Unravel Berlin in 3 days

13 April 2021

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Friendly disclaimer! 

We want to be as accurate as possible, but given these challenging times, we urge you to recheck that the venues are open when you decide to visit.

Berlin is an old city with a young heart. Its baroque monuments, sombre war memorials and state of the art museums offer plenty for the history buff. And for young backpackers – a slew of vibrant art spaces, hip neighbourhoods and pocket-friendly options offer the most happening nightlife and cultural rush. Indulge in its more upscale experiences that include world-class shopping centres, fine dining and impeccable hotels. Unwind after a long day on foot at its open green spaces, tranquil river cruises or relish the mesmerizing views from atop the highest building in Europe. Berlin has something for everyone.

 

Three days offer just enough time to scrape the surface of this vibrant city and its dark past while offering a healthy mix of old and new.

Berlin three-day itinerary at a glance

Day 1

  • Reichstag
  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Museum Island
  • Zeughaus
  • Berlin Cathedral

 

 

Day 2

  • Berlin TV Tower
  • World Clock at Alexanderplatz 
  • East Side Gallery
  • Hackescher Markt

 

 

Day 3

  • Checkpoint Charlie 
  • Kulturforum
  • Kurfürstendamm
  • Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
  • KaDeWe and Bikini Berlin

 

Detailed three-day Berlin itinerary

Day 1

Climb the Glass Dome at Reichstag

The Reichstag is the seat of the German Parliament and holds a prominent place in Berlin’s turbulent history. The highlight of the building is its opulent glass dome originally designed to symbolise political transparency by shedding light on the internal workings below. 

 

Things to do: 

  • Climb up the glass dome for stunning city views over Berlin’s parliamentary district.
  • Join a 90 minute guided tour explaining workings, history and architecture of the Reichstag Building
  • Dine and relax at its rooftop restaurant (Open daily from 9 am to 5 pm and from 7 pm to midnight.)

 

Unravelog Tips:

  • The place gets quite busy during summer and hence try visiting on a weekday or choose an early-morning time slot to avoid crowds.
  • Visiting during sunset hours offers stunning views of the city skyline

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin
  • Timings: Daily from 8 am till midnight (Last entry at 9:45 pm). 
  • Cost: Admission is free; advance registration required
  • Website: Confirm availability, cost and timings here.
  • How to reach: Take a line 100 bus from Alexanderplatz and get down at Reichstag/Bundestag. From the Hauptbahnhof, take U-Bahn U55 to Bundestag.

Visit the iconic Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate
By Florian Wehde/Unsplash

The most famous landmark of Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate is a historic symbol of German unity ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is also Berlin’s only surviving historical city gate.

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin
  • Timings: Always Open
  • Cost: Free entry
  • How to reach: A short five-minute walk from Reichstag takes you to the Brandenburg Gate

Pay your respects at the Holocaust Memorial

Also known as the ‘Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe’, the Holocaust Memorial was built as a place of remembrance for over six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust. The memorial consists of 2,711 concrete pillars known as the Field of Stelae along with an underground information and exhibition centre. 

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Cora-Berliner-Strasse 1, 10117 Berlin
  • Timings: 
    • Field of Stelae: Accessible 24 hours a day
    • Information Centre: Tuesday to Sunday 10 am to 6 pm (Last admission 45 minutes before closing)
  • Cost: Free admission
  • Website: Confirm availability, cost and timings here.
  • How to reach: From the Berlin Gate, walk 10 minutes down Ebertstraße towards the Holocaust Memorial

Go history hopping at Museum Island

Museum Island Berlin
By Miodrag Asenov/Pixabay

Located in the heart of Berlin, the Museum Island as the name suggests is an epicentre for Berlin’s thriving art scene. Home to world-class museums including the Pergamon, the Neues Museum, the Bode Museum and the Alte Nationalgalerie, it was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 1999.

 

Unravelog Tips: 

  • Using the ‘Berlin Welcome Card Museum Island’, visitors can visit the Ancient National Gallery, Ancient Museum, Bode museum, New Museum and Pergamon Museum for free over three consecutive days.
  • For an indepth look at some of the best museums in and around Berlin, refer to our blog, 15 top museums in Berlin.

 

Useful Info:

  • Website: Confirm availability, cost and timings here.
  • How to reach: Museum Island is just a short walk from both Friedrichstrasse (S + U Bahns) and Hackescher Markt (S Bahn) stations. 

 Dwell into German history at the Zeughaus

Deutsches Historisches Museum Berlin
By Ansgar Koreng/Wiki Commons

One of the oldest preserved Baroque style buildings in Berlin, the Zeughaus was once an arsenal for Prussian weapons. It is now home to the Deutsches Historisches Museum (DHM) showcasing over 1,500 years of German history.

