3 Days in Berlin – the Hippest Capital
Germany´s capital Berlin has become one of the most popular city destinations for young and old. Berlin has so much to offer – a trendy city with incredible history and lots of interesting places to visit.
Are two days in Berlin enough? Well, Berlin is huge and so 2 days is not a lot of time but enough to visit the most important sights. What to do in Berlin in 2-3 days (and at the end of the blog post you find a day trip from Berlin so it is actually 3 days in Berlin).
Find out about my highlights and must-see places in Berlin, maybe one of the hippest capitals ever.
When I went there for the first time, I was one of those who didn’t like Berlin at all. However, after a few more visits it turned out to be one of my favorite cities in Germany. Not everybody loves Berlin – it isn’t the most beautiful and surely not the friendliest city, but Berlin is probably the coolest and hippest city.
If you like that kind of “coolness” or at least don’t mind it, you can have a great time, because Germany’s capital has definitely a lot to offer.
How to Get to Berlin
Where to Sleep
Where to Eat
What to Pack / What to Wear in Berlin
How to Get Around
What to See and Do in 3 and 4 Days
A Day Trip Idea from Berlin
How to Get to Berlin
Berlin is quite famous for an airport that has not even open yet – and no one knows when or if it will open and when the first flights will arrive/depart.
However, Berlin has also two airports that are open: Schönefeld and Tegel. Budget airlines, as well as all other main airlines, operate from these two airports and both are well connected to the city center, so it is easy to get from the city center to the airport via train, buses, or car.
Berlin´s main train station (Hauptbahnhof) is incredible – and a must-see place in Berlin. But the train station is also a good way to arrive in Berlin: Getting to Berlin via train from many parts of Europe is quite convenient.
Ostbahnhof is another train station which is often the arrival point for travelers and it is easy to get around from there.
Some people rent a car in Germany so they can drive on the Autobahn (freeway) – where some parts do not have a speed limit. If you plan to drive to Berlin by car you should know that Berlin can get quite busy and the public transport is great.
While I would recommend getting to Berlin by train or plane I totally understand the fascination of having no speed limit and sometimes a car is just necessary.
If you want to rent a car in Europe/Germany you can find the best deals here.
Where to Sleep in Berlin
Berlin has a great public transport system, so any place is good as long as it is close to an underground station. Popular areas are e.g. “Mitte” “Prenzlauer Berg”.
Berlin has it all – from hip hostels, and Airbnb accommodations to beautiful 5* hotels. One of the most famous hotels is the Hotel Adlon – in a perfect location and next to the Brandenburger Tor (check out the best rates here). It is worldwide known but there are many other great accommodations.
If you are more into Airbnb you can use this code to get a 35€ (about 38$ discount) on your stay.
Where to Eat in Berlin
Dining in Berlin is pretty cool because the cuisine is very diverse and quite affordable. Berlin is a melting pot and so is the cuisine – there something for any taste and every budget. Also, Berlin has a leading role for good vegan food, even if you are not into vegan food, you can try great dishes for reasonable prices during your Berlin stay.
My favorite area to eat is Hakescher Markt – a busy area with many restaurants and cafes.
For more about vegetarian restaurants in Berlin click here.
What to Wear in Berlin / What to Pack for Berlin
Berlin is known for its “cool” fashion style but I admit I am not a huge fan of this “trendy” and “we do not care” look. Though it seems the people in Berlin do not care about their look they apparently do – it is just extremely casual and cool.
This means that you are quickly overdressed and so feel free to dress casually.
- sneakers (like the one from Adidas or Converse)
- ballerinas (if you are not into trainers)
- high heels
- sandals (even in summer it should not be your only footwear)
- rubber boots might make more sense (check the weather forecast)
- (ankle) boots
Layers – as much as I love Berlin, the weather is terrible and not predictable, so wear layers and be prepared for almost all kind of weather at any time of the year. This might sound exaggerated and probably is – at least- a bit, but it seriously can get cold in summer, while some fall days are pretty sunny.
- Shorts / Jeans
- Skirts / Maxidresses
- A rain jacket /winter jacket (good news: though it gets cold, there is no need to wear fur -not even in winter, so Wellensteyn jackets keep you warm without any fur)
- a large scarf (have it in your bag – just in case)
- one elegant outfit (for a fancy night out)
- (optional) beachwear for swimming (there are some lakes in Berlin where you can swim)
- bag – when it comes to traveling, I recommend a cross-body bag which makes life easier – though Berlin is safe I would take a bag which has a zipper and protects you better from pickpockets
Other Things to Pack for Berlin
- You might need an international adapter
- Umbrella (take a small one which fits in your bag)
- Detailed Travel Guide
- Sunscreen – just in case 🙂 I am a fan of natural and organic products
- A camera is always a good idea when traveling
What to See and Do in Berlin in 3 Days
How to Get Around in Berlin
Berlin´s public transport is pretty good – if the employees do not strike. You can see many places by using public transport, and since Berlin is geographically quite big, you will – most likely- need to use public transport/use your own/rental car or take taxis.
