Berlin Travel Guide | 4 Days in the German Capital
*POST UPDATED JANUARY 2022.
Hello, sweet friends! Welcome to our very first travel piece of the decade: Berlin Travel Guide | 4 Days in the German Capital! It took me a long while to finish off & perfect, but I hope you’ll agree with me when I say that it’s a goodie.
This guide is all about one of my favourite German cities, Berlin! I absolutely adore Berlin and have visited the city a whole bunch of times over the years. I’m excited to finally get to share some of my recommendations & knowledge with you! There’s an overwhelming amount of things to do in Berlin history/food/drink-wise, and while 4 days certainly isn’t enough time to get around to doing everything, it’s the perfect amount to whet your appetite for the city. I’ve never known anyone to visit Berlin just once!
First things first: Berlin is quite a large city & is separated into several different districts. My Berlin travel guide focuses largely on my favourite district: Mitte. Literally the German word for ‘middle’, Mitte is ideally located & has a large array of restaurants, bars, attractions etc. It’s super easy to walk between most of the places on this list, but there are a lot of public transport options readily available for those few places further afield.
Below is a comprehensive list of everything you might need for 4 days in Berlin: where to stay / where to have coffee / where to brunch / where to eat dinner / where to stop for beer / where to go for cocktails / paid attractions / free attractions. It’s a whopper of a guide & it’s filled with pretty much everywhere I know & love in the city.
WHERE TO STAY in berlin
Monbijou Berlin // the most adorable boutique hotel! Upon an early arrival at the hotel we were upgraded to a suite with a view of the Berliner Dom, so I have only great things to say about the place. The staff are lovely and helpful, the hotel is beautifully furnished, and the location is smack bam in the middle of everything – it is the ideal base for making your way around! Added bonus: there’s a beautiful rooftop terrace! Address: Monbijoupl. 1, 10178 Berlin, Germany
Leonardo Hotel Berlin Mitte // for the more budget conscious traveler, this is another really great hotel! The location is perfect – just a little way down the river from the Monbijou – the staff are lovely & their triple rooms are extra spacious. Address: Bertolt-Brecht-Platz 4, 10117 Berlin, Germany
WHERE TO HAVE COFFEE & PASTRIES in berlin
Father Carpenter // my favourite coffee place in Berlin, located in the most beautiful courtyard area. If you need a pastry/cake to go with your coffee: the croissants are extra flaky & they make a mean espresso cheesecake. See also: where to brunch, below. Address: Münzstraße 21, 10178 Berlin, Germany
Café Neundrei // an adorable little cafe with a cute neon sign outside, right next to the Monbijou hotel. The coffee was delicious, the croissants were so buttery, the place was so cute – we went back every morning! Address: Monbijoupl. 2, 10178 Berlin, Germany
The Barn // a Berlin institution, & it’s easy to see why: the coffee is so smooth & luscious. A definite must visit. Don’t miss: a really very good PB&J sandwich cookie. Address: Neue Schönhauser Str. 12, 10178 Berlin, Germany
Five Elephant // pretty great coffee, and their signature cheesecake ain’t bad either! Be sure to get there early, as the lightly spiced bake sells out pretty early. Address: Alte Schönhauser Str. 14, 10119 Berlin, Germany
Distrikt // worn leather couches, wooden touches, exposed brick walls etc., a cute little café that has a well-earned hipster vibe. The coffee is strong, perfect for the long day of tourist-ing ahead, and they offer a limited but good brunch menu! Address: Bergstraße 68, 10115 Berlin, Germany
WHERE TO BRUNCH in berlin
Silo // amazing café on the east side! The offering here is some of the most delicious & adventurous I’ve seen in the city. I devoured an ‘nduja baked egg dish with labneh & a side of crusty sourdough that I still dream of to this day. Added bonus: their iced coffees really hit the spot, & their mimosas are perfection. Warning: be prepared to wait – we waited 30 minutes for a table, but there were others waiting for over an hour & a half! A must-visit. Address: Gabriel-Max-Straße 4, 10245 Berlin, Germany
Factory Girl // a close second to Silo. A real hipster kind of place – but where in Berlin isn’t? – with an amazing menu. I branched out & went for their Pueblo sandwich, which was stuffed with avocado, tomatoes, halloumi and bacon; it was ridiculously good. The portions are massive, and it’s surprisingly great value for Berlin. A must-visit. Address: Auguststraße 29c, 10119 Berlin, Germany
Father Carpenter // come for the coffee, stay for the brunch! Boyfriend had a fancy baked french toast dish, which was honestly a work of art, and I opted for the pork eggs benedict, which I ate every single bite of. Added bonus: the staff are super lovely and their iced coffees are so refreshing! See also: where to have coffee, above. Address: Münzstraße 21, 10178 Berlin, Germany
House of Small Wonder // an accidental, quirky find that was really quite solid. The menu is slightly random – we ordered: eggs SSU with a side of potato gratin / croissant baked French toast / taco fried rice – but we all adored what we got. Don’t miss: they serve iced earl grey tea & it’s every bit as good as it sounds. Added bonus: HoSW has an extremely instagram-able entrance way, just sayin’. Address: Auguststraße 11-13, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Commonground // great brunch, okay-ish service. I feasted on a poached egg with whipped goats cheese & mushrooms dish, which was really very good, and if the service were better I’d probably go back again. See also: where to have cocktails, below. Address: Rosenthaler Str. 1, 10119 Berlin, Germany. *2022 update: closed down!
