Special shout-out to my husband and favourite travel partner who has taken most of our travel photos.

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Berlin itinerary in 4 days

Hotels

Berlin:

Circus Hotel

♥♥♥♥♥

Very nice, modern hotel in a perfect location, in the Mitte area. The staff were very friendly. Our room was nicely decorated with modern amenities and faced the back courtyard which was nice and quiet. We added the small breakfast option which was perfect. Highly recommended.

Guides and Tours

Berlin:

  • Berlin Perspectives. We did a private 4-hour walking tour with Torben Brown. This tour was an excellent overview of the history of Berlin including World War 2 and the Cold War. Torben was very knowledgeable and walked us through most of the main sites. 

  • Topography of Terror Museum. This museum sits on the site of what used to be the SS Reich's main security office. They offer free tours on Sunday afternoons at 3:30 pm. The guide walked us through the exhibit focusing on very specific artifacts. It was a moving tour. You should arrive a half hour early to register for the tour.

Noteworthy Restaurants

Berlin:

  • Katz Orange. This upscale restaurant is located in a lovely courtyard. They serve modern German cuisine and have a very good wine menu.

  • Sagrantino Wine Bar - For late afternoon wine and tapas bar. 

  • Lokal - This restaurant serves seasonal European dishes and has a changing menu depending on what's fresh.

  • Schwarzwalstuben - A restaurant that serves traditional German comfort food in a hipster vibe. 

  • Cappuccino Grand Cafe. - For delicious coffee and kuchen (cake). We had their Black Forest Cake which hit the spot of our sweet craving.

  • Zur Haxe  - A cozy, Bavarian restaurant that specializes in pork knuckle. It is a family-owned restaurant and the staff wear traditional Bavarian attire. It is located a little out of the way.

  • Osmans Tochter - An innovative and delicious Turkish restaurant. We enjoyed the sharing dishes. Everything was very tasty.

Favourite Museums

Berlin:

  • Reichstag Dome - a beautiful glass dome built over top of Germany's capital building. This dome was designed by architect Norman Foster and is a symbol of Germany's reunification. Time slots must be booked in advance.

  • The Gemaldegalerie - consists mainly of European paintings from the 13th to 18th centuries.

  • The Kunstgewerbemuseum - a museum of decorative arts from the middle ages till the present day.

  • East Side Gallery - home to the largest stretch of the Berlin Wall that is still in tact. Symbolizing freedom, it is adorned with street-art along its entire length and is considered the longest open-air gallery in the world at 1316 metres long.

  • The Pergamon Museum - houses ancient monumental buildings such as the Pergamon Alter, Ishtar's Gate and the Market Gate of Miletis. It has a beautiful collection of Syrian and Islamic artifacts.

  • The Neues Museum - antiquities including the exquisite Nefertiti's bust and the gold crown of Kerch from the dawn of European history.

  • The Alte Nationalgalerie - showcases a collection of Neoclassical, Romantic, Biedermeier, Impressionist and early Modernist artwork.

  • Topography of Terror - an outdoor/indoor museum at the former headquarters of the Secret State Police, the SS and the Reich Security Main Office. 

Day 1

Berlin

Berlin, the capital city of Germany, dates back to the 13th century but it is a new city in so many ways. After the turbulent events of the 20th century, Berlin is trying to rebuild in a positive way while honouring the events of the Holocaust and the Cold War.

It is an emerging centre of art and has been attracting young people from all over the world.

Afternoon

Checked into The Circus Hotel. This nice and modern hotel is ideally located in the Mitte area of Berlin. Our room was spacious and overlooked a quiet inner courtyard. We added the small breakfast option to our booking which was a great way to start each day.

After settling in we went for a walk and then headed to the Reichstag Dome, a beautiful glass dome built over top of Germany's capital building. This Dome was designed by architect Norman Foster and is a symbol of Germany's reunification. 

The Dome can be visited by members of the public. Time slots must be booked in advance. There is tight security when entering and each visitor must bring identification such as a passport.

Once inside the Dome, the views are beautiful. There is an excellent audio-guide which describes the views of Berlin, as well as information about the Dome and the workings of the German government.

On our way back to the hotel we stopped for a beer and tapas appetizers at Sagrantino Wine Bar.

