3 Days in Berlin: The Perfect Berlin Itinerary
Road Affair is reader-supported and may earn commission from purchases made through links in this article.
Bursting with character and bound to excite visitors, Berlin is one of the most popular destinations in Germany. While that may not have always been the case, modern Berlin is an international city which caters to all interests. Whether it’s history, culture, nightlife, or an alternative side you’re looking for, Berlin has you covered. No wonder it’s widely considered one of the best places to visit in Europe.
So where do you start with a trip to Berlin? There’s so much to see in a city of this size and significance in just three days, and while it’s helpful to know what the best things to do in Berlin are, it’s even better to be fully prepared with a detailed Berlin itinerary. Inside our guide to this great German city, you’ll learn everything you need to know to have a truly memorable 3 days in Berlin.
Best Time to Visit Berlin
One of Germany’s most popular destinations, you’ll want to be careful about when you visit Berlin. You don’t want to plan a visit and end up having a bad time because the weather’s bad or the city is overcrowded with tourists. Not only does too many tourists mean more time spent waiting in line, but it can also mean you’ll pay more for accommodation due to the increased demand.
The high season months of July and August are far from ideal, especially with their hot and humid weather. The other incredibly busy time in Berlin is late September through early October when the city hosts its own Oktoberfest. You’ll find instead that the best time to visit Berlin is from mid-May to mid-June and the weeks either side of Oktoberfest in September and October. As shoulder season, these times of year benefit from good weather and lower prices.
Winters in Berlin are chilly, but the local Christmas markets in December will make you want to brave the cold. The many different Christmas markets around Berlin actually make it one of the best places in Germany to visit come winter. The rest of winter is low season for Berlin so if you don’t mind the cold this can also be a good time to visit.
Check flights to Berlin from the USA (from $361) and UK (from £27)
How to Get Around Berlin
Even looking at a map it’s hard to gauge just how massive the city of Berlin is. Once you’re there you realize that this is a destination where public transport is your friend. You could walk for hours on end getting from one part of the city to another, but you’ll ultimately spend more time walking than sightseeing.
So when visiting Berlin, you’re going to want to become familiar with the city’s different public transport networks. With U-bahn metro, S-bahn rail, trams, and many bus routes, it’d be hard to find a spot in the city you can’t reach by public transport. The same tickets are used for each of these modes of transport which is helpful as you’ll often switch from one to the next to get where you’re going. The cheapest ticket is a Kurzstrecke short distance ticket which allows you to go 3 stops and costs €1.70. For more information on zones and fares check here, and a map of Berlin’s U-Bahn and S-Bahn lines can be found here.
Recommendation: To save time and money we recommend you purchase the Berlin WelcomeCard. The card not only allows you to travel for free with Berlin’s public transport (including to and from the airport) but also gives you up to 50% discount at more than 200 sights and attractions. Worth every penny!
Berlin is home to two airports, Berlin Tegel and Berlin Schönefeld, each on different sides of the city. Berlin Tegel is close to the city center, so getting from the airport isn’t too bad. Simply pay € €2.80 and hop aboard the TXL express bus to Alexanderplatz or the X9 bus to Zoologischer Garten, both stops connect you with Berlin’s public transport networks. Berlin Schönefeld sits in the outer zone of the public transport network. However, the train lines, S9, S45, or the airport express will get you into the city centre for €3.30.
Where to Stay in Berlin
As a large and spread out city, figuring out where to stay in Berlin can seem a little daunting for first time visitors. Much like the city’s attractions, available accommodation is scattered right across this major European capital. You’re bound to find somewhere to stay which suit your style of travel since Berlin attracts all types of tourists. While you may be able to score discount rates if you wait to book last minute, typically it’s best to book in advance to secure the city’s best options.
When it comes to the best places to stay in Berlin, picking the right neighborhoods can have a big impact on your enjoyment. After all, Berlin is huge and incredibly varied. It’s actually normal to find accommodation in the city that is over an hours walk from the city center. This is why the city’s public transport is so important. In terms of neighborhoods, Mitte is definitely the most central. Kreuzburg isn’t too far out either and is known for its nightlife, while both Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain are considered cool and creative neighborhoods.
To treat yourself during your time in Berlin, you’ll want to look at the luxurious Regent Berlin hotel. Situated on Gendarmenmarkt Square, this 5-star hotel boasts a classic, refined decor and huge rooms with plenty of space.
If balancing cost and comfort is important to you, look no further than the IntercityHotel Berlin Hauptbahnhof. With a clean and restrained design, this business-style hotel benefits from great public transport connections and even a complimentary Berlin transport card.
You can also find a ton of beautiful apartment rentals on Airbnb. For recommendations check out our list of the best Berlin Airbnbs.
Berlin is also a popular backpacker destination, thanks to budget options like the Grand Hostel Berlin Classic. Located over in Kreuzburg, this hostel not only has a great vibe but also offers clean rooms and great all-you-can-eat breakfast. For more budget accommodation, be sure to take a look at our guide to hostels in Berlin.
For more accommodation options in Berlin check out Booking.com. They continuously offer the best rates and their custom service is on point.
The Perfect 3-Day Berlin Itinerary
Since Berlin is such a major city full of culture and character, you’ll have no problem finding things to do. In fact the real challenge will be in trying to fit everything into just 72 hours in Berlin. The good news is that you’re not alone in planning your trip. You have us to help you see the very best of Berlin.
