3 Days in Berlin: Everything You Should Know
Germany is one of the most organized countries in the world. Being organized is a trait that German people are renowned for and to make the most of your three days in Berlin, you'd be smart to follow their example.
Planning what you're going to do on each of the three days you're in Berlin means you'll get to see all of the city's main attractions without rushing around like a headless chicken from one place to another. Knowing more or less what you're going to do and see each day also means you can allocate yourself time for pure relaxation too. Taking time out by sitting in one of the city's beer gardens with a stein of beer between museum visits is a definite must-do at some time during your 3 days in Berlin, especially if you've been browsing the more poignant exhibitions.
There's much more to the German capital than Museum Island though, and when you have 3 days in Berlin, you'll obviously want to cram in as much as possible. Check out this sample Berlin itinerary and you'll have a basic idea of how to go about creating one that's perfect for you.
While you visit Berlin there may well be a moment when you need to use luggage storage. Museums, art galleries, and boat cruises don't want you turning up with big bags. It's not practical carrying your luggage with you if you're going on a walking tour either. The easiest and most economical solution is to use one of Bounce's Berlin luggage storage facilities. Leave your bags in a security-tagged Bounce luggage locker and you can forget about it for the rest of the day.
Plan Your 3 Day Berlin Itinerary
It's definitely entertaining sitting at home scrolling through things to do when you visit Berlin, discovering where the best hikes in Berlin are or where you can get a decent brunch. You don't want to be doing that while you're here though, so make sure you keep a copy of your Berlin itinerary with you in one format or another be it on your phone or as a printout. You'd be surprised just how quickly you forget what you looked at and the best-laid plans can go flying out of the window if you haven't got them backed up.
Tip: Before you start creating your 3 days in Berlin itinerary, keep in mind the city's often unpredictable weather. You may get a rainy day in Berlin so try to plan accordingly and you won't be left sitting on the bed in your hotel room kicking yourself because you've got the activities wrong.
3 Days In Berlin - Sample Berlin Itinerary
Berlin Itinerary – Day 1
The best way to start any morning, especially if you're going to be on your feet all day, is with a good breakfast. Hold out until you get to the city centre, and you can drop into Steel Vintage Bikes Cafe on Wilhelmstrasse. At this cafe they're cycling crazy; it’s decorated with bicycles, has a workshop, and also hosts cycling events. That aside, their breakfasts are top-notch and geared to deliver the energy you need for the busy day ahead. Once you've satiated your morning appetite, it'll take you just a few minutes to walk to the Brandenburg Gate, the city's famous landmark, where you can join a free walking tour with a narrative on German history.
While you're close to the Brandenburg Gate, it's the perfect time to make a visit to the Holocaust Memorial dedicated to the Murdered Jews Of Europe as it's only a six-minute walk away. Take a sedate stroll around the 2,711 concrete slabs before going down into the underground visitor's center. Going to the Holocaust Memorial for the Murdered Jews Of Europe may evoke a sense of sadness, but it's a must-do when you're visiting Berlin.
Berlin is full of sad history so if you need a couple of German beers before tackling any more, that's understandable. Once you've quenched your thirst and recovered your equilibrium, hop on the U-Bahn, it's one of the best ways of getting around Berlin, and ride until you get to the Berlin Nordbahnhof Station. Alight there and you'll be within walking distance of the Berlin Wall Memorial.
The Berlin Wall, the structure that once divided East Berlin from West Berlin, may now be a part of history, but it's one that left an indelible mark on the city. While, thankfully, the original Berlin Wall is no longer standing, you can still visit the Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Strasse. The memorial grounds straddle the divide between what would have been East Berlin and West Berlin and contain the only piece of the wall left in its unique position as a reminder of the past.
Whether you do it on the first night of your 3 days in Berlin or on the last one, don't miss going to the Berlin TV Tower. The Berlin TV Tower, Berlin Fernsehturm in German, is one of the city's famous landmarks and at almost 370 meters high, is also one of the most outstanding Berlin attractions.
The Berlin TV Tower is open until ten in the evening, so head here once darkness falls and you'll get superb panoramic views of the city from the observation deck. Better still, enjoy them while sipping a cocktail in Bar 203, the Berlin TV Tower bar, or spoil yourself with a posh dinner in the revolving restaurant.
