Berlin is poor but sexy

How to spend two days in Berlin (and see it all)

Two days in Berlin in the snow, two very different walking tours. This is the best way to see Berlin’s countless historic sights plus its modern pull for millennials. By day, we did a Historic Berlin Walking tour and an Alternative Berlin Walking Tour to see the city’s street art. Both were free! We also took to the streets at night with a Berlin pub crawl.

Berlin is poor but sexy

Berlin in two days on a budget

Berlin is the perfect destination for a city break on the cheap, with budget flights from the UK, plenty of fun hostels and enough to keep you busy sightseeing for a few days without blowing all your cash. I flew to Berlin for two nights in February with the aim of seeing as much of the city as possible while spending as little of my student wages as I could.

Scotland had been blessed with relatively good weather for the time of year, and I chose to go to Germany where it was snowing. Hmm.

We stayed at Generator Hostel on lots of people’s recommendation, and got a free upgrade to a private room. Only a few stops from the airport, I would definitely recommend Generator!

Day 1: Free Walking Tour of Berlin

Brandenburg gate berlin

On the first day we did a free walking tour of Berlin, led by a very enthusiastic girl. It started at Brandenburg Gate outside the 1500 euro per night hotel that is infamous for that Micheal Jackson balcony incident, and we traipsed around the city from there, covering the Holocaust memorial, The Gendarmenmarkt, Humboldt University, the Book Burning Memorial, Berlin Cathedral, and lots of other things with German names I didn’t quite catch. It was really interesting and I learned lots of history information while standing on top of Hitler’s bunker.

berlin holocaust memorial in winter

 

Berlin Cathedral in winter

 

berlin

 

Berlin college statues

 

Outside berlin uni

Here’s a statue of a man punching a horse.

Man punching horse berlin

Berlin Nightlife

That night we did a pub craw with Canadians, drank triple vodkas and ended up at Matrix club. The Berlin nightlife is pretty much 24 hour but by 5am we were wrecked. A day trekking around in the snow had taken its toll. We got a midnight feast of Currywurst and Jagermeister – possibly the worst thing in the world. German delicacies are not delicious.

Currywurst and Jagermiester

On the way back to Generator a girl on the train started whispering to me in German. It was only when her friend, who was slowly turning green next to her, threw up everywhere that I figured out what she was trying to warn me about.

 

Day 2: The best way to see Berlin’s street art

On day two we did The Alternative Walking Tour, so we really saw both sides of Berlin. Some of the street art was unreal! We went to Kunsthaus Tacheles, an art center which the now squatting artists have been forced out of due to demolition, thanks to the city’s gentrification. The Tacheles used to be full of workshops and studios, a cinema and even a nightclub. The pictured sculpture park below closed just after I was there after Nordbank decided they could get money out of it.

Did you know that millennials are now choosing Berlin instead of overpriced London?

Tacheles Berlin

I even spotted a Banksy piece next to his rival, Robboe’s artwork.

Banksy and Robboe in Berlin

Berlin street art bicycles

Love berlin street art

Berlin alternative tour street art

Earlier that day we had bought emergency toothpaste and unknowingly brushed our teeth in the door way of the Tacheles. Bad packing skills, but at least we seemed to delight a few bemused locals.

Berlin streets

The tour ended at the Berlin Wall, then we explored the other side of the city but got cold so we went back to the hostel.

Leaping soldier Berlin wall

Save the earth Berlin wall

 Berlin wall end

That night was a bit of a write off, as we headed out at 1am when the S-Bahn stopped running then spent 5 hours lost on buses in Germany. In the snow. At 5am.

Germany is a big and scary place. It was an interesting trip but I think I’ll only go back to Berlin in the summer.

Was your experience of Berlin different to mine? Let me know whether I should come back in the sunshine in the comment sections!

