Berlin in one day – Experience Germany’s capital in a day!

Here’s what to do if you want to experience Berlin in one day

…or maybe two…

In October 2013 Oonagh, a colleague of mine, asked me for some touristic hints on Berlin. She said she only had one weekend, so I promised her to create a plan, so she could make most out of her weekend and experience “Berlin in a nutshell”. I lived in Berlin for about 10 years, so I dare to say I know the city. Not every detail – but most of it. In terms of tourist attractions maybe even more than Berlin-born friends.

Walking tours

Here’s a map of this walking tour:

Berlin in one day Walking tour
Google Maps Route of the Berlin in One Day Walking Tour

Click here to see it on Google Maps!

Part 1 (Day 1 if you have an entire weekend)

  • start at Berliner Fernsehturm, called “TeleSpargel” by the Berliners, which literally translates to “TV asparagus”
  • when leaving the TV Tower (or starting your tour at Alexanderplatz) head towards Marienkirche, which is the church right next to TV Tower
  • head towards the Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom) which is the biggest protestant church in Germany
  • now you’re already “Unter den Linden” (Berlins Champs Elysee)
    • one side-track might lead you to Gendarmenmarkt with the State Opera
  • walk and enjoy until you reach Brandenburg Gate
    • there are actually several “gates” in Berlin
    • Brandenburg Gate was the outside (!!!) border of Berlin towards Brandenburg (a city in the surrounding federal state of Brandenburg)
    • you can see a new “version” of Frankfurter Tor on your bar-trip
  • pass the gate
  • pass by the highly secured US embassy (probably now the NSA knows about this blog post now)
  • stroll through the Holocaust Memorial in devout silence
  • head towards the skyscrapers at Potsdamer Platz

Part 2 (or Day 2)

  • from Potsdamer Platz stroll through Tiergarten, which was entirely chopped down after WWII, because people needed wood to heat their bombed homes
  • seek the Siegessäule (“Victory Column”) in the middle of the Tiergarten, it gives you a wonderful view on the whole city and a nice panorama including the TV tower
  • from there head to S-Bahnhof (train station) Bellevue (if you make it two tours, you can also go via Bellevue to the Siegessäule
  • take the train to Hauptbahnhof (Berlin Central Station)
  • exit towards river Spree, pass the Berlin white house (Helmut Kohl, German chancellor for 16 years called it that, when talking to Bill Clinton I think), where the chancellors work, head towards the Reichstag building
    • many people still call it Reichstag, which literally means the institution “parliament of the Reich” (!) but since there is no “Reich” anymore it’s called the Reichstags-Building, seat of the German parliament “Bundestag

I think one can’t see more of Berlin in one/two days. At least not more efficiently than with these walking tours. And especially since the city is covered with Bus- (and train-) stations you can at any time stop your walk, head home and relax 🙂

Going out

Check out this tour that leads you from Frankfurter Tor via Simon-Dach-Kiez (as I would call it now “Little Dublin” (because like in Dublin there are lots of bars/pubs in a row) down to Kreuzberg.

  • take the U5 from Alexanderplatz -> get off Frankfurter Tor
  • head towards Boxhagener Str.
  • walk the whole Simon-Dach-Str.
    • until here you should have already found a cocktail bar
    • this street is awesome for hopping from one bar to the next, some even have live music
  • if you don’t find anything continue south towards Oberbaum Bridge, which is more impressive by day and also worth seeing
  • cross it and enjoy Berlin Kreuzberg, the most multicultural of all Berlin districts
    • you’ll find cocktail bars and exotic restaurants here

Museums & places to see outside the walking tour

Berlin in one day - The Berlin Wall

  • Berlin Wall Memorial Site, Bernauer Straße, Berlin, Germany
    • don’t miss: the wall itself is quite boring seen from one side (see boring picture), BUT there is a viewpoint some 100m along the street from where you can see the whole WALL (which is actually two walls and a death strip with mines and dog patroles inbetween, so once people had passed one wall they had to overcome this, which nobody did…)
  • Pergamon Museum
  • New National Gallery (modern art AFAIK)
    • also a nice option if you split up the walking tour -> you could walk here from Potsdamer Platz
  • East Side Gallery
    • painted parts of the wall, real pieces of contemporary art, actually the longest and last original part of the wall that’s still standing

2 thoughts on “Berlin in one day – Experience Germany’s capital in a day!”

    1. I’d definitely recommend the East. It’s cheaper and you’re super close to all relevant sights. Apart of a half-day trip to Zoologischer Garten and “Kudamm” for premium-shopping there’s not much need to go to the West 😉

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