions.
    • HERE WeGo: A Google Maps alternative. Unlike Google Maps, it can give directions when offline.
    • Öffi: A well-known public transport app.

    Traveling by train, tram and bus

    Berlin's public transit network reaches every corner of the city, and the tickets are affordable. It's the easiest way to get around Berlin. TripAdvisor has an excellent guide on how public transport works in Berlin.

    Berlin is split into 3 public transit zones: A, B and C. Zone A includes everything inside the Ringbahn, the railway that circles the inner city. Zone B is everything that's outside the Ringbahn, but inside Berlin. Zone C is for everything outside the city limits.

    BVG tarif zones

    Many travelers get fined for traveling to zone C without the right ticket. If you travel to Schönefeld airport or Potsdam, make sure you get an ABC ticket, and not the cheaper AB ticket.

    There are several ways to buy BVG tickets:

    • From a ticket machine in any train station. They work in multiple languages.
    • From the BVG app. It's convenient, but if your phone runs out of battery, you have no ticket.
    • From ticket machines in trams and from bus drivers
    • From a Deutsche Bahn or BVG service point

    Should I get the WelcomeCard?

    Not really. The WelcomeCard is a special public transit ticket that gives you rebates on certain attractions. It's too expensive for what you get. Just get a regular 48 hour, 72 hour or 7 day ticket.

    Renting a bicycle

    This is the best way to see Berlin. This city is flat as a pancake and has lots bike paths. It's much more enjoyable than sitting in a crowded metro.

    There are hundreds of stores that rent out bicycles all over the city, and nearly a dozen different bike rental companies with bikes all over the cities. These companies let you book a bike using an app on your phone.

    Renting a car

    If you have an International Driving Permit, you are allowed to drive in Berlin during your visit. You can rent a car from companies such as Sixt, Avis, Budget or Europcar. Websites like can help you find the cheapest rental car.

    What to see and do in Berlin

    There is a map of things to see at the bottom of this guide. If you need more, this page has a detailed list of things to see in Berlin. WikiVoyage has a great guide about Berlin. If you prefer paper guides, Lonely Planet's Berlin guide is excellent. This itinerary covers all the important tourist attractions.

    If you want to see the city from above, you can climb the Victory Column (Siegessäule) for 3 to 6 euros or make the short trip to Teufelsberg and Drachenberg. These options are cheaper than the TV tower in Alexanderplatz.

    If you want to relax, Vabali Spa is very popular among Berliners.

    Outside of Berlin

    If you have a bit more time, Potsdam and Wannsee are absolutely worth a visit. Both are reachable by train (Potsdam requires an ABC ticket, since it's zone C).

    Related article: 15 exciting day trips from Berlin

    The best clubs in Berlin

    Berghain is still the biggest, most famous club in Berlin, if you're willing to queue for a few hours. Matrix is the "shitty club tourists go to". Everything else is somewhere in the middle. You will find many clubs on Revaler Straße. WikiTravel has a short guide to Berlin clubs, but ResidentAdvisor is the reference for Berlin clubs.

    What to eat in Berlin

    WikiVoyage has an excellent guide on what to eat in Berlin, and so does WikiTravel. For general restaurant recommendations, use TripAdvisor or Yelp.

    My only personal recommendation is to get out of tourist areas if you want to eat decent street food. TripAdvisor and Yelp can help you find the best kebab and currywurst.

    Typical Berlin dishes

    Here are the dishes you must absolutely try while you are in Berlin:

    • Currywurst - Curry 36 is a good place to try a Currywurst mit Pommes. Don't order a currywurst at a restaurant; it's meant to be ordered at a kiosk and eaten with a plastic fork from a cardboard plate.
    • Döner kebab - A staple food that can be found anywhere in Berlin. The best kebab places are kept secret, but the worst kebabs always come from tourist areas.
    • Gemüse döner (also called a chicken döner)
    • Bread with lard (Stulle mit Schmalz)
    • Potato soup (Kartoffelsuppe)

    If you are feeling adventurous, Redditors have compiled a longer list of typical Berliner dishes.

    The best bars in Berlin

    Again, TripAdvisor, Yelp and Google Maps are all excellent tools to find the best bars in your area. Nothing beats the combined power of a few million reviewers. Since you are in Germany, treat yourself to a nice Hefeweizen.

    If you are looking for gay bars, use this list.

    Where to stay in Berlin

    There are various sites you can use to find the best accommodation in Berlin. Anything in the zone below is very central. Anything inside the Ringbahn is within 30 minutes of the main attractions.

    Where to go shopping in Berlin

    The Mall of Berlin is the largest shopping mall in the city. You will also find dozens of stores around Alexanderplatz, as well as the Alexa shopping mall. The Galeria Kaufhof and KaDeWe are also worth a visit. KaDeWe is the second largest department store in Europe.

    Don't forget that in Germany, shops and grocery stores are closed on Sundays.

    What to know before visiting Berlin

    • Always have some cash with you. Credit and debit cards are rarely accepted for small transactions. Not all restaurants accept credit and debit cards. Most bakeries and food kiosks don't accept cards.
    • Most people in the tourist industry speak English. It's still polite to ask if they speak English, and not just assume they do.
    • Don't walk on the bike path! The red paths on the sidewalk are bicycle paths. If you hear a cyclist ring their bell, you are probably standing on one. This makes cyclists very angry.