Do you only have 3 days in Berlin? Follow this itinerary to visit the highlights and enjoy German capital, even if your time is short.
Berlin is the heart of Germany, with an incredibly turbulent history, chic boulevards, and a stoic heartbeat. With three days in Berlin, you have just enough time to enjoy the view of Brandenburg Gate, have a stroll along famous Unter der Linden Street, explore remaining parts of the Berlin wall and enjoy the greenery at Charlottenburg castle.
I put together this 3-day Berlin itinerary to help you have the best experience.
Heading to Berlin soon? Check out my other blog post featuring Best hostels in Berlin.
About my 3-Day Berlin Itinerary
-There are places and activities for each day, the itinerary is rather relaxed. As for me, the more I travel the slower I tend to discover the destinations. That means, that even if you follow my 3-Day Berlin Itinerary, you still have a lot of time to wander around and discover places spontaneously
-German beer is not to be missed and three days in Berlin offer enough time and space to enjoy an evening out. When it comes to food, Berlin has some of the best kebabs in the country. It will serve you as a great takeaway snack when exploring the city.
-I usually like exploring cites alone, but seeing the city with the guide is for me a great way to learn something new every time when I come to Berlin. Therefore, I have referred to tours that I find cool. You can always decide between visiting the places on your own and joining a guided tour.
-I visit Berlin every year in winter during the World Travel Forum, finding Berlin cold and rainy. However, my favorite and generally the best time to visit Berlin is summer.
Transportation for your 3 days in Berlin
For getting around Berlin, I recommend you to get Berlin WelcomeCard, including public transportation in the city center and huge discounts for all monuments. For most places, you can save up to 50%, which is a lot. There are visitor cards from 24 hours up to 6 days long. If you get one for your 3 days in Berlin, it will cost you about 30 EUR. Check all things included in the discount here.
Another option is purchasing the daily or weekly ticket for transportation: it’s inexpensive, you can purchase the ticket at every station, stamp it only once, and then enjoy your 3 days in Berlin without having have to worry about buying additional tickets.
What to do in Berlin in 3 days
Three days in Berlin is not much, but you can still get the full experience.
Explore the highlights of Berlin with this three-day itinerary.
|Day 1||Brandenburg Gate, Holocaust Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie, Boat tour|
|Day 2||Reichstag, East Side Gallery|
|Day 3||Berlin TV Tower, Charlottenburg Castle, Potsdamer Platz|
Day 1: Around Bebelplatz and Brandenburg Gate
Start your day near Bebelplatz and visit the most popular street in Berlin, ´Unter den Linden´, connecting world-renowned Brandenburg Gate with Alexander Platz. Along the way, you will see several baroque and neoclassical palaces, many of which have been created by world-famous architects.
Make sure to stop at Holocaust Memorial and then ponder history at Checkpoint Charlie, a famous east-west border control during the Cold War.
One of the best ways to get an overview of Berlin is from the river Spree: you should definitely add the boat tour to your Berlin itinerary. You will follow the main waterway for 2,5 hours and get to see many sights including Bellevue Palace, Berlin Cathedral, and Museum Island. You can check the starting point and other details here.
If you are interested to go inside some of the museums, you can consider coming back to museum island again on foot. If you only have time to visit one of five worthwhile museums, make it to the Pergamon Museum, where you can see unique treasures from ancient history. If you love art, then head to the Alte Nationalgalerie, renowned for its fine paintings.
Day 2: Visit the Reichstag Building and Berlin Wall
The Reichstag Building should definitely take priority when deciding what to do in Berlin in 3 days. It’s best to get there early before it gets flooded with tourists. Featuring a spectacular glass dome, the Reichstag Building offers some amazing views of the city. If you are visiting the city in summer, then grab a coffee and stop to chill out for a while on the Reichstag’s comfortable lawn.
If you are fluent in German, I recommend taking this tour covering the Reichstag including the Dome as well as the Parliament quarter. Alternatively, speakers of all other languages can visit Reichstag on their own – you will get an audio guide to get to know the basics. The dome of Reichstag hosts cool café where you can stop for German snacks (Kafe und Kuchen). You can book a seat here.
Once finished with Reichstag, you will continue the day exploring the remains of The Berlin Wall. Unfortunately, it was mostly demolished between June and November 1990, with only a few stretches left as relics for generations to come.
The longest and best-preserved part of the Berlin Wall is located in Fridrichstein so you will head there next. It’s called East Side Gallery and I really like the place as it is an outdoor gallery, so you can visit everything while being on fresh air. It is located at the southern end of Wedding and Mitte, and you can reach it by U-Bahn/S-Bahn (Warschauer Strasse stop). I know this area well, since I usually stay in Industriepalast Hostel, just behind the corner. The nearby area is known for good food and lot f of bars.
Next, you can spend a leisurely evening in Scheunenviertel, Berlin’s old Jewish quarter. A stroll through the atmospheric lanes is indeed romantic. If you wish, have dinner in one of the renowned restaurants (for example Chèn Chè) and then continue with drinks and dancing at retro Clärchens Ballhaus.
