Berlin, Germany

10 largest cities in Germany
Frankfurt am Main

Berlin is the capital and since 1999 also the seat of government of the Federal Republic of Germany and with over 3.6 million inhabitants the most populous city in Germany and Central Europe. Berlin is an independent federal state that is surrounded by the state of Brandenburg.

Berlin is not only the political center of Germany, but also an internationally important location for culture, science, research and trade fairs. With over 30 million overnight stays in 2019, the cosmopolitan city is also a magnet for domestic and foreign visitors.

The very wide range of cultural activities, the lively scene cultures and, last but not least, the prices, which are still moderate compared to other European metropolises, are very much appreciated by tourists.



Berlin is a comparatively young city. In its current form, it was created 100 years ago (on October 1, 1920 to be exact) through the incorporation of cities that were older than Berlin itself, such as Spandau or Köpenick, from communities that quickly grew into cities in the 19th century, such as Charlottenburg, Schöneberg, and Wilmersdorf , furthermore from a total of 59 rural communities and 27 estate districts (sic!) on the basis of the Greater Berlin Law. This explains the decentralized structure of Berlin, which is still evident today. There is a kernel of truth in the joking statement that Berlin is not actually a city, but "a collection of villages". The 20 districts founded at that time still shape the urban structure to this day: train stations are named after them (e.g. "Charlottenburg", "Rathaus Steglitz") as well as striking buildings (e.g. "Rathaus Schöneberg"). Many signposts in the streetscape still use the old district names.

A further regional reform in 2001 divided Berlin into twelve districts. It is somewhat confusing that this regional reform left some of the existing districts untouched (Neukölln, Reinickendorf, Spandau), but also merged two districts into new "hyphenated districts" or merged three old districts into one, which took the name of one of the former districts carries. So there are Berlin-Mitte and Berlin-Pankow as names with completely different area layouts. Each new district has between 200,000 and 400,000 residents and could be a major city in its own right. The districts each have several districts, which can be further divided into local locations, neighborhoods and neighborhoods. To this day, Berliners tend to feel more like they belong to their districts – someone from Prenzlauer Berg would never say they live in Pankow, and a Grunewalder not in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf. Only real estate agents and hoteliers are happy to be able to advertise the last bar in the backyard of Moabit as Berlin-Mitte.

The old districts are often used for travel information - this travel guide is also largely based on them with its district articles. The inner-city parts of Mitte, Tiergarten, Charlottenburg and Westend are particularly interesting for tourists, since most of the sights and museums are located here. Prenzlauer Berg, Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg are known for their many pubs, restaurants and places to go out.

Berlin Mitte/ Center: THE historic center of Berlin between the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag and Alexanderplatz with the stately historic buildings of the former Prussian capital of the Empire along the magnificent boulevard Unter den Linden, the elegant Gendarmenmarkt, the World Heritage Site of the Museum Island, but also the new buildings of today's capital and the lively ones Quarters around Hackescher Markt, Friedrichstrasse or the old Scheunenviertel.
Tiergarten: The former district of Tiergarten to the west of the historic center ranged from the opulent villas of the diplomatic quarter on the edge of the park of the same name, the cultural temples of the Philharmonie and National Gallery in the east (Tiergarten and Hansaviertel) built in the post-war period to the industrial sites and tenements of Moabit in the west.
Wedding: North of the historic center is Wedding, dominated by industry and dense residential development, with its once strong workers' movement, which gave it the name "Red Wedding". Today, Wedding makes a significant contribution to Berlin being Turkey's fourth-largest city.

Together, Mitte, Tiergarten and Wedding form today's Mitte district. It is one of two districts that were made up of former East (Mitte) and West Berlin districts (Tiergarten and Wedding).

Friedrichshain: working-class district in the east of the historic center, in which the GDR later presented its capital architecturally (Karl-Marx-Allee) and which today has lively neighborhoods around the Frankfurter Tor, Boxhagener Straße, Boxhagener Platz, Simon-Dach- and Warschauer Straße .
Kreuzberg: The Kreuzberg really exists, it reaches a remarkable 66m above sea level and towers about 30 meters above its surroundings, enough to look over the rooftops. One overlooks a densely built-up urban area in which the "Kreuzberg mixture" of living and working in the same house used to be created. Later, since the 1970s, a mixture of oriental migrant workers and Swabian military service migrants developed in the shadow of the Wall and the Landwehr Canal, establishing a lively, multicultural milieu that still has an impact today, with galleries, pubs, cabaret, street festivals and which occasionally resisted the rampant Gentrification resists.

Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg now form the mixed Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district, consisting of the former East Berlin district of Friedrichshain in the north and the former West Berlin district of Kreuzberg in the south.

Prenzlauer Berg: This former workers' quarter along the Schönhauser, Prenzlauer and Greifswalder Allee, which was little destroyed in the Second World War, was the counterpart to Kreuzberg in the GDR, a little more rebellious, a little less FDJ blue shirts, a little longer (or more colorful) hair than elsewhere. Even in the elections in the GDR, there was occasionally less than 99% official approval for the candidates for the National Front. Since reunification, gentrification has spread with the renovation of the old buildings, which has blown up the former resident structure of long-established Berliners, workers and alternatives. It's easier to get a wheat protein-based vegan meat loaf these days than a regular Schrippe or a parking space for the SUV.
Weißensee and
Pankow: Once synonymous with the GDR state power as Pankofff (and in the 1950s there really were the gated communities of the GDR official elite in the Majakowskiring in Niederschönhausen), Berlin is gradually fraying to the north here. The apartment buildings are mostly only three storeys high, even in urban centers such as around Antonplatz in Weißensee. The Breite Straße in Pankow is still reminiscent of the former village green and the further north you go, extensive single-family house settlements spread out, which merge into fields.

Today these three districts are administratively combined as the Pankow district.
Charlottenburg: The village of Lietzow near Charlottenburg Palace, which was still built as Lietzenburg at the end of the 17th century, slowly grew into a small town west of Berlin, explosively from the middle of the 19th century. Since 1875, the Kurfürstendamm had been planned far away from the narrow streets and the stench of Berlin's tenements, a boulevard 53m wide, only a little narrower than Unter den Linden. Magnificently built, it stretched from the eastern border of Charlottenburg (today Budapester Straße) to the Grunewald. While there was already a lot of construction going on in the west around Breitscheidplatz, further east there was still a "desert panorama interspersed with asparagus fields and railway embankments", according to Theodor Fontane in 1892. That changed quickly, Charlottenburg was the twelfth largest city in Prussia when it was incorporated and became the twelfth largest city in Prussia at the time of the division Berlin is the center of West Berlin around the Zoo and Kudamm with numerous neighborhoods of diverse character.
Wilmersdorf: The further west, the better the city air. This is the case in the entire west wind zone and is no different in Berlin. The apartments in Schöneberg are better than Kreuzberg and Wilmersdorf are better than Schöneberg. Some are still tenements, the large and high apartments on Kurfürstendamm (which Charlottenburg and Wilmersdorf share) or Schmargendorfs can be reached not only via an opulent staircase to the front, but also via servants' entrances in the side wing. There is hardly any trade left. Around Halensee and Grunewald, stately villas in shady park-like gardens follow for those who can afford it.

Since 2001, Charlottenburg and Wilmersdorf have formed the joint district of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf.
Spandau: According to the thesis of the westerly winds, the largest villas are in Spandau in the westernmost part of Berlin, but Spandau is not Berlin. Instead, Spandau is a microcosm with its own old town, a pedestrian zone, a citadel and everything that a city with a population like Chemnitz has. Spandau also has numerous bodies of water with the Havel and a portion of Havel lakes.

Spandau was large enough to survive the district reform unchanged.
Steglitz: Due to the good rail connections, the villages such as Steglitz, Lichterfelde, Lankwitz developed into upscale residential areas of the middle class with the spacious apartment buildings in the north of Steglitz, and further outside, especially in Lichterfelde, well-kept villa colonies, interrupted by a few commercial areas along the Teltow Canal. In accordance with the purchasing power of the public, Schlossstraße Steglitz developed into an upmarket shopping mile. In the transition area to neighboring Dahlem there are a number of research institutes whose history goes back to the imperial era, as does the botanical garden.
Zehlendorf: The southwest of Berlin is green. The Grunewald, the largest contiguous forest area in Berlin, stretches between the Havel with its bays such as Wannsee and a chain of lakes between Nikolassee and Halensee, which is already in Wilmersdorf. It is good to live here and the elite of the Empire to this day built their villas here - the closer to the forest and/or one of the lakes, the more lush. The Havel island of Schwanenwerder became Schlossallee in Berlin Monopoly. Zehlendorf includes the districts of Dahlem, Nikolassee and Wannsee. In addition to the gardens and palaces reaching out from Potsdam, such as Glienicke and Peacock Island, which are part of the World Heritage List, numerous museums in Dahlem and, last but not least, numerous tourist attractions in the district attract visitors.

Today, Steglitz and Zehlendorf have merged into the eponymous hyphenated district of Steglitz-Zehlendorf.
Schöneberg: The former village of Schöneberg was built up a little later in the Wilhelminian period as Kreuzberg, and here too there is a mix of residential and commercial areas. A special feature is the Schöneberger Insel, a triangular part of the city that is surrounded on all sides by railway lines and developed its own history. Distinctive scene around Nollendorfplatz and Winterfeldtplatz, well developed by subway partly in the basement partly upstairs, S-Bahn above and buses and small shops everywhere. You can afford flower discounts instead of parking spaces, the green local transport vision is almost a reality here and makes Schöneberg, and especially the Friedenau district in the south-western part of the district, the preferred residential area for those who have arrived in the march through the institutions.
Tempelhof: That sounds like aviation fuel and an airlift, even if Tempelhof Airport has a long history and there has long been a dispute over the large airfield, new district or local recreation. After the referendum, Tempelhofer Feld remains a green space. With industry along the Ringbahn and Teltow Canal and more and more settlements towards the city limits with Mariendorf, Marienfelde to Lichtenrade, the district has a lot of suburbia and little that is exciting for visitors.

Schöneberg and Tempelhof are today merged as Tempelhof-Schoeneberg also with hyphen.
Neukölln: Once the most populous district in West Berlin, Neukölln has its share of the fourth largest Turkish city alongside Wedding and Kreuzberg, which can be seen at one of Berlin's most colorful markets along the Maybachufer. Once located at the gates of Berlin, Rixdorf, as it was called at the time, had such a weird reputation as an entertainment district that it lost its name with the incorporation and was renamed Neukölln. Neukölln, which marked the south-eastern edge of West Berlin, also has its commercial yards and dense tenement buildings, industrial areas and suburbs. Gropiusstadt in the south-eastern part of Neukölln is, alongside the somewhat younger Märkisches Viertel in Reinickendorf, another attempt to solve West Berlin's space problems by using the vertical. Despite the prominent planner, Gropiusstadt, in contrast to the neighboring housing complex of the Hufeisensiedlung Britz, did not become a world cultural heritage, but a social hotspot. The villages of Britz, Buckow and Rudow, which have grown into small towns, close off the district to the south-east.


Neukölln remained as an independent district.
Treptow: The district of Treptow extends radially in the southeast from the Ringbahn to the city limits, partly along the Spree. This results in different densities of development, residential and industrial areas such as Adlershof, but also extensive recreational areas along the Spree, in Treptower Park with the former Plänterwald amusement park. Towards the city limits, the suburban and residential character takes over.
Köpenick: Köpenick is to the east what Zehlendorf is to the west - a district strongly characterized by water and forest areas. The Spree and its tributary the Dahme form extensive lake areas, including the Müggelsee, the largest lake in Berlin. The Wuhlheide is a forest area, but Köpenick also has distinctive industrial areas in Schöneweide or Spindlersfeld and with the former town center of Köpenick with its castle and town hall ("Der Hauptmann von Köpenick") its own suburban structure. A waterfront property in Rahnsdorf, Grünau or Schmöckwitz is not the worst address then as it is today, and in Friedrichshagen it is even linked to an almost urban boulevard, the Bölschestraße.

Köpenick and Treptow now form the Treptow-Köpenick district of the same name.
Marzahn and
Hellersdorf: were only spun off as new districts in the 1970s and 1980s in order to take account of the massive influx into these new development areas in the east and north-east of Berlin that had arisen on the green field. There are still rural cores such as Biesdorf, Kaulsdorf or Mahlsdorf, but otherwise prefabricated housing estates with a tendency towards social hotspots predominate. Some new facilities, such as the Gardens of the World in Marzahn, do little to change that.

Marzahn and Hellersdorf today form the joint district of Marzahn-Hellersdorf.
Lichtenberg: From urban Lichtenberg it becomes more and more village-like to the east. So rural that in GDR times so many sewage farms were covered with prefabricated buildings that Hohenschönhausen, Marzahn and later Hellersdorf were released as new districts. For Lichtenberg there remained enough Platte, a trotting track, the Friedrichsfelde Zoo, the Friedrichsfelde Central Cemetery with the Socialist Memorial and the officers' mess, in which the victorious powers summoned the Wehrmacht High Command to record the capitulation again.

Today's district of Lichtenberg again includes Hohenschönhausen.
Reinickendorf: Many visitors to Berlin may have set foot in Reinickendorf in the past without really realizing that Berlin-Tegel Airport is located here. Otherwise there is the largest satellite town of the former West Berlin, a lot of suburbs, some suburbs up to individual villages. But also fields, meadows and forests, which could give an impression of loneliness even at the time of the Wall.

Reinickendorf was large enough to survive on its own as a district.


Getting here

By plane

Berlin Brandenburg Airport internet (Willy Brandt, IATA: BER), Willy-Brandt-Platz, 12529 Schönefeld. Phone: +49 (0)30 609 16 09 10 . In the southern location of the former Schönefeld Airport, the new international “Berlin Brandenburg Airport” was opened in October 2020 after several postponements. Tegel Airport was closed on November 8, 2020. The former Schönefeld Airport was initially operated as Terminal 5 because it was assumed that the handling capacities of the new BER would not be sufficient. However, in February 2021, Terminal 5 was closed. Berlin Brandenburg Airport can be reached by train, S-Bahn and bus.


By train

At the main terminal there is the train station "Flughafen BER - Terminal 1-2", from here the regional lines run:
FEX (Berlin-Ostkreuz, Berlin-Gesundbrunnen, to Berlin main station from 3:30 a.m. - 11:30 p.m. every 30 minutes)
RE 7 to Wünsdorf-Waldstadt, Berlin-Ostkreuz, Berlin-Alexanderplatz, Berlin-Friedrichstrasse, Berlin Hbf, Berlin-Zoo and Dessau
RB 14 to Berlin-Ostkreuz, Berlin-Alexanderplatz, Berlin-Friedrichstrasse, Berlin Hbf, Berlin-Zoo, Berlin-Spandau and Nauen
RB 22 to Königs Wusterhausen and Potsdam (and on to Berlin-Zoo, Berlin Hbf and Berlin-Friedrichstraße, but there is a significantly longer journey time than with the other lines)
S9 via BER Airport Terminal 5 (Schoenefeld) to Schöneweide, Ostbahnhof, Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstraße, Hauptbahnhof, Zoo and Spandau
S45 via BER Airport Terminal 5 (Schoenefeld) to Schöneweide, Neukölln and Südkreuz.

Since the airport is in tariff zone C, a corresponding BC or ABC ticket, or alternatively a connection ticket or a short-distance ticket, is required to enter tariff zone B. Depending on the number of passengers, connection tickets are sometimes cheaper than 4-trip short-haul tickets or vice versa.

limited barrier-free The Flughafen-Express FEX is not barrier-free, only trains with steps are used. All other trains are barrier-free.


By bus

Lines X7 and X71 every 5 minutes to Rudow (connection to the U7), X71 even further to Alt-Mariendorf (connection to the U6).

There is also an “airport shuttle” that is subject to a surcharge and is intended to offer more space for luggage, line BER1 to Rathaus Steglitz (+8€) (hourly) and line BER2 via Stahlsdorf and Teltow to Potsdam (+6€) (every 60 to 90 minutes) .


By train

Berlin Central Station internet, Europaplatz 1, 10557 Berlin. Features: wheelchair accessible, wheelchair accessible with assistance. Open: 24-7.

At the main station, which opened in 2006, Stadtbahn trains in west-east direction (upper platforms) cross trains from Hamburg, Hanover, North and South downstairs in the basement. All ICEs, ICs and regional express trains stop here, as well as the East-West S-Bahn and the U5 underground. You can reach Berlin in long-distance traffic every hour with ICE trains from Cologne/Düsseldorf (via the Ruhr area and Hanover), Frankfurt am Main, Munich (via Leipzig/Halle) and Hamburg, every two hours from Stuttgart or Basel. There are IC/EC connections every two hours from Prague (via Dresden) and Amsterdam. There are direct connections from/to Emden, Münster and Warsaw (via Poznań) only once or a few times a day. Long-distance tickets with a City-Ticket are also valid on local public transport within the S-Bahn ring (tariff zone A).

In addition to long-distance trains from Deutsche Bahn, the private long-distance train Flixtrain also stops. There are daily night train connections (with sleeping or couchette cars) with the ÖBB Nightjet from/to Zurich (Basel, Freiburg i. Br.) and to Vienna via Wroclaw. Only during the summer season there is also a night train service between Berlin and Malmö.

Regional transport lines run to Berlin from all parts of Brandenburg as well as from Magdeburg, Dessau, Wismar, Schwerin, Rostock and Stralsund. The Interregio-Express from Hamburg (via Lüneburg) is considered a regional train and can be used with the relevant local transport services.

There are connections to the following local transport lines at the main station: S3, S5, S7, S9, U5, tram M5, M6, M8 and M10, bus M41, M85, 120, 123, 142, 147, 245, bus M41, M85, 120 , 123, 142, 147, 245, night bus N5, N20 and N40.

Limited barrier-free access Although the main train station is generally barrier-free, it cannot be fully recommended for people with restricted mobility. Depending on the exit track, several levels have to be overcome over long distances, for which you have to find the right and also unusually slow elevator. Escalators do not go continuously, e.g. B. to the long-distance tracks in the basement. The platforms on the top level also have bottlenecks above the station hall, where the platform is very narrow. If you want to pass here with a walker and luggage or with small children while the train is already pulling in, you will quickly get stuck in the crowd and have no alternative. People with limited mobility or parents traveling alone with small children should therefore definitely use the Deutsche Bahn mobility service on Tel. (0)180 6 512 or when boarding, alighting or changing trains at the main station.


