Berlin is undoubtedly one of the coolest cities in Europe, and one of my absolute favorite places in the world. It’s buzzing with innovation, diverse students, hipster cafes, vegan food, hidden bars, underground clubs, crowded biergartens, and lots of tall German men. My Berlin guide will give some perspective into the many amazing things you can do in this city.
Having visited Berlin about 9 times, I have shifted my visits from the mainstream tourist attraction to a more local experience. Nonetheless, I will include both in my guide. I will go through my favorite places to eat, drink, and the best ways to experience the city! No matter how many times you visit this charming place, it is always evolving with new interesting things to do.
Where to eat
Father Carpenter – health conscious breakfast spot. There’s also a very cute courtyard to sit in! The food here is pretty kick-ass.
Silo Coffee – amazing Australian-inspired brunch. There are many customizable options here which I really enjoyed — I loved the beans and the green pesto sauce that came with my bread.
Berlinburger International – the best burger you will ever eat. Hip little hole-in-the-wall with an exposed brick interior that even offers vegan/veggie burgers. The fries are awesome as well.
Momos – organic, vegan & vegetarian dumplings. This is one of my favorite spots since their dumplings are super filling and there are tons of interesting options. Plus, they have vegan cheese which is really tasty.
Superfoods & Organic Liquids – green juices & mind-blowing Açaí bowls. Try this place if you need a detox from beer & bratwurst 😉
UMAMI – homemade indochinese food. This spot in Kreuzberg offers really amazing Asian food. They make delicious tofu dishes with very tasty veggies… plus the Asian sauces they make the food in is addicting.
Brammibals Donuts – vegan donut shop. Also in Kreuzberg, this donut shop offers incredible donuts without any animals products! I promise you won’t even notice a difference 😉
Markthalle 9 – street food Thursdays is a hit. I love stopping by here to try authentic foods from around the world 🙂 This indoor market is buzzing and definitely worth spending an hour walking around and tasting some cuisine.
Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebab – hands down the best döner in Berlin. Trust me, it’s worth the 30 minute to 2 hour wait in line for a döner from this spot.
Where to go out
Klunkerkranich – rooftop spot for casual drinks. One of my absolute favorite places to hangout in Berlin. There are such lovely views of the city from up there. I’ll definitely be coming back when the weather gets nicer.
John Muir – cozy spot + tasty cocktails. I really like how cozy this bar is. The arched ceilings give it a very unique vibe. I went here after Markthalle 9 one night and had a really nice time. I would recommend it for a date 😉
Stagger Lee – cocktails in a saloon. This is a western-themed bar which is a fun spot to go to with friends. It’s not the cheapest place but they do offer pretty interesting drinks which you won’t find anywhere else in Berlin.
Bar Tausend – hidden bar with upscale cocktails. If you want to dress a little bit nicer than usual then this is your place. However, it might be somewhere you visit if you won’t be the one paying the tab. You’re not technically allowed to take pictures but I did anyways… whoooops. Another enticing part of this bar is that it’s hidden under the S-Bahn, so you’ll have to find the right door and knock to get in.
Stone Brewing – incredible assortment of craft beer. I highly recommend a tour of the brewery! It’s only 3 euro and you get to taste beers at the end, find out the history of Stone Brewing, and are even given two glasses to take home. It’s SO worth it. This place is really a hidden gem and the whole interior is really beautifully designed.
Schwarze Traube – creative cocktails. This place has really unique cocktails, but the only downfall is that it’s super smoky. Otherwise it’s a super cool spot 😉 The bartenders will even make you a drink based on a criteria you tell them like alcohol preference.
Farbfernseher – intimate club. This is a fun club and definitely a break from the typical large scale clubbing scene. It’s a little more lowkey at Farbfernseher, so if you’re into that, check this place out.
