CITY GUIDE,  GERMANY

Berlin in 3 days: the complete guide

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To visit Berlin is to enter history with a capital H. History that is evident at virtually every street corner. The Second World War and the Cold War (with the Berlin Wall) left important traces that are still visible today. Berlin is also one of the coolest, most creative and trendiest cities I’ve ever visited! It’s a city on the move, bubbling with life, and you can feel it right away.

After more than 6 stays in Berlin, my vision of the city has evolved and I’ve discovered some amazing places that are part of Berlin’s DNA and deserve a detour, just like the must-sees like the Brandenburg Gate or the East Side Gallery.

This article is not intended to be exhaustive – it would take pages to describe all the things to see and do in Berlin, and updates almost every week! So I’m sharing just a few of the places to see, places to go and things to do on a trip to Germany’s vibrant capital.

For greater readability, I’ve divided my article by neighborhood.

Berlin

I’ve suggested several restaurants for each district. After all, there’s no shortage of restaurants in Berlin. The good news is that, as well as being delicious, the prices are very affordable. Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Turkish, Italian, Lebanese, etc. Brunch, healthy, vegan, burger, etc. In short, there’s something for everyone!
Please note: not all restaurants accept credit cards, so bring cash!

I’m delighted to introduce you to ViveBerlin Tours, which offers unique experiences to discover Berlin. Whether you’re passionate about street art (like me) or want to take a private bike tour of the city, whether you want to understand Nazism in Germany during the Second World War or are curious about the history of the Berlin Wall, ViveBerlin Tour will meet your expectations. Visit their website for more information and other tours.
As a partner of ViveBerlin Tours, I’ll give you a 6% discount on the tour price by entering the code UnReveUnVoyage17. Not only will you discover Berlin in an unforgettable way, but you’ll also be supporting my blog by using this code. Have a great trip!

Itinéraire pour visiter Berlin sur 3 jours :

1 | The Mitte district

Berlin

You can get directions to the Mitte district here (maps link).

1.1 | Brandenburg Gate

The Brandenburg Gate is an iconic Berlin landmark! A powerful historical symbol of both the division and reunification of Berlin.
Placed on the route of the wall when it was built in 1961, the Brandenburg Gate remained for over 25 years in the heart of no-man’s-land, i.e. the part between the official wall and the inner wall, and was therefore neither East nor West. As a result, it was caught between two walls for over 30 years. In 1989, when the wall fell, it became the symbol of Berlin’s reunification.

Berlin

1.2 | Holocaust Memorial

Near the Brandenburg Gate is the Holocaust Memorial. It pays tribute to the 6 million Jews who were killed during the Second World War. Nearly 2,700 steles of varying sizes make up this concrete cemetery. It’s quite impressive.
In the basement, a mini-museum is dedicated to the massacre of the Jews.

Berlin

1.3 | Checkpoint Charlie

Friedrichstraße 43-45, 10117 Berlin

Checkpoint Charlie was one of the border crossings between West and East Berlin, the only one to let through foreigners, prisoner exchanges, West German cars and diplomats, during the partition of Berlin by the Wall between 1961 and 1989. Historically, it witnessed a defining episode of the Cold War: 16 hours during which American tanks faced Soviet tanks, guns pointed. It’s a must-see, but this historic site has been colonized by McDonald’s, Starbucks and other stores. The guards surrounding the checkpoints are actors who charge a lot for a photo, and it’s a popular tourist spot. I therefore advise you to pass through without stopping for too long.

1.4 | Gendarmenmarkt

To continue your itinerary, before reaching the Berliner Dom, I recommend passing through Gendarmenmarkt, reputed to be one of Berlin’s most beautiful squares. The Christmas market held here every year is superb!

For chocolate lovers, don’t miss the two stores just behind the cathedral: Rausch offers magnificent chocolate sculptures of Berlin’s buildings, while Ritter Sport, right next door, lets you create your own chocolate bar.

1.5 | Museum Island

In the heart of Berlin, the Spree Island is home to no less than 5 prestigious museums: the Altes Museum, the Neues Museum, the Pergamonmuseum, the Alte Nationalgalerie and the Bode Museum. I didn’t take the time to visit any of them, but that didn’t stop me from strolling around the island to admire the superb architecture of the buildings.

Also on the island is the Berliner Dom, Berlin’s main Protestant church. It boasts a 7,000-pipe organ, a crypt containing some 95 sarcophagi and a dome with a panoramic view of the city.