More train stations

Berlin-Spandau train station, Seegefelder Strasse 1, 13597 Berlin. ICE from Hamburg, Hanover and Frankfurt/Main via Kassel, IC from Amsterdam, RE from Wismar, Rathenow, Pritzwalk, Cottbus and Ludwigsfelde, RB from Nauen, Wustermark and Schönefeld Airport. At Spandau station there is a transition to the S3 and S9 S-Bahn. The Rathaus Spandau terminus of the U7 subway is in front of the door. The train station is located opposite Spandau Town Hall and Spandau's old town.
Berlin Gesundbrunnen train station, Badstrasse 1-3, 13357 Berlin. In Berlin-Gesundbrunnen, ICE trains are used towards Munich and Stuttgart via Erfurt and Frankfurt/Main. Passengers without reservations may consider boarding here. You don't usually save any time, but you do have the chance to get a seat that hasn't been allocated yet, as the trains only fill up at the main train station. Regional trains also run here in the direction of Stralsund, Rostock, Schwedt, Stettin and Wittenberge or Falkenberg, Wittenberg, Elsterwerda in the south
At Berlin-Gesundbrunnen train station there are connections to lines S1, S2, S25, S26, S41, S42, U8, 247 and N8.
5 Ostbahnhof, Koppenstrasse 3, 10243 Berlin. Feature: wheelchair accessible.
At Ostbahnhof station there are connections to lines S3, S5, S7, S9 and to bus lines 140, 142, 147, 240, 248, 347 and N40
barrier-free People with restricted mobility should use the Ostbahnhof if possible, as this is clearer and quieter; In addition, the platforms for long-distance traffic are wide enough and there is usually more time for boarding and alighting, since at least the trains heading west and Frankfurt/Main are only used here and usually arrive a few minutes earlier.
Berlin Südkreuz train station, General-Pape-Strasse 1, 12101 Berlin. Trains coming from the main station in the south and Frankfurt/Main via Erfurt stop here
At Südkreuz station there are connections to the following lines: S2, S25, S26, S41, S42, S45, S46 and to bus lines M46, 106, 184, 204 and 248
Berlin Lichtenberg train station, Weitlingstrasse 22, 10317 Berlin .
In GDR times, Lichtenberg was the long-distance train station with the most connections. Today only trains from Poland and regional trains stop here.
There is a connection to the lines S5, S7, S75, U5 to the city center, trams 21 and 37, buses 108, 240, 256, 296, N5, N50, N94
The stations Zoologischer Garten, Charlottenburg, Friedrichstrasse, Alexanderplatz, Potsdamer Platz, Lichterfelde-Ost, Wannsee and Jungfernheide are also important in regional transport.

When arriving by local train, the network ticket Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket, which is valid throughout Germany for local transport, is a cost-effective alternative. The Quer-durchs-Land-Ticket is also valid on local trains and S-Bahn trains in Berlin (but not on the U-Bahn, trams and buses), valid Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 a.m. the following day, on Saturdays, Sundays and Sundays public holidays from midnight to 3 a.m. of the following day.


By bus

Various companies offer bus connections to Berlin, which usually end at the central bus station (ZOB) at the radio tower.

Central Bus Station Berlin (ZOB). Tel.: +49 (0)30 30 10 01 75, fax: +49 (0)30 30 10 02 44, e-mail:

Connection to local transport with the buses A05, 139, 218, M49, X34 and X49, the S-Bahn station "Messe-Nord/ICC" (S41, S42, S46) and the underground station "Kaiserdamm" (U2)
There are also long-distance bus stops at Berlin-Brandenburg Airport, at the S-Bahn stations Ahrensfelde, Alexanderplatz, Ostbahnhof, Pankow-Heinersdorf, Südkreuz, Treptower Park, Wannsee, Zoologischer Garten and at the Tegel underground station. connection search, timetable and fare information


In the street

Around Berlin there is the outer ring road A10, the Berliner Ring, which mostly runs outside the city limits. From it, some feeder roads lead to or near the city highway, in parts an inner city ring road (A100), which forms about a semicircle from northwest to southeast.

A111 from the Oranienburg interchange in the north to the A100 at the Charlottenburg interchange
A113 from Schönefelder Kreuz in the southeast to the A100 at Dreieck Neukölln
A114 from the Pankow Autobahn triangle in the northeast to Pankow-Heinersdorf
A115 from the Nuthetal interchange in the southwest to the A100 at the Funkturm interchange. This is partly the former AVUS car race track.

Numerous exits from the Berliner Ring lead via federal roads to the suburbs of Berlin, route planner and traffic situation with traffic jam display

Basically, there are many resident parking zones, the parking space management with prices from 2 € per hour is constantly being expanded and monitored more and more. It is therefore advisable to use the car only for arrival and departure and to travel around the city by bus and train.

The sometimes poorly signposted Park & Ride offers are suitable for day trips to Berlin.

In Berlin, environmental zones have been set up in accordance with the Fine Dust Ordinance. If you don't have the appropriate badge, you risk a fine of €100 when entering an environmental zone. This also applies to foreign road users.

The environmental zone includes the entire area within the S-Bahn ring. A violation will be punished with a fine of €80. For more information, including where the fine dust stickers are issued, see Berlin's environmental zones


By boat

Berlin can be reached by river cruise ships. The terminal for river cruise ships is located in Berlin-Spandau not far from where the Spree flows into the Havel at Spandauer Burgwall 23.


By bicycle

Within Berlin and on the feeder roads there are cycle paths that allow you to travel from the state of Brandenburg. However, the signage in the transition to the state of Brandenburg and partly also within Berlin is incomplete. Cycle paths are often uncomfortably paved.

Berlin is the station and end point of several cycling routes. The most important long-distance cycling routes are:
the European cycle route R1 comes from Potsdam over the Glienicker Bridge to Berlin, leads along the Havel, the east-west axis (Heerstraße, Straße des 17. Juni, Unter den Linden) to the Berlin Cathedral, then along the Spree towards Treptower Park, Friedrichshagen, Müggelsee and on to Erkner.
The Berlin-Copenhagen long-distance cycle route starts at the Brandenburg Gate heading north along the Spandau shipping canal, past Plötzensee and Tegel Airport, crosses the Havel and leaves Berlin along the Havel in the direction of Hennigsdorf.
the long-distance cycle route Berlin - Usedom starts at the Berlin Cathedral and leads north through Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Pankow and leaves Berlin in the suburb of Berlin-Buch in the direction of Bernau.
the Spree cycle path comes from Erkner in the southeast and follows the Spree parallel to the R 1 via Müggelsee, Friedrichshagen, Köpenick, Treptow, Friedrichshain to the Berlin Cathedral. The continuation to the mouth of the Spree in the Havel has not yet been fixed.
the Berlin - Leipzig cycle path reaches Berlin from the south (Zossen) and meets the city limits in Lichtenrade. It runs parallel to the Wall Trail to Marienfelde and then via Lankwitz, Schöneberg along the Anhalter Bahn and ends at the Brandenburg Gate.

There are also many other tourist cycle routes that lead to Berlin. See also cycle routes in Berlin and Brandenburg


Transport around the city

Berlin has a dense bus, train and ferry network, made up of regional trains, S-Bahn trains, underground trains, trams, buses and ferries, which can be used with one ticket within the Verkehrsverbund Berlin-Brandenburg (VBB). It is therefore advisable to leave the car at home and use public transport. A mobile timetable is available with the Jelbi or BVG app, with which - after registration - tickets can also be bought. Line plans The BVG also offers an overview plan for download.

Berlin drivers are not known for their empathy towards foreign license plates creeping their way.

If you want to be able to use different modes of transport (“inter- or multimodal”), you can use the Jelbi app operated by the BVG. This can be used, for example, to buy tickets or book electric scooters, rental bikes or cars without having to install the app of each provider and register with them individually.


Bus and train

Regional trains allow fast movement within the city and to the surrounding area, e.g. B. to Potsdam or Oranienburg. The centerpiece is the 4-track Stadtbahn, which crosses Berlin in a west-east direction and passes many sights on a journey between Ostkreuz and Charlottenburg. Depending on the line, regional trains run every half hour or one hour, on some routes several lines overlap at shorter intervals. Compared to S-Bahn, regional trains have the advantage that they have toilets.

With a few exceptions, S-Bahn trains use the same routes as regional trains, but have their own tracks. They stop much more frequently and run at least every 20 minutes, usually every 10 minutes or more. The S-Bahn network forms a cross with the Stadtbahn and the partially underground north-south railway, which intersect with the U6 underground line at Friedrichstrasse station. Almost all trains are connected to the Ringbahn, which, in addition to its importance for local public transport, presents a Berlin away from the travel guides on its one-hour tour. In the outskirts, the S-Bahn network is denser in the former eastern part, since the GDR, as the heir to the Deutsche Reichsbahn, was also the operator of the Berlin S-Bahn. In the western part, the S-Bahn was boycotted after the Wall was built, which led to some line closures, some of which still exist today. In the core area, several lines run on one route. The Ringbahn S41 and S42 only go in one direction. Reinforcement trains usually do not go to the terminus of the line. Please note announcements and advertisements on the platform.

The subway network is dense, especially in the former western part, and, in combination with the S-Bahn, opens up large parts of the city area. The subways also run mainly underground in the outer districts. Only in Kreuzberg, Schöneberg, Tegel, Prenzlauer Berg and to Hönow does it have longer elevated railway lines. The underground trains run every 5 minutes during the day, every 10 minutes in the evening and every 15 minutes at night on weekends.

Trams had been completely abolished in the western part since 1967 and therefore now run almost exclusively in the former eastern part. Some lines are operated as "metro lines" with a higher clock frequency, recognizable by the M in front of the one or two-digit number. These run at least every 10 minutes during the day.

Buses cover the entire city area. The bus network is divided into express buses, recognizable by the X in front of the number or combination of letters. Express buses only stop at selected stations and are therefore faster than regular buses. In addition, MetroBusse, recognizable by the M in front of the two-digit number, are the backbone of the bus network, which are important routes that run at least every 10 minutes and are also listed in the network maps available from the BVG. The other buses, recognizable by their three-digit numbers, cover the entire city area. There is a code for the numbers, but it is not worthwhile for visitors to learn. The formerly widespread double-deckers are still driving, mostly in inner-city districts.

The bus lines 100, 200 and 300 are interesting for tourists. They run on different routes from Alexanderplatz through Berlin-Mitte to the western center to the zoological garden and pass many sights. The routes are very similar to those of the paid sightseeing buses.

There are various night bus and night tram lines for night traffic, which also run every 30 minutes between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. during the week. All metro lines run continuously. Most S-Bahn and U-Bahn lines run all night on weekends. No separate tickets are required for night traffic.

Bicycles can be taken on the S-Bahn, U-Bahn and trams at any time with an additional ticket (for prices, see the "By bike" section). Bicycles may only be taken on buses on lines N1 to N9 on nights when there is no subway service. At peak times, however, the chance of being able to squeeze your bike into a vehicle is low.


Tickets and costs

Berlin's bus and train network is divided into three fare zones. Fare zone A covers the inner city of Berlin within (and including) the S-Bahn ring. Fare zone B covers the city area between (also including) the S-Bahn ring and the city limits. Tariff zone C is the surrounding area up to approx. 15km (e.g. Potsdam, Oranienburg or Berlin-Brandenburg Airport). Tickets exist for the combinations AB, BC and ABC. Tickets only for zone A or B are not available (tickets valid only for zone A are available as "City-Tickets" in combination with a long-distance ticket for Deutsche Bahn). Tickets for zone C are available as connecting tickets to a valid ticket in the tariff zone AB (e.g. corresponding weekly tickets). The connecting ticket is always valid for two hours.

Children aged 6 to 14 inclusive can take advantage of the reduced fare.

Tickets are valid on all regional trains, suburban trains, underground trains, trams, buses and ferries in the respective zones. Tickets purchased on buses and trams are validated and valid for immediate travel. If you buy your ticket from a machine or kiosk, you must validate your ticket on the platform using the machines provided on the underground, S-Bahn and regional trains BEFORE boarding. Purchase or validation on trains is not possible. In buses and trams, validation is carried out on board the vehicle.

Berlin fares as of June 2021
Short-distance (3 S-Bahn, 3 U-Bahn or 6 bus stations - no transfers possible): €2, reduced €1.50
Entire city of AB • Single ticket: €3, reduced €1.90 • 4 trips: €9.40, reduced: €5.80 • 24-hour ticket: €8.80, reduced €5.60 • Small group ticket up to the 5th Persons: €25.50
Outside of the S-Bahn ring and surrounding area of BC: • Single ticket: €3.50, reduced €2.40 • 24-hour ticket: €9.20, reduced €5.90 • Small group ticket for up to 5 people: €26
All of Berlin and the surrounding area ABC: • Single ticket: €3.80, reduced €2.70 • 24-hour ticket: €10, reduced €6 • Small group ticket for up to 5 people: €26.50
7-day card VBB environmental card AB: €36, ABC: €43. It is valid for 7 consecutive days. From 8 p.m. and all day on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays, 1 adult and up to 3 children can be taken along free of charge.

For some tourists, it takes some getting used to the fact that in Berlin you can only board buses at the front and have to show the driver your ticket.
The WelcomeCard offers free travel on public transport and discounts on around 200 cultural, culinary and tourist offers. Usually there are 25% discounts, sometimes up to 50%. The museums on Museum Island are not included.
For 48 hours, the card costs (AB): €23, with Potsdam and the surrounding area of Berlin (ABC): €28, for 72 hours: €33/€38, for 4 days €40/€45, for 5 days: €46 / 49€ and for 6 days 49€ / 52€. With the ABC variant, children under the age of 14 can travel for free. Tickets are also available from any ticket machine. The brochure can be picked up later at the tourist information.
The WelcomeCard Museumsinsel offers free travel in Berlin (AB) and Berlin and the surrounding area (ABC), discounts at around 200 attractions and free entry to the museums on Museumsinsel on 3 consecutive days:
Price for 72 hours: 51€ / 55€. (Prices for 2020)
The less interesting City Tour Card offers free travel in Berlin, Potsdam and the Berlin area. You save 15% to 50% at around 40 tourist attractions in the city and the surrounding area. Most of the time the discounts are only 1-2€. Main attractions such as Museum Island or Zoo are not included. These cards are also available for 48 hours, 72 hours, 4, 5 or 6 days. Costs between €19.90 (48 h AB) and €47.90 (6 days ABC).

So if you want to spend this period in the city without visiting museums, you can travel more cheaply with three day tickets. If you stay five to seven days in Berlin, we recommend the seven-day ticket (from €36), late risers who stay at least ten days should consider the 10 a.m. monthly ticket, which is valid for one month from the date of issue is (63€ AB, 78€ ABC). Large luggage and dogs are included in the price of many of the fares mentioned.

For the environmentally and price-conscious visitor to Berlin, it is therefore essential to study the tariff overview beforehand. It should also be noted that 24-, 48- or 72-hour tickets are valid to the hour after validation, 7-day tickets to calendar days. With digital tickets, on the other hand, the validity is precise to the second.


Families and small groups

Families and small groups consisting of 3 to 5 people (children under 6 are not counted, because they travel for free anyway) and can do without museum discounts travel best with the small group day ticket. The card is valid for a maximum of 5 people and costs €25.50 (AB), €26 (BC) or €26.50 (ABC) (as of June 2021). You can buy them from vending machines or at the BVG sales counter; it must be validated at the start of the journey. Buying small group day tickets is also the cheapest option for families and small groups if they are traveling for a longer period of time, i. H. 1 or 2 weeks, stay in Berlin.

Small families who do not have more than 2 to 3 trips per day can calculate whether they can get by with single tickets (or the cheaper 4-trip tickets) or short-distance tickets even cheaper than with a small group day ticket. With 4 or more trips per day, the latter is definitely worth it.

points of sale
You can also pay with the usual credit cards at the ticket offices of the S-Bahn stations; Ticket machines (at all S-Bahn & U-Bahn stations, some bus stops) accept debit and credit cards or cash (only coins on the trams). Single tickets can be purchased from bus drivers, but only against cash payment (large banknotes are not accepted). Almost all tickets can also be purchased via the Jelbi or BVG app - an internet connection is required for the purchase, but not during the journey. Registration (credit card or bank account) is required to make a purchase in the apps.



There are over 7,000 taxis in Berlin, which passengers can order at the taxi stand or on the street. Orders by phone or app are also possible. Taxis have a transport obligation, i. H. they have to go to any desired destination in the city area.

Ordered by mobile phone and from the hotel or at the many stops, you get on for €3.90 and then pay €2 per km. Large taxis with more than four people or bulky luggage cost extra, as do waiting times. You can pay in cash, with a debit (EC) card or with major credit cards. If you hail a taxi on the street, you can drive a short distance, which must be less than 2km, for €5. This must be announced to the driver before starting the journey. If the journey is longer, the taximeter increases very quickly to the normal rate of around €7.

You can read the current taxi tariff on the website of the taxi guild. There is also a rate calculator.


By car

If you can't help it, be prepared that this is not an exercise for the faint-hearted. Even if Berlin does not have an old town center with winding alleys, but on the contrary comparatively wide streets, the often multi-lane traffic with increased average speeds, turning lanes and a high number of cyclists and scooter drivers is unfamiliar to many drivers. The structure of the Berlin road network is comparatively simple once you have understood the system. There are several concentric rings (not all are 360 degrees) that are intersected by radial roads. Traffic density has increased enormously in recent years. Many roads are congested, especially during peak traffic times, and the city motorway almost all day.

Parking spaces vary in availability. In the city there are parking garages or underground garages. Parking on the side of the road is time-limited and expensive, which can quickly cost 4 euros per hour. There are parking spaces available there. In the densely built-up residential areas, on the other hand, parking spaces are scarce. In the outskirts, on the other hand, it is rather unproblematic to find a parking space, apart from the town centres. All in all, it is advisable (and much less stressful) to leave the car at the accommodation and to use the well-developed local transport system.


Car Rentals and Car Sharing

In the city of Berlin there are stations of the major car rental companies (including Sixt, Europcar, Avis), various local providers (including ES car rental), free-floating car sharing, i.e. the possibility of returning the car independently of stations, is offered by FREENOW and MILES offered.
Ridesharing is offered under the BerlKönig brand in the eastern part of the S-Bahn ring.


By bike or scooter

There are cycle paths, also along the Havel and Spree rivers and the main canals. Unfortunately, the cycle paths are often uncomfortably paved, sometimes interrupted at unfavorable places. The signage is also incomplete, especially in the transition to the state of Brandenburg. The "Berliner Mauerweg" (bike map with description) is interesting, it leads along the former borders of the western part of Berlin. Sometimes the signage is confusing, especially in the Mitte district. • Cycle routes

There are no bicycle parking garages or other secure parking facilities in Berlin. Possibly you should do the sightseeing tours that require leaving the bike unattended without a bike.

S-Bahn, U-Bahn, tram and ferries offer bicycle transport. An additional bicycle ticket is required at a price of €1.80 - €2.40, day ticket: €4.70 - €5.30, monthly ticket: €10.20 - €12.70. However, according to the conditions of carriage, only a few bicycles can be taken on the subways; Groups should therefore prefer the S-Bahn or the regional trains. Bicycles are not allowed in the first carriage of the subway. Some drivers pay very close attention to this.


Rental bikes

In addition to the classic bike rental from bike shops or directly from the accommodation, there are a variety of app-based rental bike systems. A distinction must be made here between systems in which bicycles have to be returned to stations (“station-based”) and those in which bicycles can be parked freely within a larger area (“free-floating”):
next bike. Around 5000 two-wheelers are available in a mainly station-bound system at around 725 stations. If you want to return bikes beyond stations, an additional fee applies. It is also possible to register without a credit card, and holders of a VBB environmental card can also use the bicycles with it, and booking via Jelbi is also possible.
call a bike Until 2020 LIDL bike. Purely station-bound system.
Donkey Republic Bikes. Donkey Republic bikes from Denmark can also be found occasionally.
lime. Lime also has a few bicycles on offer.


