Visit Berlin, an extravagant mix of subculture, a city that grows and changes constantly: the old abandoned buildings are transformed into spaces where the Art takes over. Berlin is a multicultural city and evolves quickly. Organize a trip to visit Berlin is very simple: it is well connected to the major Italian airports even with low cost flights. Hotels are numerous, many of them are modern. The transport is mostly based on a modern subway consists of two networks, one underground and one on surface.
Berlin is a metropolis not too big and very easy to visit, even for those who have only 3 days like our friends Cristina and Paolo who have asked us a special itinerary to enjoy the best of the city. We suggest, however, to start with clear ideas, especially regarding the main attractions that you do not want to miss!
Visit Berlin: monuments and relevant places to see
We suggest you to visit Berlin seeing the symbolic monuments of the City. The ideal starting point for visiting the city is definitely Alexanderplatz with the Fernsehturm. In addition, in Berlin, the Museumsinsel, or Museum Island, is a must for those who love art. Here you can see:
- the Pergamonmuseum,
- the Altes Museum,
- the Alte Nationalgalerie,
- the Bodemuseu,
- the Neues Museum.
Finally we suggest to continue your itinerary of visiting the Brandeburg Gate, the Reichstag and the Memorial of the jews’ murderer. The itinerary will end at Potsdamer Platz.
On the second day lose yourself in visiting the East Side Gallery and all its murales filled with the history of the Cold War. Do some shopping on the Friedrichstrasse. Then concentrate again on the history exploring the Checkpoint Charlie where the East and the West met.
In conclusion, on the third day, have a relaxing stroll on the Charlottenburg district. Enjoying not only the elegant architecture but also the famous zoo!
First day in Berlin: lose yourself exploring the ancient heritage
Alexanderplatz is a central crossroads of the major subway lines and trams. It is easily reachable from any part of Berlin. It is the symbol of a city, gray and chaotic. In here there is the iconic Fernsehturm and many malls to do some shopping.
On the Museumsinsel the most significant museum, in our view, is the Pergamon one. It owes its name to the Altar of Zeus in Pergamon, an ancient city in Asia. But this monument, in this period, is being restored and will remain inaccessible (reopening in 2025!). Do not give in! You can also visit other important monuments such as the Ishtar Gate or the port of Miletus. It still worth it!
Continuing on Unter den Linden, the elegant tree-lined boulevard where you can take a relaxing walk, you reach the Brandenburg Gate. It is a place of central importance in the history of the city. Just around the corner there is the dome of the Reichstag. We advise you to arrange the visit some time before, since the access is only possible by registering on the Bundestag website.
Heading towards Potsdamer Platz, it is touching visiting the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. It consists of 2000 concrete blocks.
Finally at Potsdamer Platz ends our itinerary for the first day. The square, designed by Renzo Piano, is a magnificent work of urban reintegration. This area had been bombed during the Second World War and became a desert during the Cold War. Here you can still see the remains of the wall. And that is the best example of modern architecture. Especially relevant is the futuristic Sony Center. You should visit it in the evening, when the dome above it changes its color thanks to a effect of lights.
Second day in Berlin: a dip in the Past
To get an idea of what it was the Berlin wall, we recommend visiting the East Side Gallery. It is famous for its street art and the many pieces of the wall that are still standing as witnesses of a terrible war. Here you will find the most popular open sky gallery in the world. The most famous mural is the one of the fraternal Soviet kiss between Erich Honecker and Leonid Brezhnev.
Heading towards the Mitte district, on Friedrichstrasse, a very busy shopping street, there is the famous Checkpoint Charlie. It was one of the crossing points between the two opposing realities coexisting in Berlin, the communist East and the West Berlin enclave.
We recommend a visit to Mauermuseum am Checkpoint Charlie and the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer, the most comprehensive documentation center on the history of the Wall.
Third day in Berlin: an ideal european city
The third day, the Charlottenburg district, one of the bourgeois and chic of the city, is worth a visit. And also there is the Zoological Garden (known thanks to the novel of Christiane F. “We, the children from Bahnhof Zoo“), the old and the new town hall.
Furthermore Charlottenburg is also a shopper’s paradise. It is a kind of “Champs-Élysées”, immersing itself in marvelous Art Nouveau and Neo-classical facades and luxury boutiques. Covering it to the east, the main street changes its name in Tauentzienstraße. Here the shopping continues, but it becomes accessible to everyone with lots of stores of the most famous fashion chains.
Tips and tricks
We advise you to taste the specialties of the place based on grilled meat and beer. But also to taste ethnic cuisines that sprinkles Berlin. If for dinner the beer will be a “must”, for lunch you can orient yourself on one fast food. Try the classic currywurst, a popular snack in Berlin.
Finally we went to Berlin in the first days of January, just after the Christmas holidays and the atmosphere was still magical. The snow came down and the lights of the festivities were still on the hearts of the Berliners.
In conclusion for those who cannot stand the cold, it is better to visit Berlin in spring, summer or fall. But to fully understand the spirit of this city the winter months would be best. Berlin is a city of the north: due to its climate, armed yourself with boots and heavy coat and go to discover its wonders!