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Berlin Trip

KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
edited July 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
I'll be in Berlin for three days this weekend and would like recommendations.
I've already got a rough idea of what I want to see but I'd like to know if anyone has anything they found enjoyable when they recently visited Berlin. I'm a history buff and I'll be in museums/visiting historical buildings of note mainly, during the day at least.

So, any ideas?

Kalkino on
Freedom for the Northern Isles!

Posts

  • DaxonDaxon Registered User
    edited July 2008
    I guess you'll be going to Checkpoint Charlie then. I went there, it wasn't all too impressive but I'm not all too interested in history. You might find Checkpoint Charlie grossly fascinating (it was where the West and East traded hostages and the like before the wall fell).

    Much cooler is the Reichstag; I never went into the building but the outside has a huge ass clear area in front of it and it's pretty damn impressive just standing there.

  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    The Reichstag and Potsdamer Platz are the two places I definately must go to see, so far as sight seeing of notable buildings or places.

    I'm also looking at the Stasi Museum tour

    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • GrobianGrobian What's on sale? Pliers!Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I live in Berlin. Although you can get all the museums etc from any tourist guide, here are my personal favorites: The Pergamon-Museum has the Pergamon Altar, which is impressive. Of course they also have tons of stuff from other periods of ancient history and it's on the Museumsinsel (museum island), so you'll go there anyway. The Naturkundemuseum has big dinosaur skeletons if you are into that.


    Be prepared for insane lines for the Reichstag. Bring a small child or pregnant woman if at all possible, so you can skip the lines.


    There are guided bus tours with stops where you can get off and on again. Those can be good for a general impression of Berlin. Our city is huge and some of the sights are far apart (also due to the wall). A cheaper alternative is taking public transport. Bus lines 100 and 200 come to mind as they pass almost all of the sights anyway (and are two-story-busses).


    If you are American, I'd recommend the Aufsturz in the Oranienburger Straße (not far from the synagogue). It's a bar with 100+ types of beer. It is full of tourists, but you are a tourist after all.

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  • GrennGrenn Registered User
    edited July 2008
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    I went there a few years ago and really liked the Gedachnisch Kirche (sp?) and the Berliner Zoo (Close to Bahnhof Zoo, famous from the depressing book). Checkpoint Charlie didn't do anything for me, other places to cross between East and West were just as impressive, especially Potsdammer Platz.

    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • GrobianGrobian What's on sale? Pliers!Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    It's Gedächtniskirche (Memorial Church).

    Bahnhof Zoo isn't like in the book anymore. The Zoo itself is just a zoo. I prefer the Tierpark (the zoo in East-Berlin), but I wouldn't visit any of them if I only had 3 days in Berlin. You can watch caged animals everywhere and Knut is grown up. There's also the Tiergarten, a big park in the middle of the city (like Central Park in New York, only without the horses)


    For East/West-crossings, there's also the East Side Gallery, a longish stretch of original Berlin Wall. At least a little more impressive than Checkpoint Charlie, although it is next to a 6-8 lane road. At most places you don't even see that there was a wall, like at Potsdamer Platz, where they built skyscrapers on the former wasteland.

    IBHz8.png1dUCx.png
  • AldoAldo Hippo Hooray the swamp, always the swampRegistered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Grobian wrote: »
    It's Gedächtniskirche (Memorial Church).

    Bahnhof Zoo isn't like in the book anymore. The Zoo itself is just a zoo. I prefer the Tierpark (the zoo in East-Berlin), but I wouldn't visit any of them if I only had 3 days in Berlin. You can watch caged animals everywhere and Knut is grown up. There's also the Tiergarten, a big park in the middle of the city (like Central Park in New York, only without the horses)


    For East/West-crossings, there's also the East Side Gallery, a longish stretch of original Berlin Wall. At least a little more impressive than Checkpoint Charlie, although it is next to a 6-8 lane road. At most places you don't even see that there was a wall, like at Potsdamer Platz, where they built skyscrapers on the former wasteland.
    Thank you. And to me Potsdamer Platz was interesting because of those high buildings, as it allowed me to view mutliple eras of the city at once. And it were pretty buildings, so there's that. :P

    Elendil wrote: »
    said Aldo hazily, before clop-clop-clopping out of the room
  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Aldo wrote: »
    Grobian wrote: »
    It's Gedächtniskirche (Memorial Church).

    Bahnhof Zoo isn't like in the book anymore. The Zoo itself is just a zoo. I prefer the Tierpark (the zoo in East-Berlin), but I wouldn't visit any of them if I only had 3 days in Berlin. You can watch caged animals everywhere and Knut is grown up. There's also the Tiergarten, a big park in the middle of the city (like Central Park in New York, only without the horses)


    For East/West-crossings, there's also the East Side Gallery, a longish stretch of original Berlin Wall. At least a little more impressive than Checkpoint Charlie, although it is next to a 6-8 lane road. At most places you don't even see that there was a wall, like at Potsdamer Platz, where they built skyscrapers on the former wasteland.
    Thank you. And to me Potsdamer Platz was interesting because of those high buildings, as it allowed me to view mutliple eras of the city at once. And it were pretty buildings, so there's that. :P

    About 3-4 years back at least I saw a great documentary on Potsdamer Platz and ever since I've really wanted to go visit it.

