Berlin in Three Days A third day of sightseeing could be used for a more in-depth exploration of the districts of Berlin. Spend the rst day in the East, the second in the West and the third day investigating the outlying districts within the municipal boundaries. Berlin‘s inner city covers a lot of ground so leave yourself plenty of time when planning your route.
1st Day Unter den Linden - Friedrichstraße - Nikolaiviertel - Hackesche Höfe This particular walk departs from the Reichstag, our new seat of government. The parliamentary building with its roof garden and dome is open to the general public and offers an impressive view out over the Tiergarten, Berlin‘s ‚green heart‘, and the eastern inner city. The chance of ‚standing‘ on the heads of our politicians is one that shouldn‘t be missed (though do allow for long queues waiting to go inside the dome). S1, 2, 25 Bus 100, 248 To get to the Reichstag, take either the city-train to station Unter den Linden, or the busses 100 or 248 which stop directly at Platz der Republik.
Not far from the Reichstag stands the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin‘s greatest landmark. Once situated right on the Berlin Wall, it now represents the city‘s reunication. There‘s a tourist info point in the south wing where you can obtain more detailed information. On the east side of the Gate lies Pariser Platz. This square was redeveloped after the opening of the Wall and restored more or less to its original layout in which the Brandenburg Gate was surrounded by buildings of various architectural styles. The most prestigious of Berlin‘s thoroughfares is Unter den Linden which stretches from Pariser Platz to Schlossplatz in the heart of former East Berlin. Take a stroll eastwards and you will pass such prominent buildings as the Hotel Adlon and the Russian Embassy. Half way down turn right into the legendary Friedrichstraße . Since the ‚Wende‘ (German term meaning ‚turn‘ and expressing the turnabout in German history when the Wall came down) Friedrichstraße has become an exclusive shopping street with elegant boutiques and shopping malls such as Quartier 205 and 206 and the French department store Galeries Lafayette. Visit it, if only for the outrageous architecture, and don‘t be in a hurry. A few blocks further along Friedrichstraße is the site of the famous Checkpoint Charlie, the onetime border-crossing point for the Allied Forces between East and West Berlin. Returning to Galeries Lafayette a right turn will take you into Mohrenstraße leading to the Gendarmenmarkt, the most beautiful of the city‘s squares. On one side stands the Konzerthaus (Concert Hall) and this is anked on two other sides by the German and the French Cathedral respectively, the whole forming an harmonious architectural balance. To get back to the starting point of the tour, Unter den Linden, we can pass through Bebelplatz . This town square was originally intended as the core of the Forum Fridericianum, a cultural centre planned by the architect Knobelsdorff, but never actually completed. Bebelplatz is dominated by the curiously-shaped Dome of St. Hedwig‘s Cathedral, which was designed along the lines of the Pantheon in Rome. Set in the middle of the square is a memorial to the Nazi ‚bookburning‘ campaign. On the opposite side of Unter den Linden is the Staatsbibliothek (Prussian State Library), the agship of all Berlin libraries. The large neo-baroque complex houses the State and University Libraries. In 1992 the two were combined and re-named the Berlin National Library – Prussian Cultural Heritage. Next to the State Library, the marble statues of the Humboldt brothers Wilhelm and Alexander adorn the entrance to Humboldt University. Many famous thinkers and scientists including Albert Einstein, Rudolf Virchow, Fichte, Hegel, and Heinrich Heine have studied within these walls. Further on down Unter den Linden we come to the Staatsoper (National Opera House) where works of international standard are performed. Back on the left side of Unter den Linden is Schinkel‘s Neue Wache, the ofcial war memorial of Berlin in three days - page 1 of 6 © Berlin Tourismus Marketing GmbH; subject to change
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the Federal Republic of Germany. In its centre stands an enlarged version of the gure of Pietà by Käthe Kollwitz. The Kronprinzenpalais (Palace of the Crown Prince) opposite is currently serving as an exhibition site for the German Historical Museum, which will return to its original home in the Zeughaus (Old Armoury) once restoration work has been completed there. The Zeughaus is the best example of baroque architecture in the whole of northern Germany and contains a particularly interesting inner courtyard.
