Planning the Perfect Trip to Berlin: Tips & Recommendations

September 25, 2023

Planning a trip to Berlin? You’re in for a treat! Berlin offers more than just the Berlin Wall and the Brandenburg Gate; this diverse city boasts world-class museums, charming squares, vibrant nightlife, and a wealth of stunning historical sites to explore.

Having visited Berlin several times, I’ve gained a good understanding of the city. It’s time to share my top tips for things to do, places to see, and, of course, delicious food to try! Berlin is a city that could captivate you for a lifetime, but for this itinerary, I’ve crafted a five-day plan. This will provide ample time to fully experience everything this city has to offer. Are you ready to uncover the wonders of Berlin? Let’s dive in!

Belin Landscape

Embarking on a 5-Day Journey in Berlin – A Complete Itinerary

Day 1


Commence your day with a visit to Museum Island, which is home to five outstanding museums. I highly recommend exploring them all, but if you’re short on time or not a history enthusiast, you can opt to visit just two or three of them, focusing on their main exhibitions.

When purchasing your entrance tickets, you have the choice of a combination ticket, which grants access to all the museums, or individual tickets for each museum – the choice is yours.

After your museum tour, you’re likely to work up an appetite. I suggest a coffee and snack break at one of the cafes within the museums. However, there are also numerous restaurants outside the island. If you decide to venture beyond the museum vicinity, consider trying Juli’s Restaurant, a delightful Thai eatery just a short 2-minute stroll from the museums.


Once you’ve satisfied your curiosity and your hunger, proceed to Berlin Cathedral, conveniently situated on Museum Island. Upon arrival, embark on the ascent of its impressive 270 steps, leading you to the summit of the dome, where you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of Berlin. Trust me, the vistas are well worth the effort!

From Museum Island, make your way to Gendarmenmarkt Square, one of Berlin’s most picturesque squares. If you’re a fan of chocolate like us, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Rausch Schokoladenhaus, a coffee shop that will undoubtedly satisfy your cravings.

Next, either hop in a taxi or continue on foot to the Topography of Terror. Alongside a section of the Berlin Wall, you’ll find permanent exhibitions detailing the events in Germany during World War II. It provides a somber but essential perspective on the harrowing events that unfolded here.

From there, proceed to the Holocaust Memorial. This moving memorial consists of 2,711 concrete cubes of varying sizes, designed to resemble graves, in remembrance of the Holocaust victims. While not an easy sight to witness, it is a profoundly important one that should not be missed.

Following your visit, take a leisurely stroll to the awe-inspiring Brandenburg Gate and conclude your afternoon at the Reichstag Building. Atop this building, you’ll find a modern glass dome offering a 360-degree view of Berlin. It’s open from 8 am to midnight, and I highly recommend timing your visit to coincide with sunset.

Please be aware that the Reichstag Building may occasionally close throughout the year, so check the official website for up-to-date opening hours before planning your visit. Tickets are free, but advance reservations are required, and you can make them on the website.


Feeling hungry after a day of exploration? Treat yourself to a meal at Treffpunkt Berlin, where you can savor delectable local German cuisine and beer. This restaurant is conveniently located within walking distance of the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag Building, although do note that it is closed on Tuesdays.

Berlin Flag

Day 2


On your second day in Berlin, begin your morning at the Berlin Wall Memorial. Here, you can observe a portion of the wall and the infamous “death strip.” A visit to this site typically takes about an hour, and entrance is free.

Next, take the S-Bahn to Friedrichstrasse station to explore the Palace of Tears. This served as the primary border crossing between East and West Germany from 1962 to 1989. The name “Palace of Tears” is derived from the emotional farewells that took place here among family and friends during that challenging period.

Now, hop back on the subway and embark on a short journey to Alexanderplatz. Alexanderplatz is another vast and impressive square in Berlin, boasting an array of restaurants. Take your pick and indulge in more delectable German cuisine.


In the afternoon, we opted for a tour of Berlin-Hohenschönhausen. This site was the principal political prison of the East German Ministry for State Security, commonly known as the Stasi. During our visit, we watched a short film and embarked on a 90-minute tour of the facility. I highly recommend including this visit in your itinerary.


For the evening, we explored Prenzlauer Berg, a historic neighborhood that has evolved into a trendy area brimming with shops and restaurants. Enjoy a meal at Zur Haxe, and be sure to savor their renowned pork knuckle!

Day 3


On your third day, indulge in more of Berlin’s exceptional museums. If you haven’t already, return to Museum Island and make your way to the Jewish Museum. The initial part of the museum is an architectural marvel with its sloping walls and floors deliberately designed to create a disorienting and unusual atmosphere. This segment of the museum focuses on the Holocaust, and as you progress, you’ll enter the traditional museum section, featuring exhibitions on Jewish history and culture.

Following your visit, continue your museum exploration at the German Historical Museum. It’s a comprehensive resource covering every aspect of German history, and we personally found it truly captivating.


For lunch, dine at one of the nearby restaurants, and then embark on a guided tour of Flughafen Tempelhof. Until 2008, Tempelhof was one of Berlin’s busiest airports, and the Tempelhof building itself ranks among the world’s largest. Please note that the only way to explore this abandoned airport is through a guided tour.

