One Week Around Berlin? Here’s Your Sensational Plan

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In this ultimate guide, I’ll walk you through a meticulously curated itinerary for a mesmerizing week-long adventure in Berlin and its environs, blending the city’s rich history with its vibrant contemporary culture. Prepare to discover a side of Berlin that weaves together the past and the present into an unforgettable tapestry of experiences.

Berlin is a city that never fails to surprise, with its remarkable blend of poignant history and pulsating modern life. To truly appreciate its depth, you need time and a plan.

one week itinerary around berlinPin

Navigating Berlin is like flipping through the pages of a living history book while simultaneously stepping into the frame of a cutting-edge art piece. In my journey, I balanced solemn moments of reflection at the Berlin Wall and the Holocaust Memorial with joyous encounters in the city’s lively beer gardens and bustling marketplaces. It’s a dance of contrast that constantly invites you to look deeper.

What awaits you is a city that’s equally generous to history buffs and art enthusiasts, to foodies and nature lovers. This week will be more than a simple tour; it will be your gateway to experiencing the heartbeat of Germany through its capital. So, pack your curiosity and come along as I share a simple, yet comprehensive, guide to relishing a full week in Berlin and its picturesque surroundings.

Traveling to Germany? Click here to download your free Germany Trip Planning checklistWe’ll help you get ready for your trip! 

Incredible One Week Berlin Itinerary

As you peruse the detailed itinerary laid out below, imagine strolling alongside the remnants of the Berlin Wall, now a canvas of historical narratives, or basking in the grandeur of the Brandenburg Gate, resonating with echoes of political change.

From the enchanting cobblestone lanes in the historic district of Mitte to the pulsating cultural beats of Kreuzberg, we will guide you through an enthralling blend of Berlin’s illustrious past and its dynamic present. Get ready to delve deep into the city’s core, discovering hidden gems and celebrated landmarks alike, as you follow this day-by-day account to experience Berlin at its most authentic.

This itinerary is designed to be completed using public transport. You don’t need a car.

If you only have one day in Berlin, find our one day Berlin itinerary here.

If you are in Berlin in October, check if you can visit the amazing Festival of Lights.

Day 1: Exploring the Heart of Berlin

Dome at Reichstag BuildingPin
Dome at Reichstag Building
  • Start your journey at the iconic Brandenburg Gate
  • Pay your respects at the Holocaust Memorial and visit the historic Reichstag Building; make sure to book a dome tour for impressive city views.
  • Take a leisurely stroll down Unter den Linden.
  • Wrap up your day with a culinary exploration in the Mitte district, offering a range of local and international cuisines.

Today, you’re starting off your Berlin tour in the heart of Berlin in the Mitte District seeing some of Berlin’s most famous site.

Picture yourself stepping through the Brandenburg Gate, an 18th-century neoclassical triumphal arch that has stood as a witness to centuries of history. Built on the orders of Prussian King Frederick William II, this monument has been a site of major historical events and is today a symbol of unification.

Nearby, visit the Holocaust Memorial, officially known as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. This array of concrete slabs serves as a somber reminder and a silent tribute. Allow yourself a moment of reflection in its contemplative stelae field.

On the other side of the Brandenburg Gate, you should miss the Reichstag Building. It beckons with its mix of historical gravitas and modern governance.

Once the parliament during the German Empire, severely damaged in WWII, and rejuvenated with a glass dome symbolizing transparency after reunification, it’s a beacon of the modern democratic vision. Pre-book a visit to the roof terrace and dome for an insight into parliament operations along with panoramic views of the city.

You can do this here for free (but advance reservations are required).

Wander down Unter den Linden, a grand boulevard that echoes with the past stories of parade grounds and royal processions. At the end of this street, if you have the time, you can visit the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum).

End your day in this vibrant Mitte district, rich with its eclectic blend of old and new Berlin. A hub for dining, you’ll find everything from traditional German eats to international cuisine. Seek out a cozy spot to enjoy classic dishes like Schnitzel or modern takes at a fusion restaurant.