As you explore the city of Berlin and all it has to offer, you’ll find this Berlin itinerary takes you through the city and shows you many of its different neighborhoods and it’s best attractions. Of course you’ll be spending a lot of time in Mitte, Berlin’s central district, but that’s not all, the sights of Berlin are very spread out so you’ll also be venturing over to Tiergarten, Kreuzburg, Charlottenburg, and beyond.
However, before we get to our Berlin itinerary, we just wanted to remind you to purchase travel insurance. You never know what will happen and, trust us, you do not want to get stuck with thousands of dollars in medical bills. As a wise man once said, “If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel.” So don’t leave home without it.
We personally use and recommend SafetyWing. For only around $10 a week, it’s really a no-brainer. You can get a quick, non-binding quote below:
Even if you don’t get travel insurance with SafetyWing, please make sure to get travel insurance from somewhere. One popular alternative, for example, is World Nomads.
With that important note covered, it’s time to look at all the fun things to see and do which are included in this Berlin travel itinerary. Following our guide, you should have no worries about what to do in Berlin in 3 days.
Berlin Itinerary: Day 1
On your first day waste no time getting to some of the best places to visit in Berlin. To get your bearings a little, focus on the central district of Mitte.
Start with one of Berlin’s grandest spots, the Gendarmenmarkt square in the city center. Deep in the heart of Berlin, this square gives you a sense of how grand the city must have been back in the 18th century. On Gendarmenmarkt, you’re surrounded by historic buildings, with the elegant Konzerthaus Berlin concert hall taking pride of place in the middle.
Either side of the Konzerthaus sit two large churches which face each other, the French Cathedral and the New Church which is often referred to as the German Cathedral by locals. These names for the two mighty churches come from the native languages spoken by each church’s congregation, adding to the sense of rivalry between the two buildings. Both can be visited inside, with a panoramic tower in the French Cathedral and displays on Germany’s parliament inside the New Church.
An essential stop for visitors to Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie is also one of the city’s most touristy. Checkpoint Charlie was one of the most well-known border crossings between East and West Berlin. While there were other border crossings in the city, this checkpoint became a symbol of the divided city. Visiting today, you’ll see a replica of the guard house and border crossing signs, and plenty of tourists taking photos. Over on the corner you’ll find a small open air display with information boards which take you through the history of Checkpoint Charlie and the Cold War.
Topography of Terror
A short walk from Checkpoint Charlie, you’ll find another spot loaded with history in the Topography of Terror Museum. This time focused on the rise and actions of the Nazi Party in Germany, the Topography of Terror has indoor and outdoor exhibitions on the former site of some of the Nazi regime’s most horrific institutions.
Outside, along a remaining section of the Berlin Wall, you’ll find the “Berlin 1933–1945: Between Propaganda and Terror” exhibition. The informative displays here explore how the Nazis came to power and what Berlin was like during World War II. Indoor exhibits cover the different institutions like the Gestapo and SS which were used by the Nazis to terrorize German citizens. If you’d like to learn more about this dark period, this free museum is well worth it.
To see how much Berlin has changed in such a short time, you need only go across to Potsdamer Platz. To understand why this square is so significant you need to know that Potsdamer Platz, was once divided in two by the Berlin Wall and was a no man’s land of sorts. Left in limbo for decades, buildings here remained in the same devastated state that they were in after WWII. And yet, what was once a wasteland just 30 years ago is now a thriving commercial area with modern buildings and shops.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Still lingering in the troubled past of Berlin, we come to the most sobering sight in the city, the Berlin Holocaust Memorial. Its full name is the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, and it is a memorial to the victims of the Holocaust. Across a massive square which gently slopes, 2,711 concrete slabs symbolize the lives lost. The memorial is said to have been designed to create a sense of unease.
Head just up the road and you’ll arrive at one Berlin’s most enduring monuments, the Brandenburg Gate. This distinguished landmark has long been an icon of Berlin, ever since it was finished in 1791. The Prussian king Frederick William II had it built on the site of a former city gate and at one end of the grand Unter den Linden boulevard. Thanks to its impressive size and neoclassical design, it’s not only a popular tourist attraction but also seen as a European symbol of unity and peace.
After admiring the Brandenburg Gate you’ll notice the great big park which dominates its western side. That is the Berlin Tiergarten, an enormous park which covers 210 hectares right on the edge of the city center. Originally hunting grounds in the 16th century, today the Tiergarten is a gorgeous park with trails leading between forests and grass clearings. The Tiergarten is a great place to get a quick break from the city.
Another of Berlin’s most famous landmarks in this part of the city is the stately Reichstag. This vast building housed the nation’s parliament during the days of the German Empire. On 27 February 1933, this grand Neo-Renaissance building caught fire, an event that Hitler used to further his political goals. Through the years of the Nazi regime and the Cold War, the building was simply left as it was after that fire.
With reunification, the Reichstag was reconstructed and the parliament was brought back. With the work that finished in 1999 the building now has a large glass dome as part of its rooftop. If you visit the Reichstag Dome, you can actually walk up and be treated to some superb city views of Berlin. Be sure to book well in advance though as this free attraction is very popular.
Recommendation: If you can’t get a free slot for your travel dates but still want to visit the Reichstag, don’t worry, there is another way to get in. Käfer, the restaurant on the rooftop of the Reichstag, sells table reservations that not only include free unlimited coffee and tea, and one cake or torte, but also allow you to tour the Reichstag. Table reservations can be made here.
