The Best Itinerary for a Weekend In Berlin
The best itinerary you need for a long weekend In Berlin. Berlin is one of Europe’s most exciting cities and why you need to add it to your Europe bucket list. This very international city has a vast array of architectural highlights, culture galore, and an unrivaled nightlife. And of course, Berlin also has a very fascinating history. Whether you’re interested in The Wall (and Trump’s one), that divided the city into East and West for nearly thirty years or the Second World War, you’ll still find many traces and scars from these historic events in modern day Berlin.
Berlin is a very green city with lots of parks, several rivers, lakes and even a forest all situated in the city that comes alive with lots of parties in the summer. Berlin is one of the coolest cites around at the moment. It is renowned for having the best clubs in Europe.
Don’t be that person that plans their European getaway last minute-read this to start making your plans for an unforgettable trip to Berlin.
When I was there I really loved the amazing street art that was all over the city. I have provided the Best 4 day Itinerary for a Weekend in Berlin. 4 days in Berlin is the perfect amount of time to take in what this wonderful city has to offer. Take a look below and see how you can best explore Berlin in 4 days.
Where to stay in Berlin
Amstel House Hostel Berlin
The Amstel House Hostel is in a central location in Waldenserstraße and about 30 minute train away from Kreuzberg , that is where the students, artists and has a large Turkish population, so it is the cool place with all the great restaurants and bars. (They hosted my stay there).
Moabit is a quiet neighborhood. The reception is welcoming and open 24/7 and so is the bar. It is a great location, as it is a few minutes’ walks from the bus stops and metro. Its impressive façade in Art Nouveau style remains exactly unchanged and is one of the city’s historical heritage sites.
Amstel offers a wide range of services from breakfast for 6 euros a day, plus offering bike rental, laundry, and a games room. The breakfast is wonderful and it comes with a buffet that includes eggs, bread, choices of cereals, fruits, ham, cheese, salami, tea and coffee and lots more delicious foods.
The hostel staff is very kind and helpful. The hostel comes with a fully equipped kitchen you can use if you want to save money eating out. As Berlin is a very affordable city, one of the locals said it is cheaper to eat out than going to the supermarket. They also offer “all you can eat” Burger BBQ but this was not on when I was staying.
The rooms are very clean, warm and comfortable and they have room to site any travel group and from a 4 bedroom dorms to twin room with ensuite. I stayed in the 4 bedrooms and had to share a bathroom with 4 other rooms. The bathroom was super clean and came with 2 shower spaces. I highly recommend staying at Amstel House Hostel – it only cost £10.19 a night from Hostelworld.
How to get From Airport to Berlin City center and Back
Berlin has two airports: Berlin-Tegel (City West) and Berlin- Schonefeld (City East)
How to get to and from Tegel airport to Berlin City Center:
It is located in the district of Reinickendor.
As Tegel airport is located in the city, you can easily get a train. There is a by the airport that has the U/S –Bahn trains and is a short bus ride to the train station.
TXL Jet Express Bus
This bus takes you to S-Bahn station Beusselstrasse, and stops at Alexanderplatz where you can get the U-Bahn line.
X9 Jet Express Bus
The X9 Bus takes you to S + U Zoologischer, the main transportation hub of Berlin City west. The train lines are the U-2 (red line), U-9 (orange line). As well as the S-Bahn line S-5 and S7. If you want the U-7 the light blue line, you will need to get off the bus stop S+U Jungfernheide. You can also take the Bus 109 that is the same route as the X9 but has more stops.
You can always get a taxi from outside any airport, but remember that they are always more expensive than the bus and train. They can be quicker to use, but sometimes if you hit traffic they are longer than the train.
How to get to and from Schonefeld Airport to Berlin City Center:
This is the airport that most people will go to, as it services many budget airlines such as easy jet and Ryan Air and the airport I went to.
At the airport, there is a transition that is 3 minutes’ walk to from the airport. The lines that the station have are 545 and S9.
You can take the express bus X7, which takes you to U-7 station Rudow. The bus will be outside Terminal A.
As with Tegel Airport, you can also easily find a taxi directly outside of Schönefeld. Rides the price is minimum 25 euros but the bus and train are way much cheaper less than 5 euros.
Money Saving Tips for a Berlin Weekend Break
One of the best ways to save money if you have a weekend in Berlin is to get the Berlin card, which allows you free transport on buses and trains. You can read later in the blog about the Berlin card.
Hotels are very expensive in Berlin, so have a look at hostels instead. Even an Airbnb can be cheaper. All Airbnbs come with a kitchen, and even some hostels come with one. This will allow you to cook your own meals to save money because eating out can be expensive.
Getting around Berlin
There are four main public transport systems in Berlin: subway, buses, trams and walking. Any ticket you buy for one system will also be valid for the others. A daily pass will cost you 7 euros, which is better than getting the Berlin welcome card if you’re there for a weekend in Berlin. You can find out more about the different transport systems later in the article. See Getting From the Airport to the City Centre.
