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Berlin doesn’t claim to be Europe's most beautiful capital, but it's a city that represents Europe's past – and its future. It's hard to believe that barely a generation has passed since Berliners tore down the Berlin Wall, and since then, the city has resonated with open-mindedness.
‘Victory’ takes on new meaning on top of the Brandenburg Gate. The spectacular Quadriga Statue of Lady Victory was placed on the gate in 1791, then stolen and restored; she survived allied bombing in WWII and spent decades within ear (and gun) shot of the Berlin Wall. She still crowns this 12-column gate today, having witnessed Berlin’s fortunes rise, fall and rise again.Accommodation near The Brandenburg Gate
The Reichstag is the building that could. Survivor of bombings, fire and revolution, today it’s one of Berlin’s most iconic buildings. The famed glass dome – designed by Sir Norman Foster – led to the building’s rebirth as a symbol of the ‘New Berlin’. If you’d like to visit the dome at the top, book free tickets in advance on the government’s website (www.bundestag.de).Accommodation near The Reichstag
Remembered and never to be forgotten, this four-acre field commemorates the millions of Jews who were killed in WWII. Thousands of concrete blocks of differing sizes are strewn together, giving the impression of standing in a sea of waves. An evening walk through the fields – particularly when they’re covered in snow and ice – gives the site a poetic poignancy.Accommodation near Holocaust Memorial
This complex is the perfect place to indulge your senses. This area – resuscitated from the rubble of the Berlin Wall – is now a famed cultural hub for the ‘New Berlin’. Crane your neck backwards to see the Sony Centre’s ceiling of lights, take in high culture at the Berlinale Palast or salve your hunger pangs at one of the world-class cafés and restaurants.Accommodation near Potsdamer Platz
One day a play, the next day a musical … Kulturforum is a treat every day. This complex is a collection of buildings hosting high-cultural treats. Wander the divine sculpture gardens of the New National Gallery, or transport yourself to a musical paradise with an evening at the Berlin Philharmonie. Kulturforum’s calendar is filled with dozens of events annually.Accommodation near Kulturforum
If there’s one point you need to check, it’s this. Checkpoint Charlie is the most famous of the former Cold War border crossings between capitalist West Berlin and communist East Berlin. In the large (and free) open-air museum, dive into the history of the Berlin Wall, the border controls and the big players of the Cold War.Accommodation near Checkpoint Charlie
Buy one, get four more – for a small fee. One island, five prestigious museums and one day is all you'll need for a return trip to the ancient world. At the Pergamon Museum, gasp at a full-scale reconstruction of Babylon’s Ishtar Gate; gaze into Queen Nefertiti's all-knowing eyes at the Neues Museum, or be classically inspired by the Altes Museum's ancient marble statues.Accommodation near Museum Island
Learn the A to Z of Jewish history. This spectacular building is shaped like a warped Star of David and was designed by 'wunderkind' Polish architect Daniel Libeskind. The kaleidoscopic walls and ceilings are intended to disorient the visitor and present art and artefacts in a unique way. The artefacts cover a wide scope and include many eras of German-Jewish art.Accommodation near Jewish Museum Berlin
‘Alex’ is every Berliner’s best friend. Berlin Alexanderplatz – or ‘Alex’ for short – has a glitzy history. In the 1920s, Marlene Dietrich’s voice rasped from the bars and clubs of the square's famed nightclubs. The area has lost its glamorous edge, but Neptunbrunnen Fountain, the Berlin TV Tower and the Alexa Shopping Centre add zing (and photo ops) to this plain square.Accommodation near Alexanderplatz
Every crack tells a thousand stories. On the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall, zingy graffiti depicts dozens of instantly recognisable images of the Cold War – Russian leader Brezhnev and East German leader Honecker locking lips in loving embrace; artist Thierry Noir's vivid colours, and the immortal words: “No more wars. No more walls. A united world”.Accommodation near East Side Gallery
