What to see in Berlin in one day

Berlin is the largest and most multicultural city in Germany.

Until 1989, the Berlin Wall divided the city into two parts. The development of the eastern part of Berlin resembles a typical Soviet one: panel high-rise buildings, many of which are painted with graffiti. There is also a TV tower and Alexanderplatz, where the main parties of the city take place.

Classical German architecture can be seen in the western part of the city. In the administrative district of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, expensive hotels and restaurants, boutiques, the opera house and the Charlottenburg Palace are located.

The main attractions can be bypassed in 3 hours. I made a walking route for 11.9 km in both parts of Berlin. The route starts at the Reichstag and ends at the Berlin Wall. On the way you will see Tiergarten park, Brandenburg Gate, Holocaust Memorial, Ritter Sport chocolate shop, Museum Island, Berlin Cathedral, Alexanderplatz. We recommend that you save the itinerary in your TripAdvisor account.

How to get from the airport. Berlin has two airports: Schönefeld and Tegel. From both you can reach the center by train and metro or by bus in 50 minutes.

It is most profitable to buy a ticket for 7.7 €⁣ ( 893 R ). On it you can ride unlimited until 3:00 the next day. Tickets are sold in the machine, you can pay in cash or by card. Get off at the Bundestag station.

Route

The Reichstag  is the majestic building of the German parliament, which was partially destroyed during the Second World War. Since 1999, German deputies have been meeting again in the reconstructed Reichstag.

By prior appointment on the site, you can climb the observation deck for free and even attend a meeting of parliament. During the tour, they show the inscriptions that Soviet soldiers left on the walls of the Reichstag.

In front of the Reichstag, you can sit on the perfectly mowed lawn or have a picnic there. The atmosphere on the lawn pleasantly surprised me: some Germans chew sandwiches and sunbathe, others drink beer and smoke, others play  mini-golf or badminton. This is my favorite place in Berlin – I advise you to stay there for half an hour and break the stereotypes about cold and prim Germans.

Tiergarten and Victory Column. Near the Reichstag there is a large park with a Victory Column in the center. It was built in honor of the military victories of Prussia in the 19th century. It is pleasant to walk around the park in the shade of trees and along the lakes, drink beer or coffee in a cafe near the water.

At the other end of the Tiergarten is the Berlin Zoo. It works from 9:00 to 18:30. Entrance for adults costs 15.5 €⁣ ( 1797 R ), for children 4-15 years old  – 8 €⁣ ( 927 R ). 

The Brandenburg Gate is similar to the classic triumphal arches of other European cities – Paris, Rome, Barcelona. The gates are reminiscent of the reunification of West and East Berlin and fit into the architecture of the restored buildings of Paris Square. Near the gate there is always a crowd of people: taking pictures, protesters and pickpockets. I advise you to carefully monitor your belongings.

The Holocaust Memorial  consists of 2700 rectangles of different heights and widths, resembling a labyrinth. As conceived by the architect, visitors to the memorial should go through the installation and get lost in it in order to feel someone else’s horror and grief. In reality, beer-drinking teenagers and the homeless are found on the slabs of the memorial, and some visitors play hide-and-seek and laugh. Such places help me appreciate life even more and train empathy.

Chocolate shop Ritter Sport. I love German Ritter-Sport chocolate more than any other because of the endless palette of flavors. In Germany, “Ritter-sport” is not as cloying as in Russia, and costs half as much. It is sold in the company’s Berlin store. One discounted bar costs from 0.6 €⁣ ( 70 R ), a set of mini chocolates with different flavors will cost 3 €⁣ ( 348 R ). There are tiles with rum, raisins, nuts, exotic berries and mint. 

Museum Island is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. There are five museums there. Antiquities are exhibited in the Old Museum, and the life of ancient eras, in particular Egypt, is presented in the New. There you can see the famous bust of Nefertiti. The Pergamon Museum studies the architecture of Ancient Rome and Islamic art. The Bode Museum tells about Byzantine art, and the Old National Gallery introduces European sculpture and painting of the 19th century.