Below is the full Berlin 4 day Itinerary of my Weekend In Berlin:
One day in Berlin
Get an early flight. I love early flights, as it means you arrive at the destination with lots of time to explore. It’s like an extra day instead of spending it traveling. I got the airplane at 10am from London Stansted Airport and arrived in Berlin at 12pm on a Friday. The tickets cost £20 for return but we went in January and it was very cold, much colder than London.
As I arrived early, and check-in wasn’t until 3pm, we decided to explore Berlin on foot. It is about a one hour train from the airport to Amstel House Hostel, and as Berlin is a very spaced out city, instead of spending all that time on the train we explored the city by walking is this is the best way.
However, walking with no lunch is a bad idea. We stumbled upon this Japanese restaurant in an area full of flats. It was called The Panda Noodles and is located in Lausitzer Pl. 12A dedicated to Asian Fusion and Ramen. You can see below what I had for 6.5 euros – you get a big dish of Noodles, soup, and pork that was very tasty.
We arrived at the hostel at around 5 pm and check-in was very quick and the staff is just lovely and kind. They provide you with bedding as you have to do your own bed. I got to stay for free in exchange for doing a review. They provided me with one free drink each day and breakfast. As well as this I got to stay in a lovely 4 bed dorm for me, my sister and brother. Below are the pics of the hostel. I highly recommend you to stay in if you are ever going to Berlin.
The breakfast Buffet.
The hostel had cool artwork on some of the walls.
The dorm room.
The room came with a sink.
The flights were paid by my sister, as my birthday present last year. The only time we could do the holiday was January 2019 and my birthday is January 31, she also booked us a birthday meal at Kumpel & Keule. This is a famous Berlin butcher that opened a restaurant focusing on serving up high-quality meats. It is located in the Markthalle Neun in Kreuzberg. As well as being a restaurant, you can buy meat there. It is great for its sausage, burger, and steak.
We ordered the burger, the green plate was a green sauce that I can’t remember what exactly it was. It came with steak, but it was cow’s cheek. We also had a lamb dish that was very tender and fell of the bone easily. They were all gorgeous and delicious. My favorite meal of the trip.
We got all this for $55 euros including 2 beers. Reasonable price in total for 3 of us, considering how amazing the food was. If it was in London it would have cost much more.
After that, we went to Mano a bar situated in Kreuzberg. The bar was very funky and packed full of young adults. The bar had cool seating areas – one was an area by the windows just with cushions seats and another was a tree house. We meet a guy (who had a cat with him!) and his two other friends. We hung out with them more during the trip.
2 days in Berlin
We had a lovely leisurely day, as the day before we had to wake up at 4am for our 10am flight. So we woke up at 9am for breakfast. Then relaxed in the hostel before our big walking tour at 12pm.
The walking tour we did was from Alternative Berlin Tours called the REAL BERLIN EXPERIENCE it cost 14 euros (about £12) for a 4 and half hour walking tour of history, culture, and food of Berlin.
They also offer a free Berlin walking tour. During the walking tour, there is a 40 minute break that stops at the Jewish quarter of Berlin and we had a bratwurst that is sausage with curry sauce. It was very nice. You get chips and bratwurst for 3.50 euros.
As well you have time to go to a free Museum in the Jewish quarter. It is called Otto Weidt’s Workshop for the Blind.
This is Otto Weidt.
It tells the story of the workshop. The tour guide said no one knew Otto Weidt’s until some students rented his building a few years ago and found all his papers in the basement and made it into a Museum. It showcases his Blind workshop helping about 20 blind Jewish people in World War 2. They made broomsticks.
The tour ends in Young African Art market that is 2 minutes walk from the Berlin wall, so I highly recommend going to the wall after the tour.
The Death Strip (between East and West Berlin) it is now luxury apartments. But it was the space between East and West Germany that people had to cross over on. Our guide told us how someone crossed the wall in a car at Checkpoint Charlie with surfboards on top (even though there is no surfing near Berlin). They got through successfully even though they had people hiding under the surfboards!!
Throughout Berlin, the remains of the Berlin Wall are marked on the road surface by a line of 2 bricks, built into the paving stones. The wall itself is mostly gone. In its former glory days, the wall was actually no more than 2 bricks wide in thickness!!
After we saw the Berlin Wall, or what remains of it, we went to the Museum of Photography / Helmut Newton Foundation. It showcases two floors of Helmut Newton work. Entry is only 10 euros.
First, we went to Basmah located in Kreuzberg. We had falafel and halloumi as you can see on the back plate of the pic, and the front plate was chicken. In Germany, they cover both plates with a peanut sauce that was very tasty. It cost about 3.50 euros for each plate.