WHERE TO EAT DINNER in berlin
Nice / semi-fancy restaurants
Zur Letzen Instanz // hands down our favourite restaurant in Berlin. It dates from 1621, and Napoleon ate there – need I say more? The place is so traditional & the food is so amazing that I literally smile whenever I think of it. We can vouch for the giant pork knuckle, the pork meatballs and the fried potatoes with bacon. It’s hearty, but it is so worth the meat sweats. If we could have eaten here every single one of our 4 days in Berlin, we 100% would have. Don’t miss: the pork knuckle & fried potato side. A must-visit. Address: Waisenstraße 14-16, 10179 Berlin, Germany
Lokal // the restaurant of my dreams. One extra large room with big windows, wild flowers on the tables, low lighting with loads of candles, rustic wooden tables.. you get the picture. An extremely inventive menu with a huge focus on seasonal food. We ordered: roast fawn with a side of potato gratin / beef tenderloin / deep fried pork brain with scallops, roe, and pork crackling. For dessert we shared tomato & basil ice cream with foam of condensed milk. Everything was impeccable. Address: Linienstraße 160, 10115 Berlin, Germany
Zur Gerichtslaube // a charming, traditional restaurant in the Nikolaiviertel. We were seated in an elegant old room with beautiful vintage windows. Added bonus: the schnitzel was good & crispy! Address: Poststraße 28, 10178 Berlin, Germany
The Bird // a really very good burger place, with really quite terrible service. We loved everything about the food we ordered – the burgers are juicy double patties, the wings are good & seriously spicy, the fries are great, the beer is ice cold – but none of that matters because the attitudes of the staff truly marred our experience there; such a shame. Address: Am Falkpl. 5, 10437 Berlin, Germany
Chicago Williams BBQ // conveniently close to Leonardo Hotel Mitte. A casual American style BBQ place with communal tables and overloaded trays of food. We devoured the BBQ ribs, a pulled pork sandwich, BBQ chicken & huge sides of coleslaw + gravy mash. Address: Hannoversche Str. 2 Berlin, 10115. *2022 update: Chicago Williams BBQ seem to have closed this location and now are only located at Marburger Str. 16, 10789 Berlin, Germany
Chicken Buzz // a chicken place with an Asian twang & a great menu. The chicken broth, skewers, burgers etc. were all delicious, but the real show-stealer was a side of fried chicken skin! I know it sounds weird, but I swear it is divine. Added bonus: this is for the budget conscious among us – it’s great value! Address: 71, Rosenthaler Str. 71, 10119 Berlin, Germany
WHERE TO DRINK BEER in berlin
Zum Nussbaum // our favourite place for beer in the city! Located in the Nikolaiviertel, stopping in for a drink was like stepping back in time – the place hasn’t changed at all since it opened! There was a casual, old school kind of set up that we loved. Note: we didn’t get a chance to eat here, but apparently it’s great for food. Address: Am Nußbaum 3, 10178 Berlin, Germany
Hofbrau Berlin // our deep seeded love of Hofbrau knows no bounds, so of course we sought it out in Berlin. Centrally located near Alexanderplatz, this is almost an exact replica of the famous beer hall in Munich. The beer is great & the pretzels are salty, what more could you want? Added bonus: there’s a branded photoautomat inside that’s equal parts fun to use & an adorable keepsake. Address: Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 30, 10178 Berlin, Germany
Weihenstephaner Berlin // one of our favourite beers ever. We enjoyed a couple of delicious ½ litres & feasted on some traditional German food here – currywurst / pretzels / grilled sausages / saurkraut – & all of the above was ruined slightly by the extremely rude staff; you’ve been warned. Address: Neue Promenade 5, 10178 Berlin, Germany
WHERE TO GO FOR WINE & COCKTAILS in berlin