Electric scooter

With the release of electric scooters in 2019, numerous rental companies for these scooters sprouted up. Usually, scooters are rented exclusively via apps, both at fixed stations and from randomly parked scooters. If you pay attention to the price, you should alternatively consider rental mopeds, as these often compensate for their slightly higher price with their higher speed.
The traffic rules must be observed: Electric scooters, like bicycles, may not be used on sidewalks, but only on cycle paths or the road.



Some ferry connections are offered by the Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe; the usual tariffs of the VBB apply there, including the tickets for the other means of transport. Line F10 (Wannsee-Kladow) is an insider tip. It runs in Wannsee on the hour every 60 minutes. Kladow with its cafés is reached after a 20-minute crossing.

With the keyword barrier-free Berlin, the city tries to give people with disabilities, senior citizens and other people partially, permanently or temporarily restricted in their mobility access to museums, sights, restaurants, cinemas, clubs, department stores, shopping centers, shops and of course the public transport network make possible. Corresponding city maps and information are available from mobidat and wheelmap. The latter is also available as a smartphone app.

Wheelchair users can use elevators or ramps in almost all train stations (list of broken elevators: brokenlifts, S-Bahn, BVG). Some buses and trams (metro lines) use low-floor technology. Pubs, restaurants and hotels not covered by the grandfathering were obliged to install toilets suitable for the disabled. Museums, venues and sights are also technically equipped for a group of wheelchair users. Nevertheless, it is still difficult to venture into areas that are not so well developed for tourism, since many sidewalks have not yet been lowered and Berliners are very tolerant, but can also be indifferent due to the hustle and bustle of the big city. Various private providers, who also work for the Berlin special transport service, offer Berlin visitors pick-up from airports, transfers, city tours and much more in suitably equipped buses. The wheelchair breakdown service helps with problems such as further transport, repair/replacement wheelchairs on 84 31 09 10 or 0180 111 47 47 (24 h).

Visually impaired and blind people can find their way around in elevators and trains using the many appropriately equipped traffic lights and acoustic signals. Many stations have guide strips with a rough surface that mark the edge of the platform. In some train stations (e.g. Hauptbahnhof) there are tactile handrail labels with instructions in Braille on the handrails. Information and special excursion destinations for the blind and visually impaired can be found here.

Deaf people can find out about special offers here.



Berlin has a very large number of different sights, with the most important being in the old center (district Mitte), Zoo/Ku'damm and in the area around the Kulturforum and Potsdamer Platz. The UNESCO World Heritage Site includes the Museum Island with, among other things, the Pergamon Museum, the Old National Gallery, the Bode Museum, as well as the Berlin Modernist housing estates from the 1920s and the palaces and parks of Potsdam and Berlin that extend from Potsdam. Other sights that should not be missed when visiting Berlin are the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag building, the Holocaust memorial, Alexanderplatz with the TV tower, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and the palaces of Charlottenburg and Pfaueninsel.


Churches and synagogues

Berlin Cathedral, Am Lustgarten 1 . The Berlin Cathedral is a central site of the Protestant Church in Germany and is located on the northern part of the Spree Island, which is called Museum Island. The 78m high dome was built at the beginning of the 20th century based on St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. Open: Mon - Sat: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m., Sun. 12 p.m. - 7 p.m., April - Sept: until 8 p.m. Price: Admission: €7 including children up to 18 years, reduced: €4, audio guide: €3.
Marienkirche near the television tower. The only building in the Marienviertel that survived the bombs and bulldozers. Probably the most photographed church in Berlin because of its proximity to the television tower.
New Synagogue, Oranienburger Strasse 30. The Jewish house of worship was built by Knoblauch in 1859-66, partially destroyed in 1938 and only restored between 1988 and 1995. Germany's largest and most magnificent synagogue represents a masterpiece of engineering at the time. The 50m high dome has small side towers ("miniminarets"). This and the facade of the building give the building a Moorish appearance. An exhibition is housed in the building. The dome can be climbed from April to September. Open: Sun - Fri from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., in winter Fri until 3 p.m. Price: €5, reduced: €4, dome: €3 / €2.50.
Kaiser- Wilhelm Gedachtniskirche. In the middle of the Kurfürstendamm. This church would probably never have gained national fame if it had not been partially destroyed in World War II and, now located in the center of West Berlin, had not served as a memorial against the war. In addition to the ruined tower, the octagonal church hall and a new tower were inaugurated in 1961, which create a soft, diffuse light in the interior with their blue glass mosaic stones. Open: daily from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Worship service: Sun.: 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.


Castles and palaces

Charlottenburg Palace is the most important baroque building in Berlin, along with the armory that houses the German Historical Museum. During the Second World War it was significantly more damaged than the Berlin City Palace, which was blown up in 1950. In contrast, the Hohenzollern residence in Charlottenburg was completely rebuilt. During the renovation of Bellevue Palace, Charlottenburg was the residence of the Federal President. At times, the palace may be closed to the public during state visits and receptions. · Not only the castle is important, but also the castle park north of the castle. Part Rococo, part English park with some small architecture and exhibition buildings

Humboldt Forum. The Hohenzollern city palace stood on the site, which was blown up in 1950, as well as the GDR representative building, the Palace of the Republic, until the 2000s, the demolition of which was highly controversial. The building in the reconstructed facades houses several museums and galleries as well as cafes and a book and souvenir shop.
Peacock Island/ Pfaueninsel. It is a landscape park in the Berlin area of the Havel. It has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1990, along with the palaces and parks of Sanssouci in Potsdam and Glienicke in Berlin. The 67-hectare Pfaueninsel, which Friedrich Wilhelm II acquired in 1793, is characterized by its landscaping design and an ancient tree population of around 400 picturesque oaks. Eyserbeck, Lenné and Fintelmann brought them to bear with the routing and grouping of trees. Free-roaming peacocks can be admired. The island is only accessible by ferry. The White Castle on the Peacock Island was built in 1794 and, with its characteristic towers and the bridge connecting them, is a landmark of the city of Berlin. The castle is closed for renovation work until 2024! Open: Daily ferry times March: 9am-6pm, April: 9am-7pm, May-August: 9am-8pm, September: 9am-7pm, October: 9am-6pm, Nov-Feb: 10am-4pm Clock. Price: return ferry €3, reduced €2.50, family ticket: €8, castle €3.
Glienicke Castle. Glienicke Castle is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was the summer palace of Prince Carl of Prussia. Today's classical form goes back to Karl Friedrich Schinkel. Today the building is used as a castle museum. Klein Glienicke Park, erroneously also called Volkspark Glienicke, is a large English landscape park between Havel, Moorlake, Königsstraße (B 1) and Glienicke Bridge. Glienicke Castle and Park are also part of the World Cultural Heritage. Open: Apr-Oct: Tue-Sun 10:00am-6:00pm, Tue-Fri Visit with guided tour only, last tour: 4:00pm; Nov-Mar: Sat-Sun with guided tour 10am-4pm. Price: €6, concessions: €5, photo permit: €3.
Bellevue Palace, Spreeweg 1, 10557 Berlin. Early classical three-wing complex from 1785/86. Second official seat of the Federal President since 1957 and first since 1994. Can only be viewed from the outside, entry by invitation only. edit info

For more palaces and castles, see the district articles.



As a capital with centuries of tradition, Berlin has a large number of representative buildings from all eras up to the present day. The competition during the division meant that many institutions, from airports to universities to zoos, were duplicated. Only the most important buildings are listed here. Numerous other entries can be found in the district articles.

Government district with the Reichstag building and the neighboring palace of the President of the Reichstag (today Jakob-Kaiser-Haus, both from 1894), and the modern buildings for the members of the Bundestag (Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus) and the Federal Chancellery built in the same line. Architecture of power from the empire and now.

House of World Cultures (Congress Hall) . built by the Americans after the war in 1956, called the "pregnant oyster" by the Berliners because of the sweeping shape of the roof. The roof that collapsed in 1980 buried some people.
Brandenburg Gate. THE Berlin landmark and symbol of German unity, even at the time of division, is located at the western end of Unter den Linden at Pariser Platz and at the transition to Straße des 17. Juni in Tiergarten.

Berlin television tower. Email: tallest building in the city with a viewing platform at 203m and 207m.
Tempelhof Airport - When it was completed in 1941, the airport building, a 1,200 m long, arched, multi-storey building, was the largest building in the world (by floor space). In its history it was not only a terminal building, but also an aircraft hangar, concentration camp, US military base, exhibition hall and sports facility. In front of the building is the memorial to the Berlin blockade of 1948/49. Today, the building can only be viewed from the inside as part of a guided tour; concerts and part of the Berlin Fashion Week occasionally take place on the apron.

Horseshoe settlement Britz
Settlements of Berlin Modernism. Six different tenement housing estates from the 1910s and 1920s in the New Building style, planned by architects such as Bruno Taut, Otto Salvisberg, Martin Wagner and Hans Sharoun, have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. These are:
Gartenstadt Falkenberg in Bohnsdorf (formerly Treptow district): Around 120 apartments have been built by the architect Bruno Taut since 1912, known as the paint box settlement because of their colourfulness. Unfinished due to World War I.
Schillerpark in Wedding Approximately 300 cooperatively financed apartments in multi-family houses, also planned by Taut Bruno Taut between 1924 and 1930.
Hufeisensiedlung Britz in Neukölln Settlement with 1,300 apartments in multi-family houses as well as terraced houses, built in the late 1920s by Bruno Taut and Martin Wagner with a distinctive horseshoe-shaped row of houses in the center.
Wohnstadt Carl Legien in Prenzlauer Berg - Six elongated U-shaped blocks of flats with large loggias, designed around green inner courtyards, planned in 1928 by Bruno Taut.
White town in Reinickendorf - large settlement with 1,300 apartments in a loose construction from 1928 - 1931. Planners were Salvisberg, Ahrends, Büning.
Large housing estate Siemensstadt in Charlottenburg-Nord - company apartments of Siemens AG for several thousand families, planned e.g. by Scharoun and Gropius.
East Side Gallery, Mühlenstrasse. Connected piece of wall along Mühlenstraße, which has been converted into a large canvas for graffiti artists since 1990. In the meantime, the area has unfortunately lost a lot of its impression due to the dense new development all around. Feature: wheelchair accessible.


Vantage points

Berlin is comparatively flat. Nevertheless, there are some natural elevations, which are also indicated by district names such as Kreuzberg or Prenzlauer Berg. Slightly higher elevations are the Müggelberge in the south-east and in the Grunewald in the west. There are also observation towers:
Grunewald tower

Both towers rise about 30 meters and allow an all-round view. The view encompasses the surrounding forests and bodies of water, with the city silhouetted distantly on the horizon.

Elevations closer to the city are the natural elevation of the Kreuzberg with the memorial for the wars of liberation at the top, a cast-iron monster that one has when looking over the city in the back. In the surrounding Victoria Park an artificial waterfall, replica of the Zackelfall near Schreiberhau in the Giant Mountains.

Help was given by piles of rubble on
Teufelsberg info edit in the west of the city. On the highest mountain of rubble in Berlin stood a listening station operated by the US armed forces until the 1990s, listening from here to the Urals. The listening station is still standing and is now the subject of one of Berlin's more bizarre guided tours. Wide all-round view, kites are warned of.
Humboldthain in Gesundbrunnen and
Volkspark Friedrichshain is comparatively close to the city. Both are mountains of rubble that were piled up around an anti-aircraft bunker. At the Humboldthain he still looks out at the top.

There are numerous tall buildings in Berlin that offer vantage points. These are next to that
TV tower - it doesn't get any higher. Observation pulpit at 203m and 207m height. Long queues, pre-booking advisable
Dome of the Reichstag building with a view of the government district and the Tiergarten. Admission free, but pre-registration required
Dome of the Berlin Cathedral, which can be climbed as part of a tour of the cathedral
Roof terrace Park Inn - on Alexanderplatz, inexpensive and queue-free alternative to the TV tower, 270-degree view
Europa Center - viewing platform in City West under the Mercedes star
Telefunken high-rise - at Ernst-Reuter-Platz (Charlottenburg). The canteen of the Technical University operates a cafeteria on the 20th floor. Admission is free and a snack with a drink costs the same as admission elsewhere.
Potsdamer Platz panorama point on the Kollhoff Tower
Funkturm - You can't get any higher in the fresh air. Just outside in the Westend on the exhibition grounds


Streets and squares

Unter den Linden. The baroque axis of the residence leads from the palace (today the Humboldt Forum) to the Brandenburg Gate. In addition, it continues a good 10km to the west to Scholzplatz in the Westend. Berlin's boulevard with representative buildings e.g. with the Humboldt University and State Library, Hedwig's Cathedral, Bebelplatz, the State Opera, the Neue Wache and the Arsenal and an equestrian statue of Frederick the Great. Also hotels, showrooms for luxury cars, cafes and restaurants.
Gendarmenmarkt . Elegant square with the German Cathedral, the French Cathedral and the Schauspielhaus (officially: "Konzerthaus") in Mitte.
Potsdamer Platz internet. Once the busiest square in Berlin with an early traffic light in the 1920s. Later fallow in the no man's land between East and West Berlin and around the turn of the millennium, Europe's largest construction site. Today high-rise film, shopping and residential complex with film house with the film museum and Sonycenter.
Breitscheidplatz built in the 1950s and 1960s to become West Berlin's showcase with the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, Zoopalast (cinema) and Europa Center with a Mercedes star shining from afar on the roof.
Kurfuerstendamm. Charlottenburg's counterpart to the boulevard Unter den Linden with fewer representation and more strolling. Even if the Ku-damm feels the competition of the Linden, the Friedrichstraße, there are still many posh boutiques and shops to be found here, so that even window shopping can be worthwhile
Alexanderplatz. Shopping center and transport hub. Nothing of the flair of pre-war Berlin has been preserved here; the war, socialist urban planning and post-reunification real estate speculation have done a great job. Massive and average goods that tend to become junky, but occasionally still shell players. Several high-rise buildings have been under construction here since 2020, which will significantly change the square.
Chamissoplatz. Living in Kreuzberg has never been as beautiful as it is now after the renovation. Old Berlin at its best as well as nearby in Bergmannstraße with many small shops and cafes.
Karl Marx Allee. Former GDR grand boulevard built in the 1950s as Stalinallee with palaces for the avant-garde of the working class.
Friedrichstrasse . Busy, in parts noble shopping and entertainment mile. Comparatively narrow by Berlin standards and therefore more urban, lively flair than elsewhere.
Bolschestrasse. Suburban promenade between Müggelsee and S-Bahn JotWeeDee, in Friedrichshagen, just under half an hour by S-Bahn. But nice.



Holocaust memorial (in the OT center on the edge of the Tiergarten). walk-in labyrinth made of concrete pillars and a small underground exhibition. The area is a popular photo opportunity, but climbing the steles is both frowned upon and forbidden.
Victory Column (on the Great Star in the Tiergarten). Phone: +49 (0)30 391 29 61 . with gilded winged Victoria in memory of 70/71. Standing in front of the Reichstag until 1938, it was increased from 50.66 meters to 66.89 meters when it was moved to the Großer Stern in 1939.
Marx-Engels-Forum (in the OT center on the edge of the green area to the Liebknechtbrücke) . Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels larger than life and with frock coats, popularly known as Sacco and Jacketti, a popular group of figures for selfies.
Soviet War Memorial (in Tiergarten) . Memorial monument and burial place for fallen Red Army soldiers.
Soviet Memorial (in Treptower Park) . Largest of the four monumental memorials with soldiers' graves
Airlift Memorial (in front of Tempelhof Airport) . Sculpture commemorating the Berlin Airlift and its victims.
Hohenschoenhausen Memorial, Genslerstrasse 66, 13055 Berlin. Tel.: +49 (0)30 98 60 82 30, fax: +49 (0)30 98 60 82 36, e-mail: . Former remand and torture prison of the Ministry for State Security of the GDR.



Neptune Fountain from 1891 - dismantled from the square in front of the Berlin Palace and restored in 1969 and re-erected on the green area in front of the Red City Hall.
globe fountain . (Water Klops) on the Breitscheidplatz at the zoo.
Fairy tale fountain in Volkspark Friedrichshain. Built in 1913, the fountain with fairytale characters is a popular selfie backdrop for children and lovers.



Berlin has a wide range of museums. From the cast collection of antique plastic to the sugar museum, over 200 houses invite you. There is an overview here. If you want to visit several museums, you have the option of purchasing combination tickets in different versions. Here you have to pay close attention to which museums are included and the corresponding period (if you can do it sensibly without rushing).

Many museums in Berlin are free of charge every first Sunday of the month. In some cases, a reservation is necessary in advance. More information at Museums Sonntag Booking.
Museum Pass - The 3-day ticket for €29 (reduced: €14.50) gives you free access to around 30 museums. The museums of the Museum Island and the most important museums of the Kulturforum and around the Charlottenburg Palace are included.
The Museum Island area ticket costs: €18, reduced €9 and is worthwhile from the second visit to the museum.
For discounts with the "Berlin WelcomeCard" in connection with bus and train day tickets, see: Tourist Cards
Good to know for families: Children up to the age of 18 have free entry to all state museums.

Other overview pages are the joint page of the State Museums in Berlin and the joint page of the Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin.


Museum Island

The museums on the 31st Museum Island are part of the UNESCO World Heritage.

Pergamon Museum, Bodestrasse 1-3, 10178 Berlin. Tel.: +49 (0)30 266424242, email: Today the Pergamon Museum houses three museums: the antiquities collection with the architecture halls and the sculpture wing, the Near Eastern Museum and the Museum of Islamic Art. The impressive reconstructions of archaeological buildings such as the Pergamon Altar, the Market Gate of Miletus and the Ischtar Gate with the processional street of Babylon and the Mschatta facade have made the museum known worldwide. The hall with the Pergamon Altar and other sections are expected to be closed until 2023 due to extensive building renovations. Open: Tue-Sun 10:00-18:00. Price: €12.00 (as of 2022-12-23), €6.00 (students, as of 2022-12-23).
Bode Museum, Am Kupfergraben, 10117 Berlin. Phone: +49 (0)30 266424242 . The Bode Museum on the Museum Island mainly exhibits sculptures. After being destroyed in World War II, the museum has been open to the public again since 2006 with its sculpture collection, the Museum of Byzantine Art, the coin cabinet and works from the picture gallery. Feature: luggage storage.
Altes Museum, Bodestrasse 1-3, 10178 Berlin. Tel.: +49 (0)30 266424242. The building was originally created for the Berlin art collections. Between 1943 and 1945 the building burned down and was severely damaged. The reconstruction lasted until 1966. Since 1998 the antiquities collection in the Altes Museum has been showing its Greek collection with the treasury on the ground floor of the building.
Old National Gallery, Bodestrasse 1-3, 10178 Berlin. Phone: +49 (0)30 266424242 . In the Old National Gallery works of classicism, romanticism, Biedermeier, impressionism and the beginning of modernism are exhibited
Neues Museum, Bodestrasse 1-3, 10178 Berlin. Tel.: +49 (0)30 266424242, email: wikipediacommonsfacebook. The New Museum houses the papyrus collection and the Egyptian Museum with the bust of Nefertiti, the Museum of Prehistory and Early History with objects from Priam's treasure and parts of the antiquities collection.
James Simon Gallery internet, Bodestrasse, 10178 Berlin. Phone: +49 (0)30 266424242 .


