Things to Do in Berlin

Myfest Berlin 2015 Balloon Beauty

Things to Do in Berlin

Looking for things to do in Berlin? Here’s a collection of my favourite places in Berlin be it a bar, cafe, book shop, or restaurant.

Art and Culture

  1. Bunker Gallery – Local artists transformed a former bunker into a massive contemporary art gallery. Book an appointment through their website for a guided tour and view the private collection, which includes pieces from Ai Weiwei. The exhibit is so popular that you need to book tickets months in advance. The entry fee is €12. Reinhardt Strasse 20, 10117
  2. CHAMÄLEON Theater Berlin – Rotating in two new shows per year,  this theater focuses on fun and lively circus performances that combine music, dance, and acrobatic movement. Set in an early 20th century building with an art nouveau ballroom, there’s also a bar and restaurant onsite, so you can drink and eat while you watch the show. Rosenthaler Straße 40/41, in den Hackeschen Höfen, 10178 
  3. East Side Gallery – A public art gallery open 24/7, visit this 1,316 meter long piece of the former Berlin wall and take in the 100+ murals on display. Mühlenstraße, 10243

Bars

  1. Barbie Deinhoff’s – This popular LGBT friendly dive bar with a bright pink Barbie inspired interior is famous for their cocktails and fun parties. Schlesischestr. 16, 10997
  2. BrewDog – If you’re a craft beer aficionado, look no further than BrewDog. Aside from one of the biggest and best beer lists in the city, pair your beer with one of their yummy pizzas. Ackerstrasse 29, 10115 
  3. Das Hotel – A tiny Kreuzberg bar always packed full of smoking and dancing locals. Drinks are on the cheap side, but I’d suggest treating yourself to one of their cocktails like the Moscow Mule. Mariannenstr. 26A, 10999
  4. Dr Pong – A classic Berlin dive bar with cheap beer and a single ping pong table. Bring your own paddle or rent one and join the crowd in a social “around the world” styled game of table tennis. Eberwalderstr 21, 10437
  5. Facciola – A wine bar in Kreuzberg, owned and operated by the beautiful Aurora Facciola. All of the Italian wine in stock has been handpicked by Aurora herself. Forsterstr 5, 10999
  6. Frollein Langner – Another cozy dive bar in the Schillerkiez. Grab a cheap beer, smoke, and indulge in long talks with friends. Weisestr. 34, 12049
  7. Fuchsbau – A chilled out bar by the river in Kreuzberg. At night it’s a busy hotspot serving up cheap drinks to a lively and young crowd. By day, it also is a popular brunch spot. Planufer 96, 10967
  8. HERMAN Belgian Bar – This tiny Prenzlauer Berg bar has one of the most expansive Belgian beer menus around. Expect tasty beer that’s stronger than your average German pilsner. Schönhauser Allee 173, 10119
  9. Himmelreich – A queer, gay, lesbian, and transgender bar in Friedrichshain, come for cheap beer and the open, friendly, and laidback vibe. Simon-Dach-Straße 36, 10245
  10. Hops and Barley – One of my favourite spots in Berlin, this spacious bar offers up some delicious local beer made at their brewery in Friedrichshain. Be it a pilsner, dark, or white beer, they’re all good. Wühlischstr. 22/23, 10245
  11. Keith Bar – A perfect escape during the winter, gather in the dark candlelit bar with your friends to drink local craft beer or one of their many whiskies. Schillerpromenade 2, 12049
  12. Lerchen und Eulen – Yet another smoke filled dive bar in Kreuzberg, I hold this place close to my heart as it was one of the very first Berlin bars I ever hung out in! Go for the  cheap drinks and the best Moscow Mules in town. Pücklerstr. 33, 10997
  13. Marietta – I was first attracted to the venue as they had a sign that advertised “Coffee, Drinks, and Cigarettes.” I’ll admit, this lulled me in to have a glass of rosé on a warm, spring afternoon. When I asked for the wifi password and their answer was “mygayporn”, they’d won my heart and I stayed for another drink. If you don’t mind the smoke and you’re looking for a gay-friendly dive bar, this is it. Stargarderstr 13, 10437
  14. Michelberger Hotel – Yes, this a fancy pants boutique hotel in the middle of Berlin’s biggest party zone, but their cafe is a great place to stop for drinks anytime. It’s a bit on the pricier side for the city, but why not spoil yourself? Warschauerstr. 39-40, 10243
  15. Primitiv Bar – This smokey joint in Friedrichshain is decked out with a 1920s theme. Come for the super cheap beer and wine, all for less than €3. Simon-Dach-Straße 28, 10245
  16. Roter Rabe – Just another dark, cozy, smoke filled Kreuzberg bar. Come summer, they have a nice outdoor seating area. And somewhat unusual for Berlin, they have very friendly waiting staff! Kottbusserstr. 13, 10999
  17. Rum Bar Bar – A Bermudian themed bar in Neukölln with a lovely cocktail menu. Try the house specialty, the Swizzle, mixed with three kinds of Bermudian rums. Mahlower Str. 32, 10967
  18. Salt N Bone – A gastropub in Prenzlauer Berg. Come for the massive amounts craft beer and their Sunday roast specials. Schliemannstr 31, 10437 
  19. Schleusenkrug – A cute beer garden tucked away in the middle of the Tiergarten. It’s a great place to relax with a beer with a friend or two and wait for a storm to pass or rest after a long walk along the Landwehr Canal. Müller-Breslau-Straße 1, 10623
  20. Sorsi e Morsi – A busy wine bar tucked away on a quiet residential street in Prenzlauer Berg that’s frequented by locals. You won’t be able to resist the charm of the owner Johnny who’s become somewhat of a Berlin legend over the years. Sit back with a glass of wine and enjoy the free antipasti dish that comes along with it. Marienburgerstr 10, 10405 
  21. Stone Brewing World Bistro & Gardens – One of the top craft beer experiences in all of Berlin. The location’s quite far from the city centre, but the long journey there via public transit or by car is well worth it. The mammoth interior is light and airy, their beer menu feels endless, and while the food is on the pricey side, it’s good. Im Marienpark 23, 12107
  22. Tante Lisbeth – A smoke filled Berlin dive bar with a vintage bowling alley in the basement. Drinks are cheap and the vibe is chill, even when it gets busy on the weekend. Muskauerstr 49, 10997
  23. Wohnzimmer – The names translates into “living room” and that’s exactly what this long-standing dive bar feels like. During the day, it’s a popular local cafe in Prenzlauerberg and by night, it transforms into a smokey drink spot. Lettestraße 6, 10437
  24. Zigarren Herzog am Hafen – If you’re a fan of cigars, this is the place to come in Berlin. Let the expert staff help you choose a cigar to smoke and then pair it with the most appropriate high-end rum or whiskey. Then kick back, relax, and enjoy the slow smoke. Stralauer Allee 9, 10245