Near the sleepy residential area of Moabit, you’ll find the lush forests and groves of Tiergarten. The Berlin Philharmonic and New National Gallery inject a dose of high culture, while Wedding furnishes Berlin’s students and young professionals with affordable housing – and bars and clubs to while away the wee hours.Accommodation in Mitte
Start your Berlin adventure in the historic centre. Aside from the famed Berlin Cathedral and Brandenburg Gate, the DDR Museum is a hands-on interactive space in which to learn about the city’s history. Explore Hackescher Market for a fabulous find, or Kurfürstendamm for high-street shopping. Alexanderplatz hosts the famous Christmas Market.Accommodation in Berlin City Centre
This arty district is home to affluent city-dwellers. There’s a bucolic feel to the lush grounds of the Charlottenburg Palace, which houses a collection of opulent treasures. Kaiser-Wilhelm Memorial Church is a haunting place to spend an afternoon, followed by a splurge at KaDeWe – Continental Europe’s largest department store.Accommodation in Charlottenburg
Parents play with their children in the parks of Prenzlauer Berg. The cosy cafes were built to offer a taste of home. Make a rare find in Kastanienallee's eclectic boutiques, or savour a cool beer under the chestnut trees in Kollwitzplatz. On Sunday, outdoor karaoke bellows through Mauerpark, where the hunt for flea market treasures begins.Accommodation in Prenzlauer Berg
Diversity is the lifeblood of Schöneberg in Western Berlin and the area has a distinct bohemian feel. Disused Tempelhof Airport hosts barbeques and concerts without a plane in sight, and the men of Nollendorfplatz wave their rainbow flags proudly. The liberty bell of Rathaus Schöneberg – the historic town hall – tolls the sound of freedom.Accommodation in Schöneberg
Famously youthful, Friedrichshain is where lovers love and the young-at-heart play. The conversation – and coffee – flows in Boxhagener Platz’ eateries. Boutiques and bars lie at the centre, while the thudding beats of Revaler Strasse’s clubs carry fun into the night. The iconic East Side Gallery is a stretch of the Berlin Wall covered in murals.Accommodation in Friedrichshain
Couples walk hand-in-hand by the waterfall in Viktoriapark, while the experimental Gleisdreieck Park shows what a former no-man’s-land and a little imagination can achieve. Hours can be spent meandering through time across Graefekiez’s urban landscape. At dusk, the sun sets over Oberbaum Bridge and Schlesische Strasse's nightlife takes over.Accommodation in Kreuzberg
Leaves dance on the morning breeze in Tiergarten Park, before Potsdamer Platz - a network of malls and eateries – bursts into life. The sound of Berlin's orchestra floats on the wind through the Kulturforum Cultural Complex. Bellevue Palace glows a little more in the evening light, just as the nocturnal animals of Berlin Zoo call for attention.Accommodation in Tiergarten
Neukölln is as edgy as it is modern. The hip residents move from urban art galleries to gritty bars and it's no surprise that the area is the centre of Berlin's creative scene. Exotic scents waft from the cafes and restaurants on Weser Strasse. Walk along the streets and it's a hotbed of multiculturalism, symbolic of the New Berlin.Accommodation in Neukölln
From Damascus to Dubai, now Amsterdam - travel-mad Abdullah doesn't know what's next!
Walk through the history of this amazing city and uncover another story with each step. By taking a walking tour you'll hear little details that you might otherwise miss. The tour guides are really passionate and know their cities inside out, so it's the perfect introduction to Berlin!Accommodation nearby
Nadine grew up in Charlottenburg and has always enjoyed hanging out in and around Savignyplatz.
Charlottenburg nightlife has a lot to offer, especially the restaurants around Savignyplatz. The 12 Apostel serves wagon-wheel sized pizzas, while the “Dicke Wirtin” (Fat Hostess) bar and restaurant and the “Diener” (Server) curiosity restaurant have long traditions in Western Berlin’s culinary life.Accommodation nearby
9 years in, Kate says forget New York – Berlin is truly the city that never sleeps!