Berlin Itinerary – Day 2
Put on some comfortable shoes and set out to walk a section or two of the Inner Park Ring Walk. This 32-mile-long walking trail loops through many of Berlin's main parks so you'll see some of the city centre as well as plenty of peaceful green spaces including the grounds of the old Berlin-Tempelhof Airport. Plan ahead by making a quick visit to the nearest grocery store for cold meat, cheeses, and bread and you'll be able to have a picnic lunch on the grass in the Volkspark Jungfernheide.
If after trekking around part of the Inner Park Ring Walk, you're feeling ready for a sit-down, that's understandable. There are ways of still carrying on sightseeing without being on your feet. If that sounds like just what you're looking for, consider taking a cruise down the River Spree. There are various boat tours setting off from three different piers in the city, Hafen Treptow pier, Jannowitzbrücke pier, and Gotzkowskybrücke pier.
If you're in the city centre, you'll find the Jannowitzbrücke pier, which is not far from the East Side Gallery, the most convenient. While you're in the vicinity, it's well worth passing by to take a look at the East Side Gallery which is an open-air art exhibition painted on part of the Berlin Wall that runs alongside the Spree River.
Boat tours on the Spree River vary in length from one and a half to four hours, but even on the shorter cruises, you get to navigate past some of the city's main attractions like Berlin Cathedral, the Pergamon Museum, and the Mercedes-Benz Arena.
If after sightseeing all day all you want to do is sit down to a big dinner and contemplate all you've seen, who can blame you? Before you collapse in a heap though, head back to the city center to catch a photo of the Brandenburg Gate, the former city gate, illuminated at night. It looks spectacular and is easier to capture in the evenings as there are fewer crowds to get in the way. If you're a keen photographer you may even want to postpone dinner until you've captured a shot of the glass dome at the Reichstag Building, the German parliament, at night. It's equally as impressive.
If you can hold out a few minutes more without fainting from hunger, take the 15-minute stroll from the Brandenburg Gate to Checkpoint Charlie. Checkpoint Charlie doesn't look like much more than a kiosk in the middle of the road, but it was the main crossing point during the Cold War between East Berlin and West Berlin. If nothing else, you can say you've been here.
You'll probably be pleased to know there are quite a few good restaurants around Checkpoint Charlie so you won’t have far to go to finally get some food. Take a table at the Restaurant Tim Raue and you'll be in for a two Michelin star treat. When the budget won't stretch that far, try the BarcaLona Tapas Bar or the Little Green Rabbit – Checkpoint Charlie.
Berlin Itinerary – Day 3
There really is no escaping Museum Island when you visit the German capital and it really should feature somewhere on the itinerary for your 3 days in Berlin even if you don't actually go inside any of the five museums there. Unless you're an absolute museum addict and want to go to all the five museums on Museum Island, choose just one or two max or you'll be here all day.
The Pergamon Museum is full of replicas of ancient Greek and Roman monuments, so it's ideal if you're interested in architecture.
The Altes National Gallery exhibits European Romantic and Expressionist artworks.
The Altes Museum houses artifacts from Ancient Greece and from the period of the Roman Empire.
In the Bode Museum, you'll come across unusual collections of coins, artworks, and sculptures.
The Neuse Museum is dedicated to German history as well as diverse ancient cultures.
The best thing to do before you start your museum browsing on Museum Island is to treat yourself to the best brunch in Berlin. You can get a great brunch whether you're a meat-eater or a vegetarian at a cafe called the Flamingo Fresh Food Bar on Neustädtische Kirchstraße which is conveniently close to Museum Island as well as the Brandenburg Gate.
Afternoon and Evening
By the time you've emerged from the museums on Museum Island, you may not have much of the afternoon left for doing something else. If you can't handle any more old buildings, even if they're as impressive as the Charlottenburg Palace or the Bellevue Palace, consider heading to the Potsdamer Platz for the rest of the day and the evening.
The Potsdamer Platz is Berlin's newest and most up-to-date commercial and entertainment area. Wander around the pedestrianized zone and you'll find enough stores to keep you shopping for hours. There are cafes and restaurants aplenty, cinemas, and a spectacular viewpoint where you can watch the sun setting over the city before eating the last dinner of your 3 days in Berlin. If you want to make the evening super special, try the Vox Restaurant in Potsdamer Platz and you'll dine with a live music accompaniment.
No matter what you do, your 3 days in Berlin will fly by and you'll wish you were visiting Berlin for a week. If there are things you don't get to do when you visit Berlin the first time, you can always start planning a second trip to do what you missed. Berlin is the sort of place you can visit time and time again without ever getting tired of it, so don't feel too bad if you have to leave some of the main attractions for your next Berlin itinerary. They're not going anywhere.