12 Best Non-Touristy Things To Do In Berlin, Germany - Updated 2024

non touristy things to do in berlin
| 5 min read

Trendsetter, party paradise, high on history - to say that Berlin is a cultural mishmash is an understatement. However, there’s more to the city than Brandenburg Gate, Alexanderplatz, and World War II-time relics, structures, and whatnot littered throughout the city. In fact, this barely scratches the surface. The other side is the Berlin you can’t see immediately - the shrouded secrets, the less-frequented nooks, the eclectic projects, and the wonderfully quirky subculture. While the famous hotels in Berlin are terrific holiday retreats, sometimes the best gateways to the city’s hidden gems are the quaint stays such as Airbnb vacation rentals. But before you fix your gaze on your accommodation, take a dizzying spin through the past, present, and future all at once with this list of some of the best non-touristy things to do in Berlin, Germany.

Tip from tour guide



The best mode of transport in Berlin is the city's extensive and efficient public transportation system, which consists of buses, trams, S-Bahn (suburban trains), U-Bahn (subway), and regional trains. It is not only easily available but also an excellent choice for exploring the city comfortably and affordably.

The U-Bahn and S-Bahn networks cover most parts of the city. Trams and buses complement the train networks and provide additional options for getting around the city. You can purchase tickets at ticket vending machines located at stations, as well as at many convenience stores and kiosks throughout the city. Ticket options include single-trip tickets, day passes, and longer-term passes for extended stays.

1. Tour the DDR Museum (from USD 14.0)

Travel back in time by visiting the award-winning historical DDR Museum, which features interactive exhibits transporting enthusiasts and history aficionados to post-WWII East Germany by offering them the smells, sights, and glimpses of life behind the ‘Iron Curtain’. Travel in an authentic Trabi car, undergo an actual Stasi interrogation, explore reconstructions of original living spaces, undergo a virtual tour of a GDR housing estate, and, after you’re done, exit the compound through a hole in the Berlin Wall.

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DDR Museum Berlin Admission Ticket

Duration: 1 to 2 hours

190 reviews

2. Take a shooting training (from USD 118.0)

Why not take a shooting training while vacationing in Berlin? This one-hour shooting training allows participants to choose weapons of their choice In the duel with the targets and focuses on teaching them to use typical large-caliber long weapons as well as short weapons. Intensive instruction and care are offered, as is a professional shooting instructor for enhancing our shooting experience!

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Shoottraining Rifle

Duration: 1 hour

3. Explore the stunning Schöneberg

Berlin, Schoeneberg, Tauentzienstrasse 21-24, KaDeWe
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jörg Zägel used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Flag off your alternative Berlin experience tour by strolling along Schöneberg, Berlin’s most culturally rich city district. Experience the hopping nightlife around Nollendorfplatz and Winterfeldtplatz, get hypnotized by the architecture around Viktoria Luise Platz, or stroll the verdant, leafy streets which head to the Winterfeldmarkt. Do not miss dining in the many restaurants in Akazienstrasse - start with some amazing coffee (Double Eye, Coffee Roastery), dig into chocolate products and icecreams (Winterfeldt Schokoladen, Jones Ice Cream), and dig into global cuisine (Ixthys, pizzeria Malafemmena, Cafe M). If that isn’t enough, the green parks like - Rudolph-Wilde-Park and Natur Park Schöneberg Südgelande will surely provide balm to your soul.


Address: Tempelhof-Schöneberg, Berlin

Website: Schöneberg

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4. Take a dip in the Badeschiff

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Carlos ZGZ used under CC0

Literally meaning ‘bathing ship’ in English, swimming at Badeschiff, one of Berlin’s most unusual swimming pools, is a must-do. This contemporary art project solution made from an old river cargo container floats atop the unswimmable, long-neglected River Spree.

Spending a portion of the holiday here is definitely a fun thing to do in Berlin for young adults, no matter the season. In summer, Badeschiff is a mini-oasis of cool, clean water, and in the winter, it’s an indoor health complex covered by translucent shells. Enjoy views of the Oberbaumbrücke, Molecule Man, and the TV Tower as you sip on cocktails while listening to a DJ in the summers and seek refuge from the cold in the heated pool and saunas in the winter.


