Berlin in a Day

One in a series, Berlin in a Day.

I have a unique perspective on Berlin, as I called it home. Though I could share enough activities to fill a jammed packed two week vacation, the reality is that most visitors have just a few days or even a single day to spend exploring Berlin. With a tight schedule in mind I’ve created a single day itinerary to give visitors a taste of the Berlin I love.

Berlin Bradenburg Gate
The Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.
Photo Credit Lisa Overman

Start your morning at the Brandenburg Gate, where an early arrival will assure you get a few photos without groups of people standing in your shot. While you’re there walk along toward the Reichstag and look for the line of bricks along the street that signify where the wall once stood. The bricks run in both directions along the street/sidewalk, on the side of the gate closest to the Reichstag and Tiergarten. *If time allows explore the 360 degree view from the roof top patio at the Reichstag. It is memorable on a clear day.

The Berlin Wall Memorial is a must visit stop while in Berlin. This memorial offers a realistic view of what life was like for citizens while the wall stood between East and West Berlin. Here you can see a preview of the Berlin Wall Memorial from Youtube.

One view of Alexanderplatz fountain with the open square in the background.

Berlin Alexanderplatz
Photo Credit Prasad.Om Flickr

Alexanderplatz offers a taste of East German architecture and a slice of East Berlin history, mixed with cafes, trendy clubs and restaurants. Here you’ll discover the world clock and the East Berlin T.V tower. Experience a preview of Alexanderplatz from Youtube.

Nikolai Quarter, near Alexanderplatz has put the emphasis on recreating the history of Berlin. Berliners have really infused creativity in bringing to life this former DDR part of Berlin. This area was famous in the earlier years of Berlin’s history. The Baroque architecture and cobbled streets give you the feel of what medieval Berlin may have been like.

A Traditional German Lunch With the Feel of a Lodge

After a morning of exploring the history and culture of Berlin there is nothing better than a relaxing lunch. Enjoy the Schwarzwaldstuben which cooks traditional German dishes and offers a warm relaxing lodge atmosphere in the city.

Berlin in a Day, The Afternoon

Checkpoint Charlie Here you can see a model of what the check point going in and out of East and West Berlin would have looked like. There is also a museum which details the history of those who escaped as well as those who lost their lives trying to escape. If you want to really enjoy the musuem without being rushed, give yourself 90 minutes.

Prenzlauer Berg Beer Garden
After a day of exploring Berlin there is nothing better than a relaxing afternoon/evening in an outdoor beer garden. Prater Garten in Prenzlauer Berg has been serving beer in Berlin since 1837, they are the oldest beer garden in Berlin. Tip They only accept cash. They offer a variety of Bratwurst and snacks in the garden, as well as four types of beer and two specialty beers which are Berliner Weisse Rote and Radler. They also offer wine and alcohol free beers as well as sodas and juice. There is a restaurant on site for more extensive meal options. After dinner you can explore more of the Prenzlauer Berg district.

Berlin Beer Garden

Photo Credit Oh Berlin.com Flickr


View Larger Map
I’ve created a google map of this day exploration of Berlin.

Clubs

For those who love trendy, late night clubs a local friend recommends Watergate a Techno Club in Kreuzberg on Falckensteinstrasse 49. There will be a line to get in that can be lengthy. Floor to ceiling windows overlooking the Spree River offer a fantastic view. The club is split level, and offers space for 500 with big name DJ’s from international Techno labels on the weekend. For those who want to stay through the night, the sunrise view of the Spree is supposed to be stunning.

Affordable and Fun Places to Stay in Berlin.

Raise a Smile Hostel is located in the heart of East Berlin. It is run as a part of a Zambian children’s charity. All profits from guest stays go to the charity. The hostel received a 2010 1rst Germany Award. The hostel is decorated in a Zambian theme to raise awareness of Zambia. Dorm rooms start at $9.90 Euro a night, while a double room comes in at $19.90 per person, per night.

East Seven Berlin Hostel is centrally located between Mitte and Prenzlaur Berg districts. Named as a Top Ten Hostel twice in 2010, it is close to public transportation and a great place to stay. In May dorm room beds go for $18 Euro per night, and a private double room goes for $26 Euro per person with a shared bathroom.

Berlin is a city of diversity which offers history, culture, art, food and architecture to wow your senses. For that reason I’m writing a series of posts called Berlin in a Day; these posts will each focus on a different feel of the city, to give you the visitor a taste of the Berlin I’ve come to love. Check back in the following weeks and I will be posting new Berlin in a day itineraries.

Other posts on Germany that you may enjoy. Hiddensee, photo memories of the Baltic Sea and Lubeck, a historic destination in Germany as well as Dinkelsbuhl on the Romantic Road in Germany.

Germany’s Culture Starts With the Food and Drinks

Even those who’ve never stepped a foot in Germany realize it’s a country known for exceptional beer. It’s also known for many culinary pleasures that will sustain you as you traverse the country and learn about it’s history and culture.

One of my favorite rustic German dishes is Kase Spatzle. This hearty noodle dish is made with small, thin noodles, grated Swiss cheese and is often garnished with crispy onions and chunks of ham.

Kase Spatzle

Kase Spatzle

Flickr Photo HealthServiceGlasses

Dessert

Rote Grütze is hands down my favorite German dessert. Just writing this post and looking for a photo had me wishing to enjoy this delicious dessert once again. Rote Grütze is made by cooking fresh red summer berries, such as raspberries, cherries and strawberries with sugar, cornstarch and a little water until they reach a soft thick consistency. The dessert can be topped with either fresh cream or a creamy warm vanilla sauce.

Rote Grutze

Rote Grutze

Flickr Photo Like the Grand Canyon

Regional Favorites
Visitors to Germany often enjoy trying regional favorites. My favorite Berlin drink is the Berliner Weisse Rote. This is made by mixing German beer (typically a Berliner Beer) with raspberry syrup. It tastes refreshing and a bit sweet. It is an absolute taste of Berlin and will be found on many Berlin menus. This particular Berliner Weisse Rote photo was taken overlooking the lake at Wansee, which is a wonderful escape from the city when the temperatures are warm.

Berliner Weisse Rote
Berliner Weisse Rote
Flickr Photo Electricblue