Day 2: Museum Island and Environs

Museum IslandPin
Museum Island
  • Spend your morning on Museum Island, choosing from museums like the Neues or Altes Museum.
  • In the afternoon, consider unwinding at the Berlin Cathedral or enjoy a scenic boat tour along the Spree.
  • Experience Berlin’s vibrant nightlife with a visit to Alexanderplatz and enjoy panoramic views from atop the Berlin TV Tower.

Embark on a journey through time on Museum Island, a unique ensemble of five internationally significant museums that is UNESCO World Heritage listed. Spend your morning visiting the museums that most interest you.

You can choose between:

  • The Altes Museum, with its classical Greek and Roman art, imparts the wisdom and beauty of antiquity.
  • The Bode Museum, situated at the island’s northern tip, offers a collection of sculptures, Byzantine art, and coins, narrating artistic evolution.
  • The Neues Museum resurrects history with the Egyptian bust of Nefertiti and a prehistoric collection, bridging eons.
  • The Alte Nationalgalerie, resembling a Greek temple, stands proudly with its 19th-century art, showcasing pieces from Classicism to Romanticism, Biedermeier to Impressionism, encapsulating the narrative of European art.
  • The Pergamon Museum was an option. It houses monumental treasures such as the Pergamon Altar and the Ishtar Gate. However, this is currently closed for major restoration work indefinitely.

As you step out from the world of museums, the Berlin Cathedral’s grandeur invites you in. Its magnificent dome and ornate interiors are awe-inspiring reminders of imperial ambition. Or, if you prefer, take to the waters with a Spree riverboat tour that offers serene views and a new perspective of Berlin’s historic and modern juxtaposition.

Find a boat tour here.

Your day culminates at Alexanderplatz, the bustling heart of the city where modern life pulses. Look up and you’ll find the Berlin TV Tower (Fernsehturm), defining the skyline. Ascend this symbol of East German achievement for a spectacular sunset, where the city lights begin to flicker to life below you, delivering a panoramic experience that’s not to be missed.

Afterward, Alexanderplatz presents an array of dining options. Relish in the culinary delights, from street food vendors offering regional specialties like kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes) to restaurants serving contemporary German fare.

Day 3: Berlin’s Dynamic Culture

East Side GalleryPin
East Side Gallery
  • Walk along the East Side Gallery in the morning and admire the art-covered remnants of the Berlin Wall.
  • Browse through Kreuzberg in the afternoon; it’s a hotbed of street art, unique boutiques, and cozy cafés.
  • Evening delights include sampling Berlin’s famous street food, such as currywurst, followed by a night of dancing in one of the city’s legendary nightclubs.

Start your day with a visit to the iconic East Side Gallery, the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall, now an open-air gallery featuring over 100 murals depicting historical events, political messages, and artistic expressions.

Take your time walking along this significant monument, capturing the vivid artwork and reflecting on Berlin’s past and present. Follow the nearby paths along the River Spree for a peaceful morning walk with views of the water and cityscape.

Stay in vibrant Friedrichshain for lunch. This area is home to many eclectic eateries offering everything from traditional German to international cuisine. Try a local diner like Scheers Schnitzel for a hearty Berliner Schnitzel.

Spend your afternoon in Kreuzberg, one of Berlin’s most dynamic districts, known for its diverse culture, street art, and indie vibe. Explore the quirky shops, view the prominent murals, and enjoy the living galleries of this creatively charged area. Visit the Berlinische Galerie for contemporary art or check out the traditional crafts and unique souvenirs at Markthalle Neun.

As the evening sets in, engage with Berlin’s bustling street food scene. Try some authentic Currywurst at Curry 36 or indulge in various international options at Street Food Thursday in Markthalle Neun if your visit lines up.

Later, experience Berlin’s legendary nightlife by visiting a famous club like Berghain, Watergate, or SO36 for an electrifying end to the night. Remember, some of these clubs are known for strict door policies, so it’s best to read up on tips for admission and dress respectfully.

Day 4: Potsdam Day Trip

Sanssouci Palace, PotsdamPin
Sanssouci Palace, Potsdam
  • Discover the palatial beauty of Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam and meander through the charming Dutch Quarter.
  • Tour the famous Babelsberg Film Studio, a temple to European cinema.
  • Return to Berlin for a relaxing dinner, allowing the impressions of Potsdam’s grandeur to sink in.

