If you can only visit Berlin in one day, you’ll have to plan your day to be able to see as much as possible in a short time period. For those of you planning a one day trip to Berlin, we’ve got you covered.
This one day Berlin itinerary will highlight the important attractions and landmarks you shouldn’t miss. Then we’ll show you how to best plan out your itinerary to make the most of your short time here.
How to see Berlin in one day
If you asked me how many days in Berlin do you need, I’d tell you one day in Berlin is not enough. But if it’s all you have, you can still enjoy the city for that one day.
You can see parts of Berlin in a day, you can see some of the highlights, and you can get a glimpse at what’s on the surface of this fantastic city.
Keep in mind that there’s a lot to see and do in Berlin, and it’s a big city. You can’t get to all of it in several days, let along one day in Berlin.
But it’s better to spend a day in Berlin than to not see it at all. You’ll still have a great time!
Hopefully this one day Berlin itinerary helps you decide what’s important to you and how much you can realistically see in a day.
In this Berlin one day itinerary, you’ll get to see the city’s important landmarks and attractions, learn about the history, and feel the funky vibes. Hopefully it’s enough to inspire you to come back later for a longer trip.
Tours to maximize your day in Berlin
If you only have one day to see Berlin, a tour might be the best way to see a lot in a short amount of time. Here are a few we recommend:
- Berlin Half Day Walking Tour: See many of Berlin’s most important sights on this guided walking tour.
- Berlin Bike Tour: Explore more important Berlin attractions on two wheels with this fun bike tour.
- Berlin Small Group Third Reich and Cold War Walking Tour: Learn about Berlin’s World War II and Cold War history on this walking tour.
Where to stay in Berlin
Berlin has lots of great neighborhoods for you to stay in and explore. If you’re visiting Berlin for the first time, it might be best for you stay somewhere central.
Many of the attractions are in Mitte or easily connected to Mitte by Berlin’s public transport, so you should stay somewhere in that region. Here are a few hotels we recommend.
For a more detailed look at the different neighborhoods and our hotel recommendations, check out our guide to where to stay in Berlin.
What places should I visit in Berlin in one day?
Once divided into East and West, today Berlin is a city filled with history and culture and is considered one of the hippest cities in Europe. People come here to learn about the city’s dark past as well as experience its unique vibe and international cuisine.
Berlin has enough amazing sights and attractions to keep you busy for weeks. But there are certain places every first time visitor should see in Berlin.
Whether they’re the places you see all over Instagram or sights you’ve never heard of, here’s what to see in Berlin in one day.
Built in the late 1700s, this is Berlin’s last standing city gate. It’s Brandenburger Tor in German.
During the Cold War, when Berlin was divided in two, the Brandenburg Gate stood at the border between East and West. To many people, it represented the separation of the two sides.
President Reagan gave his famous “Tear down this wall!” speech from the western side of the gate, where people on the eastern side could hear.
Today the gate represents unity. It is one of the most famous landmarks in Berlin, and even one of the most famous landmarks in Germany.
Even if you only have a day in Berlin, don’t miss Brandenburg Gate.
Open 24 hours a day. Closest transport is the Brandenburger Tor S&U station where you can get the S1, S2, S25, S26, or U5.
One of the most famous and popular sites in the city, tickets for the TV Tower should be booked ahead of time.
The TV Tower was inaugurated on October 3, 1969, and it can be seen from almost anywhere in Berlin. It’s 368 meters (1,207 feet) tall, and it’s one of the tallest structures in Germany and the European Union.
Built by the Soviets, it was originally supposed to represent the strength of communist East Germany. Today it is a symbol of the reunification of Germany and a symbol of Berlin itself.
The Berlin TV Tower is a great spot for views of the city since it’s so tall. You can take the elevator to the viewing platform at about 200 meters high for 360 degree views of the city.
Even though it’s super touristy, I still think it has some of the best views in the city, and I always bring out-of-town guests here.
There’s also a revolving restaurant on a different level where you can enjoy a nice meal while admiring the views.
If you’re only in Berlin for one day, buy priority tickets online ahead of time to reduce your wait. If you buy your ticket at the door, you could end up waiting around for an hour or more.
Observation deck opening hours:
November – March
10 am to 10 pm
April – October
9 am to 11 pm
Closest transport is S&U Alexanderplatz where you can get the U2, U5, U8, S3, S5, S7, S9, a variety of regional trains, and tram lines M4, M5, M6.
