Berlin had been on our radars for as long as I can remember and despite having family in Germany, making several trips to Hamburg and loving the country, we hadn’t managed to get around to it. When we decided to make a trip home for Christmas from Australia we decided to split the trip there and back up to both break up the long journey but to see a few new places along the way. So instead of flying straight to Dubai we made a short pit stop in a chilly but incredible Berlin. Despite the weather we absolutely loved our 2 day Berlin itinerary and it was certainly worth the wait and we vowed to return again in a warmer season! So here’s a guide to 2 days in Berlin.
Transport Information For 2 Days in Berlin Itinerary
Getting In And Out Of Berlin
Berlin Brandenburg Airport is the main airport to serve the city opening in 2020 to replace several smaller airports that used to house different services, this makes planning 2 days in Berlin a lot easier!
Frankfurt is the busiest airport in Germany and is a well known hub for international transport and and transit hub. But Berlin is still a well served international airport with Europe of course being well covered, also by many low cost airlines. The Middle East, Asia and North America is also covered with routes to New York, Qatar, Istanbul and Beijing.
The low cost routes from the rest of Europe make a 2 days Berlin itinerary easy to plan.
The airport opened at an unstable time in the travel industry and some other routes including those to Dubai, Singapore and Philadelphia were either planned but have been postponed until after the COVID-19 pandemic or are currently in talks for a future date. Given how new the airport is and the pandemic we expect the routes from Berlin to be much more substantial in the future but there is also still a lot of options for those travelling from further afield. By the time it comes to planning your 2 day Berlin itinerary check out the available routes at the time.
Berlin and Germany as a whole are well connected for overland coach/ bus travel through companies like Flixbus. These cover most of the European continent either directly or via connecting services, meaning you can pretty much head anywhere in Europe overland.
Buses leaving from Berlin are often good quality (Comfy seats, WIFI, power sockets) with a high level of safety but some overland coach trips can be long haul, but are usually the cheapest option. If you’re only having 2 days in Berlin it might be best to avoid long haul transport methods.
Most long distance coaches arrive and leave via the Berlin Central Coach Station (ZOB) but it does also serve domestic transport too. The station is a short walk from the Kaiserdamm U-Bahn station (U2 line) and the Messe Nord/ICC S-Bahn station (S 41/42/S46) and the M49, 139 and 218 local bus routes stop at the station too.
Berlin Hauptbahnhof and Berlin Ostbahnhof are the largest and main train stations in Berlin alongside other smaller ones. Both have regular services to almost all major towns and cities across Germany with Hauptbahnhof offering more and more frequent services. The other two main stations are: Berlin Gesundbrunnen and Berlin Südkreuz which also offer regional and international transport on a less frequent basis.
Both main stations also offer international travel, again with Hauptbahnhof having more destinations on offer. Trains to locations such as Switzerland, Poland, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Netherlands, France and even as far as Belarus and Russia leave from these stations.
The 4 major Berlin train stations are also connected to the city’s underground U-Bahn service. Train travel is convenient for a 2 day Berlin itinerary especially if you’re combining it with further travel in Germany or Europe.
Transport In & Around Berlin
Berlin has a great transport network and it’s a good job as it’s quite a big city of course spreads across what was East and West Berlin, this makes spending 2 days in Berlin easy as it’s quick and simple to get around.
The main method of transport you will likely use is the U-Bahn or S-Bahn which are light railways, one under and one over ground, perfect for your 2 days in Berlin itinerary.
The city also has buses and trams and even a limited ferry service too so it really is very easy to get around and planning a 2 day Berlin itinerary is easy with such great public transport.
All forms of transport are run by the Berlin-Brandenburg VBB Transport Association meaning tickets are valid for all services providing they are in the permitted zone and time. Berlin is divided into three tariff zones: AB, BC und ABC. You can buy one way tickets for different zones valid for a two hour journey or short journey tickets valid for three stops. It is also possible to buy day tickets for unlimited travel in the zones the ticket it allocated for on all forms of transport. Weekly and monthly passes are also available for those here longer. Group tickets are also available which brings the cost down which is ideal if there are a few of you doing a Berlin in 2 days Itinerary together.
Tickets can be bought from the ticket machines on the platforms of S-and U-Bahn stations, larger stations have ticket counters too. On trams buy tickets from the machines inside the train and you can buy bus tickets from the driver.
Tickets must be validated at the yellow or red boxes on the platforms, in buses or trams before/ as the journey starts in order to be valid in case of inspection. Noone wants a fine as part of their 2 days Berlin itinerary!!
It is also possible to do a hop on hop off bus in Berlin too, these are great if you are limited on time such as 2 days in Berlin, as they cover all the major sights along with commentary –
Where to Stay: Accommodation For 2 Days In Berlin.
