Planning a trip to Berlin? Get some inspiration on what to do while you’re there with our idea of a perfect three-day itinerary. History, culture, entertainment, restaurants… Pack it all in at a comfortable pace and don’t miss a thing!
The German capital, for many years divided in two, has undergone an astonishing metamorphosis in recent years. Now an avant-garde artistic hotspot with wonderful parks, stuffed with monuments that testify to its rich history, Berlin is an enchanting city that continues to be a top European destination.
Upon arrival in Berlin, visitors are often struck by the sense of space that pervades, among the city’s wide avenues and imposing buildings. Make your way to the Reichstag to feel this overwhelming sensation. On your first morning in Berlin, climb the Reichstag dome and admire the panoramic view of the city. Next, head to the Brandenburg Gate, the famous emblem of Berlin. Formerly a part of the Berlin Wall, until it came down in 1989, this monument now symbolizes the city’s reunification.
For lunch, take a picnic to the Tiergarten, the largest green space in the city. Within it you can admire the Victory Column, which commemorates the successes of the German Army from 1864 to 1870.
After this first glimpse of historic Berlin, in the afternoon you will take a look at the city’s impressive recent developments. Make your way to Potsdamer Platz, a particularly surprising expression of the city’s vitality. Here, you will notice that all the buildings around you were built after reunification, and thus are less than 25 years old. A short walk from the square, you will come across Checkpoint Charlie, a former border post during the Cold War, where you can learn more about the difficulties of this time when Berlin was divided in two.
In the evening, you will find out for yourself that Berlin’s great reputation for its nightlife is well deserved. Choose between the numerous clubs, bars and trendy hotspots like Friedrichstadtpalast or Quasimodo. However, don’t forget that a full day of activities awaits you the following day.
The next day, it will be high time to head to the museums, especially the Pergamon Museum which is located on the aptly named "Museum Island" in the centre of Berlin. This institution dedicated to archaeology houses the Pergamon Altar, a magnificent construction discovered in the late nineteenth century in Asia Minor which featured for a time on the list of seven wonders of the world. Next door, the Bode Museum presents one of the finest collections of sculpture in the world.
After lunch in the neighbourhood, you can walk to the Berliner Dom to admire this splendid church, which technically is not a cathedral. You can climb up to the dome for a magnificent view over Berlin. Note the mix of ancient and modern architecture and the many construction cranes busy throughout the city, a sign of economic revival in the German capital.
In the evening, stop by the Strandbar Mitte, just behind the Pergamon. This is an open-air bar where you can attend concerts and enjoy a typical Berlin-style evening.
On the final day, after seeing the most emblematic monuments of the city, you'll have the time to delve a little deeper into its culture as it exists today.
Make your way to Kreuzberg, a popular neighbourhood that saw the birth of many alternative movements. Kreuzberg embodies the avant-garde cultural dynamism for which Berlin is famous. Although the neighbourhood was one of Berlin’s rougher areas for a long time, in recent years it has enjoyed a renaissance, much like the rest of the city, and is now an uber trendy neighbourhood. As you walk around the epicentre of counter-culture and punk rock in Berlin, stop off to sample some currywurst, the famous sausage with curry sauce, typical of Berlin.
In the afternoon, you will return to the centre, but this time to Orianenburger Strasse, one Berlin’s most astonishing streets. Here art is expressed everywhere, especially outdoors, among the many shops and at the famous artists’ squat, the Tacheles. On this street you will also find the New Synagogue, recognisable for its golden dome. Built in the nineteenth century, and then destroyed during the war, in 1993 it was rebuilt exactly as it was previously.
And since this is your last night in Berlin, it's time to sample a little more of the famed Berlin nightlife. For electronic music, Loftus Hall is a good bet, while fans of new-wave and indie music will enjoy Duncker. Head to Asphalt for a good dose of Berlin house, while the legendary Berghain is a temple of techno, but be aware that the door policy is very selective.
Reflecting the grandeur of German culture, Berlin is an amazing city. Cultural elements which are among the most sophisticated in the world are combined with yet a simple and straightforward approach to life. Your three day stay in the German capital, although not nearly long enough to really get to know the city, will be an opportunity to begin discovering its fascinating identity.