As expected, there are a ton of activities to choose from in large cities like Berlin, but you can find some especially unique options when you look off the beaten path.
1. Eat At An Exclusive “Supper Club”
There’s something about an establishment being a well-kept secret that can make it even more appealing, and Berlin has an underground dining presence that is quite unusual yet so worth experiencing.
Essentially, some of the best chefs in the country open up their homes for small parties to enjoy fine dining in a completely intimate setting. Other supper clubs are found outside of homes in more retail establishments, but are often unlisted and are typically found via word of mouth and some serious searching i.e. back-door, hidden entrance type places.
Of course, this style of dining is reservation-only and due to the small setting, you’ll likely be seated with other diners, but that’s part of the charm of eating at a supper club.
2. See Berlin Through The Eyes Of A Local
Tours are a dime-a-dozen, but they’re typically focused on the main landmarks and monuments that are flooded with tourists. Guided tours like Alternative Berlin, though, are more focused on helping each person see the authentic Berlin lifestyle. Some of their walking tours are free, and others feature street art workshops and even an “anti pub crawl”, which is basically a trip through the least touristy bars.
Part of the fun of being in a different culture is really seeing what life is like for the locals, and alternative tours like this give you a first-hand view of what Berlin is really like.
3. Visit The Tropical Islands In Berlin
Berlin isn’t typically associated with tropical islands, but artistic entrepreneur Colin Au has created his own slice of paradise in a very unusual Berlin location.
After purchasing an old airship hangar where Nazi pilots were once trained, Au started a project to turn it into a paradise. Now completed, Tropical Islands is an artificial rainforest that features a bathhouse, massive indoor water park, gourmet restaurant, beach, entertainment shows, and a full-fledged spa.
The facility is the size of eight football fields, and it’s so well constructed that you will literally feel like you’ve been transported to a tropical destination.
A day pass is very reasonably priced, and you can even stay the night in one of their comfort suites or in a teepee.
If you need a jolt of sunshine and relaxation amidst your Berlin trip, Tropical Islands will take care of all that and more.
4. Grab A Drink At A Trendy Bar In The Trendiest Neighborhood
Kreuzberg is one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Berlin and it has a bevy of options in terms of grabbing a drink, but Prinzipal is perhaps the gem of them all.
With a distinct 20s style, Prinzipal is an atmospheric lounge with top-level bartenders and waitresses dressed in burlesque style outfits.
Their bartenders make every classic drink you could imagine and are willing to try new creations at a customer’s request. Prinzipal even has full-fledged shows from time-to-time, so if you plan in advance you might even be able to catch one.
5. Shop At A Vintage Flea Market
The most commonly recommended flea market in Berlin is Mauerpark, but it’s no longer a secret and has become somewhat flooded with tourists.
Other flea markets like Revaler Strasse and RAW Flohrmarket are much smaller but highly preferred by local Berliners. There are tons of bargains to be found if you’re looking for souvenirs or a personal keepsake, and they’re open nearly every weekend.
6. Breakfast On Top Of The Bundestag
Most tourists plan to visit the Reichstag, an architectural masterpiece dating back to 1894. Walking the glass dome walkway and seeing the views is the reason for most people’s attendance.
Unfortunately, due to its popularity, it can be quite an ordeal to book a visit in advance (which is required) and then wait in seemingly endless lines to enter.
Thankfully, we’ve learned of a hack to see the sights, skip the line, and enjoy a lovely breakfast at the same time.
Bundestag is the only government-run parliament building to have a restaurant open to the public, and that restaurant is conveniently located with many of the same views as the glass dome next door.
If you email the restaurant, Kafer, and book a time in the morning, you can get in without any wait, sit on the terrace, and enjoy a delightful breakfast accompanied by a magnificent view of Berlin.
Big cities like Berlin have been traveled by millions of tourists over the years, and while it might feel like everything has been done already, some of these little-known activities will give you a one-of-a-kind visit that few people share. Not to mention, you’ll have loads of fun and some great memories!