Ultimate guide: Berlin

Berlin is the capital of Germany but it is also one of the most vibrant and interesting cities in Europe. We always enjoy coming back here, not more for its beautiful sights than for the unique atmosphere, both fast-paced and relaxed.

Berlin – the ever-changing city

Glass reflection of the Sony center in BerlinBerlin is a city with a rich and heavy background and in which major events have taken place throughout history. The evolution of Berlin and its constant vibrant atmosphere can well be understood by taking a glimpse at the past.

In the Golden Twenties, Berlin was a vibrating and widely known center for art, music and fashion. This aspect entirely stepped back at the time of the Nazi regime, during which the city center was entirely destroyed.

Ensuing the war, the allied forces split Germany – and Berlin – in two equal parts which were ruled by the allies on the west side and the Soviet union on the East one.

In 1961, the separation between West and East Berlin is finalized with the construction of the Berlin Wall, splitting the city in two unequal sides evolving in two diametrically opposite directions.

In November 1989, after months of mass demonstrations and following the fall of the GDR, the wall is teared down reuniting the two sides of Germany and of Berlin. This event had a massive impact on the city and remains of this era can be found everywhere in the city and many museums are entirely dedicated to it.

People crossing the wall on graff at East Side Gallery

What to visit in Berlin ?

Berlin is the biggest city of Germany and of course offers a lot of different things to see. You will for sure find something that fits your taste and it just depends on what you are interested to see. We put together a few recommendations based on different profiles, just click on one of the following link to read the dedicated articles:

  1. I am not interested in the touristic places and what to experience the real and alternative side of Berlin.
  2. I am passionate of history and culture and what to learn everything about Berlin.
  3. I want to make the most of my first short stay in Berlin and visit the most important monuments.

We might add some more profiles in the future, don’t hesitate to come back 😉

Restaurants

Dish in La Tia Rica Berlin

Berlin is the culinary heaven of Germany.

Everytime you’ll come back, you will find a new fantastic restaurant to try out.

Here are some of our current favorites.

La Tia Rica

Here you will get the authentic chilean food and Berlin’s best Pisco sour.

Read our full review here 

Thali plate at the W in Berlin

W – Der Imbiss

Have you ever tried “indo-mexi-cal-italian” food? No? You need to check this out!

One of the best and freshest fast food joint, located in one of the nicest hipster street of Berlin.

 

Breakfast selection at Café Einstein Stammhaus in Berlin

Cafe Einstein (Stammhaus)

You will find many “Café Einstein” in Berlin but their Stammhaus is of an entire other level.

Way less busy than the city center subsidiaries, the Stammhaus is the go-to place with writers and philosophers in quest for a quiet morning bite.

Hotels

Even in a modern metropolis that never sleeps, you will need to get some rest, might it be in the middle of the day.

There are countless fantastic hotels and hostels in Berlin and we’re sure that you will find the perfect one for you but here are a few recommendation:

Andel’s

A bit in the outskirts but with an amazing sky bar and cheap room rates.

25 hours Hotel

Funky and chilled, the 25 hours hotel of Berlin is located right at the side of the Zoo. There are no many other places where you can enjoy a drink on the rooftop with a direct view on exotic animals.

EastSeven Hostel

Located right in the center of the city, the EastSeven Hostel has a perfect situation. If you are on a budget, this is the place to go.

Bars

Berlin has an amazing nightlife and this would be a much too broad subject for this article, we will probably cover it later on. However, there are many places that are worth visiting during the day or in the evening.

Andel’s Skybar

Amazing view over Berlin, situated on the top floor of the Andel’s Hotel. Be sure to ask for a window side table, as you can enjoy your cocktail with a view on the “Fernsehturm”.

Inside the YAAM Berlin

YAAM

Jamaican vibes in the city. Next to the river this is a perfect spot for a sundowner and to have a good time listening to a concert.

Club der Visionäre

Located at the border of Kreuzberg, the “Club of the visionaries” is an outside location who offers a wonderful terrace, floating on one of Berlin’s small canals.

River by the Club der Visionaere in Berlin

Attractions

You will find more sights and attractions in our travel profiles but there are some touristic sights that anyone shall enjoy discovering.

Brandenburg gate in Berlin

Brandenburg Gate

The postcard sight of Berlin. Located just in the center of the city this monument of freedom is stunning to look at.

Pergamon museum

Monumental buildings squeezed into museum halls. You will not stop to gape here.

Berlin wall Curriculum Vitae - Eastside GalleryEast-Side Gallery

A memorial for freedom with graffs & paintings from more than 100 artists who designed the rest of the Berlin Wall in their way.

How to move around Berlin

Berlin has a very good public transportation system and it is very easy to go from one place to the other. With one ticket from the BVG (train company) you are able to use all kind of transports including subway, bus, trams, etc.

The city is divided in different zones and you will have to choose AB if you want to travel the city center or ABC if you want to make it to the further suburbs (like Potsdam or SFX airport). It is worth it to take a daily pass (which costs around 6 Euro) or a 7-days-pass (around 30 Euro) as you will anyway end up using some sort of public transportation at some point.

There is also the possibility to take the “Berlin-Welcome card” which offers discounts for different sights and attractions. It can be a good deal if you want to visit several museums, exhibitions or memorials. For more information, have a look at the website of the BVG.

Black vespa in front of old red car in BerlinIf you are looking for some cooler way to move around, we highly recommend you to rent a Vespa!

We do this every time we visit the city as it gives you an incomparable freedom to move around and allow you to see corners of the city from a totally different point of view.

 

 

Our “Ultimate guides” are living articles in which we summarize our experiences with a city or a region. We will keep on updating them as we discover more hidden treasures of these wonderful places.

Don’t hesitate to come back in a while to see if there’s anything new.



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4 comments

  1. I’ve always wanted to visit Berlin! Well at least since high school and learning about the Iron Curtain. Our history teacher brought in a piece of the Berlin Wall. It was an awesome experience. I can’t imagine what it would be like to actually go there and see the parts still standing.

  2. Fantastic article on Berlin with a great selection of activities. I love the transportation section as I find this so important to learn how to effectively navigate when visiting somewhere. A vespa sound like a great option but the public transport seems to work well. Love all the profiles you created to help decide what to see. My favorite is the first one as I like seeing the not so typical things and being less of a tourist.

  3. This is like a complete guide of Berlin. Whenever I am going there, I’m referring to this. I would LOVE to try W–Der Imbiss because it looks so Indian 😛 Amazingly written. How one can spend a short amount of time in a city and not be all touristy. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Such an amazing, well written complete guide to Berlin. The pictures are so tempting and they can make someone hungry easily. I will be bookmarking this, as will be requiring it while traveling to Berlin. Thanks for sharing.

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