2-day Berlin itinerary & 12 things to see

I did not know exactly what to see in Berlin when I bought plane tickets for ITB Berlin, the biggest travel fair in the world. But I began to document myself thinking that I would use the afternoons to explore the city. When I saw how many things to see in Berlin were on my list, the afternoons turned into half a day, and I designed a 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 in 2 days.

Our 2-day Berlin itinerary was:

Day 1:

      1. Alexander Platz and Berlin TV tower:

        Located on both sides of the S-Bahn line, Alexander Platz and the Berlin TV Tower are 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&A 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.


        2-day Berlin itinerary

      2. Nikolai viertel Berlin

        The oldest part of Berlin is Nikolai viertel neighborhood. 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 favorite place in Berlin: cobble stone paved streets, the oldest church in Berlin Nikolaikirche, the one that gives the name of the neighborhood 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.

        Biserica Nikolai din Berlin

      3. Berlin Aqua Dom:

        Situated in the lobby of the Radisson Blu Hotel near the Berliner Dom, the Aqua Dom is 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.
        Aquadom din Berlin

      4. 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 the 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 the 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.

      5. Museum Island in Berlin:

        It was already afternoon 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 visiting 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.
        Insula muzeelor din Berlin

      6. 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.
        Poarta Brandenburg din Berlin
        We decided to end our first day with the Brandenburg Gate and a dinner at one of the Italian restaurants of Berlin. On our next visit in Berlin we saw a magnificent show: VIVID show and now I think that it’s a perfect way to end the first day if you have only 48 hours in Berlin.

    Day 2 in Berlin:

    We started our second day here with a visit of the German parliament:

    1. Reichstag building:

      Recommended on all the blogs I’ve read, I think the Parliament Building in Berlin should be the first on the list of places to see in Berlin. The visit is free, but online programming is mandatory to join organized groups at fixed hours. At the entrance they asked us to confirm the booking (good luck that we could show it on our phone) and ID cards. We booked only a visit of the glass dome, but there is also the option of touring the building. We walked the bridge built inside the glass dome of German parliament, admiring the important buildings in Berlin that the audio guide was telling us about. If you don’t know where to start your tour in Berlin, the Reichstag building is a great idea. You can find out from the beginning what are the attractions to see in Berlin and some details about them. And if you want to know more about the Third Reich and Berlin’s landmarks connected with it check this post.
      Cupola Parlamentului din Berlin

    2. Tiergarten and Tempelhof:

      Berlin hosts plenty of green space and parks and that is why I think a city break in Berlin with children can be a good idea. Tiergarten is a huge park near the Zoo. We walked only briefly through this garden but in March you won’t find it as nice as it is during summer.
      Tempelhof, the former Berlin airport, is the largest urban park in Germany. The best thing to do here is that you can walk on the former airplane runway and have a picnic in the green space between them. Tempelhof is not near the city center, so we didn’t include it in our Berlin itinerary, but we got to see it from the S-Bahn.
      Parcul Tiergarten din Berlin

    3. Potsdamer Platz:

      Potsdamer Platz in Berlin was our next stop for the second day. A visit of the Potsdamer Platz is equivalent to a journey in the future. Framed by skyscrapers, glass buildings and a futuristic architecture, the Potsdamer Platz is Berlin’s most modern venue. Besides taking some pictures we had nothing to do here, so we entered the Berlin Mall.
      Postdamerplatz din Berlin

    4. Mall of Berlin

      A bonus stop in our tour in Berlin was the mall. We didn’t plan to stop here, but for shopping enthusiasts it is a must see in Berlin. The Berlin Mall, a 3-story giant full of shops it is great to spend some money and shop till you drop! If you are more the outdoor type, skip it! We wanted to see Checkpoint Charlie, so we didn’t spend too much time here either.

    5. Checkpoint Charlie:

      Closely linked to the history of the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie marks the famous crossing point between East and West Berlin. There is also a museum at Checkpoint Charlie where you can find out more about this famous landmark. When we got back from Berlin we saw the “Bridge of spies” movie with Tom Hanks about the Berlin separated by the wall.
      Checkpoint Charlie

    6. Berlin wall:

      A wall with history in the back and many stories of people separated by it, the Berlin Wall is a shocking concept for me. My mind hardly understands its meaning and the role it was built for. That’s why I started to search why the Berlin wall was built, how did it fall and of course a map of Berlin wall. The most interesting part of the Berlin wall today is that walking around the city you can find some remains of it or a line on the side walked marking the place where it is marking the place where it passed. The East side gallery in Berlin is an open-air gallery where artist from all over the world painted the largest section of Berlin wall still standing.
      We finished our Berlin itinerary here and, in the area, we found some great restaurants for dinner.