If you’re at Berlin Central Station and have some time to kill before your train arrives, why not wander along the River Spree and visit the Zollpackhof restaurant and beer garden? German, Austrian and Mediterranean dishes can be found here, alongside international wines and draught beers.Accommodation nearby
British lady Elisabeth has lived in Berlin since 2008 and loves Schöneberg's vibrant mix of cultures.
Are you a foodie? This is the place to be on Wednesdays and Saturdays. This farmer’s market has a huge and colourful array of local produce, including fresh fish, meats, cheeses, fruit and vegetables – as well as delicious homemade cakes, fresh pasta, street food and snacks-to-go.Accommodation nearby
Nicole spent several years as a crew member on cruise ships, but came back to her hometown.
The Hot Rod City Tour is one of the funniest ways to explore Berlin. The tour guides are more enthusiastic than others I’ve experienced and seem to really enjoy life – and telling a good joke. It’s one of the best sightseeing tours I’ve ever been on!Accommodation nearby
Alex grew up in Berlin and has spent a lifetime exploring every facet of the city.
One of the best beach bars in the city, YAAM is a laid-back African & Caribbean club and weekend-market set along the River Spree. Tucked away behind the East Side Gallery, it’s a great place for evening drinks and delicious Caribbean food (try the Jamaican jerk chicken).Accommodation nearby
After 7 years, Anna still marvels at Berlin's multiculturalism and that it's always awake and alive.
This place was created to promote gardening for both amateurs and pros. I love sitting in the café garden, reading over a cup of tea or just looking around. It’s an urban oasis that helps to elevate your energy levels. Plus, you can get ideas for new arrangements – even if you have a small balcony!Accommodation nearby
Brit Emily loves Berlin's open-mindedness and after 4 years has no intention of leaving.
You have to explore the maze of tunnels and bunkers under the city. They’re untouched by the developers that have modernised the rest of the Berlin. The places covered by the Berliner Unterwelten tours give you a different view of the city’s history. Bring a coat – it’s cold down there!Accommodation nearby
Kiwi Rebecca has been in Berlin since 2007 and loves this vibrant and exciting city.
This large park next to the River Spree is home to some hidden treasures. There’s a beer garden and an abandoned amusement park. For the history buffs, this one is a definite must-see: the vast Soviet War Memorial, commemorating the Red Army soldiers who fell in the Battle of Berlin.Accommodation nearby
Booking.com asked travellers...How can you enjoy the sights in Berlin while avoiding the crowds?
If you are going to see some of the museum's in and around Berlin I would definitely recommend the museum pass. It gives 3 consecutive days access to all museums in the program (you get a book telling you which ones with the card). You only need to go in to three museums and you have pretty much broke even on the cost of the card. It also cuts out most of the ticket queues as you just show the card to get in. You do still need a timed ticket for some museums though so read the signs as you will be refused entry if you don't have one, they are free but where required you must have one. If you are going to the Pergamon museum I would recommend getting there before it's scheduled opening time. I got there half an hour before the advertised time and was let in. A couple of hours or so later and there was a 2hr queue just to get tickets. It is also stupidly busy on weekends as buses ship a lot of tourists in from the surrounding cities and countries so I would avoid these days if possible.See all 72 answers
Booking.com asked travellers...Was it cheap, fast, well-explained? What made it so easy to get around in Berlin?
My husband and I travelled round with a Berlin welcome travel card which covered all mode of transport for five days. Very good value as you travel underground, overground, bus, tram with ease and they came every 3-5 minutes. My husband and I covered quite a distance in the five days we were in Berlin. I would recommend this ticket.See all 44 answers
Booking.com asked travellers...Why would you recommend Berlin for food?
If you're in the Kreuzburg area, cross the pretty bridge after the East side Gallery, there are lots of great & cheap places to eat. You can get a decent meal for €4.50 & ice cream for €1. & there are sines funky little bars around there too.See all 43 answers
Booking.com asked travellers...What is it in Berlin that makes history come alive?
Take one of the walking history tours with a guide they are available in a variety of languages and cover several subjects. A visit to Potsdam Sanssouci Park is well worth the train journeySee all 185 answers
Booking.com asked travellers...What did you discover about the museums in Berlin that wasn't in the guidebooks?