Book Shops

  1. Do You Read Me – This tiny shop in Mitte has a large international selection of magazines and books from more than 20 countries. They also play host to regular exhibitions and lectures. Auguststraße 28, 10117 
  2. Dussman das KulturKaufhaus – A massive bookstore with a great selection of English books. It’s easy to stay for hours and even easier to spend a lot of money on loads of new books. Friedrichstr. 90, 10117
  3. St. George’s – A cozy bookshop that you could sit in for hours, here you’ll find both new and used English books. Bonus is that you can sell your books back to them and use the money to further stock up your bookshelf. Woertherstr. 27, 10405

Clubs

  1. Berghain – Music aficionados go here to worship at the temple of techno and listen to legendary DJs play their tunes. Expect to be queue for hours and more importantly, to be rejected once you reach the bouncers who may simply shake their head no and direct you to leave. Don’t ask me how to get in, as I honestly don’t know … but if you do get in, expect a sound system and a party that’s second to none. It’s not unheard of for people to enter on Friday night and not leave until Sunday or for others to wake up, eat brunch, and then hit the club. Be open, expect the unexpected, and if you don’t know what a dark room is, I dare say this might not be the place for you. Am Wriezener Bahnhof, 10243.
  2. Chantals House of Shame – A longtime institution within the Berlin gay party scene, come here to dance the night away, drink your face off, and enjoy Chantal’s cabaret show which starts at 2:00 a.m. Schönhauser Allee 176a, 10119
  3. House of Weekend – Near Alexanderplatz, the club’s known for their house and techno beats. Hang out in their rooftop garden for a killer view over the city. Pro tip? Head there during summer to watch the sun go down (or rise) over Berlin. Alexanderstr 7, 10178
  4. Insomnia – Not for prudes, as this is a sex club. The Saturday parties are better than the Friday ones. Expect a sexy crowd dress in leather, ball gowns, spandex, and whatnot. Some may even be naked. Dance the night away and if you’re a single girl or a couple, venture upstairs for some steamy moments. Alt-Tempelhof 17-19, 12099

