Berlin has a reputation for being a not-so-pretty city. But I think Berlin is very photogenic.
Sometimes its beauty isn’t as obvious as other popular cities, but you don’t have to look far to see the city’s character and vibe. If you’re on the fence about coming to here, these pictures are sure to change your mind.
Check out these photos of Berlin and get inspired to visit!
Touristy but beautiful
Berlin’s tourist attractions aren’t necessarily the heart of the city, but they are the outward symbols people easily recognize. As a foreigner myself, I often see these buildings and monuments as reminders of the amazing city I live in.
These are some great sights to include on your Berlin bucket list and the perfect place to start with when exploring Berlin.
The TV Tower was built by the Soviets during the Cold War when Berlin was divided between East and West. The idea was that it could be seen from anywhere in the city, and today you can still see it from almost anywhere in Berlin.
It’s not a city of high rises, so it’s usually easy to spot. Even though it’s touristy, locals often post pictures of it. Check the hashtag #thattoweragain.
The TV Tower is also one of the most popular places for views of Berlin from above, so be sure to book tickets ahead of time to avoid a long wait.
This is actually not a Catholic cathedral but a Protestant one. The Berliner Dom sits along the Spree River and has a big park in front of it called the Lustgarten where people often lounge and enjoy a sunny day.
It’s a gorgeous building that’s easily recognized when you’re walking around in Mitte. It’s also one of Berlin’s most famous landmarks
I love this bridge. The old appearance that holds modern day Ubahn trains, cars, and pedestrians is wonderful.
This bridge spans the Spree River, connecting Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. You can see it from certain boat tours or from the nearby riverbanks, you can walk across it, or if you take the U1 or U3 to Warschauer Str, you will cross over it.
Definitely a touristy spot, but definitely worth visiting on your trip to Berlin.
It sits on the divide between East and West, and now symbolizes unity for the city and the country. Check it out from both sides.
The Victory Column isn’t as tall as the TV Tower, but the view from the top is still fantastic. It’s at a big roundabout intersection of the few roads that cut through Tiergarten, and it’s tall enough to be seen from the surrounding areas.
If you love castles and palaces, this one is a must see. It was the summer residence of Sophie Charlotte, and today you can visit the museum inside as well as explore the gardens and surrounding park.
It truly is a gorgeous place to see, and it’s Berlin’s most popular castle.
Probably one of Berlin’s prettiest squares, Gendarmenmarkt is worth a stop. The buildings are impressive, and the open space is inviting.
This square hosts one if the best Christmas markets in Berlin, but come by any time of the year to admire the beauty.
Spandau was once its own village, but now it’s a neighborhood in the western side of Berlin. It’s home to an imposing Citadel that’s really interesting to explore.
The Molecule Men statue is a quirky sculpture that sits in the Spree River. You can see it from the Ubahn when passing between Ostkreuz and Treptower Park stations, or go for a stroll along the river.
Berlin has lots of parks
Berlin is often thought of as a gritty city, but it actually has lots of green space. In most parts of the city, you can’t go more than a few blocks without seeing a park, even a small one.
And since summer is short and warm, sunny days can be a rare treat, we all appreciate these parks for how easy they make it to enjoy the sun when it does pop out.
Tiergarten is a huge park in central Berlin bound by the zoo to the west and Brandenburg Gate to the east. It’s the perfect place to go to feel like you’re not in a city while still being right in the middle of things.
This park is also one of the most gorgeous areas in Berlin in autumn.
This fantastic park was once an airport. When it ceased operations, the city decided to leave it as is, runway and all, and turned it into a park. It’s not traditional beauty, but this park is a favorite with locals and tourists alike.
This area was once a wasteland with abandoned train tracks, but today it’s been revived and turned into a big, gorgeous park. The train tracks are still there adding to the character.
In the heart of Kreuzberg, you’ll find the beautiful Viktoriapark. It’s home to the highest natural point in central Berlin and the city’s only (but artificial) waterfall.
>>Check out more wonderful parks in Berlin here.
Cherry blossoms along the border
After the Wall fell, Japan gifted cherry blossom trees to Berlin, and many of them were planted along Berlin’s border with Brandenburg (the surrounding state/region) where the wall between West Berlin and East Germany once stood.
You can find many cherry blossom trees in Berlin, but this area is one of the most beautiful. Find Kirschbaumallee here.
Berlin’s quirky side
So much of Berlin could be labeled as quirky. Berlin doesn’t have the same sort of polish you’ll find in a city like Paris, but that’s what I love about it. Embrace the oddities, be who you want to be, and accept that anything goes here.