Kulturforum/ cultural forum

In the 1960s, an ensemble of cultural temples with the Philharmonie and chamber music hall, state library and several museums was built in the western part of the 38 Kulturforum in Tiergarten, not far from Potsdamer Platz, on a wasteland near the Wall. These include:

New National Gallery, Potsdamer Strasse 50, 10785 Berlin. Tel.: +49 (0)30 266424242. The Neue Nationalgalerie is the museum for 20th-century art of the Nationalgalerie Berlin. The museum building, which opened in 1968, was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and is considered an icon of classical modernism. In addition to the museum Sunday, admission is free on Thursdays from 4 p.m.
Berlin Picture Gallery, Matthäikirchplatz, 10785 Berlin. Tel.: +49 (0)30 266424242. The Berlin Picture Gallery shows holdings of old European paintings from the 13th to the 18th century.
Kupferstichkabinett, Matthäikirchplatz, 10785 Berlin. Tel.: +49 (0)30 266424242. The Kupferstichkabinett is the largest museum of graphic arts in Germany and one of the four most important collections of this kind in the world. Its holdings include more than 500,000 prints and around 110,000 other works of art on paper, i.e. drawings, pastels, watercolors and oil sketches.
Museum of Decorative Arts, Matthäikirchplatz, 10785 Berlin. Phone: +49 (0)30 266424242.
Musical Instrument Museum, Tiergartenstrasse 1, Berlin. Tel.: +49 (0)30 25481178. With around 3,500 instruments, the Berlin Musical Instrument Museum has one of the largest and most representative collections of musical instruments in Germany.

A bit away from the Kulturforum
Hamburger Bahnhof − Museum for Contemporary Art (in Moabit near the main train station).
Bauhaus Archive, Klingelhöferstrasse 14 . Exhibition on the history of the famous architectural style, the world's largest collection on the Bauhaus theme. The permanent exhibition of the Bauhaus Archive is closed until probably 2025 due to general renovation and expansion.


Museums in and around Charlottenburg Palace

All around that
Schloss Charlottenburg, which is itself a major museum site, there are a number of fine museums of painting.
Berggruen Museum, Schlossstrasse 1, 14059 Berlin. Tel: +49 (0)30 266424242. The Berggruen Museum (opposite the castle) exhibits paintings by Picasso and his time. In addition to works by Picasso, classical modern art by numerous other well-known artists can be seen - including Cézanne, Klee, Braque and Matisse. Closed until 2025 due to general renovation!
Collection Scharf-Gerstenberg, Schloßstrasse 70, 14059 Berlin. Tel.: +49 (0)30 266424242. The Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection shows top-class works by the Surrealists and their predecessors from the holdings of the "Foundation Dieter Scharf Collection in Memory of Otto Gerstenberg". The spectrum of artists ranges from Piranesi, Goya and Redon to Dalí, Magritte, Max Ernst and Dubuffet.
Bröhan Museum, Schloßstrasse 1a, 14059 Berlin. Tel.: +49 (0)30 32690600. With Art Nouveau, Art Deco and Functionalism (1889-1939).
Collection of casts of antique plastic, Schloßstraße 69 b, 14059 Berlin. Tel.: +49 (0)30 3424054. The collection features 2,000 plaster casts of Greek and Roman sculptures from the 3rd millennium B.C. to about 500 AD

Museum Center Dahlem
The ethnological museums are housed in the Dahlem Museum Center in Dahlem, Lansstraße 8 or Arnimallee 25, U3 Dahlem-Dorf. After the opening of the Humboldt Forum in the rebuilt city palace, they are to move there.

Museum of Asian Art, Schlossplatz, 10178 Berlin. Phone: +49 (0)30 266424242.
Ethnological Museum, Schloßplatz, 10178 Berlin. Phone: +49 (0)30 266424242.
Museum of European Cultures, Arnimallee 25, 14195 Berlin. Phone: +49 (0)30 266424242.
All three museums have some of the most extensive collections of their genre in the world.


History Museums

Zeughaus (Deutsches Historisches Museum)/ German Historical Museum (DHM), Unter den Linden 2 Berlin-Mitte. Tel.: +49(0)30-20 30 40. Museum of German history and place of enlightenment and understanding of the common history of Germans and Europeans. Extensive collections on German history, near the Berlin Cathedral and the Museum Island. Open: Mon-Sun 10:00 - 18:00. Price: €8, reduced €4, children under 19 free.
Jewish Museum Berlin , Lindenstrasse 9-14 in Kreuzberg. Tel.: +49 (0)30 2599 3300. Persecution of Jews 1933-1945, Jewish life in Germany since late antiquity, importance of Judaism in Germany for cultural development in Germany, special exhibitions. Interesting architecture. Open: Mon 10:00 - 22:00, Tue - Sun 10:00 - 20:00. Price: €8, reduced: €3, family: €14.


Berlin Wall Memorial, Bernauer Strasse 119 and 111, Gesundbrunnen / Mitte. Tel.: +49(0)30-467 98 66 66, e-mail: . The division of Germany was most blatant in Bernauer Strasse. The street belonged to the West Berlin district of Wedding, houses in the East Berlin district of Mitte. After the ground floors were bricked up on August 13, 1961, the refugees jumped out of the upper windows onto the street. Escape tunnels were also dug. On a 1.3 km long piece of the former border, the border installation and the situation at that time with the fate of people is shown. Open: outdoor area: accessible all year round; Visitor Center: Apr-Oct: Tue-Sun 10am-6pm. The documentation center at Bernauer Strasse 111. Price: Admission free.
Documentation Center Topography of Terror, Niederkirchnerstraße 8, 10963 Berlin Mitte/Kreuzberg. Tel.: +49(0)30 - 25450950, E-Mail: . The documentation center of the "Topography of Terror" foundation shows permanent exhibitions from the time of National Socialism: The focus is on the permanent exhibition in the building on the Gestapo, SS and the Reich Security Main Office and the crimes they committed. Outside, the exhibition "Berlin 1933-1945" can be found on a piece of the former Berlin Wall. Special exhibitions and guided tours complement the program. During the Nazi era, the headquarters of the Secret State Police (Gestapo) was located on the site. Open: daily 10:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m., closed 24/12, 31/12, 01/01 Price: Admission free.
House at Checkpoint Charlie (Wall Museum), Friedrichstrasse 43, 10969 Berlin-Kreuzberg. Tel.: +49(30 - 253 7250, email: . History of the Berlin Wall and the division of Germany. The private museum on the former border crossing shows a lively exhibition on the Berlin Wall and is visited by many visitors Visited from all over the world Open: Mon-Sun 9am-10pm Price: €12.50, students: €9.50, children 7-18 years: €6.50.
Museum in the Kulturbrauerei (in Prenzlauer Berg). Email: with the permanent exhibition “Everyday life in the GDR” Open: Tue−Sun and public holidays 10:00−18:00, Thu until 20:00. Price: Admission free.
German Resistance Memorial Center, Stauffenbergstraße 13-14, 10785 Berlin (Mitte/Tiergarten; entrance via the Ehrenhof). Tel.: +49-30-26 99 50 00, e-mail:


Museums of technology and natural science

German Museum of Technology internet, Kreuzberg. Tel.: +49 (0)30 90 25 40, fax: +49 (0)30 90 25 41 75, e-mail: . Exhibitions on aerospace, shipping, rail, road and municipal transport and photo and film technology, as well as energy technology, production technology, computing and automation technology, communications technology, writing and printing technology, paper technology, textile technology, historical brewery and special exhibitions . More on this.
Museum for Internet Communication, Leipziger Strasse 16, 10117 Berlin-Mitte. Phone: +49(0)30-202 94 205, email: History, present and future of communication, permanent exhibition: Communication is everyday life. How do media change the perception of space and time? What are the effects of accelerating the movement of people, goods and data? How are messages protected? How is the self-portrayal of institutions and nations changing? Special exhibits: Blue and Red Mauritius, television tubes from before the television era, Philipp Reis' first telephones. i.a. Exhibition about the mail. More on this. Open: Tue 9am-8pm, Wed-Fri 9am-5pm, Sat-Sun 10am-6pm. Price: €4, reduced €2, children under 18 free.
Museum für Naturkunde internet (Natural History Museum, Humboldt Museum), Mitte. Tel.: +49 (0)30 88 91 40 85 91, fax: +49 (0)30 88 91 40 88 41, e-mail: . The Museum of Natural History in Berlin is (along with the Senckenberg Museum in Frankfurt) the largest natural history museum in Germany. The museum is best known for a skeleton originally classified as Brachiosaurus brancai, the world's largest assembled skeleton of a dinosaur. Also on view in the atrium is the very well-preserved original of an Archeopteryx (“Berlin specimen”), the Paraves, widely known as the oldest bird, from the Solnhofener Plattenkalks in southern Germany. The museum also exhibits: minerals, fossils, ungulates and native animals. The dioramas, which show various animals in their natural environment, are considered to be of cultural and historical value. Feature: wheelchair accessible. Price: €8.00.
Botanical Garden with Botanical Museum. with large greenhouses over 100 years old.
Tierpark internet, Lichtenberg (U-Bahn U5) wikipediacommons. Tierpark Berlin is the East Berlin zoo with lots of space in Friedrichsfelde. With over 160 hectares, it is one of the largest zoos in Europe and is highly recommended for visitors. A visit to the pachyderm house is recommended on weekends around 12:00 when the elephants are bathing. More on this.
Zoological garden in the Tiergarten near the Zoo train station with the aquarium. One of the oldest and most species-rich zoos and green oasis in the busy City-West.


Parks, gardens, lakes and forests

Large zoo. The Brandenburg electors used to hunt here. Now walkers stroll, joggers jog and cyclists cycle through the extensive park, the green lung of the city.
Tempelhof field. The site of the former Tempelhof Airport is now a wide open and green space. It opened to the public in May 2010 and is available for leisure, sports and recreation during the day.
Treptow Park. Park on the west bank of the Spree with the adjacent Plänterwald. Soviet memorial and former amusement park, now overgrown. Feature: public toilet.
Grunewald . In Wilmersdorf with nearby Havel lakes. Largest contiguous forest area in Berlin between the city area and the Havel in the south-west of the city.
Tegel Lake. with Tegel Forest. The Tegeler See is a large bulge of the Havel, on the northern shore of which borders an extensive forest area.
Müggelsee . Berlin's largest lake.


Berlin with children - sights for children

Berlin offers a wide variety of sights, activities, museums and exhibitions that, in addition to the two zoos, are specially geared to the needs of children. Below are a few particularly worthwhile destinations for children aged 3 and over.

Join the Museum, Senefelder Str. 5, Prenzlauer Berg. The MACHmit! Museum für Kinder is a very special museum: numerous MACHmit! offers to discover, try out and explore encourage children to learn through play and to gain unusual experiences.
Labyrinth, Osloer Strasse 12, Wedding. Whether by touching, trying out, jumping, climbing, folding, kneading, smelling, running, hearing, seeing, asking, screaming, thinking or relaxing: Learning through doing things yourself is the way that not only children make the best progress.
FEZ Wuhlheide, road to FEZ 2, Köpenick. The FEZ Berlin is Europe's largest non-profit center for children, young people and families. It offers creative play, fun, relaxation and culture for the whole family.
Legoland Berlin, Potsdamer Strasse 4. Email: commons. Tourist trap at Potsdamer Platz. Open: Monday - Sunday 10am - 7pm (last admission 5pm).
Youth Museum, Hauptstr. 40/42, 10827 Berlin-Schoeneberg. Phone: +49 (0)30 902776163, email: an experimental history museum for young people. It is based in the "Millionenvilla" in Berlin's Schöneberg district. Unusual exhibition and workshop rooms and a lively program. Open: Sat - Thurs 2 p.m. - 6 p.m., Fri 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Ritter Sport Bunte Schokowelt, Französische Str. 24, Mitte (near Gendarmenmarkt). On three floors and almost 1000m², big and small chocolate lovers can enjoy, discover and create as they please. Admission free.
Fassbender & Rausch, Charlottenstr. 60, middle. Here you can enjoy quality chocolate and view Berlin's sights from 300kg of chocolate in the shop window.


What to do

Berlinale - Berlin International Film Festival. Mostly in the second half of February in numerous Berlin venues. All films in the competition have their ceremonial premiere at the Theater am Potsdamer Platz, which at the time was called the “Berlinale Palast”. The opening ceremony and awarding of the official prizes also take place here.
Carnival of the Cultures. Street festival in Kreuzberg with a big parade. Always on the Pentecost weekend, from Friday to Monday. Interesting superimposition with the football cup final, also usually on Pentecost Sunday.
Fete de la Musique. Every year at the beginning of summer on June 21st with numerous stages and bands in the city
Christopher Street Day (CSD). The CSD Berlin takes place on the last weekend in June.
Open Air Gallery, on the Oberbaum Bridge over the Spree between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain. Annually in early summer
Berlin shines. Light artists spectacularly stage buildings in the city with light and projections - dates in spring and autumn.
Festival of Lights. At the beginning of October, the Festival of Lights once again transforms many well-known buildings in the metropolis into a glittering, colorful city.
New Year's Eve party at the Brandenburg Gate. At 12 noon on New Year's Eve, the 2 km long party mile on the Straße des 17. Juni between the Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column will open. Between 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. there will be music rehearsals for the artists performing in the evening. The stage program begins at 7 p.m. with various live bands and DJs. From 12:30 a.m. the big party with DJ entertainment starts. Up to 1,000,000 people celebrating the new year.
Long Night of Museums. In the summer, the Long Night of the Museums takes place every year, with around 80 museums taking part. Combined ticket including the shuttle buses and public transport from 3 p.m.: €18, reduced €12, children up to 12 years have free admission, but need a ticket for the public transport.



Berlin is a popular trade fair location. The big trade fairs take place at the exhibition center in the Westend. Well-known public fairs include the Green Week in mid-January, the International Tourism Exchange (ITB) in early March and the IFA in early September.


Opera, musical, concerts, ballet and drama

Berlin has an unmistakable range of stages and classical concerts, variety shows. Event information can be found in the print or online editions such as Zitty or tip. There are also event information on the official city website.

Tickets are available in advance at the respective theater box offices, online or in the central ticket office Hekticket am Zoo - ticket sales in the foyer of the Deutsche Bank, opposite the Zoo station in Hardenbergstraße 29 D (Monday - Saturday 10am - 8pm, Sun + public holidays 14th – 6 p.m.) or with Hekticket at the Alex in the Kulturkiosk at Berlin Carré, U+S Bahn Alexanderplatz, Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 13 (Mon – Sat 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.). It is worth asking the staff there for advice. Tel.: +49 (0)30 – 230 9930. Half-price tickets for events on the same evening are available daily from 2 p.m.

Only the largest regularly played houses are listed here. For detailed information and other houses, see the relevant district articles.



Staatsoper Unter den Linden (German State Opera, Berlin State Opera), Unter den Linden 5-7, 10117 Berlin-Mitte. The Staatsoper Unter den Linden is the most important opera house in Berlin. The building was part of the Forum Fridericianum and was built as the Royal Court Opera from 1741 to 1743 according to plans by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff. The building was the first free-standing opera house in Germany and at the time the largest in Europe.
Deutsche Oper Berlin, Bismarckstrasse 35, 10627 Berlin-Charlottenburg. Tel.: +49(0)30-343 8401, e-mail: The Deutsche Oper Berlin is the largest of the three opera houses in Berlin. The building at Bismarckstraße 34-37 in Charlottenburg was opened in 1961 and was a replacement for the Deutsche Oper, which was destroyed on the same site in 1943 during World War II. With 1859 seats, the Charlottenburg House is one of the largest theaters in Germany.
Komische Oper Berlin, Behrenstrasse 55, 10117 Berlin-Mitte. The Komische Oper Berlin is the smallest of the three Berlin opera houses. In the theater building erected in 1892, the Theater unter den Linden played first, and from 1898 the Metropol-Theater. Shortly before the end of the Second World War, large parts of the building as well as the entrance area and the ceiling painting were completely destroyed. The auditorium remained almost undamaged. In 1947, Walter Felsenstein founded the Komische Oper Berlin here. With the work of Walter Felsenstein, who was director and chief director of the house until his death in 1975, the Komische Oper Berlin achieved worldwide recognition as the birthplace of modern music theatre.


Musicals and variety shows

Friedrichstadt-Palast, Friedrichstrasse 107, Berlin-Mitte. Email: Revue theater built in 1984 on Friedrichstrasse. Berlin's biggest show with over 100 artists on the world's largest theater stage.
Theater of the West, Kantstr. 12, Berlin-Charlottenburg. Email: Former opera and operetta house, built in 1895/96 in the style of Wilhelmine historicism. Since 2003 musical theater of Stage Entertainment. A variety of musicals have been performed, including "Mamma Mia", "Dance of the Vampires" and "The Fellowship of the Ring".
Bluemax Theater at Potsdamer Platz with the Blue Man Group, Marlene-Dietrich-Platz 4, 10785 Berlin wikipediacommons. at Potsdamer Platz with the Blue Man Group, mix of music, comedy, art and science.
Admiralspalast, Friedrichstrasse 101, 10117 Berlin. Musicals, shows and concerts are performed in the historic building near the Friedrichstrasse train station.



Philharmonic Orchestra Herbert von Karajanstr. 1, Berlin Tiergarten. In the Kulturforum in Tiergarten - Ingenious construction of a concert hall, the orchestra podium is in the middle of the room. Adjacent to the Chamber Music Hall, built 24 years later next to the Philharmonie.
Concert hall on the Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin-Mitte



Berliner Ensemble, Bertolt-Brecht-Platz 1, 10117 Berlin(-Mitte). Phone: +49 (0)30 284 080 . The Berliner Ensemble became famous through performances of the works of its founder Bertolt Brecht and is considered one of the leading German-language theaters. The Theater am Schiffbauerdamm in Berlin-Mitte has been the venue of the Berliner Ensemble since 1954.
Deutsches Theater, Schumannstrasse 13, 10117 Berlin(-Mitte). Phone: +49 (0)30 284 410
Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Linienstrasse 227, Berlin-Mitte. Tel.: +49 (0)30 24 065 - 5, email: wikipediacommons.
Komödie am Kurfürstendamm in the Schillertheater, Bismarckstraße 110, Berlin-Charlottenburg. Phone: +49 (0)30 88 59 11-88.
Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz, Kurfürstendamm 153, Berlin-Wilmersdorf. Phone: +49 (0)30 890020, email:
Maxim Gorki Theater − With 440 seats, it is the smallest of Berlin's theatres. The program covers the entire breadth of contemporary theatre. It resides in the building erected by the choir association of the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin behind the Neue Wache on Unter den Linden boulevard. It is named after the Russian Soviet writer Maxim Gorky.
Renaissance Theater on Knesebeckstrasse in Charlottenburg is the only well-preserved Art Deco theater in Europe.



Cabaret Theater Distel, Friedrichstrasse 101. Tel.: +49 30 20 30 00 0, email:
21 Cabaret Theater The Porcupines, Tauentzienstraße 9 - 12 in the Europa Center. Tel.: +49 (0)30 261 47 95, e-mail:
Cabaret Theater Die Wühlmäuse, Pommernallee 2-4, near Theodor-Heuss-Platz. Phone: +49 (0)30 30 67 30 11, fax: +49 (0)30 30 67 30 30, email:


Event arenas

Major events such as concerts, guest performances by rock bands, etc. take place in
Olympic Stadium, Olympischer Platz 3, 14053 Berlin. Phone: +49 (0)30 30688100.
Waldbühne, Glockenturmstrasse 1, 14053 Berlin. Tel.: +49 (0)30 74737500. Open-air stage for 20,000 visitors.
Mercedes-Benz Arena, Mercedes-Platz 1, 10243 Berlin. Tel.: +49 (0)30 20607080. 15,000 visitors.
Velodrom, Paul-Heyse-Strasse 26, 10407 Berlin. Phone: +49 (0)30 443045.
Max-Schmeling-Halle, Am Falkplatz 1, 10437 Berlin. Phone: +49 (0)30 443045.