Coffee Shops/Cafes 

  1. The Barn – This new location is West Berlin is top notch with it’s 360 degree panorama over the city’s busiest boulevard. Come for the coffee and enjoy the view. Craft beer and wine is also available if you’re not in a coffee mood. Kurfürstendamm 18, 10719
  2. Bastard – A long time staple in the Berlin cafe scene, Bastard delivers a pretty good brunch. Come early on the weekends to score a good seat. Online reviews highly recommend the chorizo with scrambled eggs. Reichenbergerstr. 122, 10999
  3. Cafe Kapelle – I’ll admit, it feels like just another cozy cafe in Prenzlauer Berg, but the space is special. Serving up healthy delights like Acai drinks and fresh bread, it’s also rumoured that many celebrities come here for brunch or evening drinks. Zionskirchstraße 22-24, 10119
  4. Café Mütlich – A great spot for a coffee and a healthy or heart lunch in Schöneberg. Recommended is their chilli con carne with nachos. Leberstr. 8, 10829
  5. Café Ursprung – A little oasis inside Dussman Kulturkaufhaus, there’s a two story wall covered with plants and trickling waterfalls. Bring your book and stop in this peaceful spot for a glass of wine or cup of coffee. Friedrichstraße 90, 10117
  6. Easy like Monday Morning – This tiny spot in Schöneberg doesn’t offer that much in the way of seating, but you’ll find plenty of healthy and mouthwatering food and drink options including gourmet coffee, fresh smoothies, and lunch boxes made to order. Akazienstr. 3a, 10823
  7. Father Carpenter Coffee Brewers – A newer entry to the Berlin coffee scene. Order their flat white! Münzstraße 21, 10178
  8. Five Elephant Coffee – This Kreuzberg establishment is one of the best places for coffee in town. Not only are their coffees top notch, so are their baked goods, like the cheesecake. Reichenberger Str. 101, 10999
  9. Geschwister Nothaft Coffee – Your typical Berlin design, cool, minimalist, and shabby-chic. Come for the coffee, fresh juices, and laid-back atmosphere. Schwarzastraße 9, 12055
  10. Godshot – Here you’ll not only find high quality coffee, but a great space to do some work for the afternoon. They also offer seminars like “latte art basics”. Immanuelkirchstraße 32, 10405 
  11. Impala – Aside from the coffee, they have a large bagel selection. My favourite is the California bagel, with chicken, orange, and other tasty ingredients. Schönhauser Allee 173, 10119 
  12. Kaffee Raum – Situated on a quiet residential street in Prenzlauer Berg, this shop remains close to my heart as it was the first one I visited when I moved to to Berlin. Eat brunch while classical music plays in the background. Bötzowstraße 25, 10407 
  13. Königliche Backstube – This bakery may very well have the best bread in all of Berlin. All ingredients are locally sourced, cooked slowly, and free of additives. The menu changes daily, and other sweets are also available for purchase. Zwiestädterstr 10, 12055
  14. Lele – This beautiful airy cafe offers not only Turkish fare (their hummus is delish!), but also serves as a cafe and breakfast spot in Kreuzberg. With a nice wine list, a surprising fish selection, and good coffee, this is a cute casual place to relax and dine. Oranienstraße 2A, 10997
  15. Milja & Schäfa – Come for the breakfast full of healthy treats, quality coffee, and stylish atmosphere. Here for dinner? Try one of their homemade pastas! Sonntagstraße 1, 10245
  16. Nadia + Kosta – A kinder friendly locale in Berlin’s Lichtenberg. You won’t find hipsters pounding away on their Macbooks here as there’s not much space for sitting or it’s not in one of the “cool” parts of town. And that’s what makes it all the more special. The owners are super friendly, knowing many by their first name. Best of all, they whip up a pretty mean coffee at a decent price. Popular is their cheesecake! Türrschmidtstraße 31, 10317
  17. No Fire, No Glory – Yet another spot in Prenzlauer Berg that serves up great coffee. Their coffee comes from Bonanza Coffee Roasters (also in Berlin) and from the Coffee Collective in Copenhagen. Rykestraße 45, 10405
  18. Nothaft + Seidel – A third wave coffee shop with plenty of great coffee, home made cakes, smoothies, and fresh pressed juices. Schönhauser Allee 43A, 10435
  19. Pêle-Mêle – Owners Rosa Mossiah and Maren Berens take pride in their 100% vegan menu, offering tasty yet creative dishes like tofu scrambled eggs, homemade smoothies, or their whole grain sandwich with smoked tofu, lettuce, and fresh vegetables combined with peanut butter and pear chutney. Popular is their Sunday brunch. They also have co-working spaces for rent. Innstr. 26, 12043 
  20. Prachtwerk – This seriously cool venue combines cafe, gallery, and culture hub. By day, locals gather for coffee and cake and by night, they come for live concerts, poetry readings, and more. Best of all, all of Prachtwerk’s net profits are invested in social projects in Berlin and around the globe. Ganghoferstr. 2, 12043
  21. Ritter Cafe – Aside from their superb coffee, come here for lunch or their fresh homemade pasta or quiche. Ritterstr. 11, 10969 
  22. Simon’s Coffee – A laidback place in Friedrichshain with coffee, cakes, and a respectable selection of ice crea. It’s ideal for getting work done (although their wifi’s not always reliable), as there’s lots of places for you to plug your chargers into. Simon Dach Str. 9, 9, 10245
  23. St. Oberholz – About as hipster as it gets, this cafe set in a 19th century building is where Berliners from the start-up and/or freelancing scenes come to co-work with a decent coffee and breakfast/lunch menu. New – they just started accepting debit and credit card! Rosenthalerstr 72A, 10437 
  24. Szimpla Berlin – An extension of the ruin bar in Budapest is Szimpla Berlin. This beautiful and crazy cool cafe has a nice brunch menu and a great selection of craft beers. They also regularly host cultural events. Gärtnerstr. 15, 10245
  25. Zuckerbaby Café & Deli – This shop is owned by the two daughters of an American and German couple. Feast on one of their many sweet treats like French toast, New York cheesecake, cinnamon buns, and more. Richardplatz 21, 12055

