A Weekend in Berlin (Video): How To Make The Most Of 48 Hours In Berlin

December 09, 2018

A weekend is definitely not sufficient for visiting Berlin; however, have you got only a weekend ?, or do you need a quick introduction to the city's best spots ? You're at the right page then!.

This post would help you to discover the best of the German capital, fast-paced in just 48 hours. Here's a sneak preview (1-minute video) 👇

I split my visit into 2 parts: day-time for the Historical Berlin and evenings to visit the modern day Berlin and festivals/food/shopping.

1. Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) 
Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) is a mandatory attraction for the first-timers. This ceremonial monument is the symbol of separation between East and West Berlin, and probably one of the most photographed landmarks of the city! Brandenburg Gate was built in 1788. From then, it has been the backdrop of most of the historical photographs, including Napoleon’s invasions and Nazi parades.

If you’re a check-list ticker, this place might take only a few minutes to click a few snaps of the grand gate. But I would suggest you walk to the tourist information centre nearby and kindle the history behind. Be sure not to miss this spot!

⇨ Address : Pariser Platz, 10117 Berlin
⇨ Opening Hours : Open square, accessible all time
⇨ Admission: Free
⇨ More details at : website - link here

2. Reichstag (National parliament of Germany)
Another very important landmark is the Reichstag, the German Parliament. This Neo-Baroque building dates from 1894 and housed the Imperial Diet until it was damaged in the historic fire of 1933. Later, the building was resurrected as Reichstag -  an emblem of a unified Germany, with a massive glass dome in which you can look down on the debating chamber and view Berlin’s cityscape .

⇨ Address : Platz der Republik 1, 10557 Berlin
⇨ Opening Hours : Glass dome: 08 - 24 daily, last admission 22 hrs
⇨ Admission: Free
⇨ Important!!!: Visitors to the dome and roof terrace need to register in advance. More information and registration: www.bundestag.de

3. Holocaust (Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe)
This place of remembrance, contemplation (and also a warning for the future!) is right next to the Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate.

The German parliament established this memorial in the year 1999 (ofcourse after many debates). There’re 2711 concrete slabs of different heights, open day and night and from all four sides. Underground, you can find a memorial and an information centre displaying details on the victims and the locations.

⇨ Address : Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin
⇨ Opening Hours : Open area, always accessible; Information centre is closed on public holidays.
⇨ Admission: Free
⇨ More practical info at www.stiftung-denkmal.de/en

4. Siegessäule (Victory Column)
The Victory Column – Siegessäule, is another top spots of Berlin. The foundation of columns are decorated with 4 bronze reliefs marking the victory of Prussian military in 4 wars (Schleswig War against Denmark in 1864 - Austro-Prussian War in 1866 - Franco-Prussian War in 1871). These 4 wars are often referred to as “Wars of German Unification” since they united/created today’s Germany as a majestic power under the Prussian crown.

This historical monument became a popular “touristic” place only recently, right after Barack Obama’s speech to 200,000 Berliners from here, on July 24, 2008 - a year before he was elected President of the United States.

⇨ Address: Großer Stern 1, 10557 Berlin
⇨ Opening Hours : April- Oct: Mon-Fri 9.30 - 18.30, Sat+Sun 9.30 - 19.00 ; Nov -March: Mon-Fri 10.00 - 17.00, Sat+Sun 10.00 - 17.30; closed on 24 December
⇨ Admission: €3 per person
⇨ More practical info at website link here
⇨ Tip: If you’re fit enough to climb a narrow & steep spiral staircase of 285 steps, you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city from the top of this victory column. Do You Dare 😊?

5. Potsdamer Platz.
It’s an amazing place where the history and the new construction find place. Still have some parts of the Berlin Wall, mixed-up with all new modern buildings. It’s a great location for shopping, transportation and a little history. There is of course this magnificent SONY Center - worth visiting to enjoy the modern architecture.You may spend the whole evening at/around Potsdamer Platz.

6. Gendarmenmarkt

With wonderful architectures all around, this must be the most beautiful public square in Berlin. There’re so many Classic Open Air series of concerts throughout the summer; and this place will become extra beautiful in winter with grand and charming Christmas markets.

⇨ Opening Hours : Open square, accessible all time
⇨ Address : Gendarmenmarkt 1 , 10117 Berlin
⇨ More details at : website link here 

7. Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral)

Like almost all buildings in Berlin, the Berliner Dom also has a rather eventful history behind it. Once built (1894-1905) as a simple royal parish church, later rebuilt and become the largest Protestant church in Germany today. It was badly damaged in the Second World War and remained closed till 1993. Now the fully renovated church is a well-known landmark that you should visit.

