Berlin is far too big a city to enjoy in 48 hours, but it’s all I have to enjoy the German capital. My first visit was two years ago when, aside from some central sights (the Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial). I barely scratched the surface of the city, one which rivals any of its European rivals for history, culture and, to a degree, dining.
Berlin History & Museums
Germany 20th century history needs no introduction, and due to its bleakness many visitors will be put off revisiting it. it’s worth seeing many of these places which have helped shape the Berlin that is known and loved by tourists over today.
Checkpoint Charlie may be somewhat tacky, but the Checkpoint Charlie Museum (Friedrichstraße 43-45, 10969 Berlin) is nothing of the sort. A huge place, it’s far too big to take everything in on one visit, but the exhibitions and the detail make it a must.
Make sure to drop in to at the DDR Museum (DDR Museum, Karl-Liebknecht Street, Berlin, Germany). A small building on the banks of the Spree. It provides a unique insight into the Communist era, when the city was divided into East and West.
Solemn exhibits recall the hardships faced by everyday Germans, but are interspersed with unique, often humorous relics of the time, including children’s toys and television shows.
For those wanting a more thorough understanding of the period, the Stasi Museum (Haus 1, Ruschestraße 103, 10365) is as haunting as it is fascinating. My third museum of a busy weekend, it’s one for real history lovers, but worth considering nonetheless.
Where I Stay
Of course, before setting out, I had to choose somewhere to stay. In my view, Kreuzberg is the place to be, and not only for those who want to enjoy the city’s boho and club scenes. The largely Turkish area is much cheaper than central Berlin.
This area is more affordable with many good cafes for coffee and breakfast and a smattering of top quality restaurants for dinner or an evening drink. The district serves as a good launch pad for all the above museums, with good access to the Metro.
Best place to Eat
As for the food, my favorite spot is, is Snap, a burger joint I stumble upon while walking towards the huge and very green Treptower Park. Serving up natural fast food, it’s burgers are healthier than most, without skimping on flavor.
As weekends go, I pack a lot into 48 hours in Berlin, but I know I’ve barely scratched the surface of a city which most closely matches my hometown (London) for breadth, choice and scale. Oh well, looks like I’ll have to come back sometime, there’s more museums to see. And if that doesn’t get you booking tickets, there’s always the zoo.