Best Budget Backpacker: Generator Berlin Mitte
The Generator hostel chain which operates around Europe is one of the best and most well trusted and the Berlin branch is one of the finest examples. Featuring a bar, onsite laundry and located close to public transport it’s the ideal base for budget travellers spending 48 hours in Berlin. The hostel offers both dorms and private rooms too so it’s a diverse place to stay too, there is also a continental breakfast on offer too. A cheap but high quality hostel with private rooms is perfect for a budget 2 day Berlin itinerary.
Best Mid Range Option: B&B Hotel Berlin Alexanderplatz
A smart, modern, clean and no frills B&B in a great area of the city this hotel is the ideal place for those on a budget who don’t want to stay in a hostel or guest house. It also offers a buffet breakfast and is great for public transport too which is what you want to prioritise on a 2 days in Berlin itinerary.
Best Treat Option: DORMERO Hotel Berlin Ku’damm
A luxurious but affordable option in the centre of the city the DORMERO offers standard rooms and suites too as well as a fitness centre, spa and wellness area, a lounge and courtyard garden too. The rooms are decorated in a timeless and elegant fashion and the hotel is in a heritage building, it’s an ideal base for your Berlin in 2 days Itinerary.
Search More 2 day Berlin Itinerary Accommodation Options Here:
2 Day Berlin Itinerary: Things To Do:
Heading to the Germany capital for the weekend, here’s a list of what to do in Berlin in 2 days.
Take In The View From The Historic Reichstag Dome
Visiting the Reichstag, one of the most important buildings in Germany, should be a priority on your Berlin in 2 days Itinerary. Completed in 1894 the iconic Reichstag building is the centre of German democracy but also a building that became symbolic with the destruction of the war and the end of the Third Reich. The building was built to house the parliament of the German Empire but in 1933 as the Nazis rose to power it burnt down in dubious circumstances.
This provided the pretence for the Nazi government to instigate fear of rising communism in the country which lead to appeasement towards Hitler around the world and turned Germany into the Police state they required to take absolute power. Despite the building laying empty during the war and not used for parliamentary sessions over that period, after the infamous battle of Berlin in 1945 the rising of the USSR flag over the battered building became a symbolic moment in the victory over the Nazis. With such history here it has to be a priority on your 2 days in Berlin trip.
The building continued in a sorry state through the years of separation in Germany with it laying technically in West Berlin but also right along the border. The West German government sat in Bonn and in reality it had no use and was a ruin. it was saved from destruction but no one really knew what to do with it.
After the reunification in Germany in 1990 the decision was made to renovate the building and move the parliament finally back to Berlin. It took until 1999 for the building to be finished, complete with a new modern dome to replace the ruined original which came together to represent the old and the new Germany. Visiting Berlin’s Reichstag is a must when you come to the capital and it is open to the public almost everyday of the year, so it’s a must do on any 2 day Berlin itinerary.
Today the German parliament, the Bundestag, sits in the Reichstag and the building is open to the public with an appointment. Anyone can book, at least the day before, to take a tour of the magnificent dome where you can see right across the city as well as inside the building itself and where parliament sits. Book your visit here: www.bundestag.de
Take In The Elegance Of The Brandenburg Gate
Another relic of the old imperial Germany, the Brandenburger Tor is a real icon of the city and a place so filled with historical significance it’s hard to really take it all in. The history this gate has seen it all; from leading to the royal Palace of the Prussian monarchs to rousing Nazi marches, being closed off as a crossing between East and West Berlin and eventually representing freedom and unification. Your 2 days in Berlin trip has to include a visit to this iconic landmark of Germany.
From Royalty to revolutions, marches and massacres, this place has been at the centre of German history since it was built in 1791. Today it is still a central meeting place in the city and the site of national celebrations and an essential part of your two days in Berlin.
Wander Along The Thought Provoking East Side Gallery
Berlin is famous for many things, but one of the most thought provoking is the Berlin Wall. A symbol of the cold war, of separation and isolation it also became the focal point for hope, unity and revolution when it famously came crashing down on the 9 November 1989 and began the process which resulted in the end of the Soviet Union. For us having a real interest in this history we made sure it was the first thing to add to our 2 day Berlin itinerary.
The wall throughout its existence had always been a place of resistance in many forms, from attempts to scale this high and well protected border to graffiti displaying the dismay at what it symbolised. In 1990 this remaining 1316m section of wall was commissioned as a monument to the fall of the Berlin Wall, artists from all over the world were invited to paint over 105 paintings that reflected upon both the good and bad that the wall represents and presented challenging ideas and concepts on a loaded site. It’s also such a unique thing to Berlin that has to been experienced. If you’re going to do Berlin in two days then be sure to make time to see this area of the wall.
