Date of stay: 4 times between 2006-2010
Where you stayed: With family & Hostels
Tour or pre planned: Pre Planned
Berlin is an amazing city with so much history. I’ve visited Berlin a number of times and each time I’ve seen or experienced something new.
Berlin was once separated by the Berlin wall, erected in 1961 and separated the city into two parts for more then 28 years. The wall separated East Germany from West Berlin and became a symbol of the cold war. Berlin was completely divided and it was not until 9th November 1989 that the wall was pulled down. Parts of the wall are still on display around the city (see image below). You can cross the road near Brandenburg Gate and still see where the wall used to stand (marked on the road) it’s quite scary thinking you could not pass to the other side just a few years earlier.
Berlin has so much to offer and so much history. From the sites to the museums you won’t be short of something to do. Visiting Checkpoint Charlie museum is a must and you can spend a day or more reading and learning about the history, Checkpoint Charlie was the crossing point between East & West Berlin during the cold war. You can also have your passport stamped at Checkpoint Charlie but bare in mind this may be seen as defacing your passport, I’ve never had an issue with mine. (see image Checkpoint Charlie image below)
During one of my visits we did a Berlin hop on hop off bus tour and I’d recommend doing this. It will take you around the city and to all the main sites. You can purchase tickets from the information desk before departing the Airport or from a pick up point around the city. They run every 15-30 minutes between 10am & 5pm daily (times may vary during winter)
For the best views over the city you could climb the TV tower but for an even better experience visit Reichstag (parliament) for some amazing 360 degree views over the city. The Reichstag is an amazing building and the dome located at the top of the building is truly spectacular, a large glass dome with a mirrored staircase. The Reichstag is located on Unter Den Linden Street. Visiting Reichstag is free but you’ll need to register in advance, to be safe at least 2 weeks before arriving. To register & more information please click on the following link Reichstag tickets.
Here are some other sites around Berlin and the hop on hop off bus will stop by most.
- Brandenburg Gate - is the former city gate and one of the main standing symbols of Berlin.
- Berlina Dom - is the Berlin Cathedral and worth a look. Located on Am Lustgarten, 1, Mittte
- Holocaust Memorial – memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust
- Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church – destroyed by Allied bombing and preserved as a memoral
- Berlin TV Tower – costs €11.00 euro and has 360 degree views but the Reichstag offers the same views and it’s free but you’ll need to register early (see the above details)
Berlin has two main airports, Berlin Tegal and Berlin Schonefeld. Schonefeld Airport would be the best location wise, I think. The railway station is just a short walk from the airport terminal (follow the covered walkway clearly marked). The RE Airport express train runs every 30 minutes to the city centre and stops at most important stations. I’d recommend buying a Berlin welcome card before leaving the Airport Terminal. The card will give you unlimited travel on Berlin subways, metros, trams and buses. The Berlin card also gives you discounts to many Berlin landmarks, museums and tours. For more information about the Berlin welcome card please click the following link Berlin Card.
Points to highlight: Book flights in advance, Easy Jet, Ryan Air & German wings to name a few fly to Berlin Schonefeld. Plan what you would like to see and register in advance to visit the Reichstag. Accommodation in Berlin is easy to find and the night life is pretty crazy, they say good girls go to heaven and bad girls go to Berlin.
Would you recommend this destination: Yes
Would you recommend your tour: N/A Self planned
Would you recommend your hotel/hostel: Yes – The Circus Hostel
Overall rating destination: 5 out of 5