Looking for an authentic, happening city? Berlin is your place. Here’s what to do with 48 hours.

Berlin is a city like no other, and it’s definitely having a moment.  Berliners are known for, and pride themselves on, the fact that they are on a different wavelength from much of Germany.  The city’s “anything goes” attitude, paired with its artsy, historical vibe makes it a truly captivating place to visit, even if for a short while.  While you could spend weeks, months, or years exploring Berlin, we’ve narrowed down a few must-see items if you only have 48 hours to spare.  Trust us, once you get into the addictive, authentic spirit of Berlin, you’ll be wanting to come back for a longer stay!

History.  Berlin is packed with history.  Remember, the city was literally divided until 1989, which can still be seen by the east side’s more concrete, sometimes gritty architecture.  While 48 hours isn’t nearly enough time to see all of Berlin’s historical sites, Museum Island is a must-do.  As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the island contains six museums with artwork, ancient artifacts, a world-class Egyptian gallery, and perhaps most notably, the Pergamon Altar.  The Jewish Museum, located just a short subway ride away from the island, is also a powerful experience, containing two millennia of German-Jewish history.  For around $25 per person, you can purchase a 3-day Museum Pass, which covers your admission to these and nearly 40 other museums, resulting in a huge cost savings.

Modern Art.  Berlin is a haven for the creative.  The city’s “underground” art scene is world-famous, and there are hundreds of exhibits and galleries spread across the city to match any taste.  Also, you’ll see a wide array of graffiti and other city art throughout Berlin, some of which has been fully embraced as an interpretation of the city’s rich and complex history.  With limited time, you can’t go wrong with a stop at the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum.  As a former train station, you’ll find everything from well-known Andy Warhol paintings to the fantastically weird, hands-on exhibits by modern German artists.   Another great exhibit is the East Side Gallery, which is an open-air, near-mile-long stretch of the Berlin Wall that contains artwork painted after the city’s reunification.   

Explore.  Berlin is extremely easy to get around, with a robust subway, streetcar, and bus system.  For the first-time visitor, a must-do stop includes the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag (German capitol building), and the deeply moving Holocaust Memorial, all of which are within a block of each other.  From there, it’s a short subway ride (or mile-long walk) to Checkpoint Charlie.  As you explore, be on the lookout for a double row of cobblestones in streets and sidewalks – this marks the location where the Berlin Wall stood.  Throughout the city’s many neighborhoods and squares, you’ll also run into authentic cuisine from every corner of the world.  Don’t be afraid to try some street food including Berlin Currywurst (sausage with curry ketchup) or Döner kebab (think Turkish-style gyro).  Restaurants in Berlin are also remarkably inexpensive – even for a multi-course meal, a bill of less than $20 per plate is common.

If you’re thinking about visiting Berlin after a river cruise, business trip, or guided vacation, now is a great time go.  Berlin’s authentic, creative, “anything goes” vibe is addictive, and after one visit you’ll want to come back time and time again!

Are you getting the latest expert advice and destination ideas?  Be sure to follow us on Facebook!  We’d love to keep in touch and hear about your experiences in Berlin and other exciting places.

About Denise

My goal is to simplify travel-planning through an equal exchange process where I acquire your ideas and expectations for your trip relieving you of the worry, hassle, stress and time that accompanies Do-It-Yourself planning.

Recent Posts

Why take a tour for your next getaway? Here are our top reasons

As tempting as setting out on your own adventure may be, we’re big fans of going with a tour group. Even for seasoned travelers, taking a tour relieves the stress of going-it-alone planning and provides peace of mind knowing all the details are being taken care of....

Alaska Yacht Vacation: Client Review

Thank you, Denise for your 3-year effort to realize our long-planned Scenic cruise. Even before our cruise set sail, your guidance was so helpful regarding COVID protocols, Canadian access forms and luggage options. You were always accessible and ready with required...

Best ways to stay healthy while traveling

Traveling is the ultimate way to escape from your ordinary routine. But it also comes with being exposed to many people from all over the world, including on your flight, at the hotel, restaurants, and during tours. The last thing you want is to be sick during your...

Items to never place in your checked luggage

With the recent holiday meltdown at a major airline, folks were separated from their checked luggage for days or in some cases even weeks. But it’s not just a problem with this single incident; every time you check bags there is the unfortunate risk they won’t end up...

Do you think a private yacht vacation is out of reach? Think again…

Imagine being in charge of your next cruise experience, surrounded only by your closest family and friends where you get to choose the itinerary. Each day is a new adventure where you can fully appreciate the perfect mix of relaxation, freedom, and adventure all at...