Berlin was the last stop on our honeymoon adventures in Europe. Since neither of us had ever been to Germany, and neither of us speak German, I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. I chose a week in Berlin because I knew there was a big art scene here. It was also somewhere that we could explore for the first time together. We did some touristy things and some not-so-touristy things with our week in Berlin.
Here are my recommendations of what to do with a week in Berlin.
Visit the Parks
There are a lot of parks throughout Berlin, some big and some small. It’s nice to get away from the craziness of the city and enjoy nature. In total, I think we went to three major parks. We also stumbled across several smaller parks while walking in our neighborhood.
Berlin Welcome Card
The Berlin Welcome Card is a great way to see the city. You can get a 6 day pass for all public transit. It also gets you discounts into many museums and other tourist places, and restaurants.*
It’s really easy to use. You simply validate it at any public transit stop (U-bahn, S-bahn, or bus) on your first trip. Then you don’t have to do anything else, just keep it on you when you travel. You don’t have to worry about buying more tickets or re-validating at any of the stops.
It’s nice to not have to worry about making sure you get the right ticket while you’re trying to learn a new public transit system. Just make sure you hang onto the card whenever you ride the public transit. Unlike many other big cities, there aren’t any turnstiles to get onto platforms. So to make sure people are paying to ride, undercover transit police ride the trains and will ask you to show proof you’ve paid for your ride.
They have some really great U-bahn designs in Berlin.
Pro tip: Download the Citymapper Transit Navigation app. It has all of the Berlin transit on it and is easy to figure out how to get to where you want to go.
Go for a Walk to see the TV Tower (& more)
This is the iconic tower seen in many Berlin photos. I think you can ride to the top for views of the city, but I was more interested in getting great photos of the tower itself. I recommend heading over to Museum Island near sunset. You can get good, and unique views of the tower. From there, you can walk over one of the bridges towards the tower/Alexanderplatz.
You’ll get a nice walk where you can take in sights of some of the older buildings along the Spree River, and once you get across the river, you’ll see Neptunbrunnen, a fountain of Neptune (roman god of water).
Stay in Kreuzberg, Eat all the Food
This is the neighborhood we stayed in. It feels like literally every surface is covered in graffiti. Its fun to wander around, and take it all in. There are plenty of restaurants to try, like Royal Imbiss, the dönner street cart; or Goldies, the most hipster fry shop (vegan loaded fries, anyone?). There’s even really great spätzle to be had.
On the weekends, there’s a really great market along the canal. We weren’t exactly looking for it, we just happened to walk by on our way to the U-bahn. It was full of fresh produce, vibrant fabrics and other sewing supplies, and also a bunch of random things you wouldn’t expect at a market. If anything, it’s fun to walk through to experience the markets of Berlin.
Search for Street Art
A quick google search will show you tons of phenomenal street art. Make a day of it, and map out the locations. It’s like a fun scavenger hunt to find the iconic murals. Even if you’re not looking for the popular ones, I guarantee you’ll run into plenty of unique street art just by walking through the neighborhoods.
It feels like a requirement to visit part of the wall while you’re in Berlin. The East Side Gallery has a lot of great murals painted on a portion of the wall. It was a very powerful experience to see the wall and take in all of the art that has been added to it.
Do Some of the Touristy Things
Brandenburg Gate is worth a visit. You’ll get the same photo that literally everyone else has, and it’s probably going to be crowded, but it’s worth seeing at least once. While you’re there, look for the Ampelmann shop. It’s a store completely dedicated to the walk signal icons in Berlin. I bought a t-shirt there.
Victory Column (Siegessäule) is also worth your time. It’s in the middle of a roundabout with very busy streets. So you have to go through underground tunnels to get to. Afterwards, walk over to Tiergarten (one of the bigger parks) and have a picnic.
Walk Along Landwehr Canal at Dusk
Probably my favorite hangout spot during our week in Berlin. It’s where all of the cool kids hang out. Grab your favorite bier (beer) and some paprika chips (or other maybe a dönner) and find a park bench along the canal to hangout.
Even though it can get busy, it’s the perfect place to relax and watch the sunset. Next time you’re planning a trip, I highly suggest adding Berlin to the itinerary.
*Visit Berlin graciously gave me a Berlin Welcome Card in exchange for a blog post. All opinions in this post are my own.