Berlin is the extraordinary capital city of Germany. I say extraordinary because it truly is unlike any other city in Europe. We recently spent a bit of time in Berlin and were amazed by how much there is to do. With this in mind, 2 days in Berlin might not seem like a lot of time; however, with some careful planning, you’ll get to cover plenty of the highlights. That’s why we’ve put together this 2 day itinerary for Berlin. So that you can spend less time planning and more time enjoying the city.
What’s remarkable about Berlin’s appeal, is well, at a glance it’s actually quite unremarkable. The city feels and looks very industrial. There are no quaint cobbled streets like Prague, no impressive skyscrapers like London, and no fairy tale castles like Budapest. However, once you start peeling back the layers, you’ll realise there is so much more to Berlin than meets the eye.
If you’ve visited other areas of Germany, it would be wise to leave any expectations you might have for Berlin at the door. Whereas the rest of the country is generally quite conservative, Berlin is a liberal and open-minded society that welcomes diversity. It’s this relaxed attitude that attracts young writers, creatives, hippies, and ravers from all over the world, as well as a huge LGBT+ community who all feel at home in the eclectic city.
So here we have it, our suggested 2 Day Itinerary for Berlin. We also include where to stay and where to eat, as well as the hottest nightlife and all of our top tips for exploring the city.
2 Days in Berlin – The Best 2 Day Berlin Itinerary
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Is 2 Days in Berlin enough?
What’s important to remember when planning your trip is that tourists visit Berlin for several different reasons. Where the city may lack in cosmetics, it makes up for in culture, art, nightlife and adventure. Not to mention Berlin is a mecca for history lovers. It’s impossible to experience it all in 2-days, so we encourage you to plan your Berlin itinerary wisely, taking into consideration what you want from your trip.
To try and help make things easier, I will supply two separate itineraries for 2 Days in Berlin. Itinerary 1 will cover the touristic spots in Berlin – the places you’ll find on every travel blog and guide book. Whereas, Itinerary 2 will explore the more alternative side to Berlin – think abandoned places and urban exploring. The aim is to give you an insight into both sides of the city, so you can decide what you want to see on this particular trip.
Follow our itineraries as they are, or mix and match them for your own personalised 2 Day Berlin Itinerary. Either way, you are guaranteed to love what this fun, vibrant, and eclectic city has to offer.
Best Things to see in Berlin in 2 Days
There is a lot to cover in this Berlin itinerary & guide. So, for those who may have limited time to read, here is a taster of the best things to see in Berlin in 2 days.
- Appreciate the street art at East Side Gallery
- Go on a free walking tour of the city
- Enjoy a peaceful sunrise at Brandenberg Gate
- Pay your respects at the Jewish Holocaust Memorial
- Marvel the Unesco Buildings on Museum Island
- Enjoy a picnic on the abandoned Tempelhof runway
- Explore the alternative Raw Gelande district
- Take an underground tour at the Berlin Unterwelten Museum
- Party the night away at world-famous club Berghain
- Delight in Street Food Thursdays at Markthalle Neun
- Snap some photos at the best photography spots in Berlin.
Where to Stay with 2 Days in Berlin
During our time in Berlin, we stayed at the Three Little Pigs Hostel. We chose this hostel in particular because of its convenient location and laidback vibe. Overall, we were happy with our stay and would recommend it if you are looking for somewhere affordable and centrally located.
I will recommend some other options below, but where you stay will highly depend on your budget and interests. Here is a little guideline to the best places to stay in Berlin to help get you started.
- If you plan to do lots of sightseeing in Berlin, you should consider staying in Mitte. Many of the top tourist attractions are in this area, and there are plenty of affordable options. Check the latest rates and availability for Mitte accommodation here.
- If you are in Berlin to party the night away, you will want to stay in Friedrichshain. Here you’ll find the creative side of Berlin alongside all the top techno clubs. It’s also very affordable in this area, so a popular choice among the backpacker crowd. Check the latest rates and availability for Friedrichshain accommodation here.
- For a calmer alternative vibe, you are sure to love Kreuzberg with its hipster cafes, trendy nightlife and beautiful parks. Check the latest rates and availability for Kreuzberg here.
- To be in the heart of Berlin’s LGBT+ scene, you need to stay in vibrant Schoneberg. Check the latest rates and availability for Schoneberg accommodation here.
Unique Hotels in Berlin
Unsurprisingly, there is no shortage of accommodation options in Berlin. You can click any of the location links above to search for hundreds of hotels, hostels, and guesthouses in the area. To keep things interesting, here I suggest some of the more unique places to stay in Berlin. Places that I believe reflect the edgy character of the city.
Hostel $: Generator Hostel Berlin Mitte
Just because you’re on a budget, it doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice on style in this city. This trendy hostel set in the heart of Berlin Mitte combines contemporary art with a sleek & stylish design to create an inviting environment for guests of all ages. Expect divine comfort in the affordable dorms and private rooms, while the chic bar and library areas are ideal for chilling out.
Budget $: The Circus Hotel
A fun and stylish boutique hotel, The Circus is ideal for couples or friends travelling on a budget. Set on the Northern Edge of Mitte, it’s in the perfect location for sightseeing, with several attractions within walking distance from the hotel. Each room is unique and charismatic, with edgy quirks designed to stand out from the crowd. A popular choice in Berlin, therefore booking in advance is recommended.
