Top things to do in Berlin

BerlinWhen you book a holiday to Berlin, a wonderful experience is awaiting you; full of history, culture and nightlife. The city has almost 3,5 million inhabitants and is the second biggest city in Europe. Berlin is known for its many sights and a highly regarded cultural life with many museums, festivals and a hip nightlife. Continue reading this article for gaining useful information for a holiday to Berlin.

To Berlin by plane, train or bus

When you decide to travel to Berlin, there are multiple options for your mode of transport. What matters of course is from where you are coming from. But let's say you are coming from the Netherlands. From Amsterdam, Berlin is about 600 kilometres away. Going by plane is of course the fastest, but is also most probably the most expensive mode of transport. The flight only takes one hour. We can recommend you to land on either the Schönefelden or Tegel airport because they have good connections to the city centre. The train takes about 6 hours and you get off in the heart of Berlin. When you choose to take the bus or your own car, then you quickly spend 10 hours driving.

Public Transport in Berlin

Berlin knows an extensive public transport system that is known to be safe, punctual and affordable. It consists of metro, bus and tram. Visitors that stay for a couple of days are best off buying a day pass at one of the many ticket machines; a ticket for 48 or 72 hours is also possible.
A day ticket is cheaper and you do not have to worry about stamping your tickets. The metro is the quickest and simplest for tourists, in particular the U-Bahn and the S-Bahn. The U-Bahn takes care of the shorter distances underground, whilst the S-Bahn handles the longer distances above ground. For shorter distances you can of course also take the bus or tram. Taxis are a good option too in Berlin. Enough taxis drive around each day and the tariffs are not too bad compared to other European cities.

Sights in Berlin

Berlin knows many impressive sights, that are usually surrounded by beautiful squares. The Reichstag, where the parliament is housed, is something you should have seen when you come to Berlin. It was built in 1894 and it is characterised by a mix of building styles (called eclecticism). On the roof is a modern transparent dome with along the inside a path that goes up. On top you can see through a glass piece of flooring directly down on the meeting parliament. Admission is free, but you have to sign up at least two hours before.
Close to the Reichstag is the Brandenburger Tor, an access gate that symbolises unity since the fall of the Berlin Wall. It is an impressive construction with Greek columns and makes one think of the Acropolis. The Berliner Dom is also recommended to have a look at: the style of building is a beautiful mix of baroque and renaissance. The current church was completed in 1905 and was almost completely reconstructed after the war. The ornaments in the church and the organ are a beauty to the eye. You can also see the sarcophagi of Prussian kings.
The last building we will discuss is Charlottenburg Palace, the biggest Prussian palace of Berlin. It was completed in 1699. The halls and interior design are an art in itself and you can also view a large collection of French paintings from the 18th century. The gardens around the palace are inspired by the gardens of the Palace of Versailles.

Museums in Berlin

Berlin is a real museum city: there are more than 175! Which of these are now really worth visiting? If you like art and history, you can not miss the Museuminsel (Museum Island). You will find a whopping 5 museums with exhibitions about the 19th century art, sculptures, archeology and ancient Egyptian art. Are you more into modern art? Then the Hamburger Bahnhof is the place to be, it focusses on the period after 1950.
If you are curious about the German history then you can visit the German Historical Museum. It is housed in the beautiful Zeughaus and there are, amongst others, exhibitions about the Teutons, the Prussian kingdom and the world wars. Also the separation of east and west Germany and the fall of the Berlin wall are showcased.
In Berlin there are multiple museums having the topic of World War II and the period thereafter. The Haus der Wannsee Konferenz extensively covers the third Reich. The same goes for the museum the Story of Berlin, that is housed in a bunker from the war. If you want to see the Berlin Wall itself, you can do that at the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer. The time of the DDR is showcased in the Stasimuseum and the Gedenkstätte Hohenschönhausen, a DDR prison in which the enemies of the state were locked up.

Theatre and classical music in Berlin

Seeing a musical is possible it the atmospheric Theater de Westen or the Stage Theater on the Potsdamer Platz. It will not surprise you that the musicals are in German. A real good recommendation is the revue theatre Friedrichstadt-Palast, here you can enjoy glittering glamour shows in luxury; nothing is too crazy here. If you are more a fan of classical music, then Berlin also has enough to offer. You can for instance listen to an ensemble or orchestra in the Konzerthaus Berlin, but you can also visit the symphony orchestra the Berliner Philharmoniker.