 

Unravelog Tips:

  • If you happen to land here on a weekend, make sure to catch the arts and crafts market that takes place every Saturday and Sunday on the east side of the Zeughaus.
  • Get yourself a Berlin Welcome Card for an all-inclusive free entry into the museum
  • Visit the museum cafe (accessible without a museum ticket) for a quick meal or snack, especially lovely during summer when the Spree-facing terrace opens.

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Unter den Linden 2, 10117 Berlin
  • Timings: Daily from 12 pm to 8 pm
  • Cost: 8 € per adult (Get 25% off with Berlin welcome card)
  • Website: Confirm availability, cost and timings here.
  • How to reach: DHM can be reached by train from Hackescher Markt and Friedrichstrasse or via the subway from Franzische Strasse, Friedrichstraße and Hausvogteiplatz. 

Witness the stunning Berlin Cathedral

Berlin Cathedral
By KP Ivanov/Unsplash

The Berlin Cathedral with its majestic dome rising above the city skyline is Berlin’s most important Protestant church. It was formerly a royal court church to the rulers of Prussia and German Emperors.

 

Things to do: 

  • Climb the 270 steps up to the dome’s outer walkway for stunning views of Berlin
  • Visit the museum showcasing drawings, designs and models illustrating the history of the Cathedral 
  • Take part in a guided tour that takes places every 20 minutes (included in the entrance fee). Audio guides, organ gallery tours and group guided tours are also available for those interested.
  • Attend a concert within the Cathedral accompanied by the historic Sauer organs and outstanding choirs.

 

Useful Info:

September to February: 

Monday to Saturday 9 am – 7 pm 

Sundays 12 pm – 7 pm

March to October: 

Monday to Saturday 9 am – 8 pm 

Sundays 12 pm – 8 pm

  • Cost: Adults: € 7, Students: € 5 (28% savings with the Berlin Welcome Card)
  • Website: For a list of events, availability, cost and timings click here.
  • How to reach: The Berlin Cathedral is located further east on the banks of the river Spree. The closest S-Bahn station is at Hackescher Markt (S5, S7, S9 and S75) which is a 10 minute walk from the cathedral.

 

Day 2

Enjoy panoramic views atop the Berlin TV Tower

Berlin TV Tower
By Claudio Schwarz/Unsplash

Enjoy stunning 360-degree views across Berlin from Europe’s highest building open to the general public. Soaring at 368 meters above the city line, this iconic structure was completed in 1969 during the era of the German Democratic Republic (GDR).

 

Things to do: Visit the revolving Sphere restaurant atop the tower to enjoy a meal with a spectacular view.

 

Unravelog Tips: 

  • Check the weather prior to your visit and schedule the same on a clear sunny day
  • Fast view tickets can be booked with a pre-allotted time slot to avoid waiting times.
  • Visit early morning or after 3 pm for fewer crowds. 
  • For an alternative view of the Berlin cityscape including the TV tower, visit the Panorama Terrace of the Park Inn Radisson Hotel in Alexanderplatz.

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Panoramastraße 1a 10178 Berlin
  • Timings: Daily, 10 am to 10 pm
  • Cost: 
    • Adults: from 18,50 €
    • Students: from 14,80 €
    • Children above 3 years: from 9,50 €
  • Website: Confirm availability, cost and timings here.
  • How to reach: In addition to the Berlin U-Bahn and S-Bahn lines, several tram and bus lines stop at Alexanderplatz station, from which the middle exit leads to the entrance of the TV Tower. 

Go shopping at Alexanderplatz and visit the World Clock

World clock at Alexanderplatz
By WagnerAnne/Pixabay

Fondly called Alex, Alexanderplatz is Berlin’s liveliest public square packed with shops, cinemas, restaurants and other attractions, all within walking distance of each other. It is also a transportations hub – for the S-Bahn, U-Bahn, regional trains, trams and buses. 

 

Things to do: Visit the Weltzeituhr or the World Clock, one of the most prominent attractions at  Alexanderplatz reminiscent of the GDR era.

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Alexanderpl. 1, 10178 Berlin
  • Timings: Most shops open between 9 to 10 am and close between 8 to 9 pm. All shops are closed on Sundays.
  • How to reach: Click here for a list of all S-Bahn, U-Bahn, regional trains and buses with stops near Alexanderplatz

Once a grim symbol of oppression, the Berlin wall (or what remains of it) is today the East Side Gallery- a 1.3-kilometre long open-air art gallery on the banks of the Spree.

 

Things to do: 

  • Visit the Oberbaum bridge connecting the district of Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. 
  • On Saturdays, join a public guided tour hosted by the  Berlin Wall Foundation.