The Schlossbrücke (Palace Bridge) crosses the River Spree and is now complete again after Schinkel‘s long lost statues were restored to it. Through the Lustgarten (Pleasure Garden) we can see the Alte Museum (Old Museum) – one of the ve buildings that make up the Museumsinsel (Museum Island). Art lovers should denitely not fail to visit the Old Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery) and the Pergamon Museum. The Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral), whose frontal view faces onto the Lustgarten, is an extravagant construction dating from the turn of the 19th Century. Until its demolition in 1950, the Berliner Stadtschloss (Berlin City Palace) stood on the Schlossplatz; the East German government replaced it with the Palast der Republik (Palace of the Republic) and the former Staatsratsgebäude (Council of State Building of the GDR). The fate of the Palast der Republik and a possible reconstruction of the Stadtschloss is a continuing subject for discussion in Berlin. The Berliner Rathaus (City Hall) – seat of government for the Mayor of Berlin – is located somewhat towards the back of the square and is known locally as the Rotes Rathaus (Red Town Hall) not because of any political tendencies but because of its red brick façade! Following the River Spree we come to the Nikolaiviertel . This is Berlin as it looked in the Middle Ages – with a little help from extensive renovation work. Take a stroll through the narrow alleyways and don‘t fail to visit the Nikolaikirche (Church) and the Knoblauchhaus. The curved frontage of the Ephraim Palace is generally regarded as the most beautiful corner in the City.
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Tip: There are plenty of restaurants to tempt the palate with old Berlin specialities to be enjoyed in a rustic setting. Leaving the Nikolaiviertel we come to the famous Alexanderplatz, immortalized in Alfred Döblin‘s epic novel of the same name. The square is dominated by the Fernsehturm (TV Tower). A visit to Berlin‘s highest building provides a unique panoramic view of the entire city and should not be missed. Not far from here are the Hackesche Höfe, a series of ambitiously restored industrial courtyards which are now at the centre of Berlin night life. The whole area is a hive of smart restaurants and scene bars and clubs. A great place to relax at the end of a long day. But do leave time to take a walk later along Oranienburgerstraße where a seemingly endless array of restaurants, cafes and bars await you. The street itself is dominated by the golden dome of the Jewish Synagogue . Down some of the many side streets there is still ample evidence of what was once a thriving Jewish community and of its destruction by the Nazi regime. A narrow entry at the side of the synagogue leads to the Heckmann Höfe another recently modernised courtyard ensemble featuring extravagant shops and attractive architecture with a air all of its own. It is well worth taking time off in one of the many cafes and bars along Oranienburgerstraße or in the Hackeschen Höfe or in one of the idyllic narrow lanes just to sit back and watch Berlin life go by.
2nd Day Potsdamer Platz - Kulturforum - Tiergarten - Siegessäule - Kurfürstendamm - Zoologischer Garten - KaDeWe - Savignyplatz - Schloss Charlottenburg - Museums Route 2 begins on the second day and leads us through the western part of the city. The way is too long for walking, so wei recommend to take bus or train for several sections. Starting off at Potsdamer Platz, the newly created inner city centre with its fascinating variety of high-rise buildings. The fastest express elevator in Europe whizzes you up to the viewing platform in the Kohlhoff Building. From here you can see the towering yellow heights of the debis-Building with its green cube and the equally impressive Arata Isozaki ofce block. The Potsdamer Platz Arcades contain more than 120 shops and are one of the city‘s most popular shopping venues. Equally impressive is the Sony Center with its glass dome design housing a lm museum that is well worth a visit – and not only for lm buffs. The picture gallery in the adjoining Kulturforum (Cultural Forum) has a permanent exhibition of European masterpieces. Modern art and controversial special exhibitions are featured in the nearby Nationalgalerie (National Gallery). The bus route takes us through the Tiergarten, Berlin‘s ‚green heart‘, and on past the Haus der Kulturen (House of Cultures) a popular venue for exhibitions, festivals and countless other events. The next sight along the route is Schloss Bellevue (Bellevue Palace), the ofcial residence of the German Federal President. The Siegessäule (Victory Column) can already be espied from here – the golden angel-like gure on its summit seeming to oat in the sky above the city. Bus 248, 100, 200 Take either bus 248 to Platz der Republik and change for bus 100 to Zoologischer Garten, or enter directly bus 200. Driving Time: ca. 20 resp. 10 minutes
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When the bus arrives at the Zoological Gardens we are in the heart of the western part of town. A walk around the zoo should denitely include a visit to the Berliners‘ favourite animals, the popular panda bears Bao Bao and Yan Yan. The Kurfürstendamm is just a stone‘s throw from the Zoo. This is Berlin‘s big shopping mile. At the corner of Joachimsthalerstraße is the recently reconstructed Kranzler Eck. Behind the new glass facade the famous Café Kranzler has recently reopened as part of a new shopping complex. The Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche is a memorial to the horrors of war. Its ruins alongside the modern church are a monument to peace and reconciliation. In the Europa-Center the tourist info center offers a wide variety of souvenirs and information. At this point the Kurfürstendamm ends and Tauentzienstraße begins. At its lower end we arrive at the legendary KaDeWe department store. On the 6th Floor the tempting ne food department offers a great opportunity to rest those weary shopping legs. U2 Bus 145, 210 From Wittenbergplatz (directly in front of the KaDeWe), take the subway back to Zoologischer Garten and there change to bus 145 or 210 which both stop at Schloss Charlottenburg, the next station on the route. Driving Time: ca. 20 minutes
The next stop is Charlottenburger Schloss (Charlottenburg Palace). This is a splendid example of baroque and rococo architecture. Of particular interest is the ballroom with its oral ornamentation. The adjoining park is no less attractive: beautifully landscaped and full of small architectural jewels like the Mausoleum or the Tea House it is a ideal place to spend a few quiet moments. The Stüler-Bau is just across the road from the Palace and houses the Berggruen Collection – works of art in the classic modern style. Next door, the Bröhan Museum has a permanent exhibition of objects, furniture and art from the art nouveau and art deco period. Ancient Egyptian fans can visit Berlin‘s most glamorous woman, Nofretete, in the Egyptian Museum opposite. Another notable feature of the district of Charlottenburg is the Olympic Stadium, whose role in the turbulent events of recent German history is explained in an interesting exhibition currently on show there. Not far away the imposing structure of the ICC, the International Congress Center, is located right next to the Berlin Trade Fair Halls. The nearby Funkturm (Radio Tower) offers an excellent panoramic view over the forests of Grunewald. Bus 210 S 5, 75
Take bus 210 from Schloss Charlottenburg in direction Roseneck and get off at city train station Charlottenburg. Enter city train S5 in direction Spandau DB and disembark at the station Olympiastadion.
Bus 218 will take you from city train station Olympiastadion to the fairgrounds.
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Driving Time: ca. 10 minutes
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We recommend you to nish the day back at the Kurfürstendamm. You can get there from the fairgrounds by bus, city train or subway. Bus 149 S 5, 75 U2 Take bus 149 from the ICC directly to Zoo station, or enter the city train at station Eichkamp, or get on the subway U2 at station Kaiserdamm. Driving Time: up to 15 minutes
Gastro-Tip: Closer to the city centre west and especially in the area around the Savignyplatz there are numerous, excellent restaurants hidden in a maze of side streets. Savignyplatz and its counterpart Ludwigkirchplatz, on the other side of the ‚Kudamm‘, are popular evening attractions offering a wide range of international and local food to suit all pockets.