Then we went for dinner to get share a donor Kebab. This is one of Berlin’s claim to fame, as the donor Kebab was invented in Berlin by Turkish immigrant Kadir Nurman in the 1970s. We went to Imren that is located in Neukolln right off Hermannplatz. Berlin food stories have the top 6 Kebab places to go to in Berlin and voted Imren the best.
We headed to this cute small bar called Das Hotel Bar located in Mariannenstraße in Kreuzberg district. Hostelworld said that this is the number one bar to go to in their list of best bars in Berlin
The nice thing about all the bars is that is filled with plants and flowers. For a drink of spirits, it costs around 6 euros, as I got Vodka and coke and it cost 6 euros – the same as London! You can get beer for much cheaper.
3 days in Berlin
So far we were loving our holiday in Berlin. We got up at 9am and had breakfast and then headed off at 10am to Mauerpark flea market in Prenzlauer Berg. It is an on every Sunday and has lots of vintage and second-hand clothing, trinkets, and delicious street food.
It is a very big flea market and there are lots of great street food vendors. I got an Argentinian Steak Sandwich that cost 4 euros and was divine.
The pic above shows my half-ate the sandwich as I was too hungry to wait to take a pic of it and was halfway through I realized I needed a pic! We also got a lovely pizza to share.
After the flea market, we wanted to go indoors as it was very cold walking around the flea market. We went to an event at YAAM (Young African Art Market) – a music event showcasing German singers and rappers and most of them sang in English. The venue is very cool with lots of different rooms.
After the Music event ended at around 7pm. One of the locals we were with said there is a good pizza place nearby. It was about a 25 minute walk away called Zola in Kreuzber. It cost 9 euros for a salami pizza that is cooked in a pizza oven. The one downside is that we had to wait nearly an hour until we got a table – so get there early.
We got breakfast then headed out to go to a few museums. First, we went to the DDR (Deutsche Demokratische Republik) museum that is situated in the centre of Berlin and there is a deal you can get where you get tickets to DDR and Nineties Berlin multimedia exhibition for about 12 euros. They are both like a 10 minute walk from each other.
The DDR museum is located in the former governmental district of East Germany, right on the river, opposite the world-famous Berlin Cathedral. It looks back on life in the East German Democratic Republic and some of the Westside also. It is a very interactive museum . Find out more out from the Guardian.
Next, we went to the Nineties Berlin multimedia exhibition. This is more of a museum for millennials. The Nineties Berlin takes you back to that era of Berlin, where you will dive into what Berlin was like shortly after the fall of the Berlin wall.
It showcases the subcultures and the start of Techno. Berlin some say is the undisputed capital of Techno and lots more. If you want to go to just one of them then the Berlin welcomecard is a good bet as it gives you 25% off them.
Our plan was for 9pm, we waited at this cute small café filled with lots of plants, by the Nineties Berlin multimedia exhibition called The Greens Coffee and Plants
We then headed to the airport at around 6:30pm we had to go to terminal D. It looks small once you are in it with one café, but don’t make the same mistake we did – sit down and spend a lot at this café.
If you go to the other gates around the corner, there is a burger king and more shops that we only find out about once we were going to our gate.
The plane journey from Berlin to London Standard is only 1 hour and a half long. We arrived in London at 10:30 pm.
Why you need to get the Berlin Welcome Card
The lovely Visit Berlin tourist board gave me, my brother and sister free 4 days Welcome Card Berlin each. They normally cost £37/card. A one-way ticket cost 3.40 euros and we went on the trains about 3 times or even more each day, so we saved money on transport using the Welcome Card Berlin.
In addition to this, if you are traveling with children under 14 years old they get to travel free with an adult Welcome Card holder. You also get discounts of up to 50% on admission to more than 200 sights and attractions. This is a must-have when you are going to Berlin as you will save lots of money.
Bars To go to:
- Reggae bar in Young African Art Market- our Alternative Berlin tour guide said to get the hot rum toddy drink there.
- Barbie Deinhoff’s- Time Out’s number one best bar to go to in Berlin and is located in Kreuzberg. It is not only a bar, but also an alternative art gallery and indie rock venue that embodies the best of Berlin living.
Clubs to go to in Berlin:
- Berhain- it is a world-famous techno club. Our Alternative Berlin tour guide said some people get there at 11 am to start queuing. Once you are in the club you are not allowed to use your phone and they even put a sticker on your phone camera, if you are seen with your phone you are kicked out. It makes it more mysterious.
- Tresor- it is another famous techno club in Berlin but not as famous as Berhain. It is more of an underground nightclub and even a record label.
If you have visited Berlin please add your comments below about anything you think I should have added to the list, or if you are going soon, what you are most excited about.
Recommended Books to buy for the Trip:
Also, another great read is 10 of the most beautiful places in Europ to visit in 2019.
Find more amazing photos of Berlin on my Instagram @travelweekli
DISCLAIMER: This post was done in collaboration with Visit Berlin for providing me a free Berlin Welcome Card and Amstel House hotels for a free stay, but as always, all opinions are my own.