Berlin, Germany’s capital offers a lot to a variety of travellers. It’s cheap, it’s easy to get around in at any time of the day and the city’s history practically jumps out at you without the need to do serious research. Here’s what I thought of Berlin and my tips to making the most of it.
Getting around Berlin is super easy, there’s the choice of the extensive bus network, S-Bahn (overland city train) or U-Bahn, Berlin’s well-developed underground network. Here are my tips for the U-Bahn:
- As with the rest of German cities, there are no booms stopping you from getting on trains without a ticket, but there are regular ticket-checks by conductors on the train, so make sure you buy one, the fine is hefty!
- The U-Bahn runs from 04:30 till 00:30, Mondays till Thursdays and then from 04:30 on Fridays continuously throughout the weekend until 00:30 on Monday morning again, meaning it’s 24 hours a day during that time! So going out on the weekend is a dream.
- During the late-night trains, keep to full carriages and be vigilant of drunk people – try to steer clear and not engage them.
Stuff to see in Berlin
- The Bundestag, the German Parliament building gets very busy during the day, get there early to ensure you don’t have to queue too long – first tours start at 10:30am (Bundestag U-Bahn station). NB: You must register to visit in order to gain entry.
- The Wall is synonymous with the city of Berlin, very little of it remains today, in most places it is only marked by a line scored in the ground or a line of different paving stones. I recommend visiting the bustling, modern square of Potsdamer Platz, it has a small memorial with remnants of the wall and is the site of one of the earliest breachings of the wall in 1989. (Potsdamer Platz U-Bahn Station)
- Nearby Potsdamer Platz are a number of Architectural masterpieces like the striking Sony Centre, Deutsche Bahn Building and the Modernist Berlin Philharmonic building.
- The Brandenberg Gate is well worth a visit for snapping those iconic photos, nearby is Holocaust memorial made of black granite slabs and you’re just across the road from the mammoth “Tiergarten”, Berlin’s own Central Park where you can completely escape the noise of the city and be amongst nature. (Brandenburgertor U-Bahn Station)
- Make sure you visit the Eastern side of the city, that which was “behind the wall”. I recommend visiting Alexander Platz as the best “taste” of life there with its brutal cold-war era architecture. Nearby is the extremely hard to miss Fernsehturm, Berlin’s TV Tower with it’s ball-shaped viewing deck, you can go up the 200m lift and enjoy views of the entire city – I recommend doing it in the evening to enjoy the city lights!
Cheap flights to Berlin
Travelstart’s website is a great comparison tool allowing you to check the prices of multiple airlines for the cheapest flights to Berlin! You can use the hotel booking engine to find the best prices on hotels too. Payment for flights can be made conveniently via credit card, electronic transfer, cash deposit and debit card at your local bank too!