Berlin – what to do and how to get around Germany’s 24 hour capital

berlin at night

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

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!

Our Readers Comments

  1. everybody wants to visit Berlin.its an amazing and awesome city to visit.technically Berlin developed a lot. we need a guide and good time to come here.thanks for your support.

  2. Hi Nick,

    Help me out please. I want to travel to Germany I already made an appointment to aplly for a visa on the 1st and I am planning to live mid September my age doesnt allow me to get a work visa and I am intending to get some jobs over there is it possible to do that while may be they give me a schengen visa, anyway what is schengen visa?

    Secondly I also have intentions of going to Malaysia TEFL but now I am scared of not getting a visa for one of the two, and end not getting one altogether, is it possible to apply for 2 different visas/

    • Hi Noxx, thanks for getting in touch. Generally, it is not permitted for you to work in the EU (Europe) without a work permit. You may be able to get a job, but companies are often reluctant to do that as they can be fined heavily for employing someone who does not have the right to work there. You can always try but I don’t recommend it and wouldn’t do it myself as you run the risk of being deported and not allowed into Europe again.

      The Schengen visa is a single visa which allows you access to all the participating European states, these participating states are known as the Schengen states, they include a wide range of countries like Portugal, Spain, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, Greece, Czech Republic, Poland and more. You apply through the country you’re spending the longest time in, but so long as you get a multiple entry visa, you can travel all over Europe during the duration of your visa.

      About Malaysia, this is a completely different visa as Malaysia isn’t part of the Schengen states, it’s almost on the other side of the world in Asia. The visa you’ll be getting to do a TEFL also is very different from a regular tourist visa, it allows you to work in the field of teaching English in the country and earn money there. As far as I am aware, you not getting a visa for Germany shouldn’t influence you getting a visa for Malaysia, this may change though. Hope this helps 🙂

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