24 hours in Berlin
Written by Nadja Sayej Illustration by Patrick Hruby
Berlin is much more than the wall that divided it 40 years ago.
Since reunification in 1989, Germany’s capital has gained a reputation as the ‘New York of Europe’. In other words, it is drenched in cosy bars and warehouse clubs. Even if you’re an early bird (rare in this city), there are a ton of other curiosities that line the lively streets. From cute cafés to public park karaoke, Berlin is a cosmopolitan culture capital. Home to a biannual fashion week, the infamous Berlinale Film Festival, over 2,000 galleries, and 200 museums, there are pockets of activity from Charlottenburg to Friedrichshain. Find countless ways to spend your days in this sprawling, architecturally diverse city filled with neoclassical masterpieces with minimal touches, much of it reconstructed after the Second World War. The largest city in Germany, with a population of 4.5 million, one-third of Berlin is covered in leafy parks, gardens, and lakes. You’ll find the noodle-shaped Spree river, the world’s first postal museum, and tasty local treats.
Like Copenhagen, Berlin is a bike-friendly city with many safe bike lanes. Rent a bike from local shops in downtown Mitte, or score second-hand wheels at flea markets.
U- & S-bahn
Get a colour-coded metro map of the Berlin U-Bahn (subway) and S-Bahn (train) routes connect throughout 173 stations. There are trams and buses 24 hours on weekends.
Berlin’s taxis are fast for big trips, and they are the quickest way to get from one sprawling neighbourhood to the next.
Berlin is a big city with many neighbourhoods, including Mitte, Kreuzberg, and Prenzlauer Berg. It’s best to pick one hood to start with and wander.