Has Berlin caught your eye? The capital city of Germany offers a heady mix of historic landmarks, vibrant culture and nightlife entertainment, all relatively affordable. These perks have helped it become the third most popular place in Europe after London and Paris, attracting some 10 million visitors in 2022.
It’s a city that offers something for everyone, no matter your age or interests. But it’s especially popular with young people, and if you’re looking for an affordable city with plenty going on and a famously open-minded, carefree attitude, then you’ve found the perfect place!
Here’s a quick guide to what you can expect to find when visiting Berlin in your 20s, from things to see and do to practical tips for accommodation and transport.
Table of Contents
Even if you’re not a history buff, it’s hard not to be drawn in by Berlin’s backstory, especially given how relatively recently some key events occurred.
There’s the Berlin Wall, which separated East and West Berlin for 28 years until it was ceremoniously torn down in 1989. Large parts of the wall remain today and are covered in eye-catching and diverse street art, becoming a popular backdrop for Instagram snaps.
Then there’s the Brandenburg Gate, a stunning structure not dissimilar to the Acropolis in Athens, which has stood proudly in the heart of Berlin for over two centuries. You can’t miss the Reichstag either, an iconic German parliament building with a spectacular roof terrace and dome to explore.
Museums and galleries
Berlin is packed with art and culture hubs too, with a host of venues and exhibitions attracting countless creative minds. The scene is incredibly diverse, mixing the underground and experimental with high-end fine art.
Knowing where to look first is half the battle. Make a note of the Contemporary Fine Arts gallery space, which hosts works from Berlin’s most famous creators as well as international artists. There’s also the Galerie Capitain Pretzel in a dramatic modernist block, plus the looser-feeling Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethaniem in the southeast.
If it’s museums you’re after, then head to Museum Island. This appropriately named complex of five museums is an impressive architectural achievement in itself, having been awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 1999.
Another famous characteristic of Berlin is its multiethnicity, meaning you have a wide range of delicious cuisines to sample. And if you’re early in your career or still in education, the good news is you don’t have to break the bank for them!
The city is packed with budget-friendly street food vendors, cosy cafes and creative restaurants. There’s German cuisine on offer – including some of the best kebabs you’ve ever tried – as well as Indian, Turkish, Vietnamese and other authentic bites.
Autumn meanwhile sees the city celebrate Oktokberfest, with a festival atmosphere taking over various locations and offering delicious brews, traditional food and live music.
Here’s what many young people really come to Berlin for: the untamed nightlife!
The German capital is famous all over the world for its intense but open-minded nightclubs, perfect if you fancy a big blowout. There’s the famous Berghain, widely considered one of the world’s best nightclubs and renowned for its high-profile resident DJs and late-running parties.
It’s perhaps best known for its difficult door policy though, so be prepared for disappointment. You can try dressing in black, going in a mixed group and other common tips, but even locals and regulars are often turned away for no clear reason!
Don’t panic though, as there are plenty of other incredible clubs to try instead, such as Sisyphos, Tresor and Watergate.
Resting your head
Like any major city, Berlin has a range of accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets.
In your 20s, you may prefer to save money with a hostel or perhaps an Airbnb apartment with friends. Whatever the case, it makes sense to stay in or close to the areas you’re most drawn to.
Mitte is Berlin’s downtown area that’s conveniently located for many sights, but it’s more touristic – and pricey – than elsewhere. If you’re looking for something a bit cooler, the likes of Kreuzberg and Neukölln typically attract the young and creative crowds.
There are many different ways to arrive in Berlin, though most will come through Berlin Brandenburg Airport. It’s not super close to the city centre however, so pre-booking a Berlin Airport transfer will help you maximize your trip if you’re short on time.
Once you arrive, much of the city is well connected by public transport including underground and overground trains, buses and trams. Routes are mostly regular, safe and cheap, making getting around this vast city a breeze.
Handy apps like Citymapper make it even simpler, giving you live transport options for getting from A to B and allowing you to choose your preferred methods.
In summary, Berlin could well be the perfect place to visit in your 20s. What are you waiting for?!