Berlin is a must see in Europe; a city full of history, delicious food and enough quirky things to do to keep you occupied for many subsequent visits. Plan out your trip with the help of our 4 day Berlin itinerary.
Berlin is one of the coolest and quirkiest cities in Europe.
It’s certainly one of my favourites; I’ve visited a bunch of times and can’t quite get enough of it.
Each time I visit Berlin, I find new things to do there. And it constantly delights me.
This 4 day Berlin itinerary is designed for your first visit. As this blog heroes responsible travel and offbeat places are part of that, we have a few quirky suggestions, so you can see another side of the city.
So read on, even if you have already visited Berlin, as you may find something new to you.
I’ve done the work to prioritise what you absolutely must do during your first visit to Berlin. And, there are some other suggestions you can incorporate into your itinerary if you want to go where the tourists may not go.
Let’s discover how best to spend four days in Berlin.
How to spend 4 days in Berlin
Is four days enough for Berlin?
Honestly, if you’re visiting Berlin for the first time, I’d give yourself at least four days to explore. It’s a big city, with a lot of history, after all. And there’s plenty of weird stuff to see and do as well.
Four days in Berlin is a good start and if you have an extra day to spend in the area, I thoroughly recommend squeezing in a day trip.
I have suggestions for where to go further down the page.
Where to stay in Berlin
Your 4 day Berlin itinerary
4 day Berlin itinerary: Day 1
Use your first day in Berlin to get acquainted with the city and its varied history.
Jump on a walking tour to see the sights
A walking tour is an excellent way to get your bearings in Berlin.
It’s a massive, sprawling city and many of the main sights are spread apart.
Despite having visited the city before, I recently booked a spot on the Walkative! Welcome to Berlin tour.
It’s a free tour (you tip the guide at the end) and I found it really informative. I learned some new things about Berlin, despite taking similar tours in the past.
Or take a bike tour
Alternatively, you can jump on a bike tour and zip from site to site.
These are some of the sights you can expect to see on a tour.
This is Berlin’s most famous landmark. It once signified the city’s division, as it was located in a restricted area and could not be visited by East or West Germans. Now, it’s a symbol of German unity. And it’s always thronging with tourists, so be careful where you point that selfie stick.
Another well-known landmark, this checkpoint is what remains of a former border crossing. There’s a booth, American flags, sandbags and well, endless photo opportunities I guess. You can also buy some overpriced currywurst nearby.
Bernauer Strasse Wall Memorial
A lot of the Berlin Wall has been, you know, famously torn down. However, some chunks remain, including this memorial, which contains 1.4 kilometers of the former border strip.
As a tip, the wall is protected and it’s illegal to chip off bits of it. So any tourist souvenirs of ‘pieces of the wall’ are probably fake. Regardless, the wall is a must-see on any 4 day Berlin itinerary.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
This is my favourite of Berlin’s attractions, because it is haunting. Also known as The Holocaust Memorial, it’s a place of both remembrance and warning. The site contains close to 3000 concrete stelae of different heights. They kinda look like coffins. It’s best to wander through and quietly reflect on the evils of times past (and sadly, current times).
Beneath the memorial is an Information Centre, which documents the crimes of the Nazi era. It’s well-worth returning to the site, to check this out.
Empty Library at Bebelplatz
As a bookworm, this is a memorial that truly hurts my heart. You look through a glass plate, down to a sunken library. But the shelves are empty… where are all the books?
This commemorates the book-burning at Bebelplatz, deliberately designed by Israeli artist Micha Ullman to show what’s missing. On 10 May 1933, 20,000 books went up in flames here, thanks to the Nazis. These books by independent authors, journalists, philosophers and academics were chosen, as they were considered to be against the ‘German spirit’.
Berlin Television Tower
Located next to Alexanderplatz, this is awkwardly one of the city’s symbols of past Communist power. The Fernsehturm is one of the tallest structures in Europe and has that futuristic look so popular in the 60s (when it was constructed).
Formerly a television tower, this days it’s a local attraction. It’s possible to travel up the tower and check out the view, dine in its rotating restaurant or… drink a Berlini.
Walk inside the Dome of the Reichstag Building
This government building is best known for its glass dome. Designed by prominent British architect Norman Foster, it’s energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. It’s also possible to visit the dome and walk around inside it.
