Berlin is the largest city in Germany and second only to London in the European Union, which is always one of the top cities in Europe. Although it does not have many of the romantic Parisian places of France, Venice of Italy, Berlin always makes me feel the innermost mystery of this city. In part, Berlin is the capital of great German political economy, where there have been many political and cultural conflicts with the famous Berlin Wall, the remnants of the Cold War. Lasted for decades. I always wondered why filmmakers of spying, spying in Berlin for their films such as Jason Bourne (The Bourne Identity), Unknown by Liam Nesson, etc. Feeling cold and mysterious with the secret deep in the heart of this city.
- 1 The tourist season in Berlin
- 2 Traveling in Berlin
- 3 Note on choosing hotels, accommodation when traveling to Berlin
- 4 Eating and drinking in Berlin
- 5 Places of interest in Berlin
- 6 Central District of Mitte
- 7 West Berlin – West Side
- 8 East Berlin – East side
- 9 Kreuzberg district
- 10 Some other experiences when traveling to Berlin
The tourist season in Berlin
Like most European cities, the best time of year to visit Berlin is at the end of April or mid-September, when the weather is cool and pleasant. The peak tourist season in August should avoid the heat and the crowded scene of tourists. However, you should pay attention to some of the festivals in Berlin to consider for your trip:
- Karnaval der Kulturen Festival: is held every four days in Pfingsten (Pentecost) in the Kreuzberg district. Many artistic activities such as marching, bustling lion dancing and carving streets.
- Berlinale: A film festival held in February with lots of films, promotional activities, and movies in a busy month.
- International Labor Day: The festival hosts a weekend international labor festival with culinary and dance activities.
- There are also other festivals such as the beer festival held in August, the Berlin Music Festival in September every year.
Traveling in Berlin
Fly to Berlin: Berlin has two main airports: Schoenefeld Airport (SXF) and Tegel Airport (TXL). You have a lot of options for getting from the airport to the city, such as Airport Express, S-bahn, Shuttle bus or taxi.
Traveling in the city: To get around the city, you can buy a Berlin Welcome Card for all sorts of vehicles such as Berlin’s S-Bahn, U-Bahn, buses, trams and unlimited ferries. In addition, this card is pretty much discounted when you use to buy tickets to the museums, attractions. If you are short on dates and only certain destinations you can buy tickets by region.
In Berlin there is a bus that can take you around the city, the bus 100, the first bus since the reunification of Germany between East and West Berlin. This service starts from Alexanderplatz through the museums, the Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate, the Tiergarten, the Victory Tower and the Kurfürstendamm shopping district to finally stop at the zoo. If you take a train, there is also a city view tour which is the S-Bahn line connecting the two Zoologischer Garten and Alexanderplatz stations.
Public transport tickets or Passes, Travel cards in Berlin can also be used to go ferry, usually ferries on the Wannsee lake with beautiful scenery on either side. Take an S-Bahn train to Wannsee station and take the ferry to Kradow, where there are quite a few pedestrian streets with excellent beer gardens. Ferries run 1 hour per flight and take 20 minutes to reach Kradow.
Note on choosing hotels, accommodation when traveling to Berlin
With a three-day trip to a week in Berlin, there are many hotel choices as well as hostel style for dusty travelers. The price of a hostel anywhere in the city ranged from 15 to 30 euros, which means that cheap housing is still available. Some hotels, hostel is highly appreciated by tourists:
- Should stay in this hotel when going with family: Mövenpick Hotel Berlin Am Potsdamer Platz. This hotel is conveniently located near the Anhalter Bahnhof, a modern, well-furnished room. Services available such as restaurants, gyms are sufficient.
- The Almodovar Hotel Berlin – Biohotel is located on the lively Simon-Dach Straße, the main wood design that makes up the friendly and distinctive hotel of this hotel.
- Hostel Generator Berlin Mitte is a popular hostel that people love about the comfort and feel of a family home. This hostel is just 2 km from Alexanderplatz, the historic Hackesche Höfe and Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate.
Eating and drinking in Berlin
Berlin is considered to be the largest Turkish community outside of Turkey, so Doner kebab or Pitta bread is the most popular street food in the city, like bread in Vietnam. Doner cakes here are also cheap, you can easily buy a 2 Euro only on the street. In addition to other cheap food such as snacks, street food you should go to Markt Halle Neun Street, every Thursday evening from 17:00 to 22:00 there is a bustling street fare, with the famous dish is Currywurst Doner, a fried sausage with curry sauce served with fries.
Streetfood in Berlin outside Markt Halle Neun you can go to the Mauerpark flea market on Sunday, the largest outdoor market in Berlin, in addition to eating there are also large supermarket chains with many items such as Netto, Lidl, ..
