Travel 101: How to See Berlin in a Weekend

Berlin is a city filled with immense historical significance, a flourishing art scene, wild nightlife, and is the birthplace of 20th century architecture. In a city filled endless options, how do you decide what to do when visiting for just a weekend? Welcome to my new column on the Blog: Weekend Travel 101. Follow me as I travel through Europe and figure out the best way to see a city in just a weekend. Let’s start out with the fabulous city of Berlin. As I mentioned, Berlin is a city filled to the brim with history and culture, which makes it difficult to narrow down activities to do when planning a trip itinerary. After speaking with locals of Berlin, I decided the best way to see Berlin was to mix in very touristy attractions with activities more off the beaten path. The following is a list of all the places I recommend when visiting Berlin for a very short period of time. Getting there: From Prague, it is very easy to get to Berlin. Take Czech Railways, and you will be able to get there very inexpensively (especially if you purchase tickets online 3 days in advance). The train is only 4 hours and 45 minutes. Day 1 Eat breakfast/brunch at Chipps restaurant. There are two locations, and Chipps has the best brunch I have had in Europe to date. I recommend the orange juice, the eggs benedict, the French toast, and the avocado bread. Yes, I ate all of that (in case you were wondering if that is humanly possible). Next, walk to the Holocaust Memorial, the ‘Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe’. It is a very powerful memorial, so take your time walking through it and appreciating what it stands for. After, walk over to the Brandenburg Gate.  It is just one block away. On your way there, peek into the US Embassy– there is some very cool art. After the Brandenburg Gate, touring the Reichstag is necessary. The Reichstag is located right across the street from the Brandenburg Gate. The Reichstag is the meeting place for the German Parliament, and is one of the coolest buildings you’ll ever see. From the top, there is a phenomenal view where you can see a 360 of all of Berlin. In order to tour the Reichstag, you must make a reservation ahead of time. These reservations fill up fast for peak tourist times, so when planning a trip to Berlin, make sure you do this before you leave so that you can go there at a time most convenient to you. Afterwards, you may want to head to a museum or two that speaks to your own particular interests. If you are at all interested in architecture, I recommend the Bauhaus Archive. If you are interested in history, go to the Topography of Terror, a very informative and well-done exhibit on Nazism. On your first night, go to the Platznerberg area and walk around. The area has a very trendy feel, and is filled with great restaurants. Pick one that catches your eye for dinner! After dinner, if you’re looking to go out, head to Chalet or Berghain. Berlin has a very exclusive club scene, so make sure you dress really casual chic and tone down any English speaking while in line to increase your odds of getting in. Day 2 Make your way to the East Side Gallery. This was my favorite part of Berlin- beautiful street art painted onto the Berlin wall. Go here before noon so that the sun hits the wall from the right angle. At the end of the gallery there is a little Rastafarian hang out spot. While not for everyone, this was a very interesting location to stroll into for a couple minutes, listen to some music, look at the art, and hang out. At the other end of the gallery there is a little restaurant Yaam where the mango beer was to die for. Grab one and sit along the water to enjoy it. For another great view of Berlin, go to the top of Fernsehturm (the TV tower). The line to go up can get really long so this is also something you should look into buying tickets online for. You can eat at the top of the tower if that interests you. Right next to the TV tower this are some fun trampolines and unique playground games that are great to check out. Afterwards, go to the Mauerpark flee market. I truly recommend getting lost in this flee market for a good part of the day. Not your average flee market, there are lots of vintage clothing and antique venders, as well as an amazing selection of food vendors with every type of food imaginable. There is also a spanning park with lots of live music and talent shows. Grab some food and go sit in the park- relax and enjoy the atmosphere. It is a great cultural emersion experience, as these flee markets are not very touristy. That night for dinner, go to Mondo Pazzo for delicious Italian food. Order the muscles and the truffle pasta. There you have it! There are a million different things to do in Berlin, and this list mentions just a few. However all together, you will leave Berlin with a great taste for all areas of the incredibly progressive yet historical culture of Berlin.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *