Berlin 48 Hours

48 hours in the German capital Berlin, including travel time, with 3 under 4 years old, 6 adults and one working cell phone. Let the games Begin!

Berlin|Party of 9      

The road to Berlin. The whole family visited for Christmas; travelling 6200 km for an exorbitant amount of money. This increased the population of my house from four to nine for 7 days, I was determined to make it special. Our schedule gave us 3 days to visit a city to include an early morning train and an overnight stay, then day trips and Christmas at home.

The chaos started 6 months prior when we compared renting a van (there were 9 of us, including 3 kids), flying, or taking the train. We hadn’t even decided on a city however there was a short list Berlin, Munich, or Dresden. When the time, came we decided the German capital Berlin would be something to see at Christmas. Also, our group size made the train our best option for transit. After accounting for arriving early, possible delays, and picking up luggage, we decided that flying would take just as long but cost twice as much.

    2015-12-21 09.02.07 7:15 am train to Berlin. We wanted to be there as early as possible so we could tour for the rest of the afternoon. Being such an early time, we were in luck and the train was at half capacity. I purchased our tickets 3 months in advance in order to take advantage of the large group discount, and the option of having our seats together. The children’s cabin was not available for a group of our size unless the children sat on our laps the for the 5 hour ride, no thank you! In hindsight, the cabin would have been a better option for comfort. The train station was 3 stops and a 10 min walk from the apartment in Berlin. They were in the process of building this metro line when we arrived and 3 stops was as far as the train went. Next year it will cross the city and eventually go all the way to the apartment, though the walk was nice after sitting on the train all morning.

Accommodations

We used Booking.com to find an apartment at Potsdamer Platz Brandendburg Gate. This apartment was amazing. It was smack in the middle of what we wanted to do, had a nice enough kitchen, grocery store on the main floor, bus stop at the front door and had 3 separate bedrooms. Booking this 6 months in advance had its perks as well, we spent 2 nights and it cost use 750 euro in total. I looked while we were there, the next few days were still available and they were selling for 750 euro per night. We left our luggage with reception and the Berlin adventure began.

Points of Interest | Markets / Cathedrals

Day 1

We started our trek at Potsdamer platz . Grabbed some lunch, checked out the Mall of Berlin for a few minutes and got our bearings. Malls are not common in Europe, they prefer traditional downtown shops.

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Checkpoint Charlie was a short walk in the direction of the Christmas market so this was our next stop. There is a museum but it was a little too expensive for 9 people so we just walked the outside portion and flirted with the guards.

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WeihnachtsZauber genarmenarkt was next. I had heard great things and we were not disappointed. The beautiful Neue Kirche (Dom) cathedral behind it, with water feature in the centre, and amazing live music made it feel magical. We even caught the kids dancing at one point, but of course they stopped as soon as the cameras where rolling. Hubby and I were happy to eat crepes / bratwurst and drink gluwhein in our new souvenir mugs.

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Also see: The many markets explored

Deutscher dom, Franzosischer dom, and Bebelplatz were next. We were walking the circle, heading towards Alexanderplatz before heading back to the hotel. Time escaped us, and the sun set earlier than it does in Canada so it was getting dark by 4 pm.

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We decided that the Berlin Cathedral was going to be our last stop and find our way back to the hotel to make dinner. The bus was down the street; but a giant wine store was between us and the stop so of course we went inside. We did not make it into the Cathedral either, 10 euro per person was a little much. We stuck to free admission sites and cathedrals that accept donations.
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Monuments | Christmas Markets

Day 2

Next day, we walked towards the Brandenburg gate, going through the Holocaust Memorial along the way. The Gate was not as busy as we had expected, then again, it was only 9 am.

