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Updated: 27 April 2023
Ever since I started traveling, Germany’s capital has intrigued me, because I saw it as an escape for artists and freelancers. No doubt about it, Berlin is one of the most unique cities in all of Europe. In Berlin, you’ll experience a “cool and grungy” vibe, as well as live and breathe the city’s recent and tumultuous history, and you’ll eat delicious food from all over the world. Berlin is a global city and feels like it.
And solo travel in Berlin? Is so, so, so much fun.
Personally, I think Berlin is perfect for independent travelers who are seeking both fascinating historical sites and contemporary experiences.
Don’t come here expecting “traditional Germany,” with its lederhosen and timbered-houses.
Instead you’ll discover a city that seeks under your skin, and packs a gritty punch that you won’t forget any time soon.
Furthermore, Germany’s capital is fun, cheap, and vibrant, and as a result, this sprawling metropolis is obviously a wonderful place for solo travelers to enjoy themselves.
Solo Travel in Berlin: My Experience
When I first visited Berlin, I was a relatively inexperienced solo traveler, but found the city very welcoming for international visitors. I truly loved Berlin and feel like I’m due for another trip sometime in the near future.
As some of you know, I’m a “slow traveler” and I feel like solo travel in Berlin is even better when you have time to experience a variety of neighborhoods.
Remember: Berlin was split in two for decades. This is a capital with multiple centers that demand your attention. Get to know Berlin.
As for me, I stayed in Berlin for 5 days, but even with a week, I still barely scratched the surface of this incredible city. Of course, if you only have 2 days in Berlin, you can still enjoy your trip by getting a taste of the city (and planning for a future visit).
Berlin reminds me of London and Paris, because there is so much to see and do. Solo travel in Berlin will open your mind, but you won’t see it all. Ever.
So, in this guide, my goal is to simply encourage travelers to go to Berlin alone rather than push you to “see it all.” Like I said, I think it’s a great place to explore whether Berlin is your first solo trip or your hundredth.
And, sure, while there are many reasons to travel to Germany, Berlin is very special and deserves your attention.
Why You Should Take a Solo Trip to Berlin
Let’s talk all about solo travel in Berlin and why it’s something you need to do in your life!
The Capital that “Has It All”
Firstly, Berlin is a world famous city.
Duh, right? I know it sounds like I’m stating the obvious here.
But believe me, you’re able to find anything your heart desires in Berlin. You want museums? Go to Berlin. Crazy nightlife that lasts until eight in the morning? Berlin. You want contemporary and edgy Europe? Go to Berlin.
Furthermore, Berlin is a wonderful place to start a more extensive Eastern Europe backpacking trip around countries formerly behind The Iron Curtain.
… and okay, technically, Berlin isn’t geographically located in Eastern Europe, sure, but train connections to Czech Republic and Poland are still plentiful, which makes this city a logical starting point.
Solo travel in Berlin will open your eyes.
Make New Friends in Berlin
As for solo travelers who’re nervous about “going alone,” I have to tell you that you’ll never feel fully isolated in Germany’s capital city. Unsurprisingly, since Berlin is extremely popular with lots of solo travelers, you’re able to easily make friends if you choose to seek them out.
How do you find other travelers in Berlin? Simply book yourself on a free walking tour or a pub crawl, and you’ll instantly have a circle of friends. You’ll have plenty of options regarding highly rated hostels too (more on that later).
Signing up for these sort of day tours presents other benefits, too. For instance, the tour guides are also very used to solo travelers, and they can point you in the direction of the city’s best bars and restaurants, places that are popular with real locals and not just tourists.
Museum Island (UNESCO Status)
Oh man, Berlin’s museums rank up there with New York City’s epic attractions. And my favorite place of all? Museum Island.
I’m not kidding. Berlin’s Museum Island is an absolute delight for solo travelers. You’ll see ancient wonders of the world – including a famous bust of Nefertiti. However, as of this post, the Pergamon Museum was still under reconstruction. Go to the official site for more accurate updates.
As for me, I’m a huge fan of art museums and studying breathtaking statues and paintings without anyone else fighting for my attention. Museum Island is a great place to reflect and learn.
My advice is to buy tickets ahead of time to avoid waiting in lines. In particular, the lines are notoriously bad at the Pergamon and New Museums. Go early or purchase the all day Museum Island Pass at one of the other museums in the area.
An Adventure to Potsdam
Solo travel in Berlin is amazing, yes, but don’t be afraid to go on adventures outside of the capital city. Berlin is home to some wonderful day trips.
One of my favorite memories is taking a Potsdam day trip from Berlin, and learning all about this cool nearby city with its sweeping Sanssouci Palace, ranking with Versailles in its sheer beauty.
Potsdam is easy to reach on your own. Simply to go Berlin Central Station or Berlin Hauptbahnhof. Once you’re at the station, purchase your 40 minute ticket to Potsdam. More specifically, you will take the S-Bahn S7 train to Potsdam Central.
Travelers wanting a deeper experience ought to invest in a walking tour of Potsdam with a qualified guide. The cost is well worth it.
Appreciate Berlin’s Recent History
Berlin’s recent dark history is one of the main reasons this city is so popular with tourists.
I mean, think about it. The Berlin Wall came down only 30 years ago. A blip on the radar in the grand scheme of things. For instance, you’ll see people walking around in the streets who grew up when Germany was split into two countries.
One of my favorite experiences in Berlin was taking a half day walking tour and learning about life under the Nazi Regime and the Soviet government.
Even if you don’t have the time or money for a guided tour, you can still touch Berlin’s history through the city’s many memorials and free museums such as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe and the open-air Topography of Terror Museum.
Just remember to demonstrate respect at these sites. Real people suffered and died under the Nazis and Soviets. Don’t act like a jerk just to get a selfie for your Instagram account.