The Berlin Cathedral, or Berliner Dom in German, is a gorgeous Protestant cathedral located on Museum Island. It’s one of the most well known attractions in the city.
This landmark serves as a tourist attraction and museum, as well as a religious institution. Touristic visits are not permitted during services.
Tours are available and included with the admission fee if you are interested in hearing about the history of the cathedral. You can also climb 270 stairs for lovely panoramic views of Berlin.
With only one day in Berlin, you might decide you don’t have time to take the tour or go to the top, but you should still stop by to see the outside.
Monday – Friday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sunday: 12 – 4 p.m.
Last admission in each case 60 minutes before. Guided tours are at specific times. Check here for more info.
Closest transport is the Museumsinsel Ubahn station where you can get the U5.
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One of Berlin’s most popular sights, Museum Island is the name of a complex of multiple museums loaded with historic marvels. This Berlin UNESCO World Heritage Site is great for a cultural day in the German capital.
Museum Island includes five museums to browse around in total: The Pergamon Museum, the Old Museum, National Gallery, Bode Museum and the New Museum.
Your one day Berlin itinerary probably doesn’t leave you enough time to visit the museums, but strolling around here and soaking up the architecture is still rewarding.
Opening hours: Tuesday through Sunday 10am to 6pm, closed Mondays. Holiday hours may differ.
Closest transport is the Museumsinsel Ubahn station where you can get the U5.
The Museum Island Welcome Card gives you a 72 hour transport pass, free entry to all museums and collections on Berlin’s Museum Island (Pergamon Museum, Bode Museum, Altes Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, and Neues Museum), and discounts at many other museums and attractions.
Another option is the normal Welcome Card which gives you discounted entrance to the museums on Museum Island plus discounts at many other museums and attractions. It also includes a transport pass with an option for either 48 hours, 72 hours, 4 day, 5 day, or 6 day.
Opened in 1894, the Reichstag Building is a unique piece of art. Designed by Norman Foster, this building features excellent architecture and a unique glass domed top.
It is also the central meeting place for the German parliament which means that you get to walk around and see all those important people through the glass. This building also has a rooftop terrace and restaurant, which promises panoramic views of Berlin.
On the Reichstag Building tour, you can learn more about the history of Germany and the building itself. Tours into the glass dome are one of the most popular free things to do in Berlin.
The audio guide that comes with the free tour takes about 20 minutes. Therefore you probably need to allow 30-40 minutes total here if you decide to include the free tour on your Berlin 1 day itinerary.
There’s also a 90 minute tour that includes a visit to the glass dome.
Plan ahead because advanced booking is required and opening hours vary.
Closest transport: About halfway between the Bundestag Ubahn station (U5) and the Brandenburger Tor Sbahn and Ubahn station (S1, S2, S25, S26, U5).
Tiergarten is a huge inner-city park, one of the most popular parks in Berlin. With its beginnings dating back to 1527 as a hunting ground, this vast green space has become a much loved public park for Berliners over the years.
Throughout the park there are statues, memorials, ponds, tree-lined thoroughfares, and lawns. When the weather’s warm in Berlin, it’s here that people flock for strolling, picnicking, and generally hanging out, making it a great spot to people-watch.
The park is located just west of Brandenburg Gate, so it’s easy to include a quick stroll in Tiergarten on your one day Berlin itinerary.
The park is open 24 hours a day.
It’s a large park, so there are multiple transport options depending on what part of the park you want to reach. The section closest to Brandenburg Gate is easiest to access from the Brandenburger Tor S&U station where you can get the S1, S2, S25, S26, or U5.
Berlin’s Victory Column, or Siegessäule in German, is one of the more recognizable monuments in the city.
The column sits at a roundabout in the middle of Tiergarten Park, though it was originally located in front of the Reichstag until 1938. It was initially constructed as a monument to Prussia’s victory in the Franco-German war.
Today this is a popular tourist attraction. The column stands at 67 meters (about 220 feet) high and has an observation deck you can reach by paying a small entrance fee and then climbing 285 stairs.
It’s one of my favorite places for views of the city, despite all the stairs you have to climb to get those views.
