Are you looking for 3 days in Berlin itinerary? The capital of Germany is an exciting, progressive and fascinating place to visit. The city with such a turbulent history became one of the most liberal European capitals. From its excellent museums, forward-thinking design, and combination of traditional and modern architecture, Berlin is a fantastic place to visit.

3 Days in Berlin itinerary

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Berlin is one of the most unique European cities. Its long history goes back to Prehistory, while numerous turbulent events shaped the city. You can feel it in its architecture and monuments, but also in the lifestyle of its residents. To see all the exciting sites, follow this 3 days in Berlin itinerary during your visit to the German capital.

How to get from Berlin Brandenburg Airport to Berlin City Centre

I flew to Berlin Brandenburg Airport (the only Berlin airport now), which was recently opened. From there, I took the U-Bahn train (U7), which took me straight to the city centre.

TIP: Get the Berlin Welcome Card! Besides discounts and free entrances to some Berlin attractions, it also includes free public transport. Transport from Berlin Brandenburg Airport to Berlin city centre is included in it, too. I had a Berlin Welcome Card valid for 72 hours, and it was perfect for spending three days in Berlin. You can get your Berlin Welcome Card 72 hours on this link.

Where to stay in Berlin

I stayed ten minutes away from the Brandenburg Gate at the Scandic Berlin Hotel. It has a great location because you can easily reach it by public transport from the Potsdam Platz and Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Park stations. The street in which it’s located is very peaceful and quiet. However, you’ll find many small restaurants and supermarkets in the area.

If you like to walk, you can also walk from it anywhere to the city centre. I rented a bicycle at the hotel, which was one of my favourite things to do in Berlin. And it was great to wander around Berlin that way, too.

Read more: Where to travel in 2023 – Month by month recommendations

Day 1 in Berlin

I love starting my trip to any place by walking around it first and getting a sense of the area that way. That’s why after checking in at my hotel and having a currywurst for early lunch, I strolled around the Berlin city centre.

Enjoy the view from the Parliament Building (Reichstag)

The Parliament Neo-Renaissance building was built in the late 19th century. However, it was severely damaged during the fire in 1933 and bombing during the Second World War. The building was reconstructed and modernised in the 1960s and became a Parliament building in 1999.

The building is famous today for its glass dome. Since the original stone dome was lost in the fire, the new glass dome was erected in its place. It has a fantastic combination of old and new architecture. The glass dome could be visited, providing one of the best panoramic views of Berlin.

TIP: This is one of the most famous Berlin sites, so be sure to book it a few weeks in advance because, otherwise, you won’t have a chance to get your entrance tickets. Here is the link to get your Reichstag Dome entrance ticket.

Explore Brandenburg Gate

I then went to another famous site in Berlin, the nearby Brandenburg Gate. The neoclassical gate was built in the 18th century in a location of the former city gate. They were often used in history for triumphal processions and other political purposes.

The gate was damaged in the Second World War but restored shortly after. The portion of the Berlin Wall was located just next to them, so after its demolishing, one of the most famous photos was taken of it with people celebrating the union of Berlin.

Stroll around Unter den Linden

Unter den Linden is one of the main boulevards in Berlin, on which you’ll find numerous cultural institutions, beautiful monuments, small cafes and restaurants. It was named after the linden or lime trees. Some of the most famous Berlin sites on Unter den Linden are Berlin Cathedral, Neue Wache Memorial, Berlin State Opera, Frederick the Great Statue, Berlin Palace, and many more.

TIP: Visit Ampelmann Shop and buy some Berlin souvenirs there. Ampelmann is a little human symbol you’ll see on the pedestrian traffic lights in Berlin. It was initially used in East Germany, making it one of the few symbols that survived the unification of Germany. At the Ampelmann Shop, you’ll find many nice souvenirs with its image.

Visit DDR Museum

The Cold War is an essential part of German and Berlin history. I only fully understood it after visiting the DDR Museum. It’s an interactive museum which explains the history, politics and everyday life in East Germany.

