When I think of Germany, two things immediately come to mind: beer and sausage (its a local delicacy, basically sausages). Once with my buddies and once as a couple, my trips to Berlin have left me with some of the most carefree travel memories.
Germany is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe because of its rich history dating back thousands of years, amazing culture, food, and art, as well as a lively and unique character. Also the go to destination for Indian students when they think of Europe. There is a sizable Indian population in Berlin, and it has been expanding since 2010.
So, how do you begin planning a trip to Berlin? Even while it's important to know what the greatest things to do in Berlin are, it's even better to be fully prepared with a detailed Berlin schedule because there is so much to see in a city of this size and significance in just three days. I've tried my best to compile as much information I could that you need to experience an unforgettable three days in Berlin inside our guide to this wonderful German city.
Things to Know before you Go
Visa (for Indian Passport holders): For holders of Indian passports travelling to Germany, a prior visa must be arranged. You can travel without a visa if you have a Schengen visa or are a resident of one of the EU/Schengen nations.
Currency: Germany's currency is the Euros (EUR). 1 EUR ~ 80 INR
Best way to travel in Germany: Berlin is connected by its extensive public transportation system, With U-bahn metro, S-bahn rail, trams, and many bus routes, it’d be hard to find a spot in the city you can’t reach by public transport. Intercity train & Low cost airlines gives you connectivity throughout the country.
Accommodation : Berlin is quite big and very diverse. You may find an accommodation in the city center which means you still have to walk a long distance to get to the places you want to visit. Because of this, public transportation in the city is crucial. The main sights are 15 minutes (by train) away from the Airbnb where we stayed.
Language : Berlin's official language is German, of course, but you can also readily find information in English and occasionally French along the borders. A staff person might help you if you appear lost or uncertain in a public transportation terminal, but don't bank on it. You can easily walk up to a group of onlookers, preferably young ones, and request assistance in English.
Food: A staple in Berlin is currywurst. It's a sliced sausage covered in sauce and curry powder. Another famous thing to eat in Berlin is Döner. This is a flat bread, filled with Lamb or chicken meat or seitan, salad and vegetables
Eating out in Berlin is incredibly inexpensive compared to any other Western European capital or other German cities. The city is multicultural and many cultures' cuisine is represented here somewhere
Water: Tap water is safe to drink, but I was advised to buy bottled water by a local friend. It is not expensive. Try to get one from the supermarket. Buying it in convenience stores like 7/11 will be expensive. You dont get free water in German restaurants
Wifi & Mobile data: Travel sim is available in all airports for short term stays. It gives you a great flexibility when you are travelling to regional areas or on day trips. I do recommend this. It comes with a data pack, enough for 3~4 days
Credit Cards and ATMs: For us, it came as a surprise and a shock. In Germany, cash is used for more than 80% of transactions, so you'll need cash to cover your expenses while you're there. We once ate lunch in an Indian restaurant and ran out of cash before we could pay. So use caution and use the ATM to get some euros.
Safety: Berlin is extremely safe. Keep your wallets & passports safe. Always be mindful of your surroundings & stick to your instincts. If you feel something is not right, don't do it.
Best time to Visit
The peak season months of July and August are by no means optimal because of their hot and humid conditions. The city's own Oktoberfest, which takes place from late September to early October, is the other extremely crowded period in Berlin.
Instead, you'll discover that mid-May to mid-June, as well as the two weeks before and after Oktoberfest in September and October, are the finest times to visit Berlin. These periods of the year, known as the shoulder season, enjoy pleasant weather and reduced costs.
Berlin experiences freezing winters, as do the majority of European towns. Yes, this is the time of year when the city is lit up and everyone is in a festive mood. It's also not a bad alternative.
Germany has a wide range of diverse landscapes thanks to its size and position in Central Europe. Most beaches are located near the Baltic Seas in the North. It boasts really stunning mountains for hiking in the south that border the Alps. German autobahn, where there is no posted speed restriction, is perfect for road excursions. If you dare, you can cruise at a speed of above 200 km/h, but I don't recommend it.
You can drive for a few days or take domestic flights to get to the other popular location, as I already indicated. The other significant cities include Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Stuttgrat, and Hamburg.
How to get to Berlin
Traveling from India, International flights arrive at Berlin & Frankfurt. You have multiple options to fly from all major cities in India
Lufthansa, Air India, Qatar airlines, Emirates, Etihad and many other airlines have good connectivity flying from Chennai to Berlin
This is the quickest way to reach Singapore. There are other connecting options via Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Paris
Bulk of your expenses will go towards flights & Accommodation
Lets take Qatar airlines as an example, as it is the quickest and there is no long layover. Return ticket cost us 75000 INR/person from Chennai International Airport to Berlin
We stayed in an Airbnb, just outside the city centre. A private room costs us 30 Euros (INR 2400 per night), that was closer to the public transport. A medium ranged Hotel will cost you 100 Euros (8000 INR) per night , some may have complimentary breakfast
Restaurants were medium ranged as well. A proper meal cost us 20 Euros/person/meal (1600 INR). But if you are sticking to Currywurst, Doner kebabs, Asian takeaways, it is half the price of what you spend in a restaurant.
