Your best Berlin itinerary – from breakfast to sunrise
By V. Keller
In Berlin for IFA? Or just for a holiday? Check out these spots and you’ll have a great time no matter what your passion.
Berlin is a city that has something for everyone – whether you seek nightlife, history, great food or something completely unique and different.
So if you’re in Berlin for IFA – the world’s leading consumer technology and appliance exhibition – or you’re just seeing the sights of one of the one of the world’s coolest cities – here are some insider tips on how you can fill your time.
Berlin for history buffs
This museum offers more than just old records and relics from the past. You can actually interact with Berlin’s history, experiencing things like everyday life, the erection of the wall and how the Stasi operated. The museum encourages you to use all your senses and get a real understanding of life as a Berliner living through wars, struggles and times of old.
Update: The ‘ninetiesberlin’ exhibition has just launched, and will be on until February 2019. Immerse yourself in Berlin daily life as the city rapidly developed the unique personality it proudly displays today. From when the Wall fell, until the turn of the century, the nineties were a historic time for Germany’s capital.
For walking tours, this is one of the best – and best of all it’s free (simply tip what you like at the end)! As well as seeing the sights, you’ll get your bearings around the city and stand exactly where some of the biggest moments in the Second World War took place.
There are a couple of particularly unique places you can visit which will cure your lust for history and give you a thrill as well. The abandoned NSA spy station on a buried Nazi college in Teufelsberg is an eerie remnant of past rulers. And the abandoned Beelitz-Heilstätten hospital is where the likes of Hitler and Honecker were treated for injuries. You’ll probably come across like-minded travelers on your way, but watch out for the ‘kein eingang’ (no entry) signs!
Berlin for alternative seekers
It’s got an interesting history, this small bar in Kreuzberg – it was once a brothel before being turned into an upside down apartment that functions as a bar. By upside down, we mean all the chairs, lamps, tables etc. are on the roof! Every night the bar hosts concerts, DJs and events from 7pm until late with a music quiz on Wednesdays.
Alternative Berlin Graffiti workshop
You’ll see a lot of graffiti while you stroll the streets of Berlin – how about you make some of your own? Legally of course! Alternative Berlin offers regular graffiti tours and workshops, for both business and leisure groups.
This space has something interesting for everyone; art, food, drinks and clubs. Urban spree was set up to showcase local artists’ work but it has become about everything that makes Berlin great. If you want to get the closest thing to Berlin in a nutshell, you’ll find it here.
Berlin for night owls
Pub Crawl Berlin
Doing an organized pub crawl is one of the best ways to see the nightlife without having to do all the research yourself; and the deals are often great value with a small fee including drinks. Pub Crawl Berlin is just one example; you can meet lots of new people and have a great night out.
For the real nightowl, this is one of many places to go – located under a railway at Warschauer Strasse in Friedrichshain, it’ll keep you up until the early hours with nine bars and five dancefloors. It gets busy from around 1am, so don’t plan on going too early.
Berlin for foodies
With so many different cultures in Berlin, the restaurant scene is buzzing with countless different cuisines. Dudu is a great example of fuss-free, beautifully presented delicious Asian food. It’s chic, it’s minimalist, and it’s fusion. Everything you could want in a hipster eatery.
If you’re in the market for more of a special occasion-type meal, Neni is for you. It’s reasonably priced, and with the views and décor you can definitely come here on a night you want to make truly special. Serving international food with a unique twist, Neni has something for everyone.
The perfect breakfast spot with really fresh and healthy produce. The wooden style setting is as charming as the food, and there are options for vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free… in other words, very Berlin. You’ll find yourself going back for more meals before you know it!
Mustafa's Gemüse kebab
Berlin was the place where the first Doner kebab was crafted by Turkish immigrant Kadir Nurman. It should definitely be on your list to have one of these delicious fast food treats, and Mustafa’s is famous for tourists and locals alike – but be warned, the queue is long.
Berlin for art lovers
Berlin does modern art as well as any of the most hip cities around the globe – it’s weird, wonderful, sometimes confronting and sometimes makes no sense at all, but that’s the beauty of it! Head here to catch the best modern art, photography and architecture, and the Jewish museum is nearby if you have more time.
East Side Gallery
It’s the most famous place to head if you want to see Berliner art – the longest open air gallery in the world full of murals painted on the original Berlin wall. The merging of art and history will keep you busy for a few hours at least.
Berlin for shopaholics
Every Sunday Mauerpark comes alive with a second hand market – you can find clothes, vintage bags and jewelry amongst other treasures. And at 3pm you’re in for a real treat, with open air karaoke taking place! Listen to some of the best and worst voices in Berlin and get involved, if you have the courage.
Aim for this area if you’re in the market for small, unique boutique shops. Set Boxhagener Platz Park in your map app, and you will find pathways full of unique and interesting clothing, home decor, jewelry and more. Just be mindful of how much you can take home with you!
When you need something from a well-known chain shop, The Europa Center is one of many options with a good range of international and German vendors. It’s well located, built like any worldly shopping centre and the decorations always have a seasonal touch.