If you plan for Germany, then you can definitely spent a weekend in Berlin. The strategic location of Berlin at the ‘heart of Europe’ assures any would be visitor some smooth convenience in the course of travels. This combined with the rich heritage of Germany as a whole makes a visit to the city worthwhile.
Our post here dares to offer guidance to a typical two-day visit. Read on to find out more about how to prepare and where to visit.
Berlin is a pretty large city both in terms of population and land mass. You will hence find it quite inconvenient to move from one location to another. The city does have a robust transportation system. This is however made cumbersome due to the exorbitant cost of travels.
Luckily, it does have some nice lanes for biking.
For this reason, you have to think ‘outside the box’ while planning a visit. If you have more days in Berlin (i.e. 3), then read this post with more ideas for things to do in Berlin.
Read 5 fun facts for Berlin from here.
Heads up! Here is a list of guided tours ideas for your weekend in Berlin:
- Berlin: 2.5-Hour Boat Tour Along the River Spree
- Berlin WelcomeCard: Transport, Discounts & Guide Book
- TV Tower Berlin: Fast Track Ticket
- Third Reich Half-Day Walking Tour of Berlin
Weekend in Berlin: Day 1
Just like in many other cities, your first day of the visit has to be concentrated at the central business district. This is to give you the head start you need to familiarize yourself with the entire city. It is also to acquaint you with the various ethics, signs, and rules governing matters transportation in the wider Berlin metropolis. These are the ‘must visit’ areas in your first day of the tour:
The Reichstag Building is the seat of Germany’s political power. It is an edifice that features a historic, Norman Foster glass dome. At its zenith is an observation deck which accords a 360° view of the city below. Access to its interior is severely limited to non-EU nationals.
It is nevertheless a good background for matters photography. Depending on when you visit and how lucky you are, you might also have some one-on-one conversations with the federal lawmakers.
East Side Gallery
Located right at the center of Berlin, this East Side Gallery houses some conserved graffiti project by 118 artists. These paintings cover portions of the Berlin Wall and it aims at celebrating its collapse. They stretch 1316 m long and showcases some of the struggles that went to the sinking of the wall. It hence provides one-stop access to the brutal history of the cold war. Spare some time to reflect the horrible past of this event while at this place.
Berlin Cathedral Church
Germany, much like most of Europe also played a crucial role in the spread and advancement of Christianity. It was the home of Martin Luther and the epicenter of the Protestant Reformation of 1517. This Berlin Cathedral Church is a silent reminder of this awesome past. Inside it is an organ that has 7,000 pipes. Its exterior has royal tombs and a dome for breathtaking city views.
The city of Berlin was at the crossroads of the cold war (1945-1989). This Checkpoint Charlie marked the border between these two opposing factions or protagonists. It is at this junction that visitors to either side were screen before being allowed entry. After the collapse of the Berlin wall, this checkpoint is now a silent reminder of this horrible past.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
We all know what role Germany played in the persecution of Jews during the Nazi era (1933-1945). This museum is devoted to reminding anyone of this sad chapter in Germany’s history. It comprises some 2,711 columns which jointly commemorate the Holocaust. Underneath it is an underground exhibition room for the display of numerous relics. The atmosphere here is generally tense and unforgiving. Take heart though.
Potsdamer Platz is a square that occupies the very heart of the city’s history. It is a plaza in Berlin, Germany. This historic square goes a lifeline at the fall of Berlin Wall and is now an entertainment hub by virtue of comprising numerous restaurants and shops. Do visit here to eat some of the topnotch local cuisines. Be prepared to spend a lot due to the high costs of food in Germany.
Museum Island (Bode Museum)
This island is so-called because it incorporates a museum, cathedral, and art museum at the same time. It lies in the northern half of the Spree River and is also the site of the ancient city of Cölln. All the aforementioned facilities are located at close proximity to one another. For this reason, you will not really struggle to access them and will hence spend less of your time and effort in so doing.