Kater Blau – huge club next to the river. You can’t take pictures here so if you’re looking for a club to post on your snapchat story, go somewhere else haha. It’s a really cool spot and probably my favorite club in Berlin so far. There are so many different rooms with and fun features that differentiate each part of the club. I like how it’s not all hardcore clubbing with smoke, there’s places to relax with comfy places to sit.
Berghain – “best club in Europe”. I’ve never attempted to go because I’ve heard the bouncer rejects about 50% of people who try to get in, and the line is super long. However I’m sure it’s an crazy experience. Other reputable clubs in Berlin are Tresor, Watergate, and Ritter Butzke. Lots of clubs & bars around Warschauer Straße.
Simon Dach Straße – bar street. Lots of popping bars in this area and you can easily bar hop.
Where to walk
Tempelhofer Feld – this is the spot you can have a picnic on an abandoned airplane runway 🙂
Kreuzberg – Kreuzberg is home to a large hipster scene and has some really cool bars and street art. Bergmanstraße is an especially charming street in this area and offers all sorts of festive restaurants, organic food, quaint shops, and even a healthy food market at the end of the street.
Mitte – very central location dotted with many cute coffeeshops and clothing stores. Also many Americans/ Australian here for some reason.
Prenzlauer berg – more upscale neighborhood that has tons of colorful boutiques, historic buildings, and pretty tree-lined streets. Definitely check out this place Kauf dich glücklich that has vegan waffles & ice cream!
Flohmarkt at Mauerpark – on Sundays, this park transforms into a flea-market oasis buzzing with tons of young people. It’s definitely the place to be during summer months since lots of things are closed on Sundays in Germany.
Tiergarten – when walking around Tiergarten, you should really check out Cafe Am Neuen See. It’s the best spot to sit by a pond and sip on a beer on a sunny afternoon. It’s really a charming place also with tons of food options. The park itself is also the perfect place to stroll around, but this biergarten just makes it even better.
Where to experience history & culture
East Side Gallery – one of my favorite places to walk in Berlin. These remnants of the Berlin Wall have been painted on with all kinds of artistic designs and messages.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe – this where you may have seen pictures of the huge maze of concrete slabs. It is a very intense experience to wander around in there, as you often feel lost and a bit disoriented.
Brandenburg Gate – many notorious events have taken place here, and it is a huge symbol of peace and unity in Berlin.
Berliner Dom – Berlin’s biggest cathedral was actually only built in 1905. However, it is a really nice spot to walk around and take pictures. It’s also not too far from Hackescher Markt which is a city square near nightlife and restaurants.
Reichstag – luckily it is totally free to visit Germany’s old parliament building. This building offers beautiful views of the city and it a good place to learn about Germany’s history.
Checkpoint Charlie – former crossing point at the Berlin Wall.
Oberbaumbrücke – a wonderful place to walk around when the weather is nice. The bridge links Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg.
Christmas markets (Dec-Jan) – there are all types of Christmas markets in Berlin. Some are even Scandinavian, and some are focused on the local community. Others are of course more touristy than some, but each Christmas market is special in their own ways. I took the picture below at the Weihnachtsmarkt in Spandau.
At the Christmas markets in Germany you can find an abundance of goodies like carmelized nuts, glühwein, different liquors, sausages, quirky ornaments, and other crafts.
Vegan Festival (August) – this is from the vegan festival last summer. I was very curious about all the food and what was going on. There were a few discussions on veganism and lots of tasty stands offering vegan food. I got some dish with noodles… yum.
Festival of Lights (October) – this is really a very special event that is held for about 10 days in Berlin every year. Many buildings are lit up, and you can just walk around the center of the city to see it, free of charge.
Christmas Lights in the Botanical Garden (Nov – Jan) – this is a nice thing to do in the winter as long as you are bundled up. Grab some glühwein and you’re all set to admire the pretty Christmas-themed lights that are set up in this garden.
I hope you can now see more of why I keep coming back to Berlin + loving it more with every visit. It is truly such a vibrant city with endless things to do. There’s really something for everyone here. If you need more recommendations on anything please just ask 🙂