Berlin is a city that has undergone incredible transformation over the years, from a divided capital during the Cold War to a thriving cultural hub in modern times. There are many reasons to visit this vibrant city, whether you’re interested in history, art, food, or nightlife.
For history buffs, Berlin is an incredible destination, with iconic landmarks like the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie serving as reminders of the city’s tumultuous past. The city is also home to world-class museums, including the Jewish Museum, the Museum Island complex, and the Berlin Wall Museum.
Art lovers will also find plenty to explore in Berlin, with an eclectic mix of galleries, street art, and public installations to discover. The city is known for its contemporary art scene, which is centred around the trendy neighbourhoods of Kreuzberg and Neukölln.
Foodies will delight in the diverse culinary offerings of Berlin, which reflect the city’s multicultural population. From traditional German dishes like schnitzel and sauerkraut to international cuisine from all corners of the globe, there’s something to satisfy every palate.
And of course, no trip to Berlin is complete without experiencing its legendary nightlife. The city is home to some of the world’s most famous techno clubs, as well as a thriving bar and restaurant scene that stays lively well into the early hours of the morning.
With so much to offer, it’s no wonder that Berlin has become one of Europe’s most popular destinations. So whether you’re looking for history, culture, art, food, or nightlife, plan a trip to Berlin and discover all that this dynamic city has to offer.
3 days in Berlin
If you only have three days to spend in Berlin, you’ll want to make the most of your time in this vibrant city. Here’s a suggested itinerary for three days in Berlin:
- Start your day with a visit to the Brandenburg Gate, one of Berlin’s most iconic landmarks.
- From there, take a stroll through the Tiergarten, a large park in the heart of the city that’s perfect for a morning walk or jog.
- Next, head to the Reichstag building, home to the German parliament. Make sure to book your visit in advance so you can go inside and climb to the top of the building’s glass dome for a stunning view of the city.
- For lunch, head to Prenzlauer Berg, a trendy neighbourhood with plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from.
- Spend the afternoon exploring the Museum Island complex, which houses several of Berlin’s top museums, including the Pergamon Museum and the Altes Museum.
- In the evening, head to the trendy neighbourhood of Kreuzberg for dinner and drinks. This area is known for its eclectic mix of restaurants, bars, and clubs.
- Start your day with a visit to the Berlin Wall Memorial, where you can learn about the history of the Berlin Wall and see a preserved section of the wall itself.
- From there, head to the East Side Gallery, a stretch of the wall that’s been transformed into an open-air gallery of street art.
- Next, visit the Jewish Museum, which explores the history and culture of Jewish life in Germany.
- For lunch, head to Mitte, a central neighbourhood with plenty of dining options.
- Spend the afternoon exploring the vibrant neighbourhood of Neukölln, which is known for its street art, vintage shops, and multicultural vibe.
- In the evening, head to the district of Friedrichshain for dinner and drinks. This area is known for its lively nightlife scene.
- Start your day with a visit to the Berliner Dom, a stunning cathedral located on Museum Island.
- From there, head to the nearby Unter den Linden boulevard, which is lined with shops, cafes, and historical buildings.
- Next, visit the DDR Museum, which explores life in East Germany during the Cold War.
- For lunch, head to the trendy neighbourhood of Kreuzberg once again.
- Spend the afternoon exploring the Berlin Zoo, which is one of the oldest and most famous zoos in the world.
- In the evening, head to the district of Schöneberg for dinner and drinks. This area is known for its LGBTQ+ scene and has plenty of bars and clubs to choose from.
Of course, this itinerary is just a starting point – there are plenty of other things to see and do in Berlin depending on your interests. But within three days, you should be able to see many of the city’s top attractions while also getting a sense of its unique culture and history.
Travelling to and around Berlin
Berlin is a bustling city that’s easy to reach by air, rail, or road. Here’s some information on how to travel to and around Berlin:
Getting to Berlin
- By air: Berlin is served by two airports – Tegel (TXL) and Schönefeld (SXF). Tegel is located in the north of the city and is the closest to the city centre, while Schönefeld is located to the southeast. Both airports offer a variety of flights to destinations throughout Europe and beyond.
- By rail: Berlin is well-connected to other cities in Germany and throughout Europe by rail. There are several train stations in the city, including the main station (Hauptbahnhof), which is located in the heart of the city and offers connections to destinations throughout Germany and beyond.