The Coven // the best cocktail bar we’ve ever been to, ever. Literally across the road from the Monbijou, we stopped in one night because the place was hopping and loved it so much we went back every night after! The staff are super lovely & the cocktails are such good value – not to mention delicious! We sampled more than a few of their old fashioned & margarita cocktails, both of which were perfect every. single. time. A must-visit. Address: Kleine Präsidentenstraße 3, 10178 Berlin, Germany
Muret La Barba // a cute little Italian wine bar with bottles upon bottles lining the walls. We actually broke the rules & opted for a couple of Aperol spritzes during our visit, but I’ll definitely pop back in for a glass of wine next time! Address: Rosenthaler Str. 61, 10119 Berlin, Germany
Commonground // much better for cocktails than for brunch! A very easy-going, casual hipster vibe at night. We sampled several drinks – margarita, berry daiquiri, Aperol spritz, red wine sangria, and a gin contraption – & all were delicious. See also: where to brunch, above. Address: Rosenthaler Str. 1, 10119 Berlin, Germany. *2022 update: closed down!
Roof Terrace @ Monbijou Hotel // I’m a sucker for a good roof terrace, and this one is perfect! There are big shady canopies covering huge sofas for lounging all over. The views are pretty great – the TV Tower in one direction & the Dom in the other. Of our 4 days in Berlin, we didn’t let one day pass without stopped by here. See also: where to stay, above. Address: Monbijoupl. 1, 10178 Berlin, Germany
WHAT TO SEE & DO IN BERLIN
Pergamon Museum // forever my favourite museum, possibly anywhere. The Pergamon Altar is so large that it honestly makes you forget that you’re already inside a building, and the Ishtar Gate to Babylon is just so gawp-worthy. If you visit only one paid attraction during your time in the city, please let it be this one. Added bonus: the Pergamon is located on Museuminsel – a UNESCO World Heritage Site! A must-visit. Address: Bodestraße 1-3, 10178 Berlin, Germany
River Cruise // conveniently starting/ending across the way from Leonardo Hotel Mitte, this is a lovely way to spend an hour: cruising along the river listening to a guide point out the main sights. Added bonus: there’s a bar service on board, so we were able to indulge in a beer while we learned – win win! Address: Reichstagufer, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Nikolaiviertel // the old quarter of the city. Honestly, wandering through the olden time streets is like nothing else in Berlin. Definitely worth a visit. Don’t miss: a beer in Zum Nussbaum and dinner in Zur Gerichtslaube, more info on both above.
Memorial for the Murdered Jews of Europe // a huge open air memorial right in the city centre. An extremely disorienting & powerful experience no matter how many times you see it. A must-visit. Address: Cora-Berliner-Straße 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Reichstag Dome // free to visit, but pre-booking is required. The vastness of the building never fails to amaze me, & visiting the Dome is a great way to see the city from above. A must-visit. Address: Platz der Republik 1, 11011 Berlin, Germany
East Side Gallery // a long strip of murals painted directly onto the remnants of the Berlin Wall. Address: Mühlenstraße 3-100, 10243 Berlin, Germany
Neue Wache // my favourite memorial in the city, for the victims of war & dictatorship. So simple and yet so effective. Address: Unter den Linden 4, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Drink along the riverbank // a very Berlin thing to do. Buy some beer in a local newsagent, ask them to open it, & walk along the Spree to find a nice spot to sit. Alternatively, stop at one of the bars along the river – we stopped at Ampelmann one day for a few glasses of rosé. A must-do.
That’s all for today, friends. I hope my Berlin travel guide will come in handy if you’re planning your own trip to the German capital – I really tried to cram in as much as possible!
Until next time,