One thing you won’t be in Berlin is bored, especially with only 48 hours on the clock. The vibrant and young city boasts dozens of landmarks and museums that honor its war-torn and tumultuous past, as well as celebrate its multiculturalism and freedom. As any blogger will tell you, Berlin exudes a sexy and chic kind of confidence, something that can only be earned from decades of practice. By day, you can enjoy the sophistication and splendor of European café culture, browse through food markets, dance through music festivals, or stroll through cobblestoned streets. At night, Berlin’s inner punk comes out, giving rise to some of the best techno clubs and nightlife in the world. If you only have time on your trip in Europe for a quick weekend trip, this Berlin itinerary has all the suggestions you need to get the most out of your stay.
Get your steps in strolling around the notable Berlin attractions in the city center and Tiergarten Park.
Morning: See the city’s most famous landmarks around Pariser Platz
Check off half the items on your bucket list in one fell swoop. Any Berlin itinerary is incomplete without visiting the Brandenburg Gate, which has seen it all. The notable structure has survived Napoleon’s conquest of Berlin, both world wars, and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Nearby lies the Riechstag, currently home to the German Parliament. Also of note in the area is the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, a startling and humbling monument in the heart of the city that features a small, free underground museum.
Lunchtime: Try a lunch special in the Mitte district
Who knew that potatoes and vegetables could taste so good? Guess it’s not that hard when they’re seasoned with fresh rosemary and lightly tossed in olive oil, then topped with a heaping mound of melt-in-your-mouth goat cheese. Just an eight-minute walk from the Brandenburg Gate, this district is an area known for its sky-high prices and thick crowds but it’s definitely worth the splurge as it is home to many great cafés and restaurants.
Afternoon: Rent a canoe on the New Lake in Tiergarten Park
It is literally impossible to miss this 519-acre Berlin attraction, thrust into the middle of the city. The park is popular with locals and tourists alike, who come to jog, bike, or picnic along the lake and under the shade of the trees. To escape the heat of the city, take a canoe out on New Lake, then find a cozy grove to close your eyes and rest those weary feet.
Evening: Bar hop in Kreuzberg
Ask any local where to go to find a trendy restaurant or rooftop bar, and they’ll probably answer with the name of a place in Kreuzberg. Recent gentrification has turned the neighborhood into a chic, up-and-coming area with diverse dining options and a rich nightlife. Before you turn in for the night, try a döner kebab or falafel at one of the area’s cheap, late-night food stands.
On the last day of your Berlin itinerary, get a taste for the finer things in life at the palace and on Museum Island.
Morning: Explore the gardens at Charlottenburg Palace
Prussian Queen Sophie Charlotte certainly had an eye for detail. Take a tour of her humble abode, then spend time getting lost in the expansive Charlottenburg Palace Gardens. If you like what you see, consider another day trip to Potsdam, home to 16 other palaces built by the Hohenzollern dynasty.
Lunchtime: Enjoy a Berliner favorite, the currywurst
You go all the way to Berlin, just to eat a glorified hotdog? Yes, but it’s not just any glorified hotdog…it’s a currywurst. Surprisingly, the best thing about this currywurst isn’t its cheap price (usually €2.50)–rather, it’s the culture around it. This glorified hotdog is a classic of Berlin cuisine and your first bite into it will show you why.
Afternoon: Museum hop on a UNESCO World Heritage Site
A one-day Museum Island pass will set you back just €18 and is good for entry into any and all of its five museums—a great deal to see as many Berlin attractions as possible. The Old National Gallery and Bode Museum focus on art and paintings, while the Old Museum and New Museum are must-sees for anyone interested in sculptures and artifacts. Not to be missed is the Pergamon Museum, rounding out the group with an emphasis on archaeology.
Evening: Experience the clubbing scene in Friedrichshain
Once just a space in East Berlin filled with industrial warehouses and power plants, Friedrichshain is the hub of Berlin’s clubbing scene. To experience the true punk culture of Berlin, it’s necessary to make this area a stop during your night on the town. Some of the best DJs in the world are regulars at the neighborhood’s techno clubs. If you cross your fingers, maybe you’ll be lucky enough to see them in action.