This is an experience definitely worth doing as part of your 4 day Berlin itinerary.
You’ll need to book a spot in advance, as this is quite a popular thing to do in Berlin.
Admissions run daily from 8am to 9.45pm, every fifteen minutes. It’s also possible to book a guided tour alongside your visit to the dome.
In peak season (summer) I’d recommend booking at least two weeks out. In the cooler months, you can probably get away with booking the week before.
Visit the East Side Gallery
Formerly part of the Berlin Wall, this is now the longest open-air gallery in the world.
Stretching 1.3 kilometres, it features the works of artists from around the globe.
Many of these works are based around political commentary of that period of time (late 80s/early 90s). But sadly not much has changed – the players maybe, but not so much the game.
Although it’s very popular among tourists, it’s definitely worth checking out on your first-time in Berlin.
4 day Berlin itinerary: Day 2
Your first day in Berlin is now done and dusted! You’ve seen the main attractions… but there’s still plenty to experience in this fascinating city.
Let’s dive a little deeper during your second day in Berlin.
Take a boat tour
It is my firm belief that a city is always best experienced by water and Berlin is no exception.
Jump on a 1-hour cruise departing from Friedrichstraße or Nikolaiviertel and get a different perspective of the city’s sights. I’m gonna recommend starting and ending at Nikolaiviertel, for this 4 day Berlin itinerary.
You’ll float past the Reichstag, getting another glimpse of the dome you explored from the inside just the day before. Other sights include Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral), Lutherbrücke (Luther Bridge) and Schloss Bellevue (Bellevue Palace).
Alternatively, you may want to kayak along the River Spree, for another perspective and a bit of exercise.
If you’re on the boat, disembark at Nikolaiviertel and once you’ve got your land legs, we’ll head on to the next Berlin attraction.
Visit Museum Island & the Cathedral
Many of Berlin’s museums are conveniently clumped together on what is known as ‘Museum Island’, with gorgeous ornate buildings hailing from the 1800s.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s home to the:
- Altes Museum (Old Museum)
- Neues Museum (New Museum)
- Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery)
- Bode Museum
- Pergamon Museum
- James Simon Gallery.
Obviously, you can’t explore all six of these museums and galleries in one day, but you can pick and choose between the ones of interest to you. Love ancient history? Head to Altes Museum. The Neues Museum has Egyptian displays, alongside prehistorical and early historical collections.
Or maybe you wish to get lost in the Pergamon Museum, the most visited in Berlin, with its collection of Islamic and Middle Eastern art. Lovers of art can head to the old National Gallery for Neoclassical, Romantic, Impressionist and early Modernist pieces.
Choose your own adventure.
Gaze up & out from the Siegessäule
Constructed over eight years from 1865, the Berlin Victory Column commemorates the Prussian victory in the Second Schleswig War. These days it’s better known for its connection to the techno festival Love Parade, with the closing rave taking place at its feet.
During non-party times, you can climb to the top of the 69-metre-high column, for views over the Tiergarten and nearby Bellevue Palace.
Explore the Tiergarten & grab a beer
This sprawling garden is essentially the city’s lungs; a massive green space covering around 520 acres.
On a visit to the Tiergarten you’ll see skaters, cyclists, joggers, walkers and people relaxing if it’s a sunny day (sometimes, um, in the nude).
The Siegessäule is conveniently located in the park, so once you’ve checked it out, you can head to Cafe am Neun See to relax in their extensive beer garden (if the weather is good). If not, I’ve suggested some places for meals further down this four day Berlin itinerary.
There are a couple of other cool attractions in the park, worth poking around if you’ve got a moment.
An open-air museum of old gas lanterns lines one path, near the Tiergarten S-Bahn station. There’s nearly 100 gas lanterns here, formerly from the streets of Berlin and other cities. Some are quite ornate and beautiful, so it’s well worth checking out.
Another quirkier attraction is the Stand By Me Tree. The lyrics of the Ben E. King song have been carved into the tree. Two nearby trees have had the song’s chorus etched into them. The trees can be tricky to find as it’s an enormous park, so here are directions.
4 day Berlin itinerary: Day 3
Today we’re going to explore one of Berlin’s trendy neighbourhoods. Good news, you get a choice! Pick between Kreuzberg, Charlottenburg and Prenzlauer Berg.
Quite a few of the suggestions on this four day Berlin itinerary hail from these neighbourhoods, so feel free to chop, change and condense as you see fit.
