Berlin is a great city for all young people, backpackers, travellers and of course techno lovers. With its cool vibe, great restaurants, galleries, vintage shops, hip hostels and rich nightlife, it is definitely a place you should visit.
If you only have one day to explore Berlin on your layover, Eurotrip or just a short weekend getaway, here are some tips on what to see and where to go, to have the ultimate Berlin experience and see all the important historical spots.
Getting Around Berlin
Let’s start with the most obvious. Getting around Berlin to save time and see the most in short amount of time. Berlin public transport is convenient and pretty cheap. A day ticket (Tageskarte) is the way the go, as it allows you to travel on S-Bahn, U-Bahn, buses and trams during the whole day for as many trips as desired. It is valid from its the day of its validation until 3 a.m. the following day and costs €7 in tariff zone AB (city centre). I strongly recommend you to download the BVG app with routes and timetables.
Brandenburg Gate is possibly the most famous landmark in Berlin. It was built in the late 1700s and now represents a symbol of European unity. Although during the Cold War it stood between West and East Germany as a symbol of division.
Right behind the Brandenburg Gate, after a short stroll through the bigger park in Berlin Tiergarten, you will find the Reichstag. This building is the seat of the German parliament and has been the place of many important moments in German’s history.
The Holocaust Memorial
The Holocaust Memorial was built to remember Jewish people who were killed in the Holocaust. The grid of 2.711 concrete slabs that vary in height was designed by Peter Eisenman and Buro Happold. An attached underground “Place of Information” holds the names of approximately 3 million Jewish Holocaust victims. It also contains and displays some of the most important moments of the Holocaust.
Topography of Terror
The Topography of Terror is a museum that sits on the site of the Gestapo and SS Police’s former headquarters during World War II. You can learn here about the atrocities committed by those German officers that once worked at this very site.
Checkpoint Charlie was a crossing point between East and West Germany. It was military operated by the United States during the Cold War. You can see a replica of the checkpoint with the sign ‘You are leaving the American sector.’
This former West Berlin neighbourhood drew immigrants, hippies, artists and squatters while the city was divided. It feels more gentrified and upscale these days but still has a revolutionary streak. Visit Kreuzberg for hipster artsy types for brunch, check out the galleries, parks and nightlife.
East Side Gallery
The East Side Gallery is a 1,3 km section of the Berlin wall painted by different artists from all over the world. It is the largest open-air gallery in the world.
The Berliner Dom is a cathedral at the Museum Island, that dates back to 1415. You can tour the cathedral as well as visit the adjacent Cathedral Museum.
Bonus if you still have more time: Museum Island is home to five of the city’s most prominent museums. The architectural achievement of the buildings and the amount of history located inside their walls has made Museum Island a UNESCO World Heritage site. To learn more about the five museums and Museum Island’s artistic green space, go here.
Have you ever been to Berlin? Which part of the city was your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.