Norbert Meise/Visit Berlin
Welcome to Berlin - the capital of Germany, which has changed drastically since the Wall came down, commanding global interest as a destination. Walking through Berlin you will see evidence of different historic periods in a short time, from medieval buildings to the famous sightseeing landmarks like the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag and East Side Gallery. Today Berlin is a young, dynamic metropolis open to the world right in the heart of Europe, setting new trends in architecture, art and fashion. Discover its diversity – enjoy Berlin!
Euro, €1 = 100 cents
Emergency / Police: 110
Fire brigade / Rescue Coordination Centre: 112
On-call medical service: +49 30 31 00 31
Berlin has extremely liberal opening times. Theoretically, shops may stay open from Monday to Saturday round the clock.
In practice though, most stores in the larger shopping centres are open Monday to Saturday from 10 / 11 am to 8 / 9 pm.
about Berlin is available by calling +49 30 25 00 25, online at www.visitBerlin.de, and in town at the Berlin Tourist Information Centres.
You can’t pigeonhole Berlin at all, and it is precisely this fact that makes the city so unique.
Originally the symbol of the Cold War and division of Germany, the former “Walled-in City” at the border between West and East Europe has developed into a permanently attractive travel destination since the Wall came down.
The Berlin Wall divided one of the most popular metropolises in Europe for almost 30 years. When it came down on 9th November 1989, the world changed. For those who would like to go on a tour of discovery for the traces of the Wall where it used to run, there are many possibilities: one way is to experience the division at first hand at the Bernauer Straße Memorial, where the division created by the Wall is brought back to life by original parts of the actual death strips. Other places where you can trace the Berlin Wall are the East Side Gallery, the former border crossing point between East and West Berlin Checkpoint Charlie, and the associated Wall Museum.
These days, the appeal of Berlin is its fascinating mixture of history and zeitgeist, offering diverse attractions in art, culture, music, entertainment and countless shopping possibilities. The modern hotel landscape, an incredibly diverse gastronomy and unbeatably favourable prices certainly bear comparison with international standards. Plus the city’s vibrant and flourishing creative scene and hot music and club culture put their own unique stamp on the unmistakable character of the lifestyle metropolis.
To be true, the first time you visit Berlin, you want to see the famous attractions. However, the second visit (at the latest) it’ll be clear what really attracts you about Berlin. Whether lover of culture or scene frequenter – you’ll be sure to find what you’re looking for in one of the city districts. Berlin has 12 in number and each of them possesses its own particular charm: in Berlin-Mitte fashion rules the roost – alongside Chancellor Merkel, Neukölln has been transformed from a problem area into the scene district Berlin’s western city centre is now enjoying a renaissance, Prenzlauer Berg is famous for its family-friendly reputation, Kreuzberg has its multicultural scene and Friedrichshain is the centre of the alternate lifestyle.
Check out our YouTube channel to get inspired: www.youtube.com/user/Berlin
Whether you see the sights of Berlin by coach, steamer, bicycle or on foot – you’ll pass a lot of famous buildings and memorials. We’ll tell you which ones you really can’t afford to miss!
Daniela Incoronato/Visit Berlin
Although Berlin is always worth a visit, some dates really stand out. The Berlin Event Calendar is full of attractions and events, fairs and sporting highlights. Whether opera, theatre, musical or concert – with well over a thousand different cultural events to choose from, you’re sure to find the right one for you!
The Friedrichstadt-Palast, Europe’s biggest revue theatre with its legendary high-stepping girls’ line, or variety theatres like the "Chamäleon Varieté" guarantee non-stop entertainment. The musical productions at Potsdamer Platz or in the Theatre des Westens offer music, breathtaking stage settings and choreographies that are sure to enchant you. You’ll receive the surprise of your life when you see the Blue Man Group: this show, mixing concert, comedy and special-effects is one of a kind!
Philip Koschel/Visit Berlin
From a 3-course menu in a star-rated restaurant to boulettes or a doner kebab in the local snack bar – there’s something to suit everybody’s taste at good value for money in Berlin. There are just no limits to the culinary diversities: whether Australian or French cuisine, exotic Asian dishes or the Berliner currywurst, for gastronomic globetrotters there are international delicacies and regional specialities.
Berlin’s regional cuisine is solid and tasty, and served in cosy traditional pubs. A particular speciality is breakfast, which many cafés offer all day long – ideal for night owls who like to lie in a bit longer in the morning.
In summer, the city life moves outside: beach bars along the banks of the Spree with a view of the water are specially favoured. They are perfect places for enjoying a cocktail or sipping a Berliner Weisse (wheat beer) after a sightseeing tour. The popular summer drink, a beer speciality mixed with raspberry or Waldmeister (woodruff) syrup, is something you really shouldn’t miss out on!
Dirk Mathesius/Visit Berlin
The streets of the Berlin scene neighbourhoods are choc-a-bloc full with cafés. They have everything that you need for a good start to the day, from lactose-free latte macchiato to a hearty buffet. Whether self-service or attentive service, sitting comfortably in upholstered chairs or just squatting on a bar stool, there’s breakfast seven days a week and in some cafés even 24 hours a day – not for nothing is Berlin the city with the widest range of breakfasts.
In the afternoons, what better than to take a break from sightseeing or shopping in one of the Berlin’s countless cafés. A quick cappuccino or home-made cake in a pleasant atmosphere is just the ticket for reading your newspaper in peace and quiet or leisurely observing people. Many coffee houses provide their guests with WLAN internet access and sockets for their laptop. When the sun starts shining, there’s a rush to move tables and chairs outside so that the guests can sit outside and enjoy the weather.
