Day 1 – Take in the main sites
AM – Free Walking Tour
I highly recommend starting the day by embarking on a free walking tour. I used Sandemans free walking tour and they were brilliant. They depart from outside the Starbucks at different times of the day on Unter den Linden (just at the Bundenburg Gate). This tour takes in all the best sites such as Brandenburg Gate, Holocaust memorial, Checkpoint Charlie and Berlin Wall. I was also impressed by the fact that the guide gave out recommendations as to what we should do in the city. After we finished the walking tour, we re-traced our steps back to Bundenberg Gate but this time – taking lots of pictures and spending more time in each one!
PM – Visit Potsdamer Platz and an Open Air Cinema.
I went to two open air cinemas in Berlin – i) Freiluftkino Kreuzberg – Berlins oldest open air cinema in the back of Kunstquartier Bethanien and ii) Potsdamer Platz set in the heart of Potsdamer Platz. I absolutely loved both of them, but if I had to choose one – it would be the one in Potsdamer Platz as its set in the heart of Berlin with an impressively metropolitan backdrop. If you visit this one, you can expect an amazing view! I recommend watching German films with English subtitles to appreciate the local movies. I watched a film called Jack and another called Who Am I? – I watched ‘Who Am I?’ at Potsdamer Platz with my sister and brother – but it didn’t have subtitles. Luckily, my sister made a friend as she was going around Potsdamer Platz station asking ‘who am i?’ to ask for directions to the open air cinema. My brother and I just stood there laughing, as she sounded like a mental person :’) She asked a really lovely woman journalist who actually ended up joining us at the movies and translating the movie for us!
Either before or after the open air cinema, take some time to wonder around Potsdamer Platz, Berlins answer to Times Square.
Day 2 – Visit the Reichstag
AM – Visit the Reichstag
Located just two minutes from the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag is one of Berlin’s ‘must-dos’. Once you get past security, you take the elevator to the top for breath-taking views over the city. I have made a whole blog on tips for visiting Berlin’s Reichstag here.
PM – Badeschiff pool and stroll around Alexanderplatz
I went to Badeschiff pool twice – once with my friend and another with my siblings – I absolutely loved it the first time and had to take them here again. It has such a chilled-out atmosphere.
Alexanderplatz has a really pleasant square in the middle of the city and is one of the most popular sights in berlin. Its central location ensures that is remains the most important landmark of Berlin. It is also home to the Fernseturm (TV-Tower) which is directly next to Alexanderplatz. The TV Tower can be seen from almost any position in Berlin and can be a great meeting-point. We spent a lot of time here shopping at the Galeria Kaufhof! Almost anything you might need can be found in one of the five floors of his huge department store. It’s also home to Saturn, Espirit and Primark.
- Brandenberg Gate
- Museum of the Murdered Jews
- The Reichstag
- The Berlin Wall
- The Former SS Headquarters
- Checkpoint Charlie
- Bebelplatz – site of the infamous Nazi book burning ceremonies, held in May 10th, 1933.
Day 3 – Free Alternative Tour and East Side Gallery
AM – Free Alternative Tour
This is organized by my favourite tour company, Sandeman’s and starts in East Berlin, in front of Starbucks at the Brandenburg Gate. This 3 hour tour covers street art, graffiti and Berlins alternative districts. Stranded behind the iron curtain for nearly 40 years, West Berlin developed its own unique identity and became a magnet for non-conformists in search of an alternative lifestyle. It discusses the development of a unique art and night culture after the fall and reunification. It also goes into details all the protests, riots and demos Berlin has witnessed as well as any controversy, gentrification and urban development.
PM – East Side Gallery and Sony Centre
The East Side Gallery in Friedrichshain is the longest and best preserved section of the Berlin Wall. After walking down the street and taking lots of pictures – return to the city centre and visit the Sony Center. This is one of Berlins most modern and fascinating buildings. There are shops, bars, restaurants and a cinema. As you may know by now, I enjoyed just drinking some coffee and people-watch in the plaza.
You must try Currywurst if you are going to Germany. Currywurst if a fast food dish of German origin and consist of steamed, beef (or pork) sausage and typically cut into slices and seasoned with curry ketchup, a sauce based on spiced ketchup or tomato paste, itself topped with curry powder. Its often served with French fries – its tastes so good!
- Industriapalst Hostel
I stayed here when I came in my interrailing trip and I loved it. It is located in Warschauer Strasse and only a three minute walk from the East Side Gallery. It is a huge complex taking up an old factory. If you prefer your hostels on the funky side, with good facilities and excellent location, then you cant beat this spot. It also in the centre of the nightlife area of Berlin.
- Wombats City Hostel
I stayed here with my brother and sister. We got a private room as my sister was only 16. First and foremost, it was the cleanest and most professional hostel I’ve been to and the hostel staff were really nice. It as an amazing rooftop bar with unbeatable views of the city.