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Aerial view of Berlin skyline with Spree river in summer, Germany

Cultural Treasures

With over 170 museums exploring everything from ancient artifacts to modern history, culture hounds will never experience a dull moment in Berlin. After the collapse of the Berlin Wall, artists, musicians and creatives of all types swarmed to the German capital to leave their mark. The result? A thriving art scene and city that buzz with abundant creativity. Beyond the mix of utilitarian buildings from the Communist era, the elaborate prewar architecture and groundbreaking new constructions, you will discover an endless stream of cultural fascinations.

Day

1

MORNING
  • A Walk in the Park.

    Start your day with a walk through one of the world’s largest urban parks, Tiergarten. Berlin’s rulers used to hunt pheasant and boar here, but that changed in 1833 when famed garden architect Peter Lenné turned the 520 acres into a manicured landscape for the people. 

MIDDAY
  • Traditional Fare.

    Rogacki is one of the city’s most historic eateries. Opened in 1928, the shop burned down during World War II and was rebuilt in 1955 to the version that stands today, giving a rare glimpse into the old world of West Berlin. Take your pick from a plethora of traditional German dishes, but be sure to try that smoked fish that Rogacki is famous for.

AFTERNOON
  • Berlin History 101.

    Visit the Story of Berlin for a primer on its long and eventful past. The museum uses multimedia displays and interactive installations spread over 23 rooms to tell the 800-plus years of the city’s history. 

  • Kaufhaus des Westens.

    It’s rare that shopping is infused with history, but Kaufhaus des Westens has it in spades. World War II caused its closure, but after reopening in 1950, KaDeWe became a symbol of West Berlin’s economic power. Today, more than 40,000 people visit the shopping center each day and even more come to eat — the restaurant on the sixth floor is known for its herring sandwiches. 

EVENING
  • A Quick Pick-Me-Up.

    Sip on some kaffee at Café Einstein, but much more interesting than your espresso is the story of this old building. Built in the 1870s, this former home has been a gambling den and an illegal club for SS officers and is one of the few buildings in the area to survive both wars. In 1978, it opened as a café and has been safely there since. 

  • Great Steaks, Chops and Seafood.

    Popular among visitors and locals alike, Midtown Grill offers an American-style steakhouse experience in a contemporary atmosphere. Enjoy expertly prepared steaks and chops, prepared on glowing hot charcoal, as well as craft cocktails and a curated wine list.

Day

2

MORNING
  • Sunday Market.

    On Sundays you can visit Mauerpark flea market to peruse the vendors selling everything from vintage clothes and furniture to records and antiques. While you explore, grab a cup of coffee or a bite to eat from the many food stalls or dip into one of the cafés that surround the park. 

MIDDAY
  • Welcome to Museum Island.

    Situated in the Spree River, this strip of land has five museums: Pergamon, Bode-Museum, New Museum, the Old National Gallery and the Old Museum. Be sure to do a little research beforehand so you can prioritize your art seeing. 

AFTERNOON
  • Schnitzel, Please.

    Sit down for a home-style German lunch at Mutter Hoppe. Potato soup sausages, boiled potatoes, sauerkraut, schnitzel — it’s all here. And don’t forget to finish it off with an apfelstrudel (if you have room for it). 

  • Get Squared Away.

    Spend the rest of the afternoon taking in the beauty of Gendarmenmarkt. This square is known for the way its three buildings — the French Cathedral, Concert Hall and German Church — stand in perfect architectural harmony. In summer orchestras play free concerts, and in winter the area turns into a winter wonderland. 

EVENING
  • An Old Favorite.

    Zur Letzten Instanz holds the impressive title of being Berlin’s oldest restaurant, serving up sausages and chopped herring since 1621. The historic restaurant has played host to notable patrons like Napoleon and Beethoven.

  • Curtain Call.

    Cocktail lovers will delight in the offerings at The Curtain Club, a place for connoisseurs, located at The Ritz-Carlton, Berlin: expressive flavors, fine ingredients and precious essences. Settle into a plush leather armchair and enjoy a creative selection of fragrant cocktail creations, along with the genteel ambiance of Berlin’s most vibrant room.

Day

3

MORNING
  • But First, Coffee.

    Berliners take their coffee seriously, and the Visit Coffee Roastery is no exception. Using high-quality beans and the best roasting methods, you can really taste the quality in every sip. Grab a pastry and a to-go cup to start your day. 

MIDDAY
  • Checkpoint Charlie.

    This Berlin Wall checkpoint was the only official crossing point for Allied troops and foreigners between East and West Berlin. The wall came down in 1989, but a museum stands in Checkpoint Charlie’s former location as an important reminder of the past. 

AFTERNOON
  • Explore the Reichstag.

    This mighty parliament building is not only an architectural gem but also a building steeped in history. After a self-guided tour, take the elevator to the top for 360-degree views through its iconic glass dome. 

  • Discover Berlin-Based Art.

    Now that you have a feel for the deep history of Berlin, switch gears to something more modern with a visit to Berlinische Galerie, a newer museum that collects art created in Berlin from 1870 to present day. Displaying paintings, sculptures, photography and architecture from local artists, the museum is an ode to the amazing creative talent the city possesses. 

EVENING
  • A Dinner Spree.

    Treat yourself to a final dinner at Balthazar am Spreeufer 2. Situated alongside the Spree River, this Michelin-recommended restaurant elevates traditional German food into something a little more delicate and refined. You’ve probably never tasted schnitzel like this. 

  • Berlin State Opera.

    Nearly burnt to the ground in 1843 and severely damaged during World War II, Berlin State Opera has gone through a lot since its inaugural performance in 1742. Today, it’s still regarded as one of the top opera houses in the world, with year-round performances featuring highly regarded singers and conductors.