City tours

There are countless organizers in Berlin who show visitors the city on land, on water and in the air, above ground, underground, with and without a bicycle, Segway, pub crawls, even with a dog.


Scenic flights

Sightseeing flights with the Cessna are offered from Strausberg, helicopter sightseeing flights from Schönefeld. The fun can quickly reach triple digits.


By boat

Numerous providers navigate the rivers and canals of Berlin, not just the Spree and Havel. A classic is a three to four-hour round trip via the Spree and Landwehr Canal, which runs in the heart of Berlin, at Museum Island, Reichstag, Jannowitzbrücke begins. The tour goes over the Spree under Oberbaumbrücke to the Landwehr Canal through Kreuzberg and Schöneberg, past Potsdamer Platz through Tiergarten, past the Zoological Garden to the Spree in Moabit and on the Spree past the main station back to the Reichstag and Museum Island. Various providers run the round trip or parts of it, especially on the Spree. The largest providers are Reederei Riedel and Stern- und Kreisschifffahrt.

There are also various themed trips such as bridge, Spree, city center trips and special trips, e.g. Aquarella, Krimimobil, Icke in Berlin, but also charter trips. Longer trips take the Spree to the mouth of the Havel in Spandau and on to Wannsee (that would be a full day tour). The Havel from Tegeler See to Wannsee via Spandau is also used. Excursion boats travel up the Spree towards Müggelsee from Treptow. An overview of the shipping companies can be obtained from the Berlin Shipowners' Association.

Canoe tours are also offered, e.g. B. Walking on Water. Those who want and are allowed to sail themselves will also find what they are looking for. Various boat rentals in Berlin and the surrounding area enable individual planning. These include i.a. Berlin boat rental, yacht charter Werder, ALS boat rental and boat charter Keser.


Bus tours

Various providers operate hop-on hop-off trips with double-decker buses, often with a folding roof that can be opened when the weather is nice. The routes hardly differ and touch on the main tourist destinations. The clock frequency (usually 15 minutes) and the prices hardly differ. Day tickets are between 27 and 30 euros, two-day tickets around 50 euros. There are also combined offers with ship tours or museum visits.

A cheap alternative to commercial hop-on hop-off trips is the BVG day ticket with over 7,000 hop-on hop-off points, i.e. bus stops, in the city area. This includes a sightseeing tour on the 100, 200 and 300 double-decker yellow buses.

Get on at S-Bahn and U-Bahn station Zoo or Alexanderplatz, drive past the most important sights and interrupt the journey at any stop. An audio commentary is even available for line 100 as an MP3 or iPhone app. The Berlin start-up "City Pirates" offers a free audio guide (German and English, Android and iOS) for the 100 bus. At sights, suitable audio content is automatically played on the smartphone via GPS during the journey.

For individual Berlin city tours on the desired date from the starting point of your choice for groups of all sizes in a coach, panorama minibus or minivan: Berlin City Tour

Bus line 100
Line 100 runs every 5 minutes or 10 minutes in the evening and has a journey time of around one hour:
Hertzallee stop: If you want to get a seat at the top of the bus, you should get on here (to the north of Zoo station, walk under the railway bridge).
Regional, S-Bahn and U-Bahn station Zoologischer Garten
Breitscheidplatz: Zoo-Aquarium; Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church; Europa Center
Lützowplatz: Bauhaus Archive
north. Embassies/Adenauer Foundation: access to the Tiergarten
Big Star Victory Column: Office of the Federal President
Bellevue Palace: Bellevue Palace – seat of the Federal President
House of World Cultures: Congress Hall - House of World Cultures
Platz der Republik: Footpath to the Federal Chancellery
Reichstag/Bundestag: Reichstag building; Paul Löbe House; Footpath to the Brandenburg Gate
S+Bahn station Brandenburger Tor: footpath to Brandenburger Tor; Footpath Holocaust Memorial; Boulevard Unter den Linden
Unter den Linden/Friedrichstr.: State Library; Walk to Gendarmenmarkt
State Opera: State Opera; New guard; Walk to Museum Island
Lustgarten: Old Museum (Museum Island); pleasure garden; Schlossplatz (site of the former Palace of the Republic and the planned City Palace); Walk to the Berlin Cathedral and the DDR Museum
Spandauer Str./Marienkirche: Marienkirche; Walk to Hackescher Markt/Hackesche Höfe; Walk to the Red Town Hall
Regional, S- and U-Bahnhnof Alexanderplatz: Everyone has to get off at the end station, the stop for the way back is on the opposite side of the street • Walking distance to the television tower and the famous shopping center "Alexa".


Bus line 200
The 200 bus has a different route. It also runs between the Zoo and Alex, but past the Philharmonie and across Potsdamer Platz. So you can easily start with the 100 at the Zoo or Alex and take the 200 back to the starting point from the other end. The 200 bus runs every 10 minutes.

Other means of transport
For small groups, but also as an individual tour, there are round trips in cars, from (stretch) limousines to minibuses to Trabant on fixed or individually agreed routes. For shorter distances there are guided tours with everything that rolls - bicycle, electric scooter, Segway.

Finding-Berlin-Tours offers alternative Berlin tours with restored classic bicycles. The tours are in English or German and mainly represent the alternative culture of Berlin.
Berlin Cycling Tours, Reichstagufer 19, 10117 Berlin. The traditional company Berlin Cycling Tours offers guided bike tours in Berlin, special city tours in Berlin Mitte, Berlin Prenzlauer Berg and city tours in the beautiful state capital Potsdam. The city trips are offered for families, couples, students, companies, clubs, groups and school classes. Berlin Cycling Tours also rents out various bicycles and e-bikes in Berlin and Potsdam. Timely registration is required for the guided bike tours in Berlin and city tours through Potsdam. Open: Mon - Sun from 10:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. by arrangement, appointment, registration required!


City tours

There are numerous organizers in Berlin who offer guided tours of the city. These can be public tours above and below ground, but also offers for groups, overview tours, tours in individual districts, but also thematic tours (such as the Wall, Jewish life, political Berlin, culinary tours or pub crawls), but also apps with which the visitors can walk alone. In addition to German-speaking tours, public tours are also offered in foreign languages, mostly in English or Spanish. Many public tours are advertised in the city magazines or their online editions. The city information page also offers an overview with a search function.

Vendors include
City walks with the Berlin Greeters Under the motto "Come as a guest, leave as a friend", the Berlin Greeters offer free city tours. The guests get to know the city off the beaten track from the perspective of the locals. The greeters are happy to show the guests their city in an authentic way, with all its rough edges. Personal stories and experiences or tips for going out and leisure are also discussed. In the concrete agreement between guest and greeter, thematic wishes are taken into account, which thus turn these walks into a personal and individual encounter with the city. In order to preserve individuality, the greets are only carried out in small groups of up to 6 people. The Berlin Greeters are members of the International Greeter Association (formerly Global Greeter Network).
Cherrytours Berlin - Meine Stadtführung, Mittelstraße 30 (office, starting point of the tours differs). Tel.: +49 30 20620285, email: public city tours, private or in small groups for individualists. Price: from €15. Accepted payment methods: cash, Master, Visa, Amex.
Berlin city tours Sightseeing Tours offers individual Berlin city tours and city tours on foot that can be booked on the desired date, Berlin Christmas lights tours and certified Berlin tour guides; Phone 030 797 456 00.
Sightseeing Point Berlin - offers public city tours and boat trips in Berlin and Potsdam on fixed dates, groups by arrangement.
Instead trips Berlin - background city tours and thematic tours. For public dates see website
Berlin underworlds - Berlin from below, bunkers from war and cold war, old tunnels
Berlin on Bike - Guided bike tours e.g. B. along the wall, see website for dates


Apps, audio guides offers city tours in Berlin with audio guides. With an audio city tour, the capital can be explored on your own. The tours are in German, English and Italian.


City Excursions

On the traces of the Berlin Monopoly field of 1936: Turmstrasse and Huttenstrasse in Moabit were the cheapest fields, Grunewald and Schwanenwerder the most expensive. In between Schönhauser Allee, Köpenicker Strasse, Oranienstrasse and Friedrichstrasse. Original geocaching tour, about 70km, which also gives an impression of how the districts were rated then compared to the impression of today.

Berlin Wall Trail Walk around Berlin following the traces of the Berlin Wall, 160 km in one go or in separate stages.
Berlin has several large city forests and chains of lakes that extend far into the surrounding area:
Grunewald and Wannsee, Berlin's green south-west
Grunewald Tower - Wannsee - Pfaueninsel • "By bus 218 through the Grunewald" (see also article: Havelseen).
Müggelsee, Dahme and surroundings, Berlin's green south-east
Köpenick − Grünau − Alt Schmöckwitz: • "With the tram 68 through the green Köpenick" in the deep southeast of Berlin.
Tegel, Heiligensee and Spandau-Hakenfelde, Berlin's green northwest.



Berlin is home to various professional teams in the highest German leagues.

There is Bundesliga soccer for the men at Hertha BSC in the Berlin 28 Olympia Stadium and at Union Berlin in the 29 Stadion Alte Försterei in Köpenick. In addition, international matches of the national team occasionally take place in the Olympic Stadium, as does the men's and women's soccer cup final every year. However, tickets for this are difficult to obtain.

An experience for sports fans are also the basketball team Alba Berlin, in ice hockey the games of the Eisbären Berlin, both of which play in the 30 Mercedes-Benz Arena in Friedrichshain. The volleyball games of the BR Volleys and the handball games of the Füchse Berlin take place in the 31 Max-Schmeling-Halle in Prenzlauer Berg.

Well-known major sporting events are also:
ISTAF - International Athletics Festival in September
The Berlin Marathon - end of September
Six-day race - cycling races in February
There are trotting races at the 32 Mariendorf trotting track and the 33 Karlshorst trotting track, and gallop racing at the 34 Hoppegarten gallop racing track, just outside the eastern outskirts. Race days are mostly on the weekends.



Indoor and outdoor pools are described in the respective district articles. If the weather is bad, you can also visit one of Berlin's spectacular indoor pools, some of which are historic. The following outdoor pools and bathing areas are particularly recommended:

Freibad Tegeler See (beach Tegelsee, Strandbad Tegel, Strandbad Tegeler See, best water quality in Berlin), Schwarzer Weg 21, 13505 Berlin-Tegel. Phone: +49(0)30-4341 078 . Facilities: Sandy beach, beach chairs, slides, diving platform, snack bar, beach volleyball, children's playground, table tennis tables. Price: €5.50, reduced €3.50.
Strandbad Plötzensee, Nordufer 26, 13351 Berlin-Wedding. Phone: +49(0)30-4502 0533, email: Facilities: Sandy beach, sunbathing lawns, children's playgrounds, nudist area, beach and water slides, beach chairs, table tennis tables, jetties, beach loungers, tightrope, beach volleyball, basketball, soccer field, restaurant, snack bar, grill. Open: May 1 - Sept: 9:00 - 19:00. Price: €4, reduced €2.50.
Strandbad Wannsee, Wannseebadweg 25, 14129 Berlin-Nikolassee. Tel.: +49(0)30-803 5450, email: . Largest inland lake resort in Europe. Facilities: 1km sandy beach, nudist area, beach chairs, deep-water slide, beach volleyball, football, park, promenade, boat rentals, children's playground, snack bars. Price: €5.50, reduced €3.50.
Lido Müggelsee. Strandbad Müggelsee on the northeastern shore of the lake is a popular recreation area with textile and nudist zones.



In Berlin, shops are allowed to open around the clock from Monday to Saturday. On two Sundays in Advent and on six other Sundays and public holidays, it is open from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. A current list of the planned opening times for many shops can be found on the City of Berlin website. Many supermarkets/supermarkets are open until 10:00 p.m. or midnight.

Shopping streets
The decentralized structure of Berlin is reflected in the fact that almost every district has its own shopping street. Some have supra-regional importance, others only locally. The epidemic-like spread of shopping arcades is partially reducing the importance of the old shopping street. This is particularly evident in the former eastern part, where hardly any shopping boulevards could develop during the GDR era and where the shopping centers immediately took over after the reunification. The main boulevards are:
Kurfürstendamm (approximately up to Olivaer Platz) and Tauentzienstraße in Charlottenburg
Friedrichstrasse in Mitte between Friedrichstrasse station and Mohrenstrasse
Wilmersdorfer Strasse in Charlottenburg between Kantstrasse and Bismarckstrasse
Schönhauser Allee in Prenzlauer Berg between Eberswalder and Bornholmer Strasse
Schloßstraße in Steglitz between Walter-Schreiber-Platz and Steglitz town hall

Department stores
The most important department stores in Berlin are the Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) in Schöneberg, as a counterpart in the east the French department store Galeries Lafayette, newly built after the reunification on Friedrichstrasse in Mitte, the former Centrum department store Galeria Kaufhof on Alexanderplatz in Mitte, Karstadt am Kurfürstendamm, at Hermannplatz and in Steglitzer Schloßstraße.

Department Store of the West (KaDeWe), Tauentzienstrasse 21-24, on Wittenbergplatz in Schöneberg. Phone: +49(0)30-21 210, Email: The Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) is a department store in Berlin with an upscale range and luxury goods that opened on March 27, 1907. It is the most famous department store in Germany. In the course of its eventful history, the Kaufhaus des Westens was expanded and rebuilt many times, the parent company changed six times and it burned down during the Second World War. Today, with 60,000 square meters of retail space, KaDeWe is the largest department store in continental Europe. A special attraction since the late 1920s has been the delicatessen department, the so-called "Feinschmeckeretage". After an expansion, it has been the second largest grocery department in a department store in the world since 1978. The restaurant on the upper floor of the department store is particularly recommended. From here you can enjoy the beautiful view and the hustle and bustle on Tauentzienstraße and Wittenbergplatz with coffee and cake or champagne and salmon sandwiches. Open: Mon-Thu 10am-8pm, Fri 10am-9pm, Sat 9:30am-8pm.
Galeries Lafayette, Friedrichstrasse 76-78, Friedrichstadt in Mitte. Tel.: +49(0)30-209 480, email: . The department store Galeries Lafayette Berlin is operated by the French department store chain Galeries Lafayette. The department store is one of the few Galeries Lafayette branches outside of mainland France - the others are in Dubai, Casablanca and Jakarta. The building by French architect Jean Nouvel is also known as Quartier 207 and is considered one of the most important buildings of the 1990s in Berlin. Open: Mon-Sat 10am-8pm.
Galeria Kaufhof Berlin Alexanderplatz, Alexanderplatz 9, Berlin-Mitte. Phone: +49(0)30-247430. The former Centrum department store was given its present form by renovations between 2004 and 2006 according to plans by the architect Josef Paul Kleihues. The central staircase and the view from the top floor over Alexanderplatz are impressive. Goods from the medium-priced segment are offered on 35,000 m². At the back of the ground floor is a well-equipped delicatessen department. On the 5th floor there is an upscale self-service restaurant with large picture windows. Open: Mon-Wed 9:30-20:00 Thu-Sat 9:30-22:00.
Humana Secondhand & Vintage department store, Frankfurter Tor 3, 10243 Berlin. Tel.: +49 30 4222018. Europe's largest second-hand department store. There are clothes for women, men and children as well as accessories on five floors. In the vintage department you will find well-preserved original clothing from the 1950s to the 90s. Open: Mon to Sat 10:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.


Shopping centers

The large department stores are under growing competitive pressure from large shopping centers that are being built in many places; there are now over 70 in Berlin. The most important of these are in the east the Alexa on Alexanderplatz and the East Side Gallery near the Warsaw Bridge, and in the north the Gesundbrunnen Center at the U-Bahn, S-Bahn and long-distance train stations Berlin-Gesundbrunnen. In the center of Berlin is the Mall of Berlin on Leipziger Platz. With 270 shops and 76,000 m², it is larger than KaDeWe with 61,000 m². Before the Second World War, Germany's most beautiful department store stood on Leipziger Platz, today the tall buildings on the square are boring.

Alexa, Am Alexanderplatz, Grunerstrasse 20, Berlin-Mitte. Phone: +49(0)30-269340121 facebook. The Alexa on Berlin's Alexanderplatz is 56,200 m² in size and is one of the largest shopping centers in Berlin. Open: Mon-Sat 10-21.
The Castle, Schloßstrasse 34, Steglitz. Tel.: +49(0)30-6669 120, e-mail: The castle borders the Steglitz town hall on two sides, whose covered inner courtyard was integrated into the shopping center as a restaurant area. It is home to 90 retail stores. Open: Mon-Thu 10am-8pm, Fri-Sat 10am-9pm

Other shopping centers in the Schloßstraße are: Boulevard Berlin, Forum Steglitz and Schloss-Straßen-Center, as well as the department stores Karstadt and Naturkaufhaus in the Galleria.
Potsdamer Platz Arcades, Alte Potsdamer Strasse 7, Berlin-Mitte. Tel.: +49(0)30-2559270 wikipediacommonsfacebookinstagram. Opened in 1998, the shopping center with 133 shops, restaurants and cafés is around 180m2 with a sales area of 40,000m². The arcades are easy to reach by bus, U+S and regional trains. Open: Open: Mon.-Sat. 10am - 9pm.
Gropiuspassagen, Johannisthaler Chaussee 295, Neukölln. Phone: +49(0)30-67066640, email: . The Gropius Passagen, which was renovated in 1994, is the largest shopping center in the city with 85,000 m² of retail space and one of the largest shopping centers in Germany. Here are over 140 shops, the department store Galeria Kaufhof, several restaurants and a multiplex cinema. It has direct access to the U7 subway station Johannisthaler Chaussee. Open: Mon-Fri 10am-8pm Sat 10am-10pm.

Fassbender & Rausch factory outlet, Wolframstrasse 95, 12105 Berlin (near Ullsteinstrasse underground station). Factory outlet of Fassbender & Rausch Manufaktur with the Rausch range, as well as inexpensive pralines, truffles and chocolate. Open: Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 10am-2pm.
Ulla Popken Warehouse Sale, Oudenarder Straße 16, 13347 Berlin (near subway station Nauenerplatz). Stock sale of plus size brand Ulla Popken. Open: Mon-Fri 09.30-19.00, Sat 09.30-16.00.
Leiser Outlet, Grenzallee 9, 12057 Berlin (near S-Bahn station Köllnische Heide). Leading German shoe retailer with numerous branded shoes.
Fashionart Outlet Berlin, Eberhard-Roters-Platz 4, 10965 Berlin. Exclusive women's fashion: evening dresses, wedding dresses, business dresses, prom dresses and cocktail dresses. Open: Fri 12:00-20:00, Sat 10:00-18:00.
Bahlsen factory outlet, Oberlandstrasse 52, 12099 Berlin. Sweet and savory baked goods from the Bahlsen product range. Open: Mon-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 9am-1pm.
KPM factory outlet (Royal Porcelain Manufactory Berlin), Wegelystraße 1, 10623 Berlin. Phone: +49(0)30-39009215. Tableware and decorative items made of porcelain, 2nd quality and remaining stock. Open: Mon-Sat 10:00-18:00.
promobo (young designers & manufacturers in the box), Hackesche Höfe Hof 3. Tel.: (0)30 30347671. beautiful and original gifts, handmade in Berlin and Brandenburg. Open: Mon-Sat 10am-8pm. Accepted payment methods: EC, Visa, Master, cash.

