Berlin Travel Guide
High on history, the city of Berlin has a tale to tell with every square you pass by. Berlin was headquarter of the Nazi party, later on bombed completely during the WW II and later on rebuilt to the modern city that we see today. Berlin has two sides to it. One is the laid back charm of a modern concrete village and the other is the city that never sleeps. Here is my travel guide to Berlin. You will easily need 4 days or more to explore this cultural metropolis.
Things to do in Berlin
- Brandenburg gate: No visit to Berlin is complete without visiting the Brandenburg gate. This place is of historic importance. What formerly divided the state now stands as a landmark of 200 years of history.
2. Holocaust memorial: A site that will move you, shake you up and force you to ponder. What appears to be a cemetery of the murdered Jews, from far, is so much more than that. Visit to find our yourself.
3. East side gallery: A section of the Berlin wall converted to worlds longest open gallery. To sum up its is 1.3 Km of walk down history and art.
4. Reichstag: One of the most important buildings in Berlin, the German Parliament. It is a true example of Eco-architecture. Book your tours in advance because this place gets crowded, more so on the weekends.
5. Museum island: This is island houses 5 of the most well displayed museums of the world. It sure is a treat for your soul. Bust of Nefertiti is one among the many valuable objects of historic importance.
6. Topography of terror: An exhibition on events that led to rise and downfall of Nazi party. Located on the site where headquarters of Gestapo, Its a free exhibition, do take the audio-guide to understand the exhibition better.
7. Swim at badeschiff: A floating public swimming pool in Berlin. The beach bar along with the cool pool makes for just the right place to unwind after a long day. The place gets really crowded in summer months.
8. Forbidden city: This abandoned soviet camp is as eerie as it gets. Explore the remand prison of the Soviet Military Counterintelligence at Leistikowstraße 1, the epitome of torture and torment for thousands of Germans and Soviet military personnel, now a memorial and meeting place.
9. Check point charlie: The most famous crossing between east and west Germany. Check point charlie of great historical importance. Though beware, the area is notorious for pickpockets.
10. Tiergarten: Meet Berlin’s lungs. Once a royal hunting ground, Tiergarten is now a public park. Its a perfect place to cycle around, picnic or enjoy a glass of freshly brewed beer by the lake.
-Cost of staying: Berlin has a room for all kinds of travelers. A dorm room will cost you between EUR 10-30 depending on the season and location. In most cases, this includes free breakfast. I recommend St. Christoper hostel. A budget hotel is EUR 50 a night and an apartment will be around the same, if you take up a bed/couch in an apartment it would be EUR 20. For 5 star hotels, you would end up paying EUR 100 and upwards.
-Cost of internal transportation:
Berlin is huge and you just can’t do it on foot. Good thing, it is well connected by the metro. If you have a long day and making a couple of trips take a day pass for one AB at EUR 7. A single journey ticket for AB zones costs EUR 2.8 and a short distance ticket costs EUR 1.7. If you are traveling in Berlin for longer you can take a 7-day pass for EUR 30. As is most parts of Germany, a bicycle is the most used transport. You can hire one at EUR 15 a day.
-Cost of food and drinks: When in Germany drink as Germans! A pint of beer will cost you EUR 3. Standard coffee from the supermarket will cost you EUR 2, at McCafe will be about EUR 3. There are a number of affordable Turkish restaurants in Berlin, you can grab a Shawarma/Falafel sandwich in EUR 5. You can also buy sausages or the very famous currywurst in as low as EUR 3. Meal for 2 at a budget restaurant will not cost you more than 10 EUR. Whereas a meal for 2 at a fancy place will be EUR 20 and upwards.
Money saving tips
-Take a free walking tour: It helps you know the city better. You can always come back to the monuments that interest you and spend more time there. Guides of such tours give out local recommendations, places that do not have “tourist prices”. I had booked one with Sandeman Tour.
-Cook your own meal: Most of the hostels are equipped with a well-equipped kitchen, it always help save the cost. Cost of 1 weeks grocery in Berlin would be an average of 40 EUR.
-Take a public transport pass: Public transport is possibly the best way of seeing any city, especially when it is well connected as in the case of Berlin. You can also choose to walk from one place to another, this doesn’t only give you more time to soak in the vibe but also saves you that extra buck!
-Go to Free museums: A bunch of amazing museums in Berlin are free. Hunt for them, in fact, my very favorite museum was Topography of terror (entry free) do check it out. Some of the museums also offer discount tickets, check their website for the best offers.
-Berlin Pass: Take the city card to save money on major tourist attractions.
-Use student ID card: If you are a student use your ID card to get discounts at various attractions.