⇨ Opening Hours : Mon-Sat 9-20 (Oct-Mar 9-19), Sun + public holidays 12-20 (Oct-Mar: 12-19)
⇨ Admission Fee: €7 per person
⇨ Address : Am Lustgarten , 10178 Berlin
⇨ More details at : www.berlinerdom.de

8. Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer ( Berlin Wall Monument )

The Berlin Wall Memorial is the central memorial site of German division, located at the historic site on Bernauer Strasse, extends along 1.4 kilometers of the former border strip. The memorial contains the last piece of Berlin Wall with the preserved grounds behind it and is thus able to convey an impression of how the border fortifications developed until the end of the 1980s.

The events that took place here together with the preserved historical remnants and traces of border obstacles on display help to make the history of Germany's division comprehensible to visitors. You’ll leave the place with a heavy-heart for sure!

⇨ Opening Hours : Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6 pm (Visitor Center and Documentation Center); Mondays to Sundays 8am to 10pm (Open-Air Exhibition and Memorial Grounds)
⇨ Admission Fee: Free
⇨ Address : Bernauer Straße 111, 13355 Berlin
⇨ More details at : www.berliner-mauer-dokumentationszentrum.de

9. Check Point Charlie

Once the checkpoint was designated a crossing point for members of the Allied armed forces, and the place of tank confrontation - where American and Soviet tanks took up position and faced each other with weapons primed in 1961.

Checkpoint Charlie has been the setting for many thrillers and spy novels, from James Bond in Octopussy to The Spy Who Came In From The Cold.

⇨ Address: Friedrichstraße 43-45, 10117 Berlin
⇨ Opening Hours : Open area, accessible all time, free
⇨ More details at :website link here

10. East side Gallery

This is not an actual art gallery, rather a 1.3 km long remains of the Berlin Wall. When the divided Berlin was unified in 1990, artists from all over the world came to paint murals on this segment of the Wall.

There are over 100 murals created by artists from 21 countries, reflecting the political changes in Germany and the world at that time. The murals are painted in a wide range of styles, from New York-style graffiti to classic Japanese paintings. Every painting here has a message to deliver, take some time to witness this piece of history.

⇨ Address: Mühlenstraße 3-100, 10243 Berlin, Germany
⇨ Opening Hours : Open area, accessible all time, free
⇨ More details at : www.eastsidegallery-berlin.com

Have you been to Berlin? What did you think? Let me know in the comments.

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  1. I wish I had seen this post before I spent 2 days in Berlin. There are a few places on your list that I missed during my trip. I'll have to go back!

  2. I bet the Holocaust memorial was hard to be at but it looks like it's a great place to go and remember the people who were a part of that time!

  3. I've been all over Europe but not in Germany yet! This summer i am hoping to go there. Beautiful City. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  4. ive never been to Berlin before but this seems like SUCH a great time and ill be adding it to my bucket list thanks to your top 10 things to do!

  5. What a wonderful trip this would be. My family came to America from Austria a long time ago.

  6. the beer, the sausages and the history. you made me miss Berlin so much! love this post!

  7. What a trip, your video is great and has really made me want to see this wonderful city myself. There is so much to see!

  8. Nice post! I have never been to Berlin, only Düsseldorf and Heidelberg several times. My brother spent a weekend there too and liked it!


  9. I've always wanted to visit the Holocaust memorial. Having watched one too many Holocaust/World War 2 documentaries has piqued my interest about Germany.

  10. I love Berlin! I hope I will come back there one day as well!

  11. This is a really nice post. I would love to spend a weekend there, if I do i'll follow your guide.

  12. Europe is full of beautiful cathedrals and this one is no different. Though I’ve toured many cathedrals near Berlin, I have never made it to this one. Thanks for putting it on my radar.

  13. Such a wonderful place. Berlin is one of the places I always wanted to visit. So many beautiful destination to see.

  14. It definitely seems worth to me. Berlin is one of the gorgeous place I've ever seen. Truly a bucket list material.

  15. Berlin looks so grand and royal with such great architecture. I'll remember to check out your itinerary whenever I visit Berlin!

  16. I have never been to Berlin, and don't expect I will ever get the chance to go. But it's nice seeing all the pictures, like a virtual tour. The cathedral is especially beautiful, and the holocaust memorial is sobering and somber.

  17. I've always wanted to go to Berlin!