All museums on the island are open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 to 18:00. A single entrance ticket costs 18 €⁣ ( 2087 Р ), visitors under 18 are admitted free of charge. In the south-west of the island, near the Pergamon Museum, film screenings and open-air concerts are held in summer. 

About Museum Island on the Berlin website

Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom)  is the largest evangelical church in Germany, built in the Baroque style. The cathedral struck me with its pomposity both outside and inside.

Masses and tours are held daily in the cathedral. The dome offers a beautiful view of the city. The entrance ticket costs 7 €⁣ ( 812 R ). The schedule of services, concerts and excursions is on the website of the cathedral. 

Alexanderplatz  is a popular meeting place with the Urania clock, which tells the time of major cities around the world. There are many fashion boutiques, souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants on the square. In winter, Alexanderplatz hosts a Christmas market and festivities. Kebabs and beer are sold on the square all year round.

Several undestroyed sections remain of the Berlin Wall . One of them is the  , an entire art gallery. I advise you to take a walk along the river. Artists from 21 countries painted 106 paintings on the wall: from historical retrospectives to satirical caricatures on topical issues.

The Berlin Wall memorial complex operates on Bernauer Strasse. A section 1.4 km long was left in memory of the history of the division of the city into two camps – Soviet and American. The memorial complex tells about the reasons for the construction of the wall and its impact on the lives of Berliners. They also honor the memory of the dead who tried to move from the GDR to the FRG.

Details

Language. There are many tourists and expats in Berlin, so English is enough to communicate with sellers and waiters.

Transport. Berlin has a well-developed public transport network that connects both airports with the city. Suburban trains are called S-bahn , and subways are called U-bahn . Both systems pass through some stations. There is an electronic scoreboard with train numbers and arrival times on each platform. Pay attention to the capital letters S and U to understand where the train is going.

Buses, trams and metro trams also run around the city. Trams complement metro routes in the eastern part of the city. Metro trams look no different from ordinary ones. They can be recognized by the letter “M” in the route number. They run throughout the city and more often than regular trams – every 10 minutes.

The cheapest ticket for any type of public transport costs 1.7 €⁣ ( 197 R ). It can be traveled three stops in one direction on S-bahn and  U-bahn trains, or 6 stops on a bus or tram without transfers to another mode of transport. The fine for ticketless travel is 60 €⁣ ( 6956 R ). The ticket must be validated before boarding, otherwise it is invalid.  

One trip on any type of transport without restrictions on the number of stations costs 3.4 €⁣ ( 394 R ). With such a ticket, you can ride on any type of transport and in any direction for 2 hours in zones A, B and C. More information about the zones is written on the S-bahn website . 

Food. In Berlin, you can drink beer and other alcoholic drinks on the streets at any time of the day. A glass of German beer in a cafe costs from 3 €⁣ ( 348 R ), a bottle of beer in a store can be found for 0.5 €⁣ ( 58 R ).  

German cuisine is rich in meat, potatoes and cabbage. The most popular meat dishes are schnitzel and pork or chicken sausages. Schnitzel costs from 4 €⁣ ( 464 R ), a traditional German sausage carivurst costs 3 €⁣ ( 348 R ). Potatoes in boiled, baked and fried form and sauerkraut are often served as a side dish. German spaetzle will cost 6 €⁣ ( 696 Р ).   

I recommend trying the sweet potato pie. It tastes like our apple, but it’s hard to believe that instead of flour dough – mashed potatoes. In the restaurant, I paid 7 €⁣ ( 812 R ) for it. A classic apple strudel costs the same. 

Oriental fast food — kebab and falafel — is popular in the city. A portion costs 4 €⁣ ( 464 R ). Most often, fast food is prepared by the Turks, who in the sixties came en masse to restore the country and stayed here to live. 

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