If you plan to stay in Berlin for a short time, I definitely recommend one of these Hop-on/Hop-off bus tours.
I admit that I do those tours pretty often in cities I can´t spend much time, but want to see as much as possible. The high competition of the bus companies you can bargain at the ticket “office”. They also sell boat tour tickets on the river Spree as well.
Though I even lived in Berlin for a few months (I am originally from Bremen) I did three tours in Berlin over the years and would do them anytime again.
To get your own great deal without having to bargain click here.
Berlin in a Weekend – or in 72 Hours
You could start your trip with visiting Checkpoint Charlie. It is the most famous crossing point between former East and West Germany. The place is full of history.
A museum offers for the history interested many more information about the Cold War and the division of Germany.
If you are looking for an interesting souvenir, you can take pictures with some US “soldiers” (they expect a 2€ donation).
You can either explore the area by yourself or get your own private tour – for more information click here.
The Gendarmenmarkt is very close to Checkpoint Charlie. It is actually one of my most favorite places. Though it doesn’t offer anything in particular, it is very charming, has beautiful architectures and some cafes.
Maybe the most beautiful way to approach the Brandenburger Tor is to walk down Unter den Linden, the main and probably nicest boulevard in Berlin.
The Brandenburger Tor is the most like the most famous landmark in Germany and stands nowadays for peace and unity. Though the place is very touristy, it is a must see. No tourist can leave Berlin without having seen this symbolic structure.
The Holocaust Memorial was created a few years ago and is just a few minutes away from the Brandenburger Tor. It was dedicated to the murdered Jews of Europe during the second World War.
On the way, you will pass the US embassy. Though it isn’t very spectacular, but interesting enough to have a look at.
The Kanzleramt is the official office of the German Chancellor and it is only a stone throw away from the memorial. For the last few years Angela Merkel and her team have been working here.
Talk a short walk to the Reichstag.
2-3 Days in Berlin – the Hippest Capital
A Berlin tour wouldn’t be complete without a stop at the Reichstag, the German Parliament. The meadow in front of the Reichstag invites for a rest and is a great place to have a picnic.
If you are interested to see the parliament from inside and enjoy the view from the glass dome, you have to book in advance.
The Hauptbahnhof (Central Station) is the biggest in Europe and maybe the most modern station I have ever seen.
Boat tours normally start next to the Central Station and will take about an hour. You´ll get the chance to see many sights, but it will not allow you to see the Brandenburger Tor or the Reichstag.
Some cafes line the Spree, and you can have either have a bite to eat or just sit and relax. What I actually like most about Berlin is the amount of cafes and I can’t think of any western metropolis that offers beverages for more reasonable prices.
There is a huge variety and I think there is definitely something for everyone. I love doing a Spree Boat Tour and think, it should be on your list as well.
Schloss Bellevue, the residence of the German President, has seriously the neatest and nicest mowed meadow I have ever seen. It isn’t far from the Central Station and also on my recommendation list, though there isn’t much else to see.
The most famous shopping street is the Kurfürstendamm. Don’t forget to stop by at KaDeWe, the most prominent shopping mall in Germany, hosting many luxury shops.
However, each district has its own shopping mall. If you dislike crowded places check out the arcade in the district near your hotel, there are arcades in almost any district.
A little away from the hustle and bustle is the district Charlottenburg. A great place for strolling and visiting Charlottenburg Palace.
With these tips, you should have great ideas what to see in Berlin in two days if you prefer to travel a bit more slowly then this also makes a great 3 days itinerary for Berlin.
If you have some time left you can do some more fun things in Berlin:
Why not try out a Segway tour in Berlin
Do a Berlin Bike Tour
How to Spend 3 Days in Berlin or How to Spend 4 Days in Berlin
If you have some more time, I definitely recommend visiting the Palace of Sanssouci which is located in Potsdam (about 40km from Berlin). It is a great day (or half day trip from Berlin) and so different to the hustle and bustle of Germany´s capital.
I loved walking around and exploring it by myself, but there are also guided tours available.
I hope, you enjoy Berlin as much as I do every time I visit – and if the first impression is not good, just wait a bit and you might fall in love with Berlin.
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What to See in Berlin – the Hippest Capital
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3 Days in Berlin – the Hippest Capital
“I said I do to Berlin” Read Olga´s post and how she got married to Berlin 🙂