24-hour City Guide: Berlin, Germany

Sights to see in Berlin, Germany. Photos by Katrina Sklepowich
Sights to see in Berlin, Germany. Photos by Katrina Sklepowich

What to see and what to skip if you only have one day in Germany’s capital, Berlin

Hey wanderers!

This is your 24-hour city guide for one of my favourite German cities – Berlin! This post is a quick reference for what to see if you’re short on time – when I was in Berlin back in 2012, we really did only have two days to see everything. We spent one day visiting Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and the other day seeing all the city had to offer. Of course, my first recommendation is to extend your stay past 24 hours if possible, because this city has so many cool things to see…but if you only have a day, here’s what I recommend you check out.

IMGP4194Don’t forget to grab that hostel reservation

Berlin is relatively affordable for backpackers and travellers, and there are a lot of great options for accommodations. Just remember to book ahead – Berlin is a pretty popular tourist spot. We opted to stay in a suburb and it was amazing. Don’t be afraid to stay on the outskirts of a big city – you’ll get more exposure to local culture and have a more authentic experience. We still had excellent access to train stations and bus routes, so getting to and from the city centre and all the hot spots was no problem. Another great thing about our hostel was that it offered free walking tours. And, as you’ll have read in Kaeri’s post about Seville, walking tours are often the best way to see a city!

What to see:

Whether on a guided tour or not, here are some sights to see while you’re in the city:

IMGP4202Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor)

A historic staple, this giant and gorgeous gate is a natural meeting place and offers a great photo op. This is where our walking tour started and it really introduces you to the city and its history. Damaged during the Second World War, it’s now fully restored.

IMGP4226Checkpoint Charlie

A relic of Berlin’s tumultuous past, Checkpoint Charlie is the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East and West Germany. Decked out with retro insignia and soldiers in full dress, this army checkpoint will take you back in time. Here, you’ll learn a lot about the Wall that separated East from West, Soviet-occupied Germany from the Western Ally sector. It’s a pretty crazy story.

IMGP4214The Berlin Wall 

You can’t miss out on seeing the remnants of the Berlin Wall – it was so weird for us to see sections of the wall still intact. The deconstruction of the wall represents a defining moment in Germany’s (and the world’s) history. Although much of the tourist spots in Berlin are a reminder of the World Wars and everything that followed, the Berlin Wall, now, is more a symbol of the movement that brought down the Iron Curtain.

IMGP4213The Holocaust Memorial

Located in the centre of Berlin near the Brandenburg Gate, the  Foundation Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is a moving reminder of the human cost of the Second World War. It’s super sad, but also important to go see. The memorial consists of a Field of Stelae (the concrete blocks pictured) and an Information Centre. It also memorializes the Sinti and Roma, as well as homosexuals and others who lost their lives under the National Socialist regime.

IMGP4196Ritter Sport Bunte Schokowelt 

After experiencing Berlin’s fascinating history, you will be in need of some delicious German chocolate. Stop by Ritter Sport’s Schokowelt (Chocolate World, my friends) and make yourself a custom chocolate creation, or just stock up on hundreds of amazing chocolate squares. I can’t tell you how worth it this stop will be! We each brought home several bags of mini Ritter Sport chocolate bars – they make great gifts (and are tasty snacks whenever you need a guilt-free pick-me-up). Always finish your day on a positive!

What to Skip:

Honestly, I can’t think of anything not to see in Berlin. My best advice is to take it all in if you can. I should also mention that there are great day trips to make from Berlin, like traipsing about Schloss Charlottenburg, the largest palace in Berlin, or taking a train out to Oranienburg to visit Sachsenhausen – if you have an extra day or two, I suggest doing both.

What else do you recommend seeing in Berlin when short on time? Is there any spot you love that I missed? Comment below or send me a message on Facebook – I love hearing from you!

As you know, this travel blog has been part of a school project – let me know how I’m doing by filling out this quick survey! Thanks for your help and for checking out this post.

Until next week, stay well!
Katrina

24-hour City Guide: Seville, Spain

seville collage
Clockwise from top: the Metropol Parasol, Puente de Isabel II (bridge spanning the Guadaquivir river), a pretty building, a gorgeous lamppost outside Plaza de España, Seville Cathedral, and Plaza de España. Photos by Katrina Sklepowich

What to see and what to skip if you only have one day in the cultural capital of Spain

Hello wanderers!

This is your 24-hour city guide for what to see and what to skip when you only have 24 hours to “see it all” in my favourite city in Spain – Seville! Written by Kaeri Rempel, this guide will help you navigate this gorgeous city when you’re short on time. She mentions all of my favourite spots and has some excellent advice on where to go and what to see. Enjoy!


When planning my last trip to Europe, there were so many places we wanted to see. My cousin, Chad, wanted to visit Seville particularly because he wanted to see the “mushroom sculpture,” also known as the Metropol Parasol. This last addition to our flight schedule was well worth it! Seville was by far my favorite stop that we made.

If you only have 24 hours in Seville, I have a few recommendations:

First off – if you plan to stay the night, do your research and find a reasonable hostel. Ours had breakfast provided, as well as a few dishes in the evening. I should also mention that they served Sangria every evening!

During the day, I suggest a walking tour. Not only do you get to wander through the beautiful city, you also learn so much about its history. The tour guides try to keep it interesting and do a fantastic job. After travelling all over Europe and going on countless walking tours, the best tours I had were in Seville and Berlin. Just a reminder: the streets are all cobblestone, so make sure to wear a comfortable pair of walking shoes or sandals!

IMGP3797
Huelva Ocho tapas bar in Seville. Great flamenco performances here! Photo by Katrina Sklepowich.

After a day of walking,  stop by a local restaurant for some “tapas”. Don’t hesitate to chat with the front desk at your hostel or ask your tour guide which nearby pubs and restaurants are worth a visit. Some pubs also provide entertainment. We went to a pub just down the street from where we were staying for drinks and a flamenco show. The dancing was amazing – and so was the live music.

MetropolParasol Collage
Views from the Metropol Parasol in Seville. Photos by Katrina Sklepowich.

You cannot forget to visit the Metropol Parasol, which is claimed to be the world’s largest wooden structure. It is built above an archaeological excavation site of Roman ruins – there’s even a museum. Throughout the structure are multiple bars and restaurants. On our trip, we decided to visit the Metropol Parasol during the day and were able to appreciate the 360-degree view of the city on the terrace. While the view was spectacular during the day, I would also suggest visiting at night. I imagine the lights from the city would be enchanting.

If you have more time, visit some of the places on the tour that piqued your interest, or simply wander the city. There is nothing quite as fun as losing yourself in a new place and simply appreciating its beauty.


 

Kaeri and Katrina visiting the Metropol Parasol in 2012.
Kaeri and Katrina visiting the Metropol Parasol in 2012.

Kaeri Rempel is an elementary school educator in Winnipeg. She loves to travel and has been to many exotic places, including India and Turkey. She also participated in an exchange program in high school, living in Germany for 9 weeks. When she isn’t teaching, she’s on the field, playing soccer and ultimate frisbee. She’s also Katrina’s bestie!

What else do you recommend seeing in Seville when short on time? Is there any spot you love that we missed? Comment below or send me a message on Facebook – I love hearing from you!  Also, a big thank you to Kaeri for writing such a great post!

Until next week, stay well.
Katrina