The Brandenburg Gate
Street art, Kreuzberg
The Brandenburg Gate
Street art, Kreuzberg
The Berlin Wall
Burgermeister, best burgers in town
Firework for New Year's Eve
Memorial of the murdered Jews of Europe
The Victory Column
Berlin view from the Victory Column
Berlin is an eclectic city where remain traces of its dark history, including the Berlin Wall or memorial for the Jews, but is now very lively. Berlin has developed a real underground culture and is ideal for partying with pints of beer and Jagermeister in its many unique bars and electro clubs.
HOW TO GET TO BERLIN ?
GO TO BERLIN by bus/coach
Eurolines buses are going to Berlin. The bus company MeinFernbus serve the German cities of Munich , Stuttgart, Frankfurt , Hamburg, Freiburg .
GO TO BERLIN BY PLANE
The main airport is Telgel International Airport ( Flughafen in German). To reach the city center from the airport, there are buses to Alexanderplatz and the Central Station (Hauptbahnhof). The journey takes approximately 45 minutes to Alexanderplatz and costs 2.60 €.
What you must see in Berlin
- Walking along the East side Gallery, the remains of the Berlin Wall tagged by artists.
- The Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor) , and not far from it, the Reichstag, the Berliner Dom and the monument to the Jews. They are important pieces of German architecture and history. It is possible to visit the inside of Parliament for free, but it is necessary to book in advance online at least three days in advance.
- Alexanderplatz with the TV tower.
- The modern architecture of the Sony Center and shopping on Potsdamer Platz.
- Charlottenburg Palace (Schloss Charlottenburg)
- Check Point Charlie and the Wall Museum
- Climbing the Victory Column costs only € 3 but the view is not exceptional . It seems that the view is the same as the TV Tower on Alexanderplatz but the entrance is much more expensive on Alexanderplatz (12 €).
- The modern and huge Hauptbahnhof
- If you have time, take a trip to Potsdam to see the Sanssouci Palace. To get there, take the S- Bahn S7 towards Wannsee .
FREE WALKING TOUR TO VISIT BERLIN
Good plans for backpackers is the Free walking tour proposed by the company Sandemans NewEurope : go at 11am or 2pm in front of the Starbucks near the Brandenburg Gate. Our guide’s name was Sadie, an English girl speaking distinctly. The tour was very interesting. She took us to the Brandenburg Gate, the memorial to the Jews, on the top of Hitler’s bunker, at the Ministry of Finance, the symmetric Gendarmenmarkt Square, the Berlin Wall, the famous Checkpoint Charlie, and the former royal district. The visit lasted three hours and allows you to discover the main historic sites of Berlin. The organization offers other premium tours but they charge around 10-12 €.
TWO Free MUSEUMS TO DO IN BERLIN !
We did not have time to visit museums, but we would have liked to visit those that our free walking tour guide highly recommended to us. And the best is that you can enter for free!
- Ort der Information, the information center of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, Mon – Sun from 10am to 20pm.
- The topography of the Terror museum, which is outdoors. The exhibition traces the history and consequences of Nazism. Mon – Sun from 10am to 20pm .
unusual visits in Berlin
Try Aternative Berlin Tours, a free tour of Kreuzberg to discover urban art and underground side of Berlin. The guide, a young marginal, tells you stories about the tags of the city. The meeting point is daily at 12.30 at the Michel Berger hotel and you pay what you want.
It is possible to visit the ruins of a former amusement park, Speedpark . This is a horror movie set, we have not tested…
- The famous German currywurst is a sausage in a hot curry sauce and ketchup . It does not look like anything special, but you get quickly addicted!
- The more famous Schnitzel, which is just breaded cutlets.
- Döner kebab ! It is in the city of Berlin that the Döner Kebab was invented, so you can find them anywhere in the city, especially in the Turkish neighborhood of Kreuzberg.
WHERE TO EAT IN BERLIN ?
The German capital is rather cheap for food, what backpackers like us appreciate. But there is very little variety and fast food is everywhere. You can not walk a few meters without finding currywurst stands on your way. It is possible to eat for a few euros on the street stalls.