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We walked the whole stretch of road to get to the Mikolaiviertel Christmas market, Alexanderplatz  market. It was a long road and we didn’t see much that was a MUST on our list. If I could do it again, we would have taken the bus. Either way, we made it to the markets, and revisited the Cathedral during daylight. 
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Also see: Tips for exploring Christmas Markets

We did smarten up this time and took the bus towards the Victory column and Bismark – nationaldenkmal. We didn’t stay long, and grabbed a train towards the Hard Rock cafe for a late lunch/early dinner. We had eaten enough at the two markets that 3 pm was a good time to stop. For those of you that have been following us for the past 2 years, Hard Rock is our thing; we have a mug from each city we have visited (that offers Hard Rock Cafe), and the little dude has come to call it the “Rock and Roll restaurant”. Food was nice, kids were itching to walk some more and it was getting dark when we walked out.

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Before it got too dark, we made our way to the Kaiser Wilhelm memorial church – or the blue church, and market. While the inside was small, it was beautiful. Most of it was badly damaged during the war and parts have been protected with Plexiglas.

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We grabbed another bus and headed back to the apartment, tomorrow was our journey home. Potsdamer market at the Mall of Berlin  was very busy, but we later found out why. Not only was there a standard Christmas market, but the LGBT market was next to it, and the mall was putting on a performance. We have no idea what was said, but it was beautiful and the kids enjoyed it.

Travel Day | Morning Museum

Day 3

The next morning was travel day. We decided to visit the Museum fur Naturkunde to drain some kid energy. Dinosaurs and the solar system, what could go wrong. We went to the train station, found a locker for our luggage and walked down the street to the museum. Did a little tour, had snacks and good times, and made sure to walk back in time to have lunch before jumping on the train.

 

Train home was an interesting adventure. It was a 2 pm train. We had 2 delays due to mechanical failure and when it finally arrived, it was backwards. The economy was fully booked, and it had lots of kids… 1st class was empty, and you can’t upgrade once on the train. Note to self – first class or a different time.

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Since we were 9 people, including 3 children, and half had just flown 6200 km to visit us, strollers were needed. We brought a Bob Revolution SE single stroller, also we brought the Thule Cougar 2 double stroller. The Thule is slightly wider than the Bob but folds down flat. It fits nicely through an elevator door so we left it in the entrance of the apartment; perfect!

Summation

  • Very stroller friendly
  • Cost; 2 sets of bus tickets, and museum entrance fee
  • Train 116 euro each (kids under 6 free)
  • Apartment; 2 nights, 750 euro for 3 beds and two couches

 

Other points of interest (If we had the time)

  • Schloss Charlottenburg
  • Berlin Zoo
  • Any museum!

For more information on the gear we wear during cold-weather vacations, check out a recent post on the Proper Gear to wear in a European Winter. 

Plan Your Trip – Stay and see everything

Accommodations

  • Booking.com 1,136,997 properties worldwide. Including 581,306 holiday rentals in 105,263 destinations in 225 countries and territories

Flights

  • Skyscanner.com compares millions of flights to find you the cheapest deal, fast. Fly for less with Skyscanner !

Car Hire

  • Blacklane.com Take your time and relax. Airport pickups include 60 minutes of free wait time, and all other pickups include a free 15 minutes. Limousine Service !
  • Rentalcars.com Working with over 800 companies in 167 countries, Rental Cars will find the right car in the right place, at the right price. Major brands include Hertz, Avis, Alamo, and Europcar.

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48 hours in the German capital Berlin, including travel time, with 3 under 4 years old, 6 adults and one working cell phone. Let the games Begin! 48 hours in the German capital Berlin, including travel time, with 3 under 4 years old, 6 adults and one working cell phone. Let the games Begin!

 

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Questions or Comments? Join the conversation below.

 

By | 2017-07-23T15:37:50+00:00 June 26th, 2016|Germany|

19 Comments

  1. Epepa June 28, 2016 at 11:56 am - Reply

    Christmas Markets are lovely! If you haven’t seen that ones in Vienna, I suggest you to do it! On Karlsplatz for example there are animals like sheep, goats and little piglets. Kids will love this! I have never been to Berlin, only passing this city when I was driving to Hannover.

