The Perfect Day in Berlin: A One Day Itinerary

Berlin is a city full of hundreds of legendary landmarks and amazing attractions. From the breathtaking Berlin Cathedral to the photogenic East Side Gallery, the convenient Museum Island to the radiant Reichstag building, and the beautiful Brandenburg gate to the chilling Holocaust Memorial, there are an endless list of places to visit in Berlin. In this post I’ll be guiding you through how to have the perfect day sightseeing throughout Berlin, hitting most of the city’s top spots in less than twelve hours!

8AM – Reichstag Building

Literally meaning parliament in German, the Reichstag has been the home of Germany’s parliament for a few periods since its construction. After the strange fire in 1993, the bombing of Berlin in WWII, and the separation of Germany during the Cold War, the building was in shambles. However, it was recently renovated, and its now very recognizable dome was added to it. This dome can actually be visited, and it is a pretty popular spot for both tourists and locals due to the amazing views it has of the Berlin skyline. Begin your day here at the Reichstag, exploring the building and admiring the great views from the top!

(6 min walk)

9AM – Brandenburg Gate

Located less than ten minutes from the Reichstag you’ll find the Brandenburg Gate, an icon of its city and country. This landmark is without a doubt a must see spot while in Berlin, due to its historical and national significance. While you’re here, take tons of great photos of the beautiful gate and make sure to put down your phone for a bit also admire it through your own eyes.

(5 min walk)

9:30PM – Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

Another quick walk away is the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. This memorial may not be the most fun or happy place to visit, but it is definitely one of the most important and prominent places in all of Germany. Many countries choose to forget or gloss over the mistakes they made in the past, but through Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial Germany remembers and honours the millions who died through the horrid Nazi era. Spend some time here reflecting on the past and keep in mind not to disrespect the memorial at all when visiting.

(20 min walk)

10:15AM – Checkpoint Charlie

Head back out into the streets of Berlin to go on a bit of a longer walk over to Checkpoint Charlie, one of the first checkpoints between the East and West. As the country and city are no longer split, the site of the former checkpoint is now open to public without a wall. However, less than half a decade ago, at the spot of the checkpoint stood the imposing Berlin Wall. To learn more about the history of the wall and the many other checkpoints down it, definitely consider checking out one of the many museums surrounding the attraction. I’d recommend checking out the open-air display of sorts just north of the checkpoint on Freidrichstrasse – this gives you a brief history of Checkpoint Charlie, the Cold War, and the wall.

Read separate blog post about Cold War Era Berlin here.

(30 min walk)

11:30AM – Museum Island

Catch a cab, order an über, or walk over to your next destination, Museum Island! With over five of Berlin’s top museums, and the city’s iconic cathedral, Museum Island is a pretty impressive attraction. Since your itinerary only allows for a short time on the island, choose one specific museum on Museum Island to dedicate your time there to exploring. Your choices include the beautifully designed Alte Nationalgalerie, the history focused Altes Museum, the recognizable Bode Museum, the Ancient Egyptian filled Neuses Museum, and the popular Pergamon museum. With so many differing options, it can be hard choosing which museum to visit. So, if you have more time to spend in the city, I’d suggest coming back to Museum Island another day to have more time to fully explore it.

Read separate blog post about Berlin’s Museum Island here.

(20 min walk)

1:30PM – Alexanderplatz & Fernsehturm

Berlin’s main square, Alexanderplatz, can be found just across the Spree from Museum Island. For some more, slightly different, views of Berlin, head up the 368 metre tall Fernsehturm, an icon of the city. As for lunch, book a reservation for a meal at the tower’s rotating restaurant! If you’d rather stay on the ground though, opt for a meal from one of the square’s many restaurants and cafés.

(6 min drive)

3PM – Berlin Wall Memorial

Next, catch a ride over to the Berlin Wall Memorial. One of the longest still standing sections of the wall in Berlin, this memorial is a very significant landmark. At the site today, you can literally walk through open parts of the main wall between the East and West. The memorial is basically located within the Death Strip, or no man zone, and so you can also see the previous surrounding versions of the wall, built before the final and longest standing one. Devote your time here to exploring the mini open air memorial, with tons of signs explaining the significance of each mini landmark in the memorial, and to remembering those who were affected by the horrid wall when it once stood.

Read separate blog post about Cold War Era Berlin here.

(10 min drive)

4PM – East Side Gallery

Head over to Freichshain to check out the official longest still standing section of the Berlin Wall, as well as the longest open air art gallery in the world – the East Side Gallery! This gallery is an outdoor section of the Berlin Wall, over a kilometre long, that is covered with beautiful murals that each have their own meaning message. Spend your next hour taking an afternoon walk down the gallery, and admire each of the 105 paintings done on the wall. Since they were painted in 1990, they gradually got covered with tons of graffiti, but they were recently redone and are now a lot cleaner and prettier.

Read separate blog post about Cold War Era Berlin here.

(10 min drive)

5:30PM – Hackescher Market

End off your day in Hackescher Market, one of Berlin’s other many squares. There’s tons of restaurant options in the area, from Italian to Korean, so walk around and choose somewhere to stop for dinner. Afterwards, explore the surroundings of the market area, which are filled with tons of different shops and brands, from Muji to Adidas!

Spending more than a day in Berlin? Check out some of my other posts on the city for some more ideas on what to do with your other days in the city.

Best Berlin Day Trips

Berlin’s Museum Island

Berlin’s Olympic Stadium

A Guide to Cold War Era Berlin

The Grey City: A Guide to Berlin, Germany

That’s all for my one day itinerary to Berlin, as well as the conclusion to my Berlin blog series – I hope you enjoyed. I’ll actually be taking a one week break from posting after this, just because my next post is a pretty complicated one! So since I’m pretty busy right now, I need some extra time to work on it. Make sure to look out for that post in two weeks – I’m sure you’ll really like it!

Thanks for reading.

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2 Comments

  1. IC
    August 13, 2018

    I love how you manage to see so many important places in history, yet still have time to shop! That’s my kind of vacation!!

    Reply
    1. Hannah Travels
      August 16, 2018

      Haha, thanks!

      Reply

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