Address: Eichenstraße 4, 12435 Berlin

Website: Badeschiff

Opening hours: Flexible due to weather, check website

Price: Adults USD 6, Children (6-12 years) USD 2, Children under 6 years free admission

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Berlin Tour Guide

Asaf Leshem

Asaf Leshem

My name is Asaf and I am a professional tour guide. I hold a Ph.D. in Dark Tourism and interpretation of history. In Berlin I guide tours on such topics as the Cold War, the Third Reich, Berlin's Jewish Heritage, Berlin and Brandenburg's Prussian History, and more. I also guide in Potsdam, and I am certified to guide in the Memorial and Museum Sachsenhausen. I am also an enthusiastic runner a... Read more

Tours by Asaf

Berlin Tour Guide



Born and raised in Australia, I studied psychology at the University of Queensland but had always loved reading modern history books. I came to Berlin for a nerdy history vacation in 2017, fell in love with the city and decided to make it home. I offer tours of Berlin and its surrounds which are rich with history and packed with energy. I don’t just show my guests Berlin's sights; I also exp... Read more

Tours by Tina

Berlin Tour Guide

Matti Geyer

Matti Geyer

I was born in Berlin the year before the wall fell and thus had the fortune and privilege to grow up in a city that was growing up itself. In 2008, I decided to turn my passion for this amazing city into a career by becoming a tour guide. Both my parents lived in East Germany: My dad became a teacher, until refusal to join the Communist party ended his career, whilst my mom worked as a tour gui... Read more

Tours by Matti

5. Soak in the Berlin sunset at Klunkerkranich

Klunkerkranich - Roof Top - Berlin Neukölln
Source: Photo by user Andreas Lehner used under CC BY 2.0

After a day of exploring the city, there’s no better a place to soak up the Berlin sunset than doing so at the Klunkerkranich, a funky rooftop bar atop the Neukölln Arcade mall. This amazing rooftop space features up-cycled, quirky decor, plants, and furniture while serving some amazing beers and drinks from the local Späti. What’s even better is that Klunkerkranich even hosts live concerts featuring some of the best DJs in Berlin.


Address: Karl-Marx-Straße 66, 12043 Berlin

Website: Klunkerkranich

Opening hours: Wednesday - Friday: 4pm - 2am; Saturday: 12pm - 3am; Sunday: 12pm - 2am; (closed on Monday and Tuesday)

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6. Have your mind blown at the Designpanoptikum

2014-03-26 Designpanoptikum Berlin 23 anagoria
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Anagoria used under CC BY 3.0

Step through the doors of the Designpanoptikum, a wonderfully unnerving half horror house, half design museum of extraordinary objects across eras spanning past and future. Featuring medical equipment paired with common items, and retro-tech attached to body parts, the space-carnival-esque whimsical world is eerily dystopian to the hilt and features an eclectic collection spanning film, medical, and aviation industries, among others.

As the theme of this place may not be everyone’s cup of tea, visiting it is surely a great alternative thing to do in Berlin.


Address: Poststraße 7, 10178 Berlin

Website: Designpanoptikum

Opening hours: Monday - Saturday: 11am - 6pm (closed on Sundays)

Price: Normal USD 11.32, Group > 10 people USD 10.19, Group > 15 people USD 9.06

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7. Enjoy Asian food at Thai Park

Thai Park, Berlin - panoramio
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user el legowo used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Thai food is big in Germany and the local Thai populace has been meeting up at die Thaiwiese (Thai-Meadow) for more than two decades now. This food-sharing market sees Chinese, Vietnamese, Filipinos, and ‘Thai mamas’ set up rainbow-colored umbrellas over pretty blankets on the grassy pitch every fair-weather weekend, opening their coolers and heating up their saucepans to whip up some amazingly tasty food. Sunday is the busiest day, so get out to Thai Meadow while it’s still early! Must-try items include Sticky Rice with Mango and Coconut Sauce, Fried Whole Fish, Sticky Buns, Deep-Fried Banana, Spring Rolls, and Som Tam.

Thai Park

Address: Preußen park, Brandenburgische Str. 10707 Berlin

Website: Thai Park

Opening hours: Friday - Sunday: 11am - 10pm; (closed Monday - Thursday)

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8. Hang out at HolzMarkt

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user DenisaRucaj used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The party city of Berlin has grown up with the opening of HolzMarkt. What was a tiny shack of scrap wood on an abandoned lot on River Spree has transformed into a Bohemian, unconventional urban oasis today. HolzMarkttoday features food stalls and restaurants, a kids’ daycare center, a coworking space, a yoga studio, a gallery, a wine shop, two theatre stages, numerous bars, several playgrounds for kids, and the famous and happening club Kater Blau as well. Holzmarkt has an open-door policy, and one can walk in with kids, parents, and even grandparents - transforming HolzMarkt into a quirky, crazy space where generations come together.


