Sophie and I recently went to Berlin for a weekend break. It was a superb trip and I’d highly recommend going if you fancy a bit a of culture and history… or simply a LOT of fun in a friendly, creative and laid back city.
Before we went were given some top notch advice from Insider’s Edge reader Ron Kelly who kindly took the time to write in. We found his advice really useful so I’m reposting it here with his permissison:
“Just a quick tip. If you are going to be travelling all around the city I recommend getting a day ticket for the U-bahn, S-bahn and tram system. It will cost you €6-30 for the whole day for districts A + B which is one heck of a big area, or €6-80 for the whole of the city. I was there two weeks ago and we travelled all over the city for 24 hours for €6-30 each.
There are some fabulous sights to see, we went to all the usual ones, The Reichstag, Brandenburg gate, Checkpoint Charlie, The Berlin Wall memorial, The Berlin Tower as well as many other places and all for €6-30. Enjoy it…. it is a great place.
Before I forget, if you are planning to actually go inside The Reichstag then you need to get on the Internet asap as you have to book 48 hours in advance.”
Thanks Ron! Cracking tips if you’re travelling to Berlin.
It can be a bit overwhelming when you first arrive somewhere especially when it comes to knowing what to do and how to get to places. Here are the main points again with a couple of extra bits from Sophie and I:
– Get a ‘Day Ticket’ if you fancy getting around by public transport – If you’ve ever used the London Underground the ‘Day Ticket’ is the equivalent of a one day travelcard. It costs €6.30 for zones A-B and €6.80 if you want all the zones. It allows you to use any form of public transport including the S-Bahn (overground trains) and the U-Bahn (subway) which are pretty regular and spacious. You’ll find them easy enough to navigate once you get to grips with the colour coded lines. Tip: Make sure you ‘validate’ the ticket by placing it in one of the validation machines once you’ve bought it – there should be one right next to the ticket booth.
– One of the cheapest/most convienient ways to get to your hotel from the airport is by train – It’s actually very straightforward to get into town from the airport via train – not to mention cheap. If you’re arriving late at night and don’t plan on going out, just buy a single. It’s worth taking a look on a map to see which is the closest U-Bahn or S-Bahn station to your hotel beforehand so that you don’t have to spend too long at the machines (which are quite slow). Most singles form the airpot cost just 3 Euro.
– Book 48 hours in advance if you want to visit The Reichstag – The immense German parliament building is a very popular attraction and if you want to go inside you’ll need to book 48 hours in advance. You can find more details and the booking form here.
– Check out the ‘Topographie des Terrors’ museum – There are some great musuems dotted around Berlin, many of them free. Topographie des Terrors is one of them – it’s an incredible, free museum situated at the former site of the SS, Gestapo, SD and RSHA main offices. It charts the rise of Hitler and Nazism in Germany and the horror that ensued for more than 12 years.
– Eating & Drinking – Traditonal Berlin food fare includes currywurst (curried sausage), Doner Kebab (yes doner kebab!) and black pudding as well as other meaty and homely dishes. It’s worth experimenting – and we found some really excellent Thai and Vietnamese resaturants. Alcohol is reasonably priced in the city and you can buy a beer in a pub for around €2.50. Spirits are more pricey as they tend to assume you want a double unless you specify otherwise.