How to spend a perfect day in Berlin, Germany
Recently, I had the chance to spend a day in Berlin, the capital of Germany. I was there for a whole weekend, but only had one day to explore the city. It was a bit unexpected, as I planned to attend some workshops on both days, Saturday and Sunday! Somehow, I failed to buy a ticket for two days, and suddenly, I had an entire day off.
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You could imagine that I did not know at all what to do with all the free time. I mean, what would you do? Of course, you would take the chance and discover a little bit of this city, would not you? So did I!
One thing you should keep in mind is that one day only is not enough to get the full Berlin experience. There are plenty of things to do, and even if you spend a couple of days, you might not be able to do them all.
At least you can try to have the best day in Berlin you possibly can have!
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Where to stay
First things, first! Find yourself a pleasant place to stay. Because my trip to Berlin was more of a journey on a budget rather than a luxury stay. Therefore I checked in one of the many hostels. The Generator Hostel, which sits in “East Berlin’s most laid-back neighborhood, Prenzlauer Berg. The hostel is clean, safe, and the check in and out procedures are straightforward. Its location is close to the Landsberger Allee S-Bahn and Tram station. From both, you are almost everywhere in town in a few minutes.
What to do!
In the morning!
Start your day in Berlin with a proper brunch at the Buchkantine. It is a mixture of a bookstore and a bistro situated in another district of Berlin – Moabit. From 10-14h you can have everything you need for your first meal of the day, like fruit, eggs, bacon, porridge and many more. And if you love reading, you can easily find and buy a gem in the bookshop and spend your time reading while having breakfast.
Buchkantine at Dortmunder Straße 1, 10555 Berlin. Opening Hours Bistro: Daily from 10-22h, and the Bookstore weekdays from 10-18:30 and Saturdays from 10-17h.
In the afternoon!
Although you can easily spend the entire day at Buchkantine, you might want to see a little bit more of Berlin, if you are already here, right?
Moabit has a lot of things to offer, which you can do. Both Tiergarten and the central train station are close to here, and from both locations, you can find more places to visit. I found an article with more details and a great list of things to do and place to visit in Moabit. Just follow the link by clicking here! This district is indeed worth to visit, and I put it into consideration for my next visit.
My way led me to the central station and from there straight into the Government District.
The best way to get around the city is by public transport: buses, subways, suburban trains or more possibilities. Together with your Berlin Pass you also have a travel option. In this case, you can go around using your Berlin Pass.
Explore the Government District
The site of the German Government is home of the Reichstag, the Bundesrat Building, the German Chancellery, Schloß Bellevue (home of Germany´s President) and other buildings of the German Government.
The heart of this district is the Reichstag, where you can find the iconic glass dome at the top of it. You can book a tour of the Reichstag and also the roof terrace. According to their description, it offers fantastic views of the city.
Unfortunately, this is nothing for an impromptu visit. Usually, it is better to register in advance. Nevertheless, there is a possibility to get a ticket for the tour near the site. But even then you have to buy it at least two hours in advance and only if there are some free spaces available. Better you know that you will go to Berlin and prepare your visit to Reichstag in advance.
With this in mind, I wandered around the building and took a lot of pictures from the outside. I pictured and wondered about the glass dome, the Renaissance, Baroque Revival, and Postmodern architectural facades.
2. Federal Ribbon
If you walk around the Reichstag, you will come across the “Federal Ribbon.” The buildings of the government form a bridge over the river Spree which symbolizes the reunion of East and West. It is a fascinating mixture of modern architecture and German history. And you can walk alongside the river or sit there, relax, and read a book at the promenade of the river Spree.
3. Brandenburg Gate
Close to Reichstag, you can find the Brandenburg Gate, which is also one of the famous and most photographed landmarks in Berlin. It is one more symbol for the reunification of East and West Berlin and Germany.
The Gate is built of sandstone and is one of the earliest and most attractive buildings of neo-classical architecture in Germany.
4. Unter den Linden
You can find the Brandenburg Gate at the top of Unter den Linden, an avenue surrounded by historic buildings. It got its name from the lime trees, which lines the street. The boulevard takes you from the Brandenburg Gate to the Berliner Dom.
1.5 km long, you can stroll alongside landmarks like the Berlin State Opera, Humboldt University, Neue Wache, and the Zeughaus. Of course, you will have a variety of possibilities to recharge your batteries at loads of restaurants, cafés, and shops.
5. Holocaust Memorial
At the south of the Brandenburg Gate, you will find the Holocaust Memorial. 2,700 concrete columns in varies heights are arranged in rows. It is a “place of contemplation, a place of remembrance and warning.”
6. Alexanderplatz and TV Tower
One more landmark to visit on your day in Berlin is for sure Alexanderplatz, which is a popular public space in former East Berlin and home of the famous Berlin Fernsehturm (TV Tower). If you go to the top a breathtaking 360-degree panorama of Berlin awaits you, including an observation deck, a bar, and a restaurant. Ticket prices start at 15.50€.
If you visit Berlin and have more time available than just one day, make sure to relive the cold war at the former Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie. Visit the DDR Museum and many more to understand Berlins and also German history. All of these attractions are also part of the Berlin Pass.
In the evening!
After a day full of sightseeing, strolling the city, and maybe a glimpse of history, it is time to finish the day by relaxing in one of the many restaurants and bars in Schöneberg.
Lucky me, a friend of mine found some time spontaneously and showed me around beautiful Schöneberg. We had dinner at Chay Village, a vegetarian Thai restaurant. Afterward, we strolled through the streets of the district. It is so easy forgetting time by “crawling” your way from one bar to the other.
Did you know that Schöneberg was the home of David Bowie when he stayed here more than just a day in Berlin?
More details like this, of what to do and where to eat and drink you will find at the blog www.iheartberlin.de
My 2 cents!
I have to say that as unexpected this day came along, as fantastic it was in the end. I met some friends and also new people in the morning, spend a few hours exploring the city, or at least, a tiny piece of it, and met one more friend in the evening.
Have I mentioned that I was never a Berlin fan? From my point of view, it is too big. You can easily spend your time in the same district you live for years without leaving it to explore other parts of the city. Within a specific area you can, of course, walk as much as you like. However, usually, to go from one district to the other, you always need to take the tube, the S-Bahn or a bus. It is an unusual concept for me because here in Düsseldorf you can easily walk also to reach the different quarters.
On the other hand, Berlin also has a unique charm. It offers many different ways and opportunities to spend your time. From history and art on the one side to a wide range of food and drink options, to a lot more things to do and spending your leisure time. And I have not started yet talking about the nighttime. But be aware of the “Berliner Schnauze.” Do not worry about people who seem to be rude and impolite as they usually do not mean it. It is only their pretty rough but unique charm.
Pin it for later!
In the end, I was very grateful that I had the opportunity to experience the city. I want to come back one day! I have to! There are friends to visit and so many more things to see and do in this incredible city. If you have a chance, you should stay for more than only one day in Berlin.
Do you have plans to visit Berlin as well? Or did you already visit? Leave your suggestions and recommendation of how to spend a day in Berlin in the comments!