Philip Koschel/Visit Berlin
It doesn’t matter whether you just want to round off the day or get started for the night ahead – you’re sure to find the right sort of bar to plan your individual evening in Berlin. The spectrum ranges from the exclusive hotel bar via the trendy haunt with its modern design or traditional drop-in pub round the corner right up to the exotic cocktail bar or oriental shisha bar. Particularly popular are the sky bars in the high-rise buildings on Ku’damm, at Alex or Potsdamer Platz. There is a spectacular view to be had of Berlin at night from high over the city’s roofs.
The Berlin nightlife is legendary. The parties. The music. The people. In this respect it’s a question of “Your wish is Berlin’s command”! Well-known DJs present the latest sounds to their audiences in the city’s countless clubs, bars and discotheques. And there are always new clubs shooting up out of the ground everywhere. The intent of the party people is obvious: dance, have fun and party into the small hours. Because there are no closing hours in Berlin.
TIP: It doesn’t matter if you’re a chic chick, easy jetsetter, gay gent or 9-to-5 type – a glance at our ClubMATCHER (at: www.clubmatcher.de) will help you to find the sort of club you’re looking for.
Philip Koschel/Visit Berlin
Lovers of exclusive designer fashion, bargain hunters, trendsetters looking for the latest fashion and all those, who would like to take more than just pleasant memories of their stay in Berlin home with them, are guaranteed to get their money’s worth thanks to all the diverse possibilities for shopping in the large shopping centres, department stores, small shops and exclusive boutiques in the city.
No matter whether hip, casual and trendy or classical, elegant and timeless – there’s something here for all tastes and purses. And the practically unrestricted opening times (except Sundays) in this shopping paradise will only make the hearts of all shopping fans beat that faster, rather along the lines of the slogan: “Shop until you drop”!
One of the most popular shopping streets is of course Kurfürstendamm: here it’s even worth investigating the side streets for your shopping spree. The Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe for short) in Tauentzienstraße is the largest department store on the European mainland and has an enormous range of goods for you to look and marvel at (and also buy!).
In Berlin-Mitte the legendary Friedrichstraße now exudes a cosmopolitan flair thanks to its new architecture and chic stores like the Galeries Lafayette or Quartier 206. Alexa at Alexanderplatz is also a great place for shopping.
For those who are searching for new trends and original accessories, having a look in the small shops dotted around the Hackesche Höfe in the former Scheunenviertel (barn district) would be well worthwhile. There are lots of young Berlin designers represented in Münzstraße as well as Alte and Neue Schönhauser Straße. And let’s not forget that Kastanienallee in Prenzlauer Berg or Bergmannstraße in Kreuzberg also have some pretty hot fashion shops too.
Tip for bargain hunters: The numerous flea markets in Berlin are veritable paradises to rummage through, for example Sundays at Straße des 17. June, in the Mauerpark (Wall park) or at Boxhagener Platz.
visitBerlin, Foto: Fragasso
Mulackstraße und Alte Schönhauser Straße
Kreuzberg: Oranienstraße und Bergmannstraße
Thomas Kierok/Visit Berlin
Passport / Visa
Germany can be visited visa-free for up to 90 days by citizens of Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, UAE and most countries in America. If you are unsure whether or not you need to apply for a visa, we recommend contacting the embassy or consulate in your country. International (non-Schengen) travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the Schengen zone. Citizens of Schengen countries can travel without a passport, but must have a valid ID with them during their stay.
When hiring a taxi in Berlin, you pay a basic charge of €3.90 plus €2.00 for each kilometre travelled. The “Kurzstrecke” (short distance) tariff gives you a journey of up to two kilometres for €5.00 – in this case, however, you have to flag down the taxi yourself. The “Kurzstrecke” tariff does not apply if you order a taxi or get in one at a designated taxi-waiting spot.
Taxi Berlin International +49 30 20 20 21 22 0 (English language taxi-ordering service around the clock) taxi-berlin.de
Funk Taxi Berlin +49 30 26 10 26 www.funk-taxi-berlin.de
Berlin Tourist Info
Before you go: Hotels.Tickets.Infos. Information available at www.visitBerlin.com or call +49 30 25 00 25.
Berlin Tourist Info:
Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate)
daily 9.30am – 6pm*
S+U Brandenburger Tor
Mon–Sat 10am – 8pm
S+U Zoologischer Garten
U Kurfürstendamm, Wittenbergplatz
Fernsehturm (TV Tower)
daily 10am – 4pm*
Flughafen Tegel (Tegel Airport)
Terminal A, Gate 1
daily 8am – 9pm
B 109, 128, X9, TXL
Mainhall, ground floor, right hand
daily 7am – 10.30pm
S Airport Schönefeld
Hauptbahnhof (Central Station)
entrance Europaplatz, ground floor
daily 8am – 10pm
BBOXX at Berlin Central Coach Station (ZOB)
daily 10am – 6pm
S + U Messe Nord / ICC
*Extended opening hours April to October.
The most important daily newspapers are:
Every fortnight in alternating weeks the two Berlin programme magazines TIP and Zitty appear containing numerous tips on cultural events and going out.
On-call medical service: +49 30 31 00 31 or at: www.kvberlin.de
Chemists’ emergency service: (Berlin Chamber of Chemists): at www.akberlin.de