Parks 

  1. Mauerpark – The park comes alive every Sunday all year round people come to shop at the flea market, eat and drink from one of the many snack stands, watch street art artists spray new canvasses, and best of all gather with hundreds of others to watch (or participate!) in the outdoor “Bearpit” karaoke event. Gleimstraße 55, 10437
  2. Thaipark – Come to experience some of the most authentic Thai food you can have in Berlin. What started as an informal gathering of Thai families, evolved into a market that happens each weekend during warmer months. You can taste food from various regions of Thailand and everything you can imagine from fish, to chicken, vegetarian dishes, even insects (yes!), and tasty fruit drinks. Brandenburgischestr, 10707

Restaurants

  1. Berliner Republik – German food and more than 18 beers on tap. Enjoy the fun of their beer stock market and get your beer cheap when the market crashes. Schiffbauerdamm 8, 10117
  2. Bistro Faunesse – A bright airy space in Mitte, offering light and healthy lunch options. Recommended is the BBQ burger which comes with potatoes (instead of greasy French fries) and a salad. Reinhardtstr 9, 10117 
  3. Brauhaus Lemke – Another place to eat German food and feast on good beer. Dircksenstr. 143, 10178
  4. Bun Bao – Asian burgers! They started out running a food truck and opened their first bricks and mortar location in Prenzlauer Berg just last year. My personal favourites are the “chick on fire” (a chicken burger) and the sweet potato fries. Kollwitzstr 84, 10435
  5. Café am Neuen See – Open year round, this beer garden and restaurant is set in the middle of the Tiergarten, alongside a lake. Sample different food (like their yummy pizza) and sling back a beer outside, while watching the sun go down. Lichtensteinallee 2, 10787
  6. Café Marral – Art gallery and eatery, this cozy venue is a revered hot spot in Mitte. Popular choices are the avocado burger and falafel plate. Torstr 222, 10115
  7. Chicago Williams BBQ – This place has the best ribs I’ve tasted since being in Berlin. Expect a messy dining experience and pair your BBQ with one of their bottled craft beers. Hannoversche Str. 2, 10115 
  8. Chili Chutney – Across the street from the foodie hotspot Markthalle 9 is Chili Chutney, an Afghan restaurant with fresh, tasty dishes. Try out the mantu, bolani, pakora, or ashak – any of them will hit the spot. Eisenbahnstr. 5, 10997
  9. CocoLiebe – It’ all about the pizza here, which is presented with a distinct style by Lebanese owner, Karim Al Khatib. A world traveller (like me!), he brings his global experiences into his food. You’ll find savory pizzas, sweet ones, and more. Exciting is that you can order your pizza with a gluten-free crust. Richardstr 107, 12043
  10. Cordobar – This German and Austrian wine bar in the heart of Mitte not only serves up top notch wines, but an innovative menu for the culinary adventurous. Große Hamburger Str. 32, 10115
  11. Datscha – A Russian restaurant in Friedrichshain that serves up an expansive dumpling menu and even Russian beer. Also a popular brunch spot on weekends. Gabriel-Max-Straße 1, 10245 
  12. Eschenbraeu – A little tough to find, this little beer garden and restaurant in Wedding is located in a residential courtyard. Serving beer from their own brewery, you can take your pick from their tasty suds, which change seasonally. Triftstr 67, 13353 
  13. GORDON Restaurant & Records – This Israeli restaurant has a good selection of homemade dishes, with their hummus game and fresh pita being top notch. Try the hummus and kebab dish for lunch! Allerstr. 11, 12049 
