Berlin Things to See:

  • Berlin Wall Museum (not the East Side Gallery) –
  • Gedächtniskirche (near the Zoo)
  • Berlin Fernsehturm (TV Tower) – if it’s clear, go up to the top, food in restaurant is not that great but making restaurant reservations can get you in if there are no tickets
  • Berliner Dom and Museum Island
  • DDR Museum (just under the Dom) – see life in East Germany, a short museum, but great reviews from Debbie.
  • Walk from Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor, U55) to the Reichstag by foot, walking through the Holocaust Memorial (do not jump or stand on the stone pillars). There is a museum at the Holocaust Memorial but you’ll need a lot of time to see it.
  • Reichstag Dome (great view, need to book ahead – or make reservations to eat in the restaurant, which is a bit pricy but pretty ok)
  • Gendarmenmarkt (French and German Cathedrals, some uni buildings, the opera) – skip eating here as it isn’t usually worth it
  • Schloss Charlottenburg – go inside, the Rococo wing is beautiful
  • Pergamon Museum (might be closed) has the Ishtar Gate which is very cool and definitely worth seeing, many other museums with lots of art and antiquities at Museum Island (Museuminsel, near Hackescher Market
  • Headed to Potsdam? Check out Sanssouci (Palace) and the Haus der Wannseekonferenz (this was where the conference took place after WWII)

To Eat:

  • Skip the German food – Berlin is known for international cuisine and none of the traditional German dishes are local to Berlin, so you’ll be eating imported food either way.
  • The Actual Best Döner in Berlin – Imren in Hauptstrasse 156
  • In good weather, visit this outdoor Biergarten near the Zoo Station and have a Flammkuchen (traditional)
  • Have excellent Moroccan Food at Baraka in Kreuzberg:
  • Amanda’s favourite restaurant: Betje Ethiopia (Ethiopian food):
  • Curry 36 is famous for their Currywurst – we feel like it’s not worth the line, but try a Currywurst at Witty’s near KaDeWe if you are interested in tasting one (they usually also have veg options)

Cool Tours:

  • Berliner Unterwelten – See the bunkers and underground Berlin, very cool, wear a sweater and good shoes
  • Hop On, Hop Off will take you around the city, but you can also take the city bus 100 or 200 from one side of the city to the other – this is a secret tip for a great but very cheap tour. Start at Zoo, sit up top!
  • Spree Cruise through the Regierungsviertel (any company, but we like Stern und Kreis)

Getting Around:

  • Take the bus and train. There are two companies operating in Berlin but the tickets are interchangeable (one is the metro – UBahn, M, and the Bus – and the other is the national trains – SBahn). You can buy tickets at either, but the yellow machines might be a bit easier to use (metro/BVG). Get the BVG Ticket app or just buy a tourist ticket – it can be purchased at any of the yellow machines. The tourist tickets also include free entry or discounted entry into many museums. Stamp your tickets at the machine if you buy paper tickets that do not have a start date on them.
  • If you get caught without a ticket on the train, it’s 60€+ – however, give them your US address contritely for your fine invoice to be mailed to you – don’t pay it on the spot – and you’ll probably never hear from them again.
  • No Uber! Uber in Berlin is just taxi drivers (they must have a medallion/license to operate) and actual taxi drivers get a salary and really dislike uber.
  • Try to avoid riding scooters as you are not allowed to ride them on the sidewalk and drivers will not stop for you – the streets here can be very uneven and there are a lot of potholes and cobblestones.
  • We don’t recommend bike rentals unless you’re doing a guided tour. Traffic isn’t kind to cyclists who don’t know the rules and German traffic rules are not the same as US traffic rules!
  • Keep 50 cent coins for the bathrooms, you will need to pay for the toilet unless you’re in a restaurant that you’re eating atl. If you need a bathroom and can’t find one, try asking at a local restaurant (avoid corner bars for this, choose an Italian place, there are 10000s)

To Skip:

  • Checkpoint Charlie Museum (and/or Mauermuseum) at Checkpoint Charlie (you can go see the little installation with the guard house, but beware it’s really touristy)
  • Potsdamer Platz (the Sony Center is not that interesting without Christmas lights)
  • East Side Gallery (It’s been repainted for tourists, and many of the original images are gone/painted over)
  • Nikolaiviertel – it was restored by the Russians and is a bit more like what Soviets think medieval Europe should look like
  • Berghain (it’s impossible to get in as a tourist and it’s not really worth it)
  • Curry 36 and any other “famous” Döner places in guidebooks – never worth the wait 🙂
  • KaDeWe – it’s just a fancy Karstadt now, although the stationery department is sometimes worth checking out

Off the Beaten Track:

  • Rixdorf – a small village inside of Neukölln, which is a very urban area – see how the city looked 200 years ago
  • Flughafen Tempelhof, a former airport turned into a giant park – you can rent bikes from any local bike rental (eg Lime/Bahn/etc)
  • Spreewald in Treptower Park – an abandoned theme park that you can walk around
  • Paddleboats in Treptower Park – rent a paddle boat in nice weather at the kiosk in the park and explore the spree
  • Computerspiel Museum for anyone who likes computer game history
  • Spy Museum at Potsdamer Platz is pretty good but note that it has surge pricing – arrive at off-peak times to pay less
  • Text Amanda for more 🙂
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