Berlin Itinerary: Day 2
We’ve barely scratched the surface after just one day in Berlin so today we head to the far side of Berlin Mitte, to see another piece of the German capital.
Flowing through the city of Berlin, the Spree river is a constant presence in the city center. Make your way to the Ebertbrücke and you’ll immediately see why this is one of the prettiest parts of Berlin. In front you should see the beautiful Bode Museum poised on a corner where the river splits, along with the TV Tower in the distance, and trees lining the riverbank below.
Now, there are two ways to enjoy the Spree river and the surrounding scenery. One is to simply walk along the banks of the river, taking in the scenery on foot. Depending on which side of the river you walk along you can stop in at the flea market by the Bode Museum or come back later to unwind with other locals at James Simon Park. Your other option is to hop aboard one of the frequent river cruises to see Berlin from a different perspective, the river. Tickets to the river cruise can be bought here.
Sitting on the Spree river, Museum Island may have one of the densest collections of Berlin attractions. As you’ve probably guessed by the name, there are quite a few museums on this island, five in fact. Here you’ll find the Old Museum, New Museum, Bode Museum, the Old National Gallery, and the Pergamon Museum. Even without setting foot in a museum, the island itself is a nice place to explore. Between several of its major sites you’ll find the beautiful Lustgarten, a park with fountains and plenty of grass which quickly fills up in good weather.
Recommendation: Depending on how many museums you plan to visit, it might be worth getting a Berlin Museum Pass. With the Museum Pass you get free 3-day entry to over 30 museums in Berlin. Definitely a must for any museum buff.
There are many museums to pick from at the Museum Island, but we recommend you start with the Pergamon Museum. This in-depth history museum was created to house only a select few exhibits, but once you see them you’ll understand why it was created to be so specific. One of the exhibits is the Pergamon Altar, a colossal 33 meter high section of the ancient Greek acropolis from Pergamon, Turkey.
Other highlights include the beautiful Ishtar Gate from ancient Babylon and the giant Market Gate of Miletus, also out of Turkey. With countless other artifacts on display from ancient civilizations across Europe and the Middle East, you could easily spend much of your day here. Skip-the-line tickets to the Pergamon Museum can be bought here.
If you’re in the mood for more great historical exhibits, check out the Neues Museum. But if you want a change after exploring the Pergamon, the Alte Nationalgalerie can provide a nice change of pace. Inside this eye-catching art gallery, artwork from many periods including the Romanticism, Impressionist, and early modernist periods is on display. Exhibits here include works from renowned artists such as Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, and Edouard Manet.
One last landmark to see on Museum Island is the mighty Berlin Cathedral. The Neo-Renaissance architecture of the Cathedral makes quite a statement in its position on Lustgarten square. While different churches have been in this spot since the 15th century, the current Berlin Cathedral was only finished in 1905. Taking a guided tour inside the cathedral you’ll be shown not only the church interior, but also the Hohenzollern Crypt where many royals have been laid to rest along with the panoramic terrace around the exterior of the cathedral’s large dome.
Heading over the river, it’s now time to see another part of Berlin and explore Hackescher Markt. While the name refers to the square here, a visit to Hackescher Markt is just as much about the streets which surround the square. Taking a break from all the history you’ve absorbed so far, this area is known for its shopping boutiques, nightlife, and street art. The boutiques here are specifically unique and appeal to unusual tastes, there is something for everyone here.
Berlin may not have the most classic skyline but one building which helps define it is the Berlin TV Tower. Found just off of Alexanderplatz, this tower is the highest in all of Germany at 368 meters. Built in what was then East Germany, the tower is now one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks. In fact, you’ll never get lost if you keep an eye on the tower. Just over 200 meters up the tower there is a panoramic deck and revolving restaurant, both of which you can visit to see all of Berlin below. While it may not be cheap, you won’t get a more complete view of the city. Make sure to buy your ticket in advance to skip the sometimes long lines.
Berlin Itinerary: Day 3
We still have plenty to do throughout Berlin on your last day here. To see everything is going to mean moving around the city quite a bit, but that means seeing even more of Berlin.
Off in the eastern end of the city lies one of Berlin’s most stunning palaces, the Charlottenburg Palace. Built in the late 17th century the castle and neighborhood were built and named posthumously for Queen consort Sophie Charlotte. Charlottenburg is the largest palace in the city, with many sights for visitors to take in.
Start a visit by touring the rooms inside the palace, two highlights are the Golden Gallery ballroom and Silver Vault. Afterwards, head outside into the Palace Park where you can appreciate the beautiful Baroque architecture of the palace while you stroll through the manicured gardens nearby. The Palace Park is huge, with lawns, lakes, and other attractions Wander through the park to find the lovely Belvedere Tea House and the Mausoleum where Queen Louise of Prussia was laid to rest.
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
On the far side of the Charlottenburg district lies one of Berlin’s more curious churches, the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. Part church and part ruins, this striking sight is a relic of World War II’s impact on Berlin. The church was badly damaged by bombing in 1943, which left the spire of the church and the base a fractured mess. Rather than fully rebuilding the church, it was decided to incorporate the ruins into a new church and leave the broken spire as a memorial for peace.
German Historical Museum
While we’ve looked at several different museums so far, none have focused on German history quite like the German Historical Museum. One of the most important museums in the city, exhibits in the museum tell the story of Germany, all the way from the Stone Age to modern day. To fully appreciate the exhibits and artifacts on display, be sure to get an audio guide in English as translated information signs are limited.
