So you already know Kurfürstendamm, the Brandenburg Gate and Charlottenburg Palace and wish you had some insider tips for a wonderful time in Berlin? Our excursion programme for Berlin takes you to fascinating places off the beaten track over five days. Discover Berlin's idyllic parks and lakes, small shops in the Kiez (neighbourhood) and traces of the city’s former division. Look forward to nature, art and culture in a city that is constantly reinventing itself.
Tip: Buy the Berlin WelcomeCard for 5 days. Not only do you receive discounts of up to 50% on around 200 Berlin sights and attractions, but you also enjoy free travel by bus and train. In the practical guide you will also find further tips for your stay in Berlin.
Day 1: A whole lot of greenery and water
If you think of Berlin primarily as a city of buildings and architecture, that's only half the picture. After all, over forty percent of the city’s area is made up of parks, forests and fields, meadows, lakes and rivers. Romantic walks will take you to this green part of the capital. You start the tour in the Gardens of the World in the southeastern district of Marzahn-Hellersdorf, where the recreation park transports you to a world of garden architecture from numerous countries, from England, to Italy, China and Japan.
With the Berlin WelcomeCard for five days you get reduced admission to the Gardens of the World. And you no longer have to worry about public transport tickets.
Then hike along the Wuhletalweg, which leads you to Schlosspark Biesdorf. The hiking trail in the Wuhletal valley takes you through the charming landscape with beautiful views. A villa built in 1868 in the Schlosspark houses temporary exhibitions. Or you can enjoy a walk round the romantic grounds of the park. Look forward to the remarkable interplay of light and shadow and new perspectives of the castle again and again.
From Biesdorf you can reach Ostkreuz in 10 minutes via the nearby S-Bahn station of line 3. From there you can reach Müggelsee in 20 minutes with the S 5. Unwind on a boat trip on the capital's largest lake. The first day ends in the old town of Köpenick, where the Dahme and Spree rivers join and where winding alleys invite you to take a stroll. Perhaps you will also visit the coat of arms hall of Köpenick Palace ((unfortunately still closed until the end of the year), and the view of the opulent table service might just whet your appetite. The old town boasts a large number of reputable culinary establishments. The Ratskeller, for example, is an authentic restaurant serving typical Berlin cuisine.
Day 2: By bike to the southwest
Today you get your bike trip underway from the Berlin Olympic Stadium, located in the west of the capital. In the Olympic Stadium you can climb the bell tower which was built in 1936 for the Olympic Games. From here you can even see Alexanderplatz in fine weather.
Not far from the stadium is the Georg Kolbe Museum in Berlin's Westend. It is located in the studio house of the famous sculptor (1877–1947) and exhibits an impressive collection of classical modern and contemporary art. Afterwards you climb the Teufelsberg. The second highest point in Berlin is actually a mountain of rubble which was formed after the Second World War. The Americans used it for a long time as a listening station, which can still be seen today from the five radar domes. You can visit the complex, a popular photo scene with morbid charm, as part of guided tours.
A short cycle route takes you further into the romantic old town of Spandau. Stroll through the narrow streets and take in the medieval charm of the old town of Spandau. An impressive building in the vicinity is the Spandau Citadel, a fortress dating back to the 16th century. If lunch in a rustic ambience is your thing, then dine atZitadellen Wirtschaft. Or head to Altstadt Burger for a quick alternative, for instance. Vegetarian delicacies in bread rolls are also served here. You will start the second half of the day invigorated.
Surrounded by the Havel and the forest you ride to the Großer Wannsee and can follow the circular tour in the direction of Potsdam-Babelsberg. There are a number of historically important places worth seeing such as the House of the Wannsee Conference and the Glienicke Bridge. You can also look forward to breathtaking natural highlights in the river and lake landscape. To round off the day you will dine at the Wannseeterrassen restaurant and watch the sun go down over the lake. You will also find many restaurants serving local and international cuisine near the Zehlendorf S-Bahn station.
Tip: With a Berlin WelcomeCard you can hire a bike at one of the many Deezer nextbike hire stations at a reduced price or you can even have your bike delivered directly to your hotel by Fahrradstation Berlin.