Another popular dish is Vegan Pizzeria, an Italian pizza located in the heart of Germany, the restaurant serving this delicious dish is Sfizy Veg. Outside the pizzas are delicious, the design is very beautiful, white tone looks very clean and style.
Those who want to eat cheap but have a good view can not miss the student canteen, especially at the Berlin Technical University’s Skyline Cafeteria on the 20th floor of the Telefunkenhochhaus (Telefunken sky scraper). This place is open to everyone in the morning and at noon at 11.30am to 3pm, cheap and good food.
The experience in Berlin is that it’s not cheap to eat street food, as street food is more expensive than in cafes, especially in central districts like Mitte or Charlottenburg, while in Alexanderplatz It’s a bit cheaper. So if you want to eat and drink save you should refer to the price in many places before buying.
Places of interest in Berlin
Before coming to Berlin, just like Barcelona, you should get a glimpse of the history of this city, but learn as much as possible, so that the tour will understand as well as compare with what you already know. , Have read and are wondering about it. Berlin is less noticeable than other European cities such as Paris, Prague, Rome, .. where there are streets, alleyways or bridges that symbolize love and romance. Berlin’s thorns are more than that, the buildings here are very little kept because of the heavy destruction of the war, the city is newly developed and reconstructed buildings are renovated. Destroyed during the war.
Getting to Berlin is to come to understand the evidence of contemporary history, of world war, of fascism, of the Soviet Red Army, of a country once divided by the legendary Berlin Wall, but has Being united without bloodshed, that is the sweet result of true altruism. Many monuments in Berlin so you can learn about the history of the city in particular and of the world war in general. For those who want to find a Parisian romance, Hallstatt or Amsterdam may be disappointed, but Berlin is well suited to nostalgies, historical favorites and discoveries. Of course when you love it, people will always find the word “romantic” on every trip or even the small corner of the city where you are.
Berlin must say is very broad, divided into different regions. You should plan to visit for specific days, each day can spend a whole time for a certain area. Major areas in Berlin are Mitte, Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain, Prenzlauer Berg or Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf.
Central District of Mitte
Situated in the heart of a large Berlin, Mitte is also one of the most visited places in the city. The cost of living, traveling or eating in the Mitte area is also one of the most expensive in Berlin. Come here to visit the famous Gendarmen market and the Berlin icon of the Brandenburg Gate, the Reistag building and the busiest shopping district Berlin – Friedrich Strasse.
Topography Of Terror: This can be considered as a museum showing the history of the development of the Nazis, which built their prisons from 1933 to 1945. The buildings were destroyed Cancellation after the war but there are still a lot of traces on the walls and very worthwhile to visit, especially this place does not charge.
Reichstag building: Built in 1894 but bombed and deserted, it was rebuilt and is now used by the German parliament. This is free, but you will need to make a reservation online or at the counter. When you come to this building, there is an interesting place behind the huge glass dome behind. If you climb up here, you will have a free audio guide and a panoramic view of Berlin, especially the gate of Brandenburg Gate. Berlin Cathedral and Mercedes Benz Building.
Brandenburg Gate: Right next to the Reichstag, the Brandenburg Gate is actually a symbol of Berlin. Originally built in 1791 as the border between East and West Berlin, it is now a symbol of united Germany.
Berlin Wall: This is definitely the place to go when traveling Berlin then. The wall was built in 1961 before it collapsed in 1989, marking a unified Germany. The 4m high wall in the center of Berlin in the East and West was divided into two distinct countries, the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) and the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany). Although it was called “The Wall of Disgrace” by West Germans, it was, in East Germany, a protective wall of anti-Fascist. Throughout the Cold War there were more than 5,000 people trying to cross the wall to West Berlin. At present the monument is still more than 1.5km of the original wall (160km long) for tourists to explore, the wall is now the artistic expression of the spirit of freedom of the people. The people, the youth of Germany.
Jewish memorial in Europe: The Holocaust memorial is built from 2,711 concrete columns that form a large, labyrinth-like monument just beneath the Berlin Wall.
Potsdamer Platz: Located quite close to the Holocaust memorial, Potsdamer Platz is one of Berlin’s busiest neighborhoods with soaring buildings and modern architecture, most notably the Sony Center. Lost in here that I thought as if I was in Singapore or Hong Kong in the heart of ancient Berlin!
Fernshehturm TV Tower: Built in the 60s of the last century, this is the tallest building in the city (368m). You can climb to the top of the tower for a panoramic view of Berlin, enjoy a drink or even a meal at the bar or restaurant above. Tickets are from € 13- € 20.