Christmas markets
During the Advent season there are a number of Christmas markets in the festively decorated capital. A small selection:

Christmas Magic Gendarmenmarkt, Gendarmenmarkt 1, Berlin-Mitte. Tel.: +49(0)30-20912631, e-mail: One of the most beautiful and atmospheric Christmas markets in Berlin. Open: 23.11. – 31.12. from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Price: €1 entry on weekends, children under 12 free.
Christmas market on Alexanderplatz, special attraction: ice skating rink
Christmas market at the Red Town Hall, Rathausstraße 15, 10178 Berlin-Mitte. Special attraction: 50m high Ferris wheel with closed panorama gondolas. Open: 24 November – 28 December 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Spandau Christmas market in the old town, Carl-Schurz-Strasse, 13597 Berlin-Spandau. Special attraction: Square concerts on Fridays. Open: 24.11.-23.12. Sun-Thu 11-20, Fri 11-21, Sat 11-22. Price: Free entry.
Christmas market at Potsdamer Platz, Alte Potsdamer Strasse 1, 10785 Berlin-Tiergarten. Special attractions: toboggan run, ice rink, curling. Open: 11/01 - 01/04 10am-10pm. Price: Free entry.

International specialties
In Kreuzberg, Neukölln, Moabit and Wedding there are many shops with Turkish and Arabic specialties. There are a number of Russian shops in the eastern districts of Lichtenberg and Friedrichshain and in central Charlottenburg. There is a large Vietnamese outlet in the eastern district of Lichtenberg.



More than 100 years ago, Prussian Berlin was known for its many breweries and beers, including the refreshing Berliner Weisse, which was served in numerous beer gardens at the time. When numerous breweries emerged after 1871, Berlin became the world's largest brewery location with almost 100 breweries, including such large ones as the Berliner Kindl brewery, Engelhardt brewery, Jostysche brewery, Patzenhofer brewery and Schultheiss brewery. The beer was of very different quality, the vernacular spoke of dividend manure. After the end of the GDR in 1990, several brewery locations were closed following a wave of re-privatization in the early 1990s.

In addition to the "Molle" (as some Berliners called their beer), the breweries also produced the "Brause" (carbonated lemonade) as a soft drink, with the "Faßbrause" also containing herbal and malt extracts. In addition to the "Molle" there is also the expression "ene Blonde" in Berlin pubs and beer gardens - meaning a Berlin wheat beer; "Pull" for bottle and only in West Berlin the expression "Futschi" for a brandy with cola.

In all Berlin districts there are plenty of inexpensive gastronomic offers in restaurants and snack bars with local and international cuisine. The boulette and also the grilletta are meatballs that are served with grilled chicken (in East Berlin: broiler) and ketwurst, which, in contrast to the hot dog, is served with a warm tomato sauce. It is still a popular product in fast food stands in East Berlin, despite American competition from "Burger King" and "Mc Donalds".

Berlin creations are, for example, “Berliner Luft” for dessert or “Hoppelpoppel”, a simple Berlin dish made from potatoes, roast leftovers, eggs and cream.

The famous currywurst should also be mentioned, because it was invented in Berlin. The invention of the currywurst goes back to Herta Heuwer (* 1913 − † 1999). According to her own statements, she first offered her new creation on September 4, 1949 at her snack bar on the corner of Kantstrasse and Kaiser-Friedrich-Strasse in Berlin-Charlottenburg, where a plaque commemorates her. Her creation at that time consisted of fried boiled sausage (without casing) in combination with a sauce made of tomato paste, curry powder and Worcestershire sauce. There are about as many insider tips for the best currywurst as there are snack bars. Konnopke (Prenzlauer Berg) and Curry 36 (various locations) are known nationally. Other good addresses can be found here and here.

Doner kebab is one of the most famous dishes in Turkish cuisine. It is uncertain when the first kebab shop opened in Germany, according to legend it was in the early 1970s in Berlin on Kottbusser Damm. According to another account, confirmed by the Association of Turkish Doner Kebab Manufacturers, the doner kebab - at that time as grilled meat in flatbread with just onions - including its preparation on a rotating metal skewer was invented by the Turkish immigrant Kadir Nurman; his first kebab shop was at the Zoo train station in the early 1970s.

A list of typical Berlin dishes can be found on Wikipedia: Berliner Küche.

Berlin has a wide range of gastronomy, from simple restaurants to beer gardens, international cuisine (almost) of all nationalities, event gastronomy to star cuisine. As of March 2020, Berlin had 31 Michelin stars, divided into 18 one-star, five two-star and one three-star hotels.

There are a number of unusual restaurants in Berlin, such as: dark restaurants; the guest touches and smells the food in complete darkness, restaurants in private apartments ("underground supper clubs"), restaurants with unusual furnishings such as launderettes, interactive dinners ("criminal menu"). In addition historical ambience, high up in various sky bars, on a ship, the selection is wide.

It will not come as a surprise that the restaurant density is higher in the touristically interesting districts such as Mitte, parts of Tiergarten and Charlottenburg, and in trendy districts such as Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg, parts of Friedrichshain or Schöneberg, and there in turn higher in the old building areas than anywhere else or in new development areas.

Detailed recommendations for gastronomy can be found in the articles on the districts and districts as well as in the overview article Eating and drinking in Berlin.


Night life

Weekend, Alexanderstrasse 7, 10178 Berlin. Electro.
Berghain. Fax: +493029351830, e-mail:, (lost property office) wikipediacommonstwitter. Internationally known club (electro, techno) with an equally legendary high probability of not being admitted.
Bastard, Kastanienallee 7-9, 10435 Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg. (electro)
Frannz, Schönhauser Allee 36, Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg. fine club, electro and indie.
Sage Club, Köpenicker Str. 76/ corner of Brückenstr. 10179 Berlin-Mitte. Alternate Metal.
Dunckerclub, Dunckerstr. 64, 10439 Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg. Alternative, hard rock, independent.
Watergate, Falkensteinstr. 49a, 10997 Berlin. Electro.
Insel Berlin, Alt-Treptow 6, 12435 Berlin.
Havana, main street 30, 10827 Berlin.
RAW, Revalerstraße 99, Berlin-Friedrichshain, old railway area. various alternative events.
Yaam, An d. Schillingbrücke 3, 10243 Berlin. diverse alternative events with beach, concert hall, skate ramp, graffiti, melting pot of subcultures.
Zyankali Bar, Gneisenaustrasse 17, 10961 Berlin. Tel.: +49 (0)30 68830170. Institute for Entertainment Chemistry. Cocktail bar, mental laboratory, cinema. International crowd, English speaking staff.Last modified Dec.
Ma Baker Club, Johannisstrasse 2, 10117 Berlin. Party club since 1992.
New Berlin pub crawl - the alternative for those who don't want to commit to one bar. With an experienced city guide through five bars and then into a club!
2nd Face Club Berlin, Parkstrasse 50, 13086 Berlin. well-known swing club.
Insomnia, Alt-Tempelhof 17-19, 12099 Berlin. Tel.: +49 (0)30 91909891. well-known swingers club.
Avarus Club, Seestrasse 50, 13347 Berlin. Tel.: +49 (0)30 45308244. Nightclub with sauna, whirlpool, steam bath and much more.
Mensch Meier (electronic music), Storkower Strasse 121, 10407 Berlin. Tel.: +49 (0)30 65832595. last change: Dec.
Clubguideberlin The club search engine for Berlin since 2007 with all popular events and parties.
Bar wannabe



Berlin has accommodations in all price ranges. Since Berlin is very large in terms of area, not only the price range and the demand for accommodation play a role in the selection, but also the district and the time of arrival. Hotel rooms in Berlin also become scarce and correspondingly expensive during the major public fairs such as Green Week or the International Tourism Exchange Berlin (ITB) or on long weekends such as Pentecost (cup final) or around October 3rd. Those who can should avoid these times. Then surprisingly low prices are sometimes possible.

In addition to smaller hotels and guesthouses, which can be found almost everywhere, the centrally located ones in City West, City East or Berlin Mitte are particularly noteworthy, with Potsdamer Platz in between, which also belongs to East Berlin's center - as well as Kreuzberg, Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain.

Of particular interest are luxury hotels, which are inexpensive in Berlin due to the tough competition in international comparison. In the low-budget segment, hostels have long been considered trendsetters and an inexpensive alternative to hotels without the restrictions of youth hostels of the past. In the meantime, however, they are increasingly closing the gap to the hotel and are increasingly competing with national, inexpensive hotel chains.

The 3-star area - the so-called middle class - is looking for its place between these extremes and small family businesses in particular are coming under increasing pressure here.

Since 2014, the city of Berlin has levied an accommodation tax for private travelers of 5% on the overnight price. The city tax is to be paid directly at the accommodation. Business travelers are not taxable.

For a better overview, selected providers are sorted by district. See also the articles on the districts!

For families
Although Berlin now has a solid selection of apartment hotels, as well as hotels offering family rooms or connecting rooms, vacation rentals are still the cheapest for families. People with simple requirements can find sleeping space for 4 or 5 people here for under 20 euros per night. If you want something nicer, with separate bedrooms for children and parents, real beds for everyone (instead of just a sofa bed for the kids), and a washing machine and dishwasher, you can count on 100 euros per night.



Berlin has four well-known state universities:
Humboldt University (Humboldt Universitat), Unter den Linden 6, 10117 Berlin. Phone: +49 (0)30 209370333.
Technical University of Berlin, Strasse des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin. Phone: +49 (0)30 3140.
Free University of Berlin, Kaiserswerther Str. 16-18, 14195 Berlin. Phone: +49 (0)30 8381.
University of the Arts, Hardenbergstrasse 33, 10623 Berlin. Phone: +49 (0)30 31850.
There are also a large number of state universities of applied sciences, e.g. e.g.:

Berlin University of Applied Sciences, Treskowallee 8, 10318 Berlin. Phone: +49 (0)30 50190.
Technical University of Applied Sciences Berlin, Luxemburger Str. 10, 13353 Berlin. Phone: +49 (0)30 450402121.

In addition, the University of Potsdam is located in the Berlin public transport area
information from libraries
Berlin still has a dense network of public libraries, the holdings of which can be researched via the Association of Berlin Public Libraries. The Central and State Library with the locations of the Berlin City Library and the America Memorial Library is the right address for the whole of Berlin. It also runs a "Center for Berlin Studies" for those who are curious about Berlin.

Scientific literature can be found in the libraries of the universities, the State Library of Prussian Cultural Heritage and in numerous important special libraries. The holdings can already be researched from home via the cooperative library network.



Finding a job is still easy only for specialists, freelancers and in the low-wage sector. With tourism booming and the student quarters still growing, odd jobs in the hospitality industry are easy to find. Construction companies are experiencing a slight boom, and the number of entrepreneurs has fallen due to the many insolvencies. However, permanent employment and high wages are a thing of the past in most areas.

Jobseekers from abroad often work in language schools, as tour guides, give private lessons or look after children.

With a European passport or for students from outside the EU who are allowed to work at any time up to 90 days a year, the necessary work permit is a formality. In order to obtain a work permit for people without a European passport, the respective employer has to go through a cumbersome process through various authorities, during which it has to prove that there is no possibility of filling the job with similarly qualified German personnel.

Within the ever-growing English, Spanish and recently French communes, especially in the student districts and in hostels, you can get help and information quickly.


Public holidays

In the federal state of Berlin, the federal public holidays apply, as well as International Women's Day on March 8th.

Mon, Jan 1, 2024 New Year's Day
Wed, Mar 8 2023 International Women's Day
Fri, Apr. 7, 2023 Good Friday, the highest Christian holiday, commemorating the crucifixion of Christ
Sun Apr 9, 2023 Easter Sunday Easter, commemoration of Christ's resurrection
Mon Apr 10, 2023 Easter Monday Easter, Commemoration of Christ's Resurrection
Mon May 1, 2023 May Day International Labor Day
Thu, May 18, 2023 Ascension Day 40 days after Easter, commemoration of the Ascension of Christ
Sun, May 28, 2023 Pentecost Sunday 7 weeks after Easter, commemorating the outpouring of the Holy Spirit
Mon, May 29, 2023 Whit Monday 1 day after Whit Sunday, commemoration of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit
Tue, Oct. 3, 2023 Day of German Unity National holiday
Mon, Dec 25, 2023 Boxing Day Christmas, commemoration of the birth of Christ
Tue, Dec 26, 2023 Boxing Day Christmas, commemoration of the birth of Christ

Christmas Eve (December 24) and New Year's Eve (December 31) are not public holidays. Nevertheless, on these days many businesses are closed all day and many shops and leisure facilities are closed from midday. Most of the restaurants are also closed on Christmas Eve.



Berlin is generally a safe and tolerant city. As in all big cities, there is petty crime such as bicycle and pickpocketing, scams (shell games), but also drug-related offences. You should pay attention to valuables, especially in the crowds of public transport and in tourist centers, don't hang bags over chairs in restaurants, and don't leave wallets and mobile phones lying openly on the table.

In parts of Kreuzberg (Oranienplatz), Friedrichshain (Boxhagener Platz) and Prenzlauer Berg (Mauerpark), there are regular riots on the night of and on May 1st, but these have lost much of their drama in recent years. Nevertheless, as a tourist you should try not to get caught between the fronts.

According to the Berlin police, the main areas of crime are at Alexanderplatz (centre); at the Warsaw Bridge and in a small area of Rigaer Strasse (Friedrichshain); in Görlitzer Park and at Kottbusser Tor (Kreuzberg); in parts of Hermannstrasse and at Hermannplatz (Neukölln).

The emergency number for lost cheques, debit or credit cards is 116 116.



Berlin has numerous clinics of different sizes that cover the entire city area. In addition, there are the university hospitals, of which the Charité is the best known. In the emergency room of the Charité Philippstr. which is centrally located and can be reached quickly, for example by taxi. 10, between the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag and the main train station, you can get help around the clock in an emergency. Unfortunately, long waiting times are normal.

There is also a dense network of pharmacies with a 24-hour emergency service. The pharmacy in the main station is open around the clock. Specialists of all disciplines are sufficiently available in the private sector.

The phone numbers for some emergency services
Medical emergency service: 31 00 31
a selection of medical and dental emergency services
Dental emergency service: 89 00 43 33
Poison control number: 19 24 0
A veterinary emergency service can be found online.
Berlin has one of the highest proportions of smokers in the world. Cigarette smell is often present.


Practical hints

Berlin is a very spacious city that can put even the best pedestrian to the test. The local public transport system is very good and recommendable.
In recent years, many information signs and signposts have been put up, mostly in two languages, signposting important sights, museums, churches, train stations, parks and other tourist attractions. Despite many prejudices, you can quickly find friendly Berliners and newcomers who are happy to help if you ask. Many also speak English.

However, as in London, locals react irritably to blocked escalators. Parking is on the right, a lane remains free for overtaking on the left.

There are many drinking water dispensers spread across the city, from which Berlin tap water (with the appropriate taste) flows. A map can be found online, and they are also marked in some mapping applications.

Some Berliners speak with a Berlin dialect, which, however, has extensive similarities with Standard German. The Berlin dialect has some special features:

Schrippe: light wheat roll, cobbler's boy, rye roll
Pancakes: yeast pastries with a filling, sometimes known as “Berliner Ballen”, “Berliner” or “Krapfen” outside of East German regions. The pan-fried egg dish, which is similar to the French crêpe, is called "egg cake" in Berlin. Anyone who asks for one loaf and two Berliners in one of the smaller bakeries, which often also sell the morning papers, will most likely receive one loaf and two copies of the Berliner Zeitung.
Molle: Term for "a small beer"
Boulette: Fried minced meatball, otherwise known as a meatball.
Futschi: brandy with cola

The times in quarter hour intervals are sometimes given as follows:
a quarter to four = 3:15 p.m. (first quarter of the fourth hour after noon)
half past three = 3:30 p.m
a quarter to four = 3:45 p.m
four = 4:00 p.m

North German terms like "Sonnabend" instead of "Samstag" are common in Berlin. This peculiarity of the expression of times and days affects not only Berlin, but essentially also the whole of East Germany (and parts of South Germany as far as the indication of the time is concerned).

In addition, there were also differences within the city, which are usual for East and West Germany with regard to individual terms. A garden shed e.g. B. is called "Datsche" in the eastern part, while the West Berliners call it "Laube".

Newspapers, magazines
city magazines
The city magazines contain information on current events and are helpful in planning the cultural visit program.
030. Free in bars and cafes.

daily newspapers
Berlin daily newspapers

Berlin newspaper. Daily newspaper Mon-Sat.
Berlin morning post. Daily newspaper, with Sunday edition.
daily mirror. Liberal daily newspaper, with Sunday edition.
TAZ. Links-alternative daily newspaper Mon-Sat.
BZ. Tabloid Mon-Sat. Last modified: Dec.
Berlin courier. Tabloid Mon-Sat.

Online magazines Information on events in Berlin that are free to visit

church services
Holy Masses in Catholic Churches in Berlin:
St. Hedwig's Cathedral, Bebelplatz, 10117 Berlin. Behind the Catholic Church 3 (centre, near Unter den Linden, behind the German State Opera). Open: Sun: 08:00, 10:00, 12:00, 18:00; Mon-Fri: 8:00 a.m., 6:00 p.m.; Sat: 8:00 a.m., 7:00 p.m.
Directory of Catholic Churches in the Archdiocese of Berlin

As in all of Germany, German is the official language in Berlin. However, English is also spoken as a foreign language. In Berlin, Turkish is also spoken by immigrants of Turkish origin. Especially in Kreuzberg you can get along as a Turk or person of Turkish origin even without knowledge of German.


Phone and internet

Throughout Berlin, with a few exceptions, you should be able to get a stable connection to all cell phone networks on a few subway lines. Many shopping centers and hotels are housed in steel and glass constructions, which occasionally causes problems for O2.

In areas with a large number of immigrants and a correspondingly high need for calls abroad, such as in Kreuzberg, Neukölln, Norden Mitte and Gesundbrunnen, there are internet café-style telephone shops that offer cheap telephone calls, but also other services such as faxing and copying.

There are mailboxes everywhere. They are yellow boxes, usually set up on the street or hung on the wall of the house. They are emptied twice a day in the city center and usually have two slots − for Berlin/surroundings and non-Berlin. Stamps are available from the post office − often from machines (without change being returned) outside opening hours and in hotels.

Public wifi
Berlin is the German pioneer when it comes to public WLAN city networks. Various providers offer publicly accessible WLAN hotspots, which overlap to form a comprehensive network in the inner city area. In addition to the telecommunications operators, these include the media authority Berlin-Brandenburg. The underground stations and the newer buses of the BVG are equipped with WLAN from the provider Hotsplots ("BVG Wi-Fi"), which can also be used without registration. The Berlin-Brandenburg Evangelical Church doesn't want to be left behind either and offers WLAN in the vicinity of numerous churches and church institutions ("Godspot").




