Berlin in 2 Days: everything you need to know

So you're planning a two-day trip to Berlin and don't know which places to prioritize? Here's how to organize your tour to get to know a bit of everything essential.

Katherine Betances

Katherine Betances

8 min read

Berlin in 2 Days: everything you need to know

Berlin | ©VV Nincic

Ranked in the top 10 of the most visited cities in Europe, Berlin has a charm that makes you fall in love; if you have few days to explore this wonderful destination it is necessary to carefully organize the most outstanding activities to make the most of the city and see all that Berlin has to offer.

DAY 1: See the most important historical monuments of Berlin.

Brandenburg Gate| ©Giuseppe Milo
Brandenburg Gate| ©Giuseppe Milo

The first day of your Berlin tour is to explore the most outstanding historical monuments; for this I recommend you to walk around the entire central area visiting squares, boulevards, museums and government buildings.

Unter den Linden

Start the morning of your first day in Berlin walking along one of the most important avenues of the city and where many of its most representative historical buildings are located; many of which have suffered damage and consequent renovations throughout the war conflicts that have plagued the capital. Some outstanding buildings along the Unter den Lindenson Boulevard: the New Guard building, the Berlin Opera House, Humboldt University and others.

Brandenburg Gate and Pariser Platz

At the end of the Unter den Linden boulevard you will come across one of Berlin's main landmarks, the famous Brandenburg Gate. The monument that was once one of the main entrance gates to old Berlin is located at the foot of the Paiser Platz, one of the most important historical squares.

Book a guided tour of Berlin

German Parliament Tour

From Paiser Platz to the entrance of the former Reichstag building is only a four-minute walk. This is the best time to get to know the current seat of the German Parliament. Coordinate an excursion to visit the glass dome and the famous museum; in this space you can enjoy an important and modern historical museum, the glass structure is designed to function as a viewpoint from which you can see fantastic views of the center of Berlin.

  • Hours: Every day from 08h to 24h.
  • Admission fee: Free but you must book tickets to the Reichstag in advance.
  • Duration of visit: 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Take a lunch break at the Reichstag Restaurant

During your visit to the Reichstag you can take the opportunity to have lunch at one of the most emblematic restaurants in Berlin, the Reichstag Restaurant. Located on the rooftop of the building right next to Norman Foster's glass dome, it is a fantastic rooftop garden offering a breathtaking view of the city.

  • Specialty: Modern German cuisine made with fresh regional products.
  • Reservations required: Yes, especially during peak tourist seasons such as the summer months in Berlin.

Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust Memorial| ©a.canvas.of.light
Holocaust Memorial| ©a.canvas.of.light

Walking south along Ebertstraße you will come across the Holocaust Memorial after a 10-minute walk. Consisting of 2711 concrete blocks, it is a memorial to the Jews murdered in Europe during World War II.

  • Opening hours: From April to September the official opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday from 10 am to 8 pm; from October to March from 10 am to 7 pm.
  • Admission fee: Admission is free.
  • Duration of the visit: You should spend one hour on the tour.

Book a tour of the Third Reich at Berlin

Potsdamer Platz and Panorama Punkt viewpoint

Once the center of Berlin's activity, during World War II the square and the surrounding area were destroyed by bombing. During the Cold War it was split in two by the Berlin Wall; remnants of this historical past still remain.the square is worth visiting the Kollhoff Tower and the Panoramapunkt viewing platform which offers some of the best views of central Berlin.

  • Opening hours: The viewing platform is open to the public from 10 am to 10 pm.
  • Admission fee: Admission to the Panorama Punkt observation deck starts at 7,50€ for an adult ticket.
  • Duration of the visit: You can spend 1 to 2 hours touring the square, the viewpoint and some of the buildings located around it.

Book tickets for Panoramapunkt in Berlin

Checkpoint Charlie

The name by which the most famous crossing point at the former Berlin Wall that divided the capital in two during the Cold War is known. This point became famous for the creative and curious escape attempts of citizens fleeing East Berlin by fooling the military guarding the point.

Evening: Dinner and concert night at Charlottenburg Palace

If you want to make the most of your two days in Berlin, I recommend dedicating the evening of the first day to visit one of the city's most visited tourist sights, which is a bit far from the center.

The beautiful Charlottenburg Palace is the venue where the Berlin Resident Orchestra performs and offers a wonderful dinner and concert plan at sunset. The three-course dinner is followed by an exquisite musical selection that includes the likes of Bach, Handel and Mozart. My recommendation? Arrive as early as possible and take a tour of the beautiful Charlottenburg Gardens.

  • Hours: Closed on Mondays, the palace opens for tours from 10 am. From April to October it closes at 6 pm and from November to March it closes at 5 pm.
  • Ticket price: The Dinner and Concert evening is available from 85€ per person.
  • Duration of the visit: The dinner and concert starts around 6 pm with an average duration of 4 hours in total.

Or you may also be interested in taking one of the best cruises in Berlin. Sailing on the Spree River you will discover some of Berlin' s most popular neighborhoods and it is a great way to end your first night in the German capital with dinner on board of one of these boats.

