The Complete Guide
Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany by both area and population. Its 3,748,148 (2018) inhabitants make it the second most populous city proper of the European Union after London. The city is one of Germany’s 16 federal states. It is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg, and contiguous with its capital, Potsdam. The two cities are at the center of the Berlin-Brandenburg capital region, which is, with about six million inhabitants and an area of more than 30,000 km, Germany’s third-largest metropolitan region after the Rhine-Ruhr and Rhine-Main regions.
Berlin straddles the banks of the River Spree, which flows into the River Havel (a tributary of the River Elbe) in the western borough of Spandau. Among the city’s main topographical features are the many lakes in the western and southeastern boroughs formed by the Spree, Havel, and Dahme rivers (the largest of which is Lake Müggelsee). Due to its location in the European Plain, Berlin is influenced by a temperate seasonal climate. About one-third of the city’s area is composed of forests, parks, gardens, rivers, canals, and lakes. The city lies in the Central German dialect area, the Berlin dialect being a variant of the Lusatian-New Marchian dialects.
First documented in the 13th century and situated at the crossing of two important historic trade routes, Berlin became the capital of the Margraviate of Brandenburg (1417–1701), the Kingdom of Prussia (1701–1918), the German Empire (1871–1918), the Weimar Republic (1919–1933), and the Third Reich (1933–1945). Berlin in the 1920s was the third largest municipality in the world. After World War II and its subsequent occupation by the victorious countries, the city was divided; West Berlin became a de facto West German exclave, surrounded by the Berlin Wall (1961–1989) and East German territory. East Berlin was declared capital of East Germany, while Bonn became the West German capital. Following German reunification in 1990, Berlin once again became the capital of all of Germany.
Berlin is a world city of culture, politics, media, and science. Its economy is based on high-tech firms and the service sector, encompassing a diverse range of creative industries, research facilities, media corporations, and convention venues. Berlin serves as a continental hub for air and rail traffic and has a highly complex public transportation network. The metropolis is a popular tourist destination. Significant industries also include IT, pharmaceuticals, biomedical engineering, clean tech, biotechnology, construction, and electronics.
Berlin is home to world-renowned universities, orchestras, museums, and entertainment venues, and is host to many sporting events. It’s Zoological Garden is the most visited zoo in Europe and one of the most popular worldwide. With the world’s oldest large-scale movie studio complex, Berlin is an increasingly popular location for international film productions. The city is well known for its festivals, diverse architecture, nightlife, contemporary arts and very high quality of living. Since the 2000s Berlin has seen the emergence of a cosmopolitan entrepreneurial scene.
Berlin is known for its numerous cultural institutions, many of which enjoy an international reputation. The diversity and high-spiritedness of the metropolis led to a trendsetting atmosphere. Innovative music, dance, and art scene have developed in the 21st century. Young people, international artists, and entrepreneurs continued to settle in the city and made Berlin a popular entertainment center in the world.
The expanding cultural performance of the city was underscored by the relocation of the Universal Music Group who decided to move their headquarters to the banks of the River Spree. In 2005, Berlin was named “City of Design” by UNESCO and has been part of the Creative Cities Network ever since.
Berlin’s nightlife has been celebrated as one of the most diverse and vibrant of its kind. In the 1970s and 80s, the SO36 in Kreuzberg was a center for punk music and culture. The SOUND and the Dschungel gained notoriety. Throughout the 1990s, people in their 20s from all over the world, particularly those in Western and Central Europe, made Berlin’s club scene a premier nightlife venue.
Berlin is home to 44 theaters and stages. The Deutsches Theater in Mitte was built in 1849-50 and has operated almost continuously since then. The Volksbühne at Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz was built in 1913-14, though the company had been founded in 1890. The Berliner Ensemble, famous for performing the works of Bertolt Brecht, was established in 1949. The Schaubühne was founded in 1962 and moved to the building of the former Universum Cinema on Kurfürstendamm in 1981. With a seating capacity of 1,895 and a stage floor of 2,854 square meters (30,720 square feet), the Friedrichstadt-Palast in Berlin Mitte is the largest show palace in Europe.
