What to Do on Sundays in Berlin

The stores are closed, but there's still a day's worth of fun to be had in the German capital.

It’s traditionally supposed to be the day of rest, and accordingly, most shops in the city stay closed. But do you really want to spend your Sundays in Berlin doing nothing? We've plotted out a full itinerary for the best conclusion to your weekend.

11 AM: Brunching in Berlin

Brunch was made for Sunday. By many Berliners’ standards, this is still early for brunch, but you have a full day ahead, so up and at ‘em. Visit Charlottenburg’s Café Wintergarten im Literaturhaus for an elegant breakfast surrounded by literary grandeur, or try Prenzlauer Berg’s Pasternak for a lavish Russian-inspired buffet.

1 PM: Retro Explorations

Digging around in flea markets is a popular weekend activity. If you’ve brunched at the Café Wintergarten im Literaturhaus, head to the weekly antique bazaar on Straße des 17. Juni (open 10 am-5 pm, opposite S Tiergarten). If your belly is full of Pasternak’s blini pancakes, stroll over to the two flea markets in the area at Mauerpark (open 9 am-6 pm) and Arkonaplatz (10 am-4 pm).

3 PM: Culture Hour

Museum Island (Museuminsel), one of Berlin's UNESCO World Heritage sites
Museum Island (Museuminsel), one of Berlin's UNESCO World Heritage sites. (©Wolfgang Scholvien/visitBerlin)

With more than 170 museums at their disposal, Berliners enjoy making art and culture a beloved Sunday pastime, especially when the weather makes staying indoors a necessity. The five museums on Museum Island (Museuminsel) are all worth a visit, though the Gemäldegalerie museum of classic painting is usually less crowded.

If the lack of shopping on Sunday is making your wallet feel too heavy, you can also indulge in a little consumerism at museum gift shops, which are a great place to browse for souvenirs and beautiful books, like at the three-room gift shop in the Martin-Gropius-Bau. Most museums also have their own on-site café for a post-visit cup of coffee and slice of cake. The Sarah Wiener café at the Hamburger Bahnhof modern art museum is one of the nicest. (Most museums close at 6 pm Sundays. More information at www.smb.museum.)

6:30 PM: Time to Unwind

The Liquidrom spa is known for its tranquil architecture.
The Liquidrom spa is known for its tranquil architecture. (Courtesy Liquidrom)

Relax with an aromatic sauna at Liquidrom, which features a hip, modern vibe and frequent appearances by DJs to provide a trippy soundtrack. If you’re dreaming of an exotic getaway, the Vabali sauna complex takes its inspiration from the lush spas of the Far East. Both are open until midnight.