Being in Germany before, we plan to visit Berlin. We wondered what to do in Berlin in 3 days. So, we asked and researched to be able to make a plan.
Berlin, Germany is brimming with culture and history.
From its spectacular delights, to its soul searching depths, one thing is sure about this destination- you won’t leave the same person.
So brush up on your German, get your luggage together, and be prepared to walk, walk, walk. Don’t miss out on this spectacular stop.
What To Do in Berlin in 3 Days
Needless to say, there are a plethora of choices when it comes to deciding what to do in Berlin in 3 days.
So you will need to figure out how you will be traveling to get to all these amazing sites. There are a number of ways to get around Berlin. Of course, you can walk, or take one of the many buses that travel to all the most important destinations.
But one thing you might consider is biking.
There are bikes everywhere in Berlin. There are even some guided bike tours you could join. If you wanted, you could even stay at an inexpensive hostel and rent one of their bikes for a day.
Biking is a great way to explore the city if you want to take it all in and not just see it zoom by you on a bus.
If biking isn’t your thing, that’s okay though. Buses are available.
Whichever method you choose, you’re going to need your transportation well planned out for the first day when you will hit a lot of major attractions.
Heads up! Here is a list of guided tours ideas for Berlin:
- Berlin: 2.5-Hour Boat Tour Along the River Spree
- Berlin WelcomeCard: Transport, Discounts & Guide Book
- TV Tower Berlin: Fast Track Ticket
- Third Reich Half-Day Walking Tour of Berlin
What To Do in Berlin in 3 Days: Day 1
The Reichstag Building
Those in the know say this is a must see, which is why you will need to book this well in advance.
Through the seventeenth century German Empire, to the Nazi occupation, through the cold war and reunification, even surviving a fire, this striking building has seen it all.
Currently, it is being used as the city’s parliament building and provides free tours with advanced notice. Each tour lasts twenty minutes and is packed with history. The tour ends at the beautiful rooftop terrace dome.
From there, you will have a brilliant view of Berlin.
If you’re interested, press a button and audio guides will give you information about the places you are viewing.
If you need a break, you can even stop for some food at the rooftop restaurant.
Again, this cannot be emphasized enough, you must book in advance. This is a very popular tourist attraction.
Nothing says, “Welcome to Berlin!” like the iconic Brandenburg gate.
Not far from the Reichstag Building, this majestic gate is a hub of activity. Street vendors, dancers, people of all sorts gather here.
This is a great photo op and a great way to start your visit to Berlin.
If you want to learn more, you can even visit the Brandenburg Gate Museum. Or, if you are content just to stroll through and enjoy the beauty of it all as you pass by, it will still be a wonderful sight to see.
Take off your hat and show some reverence to the victims of the Holocaust. This Memorial is just down the road from the Brandenburg Gate.
Like the Vietnam War Memorial, this abstract sculpture is a place of deep contemplation. Not meant to overstimulate, it prompts, rather, an inward journey.
Coffin like bricks emerge from concrete and as you walk deeper in, they rise higher and higher above your head, casting shadows over all who enter.
This site definitely deserves a visit and maybe even an offering of flowers if you feel so inclined.
While you’re nearby you might want to visit this majestic town square.
Surrounded by awe inspiring architecture, the focal point of this square is an elegant statue of Friedrich Schiller, a renowned German poet.
The stunning German and French cathedrals sit on either side of the equally stunning concert hall.
There are shops and restaurants nearby where you can rest or pick your friends up a souvenir. If you visit in December you will see a beautiful Christmas tree on display.
Again, this is a must see that you will need to book well in advance. Arrive early and set aside at least two hours for this attraction.
It will be roughly $15 (with “skip the line” option) well spent.
The Pergamon Museum showcases amazing ancient relics from around the world, including statues of battling Greek gods and famous Roman architecture. Many people agree that if there is only one site you can see in Berlin, this should be it.
Address: Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin, Germany
Hours: Weekdays 10AM–6PM, except Thursday 10AM–8PM
Berlin Wall Memorial (Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer)
Make one last stop before heading back to your hostel. The Berlin Wall Memorial is another free exhibit that is well worth it. Read this post for 5 facts for the Berlin Wall you might don’t know.
At the center of town, standing where the Berlin Wall once actually stood, there are postmarks indicating where the wall was. In addition to this, there is still a stretch of the real wall left in tact.
Looking at the wall, you can get a sense of what it must have felt like to be trapped on one side of the wall while family members were on the other.
There is a lot to see here, including museum-like exhibits, so you may want to spend at least a few hours contemplating this significant piece of history.
Address: Bernauer Str. 111, 13355 Berlin, Germany
Hours: All days 8AM–10PM
What To Do in Berlin in 3 Days: Day Two
Cultural and Historical Enlightenment
Eat at Cafe Creperie Melt
By now you are probably tired from all that walking and/or biking.
On your second day in Berlin, take a bus and treat yourself to an amazing breakfast at Cafe Creperie Melt.
Although it isn’t exactly a historical site, it is a great way to start your day. Chow down on some delicious crepes filled with fruit and chocolate and sprinkled with powdered sugar.
This day is going to be peppered with pleasures to ease your mind and to keep it from overload from the next important, but sobering destination.
Address: Grünberger Str. 40, 10245 Berlin, Germany
Hours: Friday, Saturday 9AM–10PM, Other days: 9AM–9PM
Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp
If you’ve never visited a concentration camp, this would be a good time to go. Overwhelming as it may be, the history deserves remembering. Read our post for the same experience in Munich in Dachau Concentration Camp.
