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Successful 48-hour destinations

Berlin, Germany

Demelza Birtchnell enjoys 48-hours in Berlin 
Demelza Birtchnell

“When you visit Berlin for a week-end break, you’ll wish you had more than 48 hours in Berlin….”
With over 146 million visitors annually, and growing, Berlin now ranks among the top three most popular European city breaks after London and Paris.

The city’s compact historical districts and excellent transport system, along with the relatively late opening hours of many attractions, will allow you to get a great taste of the city in a weekend. Just make sure you save some stamina for Berlin’s legendary nightlife! The Berlin Tourism Office is an invaluable resource when planning your visit. They offer valuable information on location and contact details for each of the Berlin Info stores. Nevertheless, a fantastic way for first time visitors to start their exploration of Berlin is to get hold of WelcomeCard and then take a guided tour of the city. Whether on foot, by bike, or sightseeing bus, these tours will give you an overview of Berlin’s fascinating and complex history and point out some of the cultural and architectural highlights, of which there are many!

Getting Around:

Armed with a WelcomeCard, you will find that Berlin is a haven for lovers of art, history, antiquity, and so many amazing museums. The Berlin WelcomeCard is a discount card offering unlimited travel on public transport for either 48 or 72 hours, allowing you to

breeze in and out of Berlin’s barrier-less train stations, and discounts on 130 tourist attractions.Nevertheless, the pass excludes several of Berlin’s most notable Museums, including the Pergamon and the wonderful museum of contemporary art, Hamburger Bahnhof. It is therefore recommended that culture buffs purchase the Berlin WelcomeCard Culture+ which gives all the benefits of the WelcomeCard in conjunction with a three day Berlin Museum Pass, allowing additional free access to over 70 of Berlin’s museums and galleries.

Where to stay

Hotel de Rome entrance from Bebelplatz

Berlin has a choice of around 350 hotels and guesthouses but our choice hotel is Rocco Forte’s Hotel de Rome because of its exceptional location in the historical heart of Berlin on Bebelplatz, off Unter den Linden. Hotel de Rome provides both the perfect base from which to explore the many delights of Berlin, and a welcoming place to return at the end of the day. Like each of the properties in the Rocco Forte Collection, the Hotel de Rome strikes a balance between comfort, elegance, glamour, and contemporary design.

Click here to read our full review of the hotel.

Highlights of Berlin
Allow at least a few hours on Museum Island to take in the highlights of the Pergamon, Bode Museum, Old Museum, Old National Gallery, and the New Museum which will be opening in 2009 to house the Egyptian collection.
Ascend the Reichstag, seat of Germany’s federal parliament, for sweeping views of Berlin. Allow plenty of time to queue for the free climb to the dome! An alternative viewpoint, at 203 metres, is Berlin’s landmark TV Tower.

Check Point Charlie in Berlin today

Checkpoint Charlie
Walk the line at Checkpoint Charlie to enjoy a recreation of the infamous allied checkpoint. There is a museum attached, but for a good overview, visit the adjacent free open air exhibition which has a chronology of the Wall and the political situation which spawned it, along with an examination of its impact on Berlin and its people.

Brandenburg Gate
Pose at the superbly reconstructed Brandenburg Gate to keep a souvenir of one of the most recognisable symbols of Berlin.
It is the only remaining gate of a series through which one formerly entered Berlin.

One block to its north lies the Reichstag. The gate was once the monumental termination of Unter den Linden, the renowned boulevard of linden trees which led directly to the royal residence. It was commissioned by Friedrich Wilhelm II as a sign of peace and built by Carl Gotthard Langhans from 1788 to 1791. It is today one of Europe's most famous landmarks.

Brandenburg Gate

Friedrichstadt Memorial
Visit the Memorial of the Murdered Jews of Europe in Friedrichstadt. This holocaust memorial which was designed by architect Peter Eisenman and opened in 2005, demonstrates how powerful abstraction and symbolism can be. Menashe Kadishman's installation, Fallen Leaves, in the Jewish Museum Berlin also portrays a moving expression of the loss of so many lives during the Holocaust.
Sadly, the permanent exhibitions in the Jewish Museum fail to provide a truly comprehensive and coherent interpretation, despite a collection which includes some fascinating contemporary and historical pieces.

East Side Gallery
Visit East Side Gallery, one of the longest stretches that has been preserved of the Berlin Wall, and a huge street canvass for artists then stroll down the monumental boulevard Karl Marx Allee, built between 1952 and 1960 by the German Democratic Republic as a showcase for Socialist architecture and post-war reconstruction.

Postdamer Platz
Potsdamer Platz
Admire the ambitious contemporary architecture commissioned at Potsdamer Platz to fill the huge voids of no-man’s land in Berlin post-unification. Potsdamer Platz has its own unique atmosphere: This is the place where modern architecture and a lively metropolitan ambience meet Berlin history.

Nightlife in Berlin
If nightlife is your thing, then Berlin’s streets are perfect night walks because one restaurant is next to the other. The city also has stylish lounges which are very popular to enjoy a drink before or after hurling into the nightlife. There is also clubbing, fun bars and singles parties, dancing, live music, gambling halls and adult venues.
Finally, you cannot complete your weekend break without soaking up the splendour of Stattsoper, Berlin’s grandest Opera House on Unter den Linden, adjacent to the Hotel de Rome. Originally constructed in 1743, the opera house is very much like Berlin’s notable architecture, destroyed in World War II. It was rebuilt in the 1950s to the original designs of Georg Knobelsdorff and today presents opera along with ballet and concerts. Click here for a production calendar.

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Executive Traveller 2003