My Weekend in Berlin - Part 1: Planning

Autumn Larsen
Autumn Larsen
May 18, 2024

Back in March, we had a fairly long break for Easter weekend, so my friend and I decided to travel to Berlin and go sightseeing for three days! In this post, I’m going to share general tips for overnight traveling as well as some specific details of how we planned our trip to Berlin.


Before heading to Berlin, my friend and I made a list of all the places we wanted to visit while we were there. My friend then mapped the locations, noted the times they would be open (for the places that had business hours), and put together an awesome itinerary that made for a great trip with no time wasted. I highly recommend putting together an itinerary for any overnight trip to make sure you and your friends can hit up as many cool places as possible.

Three things we made sure of in our itinerary were:

  1. Not too much of the same thing on the same day. My friend loves museums, and I appreciate them as well, but I knew I would not enjoy myself if we went to three or four museums on the same day. We spaced out (and cut out) some museum visits over the days we were there to make sure we would both have fun seeing the exhibits.

2. Organizing based on location. We grouped the places we wanted to visit by where they were located in the city and planned to visit places that were close together on the same day. This made it easier to get from one place to the next, and also made sure we could visit as many places as possible, since we were cutting down on travel time between locations. 

3. Places to eat! I have a limited diet and my friend had a limited budget, so we included nearby restaurants and bakeries in our itinerary ahead of time. My friend also used Too Good To Go (, which is great for saving money on food if you’re not picky about what you get. It’s usually a cheap price for a good amount of food, so if you don’t have dietary restrictions, it’s definitely a good option for saving money (and it’s environmentally friendly)!

Finally, we did not end up following our initial itinerary the whole time we were there! Although it’s good to have an itinerary, it’s also important to be flexible and be able to change plans while you are traveling in case of unforeseen circumstances.


We booked our stay at the Hotel Nikolai Residence (, which I would recommend. It’s fairly budget-friendly, but if it seems too expensive, I would recommend looking at youth hostels in the city to stay at instead. Either way, it’s good to get a room at a hotel or hostel near a tram stop or subway station, which isn’t difficult in Berlin.

When planning trips, two good websites to find lodging are and


We took the Deutsche Bahn to Berlin, which I would recommend over a plane any day. The views are beautiful, and the aisle and seats have much more room than on your average plane. It does take longer, but it’s cheaper, more comfortable, and more environmentally friendly than flying. 

It’s even cheaper if you use the Freiburg RegioKarte to your advantage, which IES Abroad Freiburg helps you acquire when you first arrive. You can take the train out to the edge of the area that the RegioKarte covers without a ticket, then buy a ticket to travel the rest of the way to your final destination.

When we got to Berlin, we learned about the Berlin WelcomeCard (, specifically aimed at making public transportation cheaper for tourists and other short-term visitors to the city. I highly recommend getting this ticket if you visit Berlin, and checking other places you visit to see if they have something similar. The Berlin WelcomeCard lets you choose how long you want it to stay in effect (so you don’t end up paying for four days when you’re only staying for two) and gives you discounts at over 180 attractions! I promise this is not sponsored, haha, but it’s certainly a great incentive to visit.


In the second part of my Berlin Weekend series, I’ll share the places we visited and hopefully inspire you to visit them, too! Stay tuned, and auf Wiederlesen. 

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Autumn Larsen

Autumn Larsen

My name is Autumn Larsen, and I am an Environmental Studies major and German Studies minor at Mount Holyoke College, but in Spring 2024 I am studying abroad in Freiburg, Germany in the ES and Sustainability program! 

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