Berlin is one of the most interesting cities for curious tourists, especially in terms of historical and artistic sights. Travel Mode ON prepared a list with the main life hacks and tips for those who are going to Berlin for the first time. What do you need to know and take into account? What to see? How to save money?
Photo by Gilly
Most Berliners, especially young people, know English well, and therefore you will not have problems with communication. Also, many visitors communicate mainly in English. But still, if you learn at least a few key phrases in German and start your dialogue with them, the locals will be more friendly, because, they are very fond of admiring their culture and complex language.
The transport system in Berlin is very well-established and works like a clock. Here you will never have to wait for the bus for more than five minutes. The most economical is to buy a ticket for the whole day (€ 6.90 for adults and € 4.70 for children) – it is valid for all types of transport. Keep in mind that travel documents are often checked, so do not forget to punch the ticket. A ticket purchased from the driver is not necessary to compost. More information here.
Bicycles are a convenient and popular form of transportation in Berlin. In total, there are 860 kilometers of bike lanes. The price of renting a bicycle in Berlin is standard for Europe – € 7-12 per day.
Photo by Tiard Schulz
Where to stay?
There is no shortage of hotels and hostels – literally at every step, you will find a small but cozy hotel at a price that is quite reasonable by European standards (€ 40-50 per night with breakfast). Of course, if you want to save for accommodation, we recommend to rent apartments (Ferienwohnungen) – they cost much less (€ 15-30 per night), and you also have the opportunity to cook for yourself.
A few examples of hotels:
- Landmark Eco Hotel 3*
- Hampton by Hilton Berlin City Centre Alexanderplatz 3*
- RIU Plaza Berlin am Kurfürstendamm 4*
- SANA Berlin Hotel 4*
Where to eat?
Berlin will surprise you with prices in restaurants and cafes. Unlike many European capitals, where lunch costs at least € 15, here you can safely eat for € 6-10. Of course, such pleasant prices you will not find close to the main attractions. But if you move away from the tourist center and choose a small family-type cafe, then for a small amount of money you can eat well.
If you want to try the famous German beer, do not go to an expensive restaurant, but a local pub. This is where you will find the largest variety of beer and low prices.
Photo by Michał Parzuchowski
If you expect to spend 10-15 EUR for one meal, then in many Berlin cafes for such a price you can have a hearty lunch or drink coffee with a cake. Among the most popular are: Rogacki (famous for fish and seafood dishes) and Frau Behrens Torten (specializes in confectionery).
For 15-30 EUR you can dine in such inexpensive restaurants like DDR-Restaurant Domklause, Cafe Einstein, La Cocote or Deponie No. 3.
If you decide to pay more than 30 EUR, feel free to go to the “high” cuisine – the prices start at 40-50 EUR for dinner. We can recommend Neugrünsköche, Sophieneck (a huge selection of national dishes and beer), Zillemarkt (one of the best restaurants in Berlin with its brewery) or Zur letzten Instanz (one of the oldest restaurants in Berlin).
What to do?
1. East Side Gallery
The largest open-air gallery in the world, the total length of which is 1.3 kilometers. It is placed on the part of the preserved Berlin Wall. After its fall in 1989, more than 100 artists from 21 countries gathered to draw pictures of peace and love. Here is the famous street art depicting the kiss of Brezhnev and Honecker.
2. Museum Island
Photo by Julia Solonina
In Berlin, there is a whole island with five world-famous museums – Pergamon, the Bode Museum, the New Museum, the Old National Gallery and the Old Museum. During World War II, the island was almost destroyed, but now it has been restored and is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tickets can be bought here (the price depends on the museum and the exhibition). If you want to learn about the most unusual exhibits of the Pergamon Museum, we advise you to book in advance for a tour. More information here.
3. Jewish Museum
Another attraction on the subject of the Holocaust. Even if you don’t want to go on an excursion here, see the museum outside – this is perhaps the most impressive architectural structure of modern Berlin. You can also, under the guidance of an experienced guide, learn more about the Jewish history in Berlin from the 19th and 20th centuries. American architect Daniel Libeskind designed the building with lines similar to the huge dilapidated Star of David – an ancient Jewish symbol.
A huge cylindrical aquarium with a volume of 1,000,000 liters of water is located in the lobby of the Radisson SAS Hotel Berlin. A huge flask with exotic fish and algae, in which you can even swim with an aqualung, causes genuine admiration. If you want to look at this miracle, you will need to pay € 16.
5. Classic Remise Museum
Photo by Alex Suprun
An unusual sight, which will certainly impress men, but, perhaps, could be interesting for women. In this museum-exhibition, dozens of rare cars are collected, ranging from vintage cars of various brands and ending with fancy experimental supercars. There is also a beer garden. You can get to Remise only with a group tour, but they are held in three languages – German, English and Russian.
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