Where to Stay- Berlin
Plenty of Airbnb's across the city. It is cheaper than hostels. We stayed in a private room with a bath for 30 Euros (INR 2400). Better to choose a place which is close to the Metro lines. You can get to the main attraction within 15 minutes
Berlin is a big city and if you choose to stay a place of your choice, we didn't have any particular neighbourhood in mind, just checked if we could get to the city centre in a short time and close tot eh Metro
How to Travel around Berlin
Click on the Image to Zoom
This Map will give you the must see places in Berlin You’ll get an overall idea of what to do and you can mix it up the way you want. Berlin is so big to cover in 3 days, so that possibility of day trips is slim. Also we didn't buy any travel pass or card, just stuck to day pass for a day where we had extensive travel and took a single journey ticket when required.
A single journey ticket will cost 3 Euros (240 INR) Approx and it is valid for 2 hours. The Day pass is around 9 Euros (720 INR).
Must See Places in Berlin
1. Brandenburg Gate
This prestigious site has been a symbol of Berlin for many centuries. It designates one of the great Unter den Linden Boulevard's endpoints (will let you know what that is shortly). Because of its enormous size, it serves as a famous tourist destination in addition to a representation of peace and unity in Europe. It looks stunning when illuminated as well.
2.Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
You may find a distinctive collection of architecture at a short distance from the Brandenburg Gate. The Berlin Holocaust Memorial, the city's most sad landmark, brings us full circle back to Berlin's turbulent past. It is a memorial to the Holocaust victims and goes by the full name Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. 2,711 concrete slabs are placed across a sizable square that gently descends to represent the lives lost.
As many tourists do, it is not a place to climb and play around. Knowing the significance of a monument and the rationale for its construction is a healthy habit. Disrespecting it is not a good thing to do
3. Gendarmenmarkt (City Centre)
You are surrounded by historical structures on Gendarmenmarkt, with the opulent Konzerthaus Berlin concert theatre taking centre stage.
The French Cathedral and the New Church, which the locals frequently refer to as the German Cathedral, are two substantial cathedrals that are located on either side of the Konzerthaus and face one another. Both have interior attractions, including a viewing tower in the French Cathedral and exhibits about the German parliament in the New Church.
4. TV Tower
Berlin may not have the most iconic skyline, but the Berlin TV Tower is one structure that contributes to its definition. With a height of 368 metres, this tower is the tallest in all of Germany and can be found around Alexanderplatz. One of the city's most recognisable sights today is the tower. You can visit the panoramic deck and rotating restaurant, both of which are located little over 200 metres up the tower, to get a full view of Berlin from above. You won't find a more thorough picture of the city, despite the fact that it may not be cheap. Be careful to get your tickets in advance to avoid the occasionally lengthy waits
5. Berlin Wall (What's left)
The Berlin wall was taken down when the East & West Germany reunited. Along a remaining section of the Berlin Wall, you’ll find the “Berlin 1933–1945: Between Propaganda and Terror” exhibition
The educational exhibits in this location examine how the Nazis came to power and what life was like in Berlin during World War II. Indoor exhibitions cover the various organisations utilised by the Nazis to terrify German population. This free museum is certainly worth seeing if you'd like to understand more about this gloomy time period.
6. Potsdamer Platz
Fancy an English movie without being dubbed in German, this is the place to be. Only original versions of films are shown at the "CineStar Original" theatre inside the Sony Center on Potsdamer Plaza.
Potsdamer Platz was once split in half by the Berlin Wall and served as a sort of no man's land to appreciate the significance of this area. Buildings in this area were abandoned for many years and remained in the same devasted condition as after World War II. And yet, a flourishing business area with contemporary structures and stores has emerged from what was a wasteland barely 30 years ago.
Things to do in Berlin
Walk down the Unter den Linden
Unter den Linden ("under the linden trees") is a boulevard in the central Mitte district of Berlin, the capital of Germany. Running from the City Palace to Brandenburg Gate, it is named after the linden (lime) trees that line the grassed pedestrian mall on the median and the two broad carriageways.
You cover this stretch of the street, you'll cover majority of the Berlin sights, landmarks and rivers for sightseeing
One of the densest collections of attractions in Berlin may be found on Museum Island, which is located on the Spree river. There are actually five museums on this island, as you might have guessed from the name. The Old Museum, New Museum, Bode Museum, Old National Gallery, and Pergamon Museum are all located here. The island itself is a pleasant area to explore even without entering a museum. The stunning Lustgarten, a park with fountains and lots of grass that quickly fills up in good weather, is located between a number of its most notable attractions.
Eat, Drink and Party
You need to enhance your nightlife game if you haven't yet attended a party in the Eurotrip style in Berlin. This stunning city delivers one of the most incredible nightlife experiences imaginable, and you have to experience it for yourself to believe how vibrant it is at night. So get a friend, dress to impress, and have a blast in the city with the best partying scene in Europe.
Conclusion & Our Recommendation
It doesn't take long before your stay in Berlin is over. We genuinely felt that. Time flew by.
There is a lot to see and do in this delightful European city, so you can see a lot of it in 3 days. Spend longer than a week in Berlin? Think about travelling outside the city, seek advice from residents, or grab a buddy who resides in Berlin (like what I did). It is a wonderful place with lots of history and intriguing things to do, not to mention a vibrant nightlife.
Must Go Destination