Berlin has three major opera houses: the Deutsche Oper, the Berlin State Opera, and the Komische Oper. The Berlin State Opera on Unter den Linden opened in 1742 and is the oldest of the three. The Komische Oper has traditionally specialized in operettas and is also at Unter den Linden. The Deutsche Oper opened in 1912 in Charlottenburg. The city’s main venue for musical theater performances are the Theater am Potsdamer Platz and Theater des Westens (built in 1895). Contemporary dance can be seen at the Radialsystem V. The Tempodrom is host to concerts and circus-inspired entertainment. It also houses a multi-sensory spa experience.
Berlin has a long history of gay culture and is an important birthplace of the LGBT rights movement. Same-sex bars and dance halls operated freely as early as the 1880s, and the first gay magazine, Der Eigene, started in 1896. By the 1920s, gays and lesbians had unprecedented visibility. Today, in addition to a positive atmosphere in the wider club scene, the city again has a huge number of queer clubs and festivals. The most famous and largest are Berlin Pride, the Christopher Street Day, the Lesbian and Gay City Festival in Berlin-Schöneberg, the Kreuzberg Pride and Hustlaball.
There will be countless entertaining things to do in Berlin that can keep you busy for a long. So we have included a few Berlin attractions that you can enjoy. If you are visiting Munich with your family, you will find a lot of things to do in Munich on this list to enjoy:
Berlin has a few landmarks where you can climb by day or night and have a stunning 360-degree view of the whole city. Berliner Dome-This remains open until 8 pm daily. The stair climbing activity up to passage will be a bit exhausting for you but the gorgeous views of the surrounding areas make it a worthwhile experience. TV tower -Berliner Fernsehturm is accessible until late at night. With its super-fast elevator, you can reach within seconds to its rotating bar & restaurant area at 203 level. While being seated near a window seat, you can have an amazing night view of the entire city.
Reichstag – it is another place for an excellent view of the Brandenburg Tor and the surrounding regions.
What a beautiful way to welcome summer by rushing to open-air theaters. Let us introduce you to some of the best known open-air cinemas- Freiluftkino (at 4 locations-Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain, Hasenheide, and Mitte) and Sommerkino Kulturforum at Potsdamer Platz. They mostly show Hollywood blockbusters to some real classic movies. The atmosphere becomes very cozy while watching the film. You can also bring your own food and drinks there.
It is one of the best places in Berlin for live concerts and stand-up comedy throughout the year. Its design resembles a circus-style tent with dining and a terrace bar. It has received great reviews for its Cabaret performances. The negative aspect would be its expensive prices but the service & experience parts are fabulous. We are sure that here you will end up having a great entertaining night.
The majestic boulevards along the Brandenburg Tor and Unter den Linden make for a perfect stroll up to the museum island. With the night stroll, you are able to see the dazzling city lights. There are loads of coffee shops and restaurants to rev up your energy on the way. Don’t forget to visit a popular souvenir shop Ampelman (the iconic figure of the traffic lights).
Only in October, you can see this 10-day running light show. All the famous landmarks, especially in the heart of the city, become a canvas for light and laser shows. This festival so far has been one of the most successful light events in the world. The timings for this are mostly from 7 pm until midnight.
This is particularly for those visitors who enjoy a good scare. These spooky tours are perfect for some haunted history learning. Check out the English-speaking tour provide by “haunted Berlin Barentouren”. It runs for almost 2 hours featuring a Night Watchman as the leader. He narrates some horrific tales of the town and city’s history. Your stops include-a visit to Berlin’s oldest tavern, a cemetery inside the medieval city walls and the ruins of the monastery church.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, many historic buildings in Mitte, the former city center of East Berlin, were illegally occupied and re-built by young squatters and became a fertile ground for underground and counterculture gatherings. The central boroughs are home to many Pubs, Bars and Nightclubs, including the Watergate, Tresor, and Berghain. The KitKatClub and several other locations are known for their sexually uninhibited parties.
