Take to the streets of Berlin with three Bs in mind (“Berlin” makes four): buildings, backstories and beer. Start on the first B at the Brandenburg Gate, the centrepiece of Berlin architecture, directly west of the sprawling green Tiergarten and within walking distance of the Reichstag Building. Don’t crash a German Parliament meeting if you can help it, but definitely take a peek at the inner workings of past and present politics—plus the façade is really pretty.
Berlin holidays aren’t complete without the backstories, so head west to Museum Island. Don’t skip the German Historical Museum on your way to see the Pergamon Museum, which has a whole Babylonian temple inside it. As you make your way through the city, slow down at the Topography of Terror, a museum chronicling the dark history that blanketed the second half of the 20th century, built near a portion of the Berlin Wall.
To lift your spirits and celebrate today’s Berlin, it’s time for the final B: beer, as well as other culinary delights. Hit up Kreuzberg to mingle with locals and stuff your face with the best food in Berlin: German classics like spatzle and strudel. For less conventional vibes, don’t forget Neukolln, with its youthful, avant-garde and international feel. If you wear yourself out busting moves and sampling brews, don’t worry—everyone else has done it, too!
Intercontinental flights to Berlin touch down at Tegel Airport (TXL), just 10km northwest of the city centre. Pick up some wheels with one of our car hire options or catch a ride downtown on underground transit. Taxis are plentiful, so if you have a need for speed on Germany’s famous interstate, you can hail a local to show you around as you yell “Autobahn!” from the back seat.
If you don’t want to be far from a post-flight nap when you arrive, book accommodation near Berlin Airport and worry about transport tomorrow.
Looking for that wiesn feeling? You may not know it, but you are! This is the short German word for the long, cumbersome English “Oktoberfest”, and Berlin has a great one. Plus, finding Berlin accommodation during late September and early October isn’t nearly as difficult or expensive as its southern cousin, Munich, where the festival originated. Bring your lederhosen, grab a pretzel and get ready to drink!
If you think that pics of yourself in lederhosen drinking from a giant stein are the best you can get, think again. For 10 days from 7 to 16 October, the Festival of Lights creates sweet photo ops throughout the city by projecting light and video art onto its famous landmarks. It’s so cool-looking, you might forget to snap those photos!
If you can’t pull it together to get to Berlin hotels in autumn, no worries. Your newsfeed will be stunning any time of year. In fact, December’s Christmas markets light up the winter night sky—and the gluhwein (mulled wine) will warm up your tummy. There are more than 60 markets in the city, but we’d recommend the WeihnachtsZauber Gendarmenmarkt. Don’t worry about pronouncing it. Just point your way to Franzosische station and follow the crowds.
The flea market and food stalls of Mauerpark in northern Berlin can fill a lazy Sunday afternoon right up. Need brass candlesticks, antler wall decorations, an old-fashioned mousetrap or some local art? It’s all here (note: Not all mums will appreciate these souvenirs). Grab some bratwursts, potato salad and beer and head out for a picnic. What’s the “wurst” that could happen?
Here’s a surprise suggestion: Hit the beach! You’re surrounded by lakes, and you might as well use them. Southwest of the city centre, Strandbad Wannsee is the most popular spot and the largest, with chair rentals, a water slide, boat rentals and volleyball. Yes, you’ll definitely be tired when you head back to accommodation in Berlin. Nearby Schlachtensee is a bit easier to get to from the S-Bahn, and has a chilled-out party vibe. Grab a beer (seeing a pattern here?) from the lakeside cafe and find your perfect spot along the shore.
Alright, we covered a lot of the must-see spots already, but what if you don’t know how you’re going to see it all in just one day in Berlin? First, get back online and reschedule that flight—Berlin definitely deserves more than one day. Then, book a Spree Sightseeing Cruise and take in tons of the sights without even lifting a toe. Yes, you can see Bellevue Palace, the Victory Column, Hamburger Bahnhof (no beef involved, unfortunately), the Reichstag, Berlin Cathedral and Museum Island without even leaving the boat.
Museum Island is another great place to pack in tons of sightseeing in a limited time. The Pergamon Museum is the city’s most-visited, while numismatics will love the Bode Museum (that means coin-lovers, and you just learned a new word today!). Admire the bust of Nefertiti at the Neues Museum—she was basically the Cindy Crawford of 1370 BC, and a queen to boot. Then check out the Acropolis…sorry, we mean the Alte Nationalgalerie, which looks just like the famous Athens landmark.
If you hate beer, history, cool architecture and awesome people, well, don’t come to Germany. Otherwise, willkommen! We’ve scouted out sweet deals on airfare and places to stay in Berlin, so you can mix and match to create the perfect getaway to Germany’s historic capital.
Hotels in Berlin start at AU$72 per night. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.