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Top 12 best free activities in Berlin

In this article, I offer you 12 ideas to visit Berlin for free. It is one of the most popular cities for tourists for many reasons, but mostly because no matter where you come from, you will always find something to do, no matter what your budget or desires are.

One of the best things about Berlin is that you can enjoy many activities for free.

In this article, you will discover a list of the most popular free activities for travelers to choose from.

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1. Top free tours: The Berlin Wall

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Most outdoor monuments are free. And the Berlin Wall is of course one of them. You can’t go to Berlin without seeing the wall that cut the city in two for 28 years (from 1961 to 1989).

Visit the East Side Gallery, the longest section of the wall (1.3 km) painted by various street art artists after the reunification.

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The official Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Strasse is of course not to be missed. Here you can see a completely reconstructed section of the wall and have access to a free observation platform from where you can enjoy a unique view of Berlin cut in two.

2. The Reichstag, the Republic Square

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The entrance to the Berlin Parliament is free of charge, but you will need to make an appointment online before you go. You can see with your own eyes the building where Hitler was elected chancellor, admire the famous glass dome designed by Norman Foster and even see the German parliament in action.

3. The Soviet Memorial, Puschkinallee

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This monument is located outside the tourist center, in Treptow Park, but if you appreciate Russian propaganda it is a site not to be missed.

It is easily accessible by public transport. It commemorates the memory of the 5000 Soviet soldiers who died during the battle of Berlin at the end of World War II.

The impressive monument was built with the red marble of Hitler’s chancellery and includes a 13 meter high statue of a Soviet soldier holding a child and wielding a sword.

While you’re in the neighborhood, take a trip to Berlin’s abandoned amusement park, the Spreepark. You can walk along the park’s gates and see the Ferris wheel spinning without any passengers in the wind.

4. The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

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Commonly known as the Holocaust Memorial, this is one of the most impressive monuments in Berlin.

Dedicated to the six million victims of the Holocaust, the monument is composed of 2711 concrete blocks arranged in rows and forming a huge labyrinth.

A place for meditation and remembrance designed by the American architect Peter Eisenmann.

5. The flea markets

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Germans love the outdoors and get out of their homes whenever the weather permits.

Berlin often forgets that it is a landlocked northern city and dreams of being Mediterranean with its many open-air markets.

In particular, the capital has a wide variety of flea markets scattered throughout the city and open on Sundays, perfect for when other stores are closed.

Some of the best flea markets in the city are located in Mauerpark (a park also known for its musicians, beer gardens and karaoke), Klunkerkranich (a rooftop community garden with a bar and weekend flea market), Maybachufer, which hosts a Turkish market on Fridays, and RAW Flohmarkt (located in converted disused sheds).

6. Public parks

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Soak up the sun in one of Berlin’s many green spaces while participating in a typical Berlin tradition.

Stop by a Späti to buy a beer or two (Spätis are grocery stores open all day) and drink in the park while watching Frisbee players, buskers and families picnicking and enjoying a friendly moment in a green space amidst the bustle of the city.

Some of the city’s nicest parks include: Mauerpark, where you can try your hand at karaoke at one of the largest outdoor events of its kind in the amphitheater; Görlitz Park (Gorlizter Park), where you can sit and watch the atypical characters that populate Kreuzberg (Berlin’s coolest neighborhood)

You can also take a walk in Großer Tiergarten, one of the largest parks in Europe with several small lakes, memorials and picnic areas; and if you want to go to a more original park where you can have a barbecue or fly a kite, go to the abandoned Berlin-Tempelhof airport, an incredible site.

7. Enjoy the free museums in Berlin

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Germans are a cultured people. And they love to share this love of culture with the tourists who visit their capital.

Many museums are therefore completely open to the public and completely free of charge.

The city offers a wide range of free museums, but the most interesting are the Holocaust Museum, the Topography of Terror and the Tränenpalast (Palace of Tears).

8. Visit the Berlin Zoo for freevisite-zoo-gratuite-berlin (1)

If you love animals and want to visit the zoo without paying the 15 Euro entrance fee, you can walk around the Tiergarten and see the animals that inhabit Berlin’s most famous zoo.

If the weather isn’t cooperating, drop by Berlin’s most notable shopping center, Bikini Berlin (Bikinihau), and have a coffee in the heart of the building, between art stores and designer clothing boutiques, and you can see the Berlin Zoo’s monkeys through a window overlooking the zoo.

9. Go swimming

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Even though Berlin is still pretty much landlocked, its location won’t stop you from swimming, as Berliners love to leave the city on weekends with a few beers and their swimsuits in their backpacks.

The Berlin area has many lakes, but these places are obviously very popular and often crowded.

Get on a train and head west, you will arrive in the town of Schlachtensee after only 30 minutes of travel.

Take a walk in the forest and choose the perfect spot on the lake shore and go for a swim. If the lake shore seems a bit too crowded, go to the lake of Krumme Lanke, a town of the same importance as Schlachtensee, but a bit less touristy.

The Tegeler See lake, located north of Tegel airport, has rowing boats that you can rent for a romantic trip along the water.

If you prefer the Großer Wannsee, located further west, you will enjoy a more traditional atmosphere, suitable for a lazy day on the beach.

10. Take a free walking tour of Berlin

On these free walking tours, you’ll learn more about Berlin’s history from a local. Listen to the tumultuous history of this city with guides who are passionate about Berlin.

Get advice from a local who knows the city inside and out and discover the best places to visit (in addition to the ones already on my list of course!).

Berlin tours are technically free and operate on a free-price principle, you pay what you want and only if you want.

11. See the Swans along the canals

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If you don’t feel like swimming, opt for a walk along Berlin’s famous canals instead, where you can admire the beautiful, immaculate swans that symbolize the German capital’s waterways.

The Admiralbrücke bridge is a favorite spot for all Berliners, located just a few steps from the Cottbus Gate (Kottbusser Tor.)

Here you will find street musicians, joggers and picnickers along the river, a perfect spot to spend a moment out of time and admire the swans as the sun slowly sets over Berlin.

After a few moments of relaxation, consider taking a tour of Kreuzberg to see the street artists at work and the graffiti that make Berlin an artist’s and squatters’ paradise.

You can even opt for a free guided tour of the neighborhood. You’ll discover the meaning of graffiti, you’ll be shown the squats and the best bars, you’ll discover the alternative Berlin absent of the classic guides reserved for mainstream tourists.

12. Listen to classical music

Every Tuesday at 1pm, head to the HQ of the famous Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra where you can enjoy sublime free classical music concerts.

The concerts last about 45 minutes and invite you to forget everything around you and let yourself be completely carried away by the music to live a unique moment with the members of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, the Orchestra Academy and the musicians and students of the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester.

To conclude this article, I can tell you that Berlin is a city where there is a multitude of things to do, even for visitors who have a very small budget and are looking for free activities and things to do.

Feel free to leave me a comment if you have more and don’t forget to share this article with your family and friends if you liked it! Enjoy your stay in Berlin!

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