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Mühlenstraße 3-100, 10243 Berlin 
  • Timings: Open 24 hours
  • Cost: Free entry
  • Website: Check availability and details of guided tours here.
  • How to reach: Warschauer Straße and Ostbahnhof railway stations are the perfect starting points for a walk along the East Side Gallery.

Experience Berlin’s nightlife at Hackescher Markt

Hackescher Markt Berlin
By Pedelecs/Wiki Commons

Experience Berlin’s vibrant nightlife at Hackescher Markt packed with a variety of shops, bars and restaurants along with a sprawling complex of elegant courtyards known as Hackesche Höfe. It is also a hub for local art and graffiti, impressive architecture and old-school Berlin charm.

 

Things to do: 

  • Visit The Dead Chicken Alley for bars, exhibitions, workshops and a ton of great artwork and graffiti.
  • Unlike most shopping districts, shops here are smaller in comparison and feature new and upcoming Berlin labels selling unusual clothes, outrageous shoes and fancy accessories.

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Hackescher Markt
  • How to reach: Take the S-Bahn S5, S7, or S75 to Hackescher Markt or you can take the S1, S2, or S25 to Oranienburgerstraße. 

 

Day 3

Witness the historic border crossing at Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie Berlin
By Yeo Khee/Unsplash

One of the iconic border crossings between East and West Germany for foreigners and diplomats between 1961 to 1990, Checkpoint Charlie today has a guardhouse along with a museum giving you a glimpse into the potent Cold War era.

 

Things to do:

  • Visit the open-air exhibition at BlackBox Cold War that narrates the story of those who failed and succeeded in escaping from East Berlin.
  • Get yourself photographed with the guards (actors dressed in allied and Soviet attire) who represent what the border was once like at the check post. 

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Friedrichstraße 43-45, 10117 Berlin
  • Black Box Timings: Daily, 10 am to 6 pm. 
  • Cost: € 5 per adult
  • Website: Confirm availability, cost and timings here.
  • How to reach: Bus lines M29 and N6, as well as the U6 subway will take you to Kochstraße, the nearest transit stop to Checkpoint Charlie.

Experience a cultural high at Kulturforum

Gemäldegalerie Kulturforum Berlin
By Oursana/Wiki Commons

Berlin’s cultural plaza the Kulturforum is a collection of modernist cultural buildings built in the 1950s & 60s. These include the new National Gallery, Museum of Decorative Arts, Art Library, Chamber Music Hall and the Berlin Philharmonie among others.

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Matthäikirchplatz, 10785 Berlin
  • Website: Confirm availability, cost and timings here.
  • How to reach: The Kulturforum is connected to the S- and U-Bahn network. Bus lines (M29, M48, 200) will also take you here from the City West, the historical city centre, and Alexanderplatz. 

Explore the heart of Berlin’s City West at Ku’damm

Kurfürstendamm Berlin
By Leon Seibert/Unsplash

The Kurfürstendamm, colloquially known as Ku’Damm forms the heart of Berlin’s western city centre popular for its shopping boulevard suitable for all tastes and budgets.

 

Things to do: 

  • Visit the Europa-Center,  Berlin’s oldest shopping centre. The high-rise building topped with a giant Mercedes emblem, houses around 70 shops and the Stachelschweine cabaret theatre.
  • The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, the Bikini Berlin concept mall and Zoo Palast cinemas are all prominent landmarks along Kurfürstendamm.

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Kurfurstendamm
  • How to reach: The following transit lines have routes that pass near Kurfürstendamm: Train: RB14, RB21, and RE1. Subway: U1, U2, U3, U7 and U9.

Witness Berlin resilience at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church Berlin
By Bernhard Brill/Pixabay

Following Allied bombing during the Second World War, the original Kaiser Wilhelm Church was extensively destroyed and a new structure was built around its ruins which is now a symbolic centre of peace and reconciliation in Berlin.

 

Useful Info:

  • Location: Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
  • Timings: Daily, 9 am to 6 pm
  • Cost: Free entry
  • Website: Confirm church and service timings here.
  • How to reach: The Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church can be reached by taking the U bahn to Kurfürstendamm or the U or S bahn to Zoologischer Garten.

Go on a shopping spree at KaDeWe and Bikini Berlin stores

Bikini Berlin
By ngcanh/Pixabay

KaDeWe (an acronym for the ‘Department Store of the West’ in German) is one of the largest shopping complexes in Europe with over 60,000 square metres of sales floor offering an attractive collection of upmarket and luxury goods.

 

A first of its kind concept mall in Germany, the Bikini Berlin also offers exciting boutiques, flagship stores and restaurants. 

 

Useful Info:

The above list covers just the must-see attractions and experiences around Berlin. The city, however, has so much more to offer to the intrepid traveller. Check out our blog, 8 underrated experiences in Berlin for a list of offbeat experiences that are bound to make your time in the city a more immersive one!

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