I did not know exactly how to spend 2 days in Berlin when I bought the plane tickets for ITB Berlin, the biggest travel fair in the world. I knew I had 2 days at the fair and the extra weekend in Berlin to explore it.
So I began to document myself thinking that 2 days are enough to explore the city. When I saw how many things to see in Berlin were on my list, I started to optimize my 2-day Berlin itinerary to reach all the main attractions.
We spent four days in the city: 2 were for the travel fair and 2 for exploring, so we had to decide what to do in Berlin to use that time rights.
Our 2-day Berlin itinerary was:
Day 1 in Berlin
We had a lovely walking tour on day 1 to make sure we reach all the main attractions in the city center. The highlights of day 1 were Alexander Platz, Tv tower, Nikolai viertel, the Dom in Berlin (with a visit inside), Checkpoint Charlie and the Berlin wall.
Day 2 in Berlin
We used the second day to visit the museums. We went inside some of the museums on the the Museum Island, we passed by the Brandenburg Gate and we visit also the Parliament building.
What to see in Berlin in 2 days?
Alexander Platz and Berlin TV tower
Located on both sides of the S-Bahn line, Alexander Platz and the Berlin TV Tower is usually visited together. In Alexander Platz I saw the world clock and I entered some shops. In Alexander Platz you can find the first C& store in Germany. It is said that the view from the tower is amazing, but the top was covered in mist, so we decided not to climb. I don’t think we would have seen something. From Alexander Platz we reached by foot our next stop: Nikolai viertel.
Nikolai viertel Berlin
The oldest part of Berlin is Nikolai viertel neighbourhood. An authentic piece of Berlin, Nicolai viertel, is a reconstruction of the old city after Berlin was bombed in the Second World War. This was my favourite place in Berlin: cobble stone-paved streets, the oldest church in Berlin Nikolaikirche, the one that gives the name of the neighbourhood and a welcoming, warm atmosphere. The charm of the place is given by details: a dragon-headed fountain, a building with many years of history and the city’s famous symbol: the bear. From Nikolai viertel we went to see the Berlin Cathedral, but on the way, we stopped at berlin Aqua Dom.
Berlin Aqua Dom
Yes, we were lucky enough to see it before it collapsed. It was a an amazing aquarium! Situated in the lobby of the Radisson Blu Hotel near the Berliner Dom, the Aqua Dom was a huge aquarium with an interior lift. Visitors admire the fish as if they were in the middle of the ocean. I was very curious how it looked like, so we went inside the hotel. If you visit Berlin with kids, this is an interesting experience for them.
The Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom):
The Berlin Cathedral is undoubtedly the most impressive church in the German capital. We visited it on a cold day in March, so we felt warm and welcomed here.
Known as the Berliner Dom, the Protestant cathedral completed in the early 20th century is the third church built on Museum Island, now replacing the first two. It was bombarded and partially destroyed in the Second World War, but then rebuilt and reopened in 1993.
Outside the church you can buy access tickets with a credit card. At the entrance, there is a stand where you can pay cash.
The interior looks much like other churches we saw: a huge organ, benches for those who want to pray and statues around. We found interesting its round shape. You can climb the dome to reach the terrace.
After a walk through a long and narrow labyrinth that seemed to go nowhere, we finally found the door through which we walked out onto the terrace. Along with the Parliament’s dome, this was the other point of view from where we could admire Berlin from above. We made a complete tour of the terrace and took some pictures despite the weather.
The last stop after the terrace was the Berlin Cathedral’s crypt.
This was the place that changed our minds that the dome is a welcoming place. The Crypt of the Berlin Cathedral (the Hohenzollern crypt, as it is called) shelters over 90 sarcophagi of the members of the Prussian royal family (the Hohenzollern family). The 90 sarcophagi arranged in the crypt (some simple ones, others richly ornate, some imposing and others small, probably children) did not leave me a pleasant feeling. I do not know if it was the diffused light, the thought that children were buried there or the fact that I did not know that the tour included this place, but I felt the urge to get out as quickly as possible. I have seen other crypts before and I even visited some ossuaries, but I left with that sadness feeling.
A boutique hotel in Berlin is a great choice if you want to enjoy your holiday to the fullest!
Museum Island in Berlin
It was the second day early in the morning when we arrived on the Museum Island. If you have a whole day at your disposal and you are passionate about history, Museum Island is Heaven on earth!
Otherwise, if you spend 2 days in Berlin and you want to visit all the museums here, it is not doable. We wanted very much to see the Gate of Babylon, but unfortunately, it is being restored for a few years, and it takes a few more to get ready. So, we did not enter, but it was left on the list. Museums on the island can be visited individually, but there is also a ticket to see them all.
We walked the Unter den Linden street to see one of the most known places in Berlin: the Brandenburg Tor.
The Brandenburg Gate
Considered the symbolic place of Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate was built in the 18th century. It was part of the Berlin Wall and it is one of the top places to see in Berlin. Every time we passed by, it was full of tourists taking pictures.
The Parliament Building
The Parliament is located near the southern bank of the river Spree. The neo-Renaissance building was designed by Paul Wallot and was completed in 1894. It was the home of the Reichstag (“Imperial Diet”) from 1894 to 1933, during the periods of the German Empire (1871–1918).
A fire in 1933 and bombings during the Second World War destroyed the building.
Until the 1970s, it underwent a partial restoration and became a history museum. It was only after the reunification of West and East Germany in 1990 that its complete restoration and renovation took place. The huge glass dome of the building, once the symbol of the place, was rebuilt.
On October 4, 1990, the Bundestag of the newly reunified German state met for the first time in the Reichstag. The following year, the transfer of the seat of government from Bonn to Berlin was voted on, with the Reichstag becoming the permanent seat of the Bundestag.
Recommended on all the blogs from which I got information, I think the Parliament Building should be the first on the list of places to see in Berlin. Visiting is free, but online scheduling is required to enter organized groups at fixed times. At the entrance, they asked us to confirm the reservation (luckily, the internet worked and I showed it on the phone) and identity cards.
There is the option to take a tour of the building and the dome or to climb only in the glass dome. We found seats only for the second option, so we walked on the walkway in the dome, admiring the important buildings in Berlin that the audio guide told us about. If your walk through Berlin starts here, you will find out from the beginning what are the places to see in Berlin and some details about them.
Closely related to the history of the Berlin Wall is Checkpoint Charlie, a famous crossing point from East Berlin to West Berlin, still standing today.The construction of the Berlin Wall began on August 13, 1961.
One of the eight border crossing points inside the city was created on Friedrichstrasse.At the intersection of Zimmerstraße and Friedrichstraße, Checkpoint Charlie is still an impressive reminder of the most famous former border crossing point in Germany, controlled by the Americans.
Today, the wall has disappeared, and the watchtowers and barriers of the former military checkpoint have been replaced with replicas. They attract tourists eager to take pictures of old Berlin.
On our trip to Berlin we also enjoyed a show at the Friedrichstadt-Palast: VIVID show, perfect for the evening!
If you have only 48 hours in Berlin, this itinerary will take you to the main attractions. A walking tour is also a great choice to reach them while discovering more about the history of the city.