- By road: Berlin is also easily accessible by car. The city is located at the intersection of several major highways, including the A10 and A24.
Getting around Berlin
- Public transport: Berlin has an extensive public transport system that includes buses, trams, and trains (U-Bahn and S-Bahn). You can purchase a variety of tickets, including single tickets, day passes, and multi-day passes, which allow you to travel on all forms of public transport within the city.
- Taxi: Taxis are readily available in Berlin and can be hailed on the street or booked in advance. They’re a good option if you’re travelling in a group or need to get somewhere quickly.
- Bike: Berlin is a bike-friendly city, with many bike paths and rental options available throughout the city. Renting a bike is a great way to explore the city on your own terms.
Navigating the city
- Berlin is divided into several neighbourhoods, each with its own unique character and attractions. Some of the most popular neighbourhoods for visitors include Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg, and Neukölln.
- Many of the city’s top attractions are located within easy walking distance of each other, particularly in the central Mitte neighbourhood.
- If you’re travelling further afield, public transport is a convenient option. The U-Bahn and S-Bahn networks cover most of the city and run frequently throughout the day and night.
- Taxis are also readily available, but can be more expensive than public transport.
- If you’re planning to rent a car, be aware that traffic in Berlin can be heavy, particularly during rush hour. Parking can also be difficult to find and expensive in some areas.
Where to stay in Berlin
Berlin is a city with a wide range of neighbourhoods and accommodations to choose from, so where to stay depends on your preferences, budget, and travel style. Here are some suggestions for where to stay in Berlin:
Mitte is the central neighbourhood of Berlin and is a great option if you want to be close to many of the city’s top attractions. This neighbourhood is home to popular sites such as Museum Island, the Brandenburg Gate, and Alexanderplatz. Mitte also has a diverse range of accommodations, from budget hostels to luxury hotels.
Kreuzberg is a vibrant and multicultural neighbourhood with a trendy and alternative vibe. It’s known for its nightlife scene and street art, and has plenty of independent shops, cafes, and restaurants. This neighbourhood is also well-connected by public transport, making it easy to explore other parts of the city.
Neukölln is another diverse and lively neighbourhood that’s a great option for travellers looking for a local experience. It’s home to many international restaurants, bars, and markets, and is known for its bohemian and artistic scene. Accommodations in Neukölln include everything from budget hostels to boutique hotels.
Prenzlauer Berg is a trendy and upscale neighbourhood with a bohemian feel. It’s known for its beautiful parks, independent shops, and trendy cafes. Accommodations in this neighbourhood tend to be on the higher end, with many boutique hotels and apartments.
Friedrichshain is a neighbourhood with a young and energetic vibe. It’s known for its alternative and artistic scene, as well as its lively nightlife. This neighbourhood is also home to many green spaces and parks, making it a great option for those who enjoy outdoor activities. Accommodations in Friedrichshain include everything from hostels to hotels.
Where and what to Eat in Berlin
Berlin is a city known for its vibrant food scene, with plenty of local and international options to choose from. Here are some suggestions on where and what to eat in Berlin:
- Currywurst: Currywurst is a quintessential Berlin street food – a grilled sausage topped with curry ketchup and served with fries. Try it at Curry 36 or Konnopke’s Imbiss.
- Döner kebab: Döner kebab is another popular street food in Berlin, made with grilled meat, salad, and sauces wrapped in a warm pita. Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap and Imren Grill are two popular spots to try it.
- Schnitzel: Schnitzel is a traditional German dish made with breaded and fried meat. Try it at Zur Letzten Instanz, which is one of Berlin’s oldest restaurants.
- German beer: Berlin has a thriving beer culture, with plenty of local breweries and beer gardens to choose from. Try a traditional German beer at Prater Garten or BRLO Brwhouse.
- Vietnamese food: Berlin has a large Vietnamese community, which means there are many great Vietnamese restaurants to choose from. Try the pho at District Môt or the banh mi at Madame Ngo.
- Turkish food: Berlin also has a large Turkish community, which means there are many delicious Turkish restaurants and bakeries throughout the city. Try the lahmacun at Hasir or the baklava at Bäckerei & Konditorei Altun.
- International cuisine: Berlin is a multicultural city, which means there are plenty of international dining options available. Some popular spots include Chutnify for South Indian food, Dudu for sushi and Asian fusion cuisine, and Lode & Stijn for Dutch-inspired dishes.