Day 3: Charlottenburg Castle
Start day three in Berlin by climbing the TV Tower of Berlin, a landmark that will provide you with the most stunning places of the German capital. Many people like to go there in the evening, but I simply prefer doing there by day to get the full view. You can secure your fast track ticket here, making sure you can just get up straight without waiting. Shall you be heading to Berlin with your significant other, you can also get a surprise in form of VIP ticket featuring window seat at the restaurant situated at the top of the tower.
Next, use public transportation to reach Schloss Charlottenburg, Berlin’s largest and best-preserved Prussian palace. Built in the 17th and restored in the 18th century, it includes stunning gardens. Make sure to visit the New Wing, the highlight of the palace.
If you are experiencing some good weather and Berlin shows you it’s warm and sunny face, then you could easily hang out around the Charlottenburg for the rest of the day. Green Oasis at the south-west side of the castle is a favorite place for local people to have picnics and spend time outdoors.
Are you a fan of classical music? Charlottenburg is known for its amazing musical performances, and you can easily attend one of the concers here.
Head to Potsdamer Platz to conclude your 3 days in Berlin in a big style. Germany’s answer to Times Square offers abundant places to eat and drink on any budget. Some of the best places are located in the dazzling Friedrichshain district.
Accommodation in Berlin
Since you are spending just 3 days in Berlin, it is definitely a good idea to find a place in Berlin-Mitte, where the main attractions are located. Hotels in Berlin offer great value since there are so many of them – often, you can find even 3, 4 or 5-star hotels with reasonable prices.
If you are traveling on a budget, pick one of the many hostels and share a dorm room with some fellow backpackers. In summer it is even possible to do camping (see Tentstation).
Here are some hotel recommendations for you in Berlin:
A great choice for backpackers: a clean hostel with great riverfront location in Friedrichshain. It’s a smoke-free hostel and features they own bar inside.
See the rates and reviews here.
Modern and cozy hotel in the heart of Belin. It features a gym, as well as comfortable rooms with large glass windows. It is surrounded by parks, with Brandenburg Gate just 2 km away. Amazing reviews.
See the rates and reviews here.
The Mandala Hotel
A taste of luxury! Complete with spa and huge designer studios, it is definitely the kind of place you would be excited to return to after a whole day of sightseeing:) Foo dis great: their restaurant got a Michelin star.
See the reviews and rates here.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE THINGS TO DO IN BERLIN?
I have been to Berlin 3 times for various occasions and it felt like a different city each time. There are simply many unique things to do in Berlin. Have you visited Berlin? What are your favorite places to visit?
When in Germany, I also recommend visiting Dresden. Check out my city guide featuring the best things to do in Dresden.
PS: If you are visiting German capital with family, check out this article about experiencing Berlin with a baby.
Edited by Nick Kembel.
I’m not surprised it feels like a different city each time you visit – even in your piece, it is quite noticeable how different parts of Berlin are. I actually had an image in my head of the Reichstag as a big, brutalist piece of architecture. It’s quite different to what I had imagined
I love Berlin and good advice here. But like other large European cities, I would say a week is needed to check out this party capital of Deutschland. So much to do here. (I just dont like rushing…he he)
Nice post. Berlin is one of my favourite cities in the world. The first time I went, I did all the things that you have mentioned above. However, I would also say that if someone happened to be there over the weekend Mauerpark is also a great option foe the people watching, especially after so much site seeing. I would also say eat a kebab! They are the best in the world there!
I planned on visiting Berlin late last year, but I had to cancel. I am so glad that I have now read this. It’s going to make my life so much easier planning my trip. The Reichstag building looks stunning . Thanks for the tip about getting there early. I don’t much like crowded spaces 🙂
I love the cities that can be covered by walking, I am glad you tell me that Berlin is one of them. We, of course, know about the Berlin wall – it is something that is from the events of our generation but its good to see the well-preserved castle.
This is a great 3 day itinerary – good tip on getting to the Reischstag Building early though as I’ve seen that swimming in tourists by the afternoon. Such awesome views of the city! I haven’t stayed in any of your hotel suggestions before though so I’ll have to check those out on my next trip. The Mandala Hotel looks phenomenal, especially if their inhouse restaurant is Michelin star! Not too many hotels can claim the same. Thanks for the tip!
A great itinerary with a mix of things to do. I haven’t been to Berlin but its history makes it somewhere I’d like to visit. The Charlottenburg Palace sounds right up my alley, and I think my kids would like exploring the gardens!
This is perfect because that’s exactly the amount of time I’ll get in Berlin, whenever it is that I visit. I love these short stay itineraries, I travel for short trips most of the time and it’s great to know the highlights of the city, makes my life easy! Charlottenberg Castle looks so pretty.
I spent my Christmas holidays in Germany, in Dusseldorf and Nuremberg! I especially loved the latter. The strange thing is that I have never visited the German capital, so thanks for the tips! I intend to visit within 2018. My friends suggested Prenzlauer Berg for accommodation. Will it be convenient and interesting? Reischstag Building looks magnificent in the photo btw!
No worries, there is a lot of great accommodation in Berlin! Not even mentioning the sights!You won’t be disappointed!
I actually love this itinerary. It seems more relaxed than most which are often crammed with things to do. I have been to Berlin a couple of times but only passing thru to other destinations by train. So I have seen the station well. 🙂 🙂