Book a dinner cruise on Berlin

DAY 2: Explore Berlin's best art and history museums

Entrance to Berlin's Underworld Museum.| ©Zackiemad
Entrance to Berlin's Underworld Museum.| ©Zackiemad

Spend your second day learning about art and history; the German capital is the perfect place to do this because in addition to being the site of important historical events, its museums hold collections of art from all corners of the world.

Morning: Head to Berlin's Underworld Museum.

Start the morning of your second day by visiting a subway museum that explores life in the bunkers used in the city during the bombings of World War II. This is a unique tour and one of those activities you can only do in Berlin. The fastest way to get to this area of the city is to take the Berlin subway (line U8) the nearest stop is Gesundbrunnen station.

  • Opening hours: From 10 am to 4 pm Monday to Friday and until 6 pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
  • Admission fee: The adult ticket is available from 15 €. All tours have the same price except for the title of "escapes under the Berlin Wall" from 18 €.
  • Duration of the visit: You should reserve at least 1.5 hours to visit the museum.

Take a lunch break

After your visit to the Berliner you can take an early lunch break in the surrounding area to recharge your batteries for the rest of your tour. Although in this area of the city the gastronomic offer is not as wide as in the center of Berlin, some interesting places you might consider are:

  • Reis Mama Restaurant specializing in Vietnamese food just a few minutes from the Berliner.
  • Nguyen Kitchen Modern Asian food, on their menu you can find sushi, noodle dishes and more.
  • The Bird One of the best burger restaurants in the area. The specialty is the New York style burger.

Afternoon: Explore the highlights of Museum Island

Pergamon Museum,| ©Rob S
Pergamon Museum,| ©Rob S

To get to this area of the city I recommend taking the Berlin light rail (line U8) is Berlin Gesundbrunnen station a few minutes from the Berliner; get off at Alexanderplatz station and head to the Rathausbrücke bridge walking through St. Mary's Church Park; the idea is to enjoy an afternoon of art and architecture on Museum Island.

On your walk you can admire two interesting Berlin monuments: the beautiful Neptune Fountain and the Wasserspiele.

Once on the Museum Island take into account the closing hours of the museums, on your tour I recommend you to visit three important locations.

1st - The New Museum of Berlin: The Neues Museum is considered one of the best museums in the city for housing in its collection such important treasures as the bust of the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, along with one of the largest collections of Egyptian treasures in Europe.

  • Hours: From 10 am to 6 pm; on Thursdays extended hours until 8 pm.
  • Entrance fee: Approximately 12€ per visitor.
  • Duration of visit: Approximately 2 hours is recommended to see the museum, but if you are in a hurry you can see the highlights in 45 minutes.

2nd- The Pergamon Museum: Leaving the Neues Museum the famous Pergamon Museum is just to the left. One of the most important museums in Europe and the world, it is a must on any first trip to Berlin. Here are exhibited priceless treasures such as the famous Greek Pergamon Altar, more than 2000 years old and brought in parts to Germany from Greece itself, the view is breathtaking to say the least.

  • Hours: From 10 am to 6 pm; on Thursdays extended hours until 8 pm.
  • Admission fee: The adult ticket is available from 12€.
  • Duration of the visit: It is possibly the best museum in Berlin, spend about 2 hours to visit it.

3rd- The Berlin Cathedral: Near the Rathausbrücke bridge you will find the most important religious building of the German capital, built between 1894 and 1905 in a marked Renaissance-Baroque style. The cathedral is worth a visit for two things; for its imposing dome made of copper and for the Hohenzollern Crypt where 90 tombs of the imperial family are housed.

  • Opening hours: From April to November the opening hours are from 09h to 20h; from October to March the opening hours are from 09h to 19h. This schedule applies every day except Sundays and holidays when the cathedral opens its doors at 12h.
  • Admission fee: Approximately 7€ for an adult ticket.
  • Duration of the visit: You will need 1.5 hours to explore the interior of the temple.

Book a guided visit to the Pergamon Museum and Neus

Sunset at the Berlin TV tower

If you finish your tour in plenty of time consider bidding farewell to your last day in Berlin by climbing to the top of the TV Tower to watch the sun set over the city. Built in 1969 this fantastic 368 meters high monument-viewpoint offers the best panoramic views of the whole city. Do you want to take pictures of Berlin? This is the perfect place.

From your location on Museum Island you just need to return to St. Mary's Church Park, the tower is located right on the main square.

  • Opening hours: The monument is open to the public until midnight from Monday to Friday; from March to October it opens at 9 am and from November to February at 10 am.
  • Admission fee: You will have to pay about 23€ for the entrance ticket.
  • Duration of the visit: 45 minutes is the average time visitors spend at the observatory, but you can stay there as long as you want.

You can get to the TV Tower in one of the best sightseeing buses in Berlin, an option that I recommend especially for your two-day trip in the German capital, as you can buy a 24 or 48-hour pass and during the different routes you can get off and on as many times as you want to see the sights you find along the way.

Book tickets to the Berlin TV Tower