Last January I took a trip to Berlin for a short weekend break with my boyfriend for his birthday. We only had two full days and two night but we were determined to make the most of the short time we had and see as much as we could in 48 Hours in Berlin.
We stayed in Generator Hostel Berlin Mitte and had a great stay. The staff were great, the service was quick and the décor/facilities in the hostel were brilliant. The decor echoed an IKEA home bedroom with wooden walls and stylish lighting. The hostel is centrally located on Orianburger Straße.
Whether you want to go shopping in at Markethalle 9, take a walk around the Jewish Holocaust Memorial or visit the Brandenburg Gate, all are within a twenty minute walk or U-bahn journey of the hostel! Read my review of Generator Berlin Mitte here. Keep reading for my tips on how to spend 48 Hours in Berlin.
Berlin Wall at Eastside Gallery
This best part of the weekend was taking a two hour stroll down the Eastside Gallery. The East Side Gallery is an international memorial for freedom across a 1.3 km long section of the Berlin Wall, located near the centre of Berlin on Mühlenstraße in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg. The wall means a lot to many different people and as well as a memorial, it is a great art exhibition with some amazing grafitti and paintings.
Do you know that in Berlin there’s a museum just for the Ramones? The museum was first opened on 15 September 2005 in the district of Kreuzberg and is the world’s first and only Ramones museum. It shows more than 300 memorabilia of the Ramones from the years 1975 to 1996. The exhibitions show previously unpublished photos, autographed posters, clothing of the musicians, signed first editions of various publications and many more. The most recent exhibits include pieces from the last concert of the Ramones in August 1996.
Not far from our hotel was Museum Island, an island including five world-renowned museums collated in a unique ensemble in the centre of Berlin. Museum Island is the northern tip of the Spree Island. The museum collective has been the only architectural and cultural ensemble that is considered part of UNESCO world heritage. The five museums include: Pergamonmuseum, Bode-Museum, Neues Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie and Altes Museum.
Literally around the corner from Berliner Dom and Museum Island is the DDR Museum. I wasn’t sure about it initially but once we stepped inside I realised we had made a good choice. The DDR Museum in Berlin shows the life in GDR, not just ostalgia and is one of the most interactive museums Germany. It also gives you the chance to learn about the dividing of Germany from the beginning right to the end.
Berlin use to have 13 market halls, but only 2 are remaining today. In Kreuzberg you can find the No. 9 and every Thursday they have a Street Food Festival, so if your visit falls on a on a Thursday, make sure you head on over to the market. Markthalle 9 was built in 1891 but it was recently renewed with a vivid farmer’s market, if you’re not here for the Street Food Fest, just visit for the fresh regional food.
If you’ve seen or researched anything about Germany, then 100% you will have stumbled across one of the best known landmarks in Germany, the Brandenburg Gate. The Brandenburg Gate is an 18th-century neoclassical triumphal arch in Berlin and it is built on the site of a former city gate that marked the start of the road from Berlin to the town of Brandenburg an der Havel. During the post-war Partition of Germany, the gate was isolated and inaccessible immediately next to the Berlin Wall, and the area around the gate was featured most prominently in the media coverage of the tearing down of the wall in 1989. You don’t spend much time here, unless you grab a coffee from one of the hundreds of coffee shops, but be sure to grab a selfie, just like I did!
Also known as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the museum exists on ground level and then there is also an underground museum inside. The memorial is to commemorate the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, designed by architect Peter Eisenman and engineer Buro Happold. It consists of a 4.7-acre site covered with 2,711 concrete slabs arranged in a grid pattern on a sloping field. They are organized in rows, 54 of them going north–south, and 87 heading east–west at right angles but set slightly askew. In the museum underground you can then find the all of the names of all known Jewish Holocaust victims, obtained from the Israeli museum Yad Vashem.
So all this in 48 hours you say?! Yes, I know it was tiring but we had so much fun and I felt like we had truly used our time wisely.
Where are your favourite spots in Berlin?