The museums (Asian & Ethnolgical) in Dahlem are good and are not given as much attention as those on Museuminsel. Gemaldegalerie is very quiet, which is surprising given the collection.See all 61 answers
Booking.com asked travellers...How can you get the most authentic cultural experience in Berlin?
Fantastic city for either cycling or walking. It has an outstanding, easy to understand bus, train, tram & underground transport system so make sure you buy a Welcome to Berlin card.See all 27 answers
Booking.com asked travellers...Which fine art museums should a first time visitor to Berlin start with?
Gemaldegalerie in Kulturforum at Potsdamer PlatzSee all 59 answers
Booking.com asked travellers...Describe what other people like you would like about shopping in Berlin.
Primark, malls, Sunday flee marketsSee all 33 answers
Booking.com asked travellers...What makes Berlin one of those classic city trip experiences?
big city with lots of variety!See all 23 answers
Schönefeld Airport is Berlin’s main international airport. The most convenient way to reach the centre of Berlin is by train; follow the signs across a roofed walkway to the station. Catch the S9 to Ostkreuz then switch to the S7 train for the Hauptbahnhof/central station. Schönefeld is in Zone C and tickets are available at machines inside the station. Taxis are available just outside the airport – journeys to the centre take around 35-40 minutes and cost around 40 EUR.
Tegel Airport lies 8 kms north of Berlin. The fastest way to reach Alexanderplatz (in the centre) is by TXL JetExpressBus. Purchase a ticket at a machine inside the station, then head toward Terminals A and B – the bus departs right outside every 10-20 minutes between 04:30–23:00. It takes from 28 to 40 minutes to reach Alexanderplatz. Taxis are readily available at every terminal – they cost around EUR 25 and take approx. 20 minutes to Alexanderplatz.
In the west of Berlin, bus services operate far more frequently than in the east. The major bus terminals can be found at Hauptbahnhof and Alexanderplatz. Bus stops are easily identifiable along the street with timetables clearly displayed. Tickets cost around EUR 2.70/EUR 6.90 for a day pass and can be bought directly from the driver. Inner-city buses generally run between 06:00–00:00 weekdays and 07:00–00:00 weekends depending on the route, and night buses are available.
In the east of Berlin, the vast network of trams runs more frequently than in the west. Trams are bright yellow and stops display a square white sign with ‘H’ inside a bright yellow circle (the same signs for buses). You can board at any entrance and buy a ticket on board (with coins) from a vending machine. Berlin is divided into Zones A, B and C, so check on the machine that you’re buying the right ticket. To alight, press one of the buttons on the poles.
Official taxis are cream-coloured with black and yellow signs on the roof, and they are readily available in the city. To call one, simply hail one from the street or go to a taxi stand. Fares are reasonably priced and increase incrementally by kilometres travelled. It’s best to pay with cash because credit-card facilities may be limited. The taxi industry is heavily regulated, so the chance of being ripped off is low. Tips of 5%-10% can be made for exceptional service.
Berlin is a ‘driver’s city’. Many roads have red-bricked bike lanes that run along either side which provide additional hazards for drivers to be mindful of. Speeds of under 50km are enforced in the inner city. Car parks and on-street metered parking (which accept only coins) are available but can be difficult to find. If you plan to bring your own car, you may need to arrange an ‘Umweltplakette’ (emissions certificate) to enter particular parts of the city.
Cycling centrally can be stressful, so get outside the centre for some established cycling tracks. The city is relatively flat and roads have bike lanes, identifiable by red bricks or white lines. There are many idyllic cycling paths and cycling along parts of the Berlin-to-Copenhagen bike trail is especially popular. Bikes cost around EUR 10 to rent per day, depending on the vendor. Rental depots are located in the main centres, especially around the main train stations.