Berlin

1.6 | Alexanderplatz

Alexanderplatz is Berlin’s largest square, and also one of its best-known, as it is home to the Fernsehturm (television tower). At a height of 368 meters, it was used by the East German regime to broadcast its own television programs. The sphere, at a height of 200 meters, houses an observation room, a bar and a restaurant that rotates 360°, offering an exceptional view of the whole of Berlin.

Berlin

This monument welcomes over a million visitors every year. If you’d like to go up there, I’d advise you to buy a ticket that’s not cheap (€22.5) but will save you hours of queuing (standard ticket €17.50).
Alternatively, on Potsdamer Platz, you can go to the Panoramapunkt (€7.50), where the view over Berlin is just as impressive.

1.7 | Hackesche Höfe

Rosenthaler Str. 40, 10178 Berlin

The Hackesche Höfe are a particularly well-restored series of 8 courtyards in a row. It’s the largest group of courtyards in Germany. The first courtyard is particularly beautiful, with its Art Nouveau facades, but don’t hesitate to cross them all to discover their charm.

1.8 | Haus Schwarzenberg

Rosenthaler Str. 39, 10178 Berlin

A few meters away, a little further along Rosenthaler Straße, you’ll find another courtyard with a very different ambience: the Schwarzenberg house. The walls are covered in street art, and there’s a bar, cinema, exhibitions and trendy designer boutiques!
It’s a contrast that sums up Berlin, with its very different worlds.

Don’t forget, book your tour with ViveBerlin Tours using the promo code UnReveUnVoyage17 to receive a 6% discount on your booking.


Where to eat in Mitte

  • Steel Vintage Bikes café (Wilhelmstrasse 91, 10117 Berlin). This establishment is both a restaurant and a bike store. I recommend going there for the delicious dishes on offer, all prepared with fresh produce.
  • Ristorante A MANO (Strausberger Platz 2, 10243 Berlin). A little piece of Italy in Berlin, just a few minutes from Alexanderplatz, ranked 11th out of 5,700 restaurants in Berlin (according to TripAdvisor). The dishes are very good and carefully prepared. The service is top-notch.
  • The REED (Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 13, 10178 Berlin). You won’t be disappointed! The atmosphere in the restaurant is really worth discovering, the dishes are gourmet, very good and the prices are quite affordable. What a discovery!
  • LA Poke (Alte Schoenhauser Str. 44, 10119 Berlin). Ideal for lunch. Plates are generous and cooked with fresh produce.

2 | Le quartier de Tiergarten

2.1 | The Bundestag

The Bundestag Palace houses the German parliament. You can take a tour of the building, including its modern cupola.

Berlin

Visits to the dome are free of charge, but you need to book in advance online. You can also try to reserve places the day before for the following day at the visitors’ center (opposite the Bundestag).
You’ll need to show proof of identity for all participants in order to register.

2.2 | Tiergarten

Tiergarten Park is huge. It’s right in the center, a stone’s throw from the Brandenburg Gate. You’re sure to find a quiet spot away from the hustle and bustle of the city.


If you’re looking for a drink in the Tiergarten district, I recommend the Monkey Bar (Budapester Str. 40, 25hours Hotel Bikini – 10787 Berlin). This is the rooftop bar of the Hotel Bikini. The ideal place to go for a drink as the sun goes down. There’s a terrace area too. And if you’re hungry, you can always eat at NENI, the restaurant on the same level.


3 | Friedrichshain district

Berlin

You can download the Friedrichshain itinerary here here (maps link).

3.1 | RAW-Gelände

Revaler Str. 99, 10245 Berlin

I fell in love with the place almost by chance! Bordering Warschauer Straße, RAW used to house railway maintenance workshops. Today, this gigantic industrial wasteland has become a hotbed of alternative culture. On some 9,000 m2, you’ll find several clubs and concert halls, a skatepark, bars, a climbing wall, an art gallery, but above all, and to my delight, street-art frescoes galore! Every Sunday there’s a flea market, and in December there’s a very friendly medieval Christmas market, which I’d recommend.

