The Berlin Bucket List: Everything You Need to Do Before You Die

Life. You only get to do it once, and if you know what you're doing, you'll spend a fair chunk of it in Berlin. Of course, while you're there, you'll want to squeeze every last drop of wondrousness out of the city, which is why we've drawn up this convenient bucket list -- a lineup of all the cool stuff you'll need to do in the German capital while you still can.

Reichstag's Dome
canadastock /

1. Check out the Reichstag’s glass dome... from the inside

You’ll need to book far in advance, but it is free.

2. Sing at the Bearpit Karaoke

Because there’s nothing quite like conquering three minutes of fame in Mauerpark.

3. Go out to a lake

From Müggelsee to Schlachtensee, there’s much beauty in Berlin’s outback. 

4. Join a demonstration

Live concerts, marches, and impromptu slam poetry prove that in Berlin, slaying apathy is a good time.


5. Sneak into Spreepark

At your own risk of angry German security guards, trespassing fines, and the weight of your own conscience, of course. 

6. Go to a summer festival

Berlin Festival, splash!, Melt!. Lineups and after-parties are consistently on point here. 

7. Take a river cruise on the Spree

You’ll see the city’s arches and architecture from a different (and fantastic) perspective. 

Pergamon Museum

8. Go to the Pergamon Museum

Because out of everything on Museum Island, the Pergamon Altar and Ishtar Gate will especially blow your mind. 

9. Have a picnic in the park

All you need is a few beers from the Späti, speakers, and a green space -- it helps that there are 2,500 of them.

10. Sample Turkish sweets in Neukölln

So much pistachio, walnut, and phyllo sugary satisfaction.

peacock island

11. Party on May Day

It’s basically your civic duty. 

12. Rummage at a flea market

Don’t even just go to Mauerpark. Berlin’s got so many more.


13. Walk up Teufelsberg

Climb up to this former spy station, and literally be the one who sees everything.

14. Walk around KaDeWe

So you won’t be able to afford anything, but it’s still the classiest of mega-malls (don’t miss the gourmet food hall).

15. Hang out at Tempelhofer Feld

Flying kites, biking, exploring an abandoned airplane -- it’s all possible here.

Konnopke Curryswurst
Flickr/Matt Lancashire

16. Eat currywurst at Konnopke’s Imbiss

It may be an imbiss, but it’s a century-old Berlin institution. 

17. Go to the Berlinale

Skip the red carpet and find some of the more cool independent showings. 

18. Light some fireworks on New Year’s

Again, it’s your civic duty. 

19. Stop in at Berghain on Sunday afternoon

It’s just way better after a big German breakfast.

East Side Gallery
ilolab /

20. Walk along the East Side Gallery

Tourists or not, it’s an amazing piece of history. 

21. Get into Berghain

And we wish you the best of luck. We don’t know how it’s done either. Take us with you!

22. Go to the Festival of Lights

See the same old tourist attractions in... another light!

23. Visit Gendarmenmarkt

Christmas is best served with glühwein, homemade marzipan, and steak buns.

Christmas Market

24. Visit a Christmas market

Because holidays in Germany are nothing without glühwein and smoked sausage.

At first it’ll be weird. Then you’ll just let it all hang. Then nothing will be weird anymore.

26. Check out the Maybachufer Turkish Market

And don’t miss the buskers who play near the end during summertime. 

27. See a movie at an open-air cinema

You’ll find them in parks, and even nightclub gardens!

28. Spend the entire summer in Berlin

Trust us. There’s honestly nothing better.

Feel Festival
Feel Festival

29. Go to an outdoor music festival

From Fusion to Feel, there’s just something about techno plus sunshine.

The stalls at Markthalle Neun keep getting better and better.

31. Or check out some other street festival

Karneval der Kulturen and Christopher Street Day will do the trick for sure.

32. Give or take a book from the Book Forest

It’s the perfect dose of Berlin’s warm and fuzzy yet alternative heart.

Badeschiff Berlin
Badeschiff Berlin

33. Go to Badeschiff

It’s the closest you’ll ever get to a dip in that dirty Spree.

34. Hang out at Thai Park

It truly is a slice of Thailand in Germany.

35. Go to Klunkerkranich

Because it’s Berlin’s best rooftop. Extra points if you make it for a sunset jazz sesh.

36. Watch German soccer in a beer garden

Nothing will make you feel more like being a real Berliner.

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Barbara Woolsey is a writer who remains flabbergasted at how her personal Berlin bucket list just keeps on growing. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.