Berlin: the capital of Germany
If you are planning a trip to Germany (👉GERMANY GUIDE), you need to know that it is a country characterized by its museums, nature, Christmas markets, its controversial past and its impressive architecture.
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Its capital, Berlin (👉BERLIN GUIDE), is a multicultural city that stands out from the rest European cities thanks to their own style, as you can see in their underground bars and clubs.
Although it also offers a great variety of activities. If you want to learn more about its history, I recommend you visit the Sachsenhausen camp and take a tour of the Nacism in Berlin.
Another option is to get on the tourist bus, or sail along the River Spree and enjoy the iconic landmarks on this Berlin boat tour.
The Komischer Oper in Berlin
A visit to Berlin is the perfect time to go to the opera. There are 3 different opera in this city: the national (Staatsoper), the comic (Komische Oper) and the German (Deutsche Oper). In this case I will write about the Komische. It is located in Mitte, one of the central districts, and very close to the subway exit (U6 Französischer Strasse).
Prices are VERY affordable, the cheapest ticket costs 12€ and since it is a small room there’s good visibility from all the seats (except at the ends). There are reduced price options for students: if you go half an hour before the opera starts and you present the student card and you are under 30 years old (no matter what country you are from), any seat will cost you 15e, even in the stalls.
Whether you are an opera lover, or you want to discover if you are passionate about this world take seize the visit and attend a performance.
How to get from the airport to the center of Berlin
Berlin-Brandenburg Airport (BER) is located less than 25 km from the center of Berlin.
There are 4 different ways to get to the city center. The most comfortable option is to hire a TRANSFER (👉PRICES); although you can also take a taxi or go by public transport, that is, by S-bahn (something like the subway) or by regional train.
The two S-bahn lines to get to the center of Berlin from the airport terminals 1, 2 and 5 are lines S9 and S45. In both cases there are trains leaving every 20 minutes.
To get to the center of Berlin by train, you must take the Airport Express (FEX) or the regional trains RE7 and RB14. All of them stop at Terminal 1 and 2 of the airport. The regional trains stop is just below Terminal 1, and there are 4 scheduled departures every hour.
If your flight departs from Terminal 5, you will have to transfer at the same station to take the S9 or S45 to your terminal (the trip takes about 8 minutes).
You will find more detailed information in this article on how to get from the AIRPORT to the center of BERLIN
Useful stuff for your trip to Germany
Below, you will find some products that will be very useful during your trip to Germany.
In addition, the options that I recommend are committed to the environment/social causes and are vegan.
Carrying a waterproof windbreaker in your suitcase is essential in case temperatures drop, it rains unexpectedly, or to go hiking.
When traveling, it’s important to choose a jacket that is lightweight, takes up little space and that you can use in different situations; that is to say, that transpires, is waterproof and has a hood to protect you properly from bad weather.
👉 Price windbreaker for MAN and windbreaker for WOMAN
3-in-1 hiking shoes
These La Sportiva shoes are designed to run in the mountains, thanks to this you can use them for hiking, go out to run and do tourism ; saving space in your suitcase.
They are made with goretex, which means they protect you from the inclement weather weather (such as rain, ice or cold) and are adherent to the ground. This makes them ideal for traveling due to their versatility.
👉 Price shoes for MAN and for shoes for WOMAN
10l backpack for day trips and trekking
This 10 L backpack 10 is ideal for visitng cities or going hikimg. It has two compartments to organize your stuff properly and internal space for a hydration bag, as well as a side pocket to carry a bottle.
The size is suitable for 1 day trips and to go running, since it allows you to take everything you need with ease. In addition, it covers less of the back and thus avoids being overheated.
Save Money with the Berlin welcome card
To get around Berlin easily, you can opt for the Berlin WelcomeCard (you can buy it at this link) which will allow you unlimited use of public transport (flat rate) and offers discounts of up to 50% in more than 190 museums and Berlin attractions.
If you have small children, you will be happy to know that the card is free for children under 6 years of age. Prices for adults are as follows:
|48h||72h||72h + museum isl.||4 days||5 days||6 days|
|23 €||33 €||55 €||40 €||46 €||49 €|
Tours & activities in Berlin
In Berlin there are many places and activities to enjoy during your stay in the German capital.