Start your day early and take a train from Berlin to Potsdam. Upon arrival, head to Sanssouci Palace, the former summer palace of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia. Roam through the Rococo palace and marvel at the lavish interiors. Afterwards, take a serene walk in the expansive gardens, enjoying the stunning fountains, terraces, and greenhouses, such as the historic Orangery.

Make your way to Potsdam’s enchanting Dutch Quarter (Holländisches Viertel). This area is renowned for its red brick buildings with white shutters, reminiscent of typical Dutch style. Choose from the numerous cafes and restaurants for a cozy lunch. Consider trying something local like Brandenburg specialties or enjoy a cup of coffee and a piece of cake in one of the many charming cafés.

In the afternoon, opt to explore Europe’s oldest large-scale film studio, Babelsberg Film Studio, where classics like “Metropolis” and contemporary hits like “The Grand Budapest Hotel” were filmed. Alternatively, visit the New Palace (Neues Palais) with its impressive baroque architecture and historic rooms.

Return to Berlin and choose a relaxed dinner spot to unwind after the day’s excursions. Depending on your time of arrival and preferences, you might enjoy a meal at a traditional German restaurant, such as Zur letzten Instanz, Berlin’s oldest restaurant, or choose a quieter spot in Potsdam before heading back.

Day 5: Nature and Relaxation

Grunewald ForestPin
Grunewald Forest
  • Take a morning hike in Grunewald Forest or explore the historical Teufelsberg spy station ruins.
  • Unwind by the Wannsee or Müggelsee in the afternoon, indulging in a bit of swimming or water sports.
  • A restful evening meal near your accommodation sets the stage for the coming day’s adventures.

Begin your morning by immersing yourself in the tranquility of Grunewald Forest, Berlin’s largest green area. You could opt for a hike leading up to the Teufelsberg, an artificial hill built from the rubble of WWII which now provides a wonderful viewpoint of the city. If you’re feeling adventurous, explore the abandoned NSA listening station at the top.

If urban exploration is more your thing, head straight to the Teufelsberg Field Station. This former Cold War spy station is now a canvas for street artists and offers guided tours featuring history and graffiti insights, as well as another chance for great city panoramas.

Pack a picnic to enjoy at one of the Grunewald’s many scenic spots, or after your morning venture, stop by a local restaurant such as Forsthaus Paulsborn for a traditional German lunch with a view of the lake in a historic hunting lodge setting.

In the afternoon, continue your day of leisure by the waterside. Travel to Lake Wannsee, with its lidos and beach cafes, offering a perfect scene for relaxation or a swim if the weather permits. Alternatively, enjoy the ambience of Lake Müggelsee, the largest of the Berlin lake district, where you can unwind, rent a boat, or walk the trails skirting the water.

For an early dinner, visit the area near Schloss Charlottenburg. The palace itself is stunning around sunset, and there are numerous dining options in the neighborhood that cater to a range of culinary tastes.

Day 6: Dresden Day Trip

  • Dresden calls for a day trip, with its awe-inspiring Frauenkirche, the grandiose Zwinger Palace, and the opulent Semperoper Opera House.
  • Return on an evening train to Berlin.

Begin your day bright and early, taking a train from Berlin to Dresden. The journey is scenic and takes approximately two hours, so grab breakfast on the go or at the station to save time.

Arrive in Dresden, often referred to as “Florence on the Elbe” due to its stunning baroque architecture and prominent art scene. Start at the heart of the city with the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady). This iconic dome has been meticulously restored to its former glory and offers not only a sobering perspective on history but also panoramic views of the city from its top.

A short walk from the Frauenkirche will lead you to the Zwinger Palace, a magnificent complex where you can marvel at the architecture and indulge in the wealth of art housed within its galleries, most notably the Old Masters Picture Gallery (Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister).

For lunch, stroll through the Inner Altstadt (Old Town), where you will find numerous cafes and restaurants serving Saxon specialties. Consider enjoying a meal at one of the traditional spots such as Sophienkeller for a hearty lunch in a historic setting.

