Berlin is the capital city of Germany and one of the prettiest cities that is worth visiting! In this 2 day Berlin itinerary I will share sightseeing tips, and other essential information to prepare for your trip. Keep reading our Berlin travel guide below!
2 day Berlin itinerary and travel guide
When visiting Berlin for the first time back in 2017, both my husband and I instantly decided that we needed to make a return visit. The trendy German capital has so much to offer – and once you’ve found your way in this big city, I guarantee Berlin will make your heart beat faster.
There are so many attractions and locations to pack in – so I’ve put together a Berlin travel guide to help you plan your trip.
Why should you visit Berlin?
With its complex past, Berlin has so much to offer to culture lovers and anyone interested in history. Countless museums and monuments commemorate both World Wars and will give you goosebumps.
Contrastingly, Berlin is also infamous for its techno – and you can party any day at literally any given time. If you want to relax and sip something refreshing, you will find cozy coffee bars and great lunch spots on the corner of every street. This buzzing metropolis has something to offer everyone.
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When is the best time to visit Berlin?
The most pleasant time to visit Berlin is anytime between March and September. From October to February, the weather can turn and it becomes very cold and rainy, although Christmas time in Berlin is also lovely!
No Berlin travel guide would be complete without mentioning the Christmas festivities. A Christmas market in Berlin is an absolute must-visit.
The Weihnachtsmarkt on the Gendarmenmarkt comes alive with vibrant live music and street artists. Lucia Weinachtsmarkt is a Scandinavian Christmas market with gorgeous authentic wooden stalls.
And finally, Weihnachtsmarkt Schloss Charlottenburg (Charlottenburg Palace) is beyond any doubt one of the best Christmas markets in Europe. The surrounding buildings are beautifully decorated and you won’t find a more idyllic spot for a Christmas market.
But I suspect you didn’t click on a Berlin travel guide to solely talk about Christmas markets, so let’s chat more about how to spend a weekend in Berlin.
How to get to Berlin?
Berlin Brandenburg Airport is the airport that serves the capital city of Germany. You can easily connect to Berlin from all over the world. You can search for the best flight prices and times on Skyscanner.
When traveling to Berlin from Zaventem, Brussels, you are in the air for about 1 hour and ten minutes. And this is how we flew to Berlin.
From the airport, it takes about half an hour to get to the city center by taxi, which will cost you around €30. The bus is a cheaper alternative and will take you from Berlin Tegel to Alexanderplatz for €10.
Getting around in Berlin
Don’t be too optimistic when it comes to walking from attraction to attraction in Berlin. If you like to venture around a city on foot, you’ll soon feel sore thanks to the dozens of leg miles.
Berlin is definitely too big to explore without some form of transport. I recommend buying a ticket for a hop-on hop-off bus for sightseeing or using public transportation. For a two-day Berlin itinerary, this ticket is great as you will be able to check off all the attractions effortlessly.
Another option is to buy transport passes like Berlin Welcome Card or Easy City Pass Berlin, which gives you discounts on transportation, as well as on entry passes. Check out one of these passes here.
You can also download apps like Free Now or Uber to order a quick taxi.
Where to stay in Berlin Germany
Around 2-4 nights is the ideal length of time to visit the city. If you’re considering a weekend in Berlin, your days will be packed with countless fun activities and must-see tours.
With around 14 million tourists a year, there’s plenty of choices when it comes to hotels and accomodation in this bustling city.
We stayed in The Student Hotel, which was a great base camp to explore the city.
Looking for something fancier? Hotel Q! Berlin is a spectacular, almost futuristic design hotel in Charlottenburg. It has a spa on the ground floor for some urban relaxation.
How to spend 2 days in Berlin itinerary? A weekend in Berlin travel guide
You definitely don’t want to miss these sights and attractions during your trip to Berlin for 2 days.
Day 1 of Berlin itinerary:
Start your Berlin 2 day itinerary at the Alexanderplatz, this is the heart of Berlin where the Weltzeituhr is located.
A clock where you can read the local time of 148 major cities of the world. The square is the ideal base for exploring the city as you can take various buses and trams from here. Do stop for breakfast before starting your day.
Pariser Platz is Berlin’s most famous City Square, and here you will find some of the popular landmarks including the Rococo Charlottenburg Palace commissioned by Queen Sophie Charlotte of Prussia, I mentioned earlier.
