Berlin was probably one of the best cities I’ve ever visited. It was quirky, cheap and full of history – what more could you want?
I recently did a post on how to see as much as you can whilst in Berlin – Build Bridges Not Walls – How To See Everything in Berlin, and this post will be about all the handy things to know about. For my final post, I’ll talk about the amazing food you can eat whilst over here and trust me – there’s a lot!
So without further ado, let’s talk about the best tips for travelling in Berlin..
This is a boring but necessary and very important part of the tips I’ll give you. The transport in Berlin is insanely cheap, well run and efficient. Wherever you’re looking to go, their trams, trains and buses have got you covered and the best part of it all is that it’s only €7 per day – FOR ANYWHERE.
All I’d advise you do is download the BVG Tickets app for your phone and you can purchase the ticket you need (depending on whether you need it all day or whether you need a certain amount of the zones) via Paypal.
We used this to get from the airport to our hotel, our hotel to the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp and generally around from day to day sightseeing. It’s definitely worth getting to see as much as you can within the time you’re there.
Look At Every Building and Wall You Go Past
This is a strange one I know, but there really is a hell of a lot of insane graffiti around the city.
Not only that but the buildings themselves from the TV tower to the super-malls and even some bars/restaurants have many quirky features that are worth paying attention too.
For example, next to Checkpoint Charlie, there’s a bar called Charlie’s Beach. This is literally a beach in the middle of the city. There’s deckchairs, bars and I don’t know if it was just because the world cup was on whilst we were there but there’s also a massive screen to watch sports events on. I’d definitely recommend going for a drink there.
In terms of the graffiti around the city, it’s so beautifully done that I’d personally call it artwork. I’ve put a couple of examples of what I saw whilst walking through the city below and when I say it’s on every corner, I’m not exaggerating – so keep your eyes peeled!
There’s Not Many Tourist Shops
During my time in Berlin, I came to discover that although it’s a big city with lots of tourists roaming around, it hasn’t been overtaken by the likes of people selling tacky merchandise for the city – which is amazing.
Whilst there, you really feel like a part of the city and I’d definitely recommend learning a bit of basic German, as many people don’t speak good English.
The main reason for this tip is to let you know that if you’re looking for a magnet or souvenir to give your friends or family when you’re back home, you’re really going to have to look for it. I managed to find one whilst at the flea market that I talked about in my previous post but I actually ended up buying an even better one at the airport, so maybe consider leaving your tacky shopping till then.
Table Service Is Everywhere
Okay so everywhere may be a bit of an overstatement, but I’m going off my own experience here.
There’s many bars and ‘pub’ looking places that we went to whilst in Berlin and if you go upto the bar, they’ll immediately tell you to go to a table where they’ll come and take your order.
Although it’s a great concept in theory as you don’t need to get up to order your drink, it can cause an issue when you want to grab the bill and no-one’s around. This is another situation where knowing a little bit of German will come in handy – so maybe learn ‘Kann ich bitte die Rechnung bekommen’ (Can I have the bill please?) – just in case you need to shout up.
I hope that if you’re on your way to Berlin anytime soon, you find these tips helpful in some way. There’s probably a lot of tips I haven’t written down here that will come to me at a later date and if they do, I’ll be sure to update the post.
Also if you know anything that may be handy for those going to Berlin to know, please leave them in the comments below.
I’d love to go back to Germany during the colder months to experience the German Christmas markets, so if you have any recommendations on the best place to go for this in Germany – please let me know!
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