East Side Gallery
Visitors to Berlin have an understandable interest in seeing the Berlin Wall, and one of the best places to see it is at the East Side Gallery. Stretching for over a kilometer, this long section of the Berlin Wall is covered in vivid and creative murals which provide a snapshot of the period surrounding the fall of the wall. You may be most familiar with the mural of Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker kissing, but there is loads more street art to be seen. It may get busy, but there’s a reason this attraction is so popular, so don’t let the crowds put you off.
Recommendation: Berlin has some amazing street art and we highly recommend taking a street art tour if you have the time. On this tour you not only get to experience the city’s amazing street art but also its city markets, café districts, artist quarters, multi-cultural neighborhoods, and much more.
Rather than experiencing specific attractions, it’s sometimes nice to soak up the atmosphere of an entire district. Kreuzberg is a hip corner of Berlin with loads of character, making it a perfect place to wander about. In Kreuzberg you won’t have to walk far to find street art, graffiti, and cafes. If you’re feeling peckish, duck into Markthalle Neun where you’ll be presented with food options from all over the world. Progressive and youthful, Kreuzberg is known for its LGBTQ community and inclusive atmosphere.
Berlin Tempelhof Airport
No, it’s not time to head home just yet, plus you won’t be taking any flights from this airport. This is the Tempelhof Airport, it was used by the American military and commercial airlines to fly in and out of West Berlin during the Cold War. With East Germany surrounding the city, Tempelhof Airport was a lifeline for West Berlin from 1948 to 49. On a guided tour you can visit this unused airport, learn its history, and get taken to parts of the airport you’d not normally get to see. Easily one of the best tours in Berlin!
Before you know it, your time in Berlin is up. You can see an awful lot of Berlin in 3 days as there’s just so much to see and do in this fun European city! Have more than 72 hours in Berlin? Consider taking a trip outside the city, here are some of the best day trips from Berlin to get you inspired.
Berlin’s Top 10 Attractions
Are you on a whistle-stop tour of the capital or just looking for the Berlin Top 10? Well look no further, because we’ve picked the top ten things to see and do in Berlin so you don’t have to. The choice was by no means easy – this city has so much to offer!
Top pick 1: Reichstag
Reichstag with dome visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle
When the decision was made to move the Federal Government to Berlin, it was time to reawaken the Reichstag building from its long years of slumber on the Mauerstreifen, the military zone between the two sides of the Wall. The building has since been completely modernised, and today’s visitors to the Reichstag can look out from the building’s glass dome to get a bird’s eye view of the hustle and bustle in the city. There are also a number of government buildings in the vicinity of the Reichstag, for example the Bundeskanzleramt (Federal Chancellery) and the Brandenburg Gate.
Experience the government district and many other highlights from the water with a boat tour:
Top pick 2: Brandenburg Gate
Brandenburg Gate visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle
Without a doubt, the Brandenburg Gate is Berlin’s signature attraction. Built in 1791, it was just one of many old city gates around the city of Berlin which, at that time, was still a manageable size. The decorative Pariser Platz was laid at the foot of the gate and is now home to many of the city’s important buildings, for example, the Hotel Adlon with its wealth of history and the Akademie der Künste (Academy of the Arts).
Top pick 3: Berlin Television Tower (Fernsehturm)
Television tower in Berlin iStock.com
The Berlin Television Tower, which is known to locals as the Fernsehturm, and is instantly recognisable from the distance, stand outs of the skyline at 368m, making it the tallest building in Berlin. Built in the 1960s, visitors to the tower can enjoy a unique 360° panorama of the city. Tip: Visit the TV Tower with the Berlin Welcome Card and save up to 25 per cent. The Berlin WelcomeCard enables free travelling with all public transport services to the Berlin visitors. With over 200 partners and outstanding discounts the Berlin WelcomeCard offers you a complete „carefree“ package.
Top pick 4: Humboldt Forum
South and east façade of the Humboldt Forum Foto: Sönke Schneidewind
Directly opposite Berlin’s Museum Island, a new cosmopolitan forum for culture, art and science has opened in the heart of the capital: the Humboldt Forum. Visible from afar, it covers an area of around 30,000 square metres. The reconstructed baroque palace facades shine in bright quince yellow. State-of-the-art interactive exhibitions await you under one roof and spread over five floors. Since September 2021, the world-famous collections of the Ethnological Museum and the Museum of Asian Art are also on display here.
Also take a look around the corner from the Humboldt Forum: The Friedrichswerder Church, built by Schinkel, is now a very special museum, displaying sculptures of classicism in the high neo-Gothic church hall.
Top pick 5: Gendarmenmarkt
Konzerthaus (Concert Hall) and Französischer Dom (French Cathedral) visitBerlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien
The Gendarmenmarkt is one of the most stunning squares in the city, located close to Friedrichstraße, Berlin’s exclusive shopping street in the central Mitte district. Three of the most impressive examples of architecture in the capital city are to be found here: the Concert House designed by Schinkel and the German and French Cathedrals (the Deutscher Dom and the Französischer Dom).
Combine your visit to Gendarmenmarkt with a city tour and discover other top sights:
Top pick 6: Kurfürstendamm
Shopping at Kurfürstendamm visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle
Extending all the way from the ruins of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on Breitscheidplatz to Berlin’s elegant Halensee neighbourhood, the affectionately termed Kurfürstendamm is the most expensive address in the capital city and home to the most exclusive brands. Europe’s biggest department store KaDeWe is also situated on the extension of the Ku’damm, on the street known to locals as the Tauentzien (short for Tauentzienstrasse). The little ones will just love the Zoo Berlin, Germany’s oldest zoo.