Mid-Range $$: The Michelberger Hotel
Located in the hipster district of Kreuzberg, The Michelberger Hotel is every bit as stylish as the neighbourhood. Within walking distance of the East Side Gallery & bustling nightlife, this is an ideal choice for those looking to party & explore the alternative side to Berlin. Capturing the creative side of the city, we are living for the artistic and imaginative guest rooms. Hotel facilities include an onsite restaurant and cafe-bar, and there’s often live music events at the hotel.
High-End $$$: Hotel Bikini
One of the most unique and original designs of a hotel I’ve ever come across, Hotel Bikini is referred to as a chic urban jungle. Animal themes, long leafy plants, and quirky features resonate throughout the property. While features include a panoramic rooftop bar, an in-house bakery, and complimentary mini car & bike hire. It’s literally a wonderland for adults, and we are loving it.
Berlin Two Day Itinerary 1 – Touristic Berlin
Now we are going to jump into our first suggested itinerary for spending two days in Berlin. This itinerary will ensure you cover all of the best touristic and historical sights in the city. Remember, we have a separate itinerary for ‘Alternative Berlin’ further down. Be sure to check out both so you can decide which of them sounds more up your street. Or mix and match to combine a bit of touristic Berlin with some alternative Berlin.
Day 1 of 2 Days in Berlin
Assuming you stay the night in Berlin, you will want to be up relatively early to ensure you get the most out of your day. At the same time, you don’t want to burn yourself out. So if the itinerary sounds a bit much for you, cut out anything that you wouldn’t mind missing. We are here only to guide you based on our experiences, but you can switch it up as you go along.
Brandenburg Gate is the most recognisable landmark in Berlin, so it makes sense to kick off your first day here. If you’re staying in the Mitte area, it’s likely the gate will be within walking distance from your hotel. If not, it’s easy to reach by public transport.
Historically, the gate was built in the late 1700s and would later come to symbolise Berlin’s Cold War division into East and West. After the wall fell, Brandenburg became the cities single surviving historical gate. Today it stands as a national symbol of peace and unity.
Naturally, the gate gets very busy throughout the day, which is why we recommend visiting early. We were there just after sunrise, and it was incredibly peaceful. The gate also paves the way for the next spots on our list so let’s keep moving.
Allow: 30 mins/Entrance: Free
Berlin’s Tiergarten is what Hyde Park is to London, and Central Park is to New York. A breath of fresh air in the heart of the bustling city. The sprawling grounds cover almost 519 acres, boasting various walking trails, lawns, gardens, and forest. Not only that, but you can find beer gardens, cafes, memorials, and even a zoo!
We can’t think of any better way to start the day than a revitalising stroll in the Tiergarten. In the Summer months, the gardens are especially atmospheric, where families, friends, musicians, and sunbathers come together to relax & unwind. That said, the wintertime is equally beautiful. Particularly as Autumn ends and the leaves on the trees turn orange.
Some pretty cool things to check out when roaming the Tiergarten include: The ‘Cafe Am Neun See’ beer garden; the ‘mystery’ Stand by Me Tree; the LGBT+ Holocaust Memorial; and the Victory Column.
Allow: 1-2 hours/Entrance: Free
The Victory Column, otherwise known as the Siegessäule, is one of the must-see sights when visiting Berlin. Located directly west of Brandenburg Gate, you can stroll along the boulevard or take a detour through the Tiergarten to reach it. It’s around a 20-30 minute walk from the gate. You can admire the column from afar, or climb the stairs to the top for sweeping views over the city.
Akin to many of the landmarks in Germany, the Victory Column has stood the test of time through the cities turbulent history. Interestingly, the current location of the column is a result of Nazi restructuring. Consequently, the landmark escaped much of the bombings throughout WWII.
To climb to the top of the column costs only a few euros. It was cloudy when we visited so we figured the view wouldn’t have been great. But had it been a clear day we would have done it for sure. I’ve seen some photos taken at the top, and the view over the Tiergarten is pretty awesome.
Allow: 1 hour/Entrance: €3
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Despite being one of the more distressing tourist spots in Berlin, the outdoor Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe is a must-visit during your time in the city. Situated close to the Brandenburg Gate, the memorial is a place of remembrance. Not only for those who lost their lives but for the harrowing regimes imposed by the Nazis. A reminder so that we don’t forget. A warning to ensure that nothing like that happens again.
The design of the memorial is unique and abstract, allowing each individual to perceive it in their own way. Covering an area of 19,000 sqm, the architect placed 2711 concrete slabs of different sizes, to create a disorientating and uncertain experience for visitors. Personally, I perceived the individual-sized slabs to be symbolic to humanity and Hitler’s warped vision of a superior race. A reminder that we all come in different shapes and sizes, but ultimately we are all the same.
Allow: 30mins/Entrance: Free
Topography of Terror
Another sombre yet essential thing to do in Berlin, the Topography of Terror Museum aims to provide a detailed account of how the events of WWII unfolded. It is also no accident that the museum sits on the same site where between 1933 and 1945 the headquarters of the Gestapo conducted war business.
The permanent exhibition is a combination of remains, photos, documents, and information boards, documenting the Nazis rise to power, their crimes throughout the war, and finally their downfall as the war ended. It’s a shocking and harrowing account of what happened; however, incredibly informative and important nonetheless.
