The historic city of Berlin, Germany, is an easy entry point for a Northern European vacation. With so much to see and do, you’ll want to spend at least a few days exploring before you move on to your next adventure. As the current capital of Germany, Berlin is central to politics and at the forefront of modern life, creating a wildly fascinating city that juxtaposes history and war with a thriving cultural arts scene.
There are so many things to do in Berlin, it’s impossible to get to them all. While one could spend weeks poring through its streets, a weekend getaway in Berlin will give you enough time to explore and leave you wanting to plan a return trip.
Day One—Arrive in Berlin
Whether you arrive via air, train, or car, the first stop will be to check in at your hotel. Are you arriving early in the day? Most hotels will hold your luggage before check-in so you can get your adventure started.
We chose the Circus Berlin in the Mitte area (city center). We loved the hotel and the location, which offers apartments, hotel rooms, and a hostel across the street for budget travelers. They even had a rooftop honor bar stocked with cold beer, a welcome sight after the long journey.
Explore Your Neighborhood
Find the nearest rooftop (at your hotel or otherwise) for a German beer to take in the sights from above for an excellent overview of the city. Not to mention, fresh air after a long trip is always a good idea!
Then, wander the neighborhood near your hotel to get a lay of the land. You’ll spot many incredible restaurants to try and take note of their locations. Be sure to watch for bakeries and coffee shops, too. Your day two self will thank you.
Visit the Berlin Wall
Before or after dinner, depending on your time, head to the Berlin Wall Memorial and take in the beauty, sadness, and history of a divided Germany. Stroll through the outdoor exhibition to learn about life on either side of the wall and the struggles of those who lived through this historic time. And be sure to bring your camera.
If you want to check out the nightlife scene, Berlin always has a party going somewhere. Check Visit Berlin for current showtimes, bars, and clubs to dance the night away. Then, return to your hotel and rest up for day two!
What To Eat in Berlin
One thing to note about Berlin Germany is how diverse the food choices are. You’ll find people from all over the world living here, and with them, some fantastic cuisine from all over the world.
Currywurst is a Berlin street food mainstay. We also found the Mediterranean and Asian options plentiful and quite tasty. And if you can get your hands on a Berliner donut, you won’t be sorry.
Day 2 in Berlin Germany—Getting Around
Berlin is a large city that is quite walkable. That said, there may be times you want to take public transportation to save time with such a short visit. The great news is buses and trains run around the clock, so you should be able to find your way quickly.
You can also rent scooters or bikes in many places throughout the city. Be aware of the zones you can use and park the rentals before renting them.
Watch the Sun Rise at Brandenburg Gate
Grab a coffee and a donut on your way to the Brandenburg Gate. Early morning is a great way to see this monument for lighter crowds. Linger in the plaza and enjoy the history of it all, making sure to view it from all sides. The carvings are incredible.
There are a few souvenir shops around this area if you want to browse for gifts. And if you are looking for a restroom, ensure you have a few euros’ worth of coins as many facilities require entry payment.
Tiergarten Park and Victory Column
Tiergarten Park, Germany’s largest inner city park, is west of the Brandenburg Gate. It’s a beautiful oasis in the middle of the city. One could spend the whole day here exploring and enjoying nature.
Take a walk or scooter ride through the park to Victory Column near the park’s center. For a small fee, you can climb the 285 steps to the top of the 27-foot tower for incredible views in all directions. Plus, you’ll see the beautifully detailed column mosaics up close.
Grab a Snack in a Beer Garden
You’ll likely be hungry by now, so head back into the park for a bite to eat at one of the many beer gardens nearby. When crossing the busy street from the Victory Column to Tiergarten, look for underground crosswalks to avoid traffic. We were delighted to have a musician serenading us with the violin as we walked. You never know who you might see.
Tour the American Sector
Rest at your hotel if needed, or head to the American Sector to see the infamous Checkpoint Charlie, a well-known landmark crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. You can take a photo here if you want to. There is usually a line of people waiting, but it goes quickly.
Wander the shops in the American sector, and if you are hungry, dine on traditional Bavarian cuisine and draft beer at Maximillian’s Restaurant nearby. Get the pretzel as an appetizer, and thank me later.
Day 3—Museum Island
Start the morning at Museum Island with a delicious breakfast to fuel up for a day full of art, antiquities, sculpture, and architecture. Simply walking along the Spree River in this area is a visual feast. And the restaurants here will not disappoint. Five museums are on this small island in the middle of the river, though The Pergamon Museum is closed for renovations. Spend a relaxing day perusing the extensive collections at each museum, or choose one and get lost in the moment.
Watch the Sunset Over Berlin
To cap off your Berlin adventure, enjoy a sunset river cruise or ascend to the top of the TV Tower, Germany’s tallest structure, for a bird’s eye view from the observation deck or restaurant. Book a reservation if you plan to dine at the tower restaurant, as it is a top-rated attraction. By now, you know Berlin Germany is a vibrant city with a storied past and a promising future. Hopefully, this itinerary will help you fall in love with Germany’s capital city as much as we did, and you’ll be back before you know it.