Berlin travel guide

The capital of Germany will certainly not attract everyone. The very vast city has more of an American feeling than that of a European metropolis.
Once you know where to go though, you'll probably fall in love with the German capital like I did! Berlin is really a city that has to offer something to everyone.
With its extremely turbulent history there is a lot to experience for culture lovers. The remains of the Berlin Wall, the history of several world wars and the many interesting museums will certainly make your stay in Berlin very enjoyable.
Are you less interested in culture and history? Then you can go non-stop partying in this city! Every day there are hundreds of parties scattered throughout the city, and often you can even party from Thursday evening until Monday morning. Berlin is an amazing and very unique European city, definitely worth exploring.

Throughout Berlin you'll notice a lot of remains (or reconstructions) of the Berlin wall.

Throughout Berlin you’ll notice a lot of remains (or reconstructions) of the Berlin wall.

  Average costs in Berlin

Stay – Berlin is a popular place for city trips or outings and so there are a lot of accommodation available. Still, it’s best to not wait too long if you want to score a cheap, nice hotel.
Don’t have the money to bathe in luxury? Then a youth hostel is the cheapest option. If you book well in advance, you pay between €20 and €25 per night.
A double room (budget) will often be cheaper if you travel with two. Rooms already start at €27!
A four- or five-star hotel will of course make beautiful Berlin even more special, especially if you want to sleep well after hiking through the giant city! Prices start at around €100 per night.

For a list of all accommodation you can click here.

Eat – I was incredibly surprised by the very low prices to go eating out. Prices vary from district to district, but you can never really say that Berlin is expensive to eat.
For a pizza, you pay between (!) €3 and €5. A pasta often costs a little less than €3. A durum or pitta costs between €2 and €5, a burrito €4 to €6.
A slightly fancier restaurant obviously costs a bit more, but it is certainly still not breaking the bank. In the television tower (Fernsehturm) a delicious tenderloin steak costs about €29, but a vegetarian three-course meal will cost you only €32 per person.

If you want some alcoholic beverages you also don’t need to spend a fortune. A beer costs between €2 and €4 (popular locations) and a cocktail between €5 and €10.

Transport – In Berlin you really have to use public transportation (or a car), because the distances are just too big to walk all of them.
It’s best that you buy a tourist ticket at the S-Bahn or U-Bahn. With these you can make unlimited use of all forms of public transport in Berlin. The City Tour Card begins at 48h for €17.50. For 72 hours you pay €25.50, €29.50 for four days, and five days costs €33.50. For six days you’ll pay €39.50.
When purchasing this card you’ll also get a free city guide and a lot of discounts for popular attractions in Berlin.
Renting a car will cost you around €230 – €250 for a week.

The Fernsehturm in Berlin is goreous at night!

The Fernsehturm in Berlin is goreous at night!

  Saving money in Berlin

City Tour Card – The cheapest way to explore Berlin is to buy a City Tour Card. With this card you can make unlimited use of public transport in Berlin. You also get a free city guide and many discounts on popular attractions. Prices and more info can be found here.

Lunch – Between 11:00 AM and 02:00 PM restaurants often ask a lot less money to eat out. Certainly at the tourist locations!
Eating out in Berlin usually doesn’t cost a lot of money.

Go eat in Turkish neighborhoods – Berlin has lots of Turkish neighborhoods and the food here is generally a lot cheaper. Look around near Neuköln, Kreuzberg or the Nikolaiviertel. Pizzas from €3, or a Mediterranean dish for only €5 per person.

Book with Ryanair – (European low-cost airline) Fix your travel dates a bit beforehand, so you can save a lot of money on your flight. Ryanair offers very cheap flights from other European destinations to Berlin.

The Gendarmen Market has three beautiful buildings. There are two churches built right in front of eachother!

The Gendarmen Market has three beautiful buildings. There are two churches built right in front of eachother!

Things to do in Germany

Fernsehturm (TV Tower) – The tallest building in Europe is definitely worth a visit! With the fast elevator you will be brought to the 203rd floor at a speed of 6m/s. Here you can enjoy fantastic views over the metropolis. A ticket will cost you €13.00 per person.
You want to never forget your fernsehturm experience? Then book a ticket to the TV Tower restaurant! The ticket will cost you €17.50 (or €25 for a VIP ticket). In addition, you will still need to pay for your food and drinks of course.

Alexanderplatz – The Fernsehturm is also located on the Alexanderplatz, so you can just combine these two attractions.
Alexanderplatz is one of the nicest squares in Berlin! There is always something to do and it always buzzing with life. You can do some people watching, or sip a beer at one of the nice markets or stalls which can almost always be found here.

Brandenburg Gate – the most famous monument in Berlin is probably the Brandenburg Gate. This beautiful monument is the only gateway to Berlin that has been preserved after the heavy bombings during the World War. When the Berlin Wall still stood, the building was in the Russian sector (East Berlin).

Holocaust Mahnmal – Near the Brandenburg Gate you can find a large square with rectangular concrete blocks in different sizes and heights. These concrete blocks are a tribute to the millions of Jewish victims who fell during World War II.
The monument gives a very confused impression, and that perfectly reflects how disoriented the Jewish community then felt.

Berlin Wall – There are many memorials and monuments that commemorate the fallen Berlin Wall. Definitely go to the ‘Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer‘. Here you’ll see a small piece of fake wall, preceded by a lot of interesting information about how people tried to escape and how the wall was guarded.
The “East Side Gallery” is another well-known piece of  the wall. The Muehlenstrasse contains a very long piece of wall, which was transformed by many artists into an open air museum.

Gendarmenmarkt – Personally, this was my favorite square in Berlin. standing on both ends of the square you can see two very beautiful churches that look very similar. In the middle of the square there also is a magnificent concert hall.

Reichstag – The Reichstag is the German parliament building. The building might ring a bell among people interested in the wolrd wars (the fire in the Reichstag).
You can enter the Reichstag and go up in the glass dome. From there you get a great view of Berlin and you can observe the parliament in progress.

Treptower Park – The green lung of Berlin is probably the Treptower Park. During the GDR period, the entire square was located in East Berlin, so you can still find many distinct communist influences. Scattered throughout the park there are a lot of beautiful monuments and sculptures.

PARTY! – You can’t go to Berlin without having experienced at least one party! In Berlin you can find something for everyone! Definitely go to a rooftop bar or a party that is celebrated outdoors. In Berlin something is to be found for every different music taste; from techno to pop!

The Reichstag of Berlin; definitely worth to walk up the dome!

The Reichstag of Berlin; definitely worth to walk up the dome!

   Things to avoid in Germany

Slip between the closing doors of the U-bahn – The metro in Berlin can be quite terrifying… If the doors are already closing, don’t ever jump between them anymore!
The doors will not open again to let you walk in unhurt. Once they close, they close without mercy.
How many people I saw with a trapped arm or shoe… Fortunately, there are always some speedy Berliners rushing to the aid of unwary tourists, but still… Pay attention!

Walking everywhere – Especially if you aren’t staying very long in Berlin, because this is a hopeless task. Most attractions, clubs and sights are very far apart. So invest in a tourist card for unlimited public transportation.

Only discover the history of Berlin – True. Berlin has a very interesting history. Think of the world wars and the Berlin Wall. But all of that is already many years ago and in the meantime Berlin has become a modern metropolis! Find out some more of the modern metropolis by doing some more modern things!

The Holocaust Mahnmal; an interesting square that commemorates the horrors of the holocaust.

The Holocaust Mahnmal; an interesting square that commemorates the horrors of the holocaust.

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