Explore Berlin: Our City Guide
There are many things to see and do in Berlin – so while you are here for Berlin Buzzwords, why not explore the city and its surroundings on the days around the conference?
On this page we have collected a few recommendations and tips for your stay in Berlin. Whether you’ve been to Berlin numerous times before or whether it’s your first visit, whether you are travelling alone or with friends and family – we tried to provide something for everyone.
A visit to Berlin wouldn’t be complete without at least having a quick glance at Brandenburger Tor, Bundestag (housing the German parliament) and Alexanderplatz with its famous Fernsehturm (TV tower), all of which (and more!) can be easily explored for only 3€ using a regular bus.
Team Favourite: Follow the river Spree through Regierungsviertel
This picturesque walk starts at Marshallbrücke, from where you follow the river Spree on left side until you reach Schloss Bellevue, the official residence of the president. The route takes you past important buildings like the parliament building Bundestag, the German Chancellery (Bundeskanzleramt) and Haus der Kulturen der Welt. On the way I recommend to stop at Weltwirtschaft for a snack and drink.
If you have some more time, you can extend the tour on both ends: By starting the tour at Friedrichstraße, you can learn about the German seperation at Tränenpalast (“Palace of tears”), a former border station, that is now a free museum.
And instead of ending the tour at Schloss Bellevue, you can continue to Siegessäule and enjoy the view from the top of the monument.
Art & Galleries
There are countless museums and galleries in Berlin showcasing everything from the antiquity, through the Old Masters to comporary art. A popular starting point for explorations of art in Berlin certainly is Museumsinsel (museum island), which is home to a range of internationally significant museums.
The iconic Neue Nationalgalerie is a good place to go for modern art and if you want to take a deep dive into contemporary art, Hamburger Bahnhof, a former train station and the Boros Collection, a private collection on display in a world war II bunker are both excellent choices. Please note that you need to book your visit at the Boros Collection in advance.
To get an overview of what’s happening in the Berlin art scene, we recommend checking out the website indexberlin.com, which provides you with an extensive list of current exhibitions.
If architecture is what you want to see, the audio walks by Berlinische Galerie are an amazing choice. Just choose a route, go to the starting point and the self-guided tour will lead you through the city, drawing your attention to buildings, that you might otherwise have overlooked and tell you about their story – a true favourite of the #bbuzz team!
History & Museums
Berlin through the years has been at the center of important historical events and nowadays has many museums dedicated to education its visitors on them.
At Topography of Terror you can learn about some of the darkest chapters in the history of Berlin and Germany as a whole. Located on the site that during the Nazi regime housed the headquarter of, amongst others, the Gestapo, the museum offers a range of exhibitions on the crimes committed by the Nazis.
Tours by Berliner Unterwelten show Berlin from an unusual angle: From below ground. The excellent guided tours lead you down into bunkers from different eras, through brewery cellars or into the bowels of an underground railway station.
The best place to learn about the seperation of the city and the Berlin wall is Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer at Bernauer Straße. Comprised of both indoor and outdoor exhibitions, it offers a good overview of the history of the Wall. You can talk a walk along the former border strip, take a look at a preserved piece of border fortification and visit the museum.
On top of Teufelsberg, the second highest peak of Berlin, you can find a former U.S. listing station from the Cold War. It’s a bit further from the city center, but if you have some time to spare, it’s definitely worth a visit – especially if you get a guided tour, which is often done by former employees of the listening station.
Team Favourite: Tempelhofer Feld
The former aiport Tempelhof has become a favourite leisure spot for many Berliners. Built in the 1920s it became famous for its vital role during the Berlin Blockade in 1948/49, one of the first major internationals crises of the Cold War, when West Berlin had to be supplied by the Western Allies via airlift (“Luftbrücke, literally “Air Bridge”). Nowadays the former airfield, know as “Tempelhofer Feld” is a popular place to do sports and meet friends: Skating, cycling, kite land boarding and even the occasional game of cricket is played here.
If you want to explore the former Terminal Building of Tempelhof Airport you can book a guided tour and will learn about its history and architecture.
Day trips around Berlin
If you are in Berlin for a few days and want to explore its surrounding, the city of Potsdam is an obvious choice. Taking a regional train (RE1) or S-Bahn (S7) you are there in around 20-40 minutes and can enjoy the splendor of the former residence of the Prussian kings and German Kaiser with its numerous castles, extensive parks and beautiful inner city. Highlights include Schloss Sanssouci, Belvedere on Pfingstberg, the Dutch Quarter and Cecilienhof.
Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island) is an island in the river Havel in the southwest of Berlin. You can easily reach it by taking the S-Bahn to Wannsee and then bus 218 to Pfaueninsel. It is accessed by a small ferry, which you can get your tickets for at a vending machine onsite. The island is an ideal retreat from the busy city: Enjoy a stroll through the gardens, have a coffee, piece of cake or a lemonade at the island café and watch the peacocks with the impressive tail feathers. The castle at Peacock Island is currently being renovated and will be closed until 2024. Also important: Take some cash with you – most places at Pfaueninsel don’t accept payments by card.