Free Things to Do in Berlin

13 June 2019

With its multitude of cultural and historic hotspots, Berlin has been prolific throughout the 20th century; becoming the birthplace of modern history and the home of artists, historians and scientists alike.

If you’ve got an upcoming school trip to Berlin and are struggling for ideas on how to spend your downtime, or are simply looking for a few extra excursion ideas, then we’ve got just the thing.

Our list of free things to do in Berlin is here to help both students and teachers navigate Berlin’s rich culture through a series of interesting and thought-provoking excursions.

History and politics school trips to Berlin

Berlin’s history is famous around the world – making it a great place to visit for history students. But, more than that, the city has strong political roots, and is home to a world-famous government. Students of both history and politics would hugely benefit from a trip to this magnificent city – but if you’re on a budget, you can make the most of all these sights free of charge…

Reichstag Building

One of the most popular visits in the city, Berlin’s Reichstag Building is home to the German Bundestag, the country’s national parliament. A free guided tour of the building allows students to learn the inner workings of parliament, as well as the history and architecture of the building.

Finish your trip with a visit to the building’s iconic dome, a glass centrepiece atop the roof which offers panoramic views of the city.

Please note that this experience requires booking in advance through the Bundestag website – you can check which dates are available, here. Alternatively, there is limited availability for admission on the day, but this is allocated on a first come, first served basis.

Topography of terror

The site of the former German Gestapo HQ, this permanent exhibition details the rise and fall of the institution, providing in-depth insight into the causes and events leading up to the start of WW2.

Great for history students, the museum is rich with information about the SS and Gestapo and is also surrounded by the longest remaining stretch of the outer Berlin Wall in the city.

Holocaust Memorial

Located close to the Brandenburg Gate, and just a few minutes’ walk from the Reichstag Building, The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is one of Berlin’s most famous sites of remembrance. It features 2,711 individual concrete slabs, representing the Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

The memorial is free to walk through 24hrs a day and, comprising 19,000m2 of concrete, can prove to be both moving and thought-provoking. An information point is also located on-site which is open during daytime hours.

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

One of the earliest concentration camps, Sachsenhausen takes visitors through its expansive timeline – from its inception in 1936 through to liberation in 1945.

Through a series of exhibitions throughout its buildings – including a memorial and museum – history students can learn more about the treatment of prisoners in the Second World War, as well as the rise and fall of the Third Reich in this informative and moving trip.


Art school trips to Berlin

With a vast selection of art galleries to choose from, Berlin provides a great base for art school trips. What’s more, lots of the city’s galleries are free to enter, and contain some world-famous works of art for students to observe.

Alte National Galerie

Sat atop Museum Island, the Alte Nationale Galerie houses some of the most important works of the 18th and 19th centuries. Designed and built by architect F.A. Stüler between 1866-1876, the museum contains two centuries worth of work from prominent German and international artists, and is great for students observing 18th and 19th century art.

Altes Museum

Standing tall as Berlin’s oldest museum, the Altes is home to some of world’s most remarkable pieces of art. One of the city’s most popular attractions, it’s home to many intriguing artworks – while the building itself has become a talking point after being damaged by a fire in WW2.

Bode Museum

Housing art and artefacts from the Byzantine and Medieval periods, the Bode Museum is a must-see for students visiting Berlin. With pieces from Germany, the Netherlands, France, Italy and Spain, the museum centres around medieval works, making it the perfect place for art students studying this period.

East Side Gallery

With an astonishing length of 1.3 kilometres, the East Side Gallery is the longest open-air gallery in the world. Housing some of the most iconic and thought-provoking imagery, this remnant of what was once the Berlin Wall serves as a tribute to both history and art.

Following the demolition of the Wall, 118 artists from 21 countries across the globe began painting the East Side Gallery. In September 1990, it officially opened and was granted protected memorial status just a year later.

Head to the banks of the river Spree in Friedrichshain to wander down the length of the wall or enjoy a drink in one of the many cafes and bars along the route.

 

Science school trips to Berlin

Science students visiting Berlin have a wealth of options for cheap things to do in their downtime. Especially as the city has been home to lots of famous scientific discoveries – particularly in astronomy and biology.

Archenhold Observatory

Home to the longest moveable refracting telescope, the Archenhold Observatory is great for science students interested in astronomy and physics. At 21 meters long, the telescope is the main highlight of the observatory, with accompanying exhibitions focusing on observing and measuring various areas of our solar system and beyond.

Ottobock Science Centre

A centre dedicated to helping visitors learn more about the human body, the Ottobock Science Centre houses an interactive three-storey exhibition with various multimedia installations. The aim of the centre is to bring awareness to inventions that help improve mobility for people with disabilities – something that could prove hugely beneficial for those looking to further a career in biology.

The Ottobock Science Centre is great for science students interested in the human body and aids for physical impairments.


Tailor your trip

If you’re planning a school trip to Berlin, our team of specialists can help organise bespoke itineraries fitting for any subject.

We will arrange everything from educational tours and workshops to accommodation and travel to ensure your trip goes smoothly.

Click here to request a quote today.

 

Get even more inspiration with these other free things to do in Berlin

  • DDR Museum in the Culture brewery
  • Palace of Tears
  • Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp
  • Wannsee Conference Centre
  • Otto Weidt Museum
  • Alexanderplatx
  • Eastside Gallery
  • Potsdamer Platz
  • Kurfürstendamm
  • Rittersport
  • Sony Centre