Fernsehturm is a must-visit. It is the icon of Berlin, take the elevator to the rooftop and enjoy the panorama. The glass dome offers you a beautiful 360-degree view over the city – so don’t miss it! Book your entry ticket to the Berlin TV tower here.
Next take a look at the Marie-Elisabeth-Lüders-Haus, an architectural masterpiece along the river. A river cruise is a nice way to explore it.
From here, the Reichtag is very close by. I recommend that you book your tickets online a few weeks before your trip. Note that visiting this government institution is completely free but you must register in advance.
Here is a walking tour of the Reichtag along with the government district that is worth booking! Check it out here.
Day 2 of Berlin itinerary:
If you are in Berlin for its history, you will love all the activities set aside for this day.
On day 2 of your Berlin itinerary, you must visit the Berlin Cathedral. It is a monumental German Evangelical church. Berliner Dom is the most famous building in Berlin can be found on Museum Island and is definitely worth an inside visit as well.
DDR Museum is next on the Berlin 2 day itinerary. It is about a few minutes’ walk from the Berlin Cathedral.
The DDR Museum is the world’s 11th most visited museum. It is an interactive museum and is definitely worth a visit to learn about the lives and situations from the days of the German Democratic Republic. You can listen and virtually experience life from those days!
Don’t miss this museum, here is an entry ticket.
If you are interested in history and museums, I recommend spending some time at Museum Island, which is home to many amazing complexes including the Neues Museum and Pergamon Museum. You will need to set aside a few hours to completely explore the island.
- You can visit the Pergamon Museum to discover the Middle Eastern and Islamic Art exhibits. Here is an entry ticket.
- The Neues Museum is home to Egyptian art exhibits and antique collections from early history. Reserve your ticket here.
Then head to the Holocaust Memorial next. This monument, also known as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, has 2711 concrete elements commemorating the victims of the persecution of the Jews during World War II. This was designed by architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold, located near the Brandenburg Gate.
Visit the East Side Gallery which is the largest outdoor gallery in the world. But what makes it extra special is that it is built on a remaining piece of the Berlin wall. These paintings were painted just after the fall of the wall as a symbol of the new era.
Of course, the Berlin Wall remnants. You can still find remains of the concrete wall that divided the city in two until 1989 throughout Berlin so do keep an eye out for that.
Lastly, although a bit touristy you must head to the Checkpoint Charlie.
Checkpoint Charlie is a crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin as it existed during the Cold War. It is something that was labeled by the Western Allies. It is a free site to explore and is a nice Instagrammable spot.
Even though it was frankly a bit of a disappointment for me, you have not been to Berlin if you have not visited this place. It is open 24 hours and is free to visit.
Anyhow, this spot became a symbol of the Cold War which represented the separation of east and west, and it was here that the Soviet and American tanks briefly confronted each other at the location during the Berlin Crisis of 1961.
Other things to do to your Berlin 2-day itinerary
There are so many fun things to do in Berlin, other than the activities listed above, you can also check out the following sites and museums. Feel free to swap them out for any of the items from the 2 day Berlin itinerary,
- Tränenpalast: This is a touching museum about the war that left a devastating impact on the city. The Tränenpalast was a border crossing point. It was meant to check people crossing between the East and West side of Berlin. Today it is a museum with exhibitions about Berlin during the Cold War.
- Wasserturmplatz: Wasserturmplatz is a nice romantic park in Berlin. In here you will also find remnants of the Nazi rule, as it was used for their first concentration camp. You will find a tower, an underground tank, a machine house, a water tower, and a floating house at the park complex.
- Urban Nation: This is a hip art museum with free admission. You will find contemporary exhibitions showcasing street art, and sculpture.
- Alternate Berlin Tour: Alternative Berlin walking tour is a great way to experience Berlin’s neighborhoods of Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, and Neukölln, and more. Do check out this tour here, which I am thinking of doing next time in the city.
As well as the above, be sure to visit Teufelsberg if you can. It is located about a 35-minute drive out of the city center. This special place was used as a Space Station during the Cold War by the NSA and CIA until the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The artificial hill located here also has a dark history – under the hill lay a military-technical school of the Nazis. On top of the hill, the American secret service built one of its largest space stations. It is currently a vacant area where graffiti artists still paint murals every day.
