With a burgeoning underground scene in both art and music, Berlin is a popular holiday destination. With its own unique and important history there are plenty of spaces through which you can see both the past and look towards the future. You may choose to spend your time visiting important monuments such as the Brandenburg Gate, the many memorial sites, and pretty gardens. For those of you who have visited Berlin before we’re sure that you will have already ticked many of the top things to do in Berlin. So, read on to discover the top alternative things to do in Berlin, Germany. We’re willing to bet that you wouldn’t have done these before.
1. Historic places: Berlin Wall Memorial and the Berliner Unterwelten (subterranean Berlin)
Located in the middle of the capital, this historic site is first on the list for many people. The wall in total extends 1.4 km (0.8 miles) along the former border strip. There is a large exhibition center on the site of Bernauer Straße and this includes materials remaining from that time. Be sure to also visit the observation tower for a bird’s eye view.
From a bird’s eye view to a different perspective at the Berliner Unterwelten-Museum. As you descend into the underground bunkers of this unique museum you’ll learn more about the secret history of the city. Nowhere else can you see the incredible ruins of the bunkers which have been open to visitors since 1999. The guided tours throughout this four-floor exhibition focus on the civilian air raids during the Second World War, escape tunnels and many archaeological finds. The tours will last for 90 minutes It is worth noting that due to the nature of these tours they are not suitable for young children.
Berliner Unterwelten (Subterranean Berlin)
Address: Brunnenstraße 105, 13355 Berlin, Germany
2. Museums: Pergamon Museum and the Jewish Museum
The Pergamon Museum is home to three of the most impressive collections. The Antikensammlung has important pieces of Greek and Roman art and is just one of the collections. For many, the highlight of the Pergamon Museum is the 3D laser reconstruction of the Pergamon Altar. Additional constructs include the Market Gate of Miletus, the Ishtar Gate and the Processional Way from Babylon. Pergamon Museum is the most visited museum in Germany.
Another popular museum to visit is the Jewish Museum. Since its doors opened in 2001 this museum has been leading the way in educational events and activities. They have a huge collection that includes 9,500 works of art, 1,500 objects of religious use, 4,500 objects of material culture, 24,000 photographs and more than 1,700 individual collections in the archive. The museum focuses on the history of the Jewish people and is a great way to spend an afternoon in Berlin.
Address: Lindenstraße 9-14, 10969 Berlin, Germany
Website: Jewish Museum
3. Buildings: Reichstag Building and The Bebelplatz
Located just north of the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag Building was home to the German Houses of Parliament until it was seized by the Nazis. There is a roof terrace, which offers panoramic views and can be visited with a booking in advance. There is also a rooftop restaurant which offers a fantastic menu. Admission is free.
Keep the history books open and you’ll be transported to the infamous book burning episode which took place at Bebelplatz. Now on the spot where the books were burned, there is a glass plate on the floor. Look down and you’ll see an underground library that has no books on its shelves. A lasting memory, indeed. In 1933, all books that the Nazis deemed as promoting a different ideology, were burned. In total, over 20,000 books were burned at The Bebelplatz.
Address: Unter den Linden, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Website: The Bebelplatz
4. Admire the street art along the streets of the East Side Gallery and check out the Soviet graffiti in the Reichstag
When the Berlin Wall fell, parts of it were left as a historical reminder. A section of that has become known as the East Side Gallery and is a living visual graffiti area. Many international artists come to depict symbols of peace and love on a wall which once stood for something very different. The wall at this part stretches 1.3 km (0.8 miles) long.
If you’ve already visited the East Side Gallery, head to the Soviet graffiti area in the Reichstag. Once the German Parliamentary building, the walls of the Reichstag were graffitied in 1945 when young Russians scribbled on the walls. Some simply write their names whilst other people wrote sentences, dates, and slogans. Many of these names were hidden beneath the wooden paneling and weren’t brought to light until a building work exposed them many years later.
Soviet graffiti in the Reichstag
Address: Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin, Germany
5. Explore the Botanic Gardens and relax in Liquidrom, a futuristic German spa
If strolling through the flowers sounds like an ideal way to spend a day then head to Berlin’s Botanical Garden. Started in 1889, there are a number of different flower areas from herbaceous and medicinal plants to roses, aquatic and marsh plants. In fact, there are over 20,000 different plant species on site and these attract half a million visitors each year.
After a stroll through the gardens, head for a relaxing spa treatment at the Liquidrom. Located in the center of Berlin, Liquidrom has four nude saunas and offer a number of additional pool features. You’ll love the floating pool, Omm-sound pool and the Japanese-inspired outdoor area with a hot water onsen. At the heart of Liquidrom, you’ll find the dimmed Cupola Hall with warm salt water. The underwater color and light combinations mixed with the sound of classical music will have you instantly relaxed. Check online for DJ and artist performances.
Address: Liquidrom GmbH & Co. KG, Möckernstraße 10, 10963 Berlin
Berlin, two sides of a coin
There is so much to see and do in Berlin we know that you’ll have a great time planning your holiday. From the highest points with panoramic views to the deepest depths of underground bunkers, our list has covered it all. You’ll find lots of alternative and secret activities hidden in Berlin. Start with our list and then discover your own wonderful delights. Happy exploring!
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