You can see this landmark any time of day, but if you want to climb the tower to the viewing platform, the opening hours are:
April to October: Mon-Fri 9:30 AM – 6.30 PM, Sat & Sun till 7 PM
November to March: Mon-Sun 9:30 AM – 5.30 PM
The entrance fee is 3.50 euros. Closest transport is the Hansaplatz station on the U9.
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, often referred to as the Holocaust Memorial, honors the large number of Jewish people who died at the hands of the Nazis.
The memorial consists of 2,711 concrete blocks of varying heights, and the ground they sit on is an uneven slope similar to a wave. The information center showcases letters, diaries, photographs, and biographies of the victims to help personalize the experience.
Entrance is free for both the outside memorial and the inside information center. The outside is open 24/7, but the information center is open October – April, Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 6pm, and May – September, Tuesday – Sunday 10am – 8pm.
Photography is allowed (no flash inside) but please be respectful. Do not sit on or climb on the cement slabs or take selfies. This is a place to reflect and remember those who were murdered.
Closest transport: The memorial is located about halfway between S&U Brandenburger Tor where you can get the S1, S2, S25, S26, or U5 and S&U Potsdamer Platz where you can get the S1, S2, S25, S26, or U2.
>>Check out our list of the best World War II and Cold War attractions in Berlin.
Gendarmenmarkt is a square in Berlin where you’ll find an array of important buildings. It’s one of the most attractive and historic squares in the city, and is home to an impressive trio: the French Church, the German Church, and the Konzerthaus.
Sadly the square was badly damaged during World War II, but today it’s mostly been restored to its former glory. Gendarmenmarkt is a great place to wander, and if you’re here over the holidays, you can visit one of the most popular Christmas markets in Berlin here.
The square is open 24 hours a day. The buildings located have different opening hours, please check them individually if you want to go inside.
Closest transport is the Hausvogteiplatz station on the U2, but it’s also not far from the Stadtmitte station on the U2 and U6.
Berlin Wall Memorial at Bernauer Str
The Berlin Wall was, and still is, an important piece of the city’s character and history. The Bernauer Strasse Wall Memorial is the perfect place to learn about the Wall’s history.
This 1.4km (0.87 mile) section of road has some of the last remaining pieces of the Wall. It divided the street, with buildings on one side in the East and buildings on the other side in the West.
Placards describe what it was like living on the eastern side of Bernauer Strasse before and the Wall went up, how it affected the neighborhood, how people tried to escape, and more.
About midway down the street, there’s a tower you can climb to see over the Wall that still stands and into the death strip. At the visitors center, you can watch two short films (alternating time slots for German and English) depicting the Wall in the city as well as what it was like out in the countryside.
In my opinion, this is the best Cold War site in Berlin. However, it can take a decent amount of time to visit, so it might be tough to fully experience with only one day in Berlin.
Visitors Center opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Documentation Center opening hours: Wednesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Opening hours of the outdoor sections are listed as Monday to Sunday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., although there is no gate barring you from wandering around outside of these hours.
Closest transport to the Visitors Center is the Nordbahnhof Sbahn station where you can get the S1, S2, S25, or S26. The M10 tram also stops at Nordbahnhof, Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer (where the tower is), and you can get the M10 or U8 at the Bernauer Str station.
East Side Gallery
The East Side Gallery is the section of the Berlin Wall you’re probably familiar with. It runs along a stretch of the Spree River and is covered in art.
At 1.3km (0.8 mile) this is considered the longest open air gallery in the world. It’s also one of the most popular places to see the Berlin Wall in Berlin.
After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, artists from 21 countries came here to paint murals on the Wall to celebrate Germany being reunited and to remind the world of terrible things that occurred here. Over the years, the art has been restored and preserved.
This popular attraction is open 24/7 but is best enjoyed during daylight hours. Check out our full guide to visiting the East Side Gallery for tips, directions, things to do nearby, places to eat nearby, and more.
One day in Berlin itinerary
It’s tough to take in what Berlin has to offer in only one day, but hopefully seeing the highlights will inspire you to visit this wonderful city again in the future.
This itinerary for one day in Berlin takes you from morning to night. You’ll need to start early in order to see as much as possible.
Ideally you’re arriving the night before, spending a day in Berlin, and then spending another night before heading off to your next destination. This will give you more than 24 hours in Berlin to explore, but if you’re only spending one night in Berlin, you can easily make a few adjustments.
