Berlin, a city full of history both old and new, with attractions for all ages.
Having visited with school when I was fourteen I had wanted to go back ever since. When my boyfriend’s twenty-first birthday was approaching I could think of no better present then taking him to this wonderful city.
The idea of going to a city like Berlin can be a bit overwhelming, I have created this guide of top tips to help you prepare for a wonderful break.
What to pack:
- Clothes for all weathers –
The weather changes very fast, one day you can be sunbathing and the next you need an umbrella. A Monday morning in April can have a bright blue sky without a cloud, perfect shorts and t-shirt weather, but the next day can see downpours of rain all day.
- A map of the underground—
All of the train stations in Berlin have maps of the routes around the city, however just like London stations they get very busy so it’s a good idea to know which trains you need in advance, especially if there is any cancellations.
- Plenty of money –
Being a capital city, you expect things in Berlin to cost a little extra. On a whole, prices for things such as food and souvenirs are the same as in the UK. However, if you plan to visit any museums you will have to pay, unlike in London where most are free.
- Comfortable shoes—
Most of the main attractions in Berlin are within walking distance of each other, although for only 7Euro you can buy an all-day travel ticket for most of the city. Berlin is full of beautiful buildings both old and new, walking around the city will give you the chance to see some you would miss by taking the underground, however, with a whole day of walking, sensible shoes are advised.
- German Phrase book—
Although most Germans speak very good English, they appreciate it if you try using their language. If you’re not already fluent in German, a phrase book can be really useful for thinks such as ordering food, and can help when approached by someone speaking the language.
What to do:
- Berlin Zoo—
Known to be one of the best in the world, this zoo definitely earns its status. With incredible animals such as polar bears, hippos and kangaroos and enclosures which don’t look like cages, a trip to Berlin Zoo is a must. Make sure you put a whole day aside if you want to see all of zoo and aquarium, and prepare for lots of walking (in your comfortable shoes.)
- Berliner Fernsehturm (TV Tower)—
Standing at a huge 368 meters, the TV Tower is the tallest structure in Germany. Inside the dome is a restaurant and a viewing platform with a bar. From the viewing platform at 204 meters you get incredible views across the city for a very reasonable price. Visit at night to see the capital lit up, a breath-taking experience.
- River Spree cruise tour—
A guided tour town the river Spree is a great opportunity to see many of Berlin’s famous buildings including the main government buildings such as the Reichstag. You will also sail through Museum Island and learn lots about the history of Berlin.
- Brandenburg Gate—
As one of the most famous landmarks in Berlin, the Brandenburg gate is one of the best sites in the city. Make sure you also visit the Jewish memorial which is just down the street.
- Botanical Gardens—
If you feel like escaping the busy city for a while, the Botanical Gardens are the perfect place to go. With greenhouses the size of a glass castle, the tropical plants inside transport you to a different place, whilst the beautiful gardens provide a peaceful walk.
Food and Drink
- Berlin Currywurst—
As the most famous food from Berlin, trying a curry-wurst is a must if you visit the city. Imagine a super tasty hot dog full of herbs and flavours, and then throw on some ketchup and curry powder … delicious!
If you are looking to go out for dinner in the evening, Alexanderplatz is a great place to go. There is a large selection of restaurants offering a variety of cuisines, many of them have a great view of the TV Tower too.
- German beer—
Germany is world famous for its beer industry. With a huge variety on offer, it would be rude not to try one whilst you are there. If you want to try something different, order a wheat beer, a sweeter alternative to your regular pint.
- Cheap Cocktails—
In the heart of the city you can find restaurants and bars which serve amazing cocktails for equally amazing prices. If you spend some time looking around you can find places which have cheaper drinks that UK high-street chains.
- Rausch Schokoladenhaus Chocolate Cafe
Germany makes great chocolate, there is no argument. Downstairs, this chocolate shop is full of tempting products as well as incredible chocolate sculpture. If you go up to the first floor, you will find the chocolate cafe where everything on the menu contains the sweet treat.
Hopefully this guide has given you some ideas on what to expect when you travel to Berlin and how to spend your time there. Berlin is such a beautiful city, make sure you spend enough time taking it all in and snapping lots of photos to look back on.