Evening

We had dinner reservations at Katz Orange. This upscale restaurant is located in a lovely courtyard. They serve modern German cuisine and have a very good wine list.

Day 2

 

Morning

This morning we booked a private historical walking tour with Torben Brown of Berlin Perspectives. Torben walked us through the main sites of Berlin while describing the history of the city over the centuries with a particular focus on the events of the 20th century. He is extremely knowledgeable and interesting.

The tour included:

  • Mitte and the old Jewish neighbourhood 

  • The beautiful synagogue with its gorgeous dome 

  • The moving memorial to the Holocaust

  • Points of interest around the Cold War 

  • Check-point Charlie 

  • Topography of Terror 

  • Cultural venues in Berlin both pre and post war

  • Brandenburg Gate

  • Museum Island

Afternoon

We stopped for a quick lunch and then headed to the Cultural Institute located south of the Tiergarten. The Cultural Institute houses two museums:

 

Evening

This evening we had a dinner reservation at Lokal restaurant near our hotel. This restaurant serves seasonal European dishes and has a changing menu depending on what's fresh.

Day 3

 

Morning

We headed to the Kreuzberg neighbourhood which is home to many students, artists and a large Turkish population. 

 

This area has several parks and pathways to walk along or cycle.  It is quirky and is known for its second-hand shops and cafes. Its lively, indoor market, Markethalle Neun, is filled with international food vendors and shops. We tried some food samples and grabbed some snacks in the market.

From Kreuzberg we walked to the East Side Gallery across the river. This is home to the largest stretch of the Berlin Wall that is still in tact. Considered an international memorial to freedom, it is adorned with street-art along its entire length and is considered the longest open-air gallery in the world at 1,316 metres long.

The wall consists of 101 large-format paintings painted directly on the wall. They symbolize the the fall of the Berlin Wall, the overcoming of the Iron Curtain in Europe, and the euphoria over the peacefully won freedom over persecution. 

Afternoon

We returned to the Mitte area for lunch at Schwarzwalstuben, a restaurant that serves traditional German comfort food in a hipster vibe.  

After lunch we walked around Mitte going into galleries and shops.

We stopped for a coffee and kuchen (cake) at Cappuccino Grand Cafe. We tried their delicious Black Forest Cake which hit the spot for our sweet craving.

Evening

We had dinner reservations at Zur Haxe, a cozy, Bavarian restaurant that specializes in pork knuckle. It is a family-owned restaurant and the staff wear traditional Bavarian attire. 

Day 4

Morning 

Berlin really shuts down on Sunday. All stores and some restaurants are closed but all the amazing museums are open. We decided to spend most of our day on Museum Island which is located on the northern half of the Spree River. It houses five Berlin State Museums. 

 

If you are planning on visiting two or more museums I highly recommend purchasing the Berlin Museum Pass. This three-day pass allows you to skip-the-line and enter almost all the museums in Berlin (including the ones mentioned above on Day 2). It also includes the audio-guides in each museum.

We visited:

  • The Pergamon Museum - This museum houses ancient monumental buildings such as the Pergamon Alter, Ishtar's Gate and the Market Gate of Miletis. It has a beautiful collection of Syrian and Islamic artifacts.

  • The Neues Museum - This gallery has antiquities including the exquisite Nefertiti's bust and the gold crown of Kerch from the dawn of European history.

  • The Alte Nationalgalerie - This art gallery showcases a collection of Neoclassical, Romantic, Biedermeier, Impressionist and early Modernist artwork.

Afternoon

 

We stopped for lunch at a modern and tasty Italian restaurant around the Hackescher Market square.

From there we headed over to the Topography of Terror - an outdoor/indoor museum at the former headquarters of the Secret State Police, the SS and the Reich Security Main Office. Every Sunday afternoon they offer a free tour led by a docent. This was very interesting and the docent was excellent.

 

On the way back to the hotel we went over to Alexanderplatz, Berlin's main commercial square, to have a look.

Evening

This evening we had dinner at Osmans Tochter, an innovative and delicious Turkish restaurant. We enjoyed the sharing dishes. Everything was very tasty.

After dinner we dropped into the Circus Hostel Microbrewery for a taste of their craft beers.

 

Day 5

Morning

After breakfast we checked out of our hotel and headed to the airport.

 
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