This is not something that is rushed through, but will take a few hours. It is an hour and a half bus or train ride to the concentration camp and you will be there for around three hours.
This might not be something you want to go alone. For roughly $20, you can join a group on a guided tour and ride up on a train together.
From there, you will visit the gas chambers, prisons, barracks and so forth that, while chilling, will provide an enlightening experience and take you back to a time in history we will hopefully never repeat.
Address: Str. der Nationen 22, 16515 Oranienburg, Germany
Hours: All days 8:30AM–6PM
Fleamarket at Maur park
Take the train or bus back to Berlin and visit the flea market. This is a nice place to familiarize yourself with a bit of local culture.
Locals sell their used stuff, their art, their jewelry, their pottery, their fine china, and just about anything under the sun that can be sold.
There is food and bands playing. This is a place you go on a beautiful day to just chill. Buy some ice cream. Relax and take in the culture. Look for the strangest thing being sold and take a picture of it.
Who knows? Maybe you’ll make a really interesting find that you can take home with you.
Give yourself some down time to process all you’ve seen so far on day two. Enjoy the laughter, the music, and the people of Berlin.
House of Small Wonder
This is a nice place to have dinner with a gorgeous atmosphere.
Beautifully decorated in traditional Asian style it is a cheery little place with rustic charm and an eye catching spiral staircase.
Although it is not particularly European, it speaks to the many subcultures of Berlin.
Here, you will be served decadent dishes of soup or rice or tea; with anything from intricately decorated pastries to meat covered in a delicious and aesthetically pleasing sauce, this small restaurant will make for a great dining experience.
Address: Johannisstraße 20, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Hours: Friday & Saturday 9AM–7PM, Other days: 9AM–5PM
Right around the corner from the House of Small Wonder, the Friedrichstadt-Palast is where you will sit back and enjoy a breathtaking performance.
If you like spectacular visual performances, this will be the place for you. Bright costumes, wonderful dancing, amazing special effects, and mind bending acrobatics are all on brilliant display.
The nice thing is, if you didn’t get enough to eat at the Small House of Wonders, you can order a snack during intermission and, instead of having to wait in line, the food will be brought to your table.
But don’t just stop by the theater and expect to get a good seat. You will, once again, need to book well in advance.
For around $30 for the cheap seats, this will be a great way to end the evening. Check the site for the updated schedule of events.
Address: Friedrichstraße 107, 10117 Berlin, Germany
What To Do in Berlin in 3 Days: Day 3
Day Trip to Potsdam
Here is a list of guided tours ideas for Potsdam:
Cecilienhof Palace / Marble Palace
For your third day, take the bus or a train for a day trip to Potsdam, the royal city of old. For about $15 you can enjoy a combined tour of the Cecilienhof Palace and the Marble Palace.
The Cecilenhof Palace, aside from its beautiful architecture, is also important because of its historical significance. This is where the meeting was held between world leaders, which ended World War II and heralded in the Cold War. Hear the story.
Then, explore the grandiose architecture of the marble palace, once home of the Prussian King. It is as beautiful as it sounds and will take your breath away.
Address: Im Neuen Garten 11, 14469 Potsdam, Germany
Hours: Monday Closed, Other days: 10AM–5:30PM
Marble Palace (Marmorpalais)
Address: Im Neuen Garten 10, 14469 Potsdam, Germany
Hours: Monday Closed, Other days: 10AM–5:30PM
Old Dutch Quarter
Pass through the towering Nauer Gate (which looks just like a Disney castle) and into the Old Dutch Quarter, where Dutch immigrants historically came to work.
This is where you’ll find charming Dutch architecture in the form of shops and cafes you can stop and grab some lunch at or even pick up some more souvenirs.
Take a break and put your feet up before exploring the rest of the beautiful Potsdam. If you’re visiting in April, September, or December you’re in luck.
Those are the months that the tulip festival, the potters’ market, and the Dutch Christmas market take place, respectively. Most tourists fall in love with this little corner of Potsdam.
Sanssouci Palace and Gardens
Cross under the palatial Brandenburg Gate, yes both Postdam and Berlin have a Brandenburg Gate, stroll through the gardens, and view Frederick the Great’s private summer retreat.
With its fountains, greenery, statues, and rococo architecture, this is a beautiful place to explore and is also where Frederick the Great’s tomb resides.
Inside the palace, you will find an enchanting art gallery that you don’t want to miss, with enormous, elegantly decorated paintings.
Address: Maulbeerallee, 14469 Potsdam, Germany
Hours: Monday Closed, Other days: 10AM–5:30PM
Enjoy more of Potsdam’s beautiful outdoor scenery by eating at this local outdoor cafe.
It’s inexpensive, and you can listen to the birds while you eat! When you’re done, you can take a relaxing train ride back to Berlin.
Address: Lennéstraße 32, 14471 Potsdam, Germany
Hours: Monday Closed, Other days: 12–6:30PM
What To Do in Berlin in 3 Days, indeed?
So, if you were wondering what, if anything, there was to do in Berlin in 3 days, now you know there is so much you can get done even in such a short amount of time.
Berlin has much to teach you.
You will be wiser for having gone.
Don’t forget to book everything in advance. And definitely don’t forget to bring change to use the restrooms!
Have fun and explore more places in Germa. Here is a guide on how to spend 5 days in Germany.