Top pick 7: Charlottenburg Palace
Park of Charlottenburg Palace visitBerlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien
The magnificent Charlottenburg Palace is located just out of the centre of the city. The beautiful palace hosts fine collections of china and paintings and is situated in the middle of a picturesque palace garden right next to the river Spree. If you don’t fancy a walk in the park, you can feed your mind instead in the Charlottenburg museums located directly opposite.
Top pick 8: Museum Island
Museum Island-Altes Museum visitBerlin, Foto: Wolfgang Scholvien
Berlin’s Museum Island is one of the UNESCO world heritage sites and home to the city’s most important exhibition centres: the Altes Museum (Old Museum), the Neues Museum (New Museum) the Bode Museum, the Pergamon Museum and the Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery). The collections in these buildings encompass over 6,000 years of art and cultural history.
Just opposite Berlin’s Museum Island, the magnificent monumental Berlin Cathedral, an important landmark of Berlin whose history dates back to the 15th century, is also located on the Museum Island.
Tip: Visit Berlin’s museums with the 3-day Berlin Museum Pass. For €29 (reduced €14.50), the museum pass guarantees free admission for all Berlin visitors on three consecutive days to many museums. Order now in the visitBerlin-Shop
Top pick 9: The Berlin Wall Memorial and Documentation Centre
Berlin Wall Memorial in warm light visitBerlin, Foto: Dagmar Schwelle
The Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall Memorial) is located between the districts of Wedding and Mitte on Bernauer Straße, consisting of the Memorial to the Victims of the Wall, a Documentation Centre and the Chapel of Reconciliation. The surviving section of the wall and watchtower enable visitors to get a real feel for the reality of the border facilities.
Get to know more about the Berlin wall at the East Side Gallery.
Top pick 10: Potsdamer Platz
Bus and high-rise buildings in the evening light at Potsdamer Platz visitBerlin, Foto: Philip Koschel
Once the bustling heart of the city before the Second World War, then a no man’s land from 1945 until the fall of the wall, the history of Potsdamer Platz has been eventful to say the least. It changed completely after the fall of the wall in 1989 and is now dominated by the presence of the Sony Center, skyscrapers and endless shops. What’s more, Potsdamer Platz is the main place to be for stars and celebrities, and not only during film festivals.
Tip: We recommend the Gemäldegalerie with its extensive collection of european works of art to all art enthusiasts:
More about sights in Berlin:
- Share on Facebook Share on Facebook
- Share on Twitter Share on Twitter
- Share by email Share by email
- Print page Print page
You might find this also interesting
visitBerlin, Foto: Artfully Media, Sven Christian Schramm
Your Berlin guide with insider tips
Sightseeing in Berlin
The top sights, the best exhibitions and tickets for city tours – your must-do list for sightseeing in Berlin!
visitBerlin, Foto: Pierre Adenis
From Museum Island to the DDR Museum
Museums in Berlin
From great masterpieces to unusual exhibits – Berlin’s museums are home to stunning works of art and fascinating worlds.
visitBerlin, Foto: Thomas Kierok
Experience Berlin (almost) for free.
Low Budget Sightseeing in Berlin
Berlin is exciting, Berlin is diverse and surprising for a capital city, Berlin isn’t expensive. For visitors on a low budget the city is a
Design-Bestseller on Friedrichstraße is the first address for interior enthusiasts in Berlin. We offer designer furniture, lighting solutions and a…
Berlin Welcome Card all inclusive
iStock.com, Foto: bluejayphoto
Experience Berlin the easy way with the new Berlin Welcome Card all inclusive. One pass – for all of Berlin.
Magyar Modern – Hungarian Art in Berlin 1910 – 1933
VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2022, Foto: Museum der Bildenden Künste – Ungarische Nationalgalerie, 2022
With around 200 paintings, graphics, sculptures, photographs, films, theatre designs and architectural drawings, the exhibition Magyar Modern recalls…
12 Hipster Things to Do in Berlin in 2022 A Complete Guide to Backpacking Berlin
People have been raving about Berlin to me ever since I started traveling in 2013. “A city like no other”, “the creative capital of Europe”, “artistic city full of hipster cafes”, and “one hell of a party” are a few words they described Berlin.
The more I hear about it the more I was intrigued so when I was backpacking through Europe, I decided to stop by Berlin and see what all the fuss was about. Now I know why people love this place so much.
Berlin is a city that appeals to everyone. No matter if you are an adventurer, a music-lover, or a gamer, Berlin has everything for everyone and if you are looking for cool and awesome things to do in Berlin, you are in the right place. Without further ado, here are the 12 best things to do in Berlin.
Save to Pinterest
Don’t have time to read? Save this page on Pinterest for later and don’t forget to follow us on Pinterest .
Germany Travel Video
Where to Stay in Berlin
Berlin Tours & Activities
12 Hipster Things to Do in Berlin
Shop Around for Hipster products at Kastanienalle Street
Kastanienalle Street is a lively shopping street in Berlin where you will find a ton of awesome shops owned by artists and creatives of Berlin, selling all kinds of cool hipster stuff from dope clothes to handicrafts and handmade trinkets.
