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.
Bar Madame Claude: muebles en el techo en Berlín
Madame Claude opened its doors in an old brothel in the neighborhood of Kreuzberg, a very peculiar bar for the distribution of its furniture: it’s both, on the floor and on the ceiling. The bar is divided into two areas: the bar itself and the concert hall. The latter is a small dark room where small groups or alternative music singers of all genres play their songs; chairs are scarce and most people sit on the floor while enjoying the music and having a drink.
It is open every day from 7 pm and the entrance is either free or a small donation is requested and you can choose the amount. It is easy to reach with public transport, the nearest stop is the U-bahn station (U1) Schlesiches Tor.
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.
The inside of Sage/Kitkat nightclub is quite shocking: the walls are painted with images of people, in one room there is a metallic dragon that breathes fire and there’s also an indoor swimming pool in oriental style. It’s amazing.
It is a space shared by two discos: Thursday is the day of “Rock at Sage” with free admission from 8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. You will find a mix between live concerts by international artists and DJ’s in the three rooms of this nightclub.
During the rest of the week, KitKat‘s parties take place. This nightclub has become famous in Berlin for being a swinger club.
Different themed parties are organized and people are free to do whatever they want and wherever they want as long as there is mutual consent. There’s a dress code and it is clear: less is more.
The RAW Gelände in Berlin (Germany) is a former abandoned train construction and repair factory that has become one of the liveliest places in this city.
The different areas of the RAW-Gelände have been remodeled to house small businesses, a skating rink, a swimming pool, gyms, bars and clubs and much more.
It is a perfect place to visit during your stay in Berlin; It is also very well connected by public transport and is located between two neighborhoods with a lot of nightlife (Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain).
You can take the opportunity to eat something, enjoy urban art and go out for a drink or spend the night in one of the clubs that you’ll find inside the RAW Gelände.
Ritter Butzke Nightclub
The Ritter Butzke started illegally in an old factory in the Kreuzberg neighborhood. Shortly after the owners were fined and a few months later the club opened legally in the same location.
The club has 3 rooms with different themes (one of them starring a gigantic teapot) plus an inner courtyard that turns into an open air in summer (there is a huge seahorse).
The music is techno and the atmosphere transports you to another world: half decadent, half fantastic, and an extra half of nonsense. Be sure about my word, I was working there for a while.
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).
Carnival of SUBCULTURES (PUNKS IN BERLIN)
The Carnival of Subcultures is a very cool street party that I highly recommend. Every year the inhabitants of a squatted building in the center of Berlin called Köpi organize the underground version of the main carnival.
The vibe is punk and they also organize concerts and, in addition, there’s a war of tuned bicycles (some even spit fire). Later, the party continues inside the building, which becomes a club.
If you like lakes and parks, I recommend visiting the Volkspark Friedrichshain. It’s one of my favorite places in summer because of the atmosphere and its central location.
It is a very complete park: many people organize barbecues with friends or come to play sports. There are also bars, and a lake with ducks where you can’t swim, but you can sunbathe lying on the grass.
When the temperatures begin to rise and the good weather arrives, there’s also an outdoors cinema where you can see mainly independent films.
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.