You can try driving the infamous Trabant car, see the products that were on sale in East German shops, visit a typical apartment from that time, and fully understand the oppressive system in that way. Although I didn’t expect much from this museum before my visit, it ended up being one of my favourite things to do during my three days in Berlin. Get your DDR online entrance ticket on this link.

Read more: 15 Best museums in Europe you have to visit this year

Relax in front of Berlin Cathedral

If you visit Berlin during the warmer months, you’ll see many people hanging out next to the Spree River, in parks and green areas in the city. My favourite place was the large park in front of the Berlin Cathedral.

It was packed with people enjoying the sun with their families and friends. So, I acted as a local in Berlin and relaxed in that beautiful area, too.

TIP: Berlin Cathedral is one of the largest Protestant Cathedrals, built as a rival to Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. If you’ll have some extra time, be sure to visit it during your stay in Berlin.

Day 2 in Berlin

Visit Pergamon Museum

I started my second day in Berlin by visiting Pergamon Museum. It’s located on Museum Island, an area under the protection of UNESCO consisting of five museums. Pergamon Museum was constructed between 1910 and 1930. It’s a unique place where you can see reconstructions of ancient architecture within the museum building.

Its most famous exhibits are the Pergamon Altar, the Market Gate of Miletus and the Ishtar Gate from Babylon. The museum is also home to some of the best collections of Ancient Near Eastern Art and Islamic Art.

TIP: Pergamon Museum will be closed for a thorough renovation between October 2023 and 2027. If you visit Berlin during that time, pick another institution on Museum Island to see. I recommend the Altes Museum or the Neues Museum (click on them for the online entrance tickets). And here is the link to the online Pergamon Museum entrance ticket. In any case, be sure to buy your entrance tickets before your visit online, to avoid queueing in front of the museums.

Flea & art markets in the city centre

Berlin is home to some of the best flea markets in Europe. You’ll stumble upon them all around the city, especially if you visit over the weekend.

The art market is organised next to the canal, just in front of the Pergamon Museum. You’ll also find smaller ones on Unter den Linden. And if you’re interested in antiquities, visit Berliner Trödelmarkt, which is open on Saturdays and Sundays, 10 am – 5 pm. It’s one of the best antiquities markets I ever saw.

East Side Gallery

The Berlin Wall encircled West Berlin and separated it from East Berlin and East Germany between 1961 and 1989. It was built by the East German authorities to prevent East Germany’s citizens from fleeing to West Berlin. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, a part of it was preserved as a monument and decorated with graffiti.

The East Side Gallery is one of the world’s most extensive open-air art galleries. Located on the remains of the Berlin Wall, it’s 1316 metres (around 4317 feet) long. Opened in 1990, it consists of graffiti made by 118 artists from 21 countries. Some famous murals are My God, help me to survive this deadly love, representing the kiss between L. Brezhnev and E. Honecker. Another one is the Trabant coming through the wall.

TIP: The best way to get to the East Side Gallery is to go to Ostbanhof Railway Station. You’ll see the wall immediately after exiting the station. Just walk next to the graffiti-decorated wall, then.

Evening next to the River Spree

If you visit Berlin during the warmer months, spend at least one evening by the River Spree. Numerous small bars and cafes place their lovely terraces next to the river. You’ll often find street performers and musicians creating a beautiful atmosphere there. So, be sure to include some time next to the Spree River in your 3 days in Berlin itinerary.

TIP: If you want to explore Berlin on water and enjoy some of the River Spree views, have dinner on this Berlin river cruise boat.

Day 3 in Berlin

Rent a bicycle

One of my favourite things from my last trip to Berlin was riding a bicycle around the city. Berlin is a bicycle-friendly place, making it easy and safe to ride around the city. I rented a bike at my hotel, which cost me 10 euros for four hours. I rode from Brandenburg Gate through Tiergarten to Charlottenburg Palace.

Charlottenburg is a 17th-century palace built in Baroque and Rococo styles. It’s the largest palace in Berlin today and is open to visitors. It’s surrounded by beautiful vast gardens where you can ride a bicycle or wander around. Charlottenburg Palace Gardens are also an excellent place for relaxing, sitting on some of its numerous benches and enjoying nature.