I leave you a list with the activities and tours you can do around Berlin, to get to know this city in more depth.
Options also include free tours to help keep your travel budget from skyrocketing.
Where to stay in Berlin
The city of Berlin changes quite a bit depending on the area you visit. I would separate it into two zones depending on your preferences and the type of tourism you like.
EXPENSIVE ZONE AND LESS ALTERNATIVE
Broadly speaking, the area of Stadtmitte, Kurfürstendamm and Charlottenburg is more arranged and expensive (American part during the GDR). Here you can do a quieter and more usual type of tourism, focusing on the monuments, the opera, museums, shopping, etc…
YOUNG people + UNDERGROUND
If you are more into the alternative style and focused on young people, I recommend the neighborhoods of Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, Prenzlauer Berg and Neukölln. Here there are many curious and more alternative bars, concerts in basements, parks to have a barbecue, nightclubs that are open 3 days 24 hours, festivals, etc…
Is Germany safe for travelers?
Germany is a safe country to travel, and there are no risk areas where tourists are not recommended to go. If you are a victim of robbery or accident, you should call the police at 110.
Although it is a safe country, crimes also occur; so remember to follow these recommendations and hire a travel insurance
- If you’re being robbed, don’t try to fight back physically.
- Ve con cuidado al salir de noche, y mantente en lugares donde haya gente.
- It’s best to be cautious at night, so stick to well-populated areas.
- Keep your valuables close to your body and out of sight to avoid being a target for thieves (your camera, phone,..).
- And finally, don’t carry your backpack on your back where it’s easy for someone to snatch it; carry it in front of you or use a belt bag or cross-body bag instead.
Eating vegan in Germany
Traditional German food is not exactly characterized by the scarcity of products of animal origin. Luckily, in this country you will find restaurants restaurants that offer many different cuisines and you will not be short of options when you go out to eat.
In general, it will not be difficult for you to find vegan food since most restaurants have vegan and vegetarian dishes on their menus and, in addition, there are also many restaurants that are entirely vegan.
If you want to cook to save a little, organic supermarkets are where you will find more options that fit your needs. And there are even german cities where you will find 100% vegan supermarkets!
Two practical tips for your stay:
- Before going on a tour that includes a meal, always mention that you are vegan or vegetarian, so that they can adapt the food.
- The quality of fruit and vegetables in German supermarkets is not the best. If you have a Turkish market or supermarket nearby, it’s better that you buy there the fruits and vegetables, nuts, hummus, muhammara, etc…
What to visit in Berlin
Besides the museums and the East Side Gallery, there are more great places to visit in Berlin. Below you will find a list of the touristic landmarks, but also some places that are out of the ordinary, so you can enjoy a mix between the popular and alternative side of Berlin.
In Berlin it is very cold and, when the good weather begins, everyone starts doing outdoor activities: whether it is going to the park, the lake, playing sports, etc…
If you fancy going for a swim in the lake without having to travel far (since the most beautiful ones are far from the center), you can choose to go to Weissensee lake.
It is very convenient to make a visit, because it is well connected by public transport (the tram stops in front of it) and it also has a quieter and more natural area (with ducks and swans!) and another with sand and a bar where you can drink or eat something.
Warning: in Berlin it is normal to practice nudism, so don’t be surprised to see some ass in the air.
Devil’s Mountain (Teufelsberg)
The Devil’s Mountain is a totally different place from what you have seen before. If you like urban exploration or underground graffiti style, then you have to go there.
This is a hill built with rubble from the Second World War, and below the mountain a military and technical university of Nazism is buried.
Years later, an American spy station was built on the top. Now it is abandoned and open to the public so you can visit it legally.
Sisyphos is an underground nightclub in Berlin that has 5 rooms and an open air area. In the outdoor area, there’s a fake beach with sand, loungers and sofas
It’s built inside an old dog biscuit factory and the music they play is electro. The parties at Sisyphos are unstoppable, it’s open from Friday to Monday (without closing).
At this Thai Park in Berlin you can enjoy real Thai street food. When summer arrives, the city’s Thai community makes stops at this park and cooks typical dishes from their country (they also offer massages).
It’s something alternative and fun to do on a Sunday afternoon, compared to typical places for tourists. You go to the park, eat something, and lie on the grass while you drink a coconut or a mojito.