Berlin's prominent reference point, the Red City Hall, is geographically located: 52°31'7" north latitude, 13°24'30" east longitude, the center of the area of the city is about two kilometers south of it in Kreuzberg (♁52° 30'10 .4″N, 13° 24′ 15.1″E). The greatest expansion of the urban area in the east-west direction is around 45 kilometers, in the north-south direction around 38 kilometers. The area of Berlin is almost 892 km². The city is located in the northeast of the Federal Republic of Germany and is completely surrounded by the state of Brandenburg.

The historic center is located at the narrowest and thus most accessible point of the Warsaw-Berlin glacial valley, which crosses Berlin from the south-east to the north-west and is traversed by the Spree in an east-west direction. The north-eastern part of Berlin lies on the Barnim plateau, almost half of the city area in the south-west lies on the Teltow plateau. The westernmost district, Spandau, is divided into the Berlin glacial valley, the Brandenburg-Potsdam Havel area and the Zehdenick-Spandau Havel lowlands. The landscape of Berlin was created in the Ice Age during the most recent glaciation phase, the Vistula Ice Age. About 20,000 years ago, the Berlin area was covered by the Scandinavian ice sheet (glacier) several 100 meters thick. When the glacier melted back about 18,000 years ago, the Berlin glacial valley was formed.

bodies of water and elevations
Berlin has numerous rivers and lakes. The Spree flows into the Havel in Spandau, which flows through western Berlin in a north-south direction. Berlin tributaries of the Spree are the Panke, the Dahme, the Wuhle and the Erpe. The course of the Havel, actually a glacial channel, often resembles a lake landscape; the largest bulges are the Tegeler See and the Große Wannsee. The brooks Tegeler Fliess and Bäke, which flow into the Havel, are partly in Berlin. The largest lake in Berlin is the Große Müggelsee in the Treptow-Köpenick district.

In Berlin, 13 water protection areas covering an area of around 212 km² have been designated by water protection area ordinances. In relation to the total city area of around 890 km², around a quarter of the city area is designated as water protection areas.

The highest elevations in Berlin are the Große Müggelberg (115 m above sea level) in the Treptow-Köpenick district as the highest natural elevation, and the Arkenberge (122 m above sea level) in the Pankow district, which were created from construction waste and were heaped up from rubble from the Second World War Teufelsberg (120 m above sea level) in the Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf district and the Ahrensfeld mountains (114 m above sea level) in the Wuhletal landscape park in the Marzahn-Hellersdorf district. The lowest point in Berlin is (28.1 m above sea level) at the Spektesee in the Spandau district.


Forests and parks

In addition to extensive forest areas in the west and south-east of the city (Berliner Forsten), Berlin has many large parks. Since almost all streets are lined with trees, Berlin is considered a particularly green city. There are a total of around 440,000 street trees in Berlin, including 153,000 linden trees, 82,000 maple trees, 35,000 oaks, 25,000 plane trees and 21,000 chestnuts. The more than 2,500 public green, recreational and park areas have a total area of over 5,500 hectares and offer a wide range of leisure and recreational opportunities. The largest facility in Berlin that is currently used as a park is the Tempelhofer Feld, which was created from the former Tempelhof Airport.

In the center of the city is the Great Tiergarten. It is the oldest and, at 210 hectares, the second largest and most important park in Berlin and was designed over the course of more than 500 years. Originally an extensive forest area outside the city gates, used by the Prussian nobles as a hunting and riding area, this was gradually surrounded by urban development. Today it stretches from the Zoo train station to the Brandenburg Gate and borders directly on the government district. Several major roads intersect the Tiergarten, including Straße des 17. Juni as an east-west axis. They cross at the Großer Stern, in the middle of which the Victory Column has stood since 1939. The Großer Tiergarten has the shape of a semi-natural park landscape: Characteristic are the wide lawns, criss-crossed by small watercourses and planted with groups of trees, as well as the lakes with small islands and numerous bridges and avenues. Plants such as the English Garden, the Luiseninsel and the rose garden set ornamental accents in some places.

Alongside the Tiergarten, Treptower Park in south-east Berlin is one of the city's most important parks. It was created from 1876 to 1882 by Gustav Meyer, the first director of horticulture in Berlin. The wide garden landscape that stretches along the Spree is one of the most popular destinations for Berliners, not least because of today's Zenner restaurant, which was built in 1821/1822 by Carl Ferdinand Langhans as an inn on the Spree.

A specialty among the parks is the Botanical Garden. Located in the south-west of the city, it is used not only for academic purposes (it belongs to the Freie Universität Berlin) but also as a recreational park. The previous facility had existed since 1697 on the site of today's Kleist Park in Schöneberg. From 1897 the construction of the new park in Dahlem and Groß-Lichterfelde took place.[26] After the Greater Berlin Law of 1920 and the local government reform of 1938, the Botanical Garden is now in the district of Lichterfelde. With an area of over 43 hectares, it is the fourth largest botanical garden in the world. It includes around 22,000 different plant species. The 25 meter high, 30 meter wide and 60 meter long Great Tropical House is the tallest greenhouse in the world.

Other parks in Berlin are the palace gardens in Charlottenburg, Glienicke and on the Pfaueninsel (the last two are part of the UNESCO World Heritage), the historic parks Lustgarten, Viktoriapark, Rudolph-Wilde-Park and Schillerpark and the numerous large public gardens. The Federal Garden Show took place in the Britzer Garden in 1985, and the Berlin Garden Show in 1987 in what is now the Gardens of the World. In 2017 the International Garden Exhibition took place there. The Mauerpark on the former death strip of the Berlin Wall, the Schöneberger Südgelände nature reserve, the Görlitzer Park and the Spreebogenpark are among the younger parks in Berlin.


Zoos and sanctuaries

Berlin has several zoological facilities: the zoological garden with the aquarium and the animal park. The Zoological Garden, which opened in 1844 on what was then the city limits of Charlottenburg, is the oldest zoo in Germany and also the most species-rich in the world (around 15,000 animals of 1,500 species). The much younger zoo owes its existence to the division of Germany after 1945: because the Zoological Garden was in the British sector of the city, the capital of the GDR did not have its own zoological facility. In 1954, a zoo was opened in Friedrichsfelde under the direction of Heinrich Dathe on the grounds of the Friedrichsfelde Palace Park. At 160 hectares, it is the largest landscape animal park in Europe.

In Berlin there are 43 nature reserves (as of 2018) with a total area of 2668 hectares, which corresponds to about 3.0% of the state area. In addition, there are 56 landscape protection areas, which take up another 14% of the state area. In addition, the districts of Pankow and Reinickendorf have an area share of 5.4% in the transnational, 75,000 hectare Barnim Nature Park.



The city is located in the temperate climate zone at the transition from maritime to continental climate. Since the beginning of the 20th century, mean annual temperatures have fluctuated between 7°C and 11°C, and the trend is rising. The average annual temperature in Berlin-Dahlem is 9.5°C and the average annual precipitation is 591 mm. The warmest months are July and August with an average of 19.1 and 18.2°C respectively, the coldest January with an average of 0.6°C. The previous maximum temperature in Berlin of 38.9°C was measured on August 7, 2015 at the Kaniswall station. Most precipitation falls in August with an average of 64 mm, the lowest in April with an average of 33 mm (all mean values from 1981 to 2010 from the German Weather Service).

With regard to wind speeds and wind direction distribution, a two-part maximum is recorded. Accordingly, northwest and southwest winds are observed most frequently in Berlin, which are associated with higher speeds, especially in winter, and mostly transport maritime, well-mixed and clean sea air. The second maximum from the southeast and east is often characteristic of high-pressure weather conditions in continental air masses, which can lead to relatively hot or cold days, depending on the season.

The small differences in altitude within the city actually result in a rather homogeneous urban climate, but the dense development in the city and the district centers leads to sometimes significant temperature differences compared to large inner-city open spaces and, above all, to the extensive agricultural areas in the surrounding area. Especially on summer nights, temperature differences of up to 10°C are measured. Overall, however, Berlin also benefits from its large proportion of green space in this context: more than 40 percent of the city area is green; In 2012, "439,971 trees lined the streets." The large number of smaller open spaces, but especially the inner-city green spaces such as the Großer Tiergarten, the Grunewald and the former Tempelhof Airport with the directly adjacent Hasenheide create a cooling effect and are therefore also referred to as "cold islands".


City outline

The administration of the state of Berlin is carried out by the Senate of Berlin (the main administration) and the twelve district administrations. The main administration takes care of the city-wide tasks and includes the senate administrations, the subordinate authorities (special authorities) and non-incorporated institutions as well as the own companies under their supervision.

Since Berlin is a unitary municipality, the districts are not independent municipalities, but in terms of population they are comparable to larger districts in territorial states. Districts are subject to district oversight by the Senate. Each district has a district assembly (BVV). This elects the district office, consisting of the district mayor and four city councillors, according to party proportional representation. The district mayor is provided by the largest faction or a larger counting community of several factions. Borough mayors and councilors hold electoral officer status despite their quasi-political election. Chaired by the Governing Mayor, the mayors of the districts form the Council of Mayors, which advises the Senate.

The structure and tasks of the Berlin administration result from the General Competence Act (AZG). The structure and tasks of the Berlin district administration are specified in more detail in the District Administration Act (BezVwG). Since 1990, an administrative reform has been carried out in Berlin in stages.

The administrative structures and authorities of the city-state are currently (as of 2016/17) both within Berlin and throughout Germany classified as working too slowly and in need of modernization.

According to the Berlin Constitution, Berlin is divided into twelve districts. These are in turn divided into 97 districts (as of 2021), whereby the state constitution only makes a division into districts. The districts do not represent administrative units, but form the basis of official location information and therefore also have administrative boundaries.

With the Greater Berlin Law of 1920, eight cities, 59 rural communities and 27 estate districts were combined. The new Greater Berlin originally comprised 20 districts with 94 districts at the time, which corresponded to the previous divisions with unchanged borders. After the city was divided, twelve of these 20 districts were in West Berlin and eight in East Berlin.

On the occasion of the creation of new development areas on the eastern outskirts of the city, the number of districts in East Berlin was increased to eleven by spin-offs between 1979 and 1986 - without incorporations. The division into West Berlin remained unchanged (except for an area exchange in 1945, when the eastern part of Groß Glienicke came to Berlin in exchange for West Staaken and became the 95th district).

In 1990, the reunified Berlin initially had 23 districts, the number of which was finally reduced to twelve in 2001 as a result of district mergers as part of a local government reform. The number and layout of the districts have also changed several times over the past few decades.



Origin of name and first settlements

The name of the high medieval founding city of Berlin goes back to the Old Polabian word Birlin, Berlin, which means 'place in a swampy area'. The Berl lake in Berlin-Wartenberg still exists today. It is based on Old Polabian birl-, berl- 'swamp, morass', supplemented by the place name-forming Slavic suffix -in. The documentary tradition with the article ("der Berlin") speaks for a field name that the city founders had adopted. Like all German place names of Slavic origin in north-east Central Europe that end in -in (Schwerin, Stettin, Eutin, Templin, Küstrin, etc.), Berlin is stressed on the last syllable.

The name Kölln is probably a transfer of the name from Cologne on the Rhine, which goes back to the Latin colonia 'plant town in a conquered country, colony'. However, a derivation from an Old Polabic name *kol'no, which would have been formed from kol 'post', cannot be completely ruled out.

The city's name can be traced back neither to the alleged founder of the city, Albrecht the Bear, nor to Berlin's heraldic animal. This is a talking coat of arms that tries to depict the city name in a German interpretation. The heraldic animal is derived from the city name, not the other way around.


Margraviate and Electorate of Brandenburg

The city of Kölln, located on the Spree island, was first mentioned in 1237. In 1244 the first mention of (old) Berlin followed, which lies on the north-eastern bank of the Spree. Recent archaeological finds show that there were suburban settlements on both sides of the Spree as early as the second half of the 12th century. In 1280 the first verifiable parliament of the Mark took place in Berlin. This points to an early top position, as can also be seen in Charles IV's land book (1375), when Berlin, along with Stendal, Prenzlau and Frankfurt/Oder, are shown to be the cities with the highest tax revenues. The two cities of Berlin and Kölln got a common town hall in 1307.

Berlin shared the fate of Brandenburg under the Ascanians (1157-1320), Wittelsbachers (1323-1373) and Luxemburgers (1373-1415). In 1257, for the first time, the Margrave of Brandenburg was part of the only electoral college entitled to vote for the king. The exact rules were laid down with the Golden Bull in 1356; since then Brandenburg has been considered an electorate. After the German King Sigismund of Luxembourg had enfeoffed Friedrich I von Hohenzollern with the Mark Brandenburg in 1415, this family ruled in Berlin until 1918 as Margraves and Electors of Brandenburg and from 1701 also as kings in and of Prussia.

From the 14th century, Berlin was a member of the Hanseatic League of Commerce. In 1518 Berlin formally withdrew from the Hanseatic League or was excluded from it.

Towards the end of the 14th century, the population of Berlin was decimated by the effects of the plague. In 1448, residents of Berlin revolted against the new palace built by Elector Frederick II (“Eisenzahn”) in “Berliner displeasure”. This protest was unsuccessful, however, and the city lost many of the political and economic freedoms it had won. In 1486 Elector Johann Cicero declared Berlin the main residence of the Brandenburg Electorate.

The Reformation was introduced in 1539 under Elector Joachim II in Berlin and Kölln, without any major disputes arising. The Thirty Years' War between 1618 and 1648 had devastating consequences for Berlin: a third of the houses were damaged and the population halved. Friedrich Wilhelm, known as the Great Elector, took over the government from his father in 1640. From 1641 the suburbs of Friedrichswerder, Dorotheenstadt and Friedrichstadt were founded.

Under Friedrich Wilhelm, a policy of immigration and religious tolerance was cultivated. In 1671, 50 Jewish families from Austria were given a home in Berlin. With the Potsdam Edict of Tolerance in 1685, the Elector invited the French Huguenots to Brandenburg. Over 15,000 French came, of whom 6,000 settled in Berlin. Around 1700, 20 percent of Berlin's residents were French, and their cultural influence was great. Many immigrants also came from Bohemia, Poland and the province of Salzburg. From 1658 to 1683, the double city of Berlin-Kölln was expanded into a fortress with a total of 13 bastions.


Prussia and the German Empire

erlin attained the status of the Prussian capital in 1701 through the coronation of Frederick I as King in Prussia, which became official with the edict for the formation of the Royal Residence Berlin by merging the cities of Berlin, Kölln, Friedrichswerder, Dorotheenstadt and Friedrichstadt on January 17, 1709. As a result, the population of Berlin rose to around 55,000. Soon after, new suburbs sprang up that enlarged Berlin. Around 1800, the city developed into one of the centers of the German cultural landscape, which was expressed in the metropolitan bourgeois culture known as "Berlin Classicism". The religious and social tolerance during this period made Berlin one of the most important cities of the Enlightenment in Europe.

After Prussia's defeat by Napoleon's armies in 1806, King Friedrich Wilhelm III left. Berlin towards Koenigsberg. Authorities and wealthy families left Berlin. French troops occupied the city from 1806 to 1808. Under the reformer Freiherr vom und zum Stein, the new Berlin city ordinance was passed in 1808, which led to the first freely elected city council. A mayor was elected to head the new administration. The swearing-in ceremony for the new city administration, known as the magistrate, took place in the Berlin City Hall.

The establishment of a university in Berlin, proposed by Wilhelm von Humboldt, played an important role in the reforms of schools and scientific institutions. The new university (1810) quickly became the intellectual center of Berlin and soon became widely known. Further reforms such as the introduction of a trade tax, the trade police law (with the abolition of the guild system) passed under State Chancellor Karl August von Hardenberg, civil equality for Jews and the renewal of the army led to a new growth spurt in Berlin. Above all, they laid the foundation for later industrial development in the city. The king returned to Berlin at the end of 1809. On May 28, 1813, death sentences by burning at the stake were carried out in Jungfernheide for the last time in Prussia.

In the decades that followed, up to around 1850, new factories settled outside the city walls, where the immigrants found employment as workers or day labourers. As a result, the number of inhabitants doubled due to immigration from the eastern parts of the country. Important companies such as Borsig, Siemens and AEG emerged and soon made Berlin known as an industrial city. This was accompanied by the political rise of the Berlin workers' movement, which developed into one of the strongest in the world.

As a result of the March Revolution, the king made numerous concessions. In 1850, a new city constitution and municipal code was passed, after which freedom of the press and assembly were abolished, a new three-class electoral system was introduced and the powers of the city councilors were severely restricted. The rights of police chief Hinckeldey, on the other hand, were strengthened. During his term of office until 1856, he was responsible for the development of the city's infrastructure (especially city cleaning, water works, water pipes, construction of bathing and washing facilities).

In 1861, Moabit and Wedding as well as Tempelhof, Schöneberger, Spandau and other suburbs were incorporated. From 1862, the Hobrecht Plan regulated the expansion of the city. The block development with an eaves height of 22 meters characterizes many Berlin districts. The rapid increase in population, building speculation and poverty led to precarious living conditions in the tenements of the emerging workers' quarters with their narrow, tiered courtyards typical of Berlin.

With the unification of the Prussian Prime Minister Otto von Bismarck on January 18, 1871, Berlin became the capital of the German Reich (until 1945). After the emergence of the German Empire, the Gründerzeit followed, in which Germany rose to become a world power and Berlin to a cosmopolitan city. In 1877, Berlin initially became a city of over a million inhabitants and exceeded the two-million-inhabitant mark for the first time in 1905. Four decades of peace ended with the start of the First World War in 1914. After Germany's defeat in 1918, Kaiser Wilhelm II never returned to Berlin. He fled to the Netherlands.


Weimar Republic and Greater Berlin

After the end of the First World War, the Republic was proclaimed in Berlin on November 9, 1918. In the months following the November Revolution, there were repeated, sometimes bloody, clashes between the government and its volunteer corps and revolutionary workers. In early 1919 the January Uprising shook the city, followed two months later by a general strike. During the Berlin March battles, field guns, mortars and planes with bombs were used against the population on the orders of the Social Democratic Reichswehr Minister Gustav Noske. A total of 1,200 people died in Lichtenberg from March 3rd to 16th.

In 1920 there was a bloodbath in front of the Reichstag and later the Kapp Putsch. In the second half of the year, the founding of Greater Berlin was the largest incorporation in the history of the city, in which the Berlin that had existed up to that point was united with several surrounding towns and rural communities as well as numerous estate districts to form what is now known as "Berlin". The expanded city had around four million inhabitants and was the largest city in continental Europe in the 1920s and the third largest city in the world after London and New York. This was accompanied by a great awakening to the future. In the years that followed, the city experienced a heyday of art, culture, science and technology and, due to the incorporation of the industrial suburbs in 1920, became the largest industrial city in Europe in the statistics. This epoch later became known as the "Golden Twenties", which then came to an abrupt end with the global economic crisis at the end of the decade, also in Berlin.


National Socialism

After the National Socialists "seized power" in 1933, Berlin initially regained importance as the capital of the Third Reich, primarily due to the centralization that was associated with the "synchronization" of the state governments. Adolf Hitler and Albert Speer developed architectural concepts for the conversion of the city into the "World Capital Germania", which were never implemented.

