Your Essential Berlin 3 Day Itinerary
Kennedy was, but bist du ein Berliner? Find out what the German capital has to offer you in three days.
Berlin is the ideal place for a city break in Europe. This city is a real box-ticker: must-try local delicacies, rich history, world-famous beer and and some of the most remarkable museums in the world. With the European continent eyeing more flexibility on movement between borders (and steadily increasing the flow of tourists), there may just be some tantalising deals round the corner. For so many reasons (that we're about to dive into – be patient), Berlin should really top your bucket list of destinations to visit.
Here, we’ve set out our essential Berlin 3 day itinerary for your reading pleasure.
Luggage unpacked and nicely settled in, it’s time for breakfast, ja?
Located in Mitte, Zeit Fur Brot is well worth checking out. It translates as ‘time for bread’ (the locals are great at speaking English but we suggest brushing up on a bit of Deutsch). Take a seat outside on the pavement in classic European fashion.
Next, head over to the Brandenburg Gate. Yes, there are the inevitable hordes of tourists packed out front, all looking to take the same god-awful selfie that features more forehead than Gate (probably), but this place is worth it. A lot of history has taken place here. It’s a profound, towering monument that’s an integral part of the city. Don’t miss it.
Continue your stroll into the peaceful Tiergarten. For a city that evokes such strong imagery of grey, oppressive concrete (more on that later), you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find that actually, it’s rather green. Mingle with the locals out on their daily jogs or bike rides along the winding paths, perhaps involuntarily catching a glimpse of the odd nudist, too.
If the weather is exceptional as it so often can be during the summer months, we highly recommend taking a rowing boat out on ‘Neuer See’ lake for an hour (€12). It’s pure bliss. You’ll end up forgetting that you’re slap bang in the middle of one of Europe’s largest capitals. Having worked up an appetite rowing, stop for lunch to sample some ‘proper’ German cuisine at Café am Neuen See.
Here, you’ll find a classic lakeside biergarten with Berliners sprawled out (some of them may even be laughing), enjoying generous pints of crisp German lager and chowing down on German sausage and potatoes, all whilst soaking in the sun and scenery. Allow several hours for this one - you won’t want to leave in a hurry.
With the day drawing to a close, make your way back toward the Brandenburg Gate for a tour of the Reichstag Building - the house of German parliament. Here, you’ll learn all about the infamous 20th century history of Germany. At the top of the building is the Reichstag Dome - a marvel in the world of architecture. The spiralling walkway will transport you from Germany’s past far into the future, with unique 360 degree views of the city as the sun sets.
Note: we recommend booking your tour in advance to ensure you do actually get in for sunset.
For dinner, head to Einstein Unter Den Linden. This stylish cafe-restaurant has a historical feel accompanied by great wine and a range of Bavarian delights. Please, ensure you leave room for the apple strudel. We absolutely insist.
A stroll through the streets of Prenzlauer Berg will see you wind up at Engelberg. Delicious pretzels and traditional Bratwurst for breakfast. No Berlin 3 day itinerary is complete without some indoor options. Today's activities are best served on a rainy day…which we can't promise you won't have in Berlin.
So, head to Museum Island, located in the middle of the River Spree. Enjoy the masterpiece that is the Berliner Dom - Berlin’s answer to St. Paul’s Cathedral. As you probably gathered from the name, Museum Island is also home to many museums. So, take your time exploring one or two of the options here.
The Altes Museum (our favourite) displays Greek and Roman artefacts aplenty and the Neues Museum similarly offers up a history of ancient art and archaeology. There’s also the Alte Nationalgalerie which plays host to the national collection of neoclassical art.
And if you still haven’t completely satisfied your museum hunger, don’t worry. There's an abundance across Berlin. Why not head over the river and enjoy travelling back in time to East Germany at the DDR Museum?
No day is complete without a fine meal, of course. A few of the best dining experiences include Restaurant Facil (run by the talented chef Michael Kempf), Restaurant Tim Raue (upscale eatery with Asian influence) and Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer (creative cuisine from chef Hendrik Otto).
Still raining? See your evening out in style at one of three world-class opera houses (still enjoyable without the rain). There’s the modern Deutsche Oper Berlin, or Berlin State Opera with it’s much more classical facade. Komische Oper Berlin rounds out your choice.
With an array of eggs, chorizo, grilled breads and avocado smattered generously across toast, Silo Coffee is our go-to for breakfast on your final day.
Next, take a walk along the East Side Gallery. Yes, there are even more tourists all jostling for position and the best selfies (perhaps not in this post-coronavirus world), but it’s well worth it. The East Side Gallery is the longest remaining piece of the Berlin Wall and each large, concrete panel plays host to intriguing artwork. What was once a symbol of oppression has been reclaimed by the Berliners.
It’s hard to pick and choose exactly what food makes it into a Berlin 3 day itinerary but Burgermeister gets the nod for lunch. Only in Berlin will you find one of the best burgers in Europe being cooked up in an old public toilet. Yes, really. With the U-Bahn rattling overhead, it’s hard not to feel very, very trendy as you navigate your way around eating one of these sacrificial towers to the God of food.
In the afternoon, discover the history of the Berlin Wall at the Berlin Wall Museum. It’s a bleak but fascinating chapter in the story of Germany, Europe and the world. To really understand this city, you have to know about the wall. No Berlin 3 day itinerary should be caught omitting it.
Rounding off your trip, take a lift up the 368m Berlin TV Tower - the iconic structure that can be seen from just about anywhere at all times. Consequently, it offers the best views of the city. An unforgettable panorama.
Once you’re confident you have enough snaps to share with the kids back home for the next four weeks, and have confirmed several times with the other half that yes, that is ‘where we were the other day’, head one level below the viewing platform to the rotating restaurant sphere. We highly recommend pre-booking this one to ensure you get that window table and dinner with a view. It’s the perfect way to see out your Berlin 3 day itinerary.
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In the south of the city, we have Floating Island. Alternative and mesmerising, Floating Island is a floating artist’s studio and home that’s built to be closer to nature - an urban utopia.
A little further in, why not take it easy in East Side Story? This place was designed by a Columbian/Austrian DJ and music producer to provide a tranquil atmosphere in the heart of all things cool. We particularly like the (often) sun-drenched balcony.
For the artists, there’s Illustrations. Host Kitty is an illustrator, and this is her studio. She’s transformed it into a liveable space, with lots and lots of character.