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From the heady days of the Weimar Republic to being the centre of the Third Reich, Berlin was then plunged into darkness once again as the shadow of the Wall dominated the divided city.

Nowadays, however, it's one of the trendiest cities in Europe: from urban beaches to beer gardens, via drag acts, brothels, and world-class museums, Berlin is a heady destination. With a low crime rate and plenty of alternative culture, you won't be stuck for entertainment or day trips in Berlin. The city's two airports are both very close to town.

Why visit Berlin?

  • The amazing East Side Gallery: the remnants of the Berlin Wall, painted and turned into an urban art installation, bringing history to life!
  • The city's incredible nightlife: Berghain, in an old power station, is one of the world's legendary nightclubs!
  • The food: whether you crave a traditional pretzel, authentic Turkish fare, or sushi, Berlin is guaranteed to deliver, plus the streetfood scene has really taken off recently!
Euro, EUR
Exchange Rate:
~1 ZAR: ~0.07 EUR
Time Zone:
UTC + 1 - There is a 1 hour time difference between Berlin and South Africa
Dialing Code
00 + 49 + 30 + Local Number
Drive on the right side of the road.
Berlin Tegel (Otto Lilienthal) Airport code - TXL
Travel Adaptor:
Standard Adaptor Plug, Type C & F.

Winters in Berlin are harsh, with temperatures regularly hitting -10C. Average temperatures in spring, summer, and autumn are much kinder, with the city bursting to life in the summer weather.

German is spoken in Berlin, but you'll find that just about everyone in the city has good English - although knowing a few words of German will definitely endear you to the locals. "Danke" is "thank you".

  • Berlin has 1,700 bridges, more than even Venice.
  • Berlin is 9 times bigger than Paris, measuring 892 kilometres square.
  • Berlin has more museums (175) than rainy days each year!

The historic centre of Berlin has multiple points of interest, from the Reichstag to the Museumsinsel (Museum Island), the Brandenburg Gate and the atmospheric Holocaust Memorial. Head down to Kreuzberg, a formerly gritty neighbourhood right up against the Wall, for some of the trendiest bars the world has ever seen.

Whether you're vegan, are looking for the latest cupcake bakery, or keep a strict Halal diet, you'll be catered for in Berlin. The city's large immigrant populations (including Turkish, Arabs, Eastern and Western Europeans, Russians, Chinese and Africans) mean that the city is a smorgasbord of delicious international food.

Rome is the spiritual home of the world's Catholics, and this should be respected. St Peter's and the Vatican have strict dress codes, and everyone needs to cover their shoulders and legs.

Berlin is a tolerant city sometimes known as the "Atheist Capital of Europe". That being said, Christians, Muslims, and Jews all have communities in the city. In fact, Berlin has one of the fastest-growing Jewish communities in the world. In Germany, as in some other European countries, publicly denying the events of the Holocaust is illegal.

To South Africans or those holding South African passsports, will need a visa to travel to Munich. Read more on Germany Visa applications.

Learn how to acquire a visa

Republic of South Africa Embassy in Berlin.

Address: Embassy of the Republic of South Africa
Tiergartenstr. 18
10785 Berlin
Phone: +49 89 231 163 0
Fax: +49 89 231 163 53

Item Cape Town Johannesburg Berlin
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant R90 R100 R152
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) R22 R20 R54
Cappuccino (regular) R19 R20 R41
Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff) R10 R12 R28
Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) R35 R35 R84

Berlin Tegel (Otto Lilienthal) Airport code - TXL

Coffee: Starbucks, Segafredo and Illy.

Forex Bureaus: Berliner Bank, Euro Change, ICE and Reisebank.

Lost Luggage: Lost hold luggage should be handled by your individual airline’s help desk. Items lost or found within the airport can be reported in the transit area, at the baggage claim carousels, or at the Lost and Found desk in the relevant terminal.

Airport Hotels: None on site. Nearby: Mercure, Holiday Inn, Alfa, Villa Wittenau, and Best Western.

Car Hire: Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Europcar, Hertz, National, Sixt and Thrifty.

Berlin Tegel Airport is a hub for: Air Berlin and Germania and is a focus city for Lufthansa.

The information on this page is correct as of November 2015. While every effort is made to keep information as fresh as possible, takes no responsibility for any of the information being out of date or incorrectly noted.

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