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Mauerpark | © Martin aka Maha/Flickr
Mauerpark | © Martin aka Maha/Flickr

10 Unusual Things to Do Off the Beaten Track in Berlin

Picture of Emily Brown
Updated: 12 June 2017
Between its iconic museums and troubled history, the German capital has a number of attractions off the beaten path, ranging from cocktails in one of Europe’s trendiest neighborhood to stunning gardens and fun flea markets. We’ve avoided the crowds in order to take you on a journey to discover some of Berlin’s hidden, unmissable spots.

Why not head back to the 20s and enjoy a cocktail in Kreuzberg?

Kreuzberg’s Prinzipal cocktail bar is every bit a hidden gem of the city. From the unmarked door, to the waitresses clad in burlesque attire, the bar has an undeniable buzz of excitement and wonder. If you’re looking for a place to channel and enjoy a mix of cabaret and cocktails, this could be the perfect spot for you to unwind.

Prinzipal cocktail bar and burlesque, Oranienstraße 178, Berlin, Germany

Opening times: Daily 8pm-5am.


Bring out your green fingers at Prinzessinengarten

Get involved with some gardening at the Prinzessinengarten (Princess garden). Launched by Nomadisch Grün (Nomadic Green) as a pilot project in the summer of 2009, it is situated at Moritzplatz in Kreuzberg, a site which had been a wasteland for years. Friends and neighbors cleared the area of rubbish and built transportable organic vegetable plots, making it one of the most successful urban gardening projects in Germany, which teaches the public about gardening and reclaiming public space for social and ecological causes. A small cafe serves delicious cake and lunch made from the garden’s harvest.

Prinzessinengarten, Prinzenstrasse 35 – 38, Berlin, Germany, +49 176 24332297

Stumble off the beaten track with an Alternative Berlin Tour

Alternative Berlin takes you off the beaten track in order to show you Berlin through the eyes of a local. You don’t need to book the tour, just turn up at Alexanderplatz on any day at 11 a.m. The tour last three hours and tipping is optional, but remember – your tip reflects how much you enjoyed the tour. Alternative Berlin also organizes Berlin’s Alternative Pub Crawl which starts every day at 9 p.m. A 10 euro ticket entitles you to 6 free shots and free entrance to five bars and clubs, so better get a drinking hat on!

Head to Hohenschönhausen to learn about Berlin’s divided past

During Berlin’s division, East Berliners were kept under strict surveillance by a system that controlled a large proportion of the population. Hohenschönhausen, the former main prison, has now become a museum. Located in the far eastern section of the city, it’s possible to take a four-hour tour of the prison, which gives an in-depth account of repression in the former Eastern Bloc. English tours run several times a week, but the tours in German are especially worth it, as several of the German tour guides are former inmates.

Hohenschönhausen, Genslerstraße 66, Berlin, Germany, +49 30 98608230


Find yourself a momentous bargain at Mauerpark

Every Sunday, the residents of Berlin flock to Mauerpark in search of hard-earned bargains and hours of fun bartering with stall owners. Mauerpark’s flea market has something for everyone, whether you are looking for furniture, clothes, accessories, instruments, art, or you just want to enjoy a Berlin Currywurst. Specially noteworthy is the Karaoke session held every Sunday on the small amphitheater of the park, which is now an appreciated tradition and attracts a large, unabashed but friendly crowd.

Transport yourself to the beach by taking a stroll down to YAAM beach club

If you are looking to relax on the beach in Berlin, YAAM could be the perfect place for you. YAAM is one of the biggest beach bars just off from the East Side Gallery, and is renowned for its beach games and relaxing atmosphere, with the bar even offering Tai chi classes.

YAAM, An der Schillingbrücke 3, Berlin, Germany, +49 30 6151354



Channel your inner foodie and sign up to an evening food tour by bike

Focusing on the vibrant neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg, your Fat Tire Bike Tour guide will take you to some of their favourite places. At 49 euros per person, it may stretch your budget, but with food included, it’s a great evening out. Along the way, you will be told by your tour guide about the history of Berlin and will stop to look at the marvels of the city. The starting point for the tour is Panoramastraße 1a in Berlin’s Mitte.

Satisfy your appetite at Burgermeister

Fancy yourself a bit of a burger enthusiast? You haven’t tried anything until you’ve tried a burger from Burgermeister. This spot has character, to say the least. The burger joint is a green, century-old restaurant underneath the elevated U-Bahn tracks, and it actually used to be a public restroom. However, these beef patties are some of the best around and are a must-try for newcomers to Berlin.

Burgermeister, Oberbaumstrasse 8, Berlin, Germany, +49 30 23883840

Take a risk and go for a day, or a night, out on the Badeschiff

The Badeschiff is a former river barge turned swimming pool anchored in the Spree River. Situated in the East Harbour section of the River Spree, the Badeschiff is a great spot to swim in a sanitary environment near the river. In the evening, the Badeschiff morphs into an alfresco night club, and in winter they add a couple of saunas and cover everything with an eerily glowing, futuristic membrane.

Badeschiff, Eichenstraße 4, Berlin, Germany


Lastly enjoy inspiring artwork whilst indulging in a multi-course dinner

The Zagreus Projekt is an art gallery where a gourmet dinner is part of the exhibition concept. Every two months Ulrich Krauss, owner of the Projekt, invites a different artist to create a site-specific installation in this basement space at the back of a classic late 19th-century Berlin townhouse. Together they compose a tantalizing menu inspired by the artwork and served several times weekly to a small group of diners at a communal table surrounded by the artworks.

Zagreus Projekt, Brunnenstraße 9, Berlin, Germany, +49 30 28095640