The best burgers in Berlin are at Burgermeister. In addition, the place is original because it is old public toilets transformed into a snack. We wanted to eat there but the queue was so impressive (and we were so hungry) we finally chose to eat elsewhere. You’ll find it just below a bridge. Address: 8 Oberbaumstrasse in the district of Kreuzberg.
Since German cuisine is certainly not known for being the best in the world, do not worry, there are many Indian and Asian restaurants. Good to know, the Germans don’t like too spicy food, so curries supposed to be “hot” are not always very hot.
A great location for restaurants : Kreuzberg .
Nightlife / OUt for a drink in Berlin
The atmosphere of the bars and clubs in Berlin is unique in the world, electro sound is ubiquitous in the clubs and the city is full of minimalist underground bars. No need to bring with you a sexy black dress or a shirt for men, here you dress “to look cool”. “The place to be” for nightlife is certainly the Kreuzberg district.
We have tested the 666 Anti- Pubcrawl, a pub crawl organized by young people from the organization Alternative Berlin. Meeting point is every day from 9pm at Yesterday bar.
(Metzer Strasse 2 , Metro : U2 Senefelderplatz).
Some bars do not miss:
- Druid Absinth Bar is a popular bar with more than 170 kinds of absinth. The shots are quite expensive, around € 6-7, the best is to take the absinthe of the week at a reasonable price. The server will explain the rituals. Address: Schonhauser Allee 42.
- Dr. Pong is a place that looks like a garage with tags. This place is known for its Ping Pong parties (and its not beer pong, but real ping pong).
- Belushi ‘s Bar is the bar of the hostel where we stayed. The bar is very nice and friendly. There are Happy Hours and promotions every day. You can also have tasty international food at good price.
We have not tested clubs because we are not too much into electronic music, but the Berghain is deemed the best techno club in the world . You have to be open minded enough Get informed about how you have to dress up before going.
To DO in berlin
- Make at least one free-walking tour
- Eat a Döner Kebab in Turkish Kreuzberg
- Some drinks in the bars of Kreuzberg or even a pub crawl
- Eat a Currywurst on a stand
- Walk through the underground area of Berlin, Kreuzberg, to see its tags
- Walk along the wall at the Eastside Gallery
Moving around in Berlin / Transportation
Given the large distances, we recommend that you take public transportation ticket for tourists which costs €30 for 5 days. It is valid for bus and metro.
There is a good bus network on weeknights and subways are running all night during the weekends, ideal for evening return !
Which hostel to stay in Berlin?
We tried the St. Christopher ‘s Inn Hostel with its bar, the Belushi’s. Just across Rosa Luxemburg subway station. Conveniently located and really designed for Backpackers (in the dorms, there is a storage space under the bed, many plugs, many showers … ). There is no common room, but a bar with happy hour all day for guests : 2 cocktails for the price of one … That’s really nice, but maybe not to meet easily people, but you can meet them instead in the dorms. They have also international tasty food (hamburgers, chicken wings…). The breakfast is great and included in the price ! It’s worth getting up to take it, even after a big night out
Our tips to spend New Year in Berlin
Berlin has become famous for its New Year at Brandenburg Gate. One million visitors jostle for concerts and partying around the many food, drinks, hats and scarves stalls (for those who have forgotten that they would be freezing spending a night out in winter). There are fortunately some (rare) bit tops if you want shelter from the cold. We were a little disappointed with the fireworks, which was very short. Note that the German LOVE firecrackers and personal fireworks… Once the official firework is done, there is an atmosphere of world’s end with firecrackers coming from everywhere and everyone who desert the place to head for the subway and continue partying in a bar or club.
Admission is free. Access to different inputs : Ebertstraße / Scheidemannstraße, Ebertstraße / Behrenstraße Yitzhak Rabin -Straße Bellevueallee / Kleiner Stern, Straße des 17. Juni / Großer St.
A question ? Other tips to add ?
Share your experience with other backpackers to enrich this article! Feel free to ask questions or leave comments below, we will answer with pleasure!