24 hours in Berlin | An essential Guide

No snow for skiing? No prob. Why not spend 24 hours in Berlin?

Mid January we had planned a ski- trip to the Vosges in France. We were looking forward to have the slopes for ourselves as it was during the week and there were no school holidays. Unfortunately, all the snow had melted and there was none in the forecast. Yet, we waited until the morning where we were supposed to leave, but the webcam showed this:

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It didn’t take us long to decide on a city trip and we settled on Berlin. We hadn’t been to Berlin since 2006 so it was time to go back. As we only had about a day it was a bit too short to visit a city we’ve never been to. Flights and hotel were booked around noon and 4h later we were off to the airport.

After a good night sleep and a german breakfast we started off at Checkpoint Charlie. Unfortunately the weather was grey with a little bit of rain from time to time. Nowadays Checkpoint Charlie is a small “shed” in the middle of the road where you can take a picture with soldiers or get your passport stamped (there’s a fee).

What is more interesting and informative is the Berlin Wall Museum (Haus am Checkpoint Charlie) or the small exhibition on the corner of the street. It gives you an account and timeline of the wall as well as personal stories on how people tried to sneak through the checkpoint.

 24 hours in Berlin

24 hours in Berlin

Checkpoint Charlie

24 hours in Berlin

24 hours in Berlin

We then took the Zimmerstrasse to the left on the way to Topographie des Terrors which is only a 5 minutes walk from Checkpoint Charlie. The grounds of this exhibit were the central institutions of Nazi persecution between 1933 and 1945. Nowadays it is an indoor and outdoor history museum with permanent and temporary exhibitions. The photographs and stories give you an insight on the rise of Hitler and the Nazi party and the horrors that ensued. The admission to this museum is free and I would allow it at least 1,5 hours. Highly recommended!

24 hours in Berlin

Topographie des Terrors- a must see!

 

24 hours in Berlin

Remaining 200m of the Wall which marked the border between East and West Berlin

Next stop was Potsdamer Platz and its high rise buildings, shopping malls, cinemas, restaurants and bars. It makes a perfect place for a lunch stop.
24 hours in Berlin

24 hours in Berlin

24 hours in Berlin

From Postdamer Platz to Brandenburger Tor you have to follow Ebertstrasse. You’ll run into the Holocaust Memorial on your right. The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe consists of a 4.7-acre site covered with 2711 concrete rectangles arranged in a grid pattern. It was inaugurated on May 10, 2005.

24 hours in Berlin

Shoah Memorial

Walk past the American Embassy and you’ll be right at the Brandenburger Tor (Gate), which is certainly the most iconic landmark in Berlin.

24 hours in Berlin

Brandenburg Gate – a must see, obviously.

At the french Embassy on the Pariser Platz people had placed flowers, pens, candles and drawings in tribute of the victims of the January massacre in Paris.
24 hours in Berlin

If you need a coffee break by now, you can stop at the Starbucks on Pariser Platz. Unter den Linden will take you past the Russian Embassy, Humboldt University, German State Opera House right on to the Museumsinsel which is one of the country’s major sights. In 1999 Unesco recognized the Museumsinsel as a world cultural heritage for “being a unique ensemble of museum buildings illustrating the development of modern museum design over the course of more than a century”.

The Museumsinsel also hosts the Berliner Dom. Built in Baroque style in 1970 it’s beautiful even just from the outside with its green-blue dome.

24 hours in Berlin

 

24 hours in Berlin

Berliner Dom

Just a few steps away from the Dom is the DDR Museum.24 hours in Berlin

24 hours in Berlin

The typical GDR living room. Sit down and watch Derrick!

 

 

24 hours in Berlin

Tip: if your kids are being naughty just tell them they have to sleep in here and you’ll be fine

The DDR Museum is a hands-on interactive exhibition enabling you to immerse in what life was like in East Germany. Many of the exhibits make you pull out drawers or press buttons to access information. You may even drive a Trabant or sit in a prison cell. It’s a perfect museum to visit with kids.

Why not finish the day with a drink at the Fernsehturm or (if you still have energy) with some shopping around Alexanderplatz? 24 hours in Berlin is really short but you can still get a good glimpse of the city and see it’s most famous landmarks.

24 hours in Berlin

Pink highlights – our walking tour in Berlin

Have you been to Berlin? Did you visit any of those sights or maybe some that we didn’t? We would love to hear about it!

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