- Travel and Places
Berlin, Germany: City Guide
Berlin: A Beautiful City of History and Culture
Berlin is a beautiful and historically fascinating city and has probably changed more than any other European city in recent times. Since the reunification of East and West Berlin and the removal of most of the infamous Berlin Wall, old landmark buildings have been renovated, new ones built, mostly on the site of the wall and some removed completely. It is still possible to follow the path of the wall and in a few places see sections of it that act as a reminder to future generations.
Berlin has many museums and galleries and plenty of shopping opportunities, but it is also famous for its beer-drinking culture, nightlife, all-night nightclubs and bars, cool music scene and some good quality restaurants and hotels at reasonable prices (when compared to the likes of Paris, Rome or London). Beer Gardens (biergarten) are the most traditional German drinking establishments, but there are many road-side cafÈs and more modern trendy establishments too.
Map of Germany - Where is Berlin?
Getting to Berlin - Traveling to and from Berlin, Germany
Most scheduled flights use the small, compact and convenient Tegel airport, just 8km (5 miles) from Mitte (the centre of Berlin) A short taxi ride costing less than Euro 20 or an inexpensive bus ride (Euro 2.10) to Zoologischer Garten (Zoo station or Bahnhof Zoo).
There is also Schonefeld Airport, the former East Berlin Airport, 18km (11 miles) from the centre of Berlin often used by British budget airlines.
British Airways flys from London Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5 to Tegel, Berlin, taking less than 2 hours.
Berlin Boat Trips
Guide Books for Berlin, Germany
Photo: The Last Remaining Watch Tower, Berlin Wall
Getting Around Berlin
Transport in the city
Transport In and Around Berlin - Trains, Boats and Taxis
The main railway station is Berlin Hauptbahnhof and there is a network of local trains: the U-Bahn and S-Bahn, buses and trams.
Taxis are the easiest way to get around, but can be expensive.
Boat trips and tourist buses are also available in the centre of Berlin.
Driving in Berlin should be easy compared to many European cities, although parking could be a problem.
Photo: The Reichstag
Where to stay in Berlin?
Where is the Best Place To Stay in Berlin? - The most central location in Berlin for tourists
Mitte is the most central district of Berlin (meaning middle) The roads Unter den Linden and Friedrichstrasse run east-west and north-south through Mitte. Linden is a grand avenue ending at Alexanderplatz (centre of old East Berlin)
A good hotel in Mitte: The Westin Grand, Berlin, Friedrichstrasse 158-164, Berlin 10117 Germany
Phone: (49)(30) 20270 Fax: (49)(30) 20273362
The Westin Grand Hotel is indeed a grand hotel with foyer open right up to an ornate ceiling on the 7th floor. Reasonable sized bright rooms with fairly poor air conditioning. Nicely decorated if a little sombre in some areas. Just Euro 130 per night for a double make it rather less expensive than a similar hotel in Paris, Rome or London, although breakfast is not included in the price and at Euro 29 each it is probably worth venturing out to a good cafe. The buffet breakfast was a slightly superior version of the usual posh hotel fayre, although I'd still rather have a proper breakfast cooked for me, rather than have to fight the hungry bleary-eyed hoards. Eggs cooked to order.
The hotel Westin Grand, also has a good outdoor bar with a small section of the Berlin Wall on display and a more subdued foyer bar with Grand Piano. They serve a pleasant Dunkel Weissenbier my favourite German tipple (cloudy brown wheet beer although prone to inducing borborygmi)
Map of Berlin - Map of Mitte and Tiergaten, Berlin
Inside The Westin Grand Hotel, Berlin
Where to Eat and drink
Where is the Best Place to Eat in Berlin?
There are many good places to eat in Berlin, but here is a small selection:
Restaurant: Aigner Gendarmenmarkt, Franzˆsische Strasse 25, near hotel in Mitte. Very good germanic food. Sat outside. Euro 73 for 2 courses each and 0.5l table wine.
Lutter and Wegner Laggner, a pleasant restaurant with a good wine selection on Charlottenstrasse: hearty german soups and meaty main courses in a restaurant with ambiance: wine bottles floor to ceiling. The service was far too quick though, for such filling food.
The hotel Westin Grand has a good outdoor bar with a small section of the Berlin Wall on display and a more subdued foyer bar with Grand Piano.