Berliner Fernsehturm is probably the most notable of all the structures that dot the Berlin skyline. It is famously called the TV Tower in English and also stands as the tallest and visible of all the buildings in Germany. The structure has a revolving restaurant and a viewing platform at its zenith.
In all, it measures 368m tall, has a viewing gallery at the 203m level and revolving restaurant at 207m. Do spare some time to eat and sightsee the city while at it.
Charlottenburg Palace is one of the many buildings that were devoted to past rulers of Germany. This palace has its roots in the 17th century and has castles and gardens. It comes in the form of the Baroque summer palace and has huge gardens, rooms packed with paintings, tapestries and porcelain.
Its interior is very breathtaking and accords some nice photo opportunities. Apart from learning a bit about Germany’s past, you will also take some nice photos of your memorialization.
Weekend in Berlin: Day 2
In your last day of the trip, you want to focus on those little known attractions which are scattered all over the city. In this last segment, we have identified and are going to explain those facilities and attractions which served some peripheral yet equally significant contribution in shaping the destiny of Germany as we know it. Arm yourself with a digital camera and a tour guide if you can afford one for the most rewarding of outcomes.
Berlin Wall Memorial
To commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall and the grip of communism on West Germany, the city does have a Berlin Wall Memorial. It is in the shape and form of a monument in Berlin, Germany. For a large part, it is a conserved part of the city wall and exhibition. It also commemorates the historic divide by way of a preserved section of the original wall and memorial.
Germany was once ruled by a skilled combatant who led it through a series of military victories. He reigned from 1740-1786 and is popularly called Frederick the Great. This iconic Sanssouci Palace, located in Potsdam is devoted to his life and times. That is because it served as a summer residence and still contain those 18th-century furnishings as well as an iconic terraced vineyard.
Germany, like any other major power, has been involved in some wars in the past. One such was the Danish-Prussian War which was fought in the 1800s. This monument in Berlin commemorates this milestone. It takes the form of the 67m-high gilded column. Its peak provides some city-wide views from which are unhindered by any tall building nearby. Your visit to this venue during your weekend in Berlin, gives you a chance to take photos and enjoy awesome views at a time.
Unter den Linden
Touring Berlin does not just have to entail taking a taxi or public transport. This cul-de-sac gives you a rare opportunity to walk around and sightsee the many gems that Berlin central hub has to offer. The grand boulevard is lined with linden trees on both sides and is hence good to gaze and capture photos. It also has some malls for your purchase of several commodities and merchandises.
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
This protestant church in Berlin, Germany is named after the last of Germany’s emperors. It is available in the form of a 19th-century architecture which has been rebuilt to conform to the modern standards. If you happen to visit the facility on Sunday, you will be able to attend the services. Otherwise, sightseeing and photography will do just fine on other days.
Germany and indeed much of Europe contains numerous plant and animal species. That is why a visit to one of Berlin’s major zoos make much sense. This Zoo Berlin is huge, leafy and contains a modern aviary. At the zoo are some naturalistic animal habitats, a modern birdhouse with daily feedings. They number around 1,380 different species. They offer some great resources for any animal enthusiast. If you cannot speak Deutsch, ask for an English translator for the best understanding. Mark this for your weekend in Berlin, in case you have spare time after seeing all architecture.
To wrap up your weekend in Berlin, you want to take some boat ride on the sprawling Spree River and canal.
It snakes its way through the heart of Berlin. Being wide and deep, the river is greatly navigable. A boat ride will cost you some premium but will nonetheless fill your experience and adventure of the city. Do capture some photos as you move along. Take care of the waves though as they may at times turn violent.
Getting to know all that awaits you in a typical three-day visit in and of itself is not enough. You definitely have to take a step further and actualize the recommendations.
Just like much of Europe, you are advised to visit here mostly in the warm summer months.
Apart from being conducive, the timeframe also experiences numerous visitors from around the world.