5 Day berlin itinerary: the perfect itinerary for your first visit, earth trekkers

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5 Day Berlin Itinerary: The Perfect Itinerary for Your First Visit

If you are planning a trip to Berlin, you should know that there is a Berlin Wall and the Brandenburg Gate. Berlin is the largest city in Germany and one of the largest cities in the European Union. It’s a diverse city filled with world-class museums, beautiful squares to wander through, and a huge collection of historical sites to visit. And you can see it all on our 5-day Berlin itinerary.

Does five days sound like too much time? You might be in Berlin (check out our list on 30 things to do in Berlin). Sure, you can go through the best of Berlin in one day, but it takes at least three full days to scratch the surface of Berlin. Add in a day trip or two before you know it, you need four to five days to explore this city.

Here is our 5-day Berlin itinerary. Visit the must-see sights on days 1 through 3, go off-the-beaten-path on day 4, and take a day trip on day 5.

Have fun exploring Berlin!

5-Day Berlin Itinerary

Day 1

Museum Island, Berlin Wall, Brandenburg Gate, & the Reichstag Building

How to Use This Map: Click the tab in the top left hand corner of the map to view the layers (points of interest and the walking route). You can click the check marks to hide or show layers. If you click the icons on the map, you can get more information about each point of interest.

If you click the star next to the title of the map, this map will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

Our tour of Berlin starts on Museum Iceland. This island is home to five world-class museums. You can pick one museum and see it at a leisurely pace or pop in to two or three museums and see the main exhibits.

Tickets can be purchased individually for each museum. Learn more here.

have lunch at one of the museum cafes located at one of many restaurants just off the island. If you like Asian / Thai food, you could try Restaurant Jolly, just a two minute walk from Museum Island.

After lunch, visit the Berlin Cathedral, Which is also located on Museum Island. Climb the 270 steps to the top of the dome for a great view over Berlin (cost: € 7).

From Museum Island, walk to Gendarmenmarkt , has been nominated as the “most beautiful square in Berlin.”

Chocoholics should cons >Rausch chocolate house , a coffee and pastry shop that serves amazing chocolate delicacies (Charlottenstrasse 60, one block from Gendarmenmarkt).

Continue on to checkpoint Charlie. This very touristy spot is worth a quick visit and a photographer or two.

From Checkpoint Charlie, it’s just a short walk to the Topography of Terror. Outside, along a portion of the Berlin Wall, are permanent exhibitions documenting what went on in Germany during WWII. It’s an informative, sobering look at the terrible events that happened here. You can go to the Documentation Center to learn more about the war crimes of the Third Reich.

Next is the Holocaust Memorial, so called the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. 2,711 concrete blocks of various sizes, designed to look like tombs, create a thought-provoking monument to victims of the holocaust.

From the Holocaust Memorial, visit the Brandenburg Gate and then end your day at the Reichstag Building . On top of the building is a modern glass dome that has a 360 ° view of Berlin. From 8 am to midnight, you can visit the dome, look out over Berlin, and listen to the informative audio guide. Twilight is the best time to watch the sunset over the city and the dome illuminated.

Tickets are free and make sure you get a spot, make your reservation at least one day in advance (you can do so online).

If it is past sunset, you can revisit the Brandenburg Gate for nighttime photos of this very cool spot.

For dinner, cons >Meeting point Berlin. This restaurant serves amazing German food in a small, pub-like setting. It is located within walking distance of the Brandenburg Gate and Reichstag Building (closed Tuesdays).

Day 2

More Berlin Wall, Hohenschoenhausen Prison, and Prenzlauer Berg

To see what the Berlin Wall really looked like, visit the Berlin Wall Memorial (Gedenkstatte Berliner Mauer). This is the place where a portion of the wall and the “death strip” are preserved for visitors to see. A visit here is an hour and it is free.

Ride the S-Bahn (S25 from Nordbahnhof to Friedrichstrasse, direction Teltow Stadt, 2 minutes travel time) to Friedrichstrasse Station.

Spend the next hour or so at Tear palace, so called the Palace of Tears. Tranenpalast is small, well-organized museum and it’s a quick, free visit. This is the main border crossing between East and West Germany from 1962 to 1989. The site gets its name, Palace of Tears, for the tearful goodbyes as family and friends said farewell and crossed back into West Germany.

Hop back on the metro and go for another short r >Alexanderplatz (S75 from Friedrichstrasse to Alexanderplatz, direction Westkreuz, 3 minutes travel time). Alexanderplatz is another large square in Berlin and big transportation hub.

While you’re here, take in the view from the top of the Berlin TV Tower (TV tower). There is a restaurant at the top so you have the option to have lunch here. There are also numerous restaurants in and around Alexanderplatz for lunch.

In the afternoon, take a tour of Memorial Berlin-Hohenschoenhausen. Now a memorial and museum, this site is the main political prison of the East German Ministry of State Security, the Stasi. Visitors watch a short movie and then take a 90-minute tour of the facility. Tours are offered at 2:30 pm daily. Click here for more information.

