I may be in Paris later this year and I'm thinking about taking a side trip to Berlin. I'll only be there for a few days at most so I'd love to know what the don't miss attractions are. Would love ideas for hotels (clean and cheap are my only real requirements) and restaurants, too, if possible.
Berliner Unterwelten is very interesting. Their “Subways, Bunkers and the Cold War” tour showcases the city’s underground infrastructure along with its evolution and use during WWII, the Cold War and today. Quite fascinating!
TV Tower - When it comes to overviews of Berlin, none are quite as expansive as the Fernsehturm, or Television Tower at Alexanderplatz. Head to the viewing platform where you can look out over the city at other potential itinerary stops such Berliner Dom, Checkpoint Charlie, Charlottenburg Palace and the Sony Center.
Speaking of Sony Center - Taking in Germany's architecture is an event unto itself, the Sony Center is a great example of this. There's something to dazzle the eye at every turn and great green areas to enjoy all around.
Holocaust Memorial - The Holocaust Memorial is located just steps beyond Brandenburg Gate. Designed by Peter Eisenman, the 2711 dark granite stelae represent the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust.
Tiergarten - Abutting the Banhof Zoo, this rambling park has lakeside pathways along with many statues and memorials to be discovered.
Reichstag - My admiration of Germany's architecture is due to locales like this one. There's so much to take in that goes beyond history and current usage. Proximity to other sites is also excellent.
This is a little obvious, but the Berlin Wall. Look for a double row of square stones running throughout Berlin. These stones mark where the Berlin Wall stood until its demise in 1989. Along the path are crosses and photos memorializing those killed while trying to cross the wall.
Mentioned in this answer:
You can't go to Berlin without learning a bit about the Berlin Wall. There are many memorails and museums, but I find this location the most interesting. http://www.berliner-mauer-gedenkstaette.de/en/ It is a combo of an original site, reconstruction, memorial and documentation centre. You can also see how much the area is still recovering from the Wall, as the whole strip along Bernauer Straße is still being filled in with new buildings.
I was just in Berlin, and I loved it! I stayed in an Airbnb one bedroom apartment for 60 euros/night. It gave me a more authentic Berlin experience. Many of the hotels are in the Mitte where the room rates are more expensive and the restaurants also tend to be more expensive. As for my favorite general spots:
If you're really into art and architecture, these were my favorite art spots:
Mentioned in this answer: