Berlin is a gigantic city. I knew it was big, but until I decided to explore it by foot, I never knew just how big. I came here for five days with the idea that I’d see all the major sites, some of the not-so-major sites, and get a feel for the city. I didn’t get a chance to see much of Germany’s capital the first time, and I was hoping this visit would correct that.
But despite my intentions, I barely accomplished anything in five days. Berlin is just too big and spread out. My original purpose was to write a post on what to do in five days in Berlin. But after realizing how hard it was to get around and see the sights, that post was impossible to write. This city is just too overwhelming.
So instead, here are some ways you can avoid my sightseeing mistakes, maximize the time you have in Berlin, and make the most of your visit:
Rent a bike
Walking around Berlin takes (and wastes) a lot of time. However, the city is a great place for a bike ride. There are separate lanes for cyclists, so it’s easy to ride without the fear of getting hit by a car. Most residents bike around the city, and while I was a bit nervous when Uncornered Market first suggested it, by the end of the day I was really happy to be biking around Berlin. It provided a fast and easy way to move around Berlin, and bikes cost around nine euros per day to rent.
Do it in sections – I found out just how huge Berlin is when I tried walking between sites and subsequently spent the majority of my day just getting from Point A to Point B (which isn’t bad, but wasn’t planned for). Break up the city into various areas, and then work from area to area. It will make conquering the city much easier.
Take a free walking tour – New Europe runs a long and informative walking tour that begins at the Brandenburg Gate and lasts 3.5 hours. It takes you through the center of the city, shows you all the highlights, gives you some history, and will help you orientate yourself.
You can judge a city on how cheap it is by the food, and the food in Berlin is incredibly cheap. And not just street food (you can find currywurst everywhere!), kebabs, and quick pizzas, either—even the restaurants here are a bargain. You can find a lot of meals for fewer than five euros. I highly recommend eating at Mustafas. They’re known for the best kebabs in Berlin. The exaggerations are true—the lemon, the mint, the fresh vegetables. Mouth watering.
My Must See and Do List
East Side Gallery
A giant section of the Berlin Wall was left standing, and artists were invited to paint a section of it that represented hope and violence. Now, the East Side Gallery represents one of the best outdoor art exhibits in Berlin. I was really moved by some of the paintings.
You might also like:
Streetwise Berlin Map - Laminated City Center Street Map of Berlin, Germany - Folding pocket size travel map with metro map including S-Bahn and U-Bahn
Book (Streetwise Maps)