You will also find all kinds of awesome cafes and boutique restaurants that you can indulge yourself in. If you are wondering why they call Berlin the creative capital city of Europe, this street is the embodiment of that statement.
I was tipped off by a local friend of mine who really loves Berlin and it definitely did not disappoint. If you are looking for other hipster neighborhoods like this, I highly recommend you join the Berlin off-the-beaten-path walking tour which will take you to some of the hidden gems of Berlin you might not have found by yourself.
2. Visit Mauerpark on A Sunday in the summer
It’s hard to express how much I love Mauerpark. It is one of those places where you will have to visit to see why this place is one of the liveliest places in all of Berlin on a Sunday.
Mauerpark is a grassland park full of trees that was constructed over the site of the former border between East & West Berlin and every Sunday, during the summertime, hundreds, if not thousands of Berliners often come and hang out with their friends and families here.
There are a ton of things happening here, it might be a little overwhelming at first but trust me, you are going to love the place.
From street performances to the famous karaoke theater to the awesome flea market where you can find all sorts of vintage items, you can spend an entire day just relaxing and enjoying the vibe at Mauerpark.
It is one of my favorite places in Berlin if you are able to align your visit on a Sunday, be sure to drop by here and see firsthand why Berlin is one of the coolest cities in Europe.
3. Enjoy the dance club at Urban Spree
Urban Spree is a half-club, half-art gallery located by the bank of Spree River and it is a great place to visit if you are going for a night out and you are looking for a unique place that embodies the creativity that is Berlin.
I happened to stumbled upon this place by accident when I was looking for an event to attend on my final Friday night in the city. Urban Spree was hosting an electronic band from the UK called the Vessels.
I didn’t know who they were, but I have heard good things about the electronic music scene in Berlin so I gave it a go and now, Vessels is one of my favorite electronic bands!
If you are looking for an awesome place that blends the creativity and the electronic music scene Berlin is well-known for, be sure to check out the event schedule and align your visit to the event you want to see. You are going to love it!
Instantly turn your travel photos into beautiful work of art in one click. Available for both mobile and PC.
4. Hang out at Festsaal Kreuzberg
Festsaal Kreuzberg is an event venue located by the bank of Flutgraben Canal and it is home to some of the best bbq and burger places in town.
They serve white trash food as well as craft beers that are priced surprisingly reasonably and almost every month, you will find some sorts of concerts or something awesome happening here so be sure to align your visit with the event schedule here.
During the day, you can also spend some time by Flutgraben Canal and indulge yourself in one of the many restaurants and beer gardens here like the waterside Freischwimmer where you can enjoy modern European cuisine with a glass of beer in your hand overlooking the canal. If you are looking for a lunch spot or a place to enjoy the nightlife of Berlin, this is a good place to be.
5. Take a trip down memorylane at the Computer Game Museum
If you are a 90s kid like me and you want to see some awesome museums full of antique computers and game consoles, you are going to love the Computer Game Museum in Berlin.
Within the museum, you will find all kinds of 80s and 90s relics such as the Apple II computers and Atari’s Pong machine all the way to the current-gen gaming consoles we all know and love like Playstation and XBOX.
The place is dedicated to collecting and documenting all the coolness as well as weirdness of each century of gaming technologies as well as allows you and people of other generations to play arcade games and experience some of the most popular titles like Ms. Pac-Man and Space Invaders in its purest form.
I told you, Berlin is a place that has everything for everyone, even an aging game and tech enthusiasts like myself, haha !
6. Admire the Famous Graffiti at the East Side Gallery
Only a few minutes away from the hostel, this place is a perfect spot for a morning stroll. The famous street arts that you may have seen circulating the interweb, like the kissing politicians graffiti, are mostly here.
The East Side Gallery, once an intimidating concrete wall that separate East and West Berlin during the Cold War, is now turned into an open air museum where you can stroll along the 1.3 km strip of history and art that symbolizes our unity in freedom.
When the Berlin Wall came down, more than 110 artists from all over the world came and began painting the East Side Gallery, and now, it is a relic of the past painted over by the hopeful symbol, turning it into a memorial we all can enjoy.
There is a lot more history to be learned here and if you are looking to learn more about it, I highly recommend you join a walking tour which will take you to East Side Gallery among other places and a local guide will explain to you each place in detail.
7. Sunset at the Brandenburg Gate
The famous landmark of Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate was once located in the no man’s land behind the Berlin Wall that divides the nation in the 80s. It was then reopened after the fall of the Berlin Wall and has become one of the most popular attractions in Berlin since.
Despite it being a popular tourist attraction, I still highly recommend you visit the place to see just how massive and beautiful the gate is in person.
If you want to know more about the history of this monument from the 18th Century and how it got its neoclassical architectural style, I highly recommend you go on a walking tour around Berlin and a local guide will take you to all the historically important spots in one go.
8. Admire the Beauty of Berlin Cathedral
Berlin Cathedral is another impressive landmark located not too far from the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin that I highly recommend you drop by as you explore the Museum Island.
The place is said to have been used way back in the 15th Century but it got its Neo-Renaissance look after it was rebuilt in the early 20th Century.
The cathedral is surrounded by all the beautiful flowers that spread out across Lustgarten Garden and it is a popular place to relax and go people-watching. If you are in Berlin, be sure to drop by the cathedral.
9. Learn the history at the DDR museum
After seeing Berlin Cathedral, not too far from the Museum Island, you will find the DDR Museum, an impressive interactive museum dedicated to documenting and displaying what life was like in East Germany under the DDR’s reign of terror.
