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10 best things to do in Berlin on a Sunday

10 best things to do in Berlin on a Sunday

Unlike in some capital cities, many places in Berlin are closed on Sundays. If you're only here for a short while, or don't fancy engaging in Germany's enforced day of rest, you might be hard pressed to find something fun to do on a Sunday.

What to do in Berlin on a Sunday

Thankfully, we know the best activities for you to enjoy on a Sunday in Berlin, so you can head out and have some fun! Here are our top picks:

1. Visit a flea market

Sundays are the perfect time to visit one of Berlin’s many flea markets. Some are only open on one Sunday every month, but quite a few are open every weekend to welcome browsers, bargain-hunters and hagglers alike. 

At Berlin’s flea markets you can find plenty of interesting antiques and secondhand items (and a fair bit of worthless tat as well!). The most important thing to remember is to bring plenty of cash and spare change for buying items, as well as a keen eye for a bargain!

2. Go swimming

During summer when the weather is fine, the absolute must-do weekend activity in Berlin is to head to your local outdoor pool or lake for a spot of swimming. Since most Berlin apartments aren't kitted out with air conditioning, it's the choice way to cool off at the weekend and catch up with friends and family

There are plenty of lakes to choose from across Berlin, but Wannsee, Tegelersee, Krumme Lanke and Schlachtensee are some of the most popular - so expect them to be busy on fine days! 

3. Go for a hike

Another great thing to do when the weather is fine is to go for a hike. Berlin itself has got some lovely walking routes, but there are also many great hiking routes around the city in the countryside as well, and Brandenburg with its miles and miles of waterways and forests is only a train ride away! 

For those who crave a full day out hiking, there are also a number of national parks near Berlin to which you can drive or take public transport. If you’re feeling super adventurous, you could even try to walk the route of the Berlin Marathon in a day!

4. Visit a museum for free

On the first Sunday of every month, many museums in the city of Berlin are open for business, with free entry. Museumssonntag, or Museum Sunday, was started in 2021 to attract visitors to the city’s museums on Sundays. 

There are more than 60 participating museums across the state, featuring exhibitions on art, technology, science, history and more. You can find out more about the programme and participating museums on the Museum Sunday website, but you gotta get there fast to get in. Tickets go on sale a week in advance and a ticket for the most famous locations can be difficult to snap up if you aren't fast. 

5. Go for brunch

While shops and supermarkets are closed on Sundays, restaurants, bars and pubs generally remain open. On Sundays, therefore, many Berliners love nothing more than going out for a long, leisurely brunch, often washed down with a few cocktails or German beers. Most Berlin neighbourhoods are awash with great brunch spots - with Friedrichshain, Prenzlauerberg and Kreuzberg being among the most popular destinations.

If you're looking for some traditional German food, why not try one of the specialities that hail from Berlin, including Currywurst, Königsberger Klopse, Eisbein or Berliner Pfannkuchen?

6. Visit an open-air cinema

This one’s for the film fans! Germany has more than 500 outdoor cinemas, or Freiluftkinos, many of which are located in Berlin. You can scope out one of the capital’s 30 outdoor cinemas online, to easily find out which cinemas and films offer English subtitles. 

One of the best things about open-air cinemas is that some of them are even free to visit. Just make sure to check your weather app ahead of time to make sure you don’t get rained on during the show!

7. Visit the zoo

When the weather is nice, there’s really no better place to be than the zoo. The zoo in Berlin offers plenty of fun for families and friends, featuring more than 20.000 animals and covering 35 hectares of land.

The zoo is the oldest zoo in Germany and was opened in 1844. More than 100 years later, Berlin Zoo is the most-visited zoo in Europe with more than 3,3 million visitors per year. 

8. Take a picnic to the Tempelhofer Feld

Berlin’s old airport, Tempelhof, was closed in 2008 but the site on which it used to stand has since been opened as a popular public park. The park’s gates open and close at sunrise and sunset so that you can stay all day in the Tempelhofer Feld. 

The site embodies many of the things local Berliners love: fresh air, nature, freedom and space to roam. The park welcomes all types of people, from picnicking families to roller skaters and windsurfers practising out of season and it's a great way to while away a few lazy hours on a sunny Sunday.

9. Visit the Reichstag or Berlin's palace

The Reichstag, home to Germany’s parliament, is another historic spot that you can still enjoy on Sundays. The Reichstag even offers special tours for families (in German) on Sundays, focusing on explaining the history of the building and German politics in a way that helps young children grasp it.

If you want to travel a bit further afield but still want a splash of finery, you could head over to Charlottenburg Palace, a beautiful 17th-century palace located in Berlin that just so happens to stay open on a Sunday. You can tour the beautiful parks and grounds for free (and even bring a picnic), or pay to see the impressive interior of the palace. 

10. Visit a spa

A safe bet on a Sunday, or any day of the week, is a visit to a spa in Berlin. The city has a booming wellness industry and taking some time to relax and unwind at the weekend is definitely a good thing to do, especially if you’ve been busy working all week. 

Most German spas feature a range of relaxing activities. These include massages, holistic treatments, bathing facilities, saunas and steam rooms and prices are much more reasonable than you might expect. 

Things to do on a Sunday in Berlin: Sorted

Fretting about what to do on a Sunday in Berlin? Hopefully, this list has given you some great ideas. If you think we missed a Sunday gem, let us know in the comments below. 

Thumb image credit: Shutterstock.com / hanohiki

Emily

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Emily Proctor

Former Editor at IamExpat Media.

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