10 Cool New Things to Do in Berlin

Moving forward from its storied history, Berlin is a city full of inspiring art, food and energy that’s making it a trending European destination.

Photo By: Steve Larese

Photo By: Visit Berlin

Photo By: Steve Larese

Photo By: Steve Larese

Photo By: Steve Larese

Photo By: Steve Larese

Photo By: Steve Larese

Photo By: Visit Berlin

Photo By: Visit Berlin

Photo By: Visit Berlin

Celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Wall

From 1961 until 1989, the Berlin Wall divided Germany, splitting families and serving as the focal point for the Cold War. On the evening of November 9, 1989, the Wall fell and East and West Germans celebrated their freedom and reunification. The celebratory Berlin event "30 Years of Peaceful Revolution/Fall of the Wall" takes place Nov. 4-10, 2019, with celebrations, art and history exhibits and live music throughout Berlin. Click here for more information about this and other events throughout the year leading up to the November anniversary of the toppling of the Berlin Wall.

Celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Bauhaus

The German art school known as Bauhaus operated from the end of World War I in 1919 until the Nazis took control of the German government in 1933. During this relatively brief time, Bauhaus captured the imagination of the modern-art world and influenced everything from architecture to household-item design. The artistic concept of the Bauhaus movement endured, and Berlin celebrates the 100th anniversary of Bauhaus this year with several events and exhibits throughout Berlin. Click here for a complete schedule of events.

Stay at Hotel Adlon Kempinski

Hotel Adlon Kempinski has undergone a multi-million Euro renovation, and rooms at the Neo-Baroque and Louis XVI-styled, 5-star hotel can be found for under $300 a night. It's an excellent deal considering the level of accommodations and the hotel's location along Unter den Linden at the Brandenburg Gate within walking distance to Museum Island. When Hotel Adlon opened in 1907, it was regarded as one of the finest hotels in Europe, and placed Berlin on par with Paris and London as far as having a gathering place for Berlin's high society. It miraculously survived the bitter street fighting during World War II only to be burned to the ground by a fire accidentally started by Soviet soldiers drinking heavily in the hotel's wine cellar. It was left as a husk of its former, glamorous self, and was fully cut off from the Western world when the Berlin Wall was erected in 1961. Its shell would languish, and with the exception of one intact wing, the hotel was demolished in 1952. With reunification, a new hotel was built from reference photos, and the Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin reopened its doors in 1997, with the latest expansion opening in 2004. Today a replica of the famous elephant fountain greets guests in a lobby filled with stylish chairs, couches, and decorative accents from around the world. Live piano and violin music is often performed in the lobby as well.

Explore Berlin's Music History

Berlin's famed Hansa Studio has seen top performers such David Bowie, U2, Depeche Mode, R.E.M. and many others record some of their most iconic music in the space. Now the public can visit and see where the musical magic took place (Bowie recorded "Heros" here, a song referencing the Berlin Wall that stood at the time just outside of the studio). Reservations for both private and public tours of the studio can be made here, and Berlin tours specific to David Bowie, Depeche Mode and U2 can be booked as well. For tours covering Berlin’s other extensive music history sites, including its vibrant punk scene, visit here.

Hop a Train

Eurail routes from Berlin now include a high-speed train to Munich and a new route to Hamburg. Other Eurail routes to/from Berlin include Cologne, Prague and Warsaw. Eurail is offering 10-percent discounts at Meininger hotels or hostels in Berlin and 20-percent discounts on Call a Bike bike rentals in Berlin.

Museum Island Gets A Gateway

Must-visit Spree Island, better known as Museum Island (Museumsinsel), is home to the Pergamon, Altes, Neues, Old National Gallery and Bode museums, as well as the Berliner Dom (pictured). Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999, fall of 2019 sees the opening of the James-Simon-Galerie, a gateway building that will orient visitors to Museum Island and also have exhibit space, a café and facilities. The grounds of Museum Island are a favorite gathering place for Berliners to enjoy sunny days and listen to diverse live music.

Fly from Philly

Beginning in June 2019, American Airlines will offer nonstop service four times a week between Philadelphia and Berlin, in addition to its nonstop JFK route. United and Delta will continue to offer nonstop services from New York to Berlin in 2019, and Air Canada Rouge currently connects Toronto and Berlin with nonstop seasonal service.

A Fabelhaft Food Scene

Berlin is showing that German cuisine now is far more than pretzels and bratwursts (although these awesome meals are easy to find as well). New restaurants such as BRLO BRWHOUSE brings its brews to Berlin’s beer scene and pairs them with gourmet bites including a plethora of inventive vegetable dishes, ribs, pork belly and even German kimchi in a clever mash-up of German and global cuisine. Café Botanico grows as many of its ingredients as it can on-site, and CODA Dessert Bar explores sweet things after dinner. The Clärchens Ballhaus preserves a pre-World War II ballroom and serves classic Berlin meals. Berlin’s ever-growing food festivals celebrate German and international tastes throughout the year.

Enjoy a Shin-Dig at the Holtzmarkt

Berlin's vibrant art scene continues to express itself in a variety of ways including Holzmarkt, a community of artists, gardeners and businesses on a sandy beach along the Spree River. Food stalls and bars serve visitors as artists and musicians create and local vendors sell their hand-crafted wares. Street theater performances take place, and at night locals and visitors alike dance on the beach to the glow of campfires.

Berlin's New Museums

Berlin is renowned for its museums such as the House of the World's Cultures (pictured) and the Jewish Museum Berlin, and continues to add to them. The new Urban National Museum for Urban Contemporary Art explores the world of graffiti and street art and its role in history and modern culture. The Futurium, open in September 2019, is a hands-on science museum where visitors young and old are encouraged to explore physics, electronics, art and other disciplines through play and experimentation. The Humboltforum, scheduled to open in early 2020, sits on the site of a palace that was destroyed during World War II. The East German Parliament was then built on the site, and was demolished after reunification. Now the Humboltforum will be dedicated to the world’s cultures and diversity, and include the Ethnological and the Asian museums, a comprehensive Berlin Exhibition showing how Berlin interacts with the rest of the world, as well as changing exhibitions.

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