To really get a sense of this city, you’ve got to spend some time drinking Pfeffi or peppermint schnapps with locals at one of the best bars in Berlin. But what should you know before you go? Many of the following stays open into the wee hours, and most get quite smoky as the night goes on. And as with most places in Berlin, don’t expect to be able to pay with credit cards anywhere. So find your nearest ATM, and let the night begin.
One of Berlin’s most beautiful watering holes, ORA (built as a pharmacy in 1860) retains its antique glamour with restored wooden cabinetry and vintage medicine bottles that mingle alongside the booze and exquisite glassware lining the shelves. But don’t think it’s trying to be a theme bar: The old pharmacy is simply left to shine as much as possible, blending right in with ORA’s modern purpose: expertly crafted cocktails, from classics to seasonal creations. If you are all about the looks, then Ora is the bar for you, this pretty little Kreuzberg watering hole has all the original wooden-paneled walls and archways. The menu is a little pricey by Berlin standards, but the atmosphere is lovely and the bar staff knows their Old Fashions from their Manhattans. The romantic candle-lit atmosphere and fresh flowers make it a great option for a date.
Didn’t get into Berghain, or just need a break from the club’s infamous dancefloor? Then just nip round the back to Bierhof Rüdersdorf, a chilled out beer garden offering an oasis of calm just seconds away from the debauchery. Take a moment to chill on the deckchairs, rehydrate and carb-load before heading back in.
Unless you are a German speaker, you wouldn’t expect much from the unassuming entrance to Dschungel Bar aka ‘Jungle Bar’. But once inside, you will be transported to an absolute wilderness in the heart of Neukölln. With an abundance of greenery and actual real-life frogs, this is one of the weirdest bars in Berlin.
Munich is not the only city that knows how to do a good old-fashioned beer garden. If you are looking for a real German experience when you are visiting the capital, then Prater Garten is your best bet. It is the oldest beer garden in Berlin, and despite its popularity amongst tourists, it is remained true to its roots, serving excellent and reasonably priced beer. And the schnitzel ain’t bad either! This is a great place to drink if you are in a big group, just make sure you get there early to grab the table.
Located on the 10th floor of the Monkey Hotel in Charlottenburg, this Zoologischer-Garten–adjacent cocktail bar serves up excellent G&Ts as well as panoramic views of the monkey house in the zoo below-though be sure to check out the other side of the establishment for the West Berlin skyline (including Kaiser Wilhelm’s memorial church). Decor inside takes a cue from the zoo, too: There’s art involving gorillas and giraffes, and stepped seating layered in brightly woven cushions that invite guests to relax and enjoy the view. Warm golden light bulbs illuminate the space and planters give it a taste of the jungle. Come during the day for the best views-and to avoid long lines at the bar.
Past the dramatic curtains and under the vintage sign, candles abound in this tiny, eclectic bar located in a cool section of Kreuzberg. Everything is clustered together, even the tables (seating can be a bit of a gamble). The interior is raw and industrial, like many so-called “living room bars” in this section of Berlin, but it is quirked up by vases and pots of flowers that hang from the ceiling like a rain shower of blossoms. Fresh flowers adorn each table too. Most patrons are in their 20s and 30s, a reflection of the neighborhood’s nightlife quotient. That said if there is a chair to be had, anyone’s welcome. Drinks are wonderful, especially the perfectly-mixed Old Fashioneds and Basil Smashes. If you are at all undecided, the bar staff is happy to help you customize your own drink-so long as there is not a massive line waiting to order.
The absolute best restaurants in Berlin may have received nearly 30 Michelin stars between them, but if you don’t know what to look for, you are likely to stumble between döner stands all night in a hunger-induced fugue state. Though you will go home having memorized the names for all those glorious kebab sauces (kräuter, Knoblauch, Scharf, anyone?), you will have missed out on some truly life-changing meals.
For decades, Berlin has been known more for its art and club scenes than anything else, but things on the food front are catching up. Not limited just to its (accolade-worthy) currywurst and döner anymore, Berlin’s restaurants are gaining more of a global outlook, along with a focus on what’s fresh and local. You can now eat everything from avant-garde vegetarian (Cookies Cream) to hyperlocal, ingredient-led small plates (Ernst) to savory dessert for dinner (CODA)-and wash it all down with some mighty fine wines or cocktails (or beers, of course), too. Here are our top picks for Berlin’s Best Bar Restaurant to make your visit more fabulous and unforgettable.
