Top tips for visiting Berlin

Unlike other more staid European capitals, Berlin is evolving all the time. With three opera houses, a world-class orchestra and new clubs popping up every day, Berlin's cultural scene is the most vibrant in Europe. Here are our tips for making the most of your time in the German capital.
Visiting Berlin: Museum Island, on the River Spree.
Museum Island, on the River Spree. Photo: Shutterstock

Everything has changed in Berlin since the fall of the Wall, and the transformation is not over yet. The German capital is an exciting place to live, work and visit. Here are our absolute top tips for visiting Berlin!

Read more 5 brilliant boutique hotels in Berlin

Bargain sightseeing

Bus routes 100 or 200 are the cheapest way of taking in all major sights – the bus fare is just €2.70 for an adult, and the ticket is valid for two hours. Within that period, you can exit and re-enter the bus as often as you like, but only in one direction.

Views from the train

A good initial way of getting the measure of Berlin is to take the S-Bahn around the centre, from Zoologischer Garten to Alexanderplatz. From the elevated track, you get impressive views of some major landmarks, including the Reichstag.

Hop on the S-Bahn for some great views of Berlin's landmarks. Photo: Shutterstock

Read more Berlin highlights

Museum tickets

The collections on Museum Island are part of Berlin’s State Museum system and can be visited by buying a combined ticket for €24, valid for three days and for 50 museums in and around Berlin. Each Thursday night, the museums are open late until 8pm.

Book online

Advance online bookings are recommended for the Reichstag dome, the Neues Museum and the Pergamonmuseum.

The Reichstag's incredible glass dome, designed by Sir Norman Foster. Photo: Shutterstock

Free entry

Check websites and listings for days and times when museums offer free admission.

Learn the lingo

A few phrases of German go a long way to breaking the ice between tourist and local, no more so than informally minded Germany where a cheery Guten Tag (hello) and Auf Wiedersehen (good bye) is expected by shop assistants and ticket sellers.

Buy a German phrasebook

See more: The Fernsehtrum (Television Tower) in Berlin

Buy a book: Berlitz: Berlin Pocket Guide