Many of the paintings and murals were extensively renovated in 2009 with many of the original artists coming back to repaint their now iconic works on the wall, this included one of the most famous pieces of Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker kissing as painted by Dmitri Vrubel. We were lucky enough to be staying right by here which was great because it’s one of our favourite things to do in Berlin.
The wall is a short walk from the Berlin Ostbahnhof station or a touch further from Warschauer Strasse U-Bahn, Heinrich Heine Strasse U-bahn, Schlesisches Tor U-Bahn. This is a little further out than some other things to see but it’s worth the short train ride to add to your 2 days in Berlin trip.
Discover Other Remnants Of The Berlin Wall And Potsdamer Platz
If you have a real interest in the Berlin Wall and Cold War history, as we do, then another really important place to see some of the remaining wall is at Potsdamer Platz. Strolling through this peaceful and modern square today you might not have any idea of the heartbreaking history this place has beared witness to. It’s a jarring juxtaposition that should be part of your Berlin 2 days itinerary.
From the subtle line that runs along the floor marking the path of the Berlin wall to the stark image of remaining crumbling pieces sitting in this modern and busy intersection it really is a poignant place to visit. Seeing the wall here is a different experience to that of the East Side Gallery with the setting providing the ultimate background for how much this once ruined area has changed over time. This is only a short visit too so easy to find into your 2 days in Berlin plan.
Explore Berlin’s Jewish History In Heartbreaking Detail
Visiting the memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe is a must do in Berlin, rather than shy away from this huge and shameful period of history, the German people have dedicated a huge square in the city in their memory. The stark and bleak installation covers 19,000 m2 (4.7-acre) and consists of 2,711 concrete slabs arranged in a grid formation which changes in height over the undulating land on which is sits. It’s an important and moving addition to any 2 day Berlin itinerary.
Walking amongst the blocks you soon become engulfed in their size, visiting is a confronting and isolating experience designed to disorient and separate you from the outside world. It’s not without its controversy, as is expected with something so important, but in our perspective it creates a reflective and uncomfortable experience that allows you to really “feel” rather than just look. The idea is to ” to represent a supposedly ordered system that has lost touch with human reason” and we feel it does this perfectly and that this concept, especially having visited Auschwitz a few years back represents the idea of systematic killing and dehumanisation. If there is one places to make a point to see on your Berlin 2 days itinerary then this is it.
Take An Photoautomaten Selfie In One Of The Old Booths
Being a cooler than cool hipster city it is no wonder the once forgotten photo booth that used to provide ID photo for locals are now a popular hangout spot for selfies! The black and white analogue Fotoautomat machines are a cool way to take some fun and silly shots with your travelling partner and as they print off straight away, you have an awesome souvenir of your 2 days in Berlin itinerary and keepsake completely personal to you!!
Most of these booths are found outside U-Bahn stations and can actually be found in several cities throughout the country. Check this link out for a list of locations: www.photoautomat.de
Photos cost 2 Euros for 4! A fun and cheap way to remember your Berlin 2 days itinerary.
Eat Currywurst At The Wall!
Currywurst, which is basically a bratwurst with a distinctly German style curry sauce over the top, is a German must do on your 2 days in Berlin itinerary.
But what better place to tuck into some authentic local food than at the wall! It was supposedly invented in Berlin in 1949 when a local obtained ketchup and curry powder from British Soldiers and combined it with the traditional German Sausage! History was made and the construction workers rebuilding the city would flock by for this quick, cheap and filling snack that is often served alongside chips (Fries!).
If you are a vegetarian or vegan, like us, then never fear! Berlin and Germany as a whole is a very veggie friendly place and most currywurst places do veggie options. Our favourite in the city is “Curry at the wall” because it offers veggie sausages, its cheap and in a great location! It’s a must do experience from the things to do in Berlin guide!
Cross The Border At Checkpoint Charlie
As with many historical places the irony of it becoming a tourist spot is rather stark to see. Checkpoint Charlie, the once heavily guarded crossing between the East and West where many tried and failed to escape. The focal point for the fascination in espionage and double agents, both real and fictions, is now a spot to get a souvenir passport stamp and pose with “guards”. In many ways the frivolity with which you can cross here, snapping photos and taking in the historical setting, is a yardstick for how far Berlin has come since those dark days those doing those exact same things would have been shot dead and left to bleed to death like Peter Fechter back in 1962.
There are also many museums and shops around here to learn more about the history and also buy some pretty cool keepsakes too, including actual bits of the Berlin wall from the broken pieces. Getting a Checkpoint Charlie stamp in your passport is a must do on the list of things to do in Berlin. if you want to experience a little bit more of what life would have been like in Berlin at the time then why not head to the Berlin Shooting Club where you can experience what it’s like to shoot a live AK47, Shotgun and Uzis, a fun things to add to your Berlin 2 days itinerary
Explore Museum Island
As the name suggests this is the area to visit many of the classic museums of Berlin, here we are not talking about Nazis or the wall, but a time before that of opulence and grandeur. The island is a designated UNESCO world heritage site and is home to many impressive and stunning buildings that house many of the countries most important artworks and historical treasures, it’s a real slice of old world culture to add to your Berlin 2 days itinerary and a change of pace from all the cold war and Nazi history here, instead history to be celebrated.