Allow: 1-2 hours/Entrance: Free
Next up on the historical trail and just a 5-minute walk from TOT is Checkpoint Charlie. This popular landmark serves as a reminder of the old crossings between East and West Germany. The checkpoint booth and barrier, the soldiers holding flags, and the sandbags are all based on the original site. It’s quite impressive, and you can almost picture the scene all those years ago.
In more recent years, the checkpoint has been the setting for a number of Hollywood films, including James Bond Octopussy. As you can imagine, it’s now incredibly popular amongst tourists, and despite the busy roads, crowds swarm around it for a photo. I get the excitement, I do, but please be safe people!
Allow: 10 minutes/Entrance: Free
Berlin has its fair share of historical architecture, and the Reichstag is one of the most significant buildings in the city. Today, the Reichstag is home to the German Parliament. However, since its completion in 1894, the breathtaking structure has survived quite a colourful history.
The Reichstags purpose was always to serve as home to the German Parliament. They even had the words ‘Dem Deutschen Volke’ inscribed on the facade, meaning ‘the German people‘. Initially, the parliament resided there until 1933 when the building suffered severe damage in a fire. After that, the building was neglected and endured even further destruction during the war.
Long story short, in 1999 following dramatic restoration, Germany’s parliament came home to the Reichstag once again. There is still evidence of the building’s history in the graffiti left by Soviet soldiers. Though, it’s now an eco-architectural wonder that attracts hundreds of people every day.
To go inside the Reichstag, you must first complete the online registration form ahead of your visit. You can take a quick look around by yourself, or take part in a detailed tour. Both are possible and free of charge, but only with an advanced booking. We suggest booking at least two weeks in advance as we tried to book when we arrived in the city, and the slots were already fully booked.
Allow: 1-2 hours/Entrance: Free
If you’re interested in architecture, you will want to stop by Gendarmenmarkt at some point during your 2 days in Berlin. The famous square boasts various awe-inspiring buildings, including the concert house and the French & German cathedrals. The ensemble of structures is really quite beautiful, and certainly worth a photo or two.
Depending on when you visit, there is often an event taking place at Gendarmenmarkt. For us, it was the magical Christmas markets (check out these wonderful foods to try at German Christmas Markets), and in the Summer there are several open-air concerts. Finally, when visiting Gendarmenmarkt, we insist you pop your head into ‘Rausch Schokoladenhaus’ across the road. They have all kinds of impressive statues made from chocolate, and also free tasters. It’s a no brainer!
Day 2 of 2 Days in Berlin
Good Morning! Hopefully, you’re not too tired from yesterday’s antics as we are set to have another busy day. Day 2 of your 2 day Berlin itinerary will have you visiting more of the cities top attractions. We will check out some Unesco listed buildings, museums, street art, and parks. There’s more ground to cover so you’ll likely be needing local transport, which is where your WelcomeBerlin card will come in handy to cut down on costs.
East Side Gallery
After breakfast, you’ll take the bus or train to Warschauer Strasse. It is the perfect starting point for your walk alongside the East Side Gallery, as you’ll also catch a glimpse at the Oberbaumbrücke. This bridge is iconic to Berlin and features the two giant hands playing scissors-paper-stone. After you’ve taken a photo or two from the Northside, you’ll be ready to explore the most significant remains of the Berlin Wall.
What once served as a divide between East & West Berlin, is now one of the most extensive open-air galleries in the world. At 1.3 kilometres, it is also the longest continuous section of the wall still in existence. It’s quite surreal walking alongside the wall, imagining what it would be like to live in a divided city. You can’t help but remember the families who were separated. Not to mention, the harrowing events that many had to endure.
On a more uplifting note, to see the wall transformed into an outlet of creative expression is truly astonishing. Since its opening in 1990, much of the artwork has become globally famous, with many of the murals portraying incredibly powerful and inspiring messages. I guarantee a walk alongside the East Side Gallery will be one of your most memorable experiences after spending 2 days in Berlin.
Allow: 1-2 hours/Entrance: Free
Located in the hipster district of Kreuzberg, Viktoria Park is one of the most picturesque parks in Berlin. After experiencing some intense emotions at the wall, it’s an ideal spot to walk and reflect. You won’t be alone here. It’s a popular spot among locals and tourists alike. But, if you climb to the top of the hill, and you’ll get an awesome view over the city.
I should point out that while Viktoria Park is beautiful all year round, it is at its peak during the Summer months. That’s because of the artificial waterfall feature that is out of action during the Winter. I wish somebody had mentioned that before we rocked up in December, but we enjoyed the park nonetheless. There’s also a winery and a beer garden!
Allow: 1 hour/Entrance: Free
Next, I suggest grabbing a takeaway lunch and heading to Tempelhofer Feld for a picnic – weather permitting of course! Either way, you’ll want to make time during your 2 day Berlin itinerary to check this place out. It sort of falls under the urban exploring category, but while you’re in the area, why not.
Tempelhofer Feld, or Tempelhof Field, is the old grounds of the now-abandoned Tempelhof Airport. The former military airport closed down in 2008, and since been reopened to the public as a recreation area. The former airport has a distinctively cool vibe and is probably one of our favourite spots to hang out in Berlin. I love that they’ve kept the old airport building and runways still in tack.
