Berlin's hidden best

Our pick of Berlin's secret sights and unusual attractions

Berlin at night

Berlin's conventional sightseeing options can seem almost endless, but the city also offers a host of quirky, offbeat and lesser known attractions that are well worth seeking out.

From architectural gems to unusual activities, we've rounded up a selection of Berlin's hidden delights: alternative highlights to see, do and discover.

Hidden historic courtyard, Kreuzberg, Berlin

A stunning hidden courtyard

Few of Berlin's historic courtyards are lovelier than this richly ornamented early 20th-century stunner.

Boasting a variety of architectural styles in one enclosed space, it also contains the impressive remains of an astronomical clock - once considered a Berlin attraction in its own right.

A little-known Kreuzberg gem, this secret haven is rather ironically located just yards from the one of the city's most popular tourist magnets.


Berlin's Old Texas Town Cowboy Club

Berlin's Wild West

Clap on a Stetson hat and head for 'Old Texas Town', a painstakingly hand-built homage to America's Wild West.

Improbably located next to a suburban shopping mall, this bijou but lovingly detailed slice of Americana serves as headquarters to the city's venerable Cowboy Club.

It's been in existence since the 1970s, but Berlin's quirkiest attraction remains an under-the-radar treat that even locals are unlikely to know.


Statue of Lenin in the forecourt of a Berlin transport and removals firm

Finding Lenin

Monuments to East Berlin's Communist heros were largely dismantled soon after the Wall itself; there's now just one place in central Berlin where you'll find an effigy of Lenin, arguably the most iconic Soviet of them all.

Bizarrely, it's located in the yard of a removals and transportation firm, whose owner acquired the statue to save it from almost certain oblivion.

It's something of a demotion for the instantly recognisable leader, but at least this symbol of Berlin's past is still on view - if you know where to find it.


Spandau Citadel, home to one of Europe's largest bat colonies

Spandau's spooky bat caves

Bats have made their home in the underground passageways of Spandau's Citadel Fortress for centuries, and summer torchlight tours allow you to mingle with the thousands of little flying mice - an experience that's both exhilarating and ever so slightly creepy.

Given that the bats hibernate in winter, viewing is strictly seasonal, but a colony of less temperamental fruit bats can be visited all year round (and don't forget that Berlin Zoo offers a similar tropical bat experience).


The Berlin Clock or Set Theory clock

Time to ponder

Admittedly, there's nothing secret or hidden about this funky-looking example of '70s technology, which is located smack bang in the middle of one of Berlin's busiest tourist hotspots. But we're willing to bet that few visitors have any idea that it's actually a clock.

Known as the Set Theory or Berlin Clock, the arty timepiece uses a seemingly impenetrable system of coloured lights to mark hours and minutes.

See if you can crack its time-keeping code.



Heidelberger Platz station on the u3 Metro line, Berlin

Going underground

Some of Berlin's loveliest historic interiors exist far below street level.

The splendid early 20th century U3 Metro line was built to impress, and several of its Jugendstil-influenced stations are well worth visiting - Heidelberger Platz, with its vaulted ceilings, carved stonework and mosaics is particularly spectacular.

Hop on a train for one of Berlin's easiest sightseeing excursions as you're transported from one architectural gem to the next.


See also:
Unusual things to see and do in Berlin by district

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