Berlin sits at the heart of Germany and is the representative city of Germany. It is known as a diverse city that has everything from immigrants to free-spirited artists, young entrepreneurs, to expats, and locals. Unlike most European countries, Berlin isn’t just defined by one adjective. Berlin is attractive to tourists from all over the world because of its ability to be whatever they want it to be.
Reminders of the city’s infamous history are showcased in its two popular tourist attractions - the Berlin Wall and Berlin Palace. However, the youth of Berlin has made it their own with its many nightclubs that have made Berlin one of Europe’s most exciting destinations. Berlin is also known for its many notable festivals such as Karneval der Kulturen, a festival that celebrates diversity. Also, Berlin hosts one of the world’s biggest LGBT parades in Europe.
There are also many outdoor attractions such as Tiergarten and Viktoriapark plus one-of-a-kind museums and galleries. Berlin is truly booming in experiences and things to do, one will never be bored with the many things Berlin has to offer!
How to Get There
Berlin’s unique culture greets you the moment you land in their main airports: Berlin Tegel (Northwest) and Berlin Schoenefeld (Southeast). Both are international airports, but Schoenefeld caters to charter flights and low-budget carriers. Most international travellers are likely to arrive in Berlin Tegel.
The most common mode of transport from Tegel International Airport to the city centre is the bus. Another option would be The Jet Express line which runs every 10 to 15 minutes and takes about 45 minutes to get to the heart of the city, Alexanderplatz. It also offers a lot of easy connections to its top sites and the rest of Germany.
If you prefer private transportation, taxis are available as well as car rentals.
Meanwhile, Schonefeld Airport is located 11 miles southwest of Berlin and features a connection to S- Bahn and other regional trains. Trains are the easiest and cheapest method to get to the city centre. They run every 20 minutes and travel time takes about 40 minutes. Taxis and car rentals are available as well.
Berlin is known for its extensive public transportation system and they are all covered under the Berlin Transportation Service. A valid ticket or tourist pass is all you need to ride them all and transfer from one to another. Its transit line works day and night and gives you an offering of trains and buses to choose from. They run every 20 minutes in the daytime and on limited hours at night.
The S- Bahn is a train/subway system is a great option if you want to go on long distances in a short time. Riding this transport will allow you to go beyond the city centre. The U-Bahn is the classic subway that is more for local travel. Regular and express buses are also available and are a reliable option to go around the city. Ridesharing is also popular in Berlin as well as taxis.
Top Things to Do
One of the top attractions in Berlin is the impressive Brandenburg Gate, which is a neoclassical monument that has stood through the city’s history since the 18th century. The gate is a symbol of separation between East and West Berlin and is one of the most symbolic landmarks in Berlin.
Another historical site is the Reichstag, a place where the Parliament sits. Entrance is free of charge, but it is important to book in advance. It boasts of a glass door that represents the political transparency of the city.
The Berlin Dom, or Berlin Cathedral, is also a popular attraction. It is a Neo-Renaissance style building that was built in 1905. It is located right on Museum Island and is a must-see.
Other places to explore include the East Side Gallery Berlin, the Holocaust Memorial, and of course, you must join the walking tours to gain a better understanding of the city.
Meanwhile, get some art inspiration at the Museum Island also known as Museumsinsel Berlin. Located in the middle of Spree River, it is a complex that was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status in recent years. The museums on the island are the Pergamon Museum, the Bode Museum, the Neues Museum, Altes Museum, and the Alte Nationalgalerie.
Get a good look at the city by visiting the Berlin TV Tower, which is the highest building in the city. You can also have cocktails and dinner as well Berlin TV Tower restaurant – a fun revolving restaurant atop the TV tower.
What to Eat
Berlin is known for its unique food culture that adds to the city’s experience. It offers everything from traditional German food to interesting worldly dishes.
Make sure to try Berlin’s version of the pretzel or the breze or brezel as the locals call it. There are many ways to enjoy having this delicacy such as having it plain, with decadent chocolate, cheese, and other options. You can try the Brezel Company Berlin and Alpenstuck Backerei.
Another treat to try is the Kartoffelpuffer, which is vegetarian-friendly. It’s a pan-fried pancake that is made with grated potatoes, flour, eggs, and onions. This can be both a sweet and savory treat. This is often sold at street food stalls, cafes, and Christmas markets during the holidays.
Currywurst is also a delicacy in Germany that one can’t miss, this is one of its famed bratwurst dishes. There is even a Currywurst Museum in Berlin! It is a pork sausage seasoned with curry powder and ketchup and is often served with fries. Restaurants that are known for their Currywurst are Best Worscht, Curry 36, and Witty’s Currywurst.
Berlin is known for its techno nightlife dance scene, but they have a lot to offer for all types of party personalities as well. It’s also important to note that the party scene is mostly casual in Berlin. Places to try is Hoe_Mies, Trade, and Sunday Club.
Where to Stay
When it comes to finding a hotel in Berlin, note that it’s a huge city and its layout can be quite complex. Every neighbourhood has its vibe and has something for every kind of traveller.
If you are a first-time traveller to Berlin, the best place to stay in is in Mitte. Mitte is home to many of Berlin’s must-see tourist attractions. This is the best place for sightseeing. You can try the Hilton Berlin or even Hotel Mitte depending on your budget.
Meanwhile, artsy travellers will appreciate Friedrichshain. This neighbourhood is a great place for art lovers and creative souls and is the perfect definition of hipster. Budget hotels are littered all over this place and you can find hotels in Berlin for every budget here.
For families and big groups, head over to Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf. Aside from the family-friendly attractions and activities found here, the accommodations mostly cater to their needs.
• Purchase a pass when using Berlin’s mass transit to save money. You can choose from several day pass options.
• When riding a mode of public transport, travellers need to validate their tickets before boarding. You can validate them on various platforms and inside buses.
• A standard voltage is 230v and frequency is 50HZ and they use type F power sockets.