Many of the six museums on the island were badly damaged during the war, but thankfully they have all been lovingly restored to their former glory and once again shine on the international stage. Visiting the museums is easy with a museum island pass that allows you to see all of them in one day. Even if you are struggling with time or money, visiting the island just to take in the magnificence of the architecture is still a worthwhile addition to your Berlin 2 day Itinerary.
A Museum island pass is 18 euros.
Reflect At The Topography of Terror Museum
The Topography of Terror museum sits on the ruins of the Gestapo and SS headquarters and adjacent to where the Berlin wall ran, parts of which are still preserved on the border of the grounds. The museum is an important stop as you explore this amazing city. It’s not a pleasant place nor something to enjoy, but it is probably the most moving place you will visit in the city and not a place you might initially think of when you plan what to see in Berlin in 2 days.
Setting out a timeline of events that portrays in vivid and uncensored detail how Hitler and the Nazis were able to take control via propaganda and manipulation. It also depicts in grave detail the events of the war and how the institutions based here were able to plan and enact these crimes against humanity. It is by far the most moving of the things to do in Berlin that we experienced but one of the most important too, be sure to make time to see it on your 2 days Berlin itinerary.
Hang Around In Alexanderplatz
One of the most well known public squares in the city it has been a lively meeting place since the founding of the city centuries ago. From farmers selling their goods to military parades, today it is the surrounded by many of the cities largest malls and shopping centres and is a hub for restaurants, cinemas, Christmas markets, meeting up with friends and of course the nearby “Fernsehturm” or TV Tower that affords amazing views over the city. It’s a modern landsmark of the city worth fitting into your 2 day itinerary Berlin.
Discover The Different Sides To This City Through Its History And Architecture
Berlin is a beautiful and harsh place to visit, it is a city of vast contrasts that illustrate its history and story. The difference between East and West, imperial, brutalist, modern and historic is so jarring and yet so perfect. The city seems to change eras, atmosphere and narrative around each corners, that’s what makes a 2 days Berlin itinerary so interesting.
Exploring on foot and on the U-Bahn is the perfect way to discover the marks left by each conflict, government and era Berlin has survived through. Taking note of the architecture is the perfect way to discover and decode the fascinating story of the city. Stroll around the Tiergarten, museum island and nearby the Cathedral before taking the train over to East Berlin and head down Karl Marx Allee to really take in that contrast and division of this now unified city and a fun way to explore the city on your Berlin 2 day Itinerary.
Tips For Organising Your Time On A 2 Day Itinerary Berlin:
Can you do Berlin in 2 days?
A Berlin 2 day Itinerary is enough time to see the major landmarks as we have listed here, but it does require a bit of planning and forethought.
Before you head over be sure to map out your Berlin 2 days itinerary. With a limited time visit such as this you should always think beforehand, what are your priorities, the things you just HAVE to see?. Always plan those first incase of any unforeseen delays or issues. Are there any attractions that require pre-booked tickets such as the Reichstag or might have limits on how many people enter at a time? Are some further out or require longer on public transport?
We recommend booking your Reichstag visit a few days before coming, then plan around that and try to do it early so it’s not right in the middle of your other plans if you’re going to make the most of your Berlin itinerary 2 days
The Brandenburg Gate, Museum Island, Memorial to the Murdered Jews, Potsdamer Platz and Alexanderplatz, Berlin Cathedral, Topography of terror and Checkpoint Charlie are all in a relatively close area but we still recommend using public transport for some trips just to save time for example from Potsdamer to Alexanderplatz. But the East Side Gallery is a little further out and depending on your interests you might want to spend a while here and on Museum island if you intend to go inside each gallery rather than just visit for the architecture. We prioritised visiting the Wall on our Berlin 2 days itinerary so headed there first.
Download a maps app like maps.me where you can place pins on each place you want to see in Berlin in 2 days and look at the distance between. Bear in mind how long you might want to spend in/ at each place and try to split each day into attractions that are closer together and account for how much time you might spend at each one, this way you can really squeeze as much as you can out of Berlin in two days.
Bear in mind light too, in the winter the days are shorter so maybe plan visits to museums or galleries for later in the day once it goes dark. A 2 days Berlin itinerary is a great way to see the city in a short time but just needs some forethought.
Have You Been To Berlin? What Would You Recommend For A 2 Days In Berlin Trip?
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