I can’t say I’ve ever really been to a city that is similar to Berlin. In fact, I really just don’t know what category to put Berlin in. It’s incredibly modern, but with so much history. It’s very alternative, yet strikingly classic. It’s beautiful, but concrete; Western, but Eastern; new, yet old. I think it is one of those cities that appeals to just about everyone.
Sean and I headed to Berlin for Easter weekend this year with is parents and cousins to see England play an international football friendly against Germany. In the match, England had an epic comeback from 0-2 to win 3-2, which was a memory I don’t think any of us will ever forget. However, that’s not the only thing that made the weekend incredible – Berlin itself is amazing!
With so much to do, it is a city that you could spend a week exploring; however, it’s also possible to see a lot of it in just a weekend. Here’s our guide to a weekend in Berlin:
Arrive and head straight to the top!
Alexanderplatz is a central area with great transport links, so I recommend staying somewhere near there. You can get there easily from the airport and check straight in to your hotel. From there, head up to Berliner Ferhsehturm, the Berlin TV Tower. With 360-degree views, this gives you the opportunity to see all of Berlin right upon arrival. There’s even a bar at the top if you fancy a toast to your weekend. It’s best to buy tickets online in advance so you don’t have to queue.
Visit a biergarten
I’m a huge fan of Hofbrauhaus, no matter how touristy it is! I feel like it is such an authentic experience and the crowd just adds to it, giving it more of an Oktoberfest feel at any time of year. If you prefer something more intimate, there are plenty of smaller ones around Alexanderplatz. If you’re looking to keep the night going a little longer, St. Christopher’s Inn Hostel is a cheap spot that stays open late and draws in the traveling crowd (duh, it’s a hostel!).
There was also an outdoor biergarten in Alexanderplatz when we were there, which we visited a couple of times. How adorable is this?
With a big day ahead, Saturday in Berlin calls for a good breakfast. We loved the breakfast plates at Coffee Fellows, near Alexanderplatz. They are the perfect mixture of fruit and substance to start the day and keep you going throughout it. We both got the German breakfast when we were there and loved it.
Do a walking tour
From Alexanderplatz, you can take a bus to Brandenburg Gate, where most walking tours start. Sandemans offers a free tour four times a day and it is honestly the best walking tour I have ever been on! The tour covers so much ground and the guides are friendly locals who know so much information. The tour covers everything from the Holocaust memorial to parts of the Berlin Wall to Checkpoint Charlie.
Wander through the museums on Museum Island
The walking tour ends at Humboldt University, which is right near Museum Island. When the tour ends, wander that way and enjoy the incredible museums that Berlin has to offer. We did not get a chance to go in any of the museums, but definitely want to visit the Pergamon Museum when the renovations are done – I visited Pergamon when I was in Turkey and would love to see the missing pieces! We have also heard great things about the National Gallery, and Museum Island itself is filled with stunning architecture.
Dinner at a wine bar
Try local German and Austrian wines at Cordobar. Pair your wine with some nibble from the frequently changing food menu, and you’ve got an easy and romantic meal out.
Experience Berlin nightlife
Berlin has a crazy nightlife – clubs that stay open well into the morning, in obscure locations, with house music as their specialty. You have to be pretty ready for a big night out if you head to one of these places, but it’s definitely an experience worth having. Watergate is a very unique place that has a clubby, dancey vibe; if you want something a bit fancier (think – expensive drinks, table reservations), try Felix.
Enjoy the street art at East Side Gallery
There is incredible street art along to longest remaining portion of the Berlin Wall, East Side Gallery. Most of the murals are of a political nature, going back to when the wall game down, which is my favorite part – everything either tells a story or offers an inspiring message – or both. It’s definitely worth walking the entire stretch (and the back) to get your own interpretation of each piece.
Eat the best burger ever for lunch
From the East Side Gallery, walk across the (beautiful) bridge to the other side of the river to Burgermeister – a small burger shack in the middle of the road. It’s almost guaranteed there will be a queue, but it’s so worth it. The burgers are INCREDIBLE. Once you get yours, you can stand inside, or find a space outside or in a nearby park. It’s funny because there is a bench not too far away, and the trash bin next to the bench is just filled with Burgermeister bags – it must be the hot spot to eat your burger!
From there, it’s probably almost time to head back to the airport, so that wraps up a weekend in Berlin. It truly is a one of a kind city, and I know that Sean and I will visit many more times. My brother and his wife are actually in the process of moving to Berlin, so I’m sure we will be returning quite soon – and I can’t wait!
Have you visited Berlin before? What was your favorite part?
Let us know in the comments below!
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