The trip that you have been wanting to take for so long is finally here! About to go to Berlin for a week? Here is a review of the things you could do in Berlin: things as a tourist or a local!
Berlin is the capital of Germany, as we all know, which is why you are bound to be surrounded by people from various countries, cultures, religions, races and so on. It is truly known for the kind of international population and diversity that it hosts.
So don’t be surprised if you’re not always surrounded by Germans here. When you first arrive here, you will need to know about the transportation system in Berlin, after all, you need to go places, don’t you? Now one must remember this, the transportation in every city varies a little from the other. Similarly, Berlin also has its own transportation system.
The Deutsche Bahn (meaning German train) and BVG are the main urban public transport systems! A map of the transportation system can be acquired at almost any station and they are entirely free of cost. If you forget to take one of these, it would not be a huge problem, as long as you’re traveling by trains, because they have the map inside every train and it is really easy to understand!
You could buy the weekly ticket there and get a discounted rate for it, instead of buying a ticket daily and spending a few more Euros. But, make sure that you buy the ticket, because at times there will be inspectors to check the ticket and if they catch you without a ticket, a fine of 60 Euros will be issued! Sad, I know! Hence, be careful and never forget to buy the ticket.
Well, now that you have gotten the idea of how to travel here, you would also want to know when would be the best time to travel here. It is summer! Yes, summers here are just too beautiful and the tourism here gets a crazy boost during summer. The weather is too comforting and one can make the most of Berlin in summer.
Although, if you want to avoid the crowd, winters are also not bad, just make sure to carry a lot of warm clothing. The winters are also tourist seasons at the time of Christmas and new year. These are some of the most festive times in Berlin and a very good option to celebrate your new years’ and Christmas. There will be a lot of Christmas markets around this time and also outdoor ice skating rinks where one can have some fun with ice skating. The Christmas markets will mostly be about beer and traditional German food, but in some markets, you will come across a variety of things. The city will be glowing with lights and decorations during this time and that won’t let the cold bother you.
Once you are actually here, you would have the option to know the city from two major perspectives; as a tourist or as a local. If you want to know from the tourist point of view, take one of the city sightseeing bus tours which are as cheap as 20 Euros! Once you see all the attractions of the city, you could always come back to visit something you that you liked a lot by taking one of the trains that I mentioned earlier.
If you want to explore Berlin like a local, there is a vast range of things to do. You could start with trying all the beers for example and move on to shopping at the luxury stores as well as the flea markets, moving on to having the typically German “Curry-Wurst” (meaning curry-sausage) or “Deoner” (famous street food in Germany; originated in Turkey) for lunch, dinner or even breakfast. Apart from this there many more things that you could do, adventurous, weird, mainstream, anything! Berlin will offer you an immense number of opportunities for this. (refer to other articles about Berlin for a more extensive understanding).
There are also really low budget buses that will take you to nearby cities, not just the German cities, but also other cities of Europe. For example, there is a very famous market known as the Polen-Markt(meaning the Poland market) in Poland and there is a bus that takes you there and brings you back on the same day in just 10 Euros! And the bus has wifi!!
Another thing you cannot afford to miss in Berlin is experiencing the nightlife here. It is very different from the American nightlife. It is all about hardcore techno music in Berlin. There are a lot of bars and clubs here and they are always filled with people, irrespective of what day it is. Yes, Berliners love to party! But remember, there are people from around the world here.
The main party area is Warschauer Strasse (meaning Warschauer street). There are more than a dozen clubs and bars here, also a great place to meet people from everywhere, if that interests you in any way! Although some of you might also find the clubs and the nightlife overrated in general, it is a matter of perspective, honestly. Some of the well-known clubs are Tresor, KitKat, Berghain, etc. Apart from Warschauer street, you can find bars at almost every place. The stations of the U-Bahn (1) have some of the coolest and most happening places in Berlin!
Berlin is also famous for the excellent quality of education that it provides; the Free University of Berlin( FU), the Technical University of Berlin(TU), University of Economics and Engineering(HTW) are some of the state-funded universities and have some of the best students and teachers from around the world. The libraries are also a must visit, especially if you’re a fan of ancient architecture and grandeur!
Last but not the least, the sports! Berlin has hosted multiple international sports events since a long time, for example, the summer Olympics 1936 etc. The Olympiastadion (meaning Olympic stadium) is where they took place and the stadium operates till date and one can visit here. Apart from this the Mercedes-Benz arena also hosts a number of sports events, including the favorite sport of Germans- football!
Updated: March 24, 2017