Ultimate city guide: Berlin

Jenessa Williams

The largest city in Germany by both area and population, Berlin is a city that thrives on its people, who work as hard as they like to party. Enjoy your own stay in the city with our guide below.

Stay

where to stay in berlin

With more than 377 rooms, there is plenty of space to stay at the Pullman Berlin Scwizerhof, located right in the heart of the city.

Blending elegance and functionality, the airy rooms create the perfect backdrop for catching up on sleep or emails.

where to relax in berlin

Indulge in a treatment at the hotel’s spa, pool and fitness lounge, or try out the newly-launched Blend Kitchen and Bar, which boasts a tasty multi-cultural menu inspired by the eclecticism of the city.

As with all Pullman hotels, creativity is the ambition—from the décor to the recommendations of the staff, you can expect service in style.

 

Eat

bieberbau

For traditional German cuisine, look no further than Restaurant Bieberbau. Established in 1894, this Michelin starred eatery blends high-end gastronomy with seasonal offerings that incorporate the venue’s onsite herb garden.

In the trendy suburb of  Mitte, the flourishing Asian community of Berlin can be best represented by Yumcha Heroes, providing delicious dim sum is a street-food style café. Sit outside under the neon lights and enjoy a long table of communal dishes with friends—the best way to order these flavoursome bites.

For a quick bite on the go, Five Elephant serve world-class baked cheesecakes, or grab a sandwich and on-site roasted coffee from The Barn Café. And then, of course, there is the traditional currywurst, available on many streets right through the city. Just follow that enticing scent…

 

Shop

flea market

If you’re lucky enough to be visiting over a weekend, be sure to leave a morning free for the Mauerpark Flea Market. Full of curiosities ranging from vintage clothing and homeware right through to food produce and handmade goods, it’s a favourite amongst locals and one of the best places in the city to people watch.

For more curated souvenir sifting, pay a visit to Soho House. A members club and restaurant, their onsite concept boutique plays hosts to some of the best brands and labels in the city, as well as a few familiar high-end names. Looking for some entertainment for the flight home? Soda Books is easily the best magazine shop in the area, stocking multi-lingual publications in soothing surrounds that encourage visitors to linger as long as they wish.

 

Learn

museum island in berlin

Museum appreciators should head straight to Alexanderplatz to learn everything one might need to know about local art, history and culture. Colloquially known as "Museum Island", there are five galleries to explore here, with a venue-hopping ticket costing just 18 Euros per adult, with under 18’s going free.

For fans of modern art and photography, a short stroll from the zoological gardens is the Helmut Newton Foundation, a whole building dedicated to the visionary photographer. 

Often provocative but equally amusing, haunting and empowering, Newton’s work is best experienced in this large-scale arrangement, with insights into his creative process, personal friends and even a replica of his home.

 

Get outdoors

east wall gallery

A city impregnated with memories of war and austerity, Berlin is full of sights that tell a story of its history. Put on your comfortable shoes and take a walk along the East Side Gallery for artistic expressions of political and social history, including that famous embrace between Brezhnev and Honecker.

Head to the west side to take in one of the other key landmarks of the city, the Brandenburg Gate, built during the neoclassical movement of the 18th century.

For good-weather visitors, fill your lungs at Grunewald Forest, the largest green site in Berlin. Take in views right across the Havel river or try to identify the local conifers.

For something a little more energetic, pack your swimsuit and head to the Badeschiff—the place to be in the summer months, this packing container turned urban beach offers panoramic views of the Oberbaumbrücke and iconic TV tower.