Berlin is an alternative city. Alternative are mainly the people, but restaurants and entertainment are also various here. Unfortunately, you can not immerse yourself in this vibes during three days. Nevertheless, it is very worth coming even for such a short time and concentrating on purely tourist attractions. Once they are ticked off the list, you can safely come back and explore this city further, taking off layers like from an onion. Below are our tips for the first stage of getting to know the capital of Germany.
How to get here?
We would rather advise a flight to Berlin or a trip by Flixbus or by train. This city, like every capital, is very jammed. In addition, Germany has its restrictions on parking in the city, including:
- park in accordance with the direction of driving
- to park in the city centre you need to have a sticker confirming low emissions. You can get a ticket without it.
- there are zones where you can park, but you have to buy a parking ticket at certain hours (eg 8-18).
- there are also zones in which the info looks deceptively similar. These are mainly housing areas. In fact, the point is that for example, from 10 till 3 pm you can park there (of course, not for free), but outside of these hours parking spaces are only for residents.
In the very centre, in addition, it is difficult to find a parking space, and the cost of the ticket is not the cheapest. For this reason, a convenient and cheap way to get around the city is the metro, as well as bus and tram. Also, you can also use great alternatives: a city bike (eg Donkey Republic or Deezer Nextbike), electric scooter and car sharing services. The first two options are great during nice weather – you can see more of the city, discover places a little less touristic and feel the vibes better. Car sharing, however, will work if the weather is not the best, you want to carry more things or just when your legs refuse to obey. You will always find a car to rent, the process itself is very fast, and when returning it you can park in any municipal parking lot within the car sharing zone without buying a parking ticket. Remember, however, that you must pay a registration fee of EUR 29 when setting up your account!
Where to sleep?
As usual, we highly recommend airbnb. You can find there both very nice and cosy apartments, as well as more raw and industrial lofts. As for the hotel, we were surprised by the gay-friendly Two Hotel Berlin. Clean, atmospheric and with very positive service!
Where to eat?
We were very fortunate that before coming to Berlin (which is still in Frankfurt) we met a girl who lived in Berlin for many years. She was so great that she wrote down top restaurants and street food spots in Berlin for us. It was thanks to her that we arrived the flea market in the Park of the Wall, where apart from antiques, used clothes, accessories, furniture and many other things, one could buy something to eat in one of many food trucks. We tried the vegan gyros with the seitan for the first time. To a large extent, it resembled a meat version, and the portion was honest – we shared one and were full. In addition, we drank a huge glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and homemade radler. Olga advised us to eat a pizza at the best Italian restaurant in Berlin – Il Casolare, review here soon! Our research, however, led us to Momos (review here!) – a great place with Nepalese dumplings and a walk around the place encouraged us to test the concept of food sharing in Nithan Thai (review here!). Berlin is famous for good neighbourhood restaurants in interesting spaces and places where you can enjoy a delicious breakfast. Did Betty’n Caty meet our expectations? Read more here 🙂
What to see?
Three days is enough to visit the most important tourist attractions in Berlin, but definitely too short to stop walking around the city like tourists, experience alternative forms of entertainment and truly feel the specific vibes of this city. However you need to make the most of the situation, so we squeezed out of those three days as much as we could. Key points on the visiting map:
Absolutely beautiful and the most characteristic point of the German capital. Brandenburger Tor is 26 m high and 65.5 m wide. It is located in the city centre. The gate was built in 1788-1791. It is maintained in an early-classical style and supported on two rows of 12 columns in the Doric style. At the top of the gate stands a bronze statue of a quadriga, which the Nike goddess. During the Cold War, when Berlin was divided into two parts, the Brandenburg Gate stood on the belt of no man’s land and it was impossible to walk through it.
Currently the headquarters of the Bundestag (part of the German parliament). In the 1930’s, almost completely burnt, it was renovated with modernist accents, including a glass 23-meter dome. The glass part of the building can be visited.
The Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall, or rather its fragments, you will see mainly in the Mitte district. The wall once dividing the city into West Germany and the GDR, today is an open gallery of art in the fresh air.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe – a monument consisting of over 2700 cement blocks. It commemorates the extermination of Jews during the Second World War. Occupying 19,000 square meters, the monument evokes anxiety and reverberates. The Museum of the Holocaust is located under the monument.
Built at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the Evangelical cathedral is the most important church in the city.
Museum Island is one of the top attractions in Berlin. No wonder, because in addition to great aesthetic experience and a great location, this place offers a wealth of historical knowledge. On its premises, for example, Pergamon Museum (Pergamonmuseum), New (Neues Museum) and Old Museum (Altes Museum) and Old National Gallery (Alte Nationalgalerie). The island is considered one of the most important museum complexes in the world, and since 1999 it has been a unique architectural and cultural ensemble on the UNESCO cultural heritage list.
Checkpoint Charlie – the most famous border crossing between East and West Berlin. You will see here a border checkpoint with disguised sentries, encouraging you to take pictures with them, as well as souvenir shops. Here, too, there is a The Wall Museum.
Fernsehturm – TV tower, 368 meters high. It is worth taking the elevator to the dome, from which there is a magnificent view of the city. The cost is 15.50 EUR per adult.
Alexanderplatz – meeting point. There is the Urania World Clock (Urania-Weltzeituhr) and the Friendship Fountain (Brunnen der Völkerfreundschaft). There are large shopping centres in the area and plenty of places to eat.
Designer Outlet Berlin
Designer Outlet Berlin. Maybe it is not in the capital itself, but it is not far, about 40 km from the city centre. In less than an hour, you will find yourself in an outlet factory in the open air. Pleasant architecture, restaurants and cafes, and above all a lot of shops. Everyone will find something for themselves, and you can save a really serious amount!
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Brought to you by: Julia & Przemyslaw