  2. Sheri June 28, 2016 at 2:06 pm - Reply

    I love Berlin and there is so much to do and see there! Always an adventure for me. I completely disagree with the statement that malls are not common in Europe. There are thousands of them all over Europe. Interested to know how you come to that conclusion. A shocking statement for me to read as I lived in Austria and have traveled all over Europe.

    • Christine Leger June 28, 2016 at 6:45 pm - Reply

      I have been to a fair share and I have seen arcades and strip malls, but not too many American-Style Shopping malls. Just something one of the locals told me. I never put much thought into it

  3. Rashmi&Chalukya June 29, 2016 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    Ahh.. Everytime I see a post on Berlin am fascinated bu its architecture and I regret I could not make to visit it during my Germany trip. Your pictures and Itineraries are fantastic. Thanks for sharing the details.

  4. Jen Morrow June 29, 2016 at 8:16 pm - Reply

    I love the Christmas markets in Germany! This really makes me want to go back soon.

  5. JONA | BACKPACKING WITH A BOOK June 30, 2016 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    What a detail itinerary, something I could not do myself. Haven’t traveled with a family. It must be fun and crazy at the same time! If there is one thing I’m looking forward to is relishing the architecture and museums!

  6. Blair Villanueva July 1, 2016 at 11:01 am - Reply

    Glad that your kids love and enjoyed your long trip! And I really like how you detailed your trip – very helpful

  7. Liana July 1, 2016 at 3:45 pm - Reply

    As for me, Berlin has been one of those highlight. I’ve never been found of the idea to go to Germany; but this feeling disappeared when I set a foot there. So many things to do. I guess enduring such a long trip worth it and I’m so glad your kids enjoyed it! They’re so lucky to have parents traveling with them!

  8. Subhadrika Sen July 1, 2016 at 4:56 pm - Reply

    this was a great plan for a short term visit. I must say I envy you. you got the chance to see the xmas markets . German markets are the best . I saw the Manchester Markets but hope one day i get to see the German markets too.

  9. Star Lengas July 1, 2016 at 11:49 pm - Reply

    Berlin is one of my favorite cities and reading your post brought back so many memories! When I lived in Germany, I rarely saw malls either, just lots of shops — I kinda prefer that vs how we do it in America. Hmmm, now I want currywurst and cherrybier!

  10. Lance July 2, 2016 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    Berlin has always been one of my favorite cities in Europe. The sightseeing there is endless. Would love to go back there on a long weekend to experience their Christmas market.

  11. Stella the Travelerette July 2, 2016 at 9:55 pm - Reply

    I had a great time when I was in Berlin too! I did most of these things except for the Christmas markets because I was there over the summer.

  12. Kat July 3, 2016 at 5:57 am - Reply

    Reading your post and the comments it seems as Berlin is a very interesting city to visit for sightseeing. Now I’m also looking forward to seeing its cathedrals and museums and know what people like about its Christmas markets.

  13. Ana July 3, 2016 at 6:24 am - Reply

    I have never visited Berlin but would love to visit someday. Thanks for sharing this post with us. I enjoyed reading it and your pictures are Beautiful!

  14. Andra July 3, 2016 at 11:30 am - Reply

    I think that Christmas is a great period to travel in Europe. There are so many markets to visit. And Berlin is definitely one the highlights.

  15. Voyager July 3, 2016 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    Lovely post, you have packed so many things into 48 hours, it is surely a great experience with family and there is something for everyone. Personally I would prefer the museums and a walk in the elegant city over everything else.

  16. Tamshuk July 4, 2016 at 5:48 am - Reply

    Beautiful time you’ve had with family in Berlin. The city itself is so beautiful with fascinating architecture. And of course the Christmas markets are so lively there.

  17. Mridul Pareek July 4, 2016 at 11:43 am - Reply

    I would love to visit Berlin after reading this post. The city seems to be filled up with joy and numerous markets looks so lively.

  18. top 10 germany May 15, 2017 at 6:07 am - Reply

    Greetings! I’ve been following your website for a while now and
    finally got the courage to go ahead and give you a shout out from Dallas Tx!
    Just wanted to tell you keep up the great job!

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