A Long Weekend In Berlin, Germany

By Kate H · Apr 9, 2016

The Trip — Easter long weekend solo trip to Berlin.

Duration — 4 Nights

Origin — London

Type of Trip — Bars, Historic Sites, Culture, Shopping, Food

Group Size — Solo!

Trip Dates and Comments on Timing — March: Be aware that many shops/restaurants will be closed over Easter public holidays, but museums etc. remain open.

Mode of Transportation — Aeroplane

Cost per Person — $250 — $500

General Route — As this was a last minute trip, the itinerary was fairly unplanned and largely dictated by both the weather and the Easter public holidays, plus spending most meals reading guide books to work out my next steps!

Accommodation — My friend kindly gave me use of her apartment in Mitte whilst she was out of town for the long weekend. Having done this, I would thoroughly recommend an AirBnB stay in Berlin for a more authentic experience (it doesn’t seem to be the right city for the big hotel chains!).

Main Activities — Cultural experiences, historical visits, shopping, going to bars.

Food and Drink Highlights — For breakfast: Distrikt Coffee - must try! Hipster even for Berlin. The Barn - focus on coffee (with some cold food options available). For a traditional German dinner: Augustiner am Gendarmenmarkt - fantastic German beerhall, try the beef goulash and tap beer! Schwarzaldstuben - try the maultaschen (ravioli like German pasta)

Essential Packing for this Trip — A coat! As this was a last minute trip before relocating back to Oz, I had already shipped most of my winterwear. Berlin can get cold when the sun is behind the clouds, even in Spring - a coat, or gloves, would have been very welcome!

Best bits & trip highlights

Berlin is a great city for a solo traveller. There is so much to do, and much of it can be done on foot (I find when travelling alone you have more of an excuse to take the long way between sights and see more of the city!). Similarly, the German beer halls/cafes etc. are perfectly designed for the solo traveller - the vast majority have seats at the bar where you can watch the kitchen/bartenders whilst you inhale your well-earned hot German food after a long day of walking.


An absolute must-see in Berlin is Mauerpark on a Sunday afternoon - with its market, karaoke and local musicians filling it up from 3pm onwards it was my favourite moment of the trip. More details below.

Berlin is not what I expected - it is a young, artistic and creative city and best explored with no expectations and a willingness to say yes and go with the flow!

Worst bits

Not a “worst bit” but something to take note of - many cafes and restaurants are cash only. To compound this, many ATMS did not like my foreign card! I would recommend taking out more cash than usual when you do find an ATM which works - the Commerzbank and Euronet Geldautomat seemed to be the two most reliable for me.

Secondly, be aware that many cafes and shops will be closed over public holidays, however most museums remain open, as does the great Riverboat trips leaving from Museumsinsel which I would recommend. Make sure you visit the famous Kreuzberg area on a day when everything is open (I understand a lot is also closed on a Monday) - I don’t think I had the full Kreuzberg experience unfortunately as most shops and cafes were closed.

My Experience

Good Friday - spent largely driving around in a Berlin car-share thanks to the rain. This was a great opportunity to get an understanding of the layout of Berlin and its forests, get my bearings, and also a good excuse to duck into multiple Berlin cafes and sit eating cake and tea in the afternoon in Prenzlauer Berg - a really pretty, ‘young professionals’ suburb. Dinner in the evening was at a little French bistro called Les Valseuses in the same area - recommended.


Saturday - Breakfast in Prenzlauer Berg at Neo1 on Hemholtzplatz (pretty cafe filled with locals right on the square) before a walk to Hackescher Markt which had little market stalls set up and a great atmosphere - good spot to pick up an easy lunch and seems to only run on a Saturday. Continued walking through to Museumsinsel (Berlin’s Museum Island, home to 5 museums, good luck picking one!) and onto the famous Brandenburg Gate (about 20-30 minutes walk). Whilst incredibly crowded, it was fantastic to finally see this historical landmark in person. Next stop was onto the Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe or the Holocaust Memorial, an incredibly harrowing and intentionally disconcerting memorial which should be walked through to properly experience.

Nearby is the not very obvious site of Hitler’s Bunker, now a carpark with little to alert passers by of its previous status other than a signboard. Worth taking the five minutes to walk over and read how and why the bunker was destroyed. Another 20 minute walk followed to the Topographie of Terrors, the old site of the SS and Gestapo headquarters which has a great exhibition (both indoors and outdoors) describing the role of the SS and Gestapo in WW2. A final walk to Checkpoint Charlie, the best-known, and now incredibly touristy, Berlin wall crossing point complete with university students dressed as US and Soviet soldiers charging for photo opportunities, but a must-see nevertheless!

A wander along Friedrichstrasse followed, the famous shopping street where most shops were thankfully open until 8pm, before a much needed pit stop at Augustiner am Gendarmenmarkt for dinner, a fantastic German beer hall. There are seats at the bar if you prefer when dining alone, otherwise enjoy sitting at a table taking in the atmosphere (complete with German beer maid waitressess!). Recommend the beef goulash with traditional spaetzle (soft egg noodle) with one of Augustiner’s own tap beers.