The vast open space spans over 950 acres. There’s now a 6-kilometre cycling and running track, a huge BBQ area, a dog-walking field, and a large picnic area. On a Summers day, you can find thousands of people here up to all kinds of activities, whether it be flying kites, cycling, dancing, or hanging out with friends.
Allow: 1 hour/Entrance: Free
If you are interested in the history of the airport, you can embark on a guided tour of the airport building. On the tour, you’ll learn the historical importance of the building during the Third Reich and cold war. As well as the airport’s impact on international aviation.
BOOK A TOUR: Berlin Tempelhof Airport: The Legend of Tempelhof
After you’ve relaxed a little at Tempelhof, you’re going to make your way back to the Mitte Area to explore Museum Island. As the name suggests, it is quite literally an island, set in the middle of the River Spree. Out of the 200 or so museums in the city, the most significant are located on Museum Island, which is pretty handy when you have just 2 days to explore Berlin.
Even if you’re not really into history or museums, it’s still worth checking out Museum Island. The complex boasts some of the cities most amazing architecture and is declared a UNESCO world heritage site. If, on the other hand, you are a real museum buff, you may want to rejig your itinerary to have more time here. You could easily spend an entire day if you wanted to visit them all.
To help you decide which of the museums to visit, I’ve included a short description of each below. If you are going to visit more than one museum, it’s worth investing in a Museum Island day pass. It’s a great deal at €19 and will not only save you money but time queuing as well.
Berlin’s most famous museum. This museum is home to a reconstruction of the Pergamon Altar, the Gate of Ishtar, part of the Babylonian Empire and soon the Kalabscha Gate and columned hall of Pharaoh Sahure.
The Bode Museum is home to an extensive collection of sculptures from the medieval period to the late eighteenth century. It’s also famous for the multi-million dollar heist that happened quite recently.
Famous for its outstanding collections of Egyptian artefacts, including the legendary bust of the Egyptian queen Nefertiti and scrolls from the ‘Book of the Dead’.
An art gallery, containing mostly paintings and sculptures from the neoclassical and romanticism periods. Inspired by the Acropolis in Athens, the building alone is immensely impressive.
Hosts various antique collections including Ancient Greek and Roman artefacts.
Once you’ve finished at the museums, take a minute to admire the beautiful Berlin Cathedral also located on the island. It’s possible to buy a ticket for €7 and explore inside; though, we haven’t done it personally.
To round off your second day in Berlin, you have several options. The first is to check out the famous Berlin nightlife that I talk about further down the article. OR make your way to Alexander Platz, Berlin’s most famous square. There’s nothing too special about the square itself; however, you could go up to the TV tower to watch the sunset. You can even eat at the restaurant up there, which we haven’t done ourselves, but can imagine would be pretty spectacular with the view. You can buy Skip The Line tickets here for the TV tower, so you don’t have to queue.
Berlin Two Day Itinerary 2 – Alternative Berlin
Now we’ve covered the touristic two day itinerary for Berlin, let’s take a look at the Alternative side to the city. This itinerary is perfect for those who’ve maybe visited Berlin before and are looking for something a little bit different. Or perhaps you’re just not one to follow the typical tourist trail, and you’d prefer to discover something a little more offbeat. Either way, this itinerary has got you covered. We are going all out urban exploring, from abandoned theme parks, to street art, and possibly the smallest disco in the world!
Day 1 of 2 Days in Berlin
OK, day 1 in Berlin and it’s time to discover the, can I say, ‘cooler’ side to Berlin. I’m aware that probably has me sounding the complete opposite to ‘cool’, but hey, I digress. We loved exploring the alternative side to Berlin. That’s not to say we didn’t enjoy the touristic side too, but it’s the off-the-beaten-path stuff that really gets our blood pumping. Here’s what we suggest for your first day of adventuring in alternative Berlin.
After breakfast, you’ll take the bus or train to Warschauer Strasse Station and make the short walk to Raw Gelande. Set in a former train repair yard, I would describe this area as an art and cultural centre. The old warehouses and buildings have been taken over and used as an outlet of creative expression for graffiti and street art artists.
There isn’t much going on in the mornings. Whereas by late afternoon, the realm of pubs, clubs, street food stalls, and flea markets burst into life. Nonetheless, I didn’t make a mistake recommending you start the day here. It’s impossible to appreciate the artistic side of the space when everything is open and swarmed with people.
Our suggestion is to visit in the morning, and if you have the time, return one evening to enjoy the bustling nightlife. It’s especially atmospheric come the long Summer nights, and many of the nightclubs roll on until the early hours of the morning.
Allow: 1 hour/Entrance: Free
Which leads me onto our next stop – The Teledisko – possibly the smallest disco in the world, but also one of the most unique. We stumbled upon this genius creation when exploring Raw Gelande. What appeared to be a telephone box was blaring music and vibrating off the floor.
Next thing we knew, two giggling girls rolled out of the door, trailed by a pool of smoke. We suspected it must have been one of those speakeasy bars, but, naturally, we had to know for sure. As it turns out it is exactly what it says on the tin, a disco in a telephone box.
We slot a few euro into the machine, went inside, and danced & sang our little hearts out for the duration of our cheesy choice of song. Certainly one of the more unique things to in Berlin, and we agreed it was money well spent for the 5-minutes of laughs it provided.