I rode back through the Brandenburg Gate to Under den Linden. It was lovely passing next to all those beautiful monuments on that historical street. Its extensive network of wide bicycle paths makes exploring Berlin by bicycle so enjoyable. You should definitely include it in your 3 days in Berlin itinerary.

Afternoon at Alexanderplatz

Alexanderplatz is another well-known area you shouldn’t miss during your three days in Berlin. After a delicious lunch there, I strolled around the Alexanderplatz. The square is a major shopping area with many shopping malls.

However, it’s also home to some Berlin highlights like the Television Tower. It was built in the late 1960s as a symbol of the communist power of East Germany. It’s 368 metres (1207 feet) high, making it the tallest construction in Germany. It’s open to the public, housing a restaurant and bar with a fantastic view of Berlin.

TIP: If you’d like to visit the Berlin Television Tower and enjoy the panoramic view of Berlin from it, get your ticket on this link.

The Nikolai Quarter, famous for its historical buildings that will give you a sense of old Berlin, is located nearby. If you follow this 3 days in Berlin itinerary, walk from Alexanderplatz through Nikolai Quarter towards the Spree River. From there, continue to the following location, Alte Nationalgalerie.

Visit Alte Nationalgalerie

Museum Island is home to some fantastic museums, so take a look at their collections to pick the one that’s the most interesting to you. During my three days in Berlin, I visited Pergamon Museum and Alte Nationalgalerie. The following is a lovely museum with an art collection of paintings and statues made during the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Some of the museum highlights are the collection of Caspar David Friedrich’s paintings, Adolph Menzel’s artworks, Edouard Manet’s ‘In the Conservatory’, and many more. Get your Alte Nationalgalerie online tickets on this link.

Read more: 15 Best exhibitions in European museums in 2023

Tips for visiting Berlin

Berlin Welcome Card

During my 3 days in Berlin, I used Berlin Welcome Card 72 hours. With it, I had free public transport, so it was easy to explore the different areas of the city. The card also provides you with a discount on many museums and attractions. It includes free or discounted city tours and bicycle rentals. One of my biggest pieces of advice for a great 3 days in Berlin itinerary is to get a Berlin Welcome Card. You can buy your Berlin Welcome Card 72 Hours on this link.

Books to read before your trip to Berlin

  • Berlin Alexanderplatz (author: Alfred Döblin) is one of the most iconic novels set in Berlin. The book follows the murderer who was just released from prison and is trying to rebuild his life. It’s set in the Alexanderplatz area, evoking Berlin in the 1920s very well.
  • The Innocent (author: Ian McEwan) is a spy thriller set in Berlin in 195os. The main character is a spy who has to lead the operation of building the tunnel into East Berlin and tap the Soviets’ phone lines.
  • Zoo Station: The Story of Christiane F. is the true story telling the dark side of Berlin in the late-1970s. A 14-year-old Christiane talks about drug abuse and prostitution among children at the Zoo Station in Berlin.

Movies to watch before your trip to Berlin

  • The Lives of Others is a German movie set up in East Berlin during the 1980s. It tells the story of living under the oppressive system and the monitoring the Stasi, the East German secret police, was doing to its citizens. It’s a fantastic movie that will help you understand what life was like during that time in Berlin.
  • Good Bye, Lenin! is a German tragicomedy movie set up in Berlin a few months after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The main character’s mom wakes up from a coma, and her son, to protect her from the news that the system she supported has fallen, recreates the life of East Germany in a new system.
  • Run, Lola Run is a thriller in which the leading character Lola has twenty minutes to collect the 100,000 Deutsche Mark to save her boyfriend’s life. It’s an experimental movie, showing a few optional plots, making it one of the best European movies ever.

Berlin is a fantastic, unique and progressive city worth visiting. If you’ll spend three days in Berlin, follow this 3 days in Berlin itinerary that will help you make the most of your visit to Berlin.