Famously vibrant and quirky, Berlin boasts a diverse array of experiences, classes and workshops for visitors looking for a unique perspective on the city’s culture and sightseeing highlights.
From discovering Berlin’s famous nightlife on a pub crawl to more unorthodox activities like performing yoga on a paddleboard along the Spree, there is no shortage of experiences to be had in Berlin – all certain to stay in your memory long after the trip has ended.
Classes in Berlin
Hoping to prove there’s more to German cuisine than bratwurst and sauerkraut, this half-day market tour and cooking class introduces students to the best of Berlin gastronomy. You begin by shopping for ingredients at the famous Winterfeldtmarkt before taking a German cooking class under the tutelage of an expert chef. This is a lot of hungry work, and travellers will be rewarded with a delicious four-course meal, showcasing both classic and more unusual German dishes, including regional specialities and foraged ingredients. Each group is limited to four people, meaning the experience can be personalised.
Berlin is well known for its hypnotic nightlife, and there’s no better way to start an evening out than with cocktails. Get the party going with this one- to three-hour cocktail course, which can be booked either for a private session or for groups of up to 15 people. Here you’ll learn how to prepare three unique cocktails and two shots under the watchful eye of a professional mixologist. The workshop takes place in the trendy Knutschfleck bar, which is set just off the easily accessible Alexanderplatz – meaning you can safely hop onto the tram or metro once you’ve sampled your creations.
Perfect for cycling and history enthusiasts, this insightful four-hour tour showcases the Cold War history that has shaped contemporary Berlin – from remnants of the Berlin Wall to watchtowers and where the East German secret police kept their top-secret files. Riders cover around 10 kilometres (six miles) while listening to tales of life on either side of the Wall, finding ghost train stations (closed during the period of Berlin’s division during the Cold War) and entering the infamous no-man’s land, once known as the ‘death strip’. The tour’s knowledgeable and entertaining guide can answer any questions you have about the city’s past on the way. Bikes and helmets are provided, with infant and child seats available upon request.
Art and culture in Berlin
You may not leave this show a Berliner, but you might be more aware of this unique city’s culture once the belly laughs are over. Held at Comedy Club Kookaburra in Berlin’s Prenzlauer Berg district, How To Become a Berliner (in One Hour) sees comedian Karsten Kaie describe Berlin life with animation and humour, giving visitors insights into the everyday lives of Berliners, with interesting facts and a healthy dose of self-deprecation. Expect to pick up some crucial Berlin slang, and come away with a deeper knowledge of Berlin nightlife and the so-called ‘Berliner Schnauze’ attitude.
Berlin is famous the world over for its thriving art scene, and one of its latest innovations is spin art. This course allows you to experiment with this unusual art style at the workshop of leading spin-art painter Jan, who will guide your creativity in painting over a canvas with liquid acrylic paints, before your work is attached to a special turntable on the spin-art machine. Once your inner Picasso has been exhausted, the piece will be rotated at high speed, exploding with new, psychedelic forms. You will also get to take your art home with you – a souvenir of your bohemian stint in Berlin.
Berlin is an entirely different city once the sun sets, and navigating its famous nightlife can be overwhelming without expert help on hand. Join this guided night-time tour to experience one of the wildest bar crawls in the city, which takes in the bar scene via electro lounges, shisha and steampunk bars on Simon-Dach Straße, and finishes with VIP entrance to one of Berlin’s legendary nightclubs. Not only is this a rollicking good time, but it’s an insight into the dynamic and diverse party life that makes the German capital Europe’s premier nightlife destination. A ticket includes free shots and discounted drinks throughout the night, and there are plenty of chances to play drinking games with co-partiers. The tour meets at 9.30pm at ONE80° Hostel Berlin on Otto-Braun-Straße.
Extreme sports and adventure days in Berlin
Craving a taste of the outdoors? This three-hour forest high-ropes course – just a 10-minute U-Bahn ride from Berlin’s City West – should do the trick. Set in the tranquil Jungfernheide forest, the course offers thrills for adrenaline junkies of all ages. Visitors make their way through the trees and weave around the obstacle course, guided by a professional instructor. After climbing, guests can relax with a well-deserved pizza and drink in the elegant Wasserturm summer garden.
Be a pilot for a day (well, kind of) by manning an Airbus A320 simulator. The state-of-the-art JetSim flight simulator will make it feel as though you are truly behind the wheel of a commercial plane, with a genuine cockpit and co-pilot to make the experience more authentic. Few things are more thrilling than experiencing endless freedom above the clouds, as you set your own destination and flight conditions, and watch your flight unfold on the 210-degree, full-HD visualisation screen. The experience comes with an in-flight welcome snack and drink and two memento-photos (and simulator licence) – everything you need to trick your more gullible friends at home into thinking you acquired a pilot’s licence during that weekend break in Berlin.
One of Berlin’s charms is taking typical activities and adapting them in interesting ways. Take this latest trend: combining paddleboarding with yoga. Detox travellers can put their minds and muscles to the test by practising yoga shapes on the gentle waters of the Spree. Past visitors say the experience put them into a “state of ease and tranquillity” (while also helping them work off some of the excess food from the trip!). Your experienced course leader will help get you started, ensuring you make the most of this 90-minute journey and strike both inner and outer balance.
Here’s what else you can do in Berlin
This interactive scavenger hunt is made for puzzle lovers of all ages. Once you have ordered the City Game Box, which includes up to 16 closed envelopes filled with messages and puzzles, the journey takes you from Alexanderplatz and Museum Island to Brandenburg Gate and finally Checkpoint Charlie. Better yet, you can pause the game whenever you like to relax and make the most of each sight. It even doubles as an interactive tour guide, giving information on each one of your stops – educational and fun!
Constructed from 69,000 kilograms of ice, Berlin’s Icebar is a sight to behold. Visitors are in awe of the frosty bar setting, where everything – from furniture to drinking glasses and elaborate sculptures – is made of ice. The all-in-one package offers the full experience, with entry to Icebar Berlin (located near Alexanderplatz), three free drink tokens on your arrival, and cosy coats and gloves to keep you warm in –10C (14F). Had enough of the cold? There is also a heated bar on-site for you to warm up once the experience is over.
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