Berlin in 24 hours

  • © hardyfischer,

    © hardyfischer,

Discover the best of Berlin – the very essence of the city – in a relaxed way in just one day.

08:30 am

The best place to start the day is in Käfer’s roof-garden restaurant at the top of the Reichstag (advance reservation is essential). From here, you will have a magnificent view over the inner city and can also follow the spiral walkway up into the dome of the building.

09:30 am

Hire a Segway at Potsdamer Platz and zoom around the centre of Berlin on one of these fun, electrically powered ‘personal transporters’. The perfect route: Leipziger Platz, then turn left into Wilhelmstrasse, cross the boulevard Unter den Linden and carry on as far as Reinhardstrasse. Turn left. Just before reaching the Spree turn off to the right and stop off at the Beachbar Bundespressestrand (only open in summer). Carry on to the parliament district, then past Brandenburger Tor, and you’ll find yourself back on Potsdamer Platz again.

11:30 am

Bus no. 200 will take you past the diplomatic district to the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche, the former symbol of West Berlin at the end of Kurfürstendamm. KaDeWe is just a stone’s throw away. Take a lunchtime break on the gourmet floor in the traditional department store and later take a closer look at the enormous selection in the delicatessen, clothing and perfume sections, to name just three. 

1:30 pm

How about a tour of Kreuzberg? The bus M 29 will take you there. Get off at Görlitzer Bahnhof and take a stroll past the mad mixture of bars, boutiques and döner kebab stands between Oranienplatz and Wiener Strasse. On ‘Görli’ work your way down Oranienstrass, Kreuzberg’s Ku’damm, and you will come across many shops selling fashion items by Berlin designers as well as Turkish bakeries. Or, how about a bike ride around Prenzlauer Berg with its mass of cafés, ‘in’ shops and the Kulturbrauerei? Bikes can be hired from companies such as Berlin on bike (Knaackstr. 97 | tel. 030 43 73 99 99 | in the Kulturbrauerei.

3:30 pm

Take the U 8 from Kottbusser Tor station (south of Oranienstrasse) and you will reach the heart of former East Berlin, Alexanderplatz, in a mere eight minutes. Museum visitors (Gemäl degalerie, New National Gallery) should take bus no. 200 from the Culture Forum to reach ‘Alex’. Passing Potsdamer Platz and the Fischerinsel, Berlin’s ‘birthplace’, you will find yourself surrounded by former East German architecture and Bauhaus buildings. Berlin’s television tower with its viewing platform 203 m (666 ft) above ground level will draw you towards ‘Alex’. If you don’t feel like taking the lift, just go for a walk across the square and visit the Rotes Rathaus, the seat of the Lord Mayor of Berlin.

4:30 pm

From there, it is just a stone’s throw to Berliner Dom and the Museums insel – the mecca within Berlin’s museum landscape. Art-lovers will not only be fascinated by the first-rate collections on display in the Old and New Museums, the Pergamon and Bode Museums, as well as the National Gallery, but also by the meticulously restored buildings themselves. But, don’t try to do too much at once; come back a second or third time when you have a few more hours to spare. 

7:00 pm

In the ‘East German restaurant’ Domklause on the banks of the Spree you can end the day with dinner and sample what the political elite enjoyed tucking into in the self-styled ‘Socialist state of workers and farmers’. After packing in so much into one day, you may well be looking forward to a well-earned nightcap: the place to head for is Riva Bar, located under the arches of the district line railway. The bar, in the shape of the sunken luxury liner RMS Titanic, is unique and the drinks can also be recommended.

Start: Reichstag/Unter den Linden
Public transport: S 1, 2, 25; bus 100, M 41
Best time to start: in the morning

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