Berlin's main train station is Hauptbahnhof; from here, catch the S7, S5 or S75 directly to Alexanderplatz in the east or Zoologischer Garten/Kurfürstendamm in the west. Outlying districts are reachable from Alexanderplatz on trains, U-Bahn, buses and trams. The central ‘Ring Train’ runs around the border of Zone A and operates from 04:30–01:30 weekdays, 24 hours on Friday and Saturday. Tickets cost around EUR 2.70/EUR 6.90 for a day pass from machines on the platform.
Conveniently next to the Brandenburg Gate and near other tourist hot spots, Tucher am Tor is known for up-market takes on traditional German food. The ideal place to stop for lunch during a heavy day of sightseeing.
Käfer is located on the roof terrace of the German government building, the Reichstag. Diners with a reservation can usually skip the lengthy security queue and head straight up to the restaurant to enjoy the spectactular views.
Vox is an elegant restaurant that serves modern European dishes with Asian influences as well as a range of freshly prepared sushi. There is also a lounge bar, serving exquisite cocktails and over 240 whiskeys.There is live music from 22:00.
Upon stepping into Tizian Lounge, you can tell it has been designed by one of New York's most famous interior designers. The food lives up to the stylish surroundings, as the burgers are something else. Perfect for a posh lunch or dinner of just enjoying a glass of champagne in the lounge.
The food at Grill Royal is indulgent and delicious! The staff are always friendly and the menu is superb. They're known for their quality steaks but their fish dishes are definitely worth a mention.
At Tim Raue, Aisian food is given a European make-over á la nouvelle cuisine. The dishes are always presented beautifully and it's really interesting how international flavours are combined.
The wine bar serves a small but delicious range of meals alongside a great range of drinks, while the restaurant offers impressive set menus of innovative dishes and accompanying wines.
Maultaschen Manufaktur is the place to go for some Southern German hospitality! Maultaschen are a traditional Swabian dish and are ideally accompanied by a cold pint of Rothaus.
This is a great option for a family or group of friends looking to experience some traditional German fare. Get yourself a pint of Georgenbraeu's self-brewed beer to go with your Gulasch or Schnitzel!
Restaurant Lochner is a family-run restaurant focussing on high quality produce and excellent service. They offer a range of set menus with wine but all dishes can be ordered a la carte.
Lei e Lui is a 100% organic restaurant that sources ingredients locally and focusses on healthy, delicious meals. The menu has medditerranean influences and offers a large variety of vegetarian options.
CoCo is the best place in Berlin to get your hands on a Vietnamese Banh Mi sandwich but they also offer great salads and omlettes. There's a lot of veggie options too!
It's no secret that Berlin is overrun with hipsters. Well, if you want to see them up close, Oberholz is the place to go. If you can find space between the laptops, they do a good coffee and bagel.
There's plenty of craic and magnificent fish & chips to be had in this very authentic and non-touristy Irish pub just around the corner from the Tiergarten park. Guests can watch football, warm their hands on the log fire or relax in the beer garden under the shade of the coconut tree (honestly!).
A Delores burrito is the only thing that will keep you going if you're trying to see all the sights in Berlin. They're known for their generous portions, fresh ingredients and their amazing hand-made corn chips.
The bakery uses organic ingredients to make their bread freshly everyday. We recommend grabbing a coffee and a Zimtschnecke in the morning to set you up for the day.
A great place to stop by for a light lunch of a baked potato or a salad, Joris is excellent value considering all dishes are prepared fresh from quality ingredients. The staff are lovely and the atmosphere is very relaxed.
For a truly authentic Berlin experience, brave the queues at Curry 36 for the classic Berlin dish of currywurst! The perfect end to an evening of exploring the bars down Gneisenaustrasse.
Prepare yourself for the best steak of your life. The Brooklyn Beef Club may be a bit of a splurge but it's the perfect place to go for an indulgent special occasion. Make sure you sample a drink from the well-stocked bar!
The chicken jambalaya at Louisiana Kid is pretty much the only thing that will warm you up after being out and about in the harsh Berlin winter. One of the few places in Berlin to serve very spicy food, this place is cosy and comforting as well as great value.
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