Germany’s capital is a popular city break destination and is easily accessible via cheap flights or trains from across Europe. Although Berlin is relatively affordable as European cities go, it’s still great to save a few Euros whenever you can. Luckily, some of the best Berlin attractions are provided completely free of charge – meaning you have extra cash to spend on drinking beer and eating currywurst, hurray!
1) Treat your ears to a performance by Berlin’s Philharmonic orchestra
Every Tuesday at 1 PM the famous Berliner Philharmonie hosts a special performance of classical music in its foyer. These “Lunchkonzerte” or Lunchtime Concerts have been running since 2007 and provide a great musical interlude to a busy day sightseeing in the city. The chamber music performances last from 40-50 minutes and there is a wide array of good food available so you can feast your belly as well as your ears. Visitor numbers are limited to 1,500 and on a first-come-first-served basis so make sure to arrive in plenty of time.
2) Learn how the human body moves at the Otto Bock Science Centre
The Otto Bock in Potsdamer Platz, locally known as the ‘muscle house’ is worth a visit due to its quirky modern design. However, inside the building is a free three-storey exhibition examining the human body in detail. The interactive, multimedia experience aims to help us understand the topic of mobility, especially in regards to those with mobility disorders. Open from Thursday to Monday.
3) Explore a piece of Berlin’s history after dark
The Reichstag Building is one of Berlin’s most iconic landmarks. The official seat of the Bundestag (Germany’s parliament), the Reichstag’s dome, roof terrace and gardens can be visited for free. Registration in advance is essential and can be booked online or at the office across the road from the building itself (you will need your passport). For a less busy experience and an awesome evening panorama of Berlin, go for one of the late timeslots; the last admission is at 10 PM. A 20-minute audio guide is provided which details facts about the Reichstag Building and surrounding landscape.
4) Take a history lesson at the Topography of Terror
Scary name aside, this free exhibition aims to educate visitors on the history of one of the pivotal Nazi organisations: the SS. The site upon which the museum is built was once home to the Secret Service Police Office and the Reich Security Main Office. While these were torn down after the Second World War, the reign of terror that was planned and implemented from this very site has not been forgotten. There is a free, highly informative indoor exhibition detailing the role of the SS before and during the war, as well as a further exhibition outside in the grounds.
5) Treptower Park Soviet War Memorial
The largest of the three Soviet war memorials in the city, Treptower Park’s epic sculptures are a sight to behold. Serving as a cemetery for 5,000 Soviet soldiers as well as a tribute to the 80,000 men who lost their lives during the fight for Berlin in World War Two. The memorial was completed shortly after the war ended in 1949. Without a doubt the imposing 12-metre tall statue of a Soviet soldier rescuing a German child and stamping on a swastika will stay with you long after you leave the park.
Enjoy the best of Berlin for free
Berlin is a city rich in history and culture. The best thing about a visit to Germany’s capital is how many experiences are provided free of charge meaning everyone has the opportunity to take part, whatever their budget.
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