Street art is everywhere
Street art is a big part of the urban landscape in Berlin. Famous walls of art and obscure paintings and everything in between can be found just around the corner.
It’s not just the East Side Gallery. You can get great photos of Berlin street art all over the city.
Art takes unexpected forms
Art isn’t always what you think it is. Keep your eyes open for odd and often fleeting pieces of art scattered around the city.
Sometimes there’s a message, but sometimes I think people are just having fun.
If ever there was a place where you could be whoever you want to be, it’s Berlin. It is a city of individuality, a city where people wear all kinds of crazy things, a city where you can let your inner weirdo run wild.
The food isn’t what you expect
When you go to Italy, you want to eat Italian food. Visit France, and enjoy the French food. This isn’t strictly true of Berlin.
Sure, you’ll find German food here, but there is so much international influence in the city that you can easily find many other cuisines worth trying. And food is such a great reason to visit Berlin.
Berlin has a huge Turkish community, which has resulted in lots of delicious Turkish food. From quick döner kebab stands to modern sit-down restaurants, you’ll find tons of variations to taste while you’re here.
Berlin also has a large Vietnamese community. Depending on what part of the city you’re in, you might see more Vietnamese restaurants than anything else. Some are good, some are more like generic Asian food including sushi, which is always a bit questionable.
Thai cuisine is pretty easy to find in Berlin. One interesting place to check out on a nice weekend in the summer is Thai Park.
What started as a gathering of Thai families turned into a place where the food is cooked and sold right in front of you from makeshift stalls. Rumors often swirl around about them being shut down for not having proper business licenses, but in 2021, they were made official.
Brunch is a sport
Whether you go for a traditional German style brunch with boiled eggs, cheese, bread, veggies, and deli meats, or you prefer something else like a Turkish brunch, English brunch, or an American style table of pancakes, you can find it in Berlin.
The locals love their brunch. Just make sure you reserve a table ahead of time.
Craft beer in Berlin
Germany is known for its beer, but centuries of traditional brewing following the Reinheitsgebot rules about what ingredients can go in beer is a bit limiting.
In recent years, craft beer bars and breweries have popped up all over Berlin, changing the landscape of German beer. Try a traditional beer, but please also try the craft beer options Berlin has to offer.
Berlin’s beauty is just around the corner
The prettiest parts of a city are often not the postcard images. A stroll down a side street and away from the tourist attractions can really show you the heart of Berlin.
Even after living here for many years, I still love to wander through a neighborhood I’m not familiar with.
Festival of Lights
Every year the Festival of Lights takes place in the fall, usually October but sometimes September. Works of art in the form of light are projected onto important buildings throughout the city.
Luckily it’s also one of many free things to do in Berlin.
Courtyards near Hackescher Mart
This area near Hackescher Markt was run down and grungy after the Wall came down, but today it’s one of the prettiest areas of the city.
Berlin at Christmastime
Winter is dark and gloomy in Berlin, but the Christmas markets help keep us going in December. The Berlin Christmas markets add light and beauty to the city, and it’s a great reason to visit this time of year.
Berlin has lots of great beer gardens, and what better way to give your feet a rest from all the sightseeing!
So what are you waiting for? Come explore Berlin!
Where to stay in Berlin
Berlin has lots of great neighborhoods for you to stay in and explore. If you’re visiting Berlin for the first time, it might be best for you stay somewhere central.
Many of the attractions are in Mitte or easily connected to Mitte by Berlin’s public transport, so you should stay somewhere in that region. Here are a few hotels we recommend.
For a more detailed look at the different neighborhoods and our hotel recommendations, check out our guide to where to stay in Berlin.
Book a tour for your trip to Berlin
Berlin Travel Resources
I want you to have the best trip to Berlin, and hopefully these photos of Berlin have inspired you to visit. But there are lots more tips on the site!
- 101 Best Things to do in Berlin
- 23 Impressive Castles in Berlin (And Nearby)
- 27 Fun Day Trips From Berlin
- 75 Things to Know Before Visiting Berlin: Essential Berlin Travel Tips
- What to Wear & What to Pack for Berlin, Germany: Your Ultimate Berlin Packing List
- How to Get Around in Berlin: An Easy Guide to Berlin Public Transportation
- Where to Stay in Berlin: A Local’s Guide
Visiting Berlin? Don’t forget travel insurance!
It’s always a good idea to travel to Berlin with a valid travel insurance policy. Travel here is reasonably safe, but you never know when something could happen. You need to be covered in case you have an accident or become a victim to theft.
We recommend World Nomads insurance for travel. Travel insurance helps you recover your expenses and continue to enjoy your trip.