Berlin is gorgeous these days, luscious green trees meet blush pink blossoms everywhere, people are radiating pure happiness thanks to superblue skies and abundance of sunshine, only interrupted by showers of rain to spruce up the thriving nature even more. It’s the best of times to visit our lovely city and I’ve got some tips to share for a sweet weekend in Berlin!
All places are linked with our reviews, so click away!
Starting the day right is crucial if you only have a weekend in a city, no one enjoys watery coffee and a floppy pastry. Better indulge in some Eggs Benedict and/or crispy croissant and cappuccino topped with soft milky foam, right?
If you’re in Mitte, I suggest you get your first meal of the day at 3 Minutes sur Mer, a beautiful French bistro on busy Torstraße, serving delicious poached eggs and crunchy Müsli.
In case you’re out West, opt for a traditional breakfast served on an étagère at Café Einstein – if the weather is sunny enough, bring a warming scarf and sit outside in their wonderful garden.
I love the delicate French patisserie at at Salon Sucre in Kreuzberg. Best. Croissants. Ever.
Still in Mitte? And your first time in the city? Do the classic tour, start at Alexanderplatz and walk down Unter den Linden until you reach Brandenburger Tor, take a detour through Regierungsviertel and along Schloss Bellevue, and arrive at Siegessäule. Once finished, you’ve seen most of the important sights.
If you started your day in the south, I highly recommend you visit Berlinische Galerie and their current exhibition of Dorothy Iannone’s artworks. Or you head up to Niederkirchnerstraße, a fairly short street off Wilhelmstraße where defining decades of Berlin history come together. Along the street the Topography of Terror outdoor museum is located on the premises of the former main headquarters of GeStaPo and SS, just framed by a piece of the GDR wall, and opposite sits a major Third Reich building, later used as founding site for the GDR, now Ministry of Finance. Also on this street is the museum Martin Gropius Bau, currently showing Ai Wei Wei. It’s all there, on one street!
In case you’ve seen all of the above already and have enjoyed your breakfast out West, take a bus to go to Teufelsberg, a hill made of rubble from the war and then topped with a listening station of the US NSA, with the ruins still there, making a very good instagram.
Ugh, there’s just too many places to check out… in Mitte I’d go for Yarok for very fine and fast Syrian food, or a delicious Korean dish at Yam Yam, Sababa has the perfect hummus, or get a pastrami at Mogg&Melzer, or you indulge in German, oftentimes rather heavy food at Lebensmittel in Mitte… So hard to make a decision. Even more tips are in our lunch Guide.
Still on the other side of the Tiergarten? Perfect! Because now you can enjoy the many fantastic Asian spots around Kantstraße, like Japanese Soba noodles at Heno Heno, Chinese noodles at Lon-Men or a perfect Japanese fried chicken Katsudon at Daruma.
You’ll have the best falafel in Kreuzberg at a hole-in-the-wall place called Mo’s Kleiner Imbiss, or get sushi for take-away at Musashi and sit down by Landwehrkanal. In the mood for healthy vegan food? Get it at Pêle Mêle.
Next: Enjoy the sun!
Berlin has dozens of parks and green sites to enjoy, if this is your main purpose, I highly recommend taking the long walk along Landwehrkanal, starting at Schlesische Straße and then strolling under the blossoming trees through all of Kreuzberg, Tiergarten until you meet the mouth of Spree. The full route is about 10km, but no worries, there are many cafés to stop and have coffee and cake and the walk is also beautiful if not completely finished.
If you’re up for a little Ausflug, go to Park Babelsberg, situated on the riverside of Havel opposite the city of Potsdam. The park was designed in the midst of the 19th century and commissioned by Prince William, later Emperor William I and his wife, Augusta. It is not only a pretty landscape but features impressing 19th century architecture, all mimicking various Gothic styles. Like a neo-Gothic palace, a smaller palace in the style of the Tudors, a sailor’s house in the style of German Gothic and much more. It’s almost like a 19th century Disney Land, it’s seriously odd and highly pleasant at the same time.
Mitte is THE shopping district in Berlin – check our guides for Torstraße and Mulackstraße for a myriad of options to spend your money.
The West is home to the biggest high-street stores ever, lining Kurfürstendamm and, even more, its extension Tauentzienstraße, but there are some independent and thus often more interesting shops to be found – like the beyond beautiful concept store of Andreas Murkudis or the remarkable selection of teas at my favorite tea-store Paper & Tea. And then the flea markets, try the ones at Fehrbelliner Platz, Rathaus Schöneberg and of course the antique market at Straße des 17. Juni.
Don’t forget about Kreuzberg, home to my favorite fashionable store Voo, the lovely Süper Store and of course the excellent book and magazine shop Motto.
To highlight a glorious day, choose one of the many fine dining places for your dinner. Mitte is king in contemporary dinner experiences and I’d say you give Katz Orange or Pauly Saal a try for a take on exquisite German food. A little more casual is Das Lokal, serving local and seasonal dishes in a beautiful atmosphere.
Out West it’s again all Asian, if you ask me – go for very good Sichuan food at Hot Spot, or enjoy Thai deliciousness at Dao. If you’re up for a treat, get your dinner at Glass.
Kreuzberg and Neukölln are also full of great dinner places, like the inventive and delicious Nansen, the meat-heavy Turkish BBQ at Adana or the full Italien experience at Lavanderia Vecchia. Reservations with all of these are highly recommended.
At last: Drinks!
Omigod, what a weekend. Finalize it with excellent drinks, I say! Either you go with complex and elaborate cocktails at Schwarze Traube in Kreuzberg oder Buck&Breck in Mitte, or you’re more up for an old-style Berlin experience at Diener at Savignyplatz in Charlottenburg.