A day in Berlin requires comfortable walking friendly shoes, an appetite, your German skills (all levels welcome!), and a desire to explore. You’ll quickly it to be an expansive city with neighborhoods spanning north, south, east, and west of the city center and along the Spree.
My top tip is to build a framework, not a strict itinerary. It gives you the space to get lost, explore, the chance to be a local tourist, and my favorite: the opportunity to practice German. Here are 11 stops that’ll keep you busy and well fed from dawn till dusk!
11 go-to stops in Berlin
1. Our first stop is the Berlin Hauptbahnhof. Built in 2006, the central train station is the largest in Europe. A true reflection of Berlin’s modernism – be sure to take in the floor to ceiling glass walls before exploring all Berlin has to offer.
2. Head to Factory Girl on Auguststrasse in Mitte. Enjoy a no-frills breakfast with a grandma’s living room style atmosphere. After you’ve had a warm cup of coffee, stroll around the area along Linienstrasse, Torstrasse, and Invalidenstrasse.
3 – 4. Once you’ve had enough bopping around Mitte make your way to Alexanderplatz. Hop on the S-Bahn and get off at the Berlin Ostbahnhof stop for the East Side Gallery. Painted by hundreds of artists after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 the 1.3 kilometer stretch is a must see and a great way to enjoy the outdoors.
5. Up for some more fresh air? Cross the Spree and make your way over to Tempelhofer Feld. This is the perfect place to stretch your legs, sight-see, and get a sense of the hustle and bustle of the city. Tired of walking? Rent some bikes and find your inner toddler as you cruise around Tempfelhof, the abandoned airport, now converted into a park and beloved by locals.
6. Stop at Curry 36 or Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebap (right next to each other and equally as good) once hunger starts knocking on your door.
7-8. After refueling, choose between the Jewish Museum, Topography of Terror, and the Reichstag. Museums aren’t your thing – stick to the streets. Kreuzberg is by far my favorite neighborhood to explore on foot, with boutiques, interesting architecture, and a rich history, there’s always more to be discovered!
9-10. While in this neck of the woods, stop by the EF Berlin school and say hello. Centrally located and just south of the famous Tiergarten, it’s a good spot to give your feet a rest before heading out to Potsdamer Platz.
11. As the sun sets backtrack to Kreuzberg and savor a delicious meal at Mutti Kreuzberg, a warm and small-scale operation with great traditional German cuisine, hard to come by in the diverse culinary scene in Berlin. Put your German skills to the test and order the daily special. Thank the chef and owner before making your way home. Need a go-to phrase “schönen abend noch” is always a safe bet. Headed to the airport or train station? The public transportation is very efficient and will get you to there in no time.