Even a half-day layover in Berlin is long enough to enjoy one of my favorite cities in Europe.
I first fell in love with Berlin in 2006, the first time I visited the city. It’s an amazing city with a rich history, beautiful architecture, and great food. While the largest German city by far, it is still a very walkable city.
I arrived into Berlin about 11:00 AM from Athens and had a connection to Copenhagen at 7:00PM, giving me about eight hours on the ground.
After spending the first couple hours working in the Lufthansa Lounge, I decided to head into town at about 1:00PM. An express bus departing every 10-15 minutes from Tegel airport makes it quite easy to get into the heart of Berlin quickly.
What to do? There are so many possibilities. I considered visiting the STASI museum, something I’ve wanted to do for years and a place that takes on greater meaning after watching the Cold War espionage series Deutschland 83. There was even a docent-lead tour available. But I decided to save that visit for a day in which I had more time.
Then I thought about checking out progress on Brandenburg Airport. Not only would it make for an interesting story, but I am genuinely curious on what is going on with this airport project, now nearly a decade late.
But ultimately I just decided to go on a long walk through the Tiergarten, ending up at the Brandenburg Gate and Bundestag (parliament).
Hotel Adalon, the green roofed building above, offers excellent coffee. I ate at the Kempinski Adlon during my first trip to Berlin and still have fond memories of it.
And that was it. I took the subway to the central train station then returned to the airport where I resumed my work.
You can see a lot of Berlin in even a few hours. I am so glad I left the airport and got some fresh air. Berlin remains one of my favorite cities in the world. Even if you just go for a long walk, it is worth the effort.