Spend the evening in Prenzlauer Berg, A historic neighborhood filled with shops and restaurants.

Day 3

Berlin Museum and Tempelhof Airport

Spend the morning at one of Berlin’s museums. revisit Museum Iceland or pick a new spot in Berlin.

Jewish Museum. The first part of the museum is an architectural masterpiece. With slanting walls and sloping floors, it is meant to unbalance you, to make you feel disconcerted. This first part of the museum is about the Holocaust, and then you move on to the traditional museum with exhibits on Jewish history and culture. Open daily 10 am to 8 pm, € 8.

German Historical Museum. Everything you ever wanted to know about German history is covered in this museum. Open daily 10 am to 6 pm, € 8.

After lunch, take a tour of Airport Tempelhof . Until 2008, Tempelhof was one of Berlin’s operating airports. The Tempelhof building is one of the largest buildings in the world. The only way to visit this abandoned airport is on a tour. English speaking tours are offered Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at 1:30 pm. They last 2 hours and cost € 15 for adults and € 7 for children.

From Tempelhof, r >East Side Gallery , A long wall of Berlin covered in graffiti.

End the day with dinner at Hackescher Hof , One of Berlin’s most popular nightlife spots.

Day 4

Teufelsberg, Charlottenburg Palace, and KaDeWe

Today we go a little off the beaten path but still see some very cool spots in Berlin. Wear a pair of walking shoes because today you’re really going to need them. So consider bringing some snack food. Grunewald and Teufelsberg, which means that lunch will not be until early afternoon.

Today we start at the Platform 17 Memorial (Track 17). This is a simple but powerful memorial to the thousands of Jews who were sent to the concentration camps. It was at this train station that Jews boarded the trains that would take them to the death camps.

This memorial is part of Grunewald station. You can walk on the old, abandoned platform. On the platform are the dates, the number of people deported, and their final destination.

How to get here: From central Berlin, take the S7 to Grunewald station. Walk downstairs and turn left, following the signs for track 17. You want to climb the stairs. Walk straight to the end of the platform. There is a small memorial plaque at the very end of the platform, near the abandoned railroad tracks.

Next, we visit Teufelsberg, one of Berlin’s strangest places to visit. Teufelsberg is used at abandoned listening station during the Cold War.

For me, this is the child of place that blew away my expectations. Teufelsberg does not get much of a hype, so it’s an overlooked destination in Berlin. But it’s worth it for those who like street art or those who like visiting unusual places.

Getting here requires a lot of walking. I walked to Teufelsberg from Grunewald station. The walk took about 25 minutes. Once I finished visiting Teufelsberg, I walked another 25 minutes to the Olympic Stadium. As long as it is not wet, raining, or really cold, it’s a pleasant experience. Get the full picture on Teufelsberg.

From Teufelsberg, continue on to the Olympic Stadium. This stadium was built for the 1936 Summer Olympics. It’s a historic spot and for € 11 you can walk around on your own. Or, just look at it from the outside if you want to save your time and yours. Tours are offered if you want to learn more about the stadium.

From the Olympic Stadium, r >Restaurant Schlossgarten. This restaurant serves German food and is located on the walk from the Sophie-Charlotte-Platz metro station to Charlottenburg Palace. Note: they are closed on Monday.

If you like castles and palaces, cons >Charlottenburg Palace. This is a summer palace built for Sophie Charlotte (the first Queen consort to Prussia) featuring baroque architecture. It was modeled after Versailles in France. It costs € 12 to tour the Old Palace, € 17 to Charlottenburg Palace. Get full details here.

From Charlottenburg Palace, ride the subway to Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (U2 from Sophie-Charlotte-Platz to Zoologischer Garten, transfer to U9 for one stop to Kurfurstendamm, travel time 11 miles).

The Kaiser Wilhelm Church what built in the late 1800’s. It was badly damaged during an air raid in 1943. Unlike many of the buildings that have been rebuilt in Berlin, the remains of this have remained unaltered, as a reminder of the devastation of WWII.

Just a short walk from the Kaiser Wilhelm Church is Department Store of the West (KaDeWe). KaDeWe is Germany’s best-known department store, with seven floors of high-end merchandise and gourmet food. The best part of KaDeWe is the 6th floor, a gourmet food mecca. Take your pick from one of many small cafes for dinner.

Day 5

Day Trip from Berlin

There are many great options for day trips from Berlin. Potsdam, Dresden, Leipzig, and Wannsee all make the list and many of these spots are accessible using public transportation.

However, if you are looking for a cool German road trip, we have a suggestion for you. In just one day you can visit the fairytale br >Rakotzbrucke and the bastion , take a stroll through the picturesque town of Gorlitz , and cross the border into poland. It’s a long day to get some beautiful spots in Saxony, Germany. Dare I say this is our favorite day while we are based in Berlin?

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