You might not have time to go inside each attraction mentioned here. Know what your priorities are, and be willing to compromise, because one day in Berlin really isn’t enough to see everything.
For example, Berlin has lots of places for views of the city from above, such as the TV Tower, the Victory Column, the Berlin Cathedral, and Panorama Punkt, but it takes time to do each of them.
If you really like views from above, choose one, but otherwise it’s it’s ok to only see the outsides of some attractions.
And you might not have time to go into museums. Or if going in is important to you, you’ll have to compromise and cut something else out of your Berlin itinerary.
The important thing is to use this one day Berlin itinerary as a guide. Make adjustments based on your interests, and stay flexible where possible.
Also, a Berlin day ticket will be your best friend for this itinerary. Buying a 24 hour ticket means you can ride Berlin public transport as many times as you want for 24 hours from when you validate your ticket.
East Side Gallery
I hope you set your alarm, because you’ll need an early start to get to as many sights on your Berlin bucket list as possible.
If your hotel offers breakfast, grab something quick. Otherwise, there’s bound to be a bakery nearby where you can buy a tasty German pastry to eat on the go.
Start your sightseeing at the East Side Gallery. Since it’s open 24 hours a day, and several other attractions don’t open until 9am, this makes a good starting point so you don’t waste any time.
I recommend arriving at the East Side Gallery by 8am at the latest, earlier if possible. This will give you plenty of time to enjoy the art and make it to your next stop by 9am.
The closest transport stations are U Warschauer Str near one end, which you can reach using the U1 or U3, or Ostbahnhof train station, which you can reach using S3, S5, S7, or S9. Start from one of these stations and end at the other.
Once you’ve had your fill, make your way to Alexanderplatz. If you’ve finished seeing the East Side Gallery near Ostbahnhof, hop on the Sbahn to Alexanderplatz.
If you finished near Warschauer Str, you’ll also need to get the Sbahn, but note that the Sbahn station and the Ubahn station are separate. So when walking from the East Side Gallery, you’ll see the Ubahn first, and the Sbahn is shortly after that.
Alexanderplatz is a big transport hub, plus there’s shopping and a few places to eat here. If you have a couple minutes, go check out the square itself and see the World Time Clock.
Next, go see the TV Tower. Don’t forget to book your skip-the-line ticket here ahead of time!
The views from the viewing platform are unbeatable. As you wander around up top, info signs will tell you what you’re looking at.
The TV Tower opens at 9am from April to October (it doesn’t open until 10am from November to March) so if you book your ticket for a 9am time slot, you should be able to get in right as they open.
Once you’re done, make your way to Museum Island. It’s about a 10 minute walk from the TV Tower to the Berlin Cathedral, or you can hop on the tram for one stop to get you halfway there.
Walking is probably easier here though. Wander past the Neptune Fountain, through the park, and cross the Spree River.
You can’t miss the Berlin Cathedral. It’s an impressively large and gorgeous church, and it’s worth stopping for some pictures, even if you don’t have time to go inside for a tour.
The park in front of the cathedral is called Lustgarten. The other building you’ll see here is the Altes Museum, one of the five museums in the Museum Island ensemble.
Since you’re only in Berlin for one day, going into one of the museums probably isn’t feasible. If this is a high priority for you, decide what other attraction(s) on this itinerary isn’t so important to you and cut it for time.
Otherwise, have a wander through the green spaces here and admire the architecture of the different museums. Not only do they hold important exhibits and artifacts, but the buildings themselves are quite impressive.
Across the street from the Berlin Cathedral and Lustgarten is the Humboldt Forum. This rebuilt Berlin Palace is now home to an arts and cultural museum.
On the other side of the river from the cathedral is the German History Museum. If this interests you, definitely make time for it, but it’ll be tight with only one day.
Now start walking west along Unter den Linden.
Unter den Linden
The wide boulevard you’re now walking on is called Unter den Linden, named for the linden trees you’ll see along the way. It’s a beautiful street with many landmarks, museums, and other attractions.
Luckily there are quite a few sights here that are easy to see and enjoy even when you don’t have much time.
You’ll pass Neue Wache, a memorial to war victims. Then there’s the Berlin State Opera House. Next is Bebelplatz square with the Nazi book burning memorial.
In the middle of the street, you’ll see a statue of a man on a horse. That’s Friedrich the Great, king of Prussia.