Events in Berlin

Berlin knows countless festivals and events all year round, this is one of the reasons why the city is seen as a big cultural centre. There is almost always something to do; the events that are discussed below is just a small selection of what is available.

Karneval der Kulturen

The Karneval der Kulturen takes place in May and is a multicultural festival on the streets that is full of theatre, dance, singing and music from all across the world. You can find many stalls and eateries here with food from all wind directions. Dozens of bands and DJ's are putting in their best efforts to make it into one big party. The festival finishes with a large parade of a partying, singing and dancing crowd through the Kruezberg neighbourhood.

Volksfesten and Bierfestival

Something completely different are the so called "volksfeste", of which Berlin knows a couple. They are fair like festivals in which a particular country is centralised. You can go in the different rides but you can also simply stroll around and get a bite. The largest of the volksfeste is the Deutsch-Französisches Volksfest that takes place in the middle of the summer.
As you might know, Germans love beer. If that also goes for you, then we can recommend you to visit the Bierfestival. You can of course drink beer here, but you can also try out different snacks from dozens of different countries and there is a lot of live music. The festival takes place in August every year.

Berlin Music Week and Jazzfest

Bands, street artists and concerts throughout Berlin, nothing is too crazy during the Berlin Music Week in September. You will be able to hear many different kinds of music and you can of course also taste different foods and enjoy different drinks. If you like Jazz and you are in Berlin in the beginning of November, then you can of course not miss the world famous Jazzfest. International artists from all across the world and upcoming talents are playing different jazz styles at different locations in the city. According to some, it is the best jazz festival in the world.

Festival of Lights

In October we can already feel the Christmas days ahead and Berlin is overflown with lights. Sights, attractions and squares are being lighted and are seem to be more colourful than the rainbow. It gives Berlin something extra and the Festival of Lights attracts thousands of visitors each year.

Eating and nightlife in Berlin

Berlin knows many restaurants and going for a nice dinner is no problem. You can enjoy meals from all corners of the world and the average prices are a little lower than in the Netherlands for example. In the neighbourhoods of Kreuzberg and Neukölln, you will find many ethnic restaurants: think of the Indian, Asian and Turkish cuisine. Are you looking for traditional German dishes? A restaurant in Kreuzberg that mainly serves German food is the 3 Schwestern; you can try the delicious Käsespätzle and currywurst here.
The more expensive restaurants can be found in the neighbourhood of Mitte for example, and there is a lot on offer here. Berlin also knows a few restaurants who have been awarded the Michelin-star; examples are Horvarth and Tim Raue.
If you feel like getting loose after your meal then Berlin offers a buzzing nightlife: it is known as the party capital of Europe! Berlin draws in many artists and musicians and new, experimental music is often first heard in Berlin. Take a good look online fore you go out, because you will find lounges, clubs and night clubs that will never close its doors. You can thus dance day and night on electro, techno and trance.

Shopping in Berlin, a guaranteed success

In Berlin you can enjoy shopping to the fullest. A well known shopping street is the Kürfurstendamm/Tauentzien Straße, which is almost 5 kilometres long. You will find international brands such as Zara and H&M here, but also the more expensive, exclusive world brands. A department store that has a lot of everything, from mainstream to expensive, is the impressive KaDeWe. The small alleys at the north of the Kürfurstendamm house many boutiques, chic as well as trendy.
The Scheunenviertel/Hackesche Höfe, in the neighbourhood Mitte, also has a lot to offer. Besides famous brands, you will also find secondhand shops here, vintage clothing and hip furniture shops. In the neighbourhood Friedrichshain you will find many cool shops that offer jewellery, art and vintage.

Booking a city trip to Berlin

Are you planning to go on a holiday to Berlin? If you browse the internet you will most definitely find a good offer at a trusted travel agency. Of course it always makes sense to check for flights and hotels yourself through different websites, perhaps it will be cheaper if you book it yourself. You can go by plane or train, hotel or apartment, weekend or a whole week, everything is possible. One thing is certain, it will be a trip that you never forget!


Article written by: roybor
Times read: 2107x
Added: 11-02-2017 08:59
Last modified: 24-04-2017 16:37

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