Rutz is a wine lover’s dream: a wall lined floor-to-ceiling with bottle after glorious bottle. A Mitte pioneer when it opened on a not-so-nice street in 2001, the restaurant has evolved with the times, earning its second Michelin star in 2017. You can chat over glasses of wine and meaty dishes in the downstairs wine bar; upstairs is the classy taupe-colored restaurant and outdoor terrace, with tables crammed with half-finished glasses left over from pairings. The crowd, which skews a bit more mature, is here not only for the food and wine but for the quiet, sophisticated atmosphere.
Chef Marco Müller serves up local, seasonal ingredients with modern flavors; think smoked eel aroma with Koji sturgeon and juniper vinegar, or mussels with elderflower and fresh and fermented kohlrabi. Plates are small and are best ordered as a six-or nine-course Inspiration Menu-it’s a bit pricey, but it is a good way to sample the kitchen’s eclectic style. Desserts tend toward the savory-like the young shoots with lamb’s lettuce and yogurt-and may not be to everyone’s taste. But a sweet glass of Riesling may do the trick.
This place is oh-so Berlin: You walk through the Mitte alley, past garbage bins, until you come across a lone chandelier. Then you will need to buzz at the door. If this all sounds a bit club-like, that’s because owner Heinz “Cookie” Gindullis got his start running Cookies, one of Berlin’s most famous underground clubs. Once you are inside, space becomes a Victorian bar, all red and velvety, until you finally ascend the stairs to the restaurant itself, which is modern, sophisticated, and definitely not full of club kids.
Wines skew natural, make things easy by opting for the pairings, which include inspired European choices like a Welschriesling cuvée from Hungary and a Grolleau from the Loire. Thoughts on the food? Is there anything we absolutely must try? This is a one-Michelin-starred vegetarian restaurant meant for people who don’t usually eat vegetarian. While starters feel a bit simple at times, The Chef has a way with the mains, bringing out complex flavors so good you will want to lick your plate. Three- or four-course menus are the way to go; that way, you can try a variety of intriguing dishes, like corn porridge with coriander or parmesan dumplings with Périgord truffle stock. Desserts are no slouch, either; snap up the cornflakes ice cream with currants and yogurt if it’s on the menu.
On a busy, not-very-attractive Kreuzberg street near Checkpoint Charlie (past shops selling cheesy Cold War tchotchkes), you will turn into what looks like a parking lot. But once you step through the totally nondescript entrance and into the attractive modern dining room with flashes of color (navy fabric booths, pretty blue chairs), you will start to feel something special. Indeed, there is a definite buzz to Restaurant Tim Raue, and expectations are high for Berlin’s most famous boy-from-the-wrong-side-of-the-tracks-turned-chef.
Take your server’s suggestion and start with a glass of the sparkling Riesling. Beyond that, go with the fantastic sommelier’s sometimes-surprising wine pairings, like an on-the-sweet-side Riesling Spätlese with the chef’s signature langoustine with wasabi. You will get a lot of amazing German wine you’d never have thought to try on your own, plus interesting choices like sake and even spirits like Armagnac: Tim Raue’s famed Peking duck interpretation is paired with small glasses of all three, and it works beautifully.
Night Clubs in Munich City are not required to close at a fixed time during the weekends, and many parties last well into the morning or even all weekend. The Berghain features the well-known Panorama Bar, a bar that opens its shades at daybreak, allowing party-goers a panorama view of Berlin after dancing through the night.
Disorientating, mind-blowing, brutal, fun, surprising, longlasting and freaky, Berlin is probably the best clubbing city in Europe. The clubber culture has become a lifestyle and music is a religion. You may wonder why the nightlife is so intense in this city. Berlin’s transformation into the world techno capital is very much linked to the German reunification and the fall of the Berlin Wall. As the wall came down, so did all the previous patterns of behavior. People were taking advantage of their recently acquired freedom, which is why the clubbing scene developed in such a unique way and over such a short period of time. Inside abandoned factories and commercial buildings that had to be taken down, clubs started to mushroom at full speed. Looking to express themselves, Berliners found inside those clubs a new identity. Since there are so many options in town, we will give you insider information about the best nightclubs to make sure you don’t get lost in this hedonistic Disneyland during your visit.