Allow: 5 minutes/Entrance: €5
*Before we make our way to the next stop, it’s worth mentioning that the East Side Gallery is within walking distance of Raw Gelande. It’s without a doubt a touristic spot in Berlin; however, it’s also pretty amazing. If you wanted to take a little detour from the itinerary to check it out, now’s the time to do it.
TreeHouse on the Wall
Next on the agenda, we have a spot that I guarantee even very few Berliners know of. The Treehouse on the Wall was erected in the 1980s by a Turkish migrant worker. At the time, the Berlin wall was still standing; however, Osman Kalin found a loophole whereby a small area of land had been left exposed.
Naturally, this didn’t sit well with the authorities. Many believed Osman was using the house to assist Berliners in crossing over the divide. However, despite intimidating demands to tear it down, the structure built using exclusively recycled scrap materials still stands today.
For the moment, you can’t ‘legally’ get into the house. There are rumours of turning it into an official monument or a museum in the future. But for now, you can admire it only from the outside. In any case, it’s worth checking out while you’re in the area.
Allow: 30 mins/Entrance: Free
Kreuzberg is known as the hipster district of Berlin, so as you imagine, there’s plenty of cool stuff to check out around here. You won’t find any major attractions as such; however, the perfect blend of trendy cafes, new age restaurants, and urban underground edge, makes for some pretty fun exploration opportunities.
First up, grab some lunch! Kreuzberg is home to some incredible places to eat, and I’ve listed many of them further down the article. After that, stroll down the banks of the picturesque Landwehrkanal. Especially around the vibrant Maybachufer stretch, the banks are swarming with bars, cafes, and restaurants.
Every Tuesday and Friday is the Turkish market where you can shop for souvenirs or sample some Turkish street food. It’s also worth checking out Brammibals bakery for delectable vegan doughnuts.
Alternative Berlin Tour
What better way to explore Berlin like a local, than to take a guided tour of Berlin with a local. But this isn’t your average guided tour where you visit all the usual tourist spots in Berlin. Alternative Berlin Tours allow you to see the city from an alternative perspective. You’ll get to explore gritty underground locations that even only a few locals know about. And you’ll get a full-blown history lesson from somebody who knows Berlin like the back of their hand.
Alternative Berlin offer a choice of tours, all of which start later in the day after lunch. I should point out that the Street Art tour will likely include a visit to Raw Gelande. So if you visited there in the morning as suggested, perhaps opt for another tour such as the Real Berlin Experience or Alternative Nightlife Tour.
Nothing screams Alternative Berlin like secret bars hidden in unsuspecting spaces. For those not quite in the know, that’s precisely what SpeakEasy Bars are. The term ‘Speakeasy’ was derived from the prohibition days when drinking holes were illegal, so opportunistic pub landlords would disguise their bars to evade the authorities.
Nowadays, bars in cities with even just a slightly retro vibe loosely throw around the term. However, in Berlin, there is still several of the authentic kind. Bars with passwords to get in. Bars disguised in warehouses and at the back of shops. There are many, and this list sums up some of the best of them. A great way to end the day or start your night, whichever way you look at it.
Day 2 of 2 Days in Berlin
Hopefully, the Berlin nightlife didn’t swallow you whole (it tends to do that), and you’re ready for another adventurous day of exploring. This list is pretty optimistic, and the likelihood is you won’t be able to get around absolutely everything. However, we suggest you pick the activities that interest you the most and go from there. Today we are concentrating on abandoned places in Berlin, so it’s a solid day for the real explorers out there. For updated information and other derelict sites in Berlin, I recommend you check out Abandoned Berlin.
Once an amusement park, now abandoned and left to the forces of nature, Spreepark is a must-visit for any intrepid traveller. Like most things in Berlin, the park conceals a fascinating past which I won’t go into here, but if you’re interested, I suggest taking a look at this article.
Long story short, the park closed down in 2002, and until recently went untouched. There are now plans in place to revamp the whole thing into an art and cultural centre. But for now, the dilapidated rides and structures of the old park remain, allowing for quite the eerie adventure. Unfortunately, the park is off-limits unless you go as part of a tour; however, that’s not to say that people don’t illicitly do it. It’s the same set up as the abandoned water park in Vietnam, but I’m not sure the Germans bribe so easily. Don’t fancy being chased by guards and dogs, take the tour. You can book a walking tour of Spree Park here.
Underground Berlin Tour
Probably one of our favourite experiences in Berlin, and if you’re remotely interested in Berlin history, an essential addition to your 2 Day Berlin Itinerary. The organisation is Berliner Unterwelten – A subterranean museum exploring the city’s underground history, including WWII bunkers and escape tunnels.
I’ll be honest, it takes a unique experience for history to grip us, and that’s what we loved about Berlin. There are such creative and immersive ways to learn about the past that you’re instantaneously hooked. The underground tours are a great example. You can sit in WWII bunkers, follow escape routes under the old Berlin Wall, and come face to face with the dark realities of the past.
Several underground tours run throughout the day in a variety of languages. I’ve included a short description of each below – We can personally recommend Tour 1. However, depending on the time of year, there may be a limited choice of tours running on the day. We recommend you check the website for more information, although you can’t book in advance. You must book on the day of your tour at the ticket office.
Tour 1 – Dark Worlds: Experience WW2 bombing raids through the eyes of civilians. Travel through the twisted passages and learn about life as a Berlin civilian in WWII.