Things to do in Kreuzberg
Trendy and multicultural Kreuzberg is an excellent place to base yourself for a day. Here are a few things you can get up to while there.
Visit the Jewish Museum
Berlin’s Jewish Museum is well-worth a visit, to learn more about Jewish culture and belief. The museum doesn’t just cover the Holocast; rather its exhibitions focus on Jewish history stretching back thousands of years.
The building itself is at least worth a gander. Designed by Daniel Libeskind, the jagged, clashing lines of the main building are deliberately intended to leave visitors feeling confused and disorientated – much as one is left feeling after direct and deliberate persecution.
Grungy Kreuzberg is home to some excellent street art. You’ll see quite a few pieces walking around the neighbourhood.
New paintings are always going up and old paintings getting covered or removed, so you’re guaranteed to see something new, even if you’ve been to the area before.
One unmissable work is the Cold War-inspired Cosmonaut, a stencil by French artist Victor Ash, which is located on Mariannenstraß.
Order a burger from a former toilet
Once a public toilet and now a burger bar, local chain Burgermeister have outfitted this venue into a street food stopover. The burgers are decent and the area has clearly been hygienically dealt with, cleansing it of its former occupation.
You’ll find it under U-Bahn station Schlesisches Tor. Be prepared for a line, but it’s kinda worth the wait.
Eat some excellent Turkish food
Kreuzberg’s Turkish community is the biggest outside of Türkiye, so you can guarantee the food game here is strong. For top notch nosh, join the line at Mustafa’s Gemüse Kebab (Mehringdamm 32) for an amazing kebab, or grab a quick meal from Gel Gör (Kottbusser Damm 80).
If you’re dropping into the ‘hood on a Saturday, head to the banks of the Landwehrkanal for the Turkish Market. You’ll find a decent array of Turkish food and wares here.
Relax at Admiralbrücke
The oldest surviving wrought-iron bridge over Landwehr Canal is a popular meeting place.
In the warmer months, Berliners and visitors alike congregate here to relax, watch the sunset, and listen to and play music.
So if the weather is working in your favour, head here at the end of your day’s exploring to take in the sights, sounds and overall vibe of Kreuzberg.
Things to do in Charlottenburg
Named for Sophie Charlotte, the first Queen consort in Prussia, affluent Charlottenburg is close to many of the city’s sights, but has a few of its own to offer.
Jump on a dedicated walking tour
For an in-depth introduction to the area, take a 2.5 hour walking tour.
Once its own little city, Charlottenburg has 800 years of history waiting to be uncovered, best experienced at the hands of a local expert.
Check out Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
This church has a history typical of the city of Berlin.
First built in 1895 as a memorial to Kaiser Wilhelm I of Prussia, it was seriously damaged during an air-raid in 1943.
The church was rebuilt from 1959-63, with the jagged old tower left deliberately razed, as a reminder of what Berlin has been through.
Gape at the splendour of Charlottenburg Palace
Schloss Charlottenburg is Berlin’s largest and most ornate palace. Formerly a royal summer residence, the palace and parks are now open to visitors.
Don’t miss the Silver Vault collection of tableware and Porcelain Cabinet, which holds an amazing assembly of blue and white porcelain, laid around an entire room.
Ogle the Scharf-Gerstenberg Collection
This art museum in Berlin is home to the collection of prominent German business man Otto Gerstenberg.
Its best known for its surrealist art. Drop in to see works from masters such as Salvador Dalí, René Magritte (MY FAVOURITE), Henri Rousseau, Goya and many more.
Things to do in Prenzlauer Berg
Close to the city centre, Prenzlauer Berg is great fun to explore on foot. Here are a few things you can get up to while you’re there.
Drop into Saint George’s Bookshop
It’s got the biggest collection of English language books in Berlin and perhaps even Germany, so it’s sure to have your next great read somewhere inside.
Raise a glass at Prater Garten
Belly rumbling? Grab a meal at Prater Garten. The restaurant is also home to a sprawling beer garden, where you can pair beer, wine and more with traditional German snacks – sausage, pickles and pretzels.
Poke around Mauerpark
Spend a Sunday afternoon at Mauerpark. The rambling flea market contains stalls run by private dealers selling everything from antiques and old records, to clothes and bicycles.