It is a great place to visit if you are interested in the tragic history of East Germany during the Cold War, how the people lived out their lives in fear, how the communist party exploit that fear and the technique they used to control and strip away these people’s rights.
One room in particular that stood out to me is where they show how the government bugged a room to eavesdrop on people using the intelligent surveillance system they came up with. The amount of effort they went through to control the mass is astounding and somewhat scary.
If you are a history buff and would like to learn more about Berlin during the Iron Curtain period, be sure to drop by and visit the DDR Museum.
10. Be terrified by the WW2 Tragedy at Topography of Terror
Topography of Terror is a free museum that is dedicated to showing the cruelty and the inhumane actions committed by the Nazi party with a focus mainly on Himmler and his cruel plan of absolute extermination.
I was both touched and terrified by the content of this museum. It was an eye-opening experience and really hard to grasp just how low humanity could go. How could other humans do these tragic things to other fellow humans? I will never know.
One of the reasons why I respect Germany and its people is that they put their mistakes front and center and never sweep them under a rug like many other countries out there.
The Germans display vulnerability and humility which is something that is quite hard to come by nowadays and they show the world how to owe up to their mistakes and take matters into their own hands to prevent the history from repeating again. I wish more countries were like Germany!
11. Learn more about the Berlin wall at Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie is another historically significant place in Berlin that you should visit if you wish to learn more about the history of Germany during the Iron Curtain.
This is the most well-known single crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin during the Cold War and it has since been turned into a museum where you can learn more about the Berlin Wall, life in the Eastern Bloc, and all the events that led to the collapse of the wall and reunification of Germany.
It is also a popular photo spot in Berlin and if you are visiting the city, it would be a shame to not get a photo of yourself at Checkpoint Charlie.
12. Explore the Abandoned Spy Dome of Teufelsberg
Near Berlin, there is a 120 meters tall mountain where you will find a spy dome that was operated by the US as a listening tower during the Cold War. It is abandoned now but you can still visit the spy dome on a day trip from Berlin.
With the organized tour, you will be transferred to Teufelsberg and will be guided through the area by a local guide who will explain the history of Teufelsberg and what was going on at the listening tower during the Cold War while enjoying a panoramic view of Berlin and its surroundings.
It is a cool alternative thing to do in Berlin and if you enjoy urban exploration and love to learn more about the city and its dark secrets, I highly recommend a day trip to Teufelsberg.
How to Get to Berlin
The best way to get here is to fly directly to Berlin or one of Germany’s hub cities like Frankfurt and take a bus from there. I would recommend you browse through Skyscanner or Expedia to find all the cheap flights from where you live to Germany and compare them so that you can find the one best fit for your itinerary.
There are many trains operated by Deutsche Bahn (DB) that ends in Berlin but I would suggest a bus since there are plenty of them going toward Berlin and the price is much more affordable than the train.
For bus, I would recommend Flixbus where you can easily book a ticket online from their website. Most buses will drop you off at Berlin Central bus station and from there, you can walk a bit north and catch the U-Banh metro at the U Kaiserdamm station.
How to Get Around Berlin
In the central area where the Brandenburg gate is located, you can simply walk around and you will be able to cover most of the attractions in the area such as the DDR Museum or the Reichstag but if you plan to follow my guide, I would suggest you buy a one day pass for the U-Bahn so you can cover more areas faster. Don’t try to free-load, it’s not worth it when you got caught (50 Euros penalty).
Traveling here, on average, will cost you more than traveling in most countries out there. You can expect to spend around 45 – 65 USD per day per person with food, accommodation and transportation.
Keep in mind that this is just a suggested daily budget based on my style of traveling, which is leaning more toward the budget side of things. If you want to stick to this budget, expect to sleep in dorms, eat out only a few times, and be comfortable using the cheapest and most convenient way of transportation, which often times involves walking.
What to Pack for Berlin, Germany
As you know, I am a light traveler and packing light for a trip like this is an art in and of itself. Here are a few tips on what to pack for your trip to Berlin, Germany:
- Walking/Hiking Shoes: I love walking around new cities or go on a small hike and so I highly recommend you take a good pair of comfortable shoes with you on this trip. My go-to pair of shoes is the Timberland 3-Eye Classic Boat Shoes that I always wear when I am out and about, even on long hikes.
- Breathable Shirts: It can be quite hot outside when the sun is out and the sky is clear so be sure to pack multiple breathable shirts that you can wear when you are out and about. We also have some really cool t-shirts in the Apparel Shop so be sure to check it out!
- Shorts/Jeans: Since you will be walking around a lot more when you are traveling, I highly recommend you pack a few pairs of breathable shorts as well as some Levi’s jeans for when it gets a little cooler outside. For women, leggings are awesome for both hot and cold climates so be sure to pack some too.
- Fleece Jacket: When it’s cold outside, I always recommend putting on more layers and an insulating layer (second layer) you should always have with you is a fleece jacket. I recommend the Columbia Steens Mountain Fleece (for women).
- Outer Shell Jacket: An outer shell jacket is great for when it is rainy or a little windy outside. I highly recommend the Columbia Watertight Jacket (for women). It’s breathable, light to carry, and best of all, it comes in this awesome orange color.
- Down Jacket: This will be your outer shell for when the weather outside is freezing cold. A great down jacket I recommend you buy is the Columbia Men’s Lone Fir Hooded Jacket (for women). They are warm, lightweight, and comes in many beautiful colors.