Address: Holzmarktstraße 25, 10243 Berlin

Website: HolzMarkt

Opening hours: 12am - 11:59pm (daily)

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9. Let your hair down at Badehaus

Badehaus (Ballenstedt)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Migebert used under CC BY-SA 3.0

An eye-popping golden bathtub at the entrance and a long wooden bar akin to a barn welcome you into Badehaus Szimpla, a Friedrichshain establishment. Sip on wine and imported fruit schnapps while enjoying live music, playing everything from metal to gypsy-disco to indie pop Don’t miss the ‘Fuckin Monday’ and Tuesday’s 'The Swag Jam’ - the former features house, hip-hop, all-time favorites, while the latter is Berlin’s finest beats and live hip-hop. Their monthly Balkantronika parties which feature traditional swing and Balkan-brass shouldn’t be missed either.


Address: Revaler Strasse 99, (auf dem RAW-Gelände, Zugang Höhe Simon-Dach-Str.), 10245 Berlin

Website: Badehaus

Opening hours: Sunday - Thursday: 7pm - 2am; Friday - Saturday: 7pm - 4am

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10. Travel to Central Asia at the Tajikistan Tearoom

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Sip on some tea and forget your troubles at the Tajikistan Tearoom, a wonderfully delicious slice of Central Asia in the heart of Berlin. Originally built as a Tajikistan pavilion in the 70s at one of Leipzig’s trade fairs, today the Tearoom features classical Persian-style lush decor, complete with thick Persian carpets and carved wooden pillars, complete with an old Soviet tourist resorts map hanging above the counter. Low wooden tables are where food and tea are served, while the guests can stretch out with comfy cushions on the floor, barefoot, of course. A vast selection of oriental teas and Russian food are the grand finale.

Tajikistan Tearoom

Address: Oranienburger Str. 27, 10117 Berlin

Website: Tajikistan Tearoom

Opening hours: Tuesday - Thursday: 4pm - 11pm; Friday: 2pm - 11pm; Saturday: 12pm - 11pm; Sunday: 12pm - 10pm; Monday: 4pm - 10pm

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11. Museum Island

Berlin Museumsinsel Fernsehturm
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Thomas Wolf used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Berlin’s Museum Island is a UNESCO World Heritage site, a testament to Berlin’s rich history and artistic legacy. Museum Island is home to five world-renowned museums, each housing an impressive collection of art, artifacts, and historical treasures. The Pergamon Museum, with its awe-inspiring ancient architecture and monumental exhibits, takes visitors on a journey through civilizations past.

The Neues Museum showcases the iconic bust of Nefertiti and a wealth of Egyptian and prehistoric artifacts. The Altes Museum exhibits classical antiquities, while the Bode Museum offers a stunning display of sculptures and Byzantine art. Lastly, the Alte Nationalgalerie presents an extensive collection of 19th-century European paintings and sculptures.

Exploring Museum Island is like stepping into a time capsule, where the wonders of human creativity and ingenuity are fully displayed. The architecture of the buildings themselves is a sight to behold, adding to the grandeur and elegance of the experience.

Tip from tour guide



Altes Museum

Photo of Altes Museum on the Museum Island shared by Berlin tour guide, Tina.

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12. East Side Gallery

East side gallery, Berlin Wall (Ank Kumar, Infosys Limited ) 07
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Ank Kumar used under CC BY-SA 4.0

If you really intend to go off the beaten path in Berlin, head over to the East Side Gallery. This location is a beautiful testament to the city’s tumultuous past and vibrant artistic spirit. As the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall, this open-air gallery stretches for 1.3 kilometers (0.81 miles) along the Spree River, attracting visitors worldwide.

The East Side Gallery is a living canvas adorned with over a hundred murals created by artists from around the globe. Each artwork tells a unique story, reflecting themes of freedom, unity, and social change. From bold political statements to abstract expressions, the gallery showcases diverse artistic styles and perspectives. Walking along the East Side Gallery is an immersive experience, allowing visitors to admire the stunning artwork and connect with the history and emotions that permeate the site. It serves as a reminder of the division that once plagued the city while celebrating the triumph of unity and the human spirit.

Tip from tour guide



Raw Complex
For people who are fans of street art, taking a walk around Berlin's RAW complex is a must-do! It's a short walk from East Side Gallery. Go quickly, before it's developed.
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Bohemian Berlin

What is there to do in Berlin? You might have asked this to yourself before going through this list. And it appears that the city has so much to offer, even for the finicky travelers. Oriental food, Tajikistani cuisine, quirky retro attractions, unconventional art projects - there is no dearth of non-touristy things to do in Berlin. So, put on your ‘offbeat’ shoes and explore Berlin beyond what is conventional with these non-touristy, off-the-beaten-path attractions.

Frequently asked questions about the best non-touristy things to do in Berlin, Germany

Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Malavika, a freelance writer and coffee enthusiast, is well-versed in Kopfkino. Her interests include engaging discussions on New Zealand, the domino theory, dystopian fiction, and Harry Potter.

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