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3 Things You Should Never Do In Berlin
Berlin, the capital of Germany, is a city you discover every day. It is really big and visiting it in a weekend is impossible. If you decide to spend a week in this place, you will surely be able to enjoy most of the important attractions the city has to offer. Many people traveling there consider Berlin a really clean and modern city, where everything seems to work very well: this is true, as public transport is really efficient, trams and trains are generally very clean and you usually do not find much litter on the roads (this is the demonstration of how good is German culture of preserving the integrity of things who belong to everyone). As a tourist, you have to understand this mentality: here people have a strong sense of respect and common things are also really valued. In addition to this, there are 3 things you should avoid to do in Berlin, both because of this mentality you have to understand and respect, both for your convenience.
Traveling Without Ticket
This is the first and the most important rule you have to follow always: do not ever think about taking the S-Bahn, the U-Bahn, trams or other public transport solutions without a valid ticket. Folks at BVG (the society which controls many of the public transport lines in Berlin) check your ticket validity without wearing any uniform: you can just jump on the S-Bahn without the ticket, sit near a woman with shopping bags, and suddenly discover she is a masquerading BGV employee who is checking tickets: when she extracts her BVG identification card you suddenly realize how efficient is German's way of behaving with the so called Schwarfahrers (people who travel without ticket). There is no excuse to say: BVG employees are usually very rigid (they even earn a percentage on how many people without ticket they find) and if you are caught, you have to pay. You should even pay attention not to travel again without ticket: also jail may be considered for recidive Schwarzfahrers.
That is the reason why traveling without ticket is not frequent in Germany: BVG has a good income and public transport is really efficient for this reason, it is so efficient and clean you do not need any taxi if you are going to save money. Traveling without ticket here is seen as a real crime: paying the fine is nothing compared to the disappointing faces you will see against you when the BVG employee finds you without a valid ticket. This is all related to what is said in the first part of this article: German people are really careful about common things. Paying for the ticket here is seen as doing something good for everyone, not only as something you have to do because that "fake" university teacher who is looking at you in the S-Bahn may suddenly extract a card and reveal his real identity.
Insulting people is obviously something you should avoid in every place. In Berlin, and Germany in general, you should pay even more attention, as here injuries are considered a crime. You can be prosecuted for just having said bad words to someone, there is no excuses if you are caught. German people give strong importance to personal reputation: that's the reason here injuries are untolerated. If you come from a country in which injuries are something usual and not legally relevant, you will have to understand German culture.
Relying Only On Credit Cards
Unless you are going to eat and drink only at Starbucks, McDonald's, KFC or other big chains, relying only on credit cards may be a problem in Berlin: there are still some places here in which only cash is accepted. A typical example is provided by the small gazebos you can find in Alexanderplatz: here credit cards do not work. In general, having some cash is good in Berlin: you can try to pay with credit card whenever it is possible and use cash whenever electronic payments are not supported.