You are planning your first trip to Berlin and don’t want to miss out on any of the highlights in this exciting city? Our 72-hour tour will take you to the most famous landmarks in Berlin and to its most beautiful places. Be guided through a sightseeing tour of Mitte, go shopping on Kurfürstendamm and in City West, and experience neighbourhood life in the districts of Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain. With our 72-hour programme, you won’t miss out on any top sights during your first visit to Berlin.
Day 1 in Mitte: from Alexanderplatz to the Brandenburg Gate
Morning: Alexanderplatz & Nikolaiviertel
Start your first day in Berlin at the World Clock at Alexanderplatz. Let the surrounding buildings take you back in time to the GDR of the 1970s, watch the lively goings-on as people pass by and look up across the S-Bahn railway tracks at the TV Tower, the first highlight on the tour. From the top you have a phenomenal panoramic view of the city - at a reduced rate with the Berlin WelcomeCard, by the way. Enjoy the view over breakfast or brunch at the restaurant sphere, which rotates on its own axis at a height of more than 200 metres.
You can continue the tour westwards, past the Rotes Rathaus (red town hall), where the Berlin mayor’s office is. Berlin’s oldest district, the Nikolaiviertel, awaits your visit by the Spree. You can stroll around the picturesque neighbourhood surrounding St. Nicholas’ Church. A bit further downstream of the river on the other side you’ll find the Berlin Cathedral with its gigantic dome – one of Berlin’s landmarks and something you most definitely should not miss.
Museum Island is not only a top Berlin attraction for art lovers. This ensemble consists of five museums that are on UNESCO’s list of world heritage sites. The Altes Museum, the Neues Museum, the Pergamon Museum, the Bode Museum and the Alte Nationalgalerie together form one of the most important museum complexes in the world, and you have free entrance to them with the Berlin WelcomeCard. Unfortunately, the Pergamon Museum is closed for extensive renovation work.
Afternoon: Humboldt Forum, Gendarmenmarkt, Holocaust Memorial and Brandenburg gate
Back on the magnificent boulevard Unter den Linden, you should visit Berlin's new forum for culture, art and science just opposite the Museum Island: The Humboldt Forum. Over Bebelplatz and St. Hedwig’s Cathedral which is a little hidden behind the Staatsoper Unter den Linden (Berlin State Opera), the journey continues with a short detour to Gendarmenmarkt, surely the most beautiful square in Berlin. Enjoy the harmonious ensemble of the concert house in the centre, flanked by the German and French cathedrals, from one of the many restaurants and cafés around the square.
Charlottenstraße on the western side of the square and then Behrenstraße going westwards will now lead you past the Komische Oper to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, which is also known as the Holocaust Memorial. Walk through the memorial with its 2,711 concrete pillars and take in its contemplative atmosphere.
From here it’s just a few metres down Ebertstraße before you’ll find yourself in front of the most famous landmark of Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate. Few buildings are as closely connected with the history of Berlin as the former city gate is. After the fall of the Berlin Wall it became a symbol of German unity. Following a short walk around Pariser Platz the tour continues through the gate onto the Platz des 18. März. Now you’ll be able to recognise the Siegessäule (Victory Column) in the distance, in the centre of the large Tiergarten park.
The next highlight of our tour is also a truly historic place. The Reichstag, the seat of the Deutscher Bundestag (German parliament), has not only had an eventful history since the Reichstag fire in 1933.
At night: Enjoy the nightlife around Hackescher Markt
To finish off the tour we recommend either a drink at Capital Beach, directly on the riverbank of the Spreebogenpark with a view of the main railway station – or a beer at Zollpackhof on the other side of the Spree. From there you can also comfortably reach Hackescher Markt, where you can spend the evening at any one of the numerous restaurants, cafés and bars.
Day 2 in City West: Between Charlottenburg Palace and the Gedächtniskirche
Morning: Charlottenburg Palace
Begin your second day like royalty, with a stroll around Charlottenburg Palace. Initially constructed as a summer palace, today it is the most splendid palace in Berlin, with extensive gardens. Located directly by the Spree, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time to the rococo period and the days of the Prussian kingdom as you stroll through the park.
Use our Day Ticket Charlottenburg+ for Charlottenburg Palace and all facilities in the Charlottenburg Palace Gardens.
You can also visit the Käthe Kollwitz Museum in the theatre building of the palace complex.
Afternoon: Ku'damm & Zoo
A short ride from there on the U7 metro will take you directly to Adenauerplatz in the middle of the legendary Kurfürstendamm – the most famous shopping street in Berlin. Here you can peruse the latest designer fashions or simply marvel at the impressive building façades during your walk along the boulevard. The next highlight is waiting for you at the end of the Ku’damm: the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche (Memorial Church) on Breitscheidplatz. The ensemble consists of the ruins of the church destroyed in the war and a new building next to it. It is a monument for peace and reconciliation and a symbol of Berliners’ will to rebuild in the post-war period.
Today the church is encircled by several tall buildings such as the Upper West, the Zoofenster and the Europa Center, the oldest shopping centre in Berlin. You can reach Kaufhaus des Westens at Wittenbergplatz in just a few minutes via the adjacent Tauentzienstraße. KaDeWe is the most famous department store in Germany. Ansbacher Straße and Kurfürstenstraße will take you to Olof-Palme-Platz. And here waiting for you at the end of the tour are two more highlights: Zoologischer Garten and the Aquarium Berlin, that you can gain reduced admission to with the Berlin WelcomeCard.
At night: Enjoy the nightlife of the City West
You can round off the day right next door, at the Monkey Bar in the 25hours Hotel Bikini Berlin. The cocktail bar with panoramic windows offers you a breathtaking view over Tiergarten and City West. Alternatively, you can retreat to the Schleusenkrug on warm summer evenings, a cosy beer garden directly on the Landwehr Canal in Tiergarten.
Day 3 in Kreuzberg-Friedrichshain: Berlin Wall and neighbourhoods
Morning: Along the river Spree to the East Side Gallery
Enjoy an easy-going start on the third day with a late brunch the way the Berliners love them. Things taste even better when there is a view to match. So check out one of the many cafés by the Landwehr Canal or the Neuköllner Schifffahrtskanal (Neukölln Ship Canal). Afterwards, you can stroll along the Spree River by the canal. There are unique gems in the way of restaurants, bars and clubs awaiting your visit. Freischwimmer, Club der Visionäre, Badeschiff and IPSE are just four of the locations on the island that form a summertime bar biotope on the left and right of the Flutgraben channel.
Schlesische Straße and Falckensteinstraße then lead you to Oberbaumbrücke. From here you have one of the most beautiful views of Berlin in both directions – towards Alexanderplatz with the TV Tower and out of the city with the Molecule Men in the Spree.
Just around the corner from Oberbaumbrücke you’ll find the East Side Gallery stretching out before you. The longest connected piece of the former Berlin Wall is covered with many different and amazing artworks. The most famous painting is the brotherly kiss between Honecker and Brezhnev. And there are plenty more historic events depicted along the 1.3 km open air gallery.
You can find detailed information about all the districts, neighbourhoods and other secret tips in our Going Local app, that you can download for free at Google Play and in the Apple App Store. Also included: tours and videos. Download now.
You would like to stay a few days longer in Berlin or have less time?
Our tip for you: explore the city with the Berlin Welcome Card
We recommend the Berlin Welcome Card – Berlin’s official tourist ticket. The Berlin Welcome Card has over 200 sights and attractions as discount partners. It is also your ticket for public transport services across the entire city – and if you prefer, also includes Potsdam
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