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How To Spend the Perfect Week in Berlin

The Berlin Cathedral by the river Spree
The Berlin Cathedral by the river Spree | © James Rea / Alamy Stock Photo
Berlin is the perfect mix of grit, history and culture that’s sure to delight visitors with its pulsing nightlife, world-class galleries and mouthwatering gastronomy. From Monday to Sunday the German capital is brimming with culture and excitement – here’s how to spend the most perfect week in Berlin.

Day 1 – Monday

Start your perfect week in Berlin by experiencing the city from above, at the Reichstag Dome. Admission is free, however, guests should register online to skip the queue and secure their spot. From the rooftop terrace atop Berlin’s iconic parliament building, visitors can take in stunning city views over the city’s parliamentary district.

Berlin Reichstag © TRISTAR PHOTOS / Alamy Stock Photo

From here visitors can cross off two more important historic sites, the Brandenburg Gate and the Holocaust Memorial. Just 4 minutes on foot from the Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate is Berlin’s only surviving historic city gate, and attained its icon status during the Cold War, with numerous political gatherings and speeches taking place there. After the Berlin Wall fell, the gate went on to become a symbol of a reunified Germany. The neo-classical sight is a must-see in Mitte and places you less than 10 minutes from the Holocaust Memorial. Located in the heart of Berlin, the memorial is a place of contemplation and remembrance. Wander the subtle grey pillars that span over 19,000 sq. metres (204,514 sq. feet), and consist of 2,711 concrete slabs, to explore one of Germany’s most well-known and significant memorial sights from World War II.

The Holocaust Memorial © hanohikirf / Alamy Stock Photo

End your day of historic sightseeing with a leisurely stroll through Tiergarten, Berlin’s largest and most beautiful park. From here, visitors can enjoy a romantic row-boat ride in the park’s large lake, or grab a bite to eat at nearby restaurants.

Day 2 – Tuesday

Every Tuesday in the foyer of the stunning Berlin Philharmonie free lunchtime concerts are held by Musikschule Reinickendorf. Beginning each week at 1pm, these exclusive musical delights often fill up fast, so it’s best to head over to this central, beautiful part of Berlin early to line up. Music-lovers will rejoice in this unique and intimate chance to be serenaded for 40-50 minutes at the free classical and jazz concerts.

Philharmonie, Herbert-von-Karajan-Strasse © Bildagentur-online/Schoening / Alamy Stock Photo

After your afternoon musical fix, it’s time for some more sightseeing. Checkpoint Charlie is located roughly a 30-minute walk or 10-minute bus ride from the Berliner Philharmonie. Here you’ll take in one of the most recognisable spots from the Cold War and although it’s a little kitschy and very touristy, Checkpoint Charlie is also one of the top ten sights in Berlin as it bore witness to much of the city’s tumultuous past.

Check Point Charlie © Nacho Calonge / Alamy Stock Photo

Day 3 – Wednesday

Start your third day in the German capital exploring the infamous Museum Island. The epicentre of Berlin’s thriving art scene, visitors can discover the Bust of Nefertiti, the Gates of Babylon and so much more at the island’s five world-class museums.

Berliner Dom on museum island © George Tsartsianidis / Alamy Stock Photo

Watch day slip into the night as you museum hop around the island, ending this culture-packed exploration at one of the swanky cocktail bars in nearby Mitte.

Day 4 – Thursday

Spend your Thursday in Berlin exploring the vibrant, trendy neighbourhood, Kreuzberg. Sharing its border with Friedrichshain, this cool spot houses some of the city’s best cheap eats, trendy bars and the must-see East Side Gallery. Spanning 1,316 metres (4,318 feet), it’s the largest remaining stretch of the Berlin Wall, paying a colourful tribute to the once oppressive structure. Visitors are invited to wander the wall at their leisure, or by guided tour and can also cross the red-bricked Oberbaum Bridge off their list while they’re at it. The busy towered bridge now connects Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg, however when the wall stood it was a chaotic no man’s land, that lay witness to many heroic and tragic escapes from East to West.