Tour 2 – From Flaktowers to Mountains of Debris: Discover the devastated ruins of a WW2 fortress. On this fascinating tour, visitors will be shown three of the seven floors of one of the biggest bunkers in the city.
Tour 3 – Bunkers, Subways, and the Cold War: This tour follows the traces of the Cold War in the underground. Discover the modern defence shelters that were built in preparation for a possible nuclear war.
Tour M – Under the Berlin Wall: On this tour, you’ll hear the stories of the people who tunnelled to freedom beneath the Berlin wall. You’ll see with your own eyes the tunnels that were a success, and also those that were not.
Next up we have Teufelsburg – An abandoned spy station sat atop an 80-meter artificial hill in the Grunewald forest. This one is quite a way out of the city centre, but if you’re down for a real offbeat urban adventure, it doesn’t get much better.
Unsurprisingly, the derelict military structure has a remarkable history. First of all, the mound on which it’s built consists of post-WWII debris of dilapidated Berlin. And the structure itself, once a Nazi military college was later taken over by the U.S. National Security Agency and used as a spy station. Pretty cool, huh?
Abandoned following the fall of the Berlin Wall, the structure is now a decaying shell adorned in some of the cities most impressive street art. Naturally, some opportunistic locals have clocked on, and now you have to pay to get inside. However, I know of plenty of visitors who just find a gap in the fence and discover it that way.
If you’d prefer to play it on the safe side, tours of Teufelsburg run daily. You can make a booking through the website here.
Nature Park Schöneberger Südgelände
If you don’t fancy the long trip out of town, perhaps this deserted railway yard will tickle your fancy instead. Fifty years ago, the park was nothing but an industrial junkyard; however, over the past five decades, it has flourished into a rich jungle forest.
Set in the vibrant Schoneberg district, this Nature Park is our favourite in Berlin. Despite being reconstructed to include walking trails for the public, derelict remains of buildings, trains, and tracks lay buried beneath the dense forest. It’s offbeat, but without doing anything too risky or illegal. And the best part, it’s only €1 to enter!
KlunkerKranich Rooftop Bar
For the final stop of the day, weather permitting, we recommend heading to Klunkerkranich Rooftop Bar. A former carpark turned cultural rooftop garden that, provides a lush outdoor space overlooking panoramic views of Berlin. During the Summer, this ‘happening’ venue hosts concerts, DJ programs, readings, cinema, and much more on the vast upper deck. I do believe they have an indoor section as well, but you might want to check out the website for what’s going on throughout the year.
Where to Eat in Berlin
Regardless of which of our 2 Day Berlin Itineraries you choose, your days are going to be pretty hectic. To ensure you don’t get burnt out, we encourage that you eat well and stay hydrated. For us, fueling our bodies is essential when spending the day exploring. We would not be responsible for our actions otherwise! Thankfully, Berlin is foodie heaven, and you’re never short for great options. Here we list some of the popular spots in each district, so you’re never too far from a great meal. For more places to eat in Berlin, we recommend checking out this Foodie Guide to Berlin.
Best Eats In Mitte
Dolores $: Traditional Californian burritos in the heart of Berlin. Tasty, healthy, and affordable with several vegetarian/vegan options available. Perfect for grabbing something in a hurry or for those on a budget.
Schinitzelei Mitte $$: Arguably the best schnitzel in Berlin with a delicious craft beer menu to boot. If you’re going to be traditional and try the local food, we highly recommend you check this place out.
Mogg Deli $$: Mogg is considered somewhat of an institution on the berlin culinary scene. Visit this artisan deli at lunchtime for a delectable selection of premium sandwiches.
Best Eats in Kreuzberg
Burgermeister $: If you’re looking for the best burger in Berlin, you need to look to further than Burgermeister. There are franchises all over the city; however, the original is located in Kreuzberg beneath Schlesisches Tor station. Veggie option is also available.
Mustafa Gemüse-Kebab $: Berlin is no stranger to kebab shops, but the best in the city can be found at Mustafa Gemüse-Kebab. Often referred to as the best kebabs in the world, people queue, sometimes for hours, for a taste of the secret recipe that has taken Berlin by storm.
Markthalle Neun $: Should you happen to be in Berlin on a Thursday, OR the 3rd Sunday of every month, you have to checkout Markthalle Neun. Every Thursday the market place hosts Streetfood Thursday where you can find an amalgamation of food trucks and pop up bars. Whereas, every third Sunday is the infamous breakfast market.
Curry 36 $: THE only place in Berlin where you should attempt to try currywurst. Not to everybody’s taste, but an experience you can’t leave Berlin without.
Best Eats in Schöneberg
Romeo & Romeo $: As the name suggests, this trendy cafe is a popular hangout among gay men. However, if you’re in the area, I would pop your head in just to sample their infamous rainbow cake.
Cafe Berio $$: One of the oldest cafes in the Schoneberg area, Cafe Berio is an all-time favourite amongst the LGBT+ community. During the Summer, the outdoor terrace is considered a prime place, and you will often struggle to find a spot at all during peak hours. Nonetheless, the food is worth the wait, as is the coffee!
Maharadscha $$: This restaurant provides a vibrant taste of India in the heart of Berlin, and is well-rated amongst locals and tourists alike. It gets incredibly busy at dinner time, so booking in advance is recommended.