Berghain is the most well-known club in Berlin-and also one of the worldwide most famous clubs. It is the church of Techno with the best sound system you can get. So be prepared to dance for hours and listen to top quality music. Inside this abandoned power plant you will find two different clubs: Berghain and Panorama Bar, which are separated by a set of stairs. If you are the kind of person who appreciates good techno music, you will feel like you are in paradise once you step inside Berghain. Their line-up is always impeccable and you will probably listen to the best DJ’s blasting their best tunes out loud, every weekend, from Friday ’til Monday morning. Inside Panorama Bar, you will find a more cheerful atmosphere, where they usually play all variations of house music. It is the perfect place to have a drink, calm down and then go back to Berghain. Berghain became has become a meeting point for the clubbers of Berlin and it is already part of the city culture, which is one of the main reasons why the door policy is so harsh. It is also interesting to go there alone-at the first moment you might be scared, but in a short period of time you will start feeling the energy of the place and end up letting yourself flow with the music. A “lifetime experience” is definitely the expression that better describes the time you will have in this huge temple of music and fun.
Anthropological travel is the best expression to describe what you will experience at KitKat. Before you start asking yourself the kind of trouble you are getting into, let’s make clear that this is a sex club. Don’t be afraid, it is not as hardcore as it seems. The bathroom cleaner might ask you if he can watch you while you are pissing and you will probably see a few guys all in fours with someone leading them with a chain around their dick, but don’t feel uncomfortable. Once you step into KitKat, you can be whatever and whomever you want and feel free to look into your sexual desires and fetishes with no need to hide your love of the bizarre. Explore the place and you will find many dance floors, a lounge area, a massage room and also a swimming pool. Feel the music and let your mind be your true self. If it is your first time there, go with a group of friends, who are looking for unusual fun, who are open-minded and most important: who are ready to watch memorable scenes. After a night of unexpected adventures, you will notice how the club delivers an unusual decadent slice of hedonism in a city known for its forbidden passions and will never forget how much fun you had in one of the weirdest clubs you ever visit.
Also owned by former Bar25 club members, in this decadent abandoned 150-year-old mansion, you will feel like you went back in time directly to the 19th century. Located in Kreuzberg, the most hip neighborhood in Berlin, Chalet offers a great line up, talented DJs playing in two different floors and a very charming garden: the perfect place to chill, when it is not freezing cold outside. Also, the good thing about this club is that they are open 7 days a week. The best word to describe Chalet is style. It is impossible not to notice the amazing decoration: vintage lamps and armchairs, bonfires in the backyard, wallpapers with antique patterns and many small rooms you will get to explore over the night. Their public is more of a mainstream/touristic crowd so go with a nice group of friends and you will probably end up having a great and memorable evening
In order to conclude the whole article here, it can be said that Berlin is an eventual destination of pubs, bars, restaurants, nightclubs and loads of fun things one could ever think of. We went through a brief history of the city along with the details of how it came into being.
We also discussed the renowned festivals/events and venues which are attracting and showing charisma to the world to visit there. We then discussed several places to hang out with your friends and family in the night time.
Coming to the adult nightlife of the city, we established how easy it is to find a good bar to enjoy with your friends or family or a date. Such bars could really offer some great pre-made cocktails for you or you could just ask for a special drink to be served especially for you.
You don’t feel hungry during your tour that is why we have also suggested some of the finest restaurants in the Berlin City that offer exotic and delicious food along with your favorite drinks, so you can really enjoy the taste of good food along with some great booze. And lastly, we went through a comprehensive list of Nightclubs that offered great music with some delightfully exotic options for drinks and cocktail that will polish your overall experience of visit at Berlin City.
All of the aforementioned experiences work together to make your trip absolutely remarkable. A perfect and balanced blend of the above-identified activities can really boost your experience and make your trip really unforgettable.