It’s also weirdly a popular place for karaoke. If you own a pair of golden lungs, make sure you pick up the mic and impress the crowd.
4 day Berlin itinerary: Day 4
Can you believe we’re up to the last day of your four day Berlin itinerary?
Today we’re going to dedicate time to seeing some of Berlin’s quirkier attractions.
Check out Tempelhof
Flughafen Tempelhof or Tempelhof Airport is a former airport located south of the city centre.
The place has been re-imagined as a giant park/nature reserve. Thousands of people come to jog, skate and even windsurf along the former runway. Birds of prey hunt among the grass. There are community gardens, sculptures, artist’s workspaces, beer gardens and even a mini-golf course.
It’s worth having a stroll around on a sunny day or perhaps attending Parkrun on a Saturday morning, if you’re a dedicated jogger.
Drop into a funky market
If you went to Prenzlauer Berg very specifically on a Sunday, then you’ve already seen one enormous flea market.
These smaller markets are also worth a peep if this kinda thing is… your thing.
Market Hall Nine is a 19th century market hall located in Kreuzberg. Here, local vendors sell veggies, cheese, charcuterie, wine and more. You can also grab a meal, settle in and watch the world go by. Pretty nice.
This market is located just down from the East Side Gallery, so if you wish, you can visit the two on the same day.
It’s right on the banks of the Spree, repurposed with used materials and plant life. There’s a beer garden, wine shop, bakery and cafe. If you’re more than peckish, drop into on site restaurant Katerschmaus, for a delicious meal alongside views of the river.
Take a dip at a German spa
Germans love their spas, so why not soak it up in Berlin?
Liquidrom is open ’til late and features both a sauna and a heated pool, where you can drift and relax while listening to music, underwater.
Vabali is located next to Tiergarten and is modelled on a small Balinese village. Here you’ll find spas, saunas, pools, and Asian and Mediterranean-inspired food.
Hamam Berlin is a female-only spa in Kreuzberg. It’s also Germany’s first Turkish bath and has a beautiful interior.
It’s probably best to note that many of the spas in Berlin are ‘textile-free’… meaning you’ll have to be very much naked while you’re there. If you’re not into the idea of this, then don’t go.
Bonus: Day 5 day trip ideas
Got an extra day? Why not get out of the city and explore Germany?
Here are some ideas for day trips from Berlin.
Distance from Berlin: 35 minutes by train from Berlin Central, 50 minutes driving.
The former Prussian royal seat, Potsdam is just a stone’s throw from Berlin.
Wondering what to do in Potsdam? Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Filmpark Babelsberg is a must-visit for film fanatics
- Park Babelsberg is a beautiful 114 hectare park, well-worth exploring
- Sanssouci is the former summer palace of Friedrich the Great
- The Dutch Quarter is a little piece of the Netherlands in Potsdam. There are about 150 red brick houses built in the Dutch style
- Cecilienhof Palace is a Tudor palace that really looks like it should be in England.
Go to Dresden
Distance from Berlin: 2 hours by train from Berlin Central, 2 hours 10 minutes driving.
Dresden is one of Germany’s most interesting cities. It was essentially razed during World War II, then painstakingly rebuilt. So the ornate buildings within the Old Town that do look centuries old, are actually all but a few decades.
Some things to do during a day trip to Dresden include:
- Zwinger – this beautiful palace is a must-see in Dresden. Once the home of Augustus II, it now houses three museums. There’s the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Gallery), the Mathematisch-Physikalischer Salon (Mathematical and Physical Salon) and the Porzellansammlung (Porcelain Collection).
- Frauenkirche is a gorgeous church that was built in 1743, destroyed in 1945 and rebuilt using the rubble as recently as 2005
- If you loved Berlin’s Tiertgarden, make sure you spend some time in Dresden’s Grosser Garten, a 2 kilometre squared Baroque style park in the city centre
- A river cruise along the Elbe will help you get your bearings
- Dresden’s New Town has a grungy, funky vibe. See the sights on a street art tour of the area.
Drop into Leipzig
Distance from Berlin: around 1 hour 15 minutes by fast train from Berlin Central and 2.5 hours driving.
Leipzig is a fun and funky city that doesn’t get the same level of love as bigger German cities like Berlin.