Shortly after this, I recommend turning left onto Charlottenstrasse to reach Gendarmenmarkt, which is such a pretty square, it’s worth a quick detour. But if you’re trying to make time for other activities, don’t worry about skipping it.
After you’ve been wowed and taken some photos, head back to Unter den Linden. Keep walking west, and in a few minutes, you’ll see Brandenburg Gate.
Are you really strapped for time? If you’d rather skip walking down Unter den Linden, hop on the U5 from Museum Island (Museumsinsel station) and take it a couple of stops to Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor station).
Once you pass through Brandenburg Gate, you’ll see Tiergarten park in front of you. Turn left and walk a little ways until you see the Holocaust Memorial.
The big blocks go right up to the sidewalk, so you can’t miss it. Wander through the rows of blocks along the uneven ground, and if you have time, check out the info center inside.
Now cross the street to Tiergarten, and go for a walk through the eastern edge of the park, heading north past Brandenburg Gate. At the big street (Strasse des 17 Juni) that basically dead ends at Brandenburg Gate, you’ll be able to see the Victory Column in the distance.
If you have time, walk closer to see it better, otherwise keep walking north along the edge of the park. Just beyond the park is the German Parliament Building where you can take the free Reichstag tour.
The free tour is really worthwhile, but again, you must book your tickets in advance. If you couldn’t snag a spot or you don’t have time, it’s still worth checking out this impressive building.
Bernauer Strasse Wall Memorial
Once you’re done at the Reichstag Building, it’s time to go to the Berlin Wall Memorial at Bernauer Strasse. To get there, walk back through Brandenburg Gate to the Brandenburger Tor Sbahn station, and take the S1, S2, S25, or S26 the Nordbahnhof station.
From there it’s a short walk to the Bernauer Strasse visitors center. If you have time to watch the short films, they are fantastic.
Then take as much time as you can manage to explore the rest of the exhibits on Bernauer Strasse, including the tower at the midway point.
The other end of the memorial is near Schwedter Strasse, which is a few blocks past the Bernauer Strasse Ubahn station where you can catch the U8 line.
Read our full guide to visiting the Berlin Wall Memorial at Bernauer Strasse to plan your visit.
Alternatives for your one day Berlin itinerary
Not everyone has the same interests, so there really isn’t any one size fits all itinerary for a day in Berlin. There are so many things to do in Berlin, and so many great ways to enjoy the city.
Here are a few alternate attractions and activities you can swap out for some of the places mentioned above.
Are you really into craft beer? Check out our favorite craft beer bars in Berlin.
And here are a few beer tours we recommend:
And if the weather is nice, consider relaxing at a Berlin beer garden.
Is Checkpoint Charlie on your Berlin bucket list? The site itself is kind of boring, but the history behind it is interesting.
If you want to go to Checkpoint Charlie, it’s just a few stops south of Unter den Linden on the U6. Nearby is the excellent Checkpoint Charlie Wall Museum, the Wall Panorama Museum, and Topography of Terror.
Do you really love views of cities from above? Well, Berlin has lots of options, and you can go to multiple locations for excellent views of Berlin.
Would you like to see a park that used to be an airport? Tempelhof is fantastic, and it’s worth visiting for its uniqueness and its historical importance.
Interested in spending more time outside? There are lots of options for outdoor activities in Berlin.
Are you traveling with kids? Take them to one of the zoos, either the Berlin Zoological Garden in the west or Tierpark (not to be confused with Tiergarten) in the east. Both are excellent.
Do you like palaces and castles? Then go see Charlottenburg Palace. It’s a little far from the center of the city, but it’s one of the best palaces in Berlin.
Don’t forget to see how to get from Berlin airport to the city center before you arrive.
Berlin Travel Resources
I want you to have the best trip to Berlin, and hopefully this itinerary for one day in Berlin is helpful. But there are lots more tips on the site!
- 101 Best Things to do in Berlin
- 23 Impressive Castles in Berlin (And Nearby)
- 27 Best World War II & Cold War Sights in Berlin
- 29 Fun Day Trips From Berlin
- 75 Things to Know Before Visiting Berlin: Essential Berlin Travel Tips
- What to Wear & What to Pack for Berlin, Germany: Your Ultimate Berlin Packing List
- How to Get Around in Berlin: An Easy Guide to Berlin Public Transportation