    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • AgsieAgsie Registered User
    edited July 2008
    I was actually just there a month ago and strongly recommend taking the free walking tour. They are offered by a company called New Europe and the guides work on a tip only basis so they are actually enthusiastic. Most of the hostels will probably have free maps that show where they meet.

    Their website is http://www.newberlintours.com/nbt/

    The tour is about 3 1/2 hours long and covers most of the main sites in the city. Also, the guides can give you a good idea on where to go for the nightlife scene. I believe they offer a pub crawl if you're into that.

  • TaGuelleTaGuelle Registered User
    edited July 2008
    Make sure to visit the Soviet War Memorial in the East. I remember you take the circle Ubahns that go around the city and get off somewhere in the east. It's really impressive and perfectly maintained. There's a camp called Orangenburg in the north if you wanted to see that side of Berlin. The museum section is really cool and pretty affordable. Make sure to check out Kreuzberg and other cool areas within the city.

  • JoeUserJoeUser Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Kalkino wrote: »
    I'll be in Berlin for three days this weekend and would like recommendations.
    I've already got a rough idea of what I want to see but I'd like to know if anyone has anything they found enjoyable when they recently visited Berlin. I'm a history buff and I'll be in museums/visiting historical buildings of note mainly, during the day at least.

    So, any ideas?

    I recommend getting an Eyewitness Travel book, especially if you like the historical stuff. I used them in Budapest, Vienna and Prague, and they have been incredibly helpful. They have pictures of all the little places you might want to see, which makes it much easier to find them.

    Here's the one for Berlin on Amazon, but I'm sure your local Barnes & Noble would have it. It's a good read on the plane/train on the way there.

    PSN: JoeUser80 Steam
  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Agsie wrote: »
    I was actually just there a month ago and strongly recommend taking the free walking tour. They are offered by a company called New Europe and the guides work on a tip only basis so they are actually enthusiastic. Most of the hostels will probably have free maps that show where they meet.

    Their website is http://www.newberlintours.com/nbt/

    The tour is about 3 1/2 hours long and covers most of the main sites in the city. Also, the guides can give you a good idea on where to go for the nightlife scene. I believe they offer a pub crawl if you're into that.

    This sounds like a good idea. What is the general tipping rule do you know? I rarely tip (isn't part of the culture where I live), outside of some restaurants so I am rather clueless about the rules

    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
  • GrobianGrobian What's on sale? Pliers!Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    TaGuelle wrote: »
    Make sure to visit the Soviet War Memorial in the East. I remember you take the circle Ubahns that go around the city and get off somewhere in the east. It's really impressive and perfectly maintained. There's a camp called Orangenburg in the north if you wanted to see that side of Berlin. The museum section is really cool and pretty affordable. Make sure to check out Kreuzberg and other cool areas within the city.

    The War meorial is in the Treptower Park (another park, Berlin is quite green). You would get off at the S-Bahn-station of the same name. The concentration camp Sachsenhausen is in Oranienburg, but that is not part of Berlin anymore and might be too far for the OP. It definitely is worth visiting, though.


    As for tipping in bars/restaurants: 10% is the de-facto standard. Tipping is still some form of appreciation here, so feel free to just not tip at all, if you get bad service. The waiters don't need your tips to live like it is in other countries.
    You don't have to tip at all when getting anything over a counter (fast food, coffee shop, etc.)

    If you meant tipping for tour guides, I have no idea.

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  • TaGuelleTaGuelle Registered User
    edited July 2008
    Thanks for correcting me and telling the guy where to get off with the Metro system. If you're into freaky fetisch clubs, the Kitkat is pretty cool. Are you planning on going out in those three days because as historical and cultural as the city is, the night life is just as sick.

  • AgsieAgsie Registered User
    edited July 2008
    Kalkino wrote: »
    Agsie wrote: »
    I was actually just there a month ago and strongly recommend taking the free walking tour. They are offered by a company called New Europe and the guides work on a tip only basis so they are actually enthusiastic. Most of the hostels will probably have free maps that show where they meet.

    Their website is http://www.newberlintours.com/nbt/

    The tour is about 3 1/2 hours long and covers most of the main sites in the city. Also, the guides can give you a good idea on where to go for the nightlife scene. I believe they offer a pub crawl if you're into that.

    This sounds like a good idea. What is the general tipping rule do you know? I rarely tip (isn't part of the culture where I live), outside of some restaurants so I am rather clueless about the rules

    I went on the free walking tour in 3 cities recently and the average tip was around 5 Euro. Some people left as much as 20 and some people left nothing. There's no hard rule about how much to leave. Generally the tour guides don't even look at how much each person leaves so you don't need to feel awkward about under or over tipping.

  • KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Thanks for the tipping guides - I generally have no clue on these things because I also come from/live in a country where tipping is only for really good service. Gogo minimum wage and social welfare safety net!

    Freedom for the Northern Isles!
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