Berlin is one of my favorite capital cities in Europe and is a great location for a weekend trip. Whether you’re a history nerd or a hipster, Berlin’s got something for you.
What to Do:
- East Side Gallery – Graffitied remnants of the Berlin Wall and a must-see. If the weather is nice, you can sit along the river and take in artwork. With so much graffiti, you could easily spend an hour or more here.
- Reichstag Building – Take a free tour up to the dome for great sites of Berlin. Don’t be like us – make sure you book in advance as it tends to fill up quickly.
- Brandenburg Gate – Walking distance from the Reichstag building, this is another of Berlin’s iconic sites. Be sure to watch out for cars as you stroll around.
- Tiergarten Park – The best place to enjoy nice weather in Berlin. It’s also the best place to see naked guys sunbathing (or to take part in some naked sunbathing if that’s what you’re in to).
- Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe – Definitely a sobering memorial for the lives lost during World War II. The memorial was interesting to walk around but if you’re looking for a good historical museum, I’d suggest either the Polin Museum of the History of Polish Jews or the Imperial War Museum in London.
- Checkpoint Charlie – The most famous crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin. Pro Tip: Don’t stamp your passport! While it’s probably fine, it can invalidate it so depending on how much longer you need it to be operational, I’d weigh the costs.
Where to Eat:
Food is the most important part of a trip in my book. If you’ve only got 48 hours somewhere, it’s highly important to imbibe a week’s worth of calories in that time. Local food in Germany (for me) is schnitzel and spatzle. Ryan tends to get a bit more adventurous and even claims to have eaten horse while in Cochem.
While traditional food is excellent, sometimes you just crave a burger. And my goodness, Burgermeister by the East Side Gallery is a great choice. You’re at East Side Gallery anyway, right? It’s. right. there. Don’t let the line scare you away. Go and you can thank me later – though your heart probably won’t.
Another popular lunch spot in the city is Mustafa’s Gemuese Kebab, which whips up authentic Turkish Döners for a long line of tourists and locals alike. Ryan, a kebab connoisseur of sorts, made a bee line for the hyped stall during our visit. However, after queuing for at least 30 minutes for our food, he admitted that it probably wasn’t worth it. Instead, save your appetite for dinner at…
…Dicke Wirtin! To pig out, look no further than this authentic gem. Without a reservation, we were lucky enough to pounce on a table that opened up on the patio outside. I had the schnitzel (duh) and Ryan the Schweinebraten, which were both delicious and way too much food. But don’t worry, U-Bahn and S-Bahn stops are just a short stumble away!
Where to Stay:
While I can’t suggest upscale places for your time in Berlin, I can give advice on hostels – one good and one not so good. The latter I’ve mentioned before in great detail. You might remember I mentioned a strong foot odor, suffocating heat, and a flashing light that is sure to give an epileptic some fits. So I cannot in good conscience suggest you stay at Check In Hostel. I’d suggest you check out a park bench instead.
With that being said, I’d wholeheartedly suggest you stay at Circus Hostel if you’re looking for a budget-friendly place to stay. From singles (approx. $60) to 8-10 person dorms (approx. $22), you can really find the option that’s right for you, at a price that works for you. While the front desk guy had all the charisma of a jelly donut, overall, the hostel was a winner.