After lunch, visit the Semperoper, Dresden’s historic opera house, and if possible, book a guided tour to appreciate its sumptuous interior. Spend the rest of the afternoon walking along the banks of the Elbe River. The riverside promenades provide a relaxed environment with breathtaking views of the city skyline.

Before heading back to Berlin, explore Dresden’s Neustadt (New Town), which is known for its hip vibes and trendy eateries. Grab an early dinner or some quick bites here—perhaps at a local bistro or street vendor.

Catch an evening train back to Berlin. After a day full of exploration and artistic immersion, allow yourself a night off.

Read our full guide to Dresden here.

Day 7: Local Life and Departure

Prenzlauer Berg BerlinPin
Prenzlauer Berg Berlin
  • Savor a leisurely brunch in the trendy Prenzlauer Berg district, a hub for hip cafes and a relaxed atmosphere.
  • If it’s the weekend, stroll through the Kollwitzplatz Farmer’s Market or simply enjoy the laid-back vibe of the area.
  • Peruse the treasures at the Mauerpark flea market or find unique souvenirs and designer goods at Bikini Berlin.
  • Spend your final hours embracing the sunset at Tempelhofer Feld, before a celebratory final dinner capped off with a toast to Berlin from a rooftop bar with memorable city views.

Start your final day in Berlin with a leisurely brunch in the trendy district of Prenzlauer Berg. This laid-back neighborhood is filled with charming cafes that offer sumptuous brunch menus. Try Café Anna Blume or The Barn for a local experience with delicious options that cater to a variety of tastes.

After brunch, depending on the day of the week, you might catch the Kollwitzplatz Farmer’s Market buzzing with activity, offering a chance to taste fresh local produce and artisanal products. Or, if it’s a Sunday, wander through the stalls of the famous Mauerpark Flea Market — the treasure trove of vintage goods, handcrafted items, and unique keepsakes, accompanied by live music and performances.

Keep lunch light and casual with bites from market vendors or pop into a nearby cafe for a simple, yet satisfying meal.

Post-lunch, head to Bikini Berlin, a concept mall with a selection of boutiques, concept stores, and pop-up shops featuring everything from fashion and design to technology and gourmet food. It’s a modern shopping experience where you can find both local Berlin brands and international labels.

Spend your late afternoon at the vast open space of Tempelhofer Feld, the former airport turned public park. This offers a great opportunity to unwind, with options for leisurely strolls, bike rides, or simply watching locals enjoy their favorite recreational activities.

For your final dinner, treat yourself to something special. Berlin has a fantastic range of fine dining experiences. Katz Orange, known for its sustainable farm-to-table concept, or Horváth, offering Austrian-inspired cuisine with a modern touch, could make for a memorable last supper in Berlin.

End your trip on a high note—quite literally—by visiting one of Berlin’s rooftop bars where you can toast to your travels and enjoy sweeping views of the city’s skyline at night.

Klunkerkranich, perched atop a parking deck in Neukölln, often comes with a side of live music or DJ sets, offering an atmospheric backdrop as you say goodbye to Berlin.

A week in Berlin offers a rich tapestry of history, culture, and vibrant life all woven into the fabric of this ever-evolving city. From the impressive Brandenburg Gate to the poignant remnants of the Berlin Wall, each day promises a new perspective on the resilience and dynamism that define Berlin. 

You can also find an alternative itinerary here which is for one week in Eastern Germany which also includes Berlin.

Read about nearby Quedlinburg here and Leipzig here. Or find our itinerary for Bavaria here. If you are in Berlin in October, check out the amazing Festival of Lights here. You can also find all our travel guides to Eastern Germany here.

Sharon Gourlay in the Rhina Valley

By Sharon Gourlay

Sharon first fell in love with Germany back in 2000 on her first visit. She loves the long history, the picturesque Old Towns, the castles, the food, everything really! Since then, she has visited many times and loves writing about Germany here so you can enjoy it too. In fact, Sharon loves German culture so much that she sent her kids to a German primary school in Australia. She especially loves Berlin and towns with charming Old Towns like Celle and Quedlinburg. Sharon also has a Certificate III in International Travel Sales and understands the nitty gritty of travel planning. Through this site, she'll help you have the perfect trip to Germany whether it's your first or tenth time!

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