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22 Comments

  1. September 23, 2015 / 4:09 pm

    Berlin is one of my fav cities! Actually I like it so much that I am considering taking German lessons! Let’s connect on Bloglovin Have a lovely day, Iga xxx

  2. September 23, 2015 / 11:34 pm

    Great read and great pictures. We loved Berlin but yes the bus system can be confusing we experienced that first hand aswell
    Cheers
    Mark

  3. Nancy
    October 2, 2015 / 4:49 pm

    Appreciate the Berlin budget tips! Great photos –

  4. October 12, 2015 / 1:43 pm

    Berlin offers visitors great value for money. One of my favourite memories involved going up into the iconic glass cupola on top of the Reichstag building. Tickets for that are free but are worth booking well in advance as the queues can get quite long if you try to get hold of them while you’re in the city

  5. October 13, 2015 / 10:36 am

    I am hoping to visit Berlin very soon! Its a great city and I hear so many good things about it! I’d quite like to do the street art tour as well…and you should definitely visit again in the sunshine as it sounds like you had a good time there 🙂 And a city is always different in different seasons 🙂

  6. October 13, 2015 / 2:48 pm

    I love the currywurst there!!! Looks like you still had a good time on a budget 🙂

  7. October 13, 2015 / 3:25 pm

    I visited Berlin once as part of a whirlwind adventure where I just got a taste of a lot of place. Now I want to go back and spend more time. This is a great post! Thanks for the inspiration.

  8. October 14, 2015 / 6:46 pm

    To be honest, most of the traveling blog site out there shows off summery sunny beaches and cities, what I love with this particular article is that you’re showing place, food and things we can do even it’s somehow cold. The biggest thing is, this is Berlin! And to visit it in a tight budget is awesome!

  9. October 16, 2015 / 1:59 pm

    Oooh I want to visit Berlin so bad 🙂 Your photos are lovely & that is so good about the room upgrade! Winning 🙂
    Simone x | The Aussie Flashpacker

  10. October 16, 2015 / 4:05 pm

    Ooh!! Lovely pics!! We skipped Berlin the last time around opting for Munich and Frankfurt for our limited stay in Germany. Seems we’ll have to pay another visit soon

  11. October 16, 2015 / 7:31 pm

    I’m loving all of the colorful street art throughout your photos! Looks like a lovely time of year to visit, and you shared some great spots I will definitely have to add to my list for when I make it to Berlin. Thanks for sharing!

  12. October 16, 2015 / 10:32 pm

    I literally can’t wait to visit Berlin. I have been to Hamburg and absolutely loved Germany, I just know I will fall in love with Berlin! We will be one quite a budget when we visit too as it will as part of our RTW so this is great to know!

  13. October 17, 2015 / 4:28 am

    Berlin is high on my list this photo along the art street are gorgeous! Hopefully to get there next year.

  14. October 17, 2015 / 11:13 am

    The street art in Berlin is the biggest reason I want to visit, and your pictures confirm that it’s very interesting.

  15. October 17, 2015 / 5:20 pm

    Awesome post and lovely photos! Been to Berlin in 2012 with 2 good friends, I must say your witty post title is spot on! The city is definitely interesting, a bit scary at times, but nonetheless has its own charm. Hope to be back soon!

  16. October 17, 2015 / 5:47 pm

    That’s my city!!! 🙂 And, yes, you need to come back in summer! Berlin is a totally different place in summer, in winter it’s just grey and cold – even I get depressed here 🙂
    And you definitely have to return to try a better currywurst! It can be tasty, too, have you tried some of the original ones, like at Curry36 or at Konnopke?

  17. October 19, 2015 / 5:08 am

    I love street art, and can’t wait to get to Berlin which is known for it. But Currywurst and Jagermeister?!? No way.

    • Dannielle Lily
      October 22, 2015 / 10:04 am

      Hahah yeah not the tastiest combination Sean!

  18. October 19, 2015 / 1:57 pm

    Love this. People always think city breaks are expensive, but this proves they don’t have to be!

    • Dannielle Lily
      October 22, 2015 / 10:03 am

      I think any trip is what you make it, regardless of budget! Thanks for your comment Hannah

  19. November 8, 2015 / 6:01 am

    The street art looks amazing. The alternative walking tour looks like my kinda thing 🙂

  20. April 21, 2016 / 8:09 am

    I would love to do that alternative walking tour. I’ve been to Berlin several times (I live in Germany just a few hours from Berlin) but I haven’t seen nearly enough of the street art for my liking.

    -Danielle