Co-working in Berlin
Berlin is a thriving city for digital nomads and entrepreneurs, with many co-working spaces to choose from. Here are some suggestions for co-working in Berlin:
- Betahaus: Betahaus is one of the largest and most popular co-working spaces in Berlin, with multiple locations throughout the city. They offer a variety of membership options, as well as meeting rooms, events, and a community of like-minded individuals.
- Agora Collective: Agora Collective is a co-working space and cultural centre that’s dedicated to promoting creativity and collaboration. They offer a variety of membership options, as well as workshops, events, and exhibition spaces.
- St. Oberholz: St. Oberholz is a popular co-working cafe located in the Mitte neighbourhood. They offer a variety of seating options, as well as coffee, snacks, and a relaxed atmosphere.
- Factory Berlin: Factory Berlin is a large co-working space that’s focused on technology, innovation, and creativity. They offer a variety of membership options, as well as events, workshops, and a community of entrepreneurs and creatives.
- Unicorn.Berlin: Unicorn.Berlin is a co-working space that’s focused on sustainability and social impact. They offer a variety of membership options, as well as meeting rooms, events, and a community of like-minded individuals.
- Ahoy! Berlin: Ahoy! Berlin is a co-working space that’s focused on startups and innovation. They offer a variety of membership options, as well as meeting rooms, events, and a community of entrepreneurs and investors.
No matter what kind of co-working space you’re looking for, Berlin has plenty of options to choose from. Be sure to explore the city’s diverse neighbourhoods and find a space that fits your needs and work style.
Berlin’s Essential 20 Sights
Berlin is a city with a rich history and culture, and there are many essential sights to see when visiting. Here are 20 must-see sights in Berlin:
- Brandenburg Gate: This iconic landmark is a symbol of Berlin and Germany and is a must-see when visiting the city.
- Reichstag Building: Home to the German parliament, the Reichstag building is an impressive piece of architecture and offers a stunning view from its glass dome.
- Checkpoint Charlie: This former border crossing between East and West Berlin is now a museum and a reminder of the city’s divided past.
- Berlin Wall Memorial: This open-air museum features preserved sections of the Berlin Wall, as well as exhibits and information about life during the Cold War.
- Museum Island: This complex of five museums is home to some of the world’s most impressive art and artefacts, including the Pergamon Altar and the Nefertiti Bust.
- Jewish Museum Berlin: This museum explores the history and culture of Jewish life in Germany, with exhibits on Jewish religion, history, and culture.
- Berlin Cathedral: This stunning cathedral is located on Museum Island and features beautiful architecture and art.
- Charlottenburg Palace: This baroque palace is a beautiful example of European architecture and is surrounded by expansive gardens.
- Berlin Zoo: One of the oldest and most famous zoos in the world, the Berlin Zoo is home to a wide variety of animals and is a popular attraction for families.
- TV Tower: This iconic tower offers stunning views of the city from its observation deck.
- Berliner Unterwelten: These underground tours explore Berlin’s history and architecture, including bunkers, tunnels, and secret passages.
- East Side Gallery: This open-air gallery features a stretch of the Berlin Wall that’s been transformed into a canvas for street art and murals.
- Berlin Philharmonic: This world-renowned orchestra performs in a stunning concert hall designed by Hans Scharoun.
- Berliner Dom: This impressive cathedral is located on Museum Island and features beautiful architecture and art.
- Gendarmenmarkt: This beautiful square is home to three impressive buildings: the Konzerthaus, the French Cathedral, and the German Cathedral.
- Topography of Terror: This museum and exhibition space is located on the site of the former Gestapo headquarters and explores the history of the Nazi regime in Germany.
- Potsdamer Platz: This square is home to some of Berlin’s most impressive modern architecture, as well as shopping, restaurants, and entertainment.
- Berliner Funkturm: This radio tower offers stunning views of the city from its observation deck.
- Berliner Dom Treasure Chamber: This small museum features a collection of treasures and artefacts from the Berlin Cathedral.
- Tempelhofer Feld: This former airport has been transformed into a park and recreational area, and is a popular spot for jogging, cycling, and other outdoor activities.
These 20 sights are just a starting point – there’s much more to see and explore in Berlin, depending on your interests and travel style. But with these essential sights, you’ll get a sense of the city’s unique history and culture.