Practical Advice for Visiting Berlin Alone
Are you ready to book your solo trip to Berlin now? Not so fast, haha. I still have a couple practical suggestions for solo travel in Berlin.
As you now know, Berlin is a very safe city in the sense that you don’t have to worry about pickpockets and scams as much as other European cities.
However, despite its safety, I still wanted to include these tips to make your trip to Berlin even better than you originally imagined. Take notes.
Solo Travel in Berlin & Safety
In my personal experience, I felt very safe visiting Berlin alone. I wasn’t stopped once for money, harassed in the streets, or felt threatened in any way.
Honestly, as a solo traveler in Berlin, my time was spent quietly taking museum trips and walking tours. I didn’t give myself much time to aimlessly wander, which I think affected my perception of safety in Berlin. For example, as much as I loved both cities, I definitely experienced fewer tourist scams than I did in Paris and Lisbon.
Now I visited Berlin in the middle of the worst heatwave so I actually can’t speak about the nightlife. I spent my evenings sprawled in the hostel common room with a fan running on me. However, watch your alcohol intake. It’s very easy to get out of control in Berlin.
Use common sense in Berlin, and you will be absolutely fine.
As always, purchase travel insurance for your trip. I always use World Nomads and have had zero issues!
Berlin’s Most Social Hostels
Like Europe’s other big cities, Berlin has several great choices for accommodation. Like tons and tons of highly rated hostels to meet other people.
One of my favorite hostels in Berlin is EastSeven Berlin Hostel located in the funky, bohemian, and cool Prenzlauerberg district.
Not only is the location wonderful (seriously, it’s a two minute walk to the metro station), but you’ll meet a lot of laid-back travelers at EastSeven. It’s not really a party hostel, but the common room and outdoor gardens are warm and inviting, making it easy to link up with people. Solo travel in Berlin doesn’t get much better.
Berlin Hostel Recommendations
- The Circus Hostel: A friendly and well-established hostel located right in Rosenthaler Platz, one of Berlin’s most bustling squares (see prices on TripAdvisor.com or Booking.com).
- EastSeven Berlin Hostel: As you can tell, I just love EastSeven Berlin Hostel (see prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com).
- Grand Hostel Berlin: This hostel is located in an exquisite 1874 building near a U-Bahn station (see prices on TripAdvisor.com and Booking.com).
Choose Neighborhoods Wisely
Another good piece of advice regarding solo travel in Berlin has to do with the neighborhoods.
Since it’s a huge city, you need to research Berlin’s neighborhoods ahead of time and stay in places that interest you most. I would read about Berlin’s many neighborhoods either online or in a high quality guidebook.
Travelers who want to be close to all the main attractions should stay in Mitte. Mitte is an especially good choice for travelers who don’t have much time to spend in Berlin. This center location makes sightseeing much easier on your schedule and wallet.
For those of you wanting an “edgier” experience, then you should opt to stay in Kreuzberg which is home to Berlin’s artists, hipsters, leftist, and punks.
Finally, if you have strong interest in the culture of Berlin’s neighborhoods, then you should book yourself on a tour with a qualified guide. For example, if you’re seeking out Berlin’s counterculture, you might want to book an alternative tour which takes you to Berlin’s edgier areas.
Berlin’s Public Transportation System
Although extensive, don’t feel nervous about using Berlin’s public system alone. You’ll save a lot of money by not taking Ubers or taxis all over the city.
Berlin is very, very spread out. Seriously, there are multiple “city centers,” and if you want to see all the attractions, then you need to use the U-Bahn and S-Bahn. You can’t walk everywhere. You just can’t.
The U-Bahn is the underground and will take you to most of Berlin’s main tourist attractions, with the S-Bahn serving the above ground stations. Berlin also has buses and trams at your disposal.
You can buy tickets at any station, but make sure to validate your ticket. Trust me, I was on a car where an undercover cop did check tickets, and I felt so relieved that I remembered to stamp mine. The fine is wickedly expensive.
Solo travel in Berlin is much easier once you use the public transportation system.
Berlin for Budget Backpackers
Berlin’s one of the cheaper big cities to see in Europe. Is it dirt cheap? No, but you’ll still spend less money here than nearby cities such as Munich and Vienna.
Berlin has several great street food options that are gentle on your budget. Currywurst is a national staple and is served by street vendors all over the city. Curry 36 is a popular and delicious option to try this dish. If currywurst is too heavy for you, bratwurst can also be found at many of these street joints.
Berlin also has a huge Turkish population meaning it’s easy to find delicious, authentic, and affordable Mediterranean food.
And if you don’t want to eat alone, then check out of Berlin’s awesome and delicious food tours to make new pals as you devour each scrumptious plate.
In addition to the free historical sites, Berlin has a lot of great green spaces for you to simply hang out. The most popular park is the Tiergarten, which sprawls over 500 acres.
Learn a Few Phrases of German
Last but not least, when visiting Berlin alone, learn some German and put your new knowledge into practice whenever interacting with locals.
As you already know, Berlin is an international city that attracts travelers from all parts of the globe. Needless to say, you’ll encounter plenty of English speakers in the tourism sector. A native English speaker doesn’t have to know any German whatsoever, actually.
However, it’s polite to learn a couple phrases of German to use on your trip. The locals will notice your efforts, and even if they don’t shower you with compliments, speaking a few words of German demonstrates respect for your host country.
Solo travel in Berlin will be a million times better when you try to speak German.
I hope you had fun reading about solo travel in Berlin. I promise you’ll have even more fun when you visit Germany’s capital city in person!
What are your favorite things to see and do in Berlin? What advice would you give solo travelers? Share all your thoughts in the comments. Thanks for reading my “Solo Travel in Berlin” guide.