The Ultimate Berlin Travel Guide | Broke Girl Abroad

Traveling to Berlin was amazing. It’s a city where, at the time I visited, everything was a work in progress. Historical relics and buildings were being restored. A true city center was being developed. Old meets new, and both are getting a makeover. I loved it.

Berlin itself is full of history, and during your time here you’ll learn a lot. In this case, I recommend coming with an open mind and open stomach (that last part will make sense in a bit).

Table of Contents

Introduction

Berlin East Side Gallery | Broke Girl Abroad
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Germany

Official Language(s): German

Currency: Euro

Emergency phone number: 112

When to Go to Berlin

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Early November – December

I visited during December and honestly? I’d do it again. I was freezing, but the Christmas markets in Berlin are such a spectacle, they’re not to be missed. Berlin goes hardcore. There are at least 50, if not more of these elaborate markets scattered across the city.

It’s worth the bitter cold. Pack your heaviest coat and don’t look back.

Plan to Stay

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3-4 days for adequate museum time and Christmas market visiting.

Where to Stay in Berlin

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wombat’s

I did not enjoy the hostel I stayed at. Any place that doesn’t have soap in the bathrooms and charges me for a towel is no friend of mine. But… I really liked the location.

So give wombat’s CITY HOSTEL a go. It’s in Alexanderplatz, same area I was in, but with much better amenities. 

Alte Schönhauser Str. 2, 10119 Berlin

Book here

How to Get Around in Berlin

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U-Bahn Ticket

Berlin is three times the size of Manhattan, making it difficult to pin down an exact “city center.” Everything you’ll want to visit is on one side, another, or in the middle. Public transportation is fantastic, and Uber is available. Just be aware that transportation will take a bit longer than other cities with more defined centers. Nothing bad, just budget 20 minutes or so for getting around. 

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Where to Eat in Berlin

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Hofbräu Berlin

I did the vast majority of my eating at the Christmas markets (seriously, your first currywurst should be had there) but I managed to make time for other neat spots.

Hofbräu Berlin is one such place. It’s just… really ridiculous fun. There was a live band when I was there. You’re seated in long benches (great way to meet people). The food was fabulous. I’d say overall, a neat restaurant to chill after a day of sightseeing and enjoy some German cuisine. 

Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 30, 10178 Berlin

Website

Rausch chocolate house, Berlin | Broke Girl Abroad
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Rausch chocolate house

Berlin is like, the chocolate capital of Earth. Just visit Rausch chocolate house. It’s better than it sounds. Walk inside, and you’ll see that all the major Berlin landmarks have been recreated, with chocolate. The sweets there are ridiculously good quality, and deciding what to get took me way too long.

There’s also a cafe if you’re a huge chocolate head and would love nothing more than to shove all things sweet in your face.

Charlottenstraße 60, 10117 Berlin

Website

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Ritter Sport

If you didn’t get your fill of sweets at Rausch, I feel ya. Stop by Ritter Sport, there’s a good chance it’s been in your Facebook feed already. It’s a lot less formal than Rausch, with the same good quality. Plus, you can make your own chocolate. It’s awesome, they’ve got a whole line of people waiting to hear orders for your weird creation.

One thing to note; it will be busy. So if you want to make your own chocolate, be prepared to wait.

Französische Straße 24, 10117 Berlin

Website

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Spreeblick

You’re gonna be starving after spending time on Museum Island (more on that in a bit). Luckily, there’s some great cafes and restaurants in the area. Spreeblick is one such cafe. Pretty, decently priced, and outdoor seating if the weather is nice. What more could you want?

Propststraße 9, 10178 Berlin

Website

Day 1 of 4 Days in Berlin

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Museum Island

Berlin has endless museums, and Museum Island is where the best ones live. The Island has a wide variety of stops to cater to a wide variety of interests. You could want to visit everything or a small selection of places. There’s a lot to do, but don’t feel overwhelmed. Honestly, you’ll enjoy yourself no matter where you end up.

Here’s what I did…

Pergamonmuseum, Berlin | Broke Girl Abroad
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Pergamonmuseum, Berlin | Broke Girl Abroad
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Pergamonmuseum, Berlin | Broke Girl Abroad
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Pergamonmuseum

I visited the Pergamonmuseum. It has a huge collection of Middle East art and antiquities.

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One of its main draws is the Ishtar Gate of Babylon (humans included for scale).

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Berlin Cathedral Church | Broke Girl Abroad
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Berlin Cathedral Church | Broke Girl Abroad
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Berlin Cathedral Church

I also got to check out the Berlin Cathedral Church, which is the colloquial name for the Evangelical Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church. 

It sustained heavy damage during WWII but was beautifully restored.

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Climb the dome

You can also climb the dome! The view was delightful. If you can, go on a day that isn’t so windy, it makes dome-viewing way easier.