3rd Day Schloss Glienicke - Pfaueninsel - Botanischer Garten - Museen in Dahlem - Jüdisches Museum East Side Gallery - Prenzlauer Berg Tip: Since it would be impossible to cover the entire programme in a single day, it is better to decide what you want to see and then plan the day accordingly – not forgetting the weather conditions of course! The 3rd day of the tour takes us through the greener areas of Berlin. As an alternative we suggest taking in one or two of the many museums the city has to offer. Our tour begins in the south-west, in the town-house district of Zehlendorf, one of Berlin‘s top residential locations. Nearby Schloss Glienicke (Glienicke Castle) is located on the border between Berlin and Potsdam. This small castle has a casino overlooking the local lake and is situated in an extravagantly landscaped park with a picturesque view over the Wannsee lake which will enchant any visitor. S 1, 7, RE Bus 116 Take the city train or the local trafc train to station Wannsee, change to bus 116 to Glienicke bridge and disembark at Schloss Glienicke. Driving Time (from Zoo station): up to 30 minutes
From Glienicke it‘s a short trip to Potsdam whose breathtaking palaces really merit a day trip on their own. There‘s also the Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island) and its small scale castle which was conceived in the 19th Century as a sort of articial ruin and which will delight the romantically inclined. Bus 216 From city train station Wannsee, take bus 216 to bus stop Pfaueninsel, then change to the ferry for the island. Driving Time: ca. 30 minutes.
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The Botanical Gardens are to be found in the district of Dahlem and with their huge variety of owers, plants and trees present a welcome contrast of colour. Many of the exhibits are on show in the Garden‘s historical greenhouses. S1 Bus 148 Take city train S1 from station Wannsee to station Steglitz and then bus 148 in direction Busseallee to bus stop Botanischer Garten. Driving Time: ca. 40 minutes.
Close by are the museums for Ethnology, European Cultures, Indian Art and East Asian Art in a unique ensemble of non-European art treasures. Those interested in world culture and art should schedule a longer stay here. Bus 148, X11 Take bus 148 in direction Busseallee from station Botanischer Garten to Unter den Eichen/Drakestraße, then change to bus X11 in direction subway station Dahlem Dorf until terminal. Driving Time: ca. 15 minutes.
From the bourgeois residences and villas in the suburbs of Zehlendorf and Dahlem the tour now concentrates on the former working class district of Prenzlauer Berg. U1 Enter subway U1 at Dahlem-Dorf until terminal Warschauer Straße; for the Jewish Museum, get off at Hallesches Tor. Driving Time: ca. 15 minutes.
S3, 5, 75, 9 U2 At Warschauer Straße, change to the city train for Alexanderplatz. Then get on the subway U2 in direction Pankow until Senefelderplatz. Driving Time: ca. 10 minutes
The Underground Station Hallesches Tor is the right stop for visiting the Jewish Museum – remarkable for its striking design and a source of lively controversy due to its unconventional expression of form. We strongly recommend taking the time and effort to visit the exhibition on German-Jewish life. At Warschauer Straße – the last stop on the U1 underground line in Friedrichshain – the remains of the former Berlin Wall are still standing and have been converted into a series of murals known as the East Side Gallery commemorating the more terrible aspects of the Berlin as a divided city and celebrating the opening of the Wall. The fully restored Husemannstraße gives one some idea of urban life in the 19th Century. In the area around Kollwitzplatz and the Water Tower, a Berlin district, there are umpteen restaurants to tempt the hungry visitor to relax at the end of the day and try out one of the local or international dishes with their particular emphasis on Russian and Jewish cuisine. More Tips: It is well worthwhile taking an alternative day tour to Köpenick : there, in the idyllic town centre, stands the town hall made famous by the masquerade of the Hauptmann von Köpenick. After a quiet stroll through the old town you can relax even more at nearby Müggelsee, Berlin‘s largest lake, and enjoy the natural green surroundings and leave the hectic pace of the big city behind you. A visit to Spandau is also to be recommended. The quaint alleyways of the old part of town are just as interesting as its citadel. In winter a visit to the cosy atmosphere of the Christmas Market in Spandau Old Town is well worth considering.
Berlin Tourismus Marketing GmbH and the City of Berlin are looking forward to your visit! Berlin in three days - page 6 of 6 © Berlin Tourismus Marketing GmbH; subject to change
Published on Jan 27, 2009
A third day of sightseeing could be used for a more in-depth exploration of the districts of Berlin. Spend the rst day in the East, the sec...