From Tempelhof, take the subway to the East Side Gallery, a lengthy section of the Berlin Wall adorned with graffiti artworks.


Conclude your day with dinner at the Hackesche Höfe complex, brimming with shops, bars, and restaurants waiting to be explored.

Day tour

Day 4

Note – On Day four, you’ll be venturing off the beaten path in Berlin. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes, and consider packing a sandwich or snacks, as food options in the Grunewald and Teufelsberg areas are limited.


Kick off your eventful day at Grunewald Station to visit the Platform 17 Memorial, a poignant tribute to the thousands of Jews who were transported to concentration camps. At this very station, Jews were loaded onto trains bound for the death camps. Walk along the old and abandoned platform, where you’ll find dates, the number of deportees, and their ultimate destinations inscribed. It’s a somber and distressing sight, but one of great significance.

Next, venture to Teufelsberg, one of Berlin’s most peculiar and unconventional locations. Teufelsberg is an abandoned listening station from the Cold War era, now adorned with vibrant graffiti art. If you have an appreciation for art, it’s an absolute must-see. Keep in mind that reaching Teufelsberg involves a relatively long walk from the old train station.

From Teufelsberg, proceed to the Olympic Stadium, originally constructed for the 1936 Summer Olympics. You can opt to enter the stadium and explore on your own or, if you’re feeling weary, simply admire it from the exterior.


Following your visit to the Olympic Stadium, take a brief 6-minute subway ride to Charlottenburg Palace. While there, indulge in a delicious lunch at Osterelli, and be sure to try their beetroot dumplings and horseradish schnitzel!

If you have an interest in castles and palaces, a tour of Charlottenburg Palace is a must. This summer palace, commissioned for Sophie Charlotte (the first wife of the Queen of Prussia), was inspired by Versailles in France.

From Charlottenburg Palace, hop on the subway to Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. The Kaiser Wilhelm Church was constructed in the late 19th century but suffered significant damage during World War II in 1943. Unlike many other reconstructed buildings in Berlin, the remnants of this church were intentionally preserved as a poignant reminder of the war’s devastation.


A short walk from the Kaiser Wilhelm Church lies Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe), Germany’s most renowned department store, boasting seven floors of luxury goods and gourmet food. Choose one of the restaurants within KaDeWe; you can’t go wrong with any of the dining options there!

City Lights

Day 5

On your fifth and final day in Berlin, consider taking a day trip out of the city. There are numerous enchanting destinations to choose from, such as Potsdam, Dresden, Leipzig, or Anhalt, many of which are accessible via public transportation.

Here’s another captivating suggestion for a memorable day trip – visit the fairytale bridges of Rakotzbrücke and Bastei. You can explore the picturesque town of Görlitz and even cross the border into Poland. It’s a long day, but the experience is well worth it, as it ranks among the most stunning places in Germany.

Tips for Your Trip to Berlin

It took me a few trips to Berlin to really understand how to get around and thrive there. In hopes of helping you have an enjoyable trip, here are some quick tips that I’ve learned along the way:

Public Transportation: Berlin has an extensive public transportation network, including buses, trams, trains, and the U-Bahn (subway). Consider downloading and using the BVG app or Google Maps for navigation and real-time updates on public transportation schedules.

Don’t Forget to Validate Your Ticket: If you’re using public transportation, make sure to validate your ticket before boarding trams, buses, or trains. Failure to validate or having an invalid ticket can result in a fine if you’re caught during random ticket checks.

Rent a Bike: Berlin is a bike-friendly city with well-maintained bike paths. Renting a bike is a great way to explore the city, especially in areas like Tiergarten or along the Berlin Wall. Look out for bike rental stations.

Cash or Credit?: Berlin is largely a cashless city, and credit cards and payment apps are widely accepted. However, it’s still advisable to carry some cash, especially for smaller purchases.

Recycling: Berlin is known for its dedication to sustainability and recycling. Make sure to separate your waste into different bins for paper, plastic, glass, and bio-waste.

Museum Passes: If you’re planning to visit several museums, consider purchasing a museum pass online. It offers discounted admission to over 30 museums, including Museum Island, Pergamon Museum, and Alte Nationalgalerie, saving you both time and money.

Restaurants: When dining out, it’s customary to tip around 10% of the bill. Most restaurants include a service charge in the bill, but additional tips are always appreciated for exceptional service.

SIM Cards and Data Plans: SIM cards and data plans in Germany can be relatively expensive compared to other countries. It’s advisable to research and compare different mobile providers and their offerings to find the most suitable and cost-effective option for your needs. I personally prefer to get an eSIM for abroad, which saves me a lot of unnecessary hassle.

Be Respectful at Memorial Sites: Berlin has several memorials dedicated to significant historical events, including the Holocaust and the Berlin Wall. When visiting memorials such as these, be respectful, avoid loud conversations, and maintain a somber demeanor.

Final Thoughts

I hope you enjoyed my recommendations for a 5-day trip to Berlin. It’s such an amazing city, and I’m so excited for you to fall in love with this magical place for yourself. Go get yourself lost in the vibrant, meandering streets, and be sure to visit other areas of Germany too!

To make calls and browse the internet while traveling – I recommend getting an eSIMple eSIM package for Germany.

SHARING IS CARING – Share this guide with friends and family! And, please, let me know if you have any questions or thoughts.

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