Humboldt Box
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Berlin Palace Museum

Lastly, I stopped by Humboldt-Box, which was standing in as a place holder for the construction of the Berlin Palace Museum. Humboldt-Box has since closed because the Berlin Palace is closer than ever to opening! Get your info here

Bodestraße 1, 10178 Berlin

You can get one ticket for all five museums here

Pergamonmuseum

Open 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. all other days

Website

Bode Museum

Open 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. all other days except Monday

Website

Neues Museum

Open 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. all other days

Website

Alte Nationalgalerie

Open 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. all other days except Monday

Website

Altes Museum

Open 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. all other days except Monday

Website

Berlin Cathedral

Opening times vary

Website

Berlin Christmas market | Broke Girl Abroad
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Berlin Christmas market | Broke Girl Abroad
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Berlin Christmas market | Broke Girl Abroad
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Christmas markets

Berlin has an endless amount of Christmas markets and they don’t play around. You can ride a ferris wheel, go ice skating, see a live band or just shop around. I’m only scratching the surface. 

Berlin’s attention to detail is remarkable; they even have “indoor” shopping areas if you get too cold. You pay a small price to enter and are given a ticket/token of some sort. From there, you’re free to eat, skate and shop to your heart’s content. If nothing else, visit Weihnachtszauber Gendarmenmarkt, the most popular market. It’s unreal.

Gendarmenmarkt, 10117 Berlin

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Fernsehturm

Bonus pic of the Fernsehturm looking woefully out of place. What is it about 60’s communist radio towers that look so darn sinister?

Panoramastraße 1A, 10178 Berlin

Hours vary

Website

Day 2 of 4 Days in Berlin

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Berlin Wall Memorial

Berlin Wall Memorial and East Side Gallery are two places commemorating the same horrors. They’re both a good distance from each other, but it just makes sense to see them both together.

The Memorial has a visitor’s center for more information. It also grants you access to the wall itself, where you can see just how powerfully intimidating it was.

Bernauer Str. 111, 13355 Berlin

Open 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Website

East Side Gallery, Berlin | Broke Girl Abroad
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East Side Gallery, Berlin | Broke Girl Abroad
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East Side Gallery, Berlin | Broke Girl Abroad
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East Side Gallery

The East Side Gallery is where several different artists try to send their own message. Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, graffiti felt like it’s own personal middle finger to everything the Wall had represented. You can see elaborate art depicting everything from past to current events. 

Mühlenstraße 3-100, 10243 Berlin

Open 24 hours

Website

The Reichstag, Berlin | Broke Girl Abroad
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The Reichstag, Berlin | Broke Girl Abroad
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Reichstag, Berlin | Broke Girl Abroad
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Reichstag

The Reichstag is Berlin’s government building, and it’s a beauty. Especially when you consider it suffered a fire in 1993. Fast recovery.

The dome and rooftop are accessible to tourists. It’s a bit odd to get through security and into the right entrance, but the views are lovely, both from the top and down below.

Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin

Open 8 a.m. – 12 a.m.

Website

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Brandenburg Gate

Brandenburg Gate is a just a short walk away. It too, is impressive up close and somehow survived the onslaught of history.

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Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is a structure worth visiting, because it’s not immediately apparent what it’s trying to say.

It’s barrier free and consists of 2,711 columns of various heights, forming a maze. It’s controversial. Even it’s construction was a battle to complete and many argue it doesn’t say enough. I say, walk around, let yourself get lost in the maze. What does it say to you?

Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin

Open 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Tuesday – Sunday, closed Monday

Website

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Topography of Terror

Topography of Terror is where everything you’ve seen so far all comes together. A museum that, quite appropriately, is set inside the former Gestapo headquarters, details the rise of Nazism.

Actually, “details” is an understatement. Every law, article and photo has been meticulously curated and uniquely arranged so visitors can learn what led to the horrors that took place. No stone is left unturned. You’ll learn a lot.

Niederkirchnerstraße 8, 10963 Berlin

Open 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Website

Day 3 of 4 Days in Berlin

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Take it in

I’d spend an extra day to just take everything in. You just did a ton of stuff and learned a lot in a couple of days. So have a day to chill around. Wanna go back to a museum? Walk around the city? Revisit a monument? I’d do that. Speaking of…

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Schloss Charlottenburg

I love nothing more than a good palace, so where the hell was I when Schloss Charlottenburg is pretty easily accessible by transportation? Eating currywurst, probably. 

Schloss Charlottenburg is Berlin’s largest palace, built for the Queen consort in Prussia. They spared no expense. The outside alone gives me serious Schönbrunn Palace from Vienna vibes. It’s a ways away from just about everything, so make sure you pencil in enough time for transportation.

Spandauer Damm 10-12, 14059 Berlin

Open 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., all other days except Monday

Website

Day 4 of 4 Days in Berlin

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Day Trip to Dresden

If you’ve got the time, a day trip to Dresden would be a fabulous final send off. Check out the guide I prepped for info on how to make the most of your day there.

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One Last Thing

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So much is going on in Berlin, new palace museum, construction of an official city center, the works. This had led to an increase in young, artistic people settling in the city. Pretty cool, right? New events are constantly popping up. Ask someone on the bus what festival is currently going on and check it out.

The Ultimate Berlin Travel Guide | Broke Girl Abroad
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The Ultimate Berlin Travel Guide | Broke Girl Abroad
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Pin this 4 day Berlin itinerary for budget travelers!

Safe travels!

-Maggie

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