Three days in Berlin - Mitte and Alexanderplatz - day 1
If you choose to visit Berlin in three days you have what appears to be an almost limitless choice of things to do and places to see. Ever evolving, the city’s lively, entertaining and accessible character is what makes Berlin so enjoyable for visitors. If you do happen to be on a tight schedule then this is the article for you.
So what does Berlin have to offer? A fascinating perspective and insight to a city which has such a rich, interesting and diverse history means that there is so much to learn about Berlin old and new. A multi-layered vibrant city means an exciting and entertaining cultural life where young or old are well catered-for.
At first glance Berlin can seem a little sprawling but it is in fact very accessible, on foot or using the first-rate public transport system, which makes it easy to get around and explore. A good starting point to get your bearings is the area around Alexanderplatz - from here you can begin to explore the central Mitte district.
09:00 - Alexanderplatz
Alexanderplatz, or “Alex” as the locals call it, is a large public square which is also home to a central transport network with many buses and trams. It’s named after Russian emperor Alexander I in honour of his visit to Berlin in 1805.
Breakfast at the top floor of Galeria Kaufhof, a fresh buffet, a huge choice and if you grab a seat at the window, a fantastic view of the city and the surrounding buildings.
09:30 - TV Tower, Neptune Fountain & the Rotes Rathaus
A short walk takes you to the TV Tower (the tallest building in the country and an iconic image of Berlin). Here you’ll find the Neptune Fountain (the neo-baroque fountain, decorated with statues of Zeus, Elbe, Rhine, Vistula and Oder created between 1886 and 1891 by Reinhold Begas) and the Rotes Rathaus (Red Town Hall). This is also the place to catch a hop-on hop-off city tour bus.
Head up the TV tower in the late afternoon and watch the sunset.
10:30 - Hackesche Höfe
The picturesque enclosed courtyard complex, the largest of its kind in Germany, makes up the Hackesche Höfe, an area popular with locals and visitors. In contrast to the Höfe the nearby Haus Schwarzenberg offers a more alternative style of courtyard. The Café Cinema located here has a really nice bohemian feel to it and is ideal for grabbing a coffee.
Visit the Blindenwerkstatt Otto Weidt Museum, which tells the story of a German businessman who sheltered and helped many blind and deaf Jewish people in the war.
11:00 - The New Synagoge, Oranienburger Str
After your coffee break stroll down to see the Neue Synagogue (New Synagogue) on Oranienburger Str. It’s definitely worth going inside and marvelling at the building which was first constructed in 1859–1866 with its distinctly Moorish style. The excellent permanent and temporary exhibitions give a fascinating insight into Jewish community life in Berlin.
12:30 - Lunch at Ristorante Al Dente, Auguststrasse 91
You will have many options on your walk from the Neue Synagogue along Oranienburger Str or the nearby Fridedrichstrasse but if you like Italian food, the Ristorante Al Dente is a good choice, with great food and atmosphere.
14:30 - Museums Insel (Museums Island)
Fortified from lunch, next stop is a trip to Museums Island. Here you’ve got a choice of five internationally renowned museums. Highly recommended are the Pergamon Museum, which has one of the world’s best archaeological collections. The collection includes the awesome Pergamon altar, the Ishtar Gate of Babylon and the Neues Museum which houses the Egyptian bust of Nefertiti, among other gems.
Take the Museum Island pass, when visiting more than just one museum, to save some money.
18:00 - Hackescher Markt or Nikolaiviertel
You’ll probably welcome a drink and a chance to relax after your museum viewing excursions. There are a couple of options at this point. You could head north to Hackescher Market, beneath the train station, which has a number of stylish bars but can be a little pricey. Alternatively, go south to the Nikolaiviertel area for a cold beer – there are a few bars that brew their own selection of beverages.
Looking for something to do in the evening?
After relaxing in your apartment you might be up for going out for dinner and drinks or maybe even seeing some live music. If so, here are just a few suggestions for the evening ahead.
Head for Austria
(not literally), on Bergmannstraße. With a hunting lodge interior, hearty food awaits, and the schnitzels come particularly recommended.
Atlantic Café at Bergmannstrasse 100 offers a nice environment to enjoy a drink late into the evening and even get an early breakfast in the morning if you lose track of time. In summer time the pavement seating is extremely popular.
That’s it for day one – our suggested itinerary for day two includes exploring some of the more tragic and moving periods of Berlin's history.