Berliner Dom: The short name for the Berlin Cathedral, this church has a mixed architectural style of Gothic, Renaissance and New Classics. Sophisticated sculptures are displayed on the inner walls of the church, where you can climb stairs to climb the top of the dome and zoom out. Admission fee € 7.
Neue Wache and Bebelplatz: These two places are quite close together and you can go all together. The Neue Wache is a small memorial to war victims but has strong meanings and messages. Just across the street is the Bebelplatz where you can look downward through a glass door on the ground with a large library with empty bookshelves. This place is in remembrance of Nazi students who have burned more than 20,000 books deemed “un-German”, unsuitable for the new regime.
Museums in the Mitte district:
The Neues Museum is famous for the Nefertiti bust, the Hamburger Bahnhof formerly a museum of contemporary art by Andy Warhol, Cy Twombly, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, etc. There is a museum of German history, the DDR Museum pretty much stores the artifacts of the daily life of the communists of East Berlin. These museums are quite concentrated on the edge of the “museum island”. You can come here to visit the many museums that have just taken a leisurely stroll along the Spree River that surrounds the island.
West Berlin – West Side
The western part of the city of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf is a modern part of the city. There are plenty of restaurants, bars and bustling shopping. Places of interest can be listed as:
KaDeWe Department Store: one of the biggest shopping malls in Europe with lots of luxury stores. Anyone who is passionate about shopping can not miss this place, right next to U Wittenbergplatz, and the services and expensive restaurants are also countless on the 6th floor of the central business district.
Tiergarten Park: An ecological area in Berlin with plenty of greenery, walking trails and lakes with fresh air are ideal for family and group stays. At the end of the park there are often festivals, beer gardens and traditional dishes with many indigenous families as well as tourists.
Charlottenburg Palace: The royal palace Charlottenburg was built in 1699 for Queen Sophie Charlotte, wife of King Frederick III. The palace is very large with tree-lined streets, in the middle of the courtyard is the statue of King Friedrich Wilhelm I, the flower garden in front of the castle reminds me of the summer palace in Vienna.
East Berlin – East side
The East Berlin area still retains the ruins of an old socialist regime, which is significantly cheaper than central Mitte or the West. Choose on the East Side you can not miss the East Side Gallery, the road with the rest of the Berlin Wall and 101 large drawings painted directly on the wall. Alexanderplatz Square is named after Alexander the Great, although it is close to the center of Mitte, but right on the edge of East Berlin. The square is home to many important historical events in Germany.
This can be considered as a youth area, as it was once a place where immigrants, young people, hipsters or artists lived. On the street are artistic graffiti strokes, the cafe bar stores open throughout the night. On every Thursday from 17:00 to 22:00 at Markethalle the Kreuzberg hosts open-air parties of freelance artists, artisans, and anyone who enjoys making friends. Can be considered as a very fun party and everyone here is in a very open and cheerful mood, quite different from a normal Berlin quiet.
The Jewish Museum: The glass-themed building features an interior display of Jewish artifacts in Germany, with many of the events that have happened to them in history.
Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin: Exhibits numerous collections on the history of German engineering with the artifacts of aircraft, ships, trains and even weapons of World War II. Tickets to the museum are € 8.
Checkpoint Charlie: A place definitely not to be missed with tourists when arriving in Berlin because it is one of the 7 checkpoints of the Berlin Wall that prevented people from crossing the border. This Charlie station alone allows foreigners such as England, France, US to East Germany. Who came here remember to take pictures with the guards (mainly student work) as a testament to a volatile history of Berlin. Note that there is a museum of the Berlin Wall erected nearby but nothing to see, you should not lose money to enter here.
Some other experiences when traveling to Berlin
Shops in Berlin are usually closed on Sundays, including shops, drug stores and supermarkets. You may still find some of the places open as in the Brandenbourg Gate but it seems to be there only. Except for cafes or restaurants open week. On weekdays, shops are open from 09:00 am to 08:00 pm depending on location.
Usually you speak English in Berlin and they still understand and answer you, but it is better to learn some basic German as most of the street signs are in German.
In Berlin, the central district is Mitte, where living and working in Mitte and Charlottenburg is certainly more expensive than in the former Alexanderplatz square in central Berlin.
Berliners generally dress quite simply, not many people dress up in a way on the street with clothes and shoes. They may be very friendly, try to help you but they rarely smile. And if you meet someone actively approaching you, ask you some information such as asking for directions, asking you to answer the survey or something like that usually the pickpocket. It is best to answer that you are not indigenous and do not know anything to avoid risk.