How to Spend the Perfect Weekend in Berlin
Berlin, Germany’s vibrant capital city, is jam-packed with fascinating historical sights side-by-side with innovative, modern luxuries. In just the past century, Berlin has been an epicentre of tumultuous history, facing war, division, and ultimately, reunification and tremendous growth.
Therefore, many of the city’s attractions revolve around relics from the First and Second World Wars as well as the days of the city’s separation. Now, Berlin is home to one of the best public transport systems in the world and a fun, lively nightlife culture that isn’t to be missed. Read on the learn all about the top places to visit and things to do in Berlin!
What to See in Berlin
Often called the most beautiful public space in Berlin, Gendarmenmarkt is a must-visit. An expansive cobblestoned area, Gendarmenmarkt is lined with stunning buildings. There are two domed churches dating back to the 18th century with the Konzerthaus, or Concert Hall, between them. The square is home to lively outdoor performances in the summertime and one of the world’s finest Christmas Markets during the winter.
One of the most iconic buildings in Berlin, the Reichstag Building is an important cultural and historical site for all of Germany. It opened its doors in 1894 and served as the meeting place for the German parliament. However, the building was severely damaged by a fire in 1933 and not fully restored until the 1990s. It once again houses parliament today and is an impressive sight to take in on a city break to Berlin. Also, the building is right beside Tiergarten, the most popular public park in the centre of the city.
This 18th-century neoclassical monument serves as the main entrance to expansive, green Tiergarten. The gate is a major symbol for Berlin and one of the most popular structures to visit and photograph in the city. Completed in 1791, Brandenburg Gate was built on the orders of the Prussian king Frederick William II. Only a short walk away from the Reichstag Building, you can easily stop at the Brandenburg Gate on a leisurely stroll around the western part of the city.
Berlin Wall Memorial
Certainly, a trip to Berlin would be incomplete without a stop at the Berlin Wall Memorial. Dividing communist East Germany and capitalist West Germany, the Berlin wall split the city in two for 28 years. Remnants of the original wall still stand in the north of the city, as well as an informative memorial that illuminates life under these tense conditions. The wall commemorates the lives lost during this time and is an important site to understand Berlin’s unique and tumultuous history.
Where to Go in Berlin
Few cities can claim a whole island dedicated to museums! Museumsinsel on the River Spree was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1999 and remains a fascinating part of the city. The island is home to The Altes and Neues Museums, telling of ancient to modern German history. The Alte Nationalgalerie hosts a wealth of 19th-century art, while the Bode Museum on the island’s northern tip houses sculpture collections and Antique and Byzantine art. You could easily spend a day popping in and out of these well-connected museums.
Known as one of the affluent neighbourhoods in Berlin, Charlottenburg is home to stunning architecture and the famous Charlottenburg Palace. The palace is the largest of Germany’s royal palaces still standing to this day. Parts of the palace are open to visitors, so you can explore the ornate interior of this impressive edifice and admire priceless collections of art, porcelain, and other goods. During the Christmas season, a festive market opens on the palace square worth visiting for a magical evening.
Berlin is certainly known for its lively nightlife scene and subsequent many excellent bars and nightclubs. ORA, fashioned in the style of an old apothecary, is one of these must-see bars in the city. The bar actually was once an old pharmacy that has since been converted into a popular spot to try modern, unique cocktails and delicious dishes. ORA is dedicated to representing the unique flavours of Berlin in each of its dishes and beverages. Therefore, for a real authentic taste of the city, ORA is the place to be.
The Holocaust Memorial, or the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, is an essential stop on your tour of Berlin. Here, you can pay your respects to the millions of Jews who were killed in the Second World War. The memorial consists of 19,000-square-metres of 2,711 concrete slabs, symbolising an unsettling environment devoid of humanity. It also represents a cemetery where mourners can grieve and consider the serious loss of life. Though it may not be the easiest place to visit, the memorial marks an important and significant aspect of German history that is not to be forgotten.
Where to Stay in Berlin
Berlin Mark Hotel
The 4* Berlin Mark Hotel is ideally located near the Tiergarten, a 20-minute walk to the Brandenburg Gate. Also, the hotel is close to various public transport options giving you easy access to anywhere in Berlin. The modern, spacious guest rooms feature free WiFi, flat-screen TVs, and private balconies. The Garden Restaurant is the onsite eatery where you can get a daily breakfast buffet. The restaurant also includes a bar, and during the summer, and outdoor terrace.
Leonardo Royal Hotel Berlin Alexanderplatz
Located on the impressive Alexanderplatz, the 4* Leonardo Royal Hotel Berlin is quite central and well-connected via public transport to the rest of Berlin. The hotel is near the famous Berlin TV Tower, Museum Island, and the lovely Friedrichshain Park. In addition, the hotel offers great amenities like a spa lounge, business centre, restaurant, and bar. The large guest rooms include air conditioning, free WiFi, and 40-inch flat-screen TVs.
Are you ready to spend your next weekend getaway exploring beautiful Berlin?