    We chose only 12 things to see in Berlin for our 2-day itinerary. But there are many more. The city has a lot of museums to visit (Film museum, Berlin Wall, Espionage, Lego and even Wax figures). In addition, there are many cafes, restaurants of all kinds and shows. I made a list of what I would like to see when I get back in Berlin and I have enough places for another 2-day itinerary in Berlin. This city is fascinating!

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Official Blogger at ITB Berlin 2019

Official blogger at ITB Berlin 2019

In 2019 I was official blogger at ITB Berlin and it was the second year I did that. ITB Berlin is the biggest travel fair in the world with more than 10000 exhibitors from 180 countries, so all the big players in the industry are here. I learnt some things from last years’ experience and this year it was even better. There are tons of opportunities so all you must do is go there and be prepared to reach them!

What is ITB Berlin?

ITB Berlin stands for Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin and it is the biggest travel fair in the world. It takes place every year in March and it is organised in Berlin at Meese Berlin, a gigantic expo centre. The expo centre has 3 floors, over 25 halls and several restaurants and cafes. Sometimes to get from one hall to another it can take more than 30 minutes and that is why there are some shuttle buses for transport. To help visitors find their way faster, on each hall there are maps of the centre and there is even an app you can download. I still got lost 2 times.
There are 2 main entrances in this big expo centre: South Entrance (5 minutes from the Messe Süd S-Bahn station) or the East Entrance (around 10-15 minutes walking from the WestKreuz S-Bahn station or 10-15 minutes walking from the Messe Nord S-Bahn station).
And once you are in, the fun begins! The fair usually lasts 5 days: the first 3 days are for those that come with business, the last 2 days are also for public. If you are not an exhibitor, you can visit the fair buying a visitor ticket or getting a press badge. Visitors can buy a one-day ticket or a permanent trade pass (for all 5 days). The price is lower if you buy the ticket in advance, online.

How to get the accreditation as official Blogger at ITB?

If you are a travel blogger and you want to visit ITB Berlin, you can get accreditation as official Blogger. Your blog must be travel related, at least 6 months old and it must have certain statistics. All the accreditation process starts in November for March next year and the steps are described on ITB’s website.
I applied in November on their website and in days I received the answer, with a code and a link to my press badge. I printed my badge afterwards and enjoyed all the benefits coming from being part of the press team.

What benefits do you have as an official blogger at ITB?

The accreditation as a Blogger comes with different benefits. First you can enter the fair with half an hour before the rest of the public. This way I could take some great pictures with no people in them. Second, you have access in the press room (a room designed for those that bring their laptop with them and need a place to work). You also have access to several events available only for press. You have a free wardrobe and parking places. And last, but not least, you can apply to Blogger speed dating.

How was ITB Berlin 2019?

In 2019 I visited only the stands I was interested in. I also set up some meetings with the Tourism boards of the regions I had plans to explore. People were open to talk about their region. They gave me a lot of materials and I even closed some agreements. Besides visiting the stands I attended some events (conferences and workshops about travel themes). I created a profile online, on their Virtual Market platform, contacted the persons I wanted to meet at the fair and sent them a meeting proposal. I had a very tight schedule, but this way I took the best of the fair and had time to enjoy the city. I had a long walk and visited the main attractions in Berlin and one evening I saw the amazing VIVID show at Friedrichstadt Palast.