Day 3: Divided Berlin and the Fall of the Wall
In hardly any other city have the ups and downs of the 20th century left such an indelible mark as in the German capital. Today you start your tour through the city’s eventful history at the Hohenschönhausen Memorial. A guided tour will take you to see the cells in the former Stasi prison and you will discover the everyday life of the politically persecuted inmates. Afterwards, a stroll through the lively and creative Kaskelkiez with its many cafés in the Lichtenberg district, you will feel the changes that Berlin has undergone over the past three decades.
The East Side Gallery serves as a tangible testimony to the city divided during the Cold War. This fragment of the former Berlin Wall subsequently became the longest open-air gallery in the world. At over a kilometre in length you will witness fascinating street art, including probably the most famous brotherly kiss in art history by Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker. You will then dive a little deeper into the history of the German division at Checkpoint Charlie.
Here the Wall Museum, the BlackBox Cold War information pavilion and the 360-degree exhibition The Wall - asisi Panorama combine historical information with current impressions. The Topography of Terror exhibition recalls the darkest chapter of German history. It deals with the horror regime of the Gestapo, SS and Reich Main Security Office between 1939 and 1945.
At the place in the heart of Berlin where a wound had been gaping for decades following the war, perhaps the most modern part of the city was built after 1990 at Potsdamer Platz. A short walk across the Landwehrkanal leads you to Berlin's newest creative hotspot, the Gallery District around Potsdamer Straße with its hip concept stores and pop-up galleries. There are a large number of excellent restaurants around Potsdamer Straße to bring the day to a close, such as Panama.
Day 4: Hikes between palace gardens and village idyll
An insider tip in the north of Berlin is the small river called the Panke. A well-developed hiking trail leads you along the riverbank from the city centre into the Brandenburg countryside. Walk downstream from Schlosspark Buch through the Karower Teiche nature reserve to Schönhausen Palace. At lunchtime the spacious park is an ideal spot for a picnic under one of the old trees in summer.
In the afternoon you will put your hiking boots back on. After an U-Bahn ride to the Alt-Tegel stop, you walk along the Tegeler Fließ. Here you will see powerful water buffalo grazing, thereby cultivating the landscape. Your tour ends in Lübars. Amid the meadows and pastures you can savour idyllic village life without having left the city area of Berlin. Bus 222 will take you back to Alt-Tegel. After a few minutes’ walk you will reach the Greenwichpromenade at Lake Tegel. The maritime flair of the place is particularly charming. Round off the day with a Mediterranean dinner in the Tegeler Seeterrassen. The restaurant boasts a magnificent view of the lake.
Day 5: Discover Berlin Modernism and Berlin's Kiez (neighbourhood) life
Berlin is a booming metropolis and attracts people from all over the world, something which was already the case in the 1920s. And to this day, nothing has changed. The challenges for housing construction associated with this are also similar. The solutions that visionary planners sought and found about a hundred years ago can now be found in the Hufeisensiedlung Britz in the south of Berlin – a UNESCO World Heritage site and an exciting example of the architectural trends of Berlin Modernism.
During your lunch break, treat yourself to another hearty meal with a view of the water at Tempelhofer Hafen. This outstanding construction project integrates a modern shopping centre into a historic warehouse building. Afterwards you can skate on the vast Tempelhofer Feld, cycle or simply lie on the grass and enjoy the sun. Perhaps there is no other place in the capital that embodies Berlin’s attitude to life and spirit of freedom so strongly.
Your five days in Berlin come to an end with a stroll through the Schöneberg district.
Here you can enjoy Berlin's Kiez life once again. You will explore the Bavarian Quarter, one of the most stylish quarters in Berlin's inner city. Afterwards, Akazienstraße with its many small and original shops invites you on a shopping trip. You are spoilt for choice when it comes to eating out in the quarter. Recommendations include, among others, the cosy Café Bilderbuch and the Buddha Haus with Tibetan and Nepalese cuisine on Akazienstraße.
Buy the Berlin WelcomeCard for 5 days. Not only do you receive discounts of up to 50% on around 200 Berlin sights and attractions, but you also enjoy free travel by bus and train. In the practical guide you will also find further tips for your stay in Berlin.