Best Eats in Friedrichshain
1990 Vegan Living $$: Possibly some of the best vegan food in all of Berlin, 1990 Vegan Living is becoming somewhat of a cult favourite in the city. Based on Vietnamese cuisine, every dish is bursting with flavour, and the portion sizes are pretty generous too.
Silo Coffee $: Hands down the best coffee and breakfast joint in the area. The interior is dominated by sustainable wood furniture, giving the whole place a rustic yet welcoming vibe. Undoubtedly one of the culinary gems in this area of Berlin.
If you only plan on spending 2 days in Berlin, I would strongly suggest approaching the Berlin nightlife with caution. Berlin arguably has the best party scene in Europe. Famed for being a hedonistic wonderland of booze, drugs, and debaucherous all-night parties. If you’re into techno, Berlin is your mecca. A realm of world-famous techno clubs host international DJ’s each and every weekend. At the same time, you can fulfil any of your wildest desires in the various sex and fetish clubs.
But Berlin’s nightlife isn’t all sex, drugs & rock’n’roll. There are hundreds of establishments offering their own unique programme, from cocktail bars and nightclubs, to live music and epic rooftop bars. The city has something for everyone. With this in mind, here I list some of the best establishments in the city, catering to various interests.
Techno Club: Berghain
Berghain is considered to be one of the best nightclubs in the world. Set in a former railway warehouse, patrons queue for hours to get into the exclusive club which opens from Friday night, all the way through to Monday lunchtime. Be warned, however, the bouncers at Berghain are notorious for turning people away. There are no set rules as to why; merely that they are looking for the ‘right balance of people’. Whatever that’s supposed to mean! Inside you’ll find a labyrinth of corridors leading to a variety of sinful rooms & delights – very mysterious indeed!
Sex Club: KitKat
Berlin’s most notorious sex club, famed for it’s ‘anything goes’ policy and uninhibited fetish parties. A word of warning, this club is not for the faint-hearted. But for the open-minded and curious, you’re guaranteed a night you’ll never forget.
Cocktail Bar: Green Door
If you’d prefer something a little more low key, there is no shortage of classy cocktail bars in Berlin. One of our favourites is Green Door. A swanky retro-style bar set behind an inconspicuous Green Door in Schoneberg. Ring the bell to enter, grab a seat on the plush leather couches, and slowly work your way through the creative cocktail menu.
Gay Club: Die Busche
An iconic nightclub within the Berlin LGBT+ scene, Die Busche was the only gay club in East Germany before reunification. Today the party is still going strong, spreading across three floors and attracting a fun-loving crowd. Each room plays a different genre of music ranging from club anthems to disco charts, as well as 80’s & 90’s music. Check out our Gay & Lesbian Travel Guide for Berlin for all the best queer bars, clubs, and events.
Speakeasy Bar: Bar Tausend
There are several Speakeasy Bars in Berlin, but Bar Tausend is one of the best. Hidden behind an inconspicuous steel door in Berlin Mitte, the bar has all the feels of the 1920s. Expect high-quality drinks in a relaxed environment, alongside a solid entertainment programme of DJs and live music.
Live Music: Astra Kulturhaus
If live music is more your jam, it’s well worth checking out this well-established concert venue. The entertainment programme is usually bursting with top quality acts from Indie-Rock to Punk-Pop, and the beer garden is one of the best in the city.
Day Trips From Berlin
If you’re spending just 2 Days in Berlin, you might struggle to squeeze in any day trips. However, should you end up staying longer, or fancy some time away from the hustle & bustle, there are several incredible sites located within striking distance of the city. After some extensive research, we have put together what we believe to be the most appealing day trips from Berlin.
Sachsenhausen Memorial Walking Tour
Not for the faint-hearted, this educational tour explores the Sachsenhausen Memorial on the outskirts of Berlin on a Full-day walking tour. More than 30,000 people died at Sachsenhausen, and the camp is now a museum, where visitors get the opportunity to learn of the bleak existence inside the Gestapo prison. Here’s what you can expect from the tour:
- Take a train ride through the lovely forests of north Berlin
- Explore the dark history of the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp
- See the location of the gas chambers and gallows
- Learn about life in the camp during World War II and after
BOOK YOUR TOUR: Sachsenhausen Memorial Full-Day Walking Tour
Located just 35km outside of Berlin, the charming city of Potsdam is an ideal day trip out of the capital. Famed for its grand royal architecture, sweeping gardens, and historical points of interest, the entire complex is classified as a UNESCO heritage site. It’s quite impossible to get around the whole city of Potsdam in one day; therefore most concentrate on the grandeur Sanssouci Palace grounds. You can organise the trip yourself, or take the stress out of planning with this best selling tour.
- Enjoy a beautiful tour of Sanssouci’s garden and stately buildings
- Be amazed by the New Palace and admire the park’s traditional Chinese teahouse
- Discover the former royal city of Potsdam
- Travel in a comfortable bus from Berlin to Potsdam
BOOK YOUR TOUR: Sanssouci Palace Guided Tour from Berlin
Just 2-hours outside of Berlin lay the picturesque town of Dresden, with its wealth of awe-inspiring architecture and historical sights. Dresden was the royal residence of the Saxon Kings, who established a city of such cultural and artistic brilliance it was named “The Pearl of the Baroque.” Despite enduring terrible destruction during WWII, it is still considered one of Germany’s most beautiful cities. Again, you can travel to Dresden and explore the city sights by yourself. Or consider taking this best-selling organised tour.