  14. HEIDE’s – An Italian deli in Prenzlauer Berg near the Wasserturm is the perfect spot for breakfast or lunch. They have a wide selection of cheeses, cured meat, anti-pasti, and wine. Rykestraße 52, 10405
  15. I Due Forni – This classic Prenzlauer Berg establishment is known for their cheap, but oh so tasty pizzas. Schönhauser Allee 12, 10119
  16. Mogg – A sandwich heaven that has Berlin foodies shouting their praises to the high heavens. Go for the pastrami or pulled pork sandwiches. Auguststraße 11-13, 10117 
  17. NEST Cafe – One of the best brunch spots in Kreuzberg, even Berlin. On Saturday, order from their regular brunch menu, while on Sunday, feast on their expansive buffet. It’s often busy, so get there early, or expect to wait. Görlitzer Str. 52, 10997
  18. OS’ Kitchen – One of the prettiest and most chilled places in Berlin to experience a wide variety of Arabic cuisine. Highly recommended is their homemade hummus, kibbeh (beef meatballs), and falafel. Anzengruberstr. 20, 12043
  19. The Panini Shop – Come for a fresh panini … or two! There’s a nicely balanced selection of vegetarian and meat options. Try the Green Valley, with tomatoes, mozzarella, avocado cream, arugula and balsamic! Kastanienallee 90, 10435
  20. Peter Pane – A popular hamburger spot in Mitte at the top of their game. Pro tip – if you’re heading there for lunch or dinner, get there early or make reservations. Friedrichstraße 101, 10117
  21. Prater Garten – Enjoy a beer (or two, maybe three) in Berlin’s oldest beer garden and combine it with a good old fashioned serving of German food. It’s open April through September, weather permitting. Kastanienallee 7-9, 10435
  22. Rawtastic – Berlin’s first fully vegan restaurant. Sip one of their cold pressed juices and chow down on one of their many raw food options. My personal favourite is the Tex Mex plate. Danziger Str. 16, 10435
  23. RixBox – This tiny stand in Neukölln is known for their high quality coffee and other street food styled snacks like sandwiches, muffins, chili, and hot dogs. Owner Hossein Eggsbrecht even works with a local roaster to offer a special coffee mixture that’s sold exclusively at RoxBox. Richardstr. 2 (Alfred Scholz Platz), 12043
  24. SOY – Find SOY in the heart if Mitte next to the Babylon Theatre. This vegan Vietnamese spots features plenty of tasty and healthy dishes, as well as an extensive list of ice teas. Rosa-Luxemburg-Str. 30, 10178
  25. Suzette Crêperie Berlin – A French restaurant doles out the yummiest crepes you’ll find in Berlin. Pappelalle 15, 10437
  26. Yumcha Heroes – These guys take their dumplings rather serious and there’s a wide selection of Chinese style dumplings to choose from. Visit this place on an empty stomach. Visit their original location or their newer location in Prenzlauer Berg. Dunckerstr 60, 10437

Spas

  1. Vabali Spa – One of my favourite ways to relax involves a day at Vabali Spa in Berlin. Don one of their fluffy bath robes, and enjoy their saunas, steam rooms, hot tubs, pools, relaxation areas, a restaurant, and more. Seydlitzstraße 6, 10557

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  • Reply Where to Stay in Berlin: Berlin's Coolest Neighborhoods January 31, 2017 at 9:20 am

    […] And if you’re looking for things to do while you’re visiting the city, visit Cheryl’s small, but constantly updated list of things to do in Berlin! […]

  • Reply Jade Sheils May 8, 2017 at 6:05 pm

    Thanks for the tips – I just moved here so great to get a few places 🙂

    • Reply Cheryl Howard May 8, 2017 at 10:00 pm

      Hey Jade!

      Glad the list is helpful. Hope you’re enjoying Berlin. Anything you’ve liked here so far?

      – Cheryl

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