Here’s what you can get up to on a day trip from Berlin to Leipzig:
- Visit the Bach Museum, to learn all about the famous composer who called Leipzig home. If long-dead musicians are your jam, don’t miss the Mendelssohn House either
- See the sights from the city’s canal via motorboat
- Check out the pink interior of the gorgeous St. Nicholas Church
- Snap a photo of the Leipzig Rathaus (Old City Hall), which hails from 1556
- Take a haunted guided tour of the town.
4 day Berlin itinerary: Where to eat in Berlin
There are many, many delicious food options in Berlin. You’re pretty much guaranteed a great meal, but here are a few suggestions to get you started.
Lon Men’s Noodle House is an unassuming Taiwanese restaurant in Charlottenburg. There’s usually a line here and it’s for a reason. The food is delicious and worth the wait.
Berlin is extremely vego and vegan friendly and Vegan Living 1990 is an excellent place to dine with your meat-free mates.
Unlike other places in Europe, Berlin doesn’t always readily accept card. It’s helpful to have a bit of cash on you, especially when eating out. I’d also recommend booking places in advance, especially on the weekend.
And what about tipping? Well, if the service is really good, you can leave between five-ten percent as a tip. If it’s not… you don’t have to tip anything. Here’s a few more tips on tipping in Germany.
4 day Berlin itinerary: How to get to & around Berlin
So how do you best get to Berlin? The city is pretty well serviced as a central hub in Europe.
Berlin has a very new international airport: Brandenburg (BER), replacing former airports Tegel and Schönefeld. It’s pretty easy to get into the city centre from Brandenburg via train, as it has its own railway station directly below the terminal.
Most low-cost airlines will fly into Berlin from destinations around Europe.
Likewise, Berlin is very well connected by train, being nestled in the heart of the continent. You can even travel to Berlin from the UK via train, although it’s more of an effort than say, travelling from London to Paris. You take the Eurostar to Brussels, swapping onto the Thalys to Cologne and then travelling to Berlin via the ICE.
It’s around a nine hour trip, but taking into account travel time to and from airports and waits there, it can be a far more comfortable and eco-friendly way of travelling.
Getting around Berlin
The easiest way to get around Berlin is using public transport, specifically the trains.
There are two different train systems in the city. The U-Bahn and the S-Bahn.
The yellow-coloured U-Bahn trains are easiest to use, with over 170 stations along 10 different routes around the city. It runs from 4.30am till 12.30am on weekdays. Weekends and public holidays bring a 24 hour service with reduced frequency.
Else-wise, a day pass will set you back €9.50 (along the AB line), valid for 24 hours from touch on.
When is the best time to visit Berlin?
Generally, late spring to early autumn is the best time to visit Berlin. Early May will have less crowds, as will September. The city can get quite hot in the summer and there’s lovely, lingering light. It’s the best chances of catching sunshine and pleasant temperatures.
That being said, if you visit in autumn (September-November) you’ll catch the fall foliage. And December brings with it Christmas Markets, which Europe does oh so well.
I’ve personally been to Berlin in June, September and November… and September had the best weather, believe it or not!
Is the Berlin Welcome Card worth it for four days in Berlin?
If you love sightseeing, then you might find the Berlin Welcome Card to be incredibly handy.
The card covers public transport costs around the city centre (across zones AB). For a few euros more, you can upgrade to a version that includes zone C, which covers you for Potsdam and Brandenburg Airport. Unlimited.
The 72 hour version of the card in particular, includes free entry to one museum on Museum Island a day.
It really depends on what you want to do. For this particular 4 day Berlin itinerary, I would suggest looking at the EasyCityPass Berlin, which covers your transport and gives you discounts on top attractions.
However, if you’re a culture voucher looking for inspiration for your own Berlin itinerary, the Berlin Welcome Card may indeed be the one for you.
Concluding your 4 day Berlin itinerary
As you can see, there’s more than enough going on in Berlin to fill four days in the city. And if you have a bit of spare time, the city is well enough connected for a sneaky day trip elsewhere.
I hope you enjoy your time in Berlin. It really is one of Europe’s most fascinating cities.
Are you heading to the German capital soon? What’s on your 4 day Berlin itinerary?
Other posts about Europe
Travelling around Europe? These posts may help with your planning:
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- Is Athens worth visiting? Yes – here’s why
- Four days in London for first-timers
- Exploring the Westfjords of Iceland
- The ultimate 2 week road trip guide to Ireland