We just came off an incredible 9 day trip across Europe’s Northern Loop, managing to get a taste of 5 beautiful countries. One of these countries being the German city of Berlin. Having only 24 hours to explore with no clue on where to start, we met up with a fellow Aussie blogger, Rachel from The Department of Wandering, who is currently living the expat life in Berlin. She helped us come up with an itinerary for the day, ensuring we hit the spots one simply can not miss when visiting Berlin.
Here’s how to spend 24 hours in Berlin.
If you know anything about us you know we can’t get moving without coffee. Start your day with the perfect cup from Cafe Oliv. Very central and in a beautiful street you may just want to come in earlier as they also do delicious juices and tasty breakfasts – the best way to start a big day of exploring.
Now that you are energised and full of caffeine, first stop for the day is Berlin’s Museum Island. Located in the Spree River, the island is home to 5 museums and art galleries including Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, Bode Museum, and Pergamonmuseum.
Having only 24 hours to experience Berlin you may just want to see the beautiful structures from the outside. However, if you do want to go inside we suggest looking into each museum and choosing 1 or 2 that look the most appealing to you and spend a few hours checking out some of the best museums in Germany.
After your morning of museums we suggest you head on over to the Reichstag and climb to the top of the glass dome for a 360 degree view of the city below. The dome is open to visitors, however, you’ll have to register online in advance. It’s best you do this early on since it’s a really popular attraction and sometimes tickets are not available for several days.
For lunch we recommend grabbing some lunch-to-go from a local cafe and head to the grassed area at the front of the German Parliament building. Admire the buildings facade and people watch as you soak in the sunshine. If you are looking for the perfect shot we suggest taking a few steps back until you can see the centre glass dome in your picture.
A few minutes walk away is one the Brandenburg Gate. This former city gate is one of the most iconic monuments in Berlin. After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, it too became a symbol of unity and freedom. You can find a lot going on on both sides of the gate including musicians, buskers and artists. It’s also worth seeing the view from both sides of the gate.
Once you have walked under and through the gate and taken a sharp right you appear at the Holocaust Memorial. We recommend anyone who visits the city should pay homage to the lives lost under the Nazi regime.
The memorial takes the form of a sloping fields where stone boulders stand row on row, which can be interpreted in many different ways. After walking a few metres into the site you start to feel lost and alone through these dark corridors.
An information centre underneath also offers visitors the chance to delve deeper into the topic through letters and photographs of the holocaust victims.
Next up, the Berlin wall. Very few parts of the wall remain but the best place to see it is at the East Side Gallery. You can easily jump on a 10 minute metro ride down here but spend hours admiring the the colourful murals painted on the wall and the hopeful messages they convey.
The Berlin Wall served as the dividing line between East and West Berlin for 28 years. Today what was once a symbol of oppression stands as a symbol of freedom. Although most of the wall was taken down when Germany reunited, a few strips remain, the East Side Gallery being the longest. Artists from all over the world have left their creative stamp on this 1.3 km remaining section of the Berlin Wall. What was once a symbol of repression is now a monument to freedom.
The best place to end your day and watch the sunset over Berlin has got to be the TV Tower. Take the 40 second elevator up the 368m tower to the look out point at the top. Soak in the bird’s eye view of the city and you could even choose to have dinner at the rotating restaurant located atop the tower.
Want to watch our 24 hour’s exploring the streets of Berlin? Check out our daily vlog below…
What did we miss? Leave your suggestions in the comment section below.
A big thank you to Bus2Alps for allowing us to experience the beautiful city of Berlin.