Blogger speed dating at ITB 2019

After you get your accreditation as official blogger, you can apply to Blogger speed dating. Blogger speed dating is a meeting with companies that are interested in working with bloggers. After your application is approved you have access in a platform where you can see all the companies that will be there. You can invite on a “date” the ones you want to work with or you can receive invitations from them. Once they say yes to your invitation or you accept theirs, it’s a match! You must have at least 2 dates confirmed to take part at this event. I had 9 dates confirmed, but 2 cancelled in the last minute (they were very polite and sent me a message before).
The event took place in CityCube Berlin. I had to register before it and after that I entered the big room. Each company has a standing table and the bloggers move from one table to another, according to the meetings they planned. I used the time before the start to locate the tables for my meeting. We had 8 minutes to discuss and 2 minutes to find the next table and a gong let us know when we should start or move forward.
I took a bottle of water (we had water and snacks at the entrance) because I spoke a lot and I needed to drink water from time to time. I prepared an introduction phrase (who am I, what is my blog about etc), I offered them my biggest smile and we started to discuss. I tried to focus on what I can offer them and why is my blog special. I met people that actually want to work with bloggers and some of them even had projects on their mind. They didn’t ask for my media kit, but I sent them as a follow up. At the end of the event I was exhausted, but happy of how things worked out. In August I will have a first project with a person I met at ITB Blogger speed dating, so now I get to see the results of my meetings.ITB Blogger speed dating
For my activity as a travel blogger it is not mandatory to participate at ITB Berlin. For my professional development it was a plus. I met people from different countries, I saw what it is important for them and I learned how to “sell” my blog better. And I saw again how important human contact is, especially in the travel business!

Review: VIVID Grand Show in Berlin

VIVID Show in Berlin
I knew Friedrichstadt-Palast is the place for events in Berlin and Vivid Grand show was the natural choice when I decided to see a spectacle. Last year I visited Berlin during ITB 2018 and I saw many posters in the city with all kind of events. But I didn’t have time then. And this year, when I started to plan my spring trip to ITB 2019 (the biggest travel fair in the world), I remembered the posters. I started to do some research on events in Berlin for English speakers and all my results were pointing the Vivid Grand show at Friedrichstadt- Palast.

Friedrichstadt-Palast in Berlin

Friedrichstadt-Palast in Berlin is the largest show palace in Europe and the most modern one. It is located in the Mitte district, the historical heart of Berlin. The actual building is called New Friedrichstadt-Palast and it was constructed in 1984, but the history of the palace begins in XIXth century with the Old Friedrichstadt-Palast, erected 200 meters southwest of present-day location. The first construction was used as a market hall , food depot, circus and theater. It was bomeberd during second world war and closed in 1980 because of the damaged foundation. Friedrichstadt palace in BerlinThe New Friedrichstadt-Palast in Berlin opened in 1984 and became host for the big entertainment shows. The new building has some elements reminding of palace’s long history. The performances use advanced lighting and stage technology and some of them have over a hundred artists. The best thing is that Friedrichstadt-Palast is a place where you can find beautiful events in Berlin for English speakers. You can buy here tickets for the show. The first time I entered the building I wasn’t so impressed. It is not opulent as I expected. But the stage is enormous and it is very well designed so you can see perfect from any seat. In the foyer, a permanent exhibit of the theater’s district can be seen. Take your time during the intermission to visit it. Parts of the stage machinery used in the old Friedrichstadt-Palast are displayed on a background with all the big names that performed here: Louis Armstrong, Marlene Dietrich, Ella Fitzgerald etc. We left our coats at the wardrobe, took our seats and waited for the show to start while a strong voice welcomed us to Friedrichstadt-Palast both in English and in German. And then the magic began!

Review : VIVID Grand show in Berlin

“Las Vegas in Berlin” is the most common description I read about the show, so I didn’t know exactly what to expect. Nor the trailer gave me extra details. So I just sat there waiting to be surprised. And I was. I had the feeling I was in a dream where things so strange happen that only imagination can produce them. Giant ants looking like robots appeared on stage from nowhere, a magician painted on water, neon girls were moving in the same rhythm and exotic animals were dancing creating a colorful scenery. And that was only the first part! After the break the giant ants and other huge animals conquered the scene, the synchronously dancers continued to charm the audience, the “jumping” boys walking on wheels scared the public and big holograms gave us the sensation we were in an enchanted land. Their beautiful costumes support this sensation of magic. Three talented singers are the main hosts of the show offering continuity during the story. VIVID Grand show in Berlin is an experience for all senses. In two hours, it makes you live the whole range of human emotions: excitement, fear, curiosity, sadness and fascination. I laughed, I was scared, I felt sad, I was amazed. And if something can make me feel all these in such a short time and at that intensity, then it totally worths living it. The main idea of the show was that we are all different and it is important to respect and even to celebrate that. This is something that also travel teaches you. So if you want to enjoy the German Capital to the fullest, include also an evening at the Friedrichstadt-Palast to see Vivid Grand show in Berlin. You will have stories to tell after! Liked the article? Pin it for later!
Pictures from here.