24 Hours in Berlin: A Whirlwind 1-Day Berlin Itinerary
Berlin is the largest city in Germany with approximately 3.7 million people, and it is also the capital. When you think of Berlin, you may conjure up thoughts of World War I, World War II, the Cold War, and the Berlin Wall.
The city has a fascinating history of poetry, music and education in the 1700 and 1800’s and was followed by a series of horrific wars and millions of lives lost in the Holocaust. And rather than being quiet about their sordid past, Berlin seems to embrace it, to learn from past mistakes and ensure they don’t happen again.
Today you’ll find a culturally diverse city bursting with energy and life. This colorful city is filled with delicious food, lively nightclubs, dark speakeasy bars, graffiti art on every surface, quaint boutiques, and people that are open, accepting, and super friendly (but this is Germany so they are still serious rule-followers).
We think you’ll find that 24 hours isn’t nearly enough but if you have to make it a quick trip, follow this 24-hour whirlwind itinerary to get the most out of your time in this spectacular city!
Morning: From Politics To History
Start your day in Berlin with one of the city's landmarks: the Brandenburg Gate. Walk from Pariser Platz under the arch and immerse yourself directly in the history of the divided metropolis. Until the fall of the Berlin Wall, the gate stood directly on the border and was thus the symbol of the east-west separation. But after thousands of GDR and FRG citizens celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall there in 1989, it is regarded as a symbol of the reunification of Germany. Even today it is still a great place to celebrate and rejoice: experience the Brandenburg Gate, for example, at the legendary New Year's Eve party or the Fan Mile for the football World Cup or European Championship.
The Brandenburg Gate
The next stop is the , which is very close by. This is where the parliament, the German Bundestag, meets. But the impressive building is not only open to politicians, but also to the public. It can get very crowded here, particularly at weekends. That's why it's best to register in advance on the website of the German Bundestag to ensure admission. And a visit is well worth it: you can access the dome and enjoy the panoramic view over the whole of Berlin. If you want, you can also register to take part in a 90-minute guided tour of the building on the homepage of the Bundestag.
From the Bundestag you can reach the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in just a few minutes. This modern monument differs from many other sights. You won't find a central building or a sculpture here. Rather, the memorial consists of 2,711 concrete blocks of different heights covering an area of 19,000 square metres. You can enter the memorial from all sides 24 hours a day and let it have an effect on you. The permanent exhibition "Ort der Information" (Place of Information) offers you an in-depth insight.
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Lunchtime: Experience Culture On Unter Den Linden
The famous Potsdamer Platz is buzzing with life. There are also many exciting restaurants to discover here.
Visit Lindenbräu Potsdamer Platz for traditional home cooking.
In Ki-Nova you can try healthy super food dishes and craft beers.
The restaurant Corroboree serves Australian BBQ – including kangaroo fillet.
Those who prefer a more exclusive experience can dine in the starred restaurant Facil.
Fancy ice cream for dessert? Then the best place is the Häagen-Dazs Shop Potsdamer Platz.
Reinvigorated, continue your discovery tour through Berlin's centre. Simply stroll along the magnificent boulevard Unter den Linden and you will automatically pass a number of sights.
The Museum Island is a popular destination for visitors to Berlin. Here you can see the works of world-famous artists in five different museums and immerse yourself in cultures long past.
The Pergamon Museum brings the ancient Orient back to life. Visit the Ishtar Gate from Babylon and the Market Gate of Miletus. The famous Pergamon Altar cannot currently be visited due to the renovation work being carried out, but you will get a good impression right opposite PERGAMON. Masterpieces from the ancient metropolis and a 360° panorama by Yadegar Asisi.
The Bode Museum displays works of art and exhibits from various eras. The highlights are the Byzantine collection with art from the 3rd to 15th centuries, the sculpture collection and the coin cabinet.
The Neues Museum is dedicated to cultural history, housing 9,000 objects from ancient Egypt, antiquity, prehistory and early history. You can also admire the famous bust of Nefertiti in the Neues Museum.
The Neues Museum
In the Alte Nationalgalerie you can see paintings and sculptures from the 19th century. The museum shows masterpieces of many famous painters. Among them are artists such as the German Romantic Caspar David Friedrich and the French Paul Cézanne and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
The Altes Museum exhibits works of the ancient Greeks, Etruscans and Romans. Here you will get a good overview of life and culture in the ancient world. From craftwork and vases to jewellery and sculptures, you will find lots of exciting objects here.
The new visitor centre, the James Simon Gallery, only opened in July 2019. Here you will find a wide range of services and information for your visit. The impressive building was designed by British star architect David Chipperfield.
Tip: With the Berlin WelcomeCard Museum Island you get free admission to all museums and can travel throughout the capital by bus and train free of charge.
Berlin Cathedral is also very close to the Museum Island. Thanks to its magnificent dome, you can see the largest church in the city from far away. If you are already there, you should make sure to take a look inside at the richly decorated interior. Every 20 minutes there are also guided tours of the church, which are included in the ticket price.
Just opposite, the Humboldt Forum opened in 2020: State-of-the-art interactive exhibitions await you on an area of around 30,000 square metres and spread over five floors. At the end of 2021, the world-famous collections of the Ethnological Museum and the Museum of Asian Art will also be on display here.
Up next is the Rotes Rathaus. The seat of the mayor owes its name to the red bricks on the outer façade. And this historic building also receives visitors: the exhibition is open Monday to Friday from 9 am to 6 pm.
The Bebelplatz is also located directly on Unter den Linden. Here you can see many of Berlin’s important buildings, such as the Staatsoper Unter den Linden, St. Hedwig's Cathedral and the Prinzessinnenpalais. A monument below the square commemorates the burning of the books.
Via the Bebelplatz you reach the Gendarmenmarkt. In winter, the WeihnachtsZauber Christmas market attracts visitors and Berliners to the city centre with its lovingly decorated stalls. In summer, the staircase to the concert hall becomes the venue for the popular open-air concert series Classic Open Air.
Evening: Panoramic View On The TV Tower And Dinner
In store for the evening is a side trip to the lively Alexanderplatz. Here you will also find another landmark of the metropolis: the Berlin TV Tower. If you want to experience the breathtaking 360-degree panorama from the rotating viewing platform, you can buy tickets here.
Berlin TV Tower
Treat yourself to a delicious dinner as the crowning glory of your day. A few minutes’ walk from Alex is Hackesche Höfe, with its large number of restaurants set up around the heritage-protected backyards. Here you can try out dishes from many different cultures and countries.
The ChenChe Teehaus serves traditional Vietnamese specialities.
Classic American burgers are on the menu at The Sixties Diner in a stylish atmosphere.
At Yo Soy you can enjoy Spanish tapas and wines.
Authentic Syrian cuisine awaits you in Yarok.
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