- Wool Beanie: Wool is amazing for cold weather. Cover your ears and warm your head with a wool beanie when you are out and about.
- Wool Gloves: My hands are always the first to go numb in cold weather and so I always carry wool gloves with me when I’m hiking or when it’s cold outside.
- Wool Socks: Also, remember to keep your foot warm with wool socks as well.
- Microfiber Towel: A Microfiber towel is the perfect backpacker’s towel as it is light, easy to dry, and can be compressed to save space in your backpack.
- Camera: You should also pack a good camera for your trip so that you can capture all the beautiful experiences you might have while you travel. I recommend the Sony a7C camera together with the Sony 24-70mm f2.8 GM II lens which is probably the highest performance camera and lens combination you can get right now.
- Power Bank: Keep your electronic charged on-the-go with a 20,000+ mAh Power Bank.
- Water Bottle: Hydro Flask Trail Water Bottle is a great insulated water bottle to have with you in cities or on hiking trails. It is lightweight and can keep your water cold/warm for more than 12 hours. A total game-changer.
- Universal Adapter: You just need one universal adapter to plug in your electronics in any country you are visiting.
- Packing Cubes: Packing Cubes will help you save space in your backpack as well as keep all your belongings organized.
- A Daypack: Langly Alpha Globetrotter is my go-to everyday camera backpack. It’s large enough to carry all my travel gear, it comes with plenty of slots and pouches, and it is stylish as hell!
- A Large Backpack: You will need a large backpack to carry all of this stuff with you. I recommend you get the Osprey Atmos AG 65L backpack. With the excellent weight distribution and the lifetime guarantee, you can never go wrong with Osprey.
Don’t forget to Get Travel Insurance
If you are looking for travel insurance to go along with your trip to Berlin, Germany, I would recommend WorldNomads.com, which is what I use to look for travel insurance that fits my kind of adventure.
Now that we have all the information we need, it’s time to plan your trip to Berlin, Germany! Here are some resources to help you get your trip going:
What to Pack: To help you get started on packing, here are 60 essential travel gear I carried with me on my trip to Berlin, Germany.
Flights: Skyscanner and Expedia are the best places to start looking for cheap flights and great deals from your home country.
Accommodation: Hostelworld, Booking.com, and Agoda.com are the ultimate go-to platforms to search for amazing hostels and hotels at an affordable price.
Homestays: Vrbo is the best platform to look for a more local experience staying in Berlin, Germany. This way, I get to meet a local first-hand and have access to local information I wouldn’t have otherwise.
Transportation: For bus, I always go with Busbud when traveling in Berlin, Germany while for trains, Omio is my go-to place to book all my train travels in advanced. A rail pass by Eurail is all so a great option for budget travelers.
Internet: Airalo is the best way to get a sim card and have reliable internet access for your trip to Berlin, Germany. All you need is an esim compatible smartphone, install it on your phone prior to your trip, and you are all set.
Day Trips & Tours: Viator, GetYourGuide and TripAdvisor are great platforms to search for activities to do in Berlin, Germany.
Tickets & Deals: Klook is always my go-to website when I want to find cheaper deals for entrance tickets to tourist attractions in Berlin, Germany.
Are you planning to travel to Berlin, Germany independently? Be sure to check out my guide on How To Plan A Backpacking Trip here.
Further Reading for Germany
I hope you found this guide helpful in your trip planning. If you want to read more about Germany, I have written a few more travel guides, all listed here:
- Looking for a complete itinerary for Germany? 2 – 3 Weeks Backpacking Itinerary for Germany.
- Are you traveling to Germany as part of a bigger Europe trip? Be sure to check out my 3 months itinerary for Europe from Portugal all the way to Sweden.
- Packing for a trip to visit a region as big as Europe is extremely daunting. Here’s a packing guide to help you: What to Pack for Europe – The Essential Packing List.
- Want to visit Europe in winter? Better prepare for the cold. Here’s a winter packing guide to help you: What to Pack for Europe in Winter – The Essential Packing List.
- Munich is the capital city of Bavaria and the embodiment of the rich culture we often see of Germany in the media. If you are planning to visit Munich, check out: 10 Unique Things to Do in Munich
- Dresden is one of those underdog city that has the level of creativity as Berlin but the cost of travel is lower and the amount of tourists fewer than other famous cities in Germany. Visit my travel guide on top 6 things to do in Dresden page for more info.
- If you are going to Cologne, watch out for your bag as I got my bag snatched from the train station there. Read about my experience getting my bag stolen in Cologne and how I dealt with it here.
- Not convinced by my words? Here are 125 photos that will inspire you to visit Europe.
- You can also watch my Germany travel video here: “Alone in Germany” travel video.
- To see all the articles about Germany, visit Germany Travel Guide page.
- Looking for a place to go after Germany? How about France, Switzerland or Poland? Visit our France travel guide page, Switzerland travel guide page and Poland travel guide page for more.
- Traveling in Europe can be cheap, really cheap. These are the 8 Cheap European Countries to Visit.
- Looking for more travel guides for Europe? You can find more on my Europe Travel Guide page.
- Or if you want something more specific to the region, visit our Western Europe Travel Guide page.
- For more of my travel guides like this, visit my Destinations page.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.
Looking for more Germany articles? You will find plenty more under our Germany Travel Guide section where you will find suggested itineraries, things to do, and everything you need to plan your Germany trip.