In the east of Berlin, you will find the world-famous Ampelmännchen. It is the German name for the figure on traffic lights for pedestrians, the design refers to the former German Democratic Republic. In the meantime, the figure has become a typical souvenir of the city.
Beyond Berlin, you can embark on day trips to learn about Nazi history.
Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Memorial Tour is one such day trip idea. This tour is done with an expert historian and is a great way to spend 6-7 hours away from the city. You can find more information here.
Berlin Travel Tips: Where to eat and drink in Berlin for your 2-day itinerary
As I mentioned before, Berlin is more than history and Cold War remnants, and the techno, nightlife, and food scene are amazing in the city. Here are some of my favorites from Berlin,
Breakfasts and coffee:
- Oliv: This is a great little place for breakfast. Be sure to go there for breakfast at the Oliv
- Cupcake: Feeling peckish? Have a snack in the Cupcake
- Paper & Tea: Do you love fresh tea as much as we do? Then definitely check out Paper & Tea.
- Sip some coffee at The Barn Roastery or at Happy Baristas
Lunches and dinner:
- Cookies Cream: If you are a vegetarian, head to Cookies Cream for a nice vegetarian lunch
- Monsieur Vuong: Try a Vietnamese lunch at Monsieur Vuong, which is super tasty and very cheap. Make sure you try the Pho meal soups!
- Neni Berlin: Another option is to go for lunch at the trendy Neni Berlin
- Holzmarkt: Buy your own drinks and refreshments and relax with a beautiful view of the water at Holzmarkt
- Spindler: Go for a fancy dinner in Spindler. This place is super nice, but make sure you book your table well in advance to avoid disappointment!
- Monkey Bar: Treat yourself to cocktails in the Monkey bar
- Fleischerei: Indulge in a delicious piece of meat at Fleischerei
Where to party in Berlin?
No trip to Berlin is complete without visiting a club or two. In Berlin, you can party until the early hours, every day of the week. If you’re a techno fan try out Berghain, the world’s most famous techno club – although even getting into this club is an art in itself.
You have a better chance of getting in at Zur Wilde Renate or Tresor, where you can still dance to the best techno beats. It’s mandatory in most places to tape over your phone’s camera when entering a club, as taking photographs is prohibited.
Must Book: Pub Crawl in Berlin
If you are wondering if Berlin is safe, yes it is!
Where to find the best views in Berlin?
Want to get some amazing cityscape photos during your stay? Visit Panoramapunkt to get those all-important photos. You can reserve your tickets online in advance, and enjoy one of the best views of the entire city.
Where to shop in Berlin?
Berlin is just perfect for shopping, so definitely make time for some retail therapy during your stay. There are lots of lovely boutiques in the Alte Schönhauser Straße.
You can also find lots of brands under one roof in the Mall Of Berlin, which makes it perfect for hiding in during rainy moments.
The Hackesche Hôfe is a formerly troubled area within the city center – but it has now been beautifully restored and transformed into a creative modern hub centered around shopping, work, and overall well-being.
The hub is located in the Berlin Mitte quarters, and it will surprise you with several cozy courtyards connecting all the trendy shops and restaurants.
Is Berlin worth visiting?
Yes! Here is why Berlin is definitely worth a visit!
I’ve put together this Berlin travel guide because it’s definitely a place you must visit. What I love most about Berlin is its unique dark side. The city’s walls are covered with the coolest graffiti art, it has an incredible underground techno scene all year round in the most iconic clubs, and there are countless tough hipsters wandering the streets dressed in all black.
Berlin is a city of contrasts. The iconic Berlin Wall and other monuments including a host of UNESCO world heritage sites throughout the city bravely showcase the historic scars of a nation across town.
But at the same time, Berlin offers you the most beautiful museums, delightful vintage market places, cozy waterside terraces, and endless restaurants to enjoy delicious and healthy food.
Although I’m maybe not always the biggest fan of our grumpy neighbors in the East, personally I think Berlin is one of the best cities in the world to visit (and my husband also automatically puts it in his top 3 of favorite cities across the globe!).
To top it all off, Berlin is also actually really affordable. So what are you waiting for…Christmas?
You may also like: Our road trip in Germany.
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