Sunday - a morning run following the very heavy dinner from the night before was much needed at this point, and this took me to The Barn on Auguststraße, what appears to be an Aussie place given the number of accents I heard. A few cold dishes and pastries are served, but this place is not for a big (or hot) breakfast - it’s all about the coffee! Fueled for the day, I jumped in a taxi to the Jewish Museum, taking advantage of the few places open on Easter Sunday. This museum was a little underwhelming if you compare it to somewhere like Yad Vashem in Jerusalem (perhaps not fair to compare), however I wouldn’t call it a must-see. If you do go, make sure to see the Shaleket installation. Perhaps one of the museums on Museumsinsel would have been a better stop.


Next was a long walk to Kreuzberg, the hipster, street-art centre of Berlin. Sadly much was closed because of the public holiday, however it was easy to see this area is incredibly vibrant and fun to explore in its full glory. Note - don’t visit on a public holiday or a Monday! I had been recommended the following streets in Kreuzberg to explore - Kottbusser Tor, Paul-Lincke Ufer (pretty by the canal), Fraenkle-Ufer, Greafestrasse and Oranienstrasse. Lunch was at Spindler, a trendy brunch spot by the canal and a derivative of a famous Berlin club, which seemed to be the place to see and be seen! Recommended.

Next was a train from Hallesches Tor station in Kreuzberg to Warschauer Str. station, and a four minute walk to the famous East Side Gallery on the Berlin wall. This was a big highlight, having seen the famous murals on the Berlin wall in so many pictures. I walked the full length of the wall, and then jumped into a taxi (semi freezing by this point!) and headed to Mauerpark. THIS was a trip highlight. Mauerpark translates to “Wall Park”, referring to its status as a former part of the Berlin Wall and its Death Strip, and on Sundays it completely transforms into a flea market, outdoor party, huge food market, and most importantly Bear Pit Karaoke - an Irish guy who sets up a little soundbox in the amphitheatre every Sunday from 3pm, weather permitting, where literally hundreds if not thousands gather to watch complete strangers sing karaoke. It’s an incredible atmosphere, and I had a brilliant time sipping on gluhwein, laughing and singing along with everyone for the whole afternoon. There are also random DJs who set up, drummers etc. and people just congregate around them dancing. As the night got colder I walked to Tucholskystrasse for a seriously good dinner at Schwarzaldstuben - I ate maultaschen (ravioli like pasta filled with a mince of typically pork and vegies but there is a vegetarian option) and a glass of German wine and sat at the bar. Note - this place fills up quickly but seemed to take bookings! And it was delightfully toasty and warm…


Easter Monday - breakfast today at Distrikt Coffee on Bergstrasse, an absolute must try for great coffee and really good food. I walked down Torstrasse to Soho House to see the famous The Store (a very expensive design store with largely unaffordable products but fun to look at! Note this wasn’t actually open on the public holiday and I had to go back the next day). I then walked back to Museumsinsel to jump on one of the many boats that take you along the river for an hour showing you sights like the Reichstag and Chancellery from the water - it was gorgeous weather and one of the few things open on the public holiday so a worthwhile exercise! After the boat ride, I grabbed a Bretzel (read - giant pretzel!) from one of the guys standing at the final stop, and walked five minutes to Strandbar Mitte, a famous bar on the River Spree which comes alive in Spring/Summer, where I’m not ashamed to say I sat drinking beer and soaking up the sun for a few hours! It has a really beautiful view of Museumsinsel, and is thoroughly recommended for an afternoon drink. Dinner that night was at NENI Berlin with my friends who arrived back in town, a really great Israeli restaurant with panoramic views of the city. Try Monkey Bar next door for a drink and the same views if you don’t want dinner.

Tuesday - a half day only before my onwards journey to Zurich, today was spent with a quick breakfast at Cafe Fleury in Mitte (a little French cafe, nice but perhaps not a must try) and some shopping given most of the shops had been closed until now! A visit back to Soho House and Bikini Berlin (a cool spot next to NENI Berlin which has pop up stores in it which change every 6 months) took up much of the morning, plus a trip back to Mitte and a stop in at Tom Shot to buy some Berlin designed and made jewellery, before an easy 20 minute taxi ride to Tegel airport and the end of a fantastic time in Berlin!


Rate the overall trip — 9/10

Rate the activity on your trip — 8/10

Rate the ease of logistics — 8/10

Value for money — 10/10

About The Traveller

Gender & Age Range
Female, 25 - 35

I’m from

My favourite trip as of late
A two week last minute vacation around Europe!

Travelling Style
Book the important stuff, but leave some flexibility in the schedule.

I like to go on the following types of trips
Beaches, boat trips, culture, food, wine, historical, city breaks, relaxing.

It’s a dealbreaker when
Accommodation is advertised as “central” but is miles away from anything!

Continent I know the best

First Last Name

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

I’m from Perth, Western Australia

My favourite trip as of late is New Zealand, solo travel in lots of nature for a soul-refresher.

My travelling style is to Book the first night, then wing it from there!

It’s a dealbreaker when I’m stuck around large groups of package tourists.

Continent I know best is Asia.

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