With a city filled with so many landmarks, stolpersteine, clubs, Tinder users, and all those other promising excitements, we expect you’ll leave Berlin with more than enough memories to romanticize alluring stories to your very own future generations. Here is a list of places and events that will certainly leave a mark or two somewhere inside of you. As far as how much of it you will remember, that’s up to your own impairments and recall capabilities.
If visiting this park doesn’t inspire you to love Berlin then really, what will? The fact that the city has decided to keep this massive piece of land as a park instead of throwing up some corporate buildings or soaring condos should give you a pretty good insight into the working brain of Berlin. Pushing the politics aside, visit the DIY gardens, see some fireworks on the weekends, and watch one of the greatest sunset views Berlin has to offer. The crowd, the scene, and the energy in Tempelhof will mark your memory with some of the very best images.
Beer and bridges
Grab a beer and head over or under one of the many bridges keeping Berlin connected. Locals and tourists alike hang out on bridges in all neighborhoods of Berlin. Besides for being overly sentimental and romantic, it’s a genuinely nice spot to drink a beer or two. If drinking a beer freely in the outdoors isn’t memorable enough, feel out the openness of the crowd. It’s an attractive and easy way to meet new people from all over the world. Some of the most attractive and trendy bridges can include Waschauer Bridge (Oberbaumrücke), Admiralbrücke, Elsenbrücke, among several others.
The Döner kebab
Sorry vegans and vegetarians, but you’ll have to cross your personal political and humanitarian lines in this city, because skipping out on a döner kebab can be a grave mistake. It’s a Berlin staple and you’ll just have to catch this cheap eat for a hangover breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
The Berlin corner bars are a staple to the city’s past, and hopefully present life. Every neighborhood and almost every street has their own corner bar with its very committed locals, but this may not be the place for you if you are intimidated by a strictly German-speaking atmosphere. If you’re curious about Berlin and how it used to be, then try out your German in one of these bars, and don’t be surprised if one of the regulars ends up smacking you with a kiss or two on the lips—they are way friendlier than you would expect your typical German to be, especially when its four or five beers later.
Surprisingly, there are still so many buildings in and around Berlin completely abandoned (of people, certainly not of graffiti). If you want to explore some of the best street art in Berlin check out Beelitz-Heilstätten or any other vacant hospital, school, or church Berlin may be hiding. Don’t be surprised if you walk into an after party in one of these spaces, because after all, it’s not a bad setting for a film, photo shoot, or Berlin dance party.
Speaking of abandoned places, what kind of list would this be without mentioning the “Devil’s Mountain” spy tower? This high towering hill is believed to be made up of almost 400,000 buildings, which were used to cover up a Nazi military-technical college—apparently it was easier to cover up than blow up, which says a lot for its time. A few years ago you used to be able to sneak into Teufelsberg unnoticed and explore the graffiti and awesome view. Now it has been taken over by some unknown hustlers who will force you to pay to enter and tour the grounds. Looks like someone decided to capitalize on the crowd.
Besides its amazing exterior, Liquidrom has a lot to offer to the relaxing local or winding-down traveler. Besides all of those basic but beautiful spa features decorating Liquidrom, you can also dive into their salt water floating pool. Bob your head underwater and listen to the music that’s designed to strike your ear from the underwater currents. You can check out their website to see what genre of music is on for the upcoming days.
Liquidrom, Möckernstraße 10, 10963 Berlin, Germany, +49 30 25 800 7820
Dong Xuan Center
If you need a break from all things German (as if Berlin could even get too German), take an Eastern visit to the Dong Xuan Center. If the smell of plastic makes you queasy, stay far away from this gold mine, or take an anti-nausea pill, because this place has everything you ever never needed and more. In the Dong Xuan Center you can get your hair done in the Asian salons, buy a lava lamp, speakers, toys, winter jackets, and of course grab a bite of Asian food to eat. This burst of the surreal will absolutely stimulate your senses and your memory pockets.
Dong Xuan Center, Herzbergstraße 128-139, 10365 Berlin, Germany, +49 30 5544 0342
Beer and chips and bikinis by the lakes
Do we really need to explain any further? If Berlin is blessed with a sunny, warm summer’s day then expect the Berlin lakes to be filled to the max. You might ask yourself if anyone in this city actually works, but maybe they’re all taking their sick days? We think the latter is unlikely. Some of the most visited lakes are Weissensee, Plötzensee, and Wannsee among several others. Nudity and fence hopping are welcome.
This outdoor activity might be enticing in the summertime, but it’s totally magical in the fall and winter. The abandoned theme park takes on an eerie energy, and if you’re lucky you can catch the Ferris wheel turning with only a ghostly explanation. Exploring Plänterwald’s forest with a few old or new friends is a sure setting for some unforgettable moments.
Berlin is big on its history, and why shouldn’t it be? Sometimes we forget just how recent some of these sites are, until maybe we meet some of the Berliners who lived through these tense times. Take a day to visit Berlin’s Museums, like the Stasi museum, Topography of Terror, the Berlin Wall, and many other Berlin landmarks. Explore the city’s scarred memory with a certain sensitivity and you’re sure to be touched by what was and what is the city of Berlin.
You haven’t completed your trip to Berlin if you haven’t visited one of its weekend markets. Besides the fact that there is nothing else to do on a Sunday—other than wake up late with a hangover and find a salty bite to eat to curb your “dehydration”—the markets are the best events going on over the weekends. Mauerpark is one of the largest outdoor markets that we know of, and it’s impossible to leave without scoring an essential goodie. We recommend an extra suitcase for this experience.
Clubs and monthly parties
It’s impossible to avoid talking about the clubs and parties in Berlin when we’re talking about memorable moments. With all the good and the bad that comes with the clubs and parties of Berlin, one thing is for certain: the freedom to dance however you feel with no shame, shyness, or judgement attached is true to the Berlin club scene. This is not the place to be uptight or fearful, this is a place to let go and swim. The freedom feelings of the Berlin club scene and parties is one freedom you won’t be able to forget.
If you are brave enough to liberate yourself from any prudence you may have been raised with, KitKat Club is the place to lose your clothing and your conservative mindfulness and go with the flow—as far as you’re willing to go. Try not to wear your surprises on your face, because in this club, less is more.
Thought Berghain was synonymous with Berlin? Berghain isn’t for everyone, but actually that’s not true at all, it is for everyone, if you are able to actually get in. With or without the drugs we are sure you will see, and maybe do, things you have never even imagined. It’s truly unholy to write about the inside happenings of this big bad club. You’ll have to just do your very best to get in and see—and do—for yourself.