- Get a full commentary of Dresden’s origins and life in the post-communist era
- Learn about the importance of Meisen pottery to the region
- Explore the Old Town, the Semper Opera house, and the Balcony of Europe
- Discover the Zwinger Palace
- Enjoy the journey from the comfort of a coach hired just for your tour group with a local expert guide
BOOK YOUR TOUR: From Berlin: Guided Day Trip to Dresden
Rügen Island, Germany
When you think of Germany, pristine beaches and islands tend to be the last thing that comes to mind. Nonetheless, that’s exactly what you’ll find at Rügen Island. A beach lovers paradise set in the Baltic Sea, off the coast of northeast Germany. Interestingly, the island is just a 3-hour drive from Berlin, so you could visit for the day or spend a night or two there. With its stunning beaches, historic towns, and national parks, it’s certainly a spot to consider when visiting in the Summer.
Tips & Advice for Spending 2 Days in Berlin
Where to Exchange Currency in Berlin
The unit of currency in Germany is the Euro. We advise travelling with some cash in your pocket; however, if you don’t want to carry large sums, there are a number of ways to exchange money in Berlin. Though naturally, some are more cost-effective than others.
The easiest option is to withdraw euros directly from an ATM. Some ATM machines may ask if you want to proceed “with or without conversion”. Whatever you do, never proceed with conversion because leads to terrible exchange rates. Trust us, we learnt the hard way. If you choose to be charged in the local currency, this will ensure a more favourable rate is applied to your conversion.
Another money-saving tip is to carry a currency card such as Easy Fx rather than withdrawing money using your debit or credit cards. This way, you can make purchases, withdraw cash and make transfers, all with no international fees. Again, so long as you choose to be charged in the local currency.
Getting Around in Berlin
Berlin is a large and sprawling city, which means if you plan on covering several districts, you’ll need to know how to get around. Thankfully, getting around in Berlin is super easy and convenient. It’s also really affordable, so long as you know the local secrets.
First and foremost, we strongly encourage you to get a Berlin WelcomeCard. The card not only includes unlimited access to Berlins public transport network, but you’ll also get discounts at over 200 of the cities attractions. We travelled extensively around the city, and the Berlin WelcomeCard saved us a ton of money.
Now, the four major transport networks are the U-Bahn (underground trains), S-Bahn (overground trains), buses, and trams. The extensive network covers every corner of the city, so no matter where you want to go, you can always rely on public transport.
To find the quickest route, we always relied on good ol’ Google. So long as you have data or wifi, you can type in your destination, and Google will find the quickest route from your exact location. It will direct you to the station closest to you and state the trains or buses you need to take to reach your destination.
Sounds easy enough, right? And it is! The only thing I would say is that it isn’t always clear which direction you need to travel in. Several times we got on our bus or train, only to realise a few minutes later we were going in the wrong direction. No big deal, but it’s worth checking with somebody at the station or stop that you’re heading the right way.
If you prefer to avoid public transport, taxis are easy to come by at taxi stands, train stations, and the airport. Uber is also in operation and is usually cheaper than the local taxis.
Staying Safe in Berlin
Compared to most other cities in the world, Berlin is extremely safe; however, there are still some precautions you should take to protect yourself and your belongings.
First of all, petty thefts such as pickpocketing and bag snatching are not uncommon. We suggest keeping your belongings close to you at all times and use a small padlock or compartmental bag to keep your valuables safe. When travelling at night, avoid being alone in parks or dark areas.
Common scams pose another risk to tourists, and we advise being vigilant at all times. If something doesn’t feel right, trust your gut and walk away from the situation. Check out this article for examples of common scams in Berlin.
With that, don’t even think about going to Berlin without travel insurance. Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. If the unlikely event that something goes wrong, you’ll want the best cover money can buy.
For this reason, we always recommend World Nomads for travel insurance. They are affordable, offer a variety of packages and add ons, and allow you to make amendments to your policy while travelling. Say, for example, you go scuba diving or hiking a mountain, World Nomads will amend your plan accordingly. It’s a super handy feature that we’ve used numerous times including the time we trekked to Annapurna Base Camp.
If you need further convincing, read our article on why you need travel insurance. Or get an on-the-spot quote from World Nomads using the form below.
Festivals and Events in Berlin
The Berlin events calendar is jam-packed, and no matter when you visit, there is guaranteed to be something going on. From music festivals in the Summer and Christmas markets in the Winter, to a variety of cultural events and exhibitions throughout the year; there’s always something to keep you entertained! Check out the Visit Berlin Events Calendar for this year’s juicy entertainment.
Staying Connected in Berlin
If, like us, you rely on the internet when you travel (let’s face it, who doesn’t anymore), we have the perfect solution. After coming home to too many hefty phone bills and buying countless international sim cards, we were desperate for an affordable solution. That’s when we discovered TravelWifi. TravelWifi’s portable pocket wifi allows us to quickly and securely connect when we need it the most. Click the link for more information on coverage, packages, and the latest offers.
More on Berlin
Planning a trip to Berlin? Check out our other articles to help plan your trip.
Did you enjoy our 2 Days in Berlin Itinerary?
Well, that concludes 2 Days in Berlin – Itinerary & Guide for 2020. If you have any questions or feel we have missed anything, please reach out to us in the comment section below. Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram here!
Stay adventurous and Happy travels.
Charlotte & Natalie x
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