From where can someone start when describing the intellectual capital of Germany, Berlin? If you only have 36 hours, it’s quite possible that you will miss several worthy attractions and must-visit places, nevertheless, in 36 hours you can also do miracles in Berlin. The German capital is rather famous for its nightlife, its contemporary art, seen in galleries and studios all over Berlin, its unique architecture, for instance, around Potsdamer Platz, and its fairly legendary festivals. The city has also an abundance of museums, respectable universities, and entertainment venues. Well, don’t expect to see it all in 36 hours, but you’ll see an important part of it. So, follow us to discover what you can see and do with this itinerary of 36 hours in Berlin, Germany.
Day 1: Afternoon - Walk around the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, and Potsdamer Platz
Start your day with a pleasant stroll through the most iconic landmarks of Berlin that define the city’s history. First, visit the famous Brandenburg Gate, once a symbol of the division during the Cold War, nowadays a symbol of peace and unity. It will certainly be a pretty good first photo spot. Then walk to the historic Reichstag building, that was first opened in 1894 to house the Imperial Diet of the German Empire. Visitors, after registration, may enjoy a panoramic view of the Berlin cityscape from the large dome of the building. Just a km (0.6mi) south of these two landmarks, you will find the Potsdamer Platz, a large public square and an important building site, that seemed to be a connection point between the two parts of the city before the fall of the Wall.
Address: Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin
Opening hours: Daily from 8am to 12am (last admission at 9.45pm)
Day 1: Evening - Sample local cuisine in an upscale eatery on Friedrichstrasse
After you have had enough of sightseeing, head to one of the most notorious shopping and culture streets, Friedrichstrasse, downtown Berlin. A number of theatres, music halls and designer boutiques finely decorate the street, along with numerous great restaurants. The road that stretches from Mitte district and ends at Kreuzberg district is 3.5km (2.2mi) long and has become a fascinating amusement district. So, walk into any of the upscale nearby restaurants to try some local specialties and get some energy for the night to come.
Day 1: Night - Finish off your night with a concoction in a cocktail bar
Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account
Good digestion will undoubtedly come with a good cocktail. Berlin has a rather great club nightlife, but the cocktail bar scene is certainly something to be experienced, so choose one and treat yourself to a classic cocktail or a tailor-made one if you are indecisive. Most cocktail bars are pretty cozy, with friendly staff and a cool atmosphere, so relax and enjoy Berlin’s nightlife.
Address: Winterfeldtstraße 50, 10781 Berlin, Germany
Website: Green Door
Day 2: Morning - Breakfast at Mitte, the city's downtown shopping area
Wake up to the sounds of the German capital and have yourself a nice breakfast in Berlin’s first and most central borough, the famous Mitte. Mitte is a rather large neighborhood that is home to most of the local attractions, so after you enjoy your breakfast you can walk around the area and take in the Berlin feeling. Here, you will find charming cobblestone streets, beautiful houses, even a church from 1200, but also the Museum Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and many squares, trendy shops, and restaurants as well.
Day 2: Afternoon - Walk the streets of Auguststrasse, Torstrasse and Linienstrasse
These three parallel streets compose one of the finest Berlin districts. Auguststrasse might be a rather short and narrow street, however, it is considered the cultural hub of the German capital, with plentiful collections of local designers, contemporary art, and of course, a marvelous cuisine. Similarly, Linienstrasse, another narrow sweet street, is a place that art lovers will certainly appreciate, while Torstrasse, a not so narrow street, is a great nightlife spot that combines chic with an urban lifestyle. Actually, an afternoon might not be enough to explore this area, but remember, there is still more to see in Berlin!
Day 2: Evening - Explore Neue Synagogue and wander to the Saturday farmers' market on Kollwitzplatz
It’s time for some more sightseeing, so walk to the Neue Synagogue (New Synagogue), once the largest Jewish place of worship in Germany (seating about 3000 people). Nowadays, it serves as the Centrum Judaicum, to preserve the Jewish culture and memory, and as such it offers guided tours, and visitors may explore a permanent exhibition. If you happen to be in Berlin on a Saturday, the farmer’s market on Kollwitzplatz is definitely worth a visit. The vendors here offer, among others, organic produce (fruits and vegetables), wine, cheese, and other quality products, while visitors can taste local food as well.
Kollwitzplatz Saturday market
Address: Kollwitzplatz 64, 10435 Berlin
Opening hours: 9am to 4pm
Address: Oranienburger Str. 28/30 10117 Berlin
Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 10am to 6pm / Fri: 10am to 3pm
Admission fee: 7 Euro (8 USD)
Day 2: Night - Have dinner in one of the restaurants in Helmholtzplatz
A tiring day so far huh? Well, you definitely deserve a good dinner to thank yourself for having gone so far today. For that, Helmholtzplatz will do. The district has a very ‘neighborhood’ and chill-out atmosphere, while people love to come here for its cool bars and some of the greatest restaurants.
Day 3: Morning - Check out the cafes and restaurants in Kreuzberg and Neukölln for brunch
Two more vibrant neighborhoods await to be explored this last morning in Berlin, so take the U-Bahn (rapid train) to reach these southern districts. The trendy Kreuzberg hosts artists, students, and a large Turkish population. While here, you will find quirky cafes, numerous restaurants, food stalls, and the beautifully landscaped Viktoriapark. Neukolln is another fascinating borough with new studios, art galleries, vegan cafes, nice squares, and fine markets.
One city, lots of experiences
This exciting city will absolutely offer you an incredible experience in terms of sightseeing, entertainment, cultural and historical enlightenment, so be prepared to enjoy Berlin as much as possible within the given 36 hours.
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