East Side Gallery, graffiti on one of the sections of the Berlin wall © tiziano casalta / Alamy Stock Photo

In the summer this Spree-side spot is also a popular hang out for Berlin’s trendy, young locals, who often fill their bike baskets up with beer from the local Späti before nestling in to enjoy them under the sun.

End your evening at the weekly street food market, Street Food Thursdays, enjoying the best fast-casual bites Berlin has on offer. Housed in Markthalle Neun, a beautiful, sprawling market hall in the heart of Kreuzberg, this is the perfect spot to explore the city’s evolving and diverse culinary scene, before heading out to enjoy a night drinking your way through Kreuzberg’s many bars.

Crowds at Kreuzberg's Markthalle Neun © Peter Ptschelinzew / Alamy Stock Photo

Day 5 – Friday

Friday in Friedrichshain will put you on familiar turf, after spending Thursday in closeby Kreuzberg. Start your day in this artistic hub at Urban Spree, exploring the weird and wonderful world of this multifaceted contemporary art gallery. Hosting regular exhibitions, DIY workshops, a large beer garden and irregular concerts, Urban Spree home to some of Berlin’s best underground art and artists.

Urban Spree Gallery, Friedrichshain © Peter Horree / Alamy Stock Photo

Also, pack your swimming gear because next door to Urban Spree, is Haubentaucher, Berlin’s coolest, hidden open-air pool. Housed in a repurposed large brick building, this spot blends industrial charm with Mediterranean luxury, making it one of the city’s coolest urban hotspots. With plenty of sun loungers, a chic infinity pool and thumping music to set the mood, Haubentaucher is the perfect spot to spend a sunny afternoon.

Next head over to Simon-Dach-Straße, a lively strip in this trendy neighbourhood housing a variety of the city’s cosy, quirky bars. Located just a stone’s throw from some of the city’s best techno clubs, it’s a great spot to start out or end your day in this underground, cool neighbourhood.

Beach Bar, Riverside Spree, Friedrichshain © travelstock44 / Alamy Stock Photo

Day 6 – Saturday

Continue your affair with über-cool Berlin, by spending a day in multicultural Neukölln. Start out by treating yourself to brunch and some vintage shopping on Weserstraße, weaving your way through populated streets, Pannierstraße and Reuterstraße. Next walk up the hill to Tempelhof Feld, the huge former airport-turned-lush park that houses a quaint community garden, tons of old-school relics and plenty of space to relax or enjoy some sports in the sun.

Tempelhofer Feld, a former airport area © travelstock44 / Alamy Stock Photo

No day in Neukölln would be complete without experiencing the rich blend of flavours on Berlin’s Arab Street. The vibrant mecca boasts some of the city’s best Middle-Eastern food, so head here for a quick bite before making your way over to Klunkerkranich. This not-so-secret hidden rooftop bar boasts sweeping city views, great music and cheap drinks.

Day 7 – Sunday

End your last day in Berlin, in true Berliner fashion by enjoying a Sunday in Mauerpark. An eclectic mix, Mauerpark offers tasty street food, cheap beers and a treasure trove of vintage goods. The park comes to life on Sundays with musical delights, boasting a range of street buskers and the well-known Bearpit Karaoke session, where daring locals and tourists take to the park’s huge amphitheatre to show off their best jams. The ideal spot to spend a Sunday, Mauerpark is a lively blend of all the quirky, cool things that make Berlin the city it is today.

Street performer on a sunday afternoon at Mauerpark © Eldad Carin / Alamy Stock Photo

If you’re feeling daring, end your last evening in Berlin in true club kid style at Berghain. Soak in the infamous nightlife at the place that put the city on the map for techno by indulging in a truly wild final evening at this hedonistic haven.