There are many "Einstein Cafes" in Mitte which are generally good, but can be crowded. Similar in concept to Starbucks.
Lunch at Gendarmerie, corner of Behrenstrasse and Charlottenstrasse. Good Modern European food. Outside seating is available.
Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburger Gate) Berlin
German Food Books
Things to See and Do in Berlin
Photo of Section of The Berlin Wall
Attractions in Berlin - Tours, Museums, Galleries, Clubs etc...
The Reunification of Berlin Tour:
Checkpoint Charlie (Kochstrasse & Friedrichstrasse) the famous border crossing for non-Germans is in Mitte and easily walkable from most central parts of Berlin. US Army control hut is a fake for the benefit of tourists, but good info about the Berlin Wall is displayed along the road.
Walk along the path of the Berlin Wall marked with a double row of cobbles and at Niederkirchnerstrasse a 200 metre section of the wall, almost intact and protected by wire fence. Last remaining watch tower at Erna-Berger-Strasse.
Finish the walk at Denkmal fur die ermordeten Juden Europas (Memorial to Murdered Jews of Europe) the Brandenburger Tor the Tiergarten and the Reichstag.
Art Galleries and Museums in Berlin
Many of the main galleries and museums are in or near the central Mitte region of Berlin
Nationalgallerie (The Old National Gallery) which has Germany's largest collection of 19th century art including German artists: Adolph Menzel, Caspar David Friedrich, Max Liebermann and Carl Spitzweg and some early impressionist art
Deutsches Historiches Museum (The Museum of German History) which covers German History from Germanic tribes around 1000 years BC to modern times, including good coverage of the world wars and Berlin's involvementin them.
Other Galleries, Museums and Attractions in Berlin:
Altes Museum: Art Gallery, formerly the Royal Museum
Berliner Dom: The Berlin Cathedral built in Italian Renaissance style
Denkmal fur die ermortdeten Juden Europas: the Murdered Jew of Europe
Pergamonmuseum: Berlin's Archaeoligcal museum.
Other regions in Berlin
Prezlauer Berg, Tiergarten, Charlottenburg, Schoneberg, Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain
Photo: Memorial and Checkpoint Charlie
Berlin National Gallery
Digital Cameras - Ideal cameras for a city sight seeing tour
Diary of Events in Berlin
What is on in Berlin? Winter Events.
Tanztage - a 2-week dance event
International Grune Woche - 10 day German food and drink festival
UltraSchall - 10 day music festival
Bread & butter - 3 day fashion event
Lange Nacht der Museen - 200 museums stay open late
Transmediale - digital art and culture
Berlin International Film Festival
What's on in Berlin? Spring Events
MaerzMusik - Festival fÂ¸r aktuelle Musik - contemporary music
International Tourism Fair
Zeitfenster - Music Festival
Qatar Telecom Ladies German Open
Thetertreffen Berlin - theatre competition
Karvenal der Kulturn - mutlicultural parade
Photo: Berlin Wall (close-up)
Things to do in Berlin: Summer Events
Berlin Philharmonie at the Waldbuhne - candle lie open air classical concert
Fetes de la Musique - summer solstice music event
Christopher Street Day Parade
Classic Open Air Concert
Bread & Butter - fashion fair
Deutsch-Amerikanisches Volksfest - American style family fun
young.euro.classic - classical music
Internationales Berliner Bierfestival -
Berlin Beer Festival
Fantasy Film Festival - Sci Fi, fantasy, horror films
Tanz I'm August - dance festival
Kreuzberger Festliche Tage - family fun and beer
Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin Wall
Things to Do in The Autumn and Christmas in Berlin
Musikfest Berlin - classical music with the Berlin Philharmonic
International Literature Festival
Art Forum Berlin Messegelande am Funkturm
Spielzeiteuropa - theatre and dance
Tag der Deutschen Einheit - Day of German Unity
Venus Berlin - Trade Fair
JazzFest Berlin: 4 day jazz event
Berliner Marchentage - fairytale festival
Verzaubert: Queer Film Festival
Heilier Abend - Christmas Eve
Weihnachten - Christmas Day
Stephanstag - St Stephen's Day / Boxing Day
Berliner Silvesterlauf - fun-run
Silvester - New Year's Eve