13 Best Things to do in Berlin

3 Days in Berlin

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.

If you plan to visit Berlin, Berlin is definitely a place for your bucket list, and are ensure how long to visit Berlin and about the main tourist spots of Berlin, then this post will help you to find out about the

  • Important travel information for Berlin (where to stay, how to get around, and other important Berlin stuff)
  • Best Things to do in Berlin in 3 days
  • Best Things to do in Berlin in 2 Days

Are two days in Berlin enough? Well, Berlin is huge and so 2 days in Berlin is not a lot of time but enough to visit the most important sights:

What to do in Berlin in 2 days  or 3 (and at the end of the blog post you find a day trip from Berlin so it is actually 3 days in Berlin)? Keep reading to find out.

Why Visit Berlin?

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. Eventually, I liked it so much that I lived there for a few months and I enjoy to return once in a while.

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.

Find out

How to Get to Berlin

Where to Stay in Berlin

Where to Eat

What to Pack / What to Wear in Berlin

How to Get Around

What to See in 2 Days in Berlin

What to See in 3 Days in Berlin

A Day Trip Idea from Berlin

Brandenburger Tor at night @shutterstock
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Brandenburger Tor at night @shutterstock

How to Get to Berlin

Flight

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.

Check out the Best Flight Fares

Train

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.

Check out the Best Prices for Train Rides

Car

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 Stay 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.

Click here to find the best Berlin accommodation for yourself – for the best price

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.

Footwear

Clothing

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.

  • T-shirts
  • Shorts / Jeans
  • Skirts / Maxidresses
  • Jacket
  • 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)
  • Sunglasses
  • (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

Tours in Berlin

Most of my tips are free or do not cost much. However, there are also guided tours available – and I admit, I enjoy guided tours once in while, so I added suggestions for tours in Berlin as well.

I mostly use GetYourGuide to Viator when booking tours – both are good websites, but lately, I prefer GetYourGuide a bit over Viator and so you will find more links to that (if you have not tried out GYG give it a go), just click on the links/tours to find out more about the best tours and activities in Berlin.

What to See 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 3 Days

Day 1 in Berlin

Checkpoint Charlie

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.

Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin
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Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin

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.

Okay, here are more places to see in Berlin in 1 day.

Gendarmenmarkt

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.

Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin - what to do and see
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Gendarmenmarkt in Berlin @shutterstock

Brandenburger Tor

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 beautiful Brandenburger Tor in Berlin - a must-see place in Berlin
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The beautiful Brandenburger Tor in Berlin – a must-see place in Berlin @shutterstock

The Brandenburger Tor is the most like the most famous landmark in Berlin or probably in all of 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.

On a sunny day (or even on some rainy days) you will find street artists performing – giving this place an extra cool touch  – it is definitely one of the best place to visit in Berlin (this is a place you have to visit even if you stay in only 1 day in Berlin).

Holocaust Memorial

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.

Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, Germany
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Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, Germany

On the way, you will pass the US embassy. Though it isn’t very spectacular, but interesting enough to have a look at.

This day will be a busy day and it is not over yet – Berlin has so many points of interest and you´ll find so many great places that you should not stop here on day 1, but keep exploring more of Berlin.

Kanzleramt

The Kanzleramt is the official office of the German Chancellor and it is only a stone throw away from the memorial, so you can walk to the Kanzleramt which has been the official office of Angela Merkel, our kind of prime minister/president.

Kanzleramt in Berlin, Germany
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Kanzleramt in Berlin, Germany

Reichstag

From there, head to the Reichstag. It is a short walk and no taxi or bus is required.

Bundestag in Berlin, Germany
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Bundestag in Berlin, Germany

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.

Der Bundestag - The Parliament. If you have time visit the Bundestag (free entry)
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Der Bundestag – The Parliament. If you have time visit the Bundestag (free entry)

Okay, day


1 in Berlin was quite busy and the 1 day itinerary for Berlin might have been stressful but with this itinerary for you covered many great places in Berlin.

Day 2 in Berlin

Hauptbahnhof

The Hauptbahnhof (Central Station) is the biggest in Europe and maybe the most modern station I have ever seen. If you arrive by train you might have no need to come back, otherwise it is an interesting place in Berlin and a good starting point to exploring more of Berlin.

Central Station in Berlin, Germany
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Central Station in Berlin, Germany

Boat Tour

One of the best things to do in Berlin in 3 days, is to hop on a boat tour and do a Spree tour (that is the river in Berlin) – I love doing a Spree Boat Tour and think, it should be on your list as well. Also, after a busy day 1 in Berlin you have deserved to take a rest.

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.

Spree Boats Tour in Berlin, Germany
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Spree Boats Tour in Berlin, Germany

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.

More Places to Visit in Berlin in 3 Days

Here are more places to see in Berlin in 2 days.

Schloss Bellevue

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 2 day itinerary for Berlin, though there isn’t much else to see.

Berlin, Schloss Bellevue in Berlin
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Berlin, Schloss Bellevue in Berlin

Kurfürstendamm

Even if you are not into shopping, checking out the most famous shopping street, Kurfürstendamm, is one of the best things to do in Berlin in 2 days. 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.

Fernsehturm

Extra tip: If you have some spare time on day 2 in Berlin, check out The Fernsehturm is one of the highest television towers in Europe and offers a unique panorama view. If you want to skip the lines and get up you can check out prices here. I visited once and it definitely a great way to enjoy good views over Berlin.

The Fernsehturm is one of the highest television towers in Europe
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The Fernsehturm is one of the highest television towers in Europe @shutterstock

There is also a restaurant, though we did not eat there, I can definitely recommend visiting this Berlin tourist attraction.

More Places to Visit in Berlin in 3 Days

If you have 3 days in Berlin, you could take your time to enjoy the above mentioned Berlin activities a bit more OR you can squeeze in a bit more – believe me Berlin has a lot to do and a little away from the hustle and bustle is the district Charlottenburg. A great place for strolling and visiting Charlottenburg Palace.

Though visiting did not take us a full day, it is a great place to see and afterwards you can plan in some time to explore one of Berlin´s other cool districts like Kreuzberg, Hackescher Markt or Prenzlauer Berg.

With these tips, you should have great ideas what to see in Berlin in three days if you prefer to travel a bit more slowly then this also makes a great 4 day 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

Looking for a Cool Day Trip From Berlin?

If you have some more time (ideally at least 4 days in Berlin), 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.

Schloss Sans Sauce in Potsdam
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Schloss Sanssouci in Potsdam

I got there by car but it is easy to get there by public transportation or do a guided tour.

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.

Check out the best prices for flightshotels I activities and tours in Berlin

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means I might earn a small commission when you buy a product/service (at no extra cost to you). More about it here.

Safe Travels, Arzo
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Safe Travels, Arzo

Do you have any more tips for Berlin tourists? Feel free to comment and add.

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I said I do to Berlin” Read Olga´s post and how she got married to Berlin 🙂