Berlin needs no introduction! The opportunity to visit Berlin came after a “generous” stopover that gave me the right to a full day in the city. Although 1 day is not the ideal time to get to know the city, you can get to know its main points of interest and that’s what I’m going to tell you about in this blog post 🥰.
Berlin is a very cold city in winter, with temperatures easily reaching below 0°C. However, in Summer it can also be very hot. For example, when I visited in June, it was unbearably hot.
Therefore, I suggest visiting Berlin in the months with milder temperatures, such as May, June, September and October! Anyway, if you like Christmas markets, December (despite the cold!!) can also be a good month to get to know the German capital.
💡 EXTRA TIP: If you choose to visit Berlin in the colder months, I recommend reading my blog post on what to wear in colder destinations. There you will find several tips that made me survive the negative temperatures in Lapland.
Although I only visited Berlin in one day, a more complete itinerary in the city should include a bit more time to explore it more calmly: 2 to 3 days is the ideal duration to visit Berlin. This is especially true if you want to visit some of the many museums in the city.
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Berlin is served by Brandenburg Airport. This airport receives direct flights from several cities in Europe, such as:
- Italy (Venice, Milan, Rome, Bologna, …)
- France (Paris, Bordeaux, …)
- United Kingdom (London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Bristol, …)
- Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Málaga, Valencia, Ibiza, …)
- Netherlands (Amsterdam)
- Portugal (Lisbon, Porto, Faro, …)
Brandenburg Airport is located 27 km away from Berlin city centre. The most convenient option is certainly to take a taxi (it costs about 50€), but there are other options available, such as:
- Airport Express Train (FEX): There are 2 trains every hour, and they go in the direction of Berlin central station.
- Trains RE7, RE8, RB22, RB23: frequency every hour and stop in Berlin central station.
- Metro S-Bahn S9 and S45: available every 20 minutes and stopping at some stations in the city centre.
Most of these options take on average 35-50 minutes to reach the city centre. The prices of the various options are generally 3.8€.
I had the chance to try out Leonardo Royal Hotel Berlin Alexanderplatz. It’s a very nice hotel with fantastic conditions. In terms of location, it is a little further from the city centre, but the quality-price ratio is quite good! However, I recommend giving up breakfast as there are much more affordable cafés nearby.
However, there are many other options in the city. And so, I leave here other suggestions:
Before I start the list of places you can visit in Berlin, I’ll share the map version of the main points of interest in the city.
» Holocaust Memorial
There is no point in denying Europe’s troubled times during the Second World War. And this first stop is exactly proof of that. The Holocaust Memorial is a memorial to the Jews who lost their lives in this difficult period in Human history.
The Memorial stands out for its simplicity: more than 2,000 cement blocks, but all of them are different. However, it leaves no one indifferent.
Alexanderplatz is clearly the best-known square in Berlin. Here you’ll find hundreds of people… some who are passing by in their daily lives but also many tourists as this is one of the most visited places in Berlin.
During the 19th century, there was a market on the square where local producers sold their products. However, the square has evolved over the years, starting with the construction of the train station and later with the various shops.
Besides the events that take place on the Alexanderplatz at certain times of the year (especially Christmas markets), do not miss the famous world clock – Urania (Weltzeituhr in German) or the Neptune fountain (Neptunbrunnen in German).
From here you can also see the famous television tower – Fernsehturm. In fact, the tower is so high (368 meters) that it is visible from almost anywhere in central Berlin. And what’s the best part? You can climb to its top and have a 360° view of the whole city. If you have even more time available, there is also a restaurant to enjoy the view more calmly.
💡 EXTRA TIP: It is possible to visit the Fernsehturm tower every day from 10 am to 10 pm and the adult ticket costs 22,5€. Queues tend to be long, so it is recommended to buy the ticket in advance. More information here.
» Brandenburg Gate
Located at Pariser Platz, the Brandenburg Gate is one of Berlin’s best-known monuments. As the name implies, it is a former city gate that leads to the emblematic avenue Unter den Linden.
On this avenue, which for years separated the East and West sides of Berlin, you will find some imposing buildings, from some museums to churches or even embassies of some countries.
» Reichstag Building
The Reichstag is home of the German Parliament and was inaugurated in 1894. A fire significantly destroyed the building in 1933, which was rebuilt again in 1960. However, it was only completely restored after the reunification of Germany and became the Parliament’s home again in 1999. Looking at the building, its impressive glass dome stands out, and you can visit it.
💡 EXTRA TIP: To visit the dome and the building’s panoramic terrace, it is necessary to book it in advance (more information here).
The visit to this building is free. The appointment process is quite simple and only serves to schedule an estimated time for the visit. The visit is made independently, but we are entitled to an audio guide. There is also a terrace with a panoramic view.
» Museum Island (Museumsinsel)
The Museum Island is a museum complex located literally on the island that exists on river Spree and has been a World Heritage Site since 1999. Here you can find several museums:
- Altes Museum: the first museum to be built on the island, and it is a real dream for lovers of neoclassical architecture
- Neues Museum: destroyed in World War II and later rebuilt, the museum is especially dedicated to classic antiquity
- Alte Nationalgalerie: art gallery with paintings and sculptures from the most varied periods, being considered one of the most enviable art collections from the period between the French Revolution and World War I
- Bode Museum: here you will be able to observe mostly Byzantine art as well as one of the largest numismatic collections in the world
- Pergamon Museum: it is the most visited museum in Berlin and has 3 distinct sections (Collection of Classic Antiquities, Museum of the Ancient Middle East, Museum of Islamic Art)
» Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom)
Berlin’s Cathedral is also located on an island on River Spree, and it is hardly missed. The building is magnificent (look at the beautiful dome) and it is the largest Protestant church in Germany. It is also possible to climb up to the dome and get fantastic views of the city.
Furthermore, the visit to the cathedral is an excellent excuse to take a walk along the river Spree banks.
The Gendarmenmarkt is said to be one of Berlin’s most beautiful squares. The square is clearly marked by 3 main monuments: the Konzerthaus (Concert Hall) and the French (Französischer Dom) and German cathedrals (Deutscher Dom), which are very similar.
Here, too, you can enjoy the Christmas market in December or a series of concerts in the summer.
» East Side Gallery
Once the famous Berlin Wall, the East Side Gallery is now the largest open-air gallery in the world. At 1.3 km long, this is the longest part of the Berlin Wall that still exists.
After the destruction of the wall in 1989, 118 artists from 21 different countries began painting in the East Side Gallery. The works are mostly interesting (a real paradise for street art lovers) and offer strong political messages.
The Tiergarten is the largest garden in Berlin and where Berliners enjoy the opportunity to walk on the warmest days. Don’t miss the iconic statue in the centre of the park – the Victory Column (Siegessäule) or the Soviet War Memorial.
» Checkpoint Charlie
Checkpoint Charlie is another reminder of Berlin’s “most recent” history, and it is the former border control between East and West Germany.
» Berlin Wall Memorial
Although less photogenic than the East Side Gallery, in this Memorial you will be able to see some more of the former Wall and get to know its history better. In addition to an outdoor exhibition with some information, you can also visit the Visitor’s Centre and the Observation Tower.
I strongly recommend it to those who want to know more about this complicated period in Germany’s history.
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