The Nazi regime destroyed Berlin's Jewish community, which numbered around 160,000 before 1933. After the November pogroms of 1938, thousands of Berlin Jews were deported to the nearby Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Around 50,000 of the 66,000 Jews still living in Berlin were deported to ghettos and labor camps in Litzmannstadt, Minsk, Kaunas, Riga, Piaski or Theresienstadt from 1941 onwards. Many died there under the adverse living conditions, others were later deported to extermination camps such as Auschwitz and murdered during the Holocaust.

During World War II, Berlin was first attacked by British bombers on August 25, 1940. The Allied air raids increased massively from 1943, with large parts of Berlin being destroyed. The Battle of Berlin in 1945 led to further destruction. Almost half of all buildings were destroyed, only a quarter of all apartments remained undamaged. Only 98 of 226 bridges were still standing.


Divided town

After the city was taken by the Red Army and the unconditional surrender of the Wehrmacht on May 8, 1945, Berlin was divided into four sectors in July 1945 in accordance with the London Protocols - corresponding to the division of all of Germany into zones of occupation. The sectors of the USA, the UK, France and the Soviet Union emerged. Neither the Yalta Conference nor the Potsdam Agreement provided for a formal division into western and eastern sectors (West Berlin and East Berlin). This grouping arose in 1945/46, among other things, due to the common interests of the Western Allies.

As early as May 19, 1945, the Soviet military administration in Germany created a magistrate for Berlin. It consisted of a non-party mayor, four deputies and 16 city councillors. However, all four main victorious powers retained overall responsibility for Greater Berlin. An attempt was made to rename unwanted pre-war street names in a new city map, but this was only partially done. After a currency reform in the Western sectors in 1948/1949, the increasing political differences between the Western Allies and the Soviet Union led to an economic blockade of West Berlin, which the Western Allies overcame with the "Berlin Airlift".

With the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany in western Germany and the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in eastern Germany in 1949, the Cold War also consolidated in Berlin. While the Federal Republic set up its seat of government in Bonn, the GDR proclaimed Berlin its capital. Since 1949 West Berlin was therefore a de facto part of the Federal Republic with a special legal status and East Berlin was de facto part of the GDR.

The East-West conflict culminated in the Berlin Crisis and led to the building of the Berlin Wall by the GDR on August 13, 1961. The East and West of the city had been separated from each other ever since. The crossing was only possible at certain checkpoints, but no longer for residents of the GDR and East Berlin and until 1972 only in exceptional cases for residents of West Berlin, those who were not only in possession of the Berlin ID card. In 1972 the Four Power Agreement on Berlin came into force. While the Soviet Union only applied the four-power status to West Berlin, the western powers underlined their view of the four-power status for all of Berlin in a note to the United Nations in 1975. The problem of the disputed status of Berlin is also known as the Berlin question.

On June 26, 1963, the American President John F. Kennedy visited West Berlin and gave his highly acclaimed "I am a Berliner" speech in front of the Schöneberg town hall. Although he used the expression incorrectly and said "Ich bin ein Berliner" (instead of Ich bin Berliner) that can be translated as "I am a donut".

Political change came in 1989 in the GDR, and the Wall was opened on November 9th.


Reunited city

On October 3, 1990, the two German states were united by the accession of the GDR to the area of application of the Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany and Berlin became the federal capital by means of a unification treaty. In 1994, the troops of the former occupying powers finally withdrew from Berlin.

On June 20, 1991, after controversial public discussion, the Bundestag decided that the city should be the seat of the German Federal Government and the Bundestag. In 1994, on the initiative of Richard von Weizsäcker, Bellevue Palace became the first official residence of the Federal President. In the period that followed, the Office of the Federal President was built in the immediate vicinity. In 1999, the government and parliament resumed their work in Berlin. In 2001 the new Federal Chancellery was inaugurated and moved into by the then Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. The vast majority of foreign missions in Germany moved their headquarters to Berlin in the years that followed.

As of January 1, 2001, the number of districts was reduced from 23 to 12 to allow for more efficient administration and planning.



Population development

Berlin had a total of 3,677,472 inhabitants on December 31, 2021, making it the most populous city in Germany. Within administrative borders, Berlin is the most populous city in the European Union. The Berlin agglomeration has 4.7 million inhabitants (December 31, 2019), the capital region Berlin-Brandenburg, which includes both states, has around 6.2 million inhabitants.

Until the middle of the 17th century the Berlin area was only sparsely populated, the Thirty Years' War had cut Berlin's population in half again. But after Elector Friedrich Wilhelm took over the affairs of state from his father in 1640, he brought many Huguenots from France to the region, among other things. The population rose from around 6,000 in 1648 to around 57,000 in 1709. The number of inhabitants grew steadily, so that Berlin became a major city in 1747 and a city of over one million in 1877.

The population increase in the Berlin area experienced an acceleration as a result of the industrialization that began after the Prussian reforms. Only 40% of Berliners in the last quarter of the 19th century were born in Berlin. In 1900, over 20% of the 1.9 million Berliners came from the Prussian provinces of Brandenburg, East and West Prussia 9%, Silesia 7%, Pomerania 6%, Posen 5% and Saxony 4%. Immigration from other regions of Germany was relatively low at three to four percent and from abroad at a good 1.5 percent. The proportion of Berliners with German as their mother tongue was over 98% in 1895. With the Greater Berlin Law of 1920, the population rose to almost four million through the incorporation of previously independent towns and villages. In the 1920s and 1930s, Berlin was the second largest city in the world in terms of area after Los Angeles and the third largest city in terms of population after New York City and London. The population passed the four million mark in the 1920s and peaked in 1942 at 4.48 million (a theoretical value at the time).

The number fell again as a result of the Second World War and has remained constant since then between three and three and a half million inhabitants. Between 1957 and 1990, young men from the Federal Republic of Germany were given the opportunity to move to West Berlin to evade conscription in the Federal Armed Forces because the military legislation of the Federal Republic did not apply there. The number of people moving in and out has been between 100,000 and 145,000 annually since 1991. The often-cited assertion from 2007 that 1.7 million Berliners left the city after reunification (since 1991), 1.8 million people moved there and thus ensured an extensive population exchange, is based on the mere addition of all new arrivals and of all departures and overstates the real population fluctuation. Berlin has always had a population movement that is far above average in Germany. In 2014 alone, 317,151 people moved to Berlin, and at the same time 275,259 residents left the city, which results in a positive migration balance of 41,892.


Population groups

Berlin has been a migration area for Germans from German-speaking countries since the end of the 17th century at the latest. In 2009, around 18,000 people gained migration compared to the rest of Germany.

At the beginning of 2020, of the 3.77 million Berliners, 2.45 million were Germans without a migration background, around 777,000 were foreigners and 543,000 were Germans with a migration background. This means that 1.32 million people (around 35%) have foreign roots.

In the decades after 1945, many guest workers from southern Europe and Turkey came to West Berlin and contract workers, especially from Vietnam, to East Berlin. Since the 1980s, many Russian-German late resettlers and, since German reunification, Jews from Eastern Europe, especially Ukraine and Russia, and later from Israel, have set off. Citizens from around 190 countries live in the city.

According to a study from 2015, among the large number of Europeans migrating to the city, there is a particularly high proportion of young academics at 24.3%, especially among the French, Spaniards and Italians.

Kreuzberg and Neukölln are the focal points of the German-Turkish population. With around 180,000 citizens of Turkish origin, Berlin is one of the largest Turkish communities outside of Turkey. In addition, around 70,000 Afro-Germans live in Berlin.

There are more than 25 groups, each with more than 10,000 people who have a migration background.

It is estimated that between 100,000 and 250,000 unregistered immigrants live in Berlin, mainly from Africa, Asia, the Balkans and Latin America. Due to the difficulties in defining the migration background uniformly and recording it in surveys, the actual proportion of people with a migration background could deviate significantly from the figures given.

Berlin wants to take in more asylum seekers than the allocated quota and is organizing itself with other municipalities in the “Solidarity City” city network for this purpose.



The official language in Berlin is German. Berlinisch (colloquially also: Berlinerisch) is a so-called compensation dialect, which arose in Berlin as an urban center over the centuries from various linguistic influences. In terms of linguistics, Berlinisch is actually a metrolect, an urban mixture of languages that is not only of regional origin, but also arose from a mixture of dialects from different origins. Low German serves as the substrate, which was gradually superseded by immigration from other regions and the influence of East Central German. However, individual forms that were perceived as “specifically Berlin” persisted, such as det, wat, loofen, koofen (in contrast to standard German, what, run, buy).

Berlinische took numerous words and phrases from other languages and dialects such as French (settlement of Huguenots after the Thirty Years' War), Yiddish (Jewish refugees since the 16th, but especially in the 19th and 20th centuries) and Silesian/ Polish (after the conquest of Silesia and the Polish partitions at the end of the 18th century). Berlinisch is spoken in Berlin and in the Berlin area, and it only contains common (proverbial) words or coined ironic idioms, the so-called "Berolinisms".

In the vicinity of Berlin and in the parts of the city that were villages without any significant contact with the capital until the incorporation, East Low German dialects from the Mark Mark were originally spoken. Since the end of the 19th century, Berlin, as a growing metropolis, has also increasingly had a linguistic impact on the surrounding area and the colloquial Berlin language has displaced the local dialects or at least changed them considerably. In fact, today's Brandenburgian is a variety of the Berlin Metrolekt.

In history, the Berlin language was the language of the simple people, the educated classes mostly used impeccable High German. Many new Berliners adopted parts of the Berlin language, but the constant use was considered rather "unfine". In the GDR, this attitude changed to some extent, so that Berliners was also cultivated in some educated circles. As a result, the centers of increased use are mostly found in the former eastern districts, the old western working-class districts and the surrounding area. The language in Berlin is still influenced by waves of immigrants and language habits shaped by the media, which means that the colloquial language used is constantly evolving.


Religions and worldviews

The 2011 census found that 21.6% of the Berlin population belonged to the Evangelical Church, 9.6% to the Catholic Church, 1.5% to an Orthodox Church and 0.7% to an Evangelical Free Church. Overall, 37.4% of the population described themselves as Christians, 9.0% attributed themselves to another religion or belief, 23.4% did not feel they belonged and 30.2% gave no information. According to a calculation from the census figures for people with a migration background, the proportion of Muslims in Berlin in 2011 was 7.6% (around 249,200 people), close to the figure published by the State Statistical Office for 2009 (around 249,000), whereas the BAMF -Study Muslim Life in Germany assumed that there were around 279,800 Muslims in Berlin in 2008 (6.9% of around 4,055,100 Muslims in the Federal Republic of Germany).

Of the approximately 3.8 million Berliners at the end of 2020, 13.9% were Protestant, 8.1% Catholic and 78% belonged to other denominations and religions or none. In the eastern districts of the city, which formerly belonged to the GDR, the proportion of Christians is particularly low. In the previous year 2019, 14.4% of the residents were Protestant and 8.3% Catholic. According to studies in 2018, 250,000 to 300,000 (7–9%) people were attributed to Islamic faiths.

Several humanistic and other associations of non-religious people are represented in Berlin. The German Humanistic Association, whose Berlin state association had around 7,800 members in 2012, and the German Humanistic Academy are based in Berlin. In 1982, the school subject Humanistic Life Studies was introduced in the western part of Berlin, with the number of participants in 2017 amounting to almost 62,650 students.

Bishop of the Evangelical Church Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia is Christian Stäblein. Archbishop of Berlin and Metropolitan of the Berlin Church Province has been Heiner Koch since 2015.

The independent Evangelical Lutheran Church, which is represented in the urban area with seven parishes, mostly emerged from the Evangelical Lutheran Church that was established in 1830. These parishes belong to the church district of Berlin-Brandenburg.

A Russian-Orthodox and a Bulgarian-Orthodox bishop are also based in Berlin, and most of the other orthodox and ancient oriental national churches are also represented with congregations.

The Anglican Communion or Church of England has a so-called "Chaplaincy" (congregation), St. George's Anglican/Episcopal Church. The congregation has its church in Westend on Preussenallee. There is also an Old Catholic community in Wilmersdorf, which was a guest in the old Schöneberg village church, but has had its own house church near the Bundesplatz since 2010. The Old Catholic and Anglican congregations are in church fellowship and celebrate joint services in St. Mary's Church.

There have been Baptists in Berlin since the middle of the 19th century. With their 36 congregations, they form the largest free church in the city. Among other things, there are also 29 congregations of the New Apostolic Church. There are six congregations of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The oldest Mennonite congregation in Berlin has existed since 1887.

Berlin has been the seat of the Central Council of Jews in Germany since 1999. The Jewish community in Berlin, the largest community of Jewish faith in Germany, has more than 12,000 members. There are over eleven synagogues, several Buddhist temples, seven mosque buildings and 91 Islamic prayer rooms in the city. There have been Baha'is in Berlin since 1907, who regularly take part in the interreligious dialogue in Berlin. In addition, around 7,000 Hindus live in Berlin.



Honorary citizens are listed in the list of honorary citizens of Berlin, personalities born in the city in the list of sons and daughters of Berlin, biographies of people with a clear connection to Berlin are collected in the Person (Berlin) category. The members of the Berlin state governments since 1948 can be found in the lists of governing mayors of Berlin and list of senators of Berlin. Various city originals are summarized under Berlin originals.



German capital

In 1991, after reunification, the German Bundestag decided in the so-called "capital city resolution" that Berlin, as the federal capital, should also become the seat of the Bundestag and the federal government. The Berlin/Bonn Act is a consequence of the capital city decision of June 20, 1991, in which Berlin was also designated as the seat of government.

Since 1994, the first official residence of the Federal President has been in Bellevue Palace in Berlin. In 1999 most of the federal government moved from Bonn to Berlin. Since then, the Bundestag (in the Reichstag building), the Bundesrat and the federal government have started operating in the federal capital. In 2001, the Federal Chancellery was inaugurated and occupied for the first time by Federal Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. The newly built headquarters of the Federal Intelligence Service was occupied in November 2018.

Ten of the 16 federal ministries of the 20th German Federal Cabinet have their headquarters in Berlin. These include the Federal Foreign Office and the Federal Ministries for Economic Affairs and Climate Protection; for finance; for family, seniors, women and youth; for work and social affairs; of the interior; the judiciary; for digital and transport. The other six federal ministries have their headquarters in the federal city of Bonn. All ministries, including those based in the capital, have a second seat in the other city.

In Berlin are the federal ministries for education and research; for food and agriculture; for health; for environment, conservation, nuclear safety and consumer protection; Defense and Economic Cooperation and Development with a second seat. About two thirds of the ministry employees, around 12,600 civil servants and employees (as of 2018), work in Berlin.

158 countries have their German embassies in Berlin, while the 16 federal states are represented by state missions. A large number of diplomatic missions are located in the Tiergarten district.

As the seat of government of the state with the largest economy in Europe, Berlin is one of the most influential and sought-after centers of European politics. Party headquarters, trade unions, foundations, associations and corporate lobby groups have their headquarters there so that they can exert their influence on decision-making processes in parliament and government. State visits and receptions at all political levels as well as state acts and socially important celebrations characterize Berlin's annual political calendar. The Federal Law Gazette, on the other hand, is still published in Bonn today, and not a single federal court has its seat in Berlin.


State of Berlin

From 1808 to 1935 and from 1945 to 1948, the Prussian state capital Berlin was administered by a magistrate headed by a mayor. In the period from 1935 to 1945, according to the German Municipal Code, there was no magistrate. From 1948 until reunification in 1990, the divided city had a magistrate in East Berlin and a senate in West Berlin.

Today's Berlin (state appendix code BE) has only been a German state in the constitutional sense since reunification. This includes exactly the city of Berlin. In addition to the Berlin state constitution of 1950, the German Basic Law also declared the state of Berlin to be a member state of the Federal Republic of Germany, but this was ineffective under international law until then due to the reservations of the Allies. In fact, since 1949 West Berlin was part of the Federal Republic of Germany with some restrictions, while the same had no actual effect on East Berlin, which was formally included. Article 3 of the Unification Treaty enshrines the Federal Republic's legal position that the Basic Law was already in force in West Berlin before reunification.

The state of Berlin is divided into twelve districts.


Legislative branch

The state parliament of the country, the legislative power, is the Berlin House of Representatives under the Berlin Constitution. It currently includes representatives from the SPD, CDU, Die Linke, Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, AfD and FDP.



The Senate of Berlin, consisting of the Governing Mayor and ten senators, forms the state government. The Governing Mayor is the head of the state and the city at the same time. The Senate administrations correspond to the ministries in non-city states and are currently constituted as follows: Senate administration for finance, Senate administration for integration, labor and social affairs, Senate administration for education, youth and family, Senate administration for science, health, care and equality, Senate administration for interior affairs, digitization and Sport, Senate Department for Justice, Diversity and Anti-Discrimination, Senate Department for Urban Development, Building and Housing, Senate Department for Economics, Energy and Businesses, Senate Department for Culture and Europe, and Senate Department for the Environment, Mobility, Consumer and Climate Protection. The Berlin Senate has been led by the SPD since 2001. Since then, the Left Party has mostly been involved, but also the CDU and Bündnis 90/Die Grünen to some extent.

After the election to the House of Representatives on September 26, 2021, the Senate was formed by the SPD, Greens and Left Party, led by Franziska Giffey (SPD) as Governing Mayor.



In the judicial district of Berlin there are 15 lower regional courts and four higher regional courts. Of the four locations of the higher administrative courts in Berlin, two belong to the judicial district of the states of Berlin and Brandenburg.

The Constitutional Court of the State of Berlin has existed since 1990. In 2020, the state had eight correctional facilities.

See also: List of courts in the State of Berlin and List of prisons in Berlin



The expenditure of the state of Berlin in 2012 amounted to 22.5 billion euros. The total debt of the State of Berlin in 2013 was around 59.8 billion euros or 57.72% of the gross domestic product. The European Union will add around 850 million euros to the budget for the 2014-2020 period.

In 2012, the state received around 3.2 billion euros from the state financial equalization system and around 2.4 billion euros in supplementary federal grants for the overall budget. In 2018, Berlin led the list of the four recipient countries by a wide margin with 4.4 billion euros in grants from the state financial equalization system.

In a study from 2013, in which the reintroduction of the wealth tax was based on a concept of the then red-green federal states, the resulting additional tax revenue was broken down by federal state. According to this, the tax revenue of all federal states would increase and poorer federal states would also benefit from the additional revenue through the fiscal equalization of the federal states. Hamburg, Bremen and Berlin would have the highest additional tax revenue per inhabitant (according to the financial equalization between the states).


Coat of arms and flags

The coat of arms of Berlin shows a red-armored and red-tongued, upright walking black bear, the so-called Berlin bear, in the silver (white) shield. A golden crown of five leaves rests on the shield, the circlet of which is designed as masonry with a closed gate in the middle. The origin of the bear as a heraldic animal is unclear, documents or papers are missing. There are several theories as to why city officials chose the bear. One of them says that Berliners thought of Albrecht the Bear, the founder of the Mark Brandenburg. Another is based on the onomatopoeic interpretation of the city name. The bear is first seen on a seal from 1280. For several centuries, the bear had to share the seal and coat of arms images with the Brandenburg and Prussian eagle. Only in the 20th century was the Berlin bear finally able to assert itself against the eagle as the symbol of the city.