3.2 | East Side Gallery

Mühlenstraße 3-100, 10243 Berlin

The East Side Gallery is one of my favorite places to visit in Berlin. It is the longest section of the Berlin Wall still standing today. Located in the Friedrichshain district, it stretches for 1.3km (and is 3.60 meters high), from the Ostbahnhof train station to the Oberbaumbrucke bridge.
As soon as the Wall came down, artists from all over the world came to cover it with frescoes, distilling messages of peace and tolerance and transforming this wall of shame into a wall of hope. Among the best-known works is Dmitry Vrubel’s Kiss of Friendship between Brezhnev and Honecker.

Berlin

3.3 | Holtzmarkt 25

Holzmarktstraße 25, 10243 Berlin

Just a few minutes’ walk from the Berlin Wall lies a completely surprising place. Once through the door, you enter another world. The Holzmarkt looks like an industrial wasteland in the middle of the city. An unusual, international atmosphere, ideal for a sunset evening.

Don’t forget, book your tour with ViveBerlin Tours using the promo code UnReveUnVoyage17 to receive a 6% discount on your booking.


Where to eat in Friedrichshain?

  • Dean and David (Muhlenstrasse 15-19, Mercedes Platz, 10243 Berlin). Ideal for lunch. If you’re looking for fresh produce and salads, you’ve come to the right place! The restaurant is just across the street from the East Side Gallery.
  • Larb Koi (Krossener Str. 15, 10245 Berlin) ideal if you like Thai food. Everything is homemade, as if you were in Thailand for real.
  • Salami Social Club (Frankfurter Allee 43, 10247 Berlin) If you like pizza, beer and music, the Salami Social Club is for you!

4 | The Kreuzberg-Neukölln district

On the other side of the Oberbaumbrucke bridge lies Kreuzberg, a popular, cosmopolitan and trendy district! This is the area where day and night mingle without limit. It’s the area that never goes out of fashion, with an incredible list of bars, restaurants and nightclubs. This district has a long history of being linked to the alternative world, as it was here that young people started squatting in the 70s and 80s. Since the great Turkish migration, this neighborhood has had a strong imprint of cultural diversity. You can also marvel at the graffiti and street-art frescoes that cover the buildings.

The charming banks of the Neukölln district :


Where to eat in the Kreuzberg-Neukölln district?

  • Baraka (Lausitzer Platz 6, 10997 Berlin) Moroccan cuisine in a very cosy setting. The dishes are hearty and good, and the prices are very reasonable.
  • Gnam Pasta Factory (Kottbusser Damm 6, 10967 Berlin)great Italian restaurant with homemade pasta.
  • Holy Flat (Lenaustr. 10, 12047 Berlin) bowls and super-healthy sandwiches. A reference in the neighbourhood!

5 | Other: Tempelhof and Charlottenburg Palace

5.1 | Tempelhof

Don’t miss Tempelhof Park, by far the most amazing park in Berlin! Until 2008, this park was an airport used to supply part of the city during the Cold War. Following its closure, the city decided to return the area to Berliners by transforming it into a park. Here, you can stroll along the asphalt runways left untouched, or enjoy a picnic in front of the airport terminal.
Aviation enthusiasts can book a tour of the untouched airport, once the world’s first commercial airport and now the third-largest building in the world!

5.2 | Charlottenburg Palace

And finally, to round off my article, I’d like to suggest a visit to Charlottenburg Palace and its flower garden. I haven’t visited the castle, but from the outside it’s already very pretty, and its garden is well worth the detour. It’s very pleasant to visit.

Don’t forget, book your tour with ViveBerlin Tours using the promo code UnReveUnVoyage17 to receive a 6% discount on your booking.


Where to eat near Tempelhof and Schloss Charlottenburg?

  • Tamper Meets Jigger (Jonasstraße 22, 12053 Berlin). This little restaurant is located in the Tempelhof district. I went there for brunch, and the food was top-notch and the atmosphere very cosy!
  • Cao Cao (Marburger Str. 2, 10789 Berlin). Close to Charlottenburg (by subway). Vietnamese restaurant, the dishes are very well presented and just delicious. The decoration is very pleasant, I recommend it without hesitation!

There’s so much more to do in Berlin, of course, and it would take much longer than 3 days to discover the city.
If you have a little more time, here are some other ideas of things to see and do:

  • Visit the Topography of Terror Museum
  • Visit the Mauerpark flea market
  • Discover Berlin’s underground tunnels and bunkers
  • Visit the Berlin Wall Memorial
  • Visit the GDR Museum
  • Take a cruise on the River Spree
  • Discover the former Teufelsberg spy station

Thanks for reading!

Mylène

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