48 Hours in Berlin – Top-10 Things to See/Do
If you only have 48 hours in Berlin, I recommend sticking near the city center. Berlin is the capital of Germany and is quite expansive, so the following recommendations are concentrated around the city center so that you can get the most of your time in this incredible European capital.
Brandenburg Gate – Top Attraction if you only have 48 Hours in Berlin
The first thing I suggest seeing is the Brandenburg Gate, which is one of Berlin’s most iconic structures, It’s the only surviving gate in the city and has come to symbolize Berlin’s Cold War division between East and West, as well as unification.
Checkpoint Charlie epitomizes a cheeky tourist attraction. You likely won’t spend much time here, but it is interesting to see this famous crossing point between East and West Berlin.
The Berlin Cathedral is another iconic structure in Berlin, its magnificent dome can be seen throughout the city skyline. The water feature and grassy areas make it a great place to take a break from all the site seeing.
You also get a stupendous view of the Cathedral from one of the river cruises, which is a excellent way to see the city while also getting a different perspective.
East Side Gallery
While little of the Berlin Wall still remain, there is a section called “East Side Gallery” where talented graffiti artists have beautified the wall for all to enjoy. The inner facing section appears to be for more traditional taggers.
Neptunbrunnen, the Roman God of Neptune, is a popular and elaborate fountain for selfies. This makes for a great meeting place, or, to people watch and enjoy the street performers.
Museum island is a unique ensemble of buildings in the heart of Berlin, boasting 5 large world-class museums.
Bebelplatz is one of Berlin’s most attractive public squares and is the site of some of the city’s checkered post. It was built in 1740 after Berlin’s old city fortifications were removed.
It’s also home to one of the best hotels in Berlin, the Hotel de Rome, which is both hip and elegant with a fantastic roof-top deck to take in the city views. It’s also perfectly positioned to walk to all the sites listed in this video.
Very close to Bebelplatz is another beautiful city square, Gendarmenmarkt.
If you only have 48 hours in Berlin, the zoo might take too much of your time, but if you if can squeeze it in, the Berlin Zoo is one of the most comprehensive in the world with over 1300 species and over 20,000 animals. It opened back in 1844 and attracts over 3 million visitors a year.
With nearly 2500 bars and pubs in Berlin, you can’t visit without trying some German Beer.
48 Hours in Berlin Welcome Card
One way to save a little money in Berlin is to get their Welcome Card, which gets you free public transportation and discounts at various attractions, tours, restaurants and museums. The cost for the 48 hours in Berlin Welcome card is 23 Euro.
Where to Stay in Berlin
If you only have 48 hours in Berlin, here are some of the best centrally located hotels, all of which I have personally stayed and recommend.
- Hotel de Rome – Hotel de Rome is in the heart of Berlin, walking distance to many of the most coveted attractions. Situated on historic Bebelplatz (a large public square). Hotel de Rome occupies the space of the former 19th century Dresden Bank, but now its luxurious space is where bold modernity collides with the heritage of the past.
- Orania is a newer boutique property located in an up-and-coming part of East Berlin. The furniture is modern but not overly contemporary with a flare of Indian influences. Live music is available in the lobby lounge some nights, complete with a grand piano, which takes center stage. This is an absolutely exceptional choice when staying 48 hours in Berlin.
- Vienna House Andel’s – This is a superb 4-star hotel with modern style and fresh charm. It’s a large high-rise hotel with over 500 rooms, 3 restaurants, a spa, meeting space and more. This Andel’s is located in the melting pot of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, not far from Alexanderplatz, which is a great central location within Berlin.
- Radisson Blu – The highlight of this hotel is the unbelievably large cylindrical aquarium that rises over 80 feet high and nearly 40 feet in diameter. It contains over a quarter million gallons of water, a coral reef, and is home to over 2,500 fish of 50+ different species. The hotel is also centrally location between Alexanderplatz and Museum Island.
If you are traveling beyond Berlin, click the following link for my Top-10 best hotels in Germany. If you want to do a road trip starting from Berlin, here is a list of my Top-10 places to visit in Germany.
Thanks so much for reading and watching the video on the top-10 things to do if you only have 48 hours in Berlin. If you have any questions at all, please leave a comment below, happy to help.