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THE ULTIMATE BERLIN TRAVEL GUIDE

Berlin Travel Guide

Berlin is the capital and largest city of Germany. For a long time I wanted to visit and spending a week there made me explore things at my own pace soaking up the vibrant multicultural scene that is currently Berlin.

The city has history everywhere, beautiful buildings, delicious food spread around all kinds of restaurants and cafes all wrapped in a busy city but easy to go around.

So, without any further revealing here’s my Berlin Travel Guide with everything you need to know prior and during your visit. Hope you love it as much as me!

Berlin Travel Guide

PREPARE YOUR VISIT TO BERLIN

LANGUAGE // German is the main language in Berlin but you can easily find information in English in most places and ticket machines. Staff in public places can speak some level of English.

CURRENCY // Euro

BUDGET // Reasonable cheap. Compared to other big cities like London or Paris, is cheap. You may spend €20-€30 daily on a budget. Meals in a fancier restaurant costing €25. Of course take in consideration tickets money and other extra activities. Always over-budget to be safe in my opinion!

ELECTRIC // Power sockets:  type F – Standard voltage: 230 V – Standard frequency: 50 Hz

Worldwide Travel Adapter

CLIMATE // I visited in August wan it was hot and dry so pack really light clothes! Usually very cold Winters with occasional snow, mild Springs and Autumn and very hot Summers.

BEST TIME OF THE YEAR TO VISIT // All year round. Summer will be better to get to know the city and enjoy the weather sitting down in a cafe but Winter as its attractions too. Oktoberfest, the Christmas Market and the Festival of Lights are some events that I would love to go back for.

HOW MANY DAYS? // It’s up to you. There is a lot to do and it does take some time to get to places but if you’re going just for a weekend you can hit the main attractions and get to know the city just as well as you will understand in this Berlin Travel Guide.

DISCOUNT PASSES // The Berlin PassBerlin Welcome CardBerlin City Tour CardMuseum Pass Berlin

MORE INFORMATION // Berlin’s official tourism websiteGermany’s official tourism website

Berlin Travel Guide

GETTING TO BERLIN

BY PLANE

Berlin has two airports: Tegel International Airport (north-west) and Schönefeld  (south east, where the cheapest companies fly into).  From Tegel you have buses directly to some of the main train/metro stations or you can take a taxi. From Schönefeld you have the S-Bahn trains and regional trains into town and also buses. Plan your trip here.

BY TRAIN

You can travel from most European countries by train to Berlin. Use the InterCity and EuroCity trains from Deutsche Bahn (DB).

BY BUS

The long distance buses that come from all over will arrive at the Central Bus Terminal, the Zentraler Omnibusbahnhof in Charlottenburg.

BY CAR

Berlin has very good accesses by car and roads are overall in good condition.  Would recommend it get there by car but then explore it in another way as the traffic is maniac. Parking is good.

WHERE TO STAY IN BERLIN?

Berlin is a very big city, so I would advise you to get a map, circle all the things you want to see and then look for a location that is suitable for that or is very close to public transports as they work well.

There are 12 districts in Berlin with 5 being the main ones where people tend to stay.

Mitte is the historical centre of Berlin where most of the famous monuments are located. Museum Island and Alexanderplatz are located there. Prenzlauer Berg is an area full of life. Pankow area has lots of restaurants, bars and shops. It is close to major attractions like Prater Garten, the oldest beer garden in Berlin.

Berlin Travel Guide
Alexanderplatz

Friedrichshain is a trendy cool area with lots of artistic vibes. East Side Gallery is located here. Kreuzberg it’s rich in cultural diversity and were some serious hipster’s coffee houses and bars are located. Turkish food can be found everywhere. Charlottenburg’s it’s where the beautiful Tiergarten park and Charlottenburg Palace are located and where lots of other historical buildings are too together with some of the most expensive shops.

Berlin Travel Guide
Friedrichshain

For my time in Berlin I stayed in the Hilton Berlin located in the Mitte district. You can read about it here.

Berlin Travel Guide
Mitte

Also Airbnb is a good option and you can stay in some really cool places within a cheap price, check it here.

GETTING AROUND BERLIN

Berlin is quite easy to go around, coming from someone that gets lost easily! For public transportation the machine tickets have the English option and there are maps everywhere, so if you know the stop you want it will be an easy ride.

Trains // S-Bahn or regional are fast and on time.

Metro // U-Bahn easy to use with maps and stations clearly indicated.

Bus // There are many lines possible but will be a slower transport to get to know the city.

Bike // A great way to explore and there are bicycle paths in most parts of the city.

Berlin is divided in zones so think about where you want to go on the map to get your tickets. There is the option of buying an all-day ticket for all transports or some of the tourist passes included this as well.

A standard ticket costs €2.80 with zones AB and you can travel in one direction for two hours, changes are permitted (in case you get lost, like me!). Always remember to validate the ticket on the yellow machines, it will stamp the time you started your journey.  Credit cards are accepted in the ticket machines. Plan your journeys here.

MAIN ATTRACTIONS IN BERLIN

BRANDENBURG TOR

One of Berlin’s most famous landmarks and also where major historical events took place over more than 200 years of history. Initially built as a royal city gate was damaged and rebuilt in many occasions like in the World War II. During the Cold War was used as a division between the East and West Berlin. It was also where hundreds of thousands of people gathered to celebrate the falling of the Berlin Wall on November 9th 1989. Since then it has grown to be German’s symbol of unity and freedom.

REICHSTAG

The Reichstag is the meeting place for the German Government. You can visit the glass dome for free but you still need tickets that you should book in advance, here.

Berlin Travel Guide

HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL TO THE MURDERED JEWS OF EUROPE

It’s nothing like I have ever seen. The memorial was set up to remember the horrible acts from the Holocaust and to honour the victims. The concrete blocks are arranged in different patterns and none is the same as the previous. There is an information center on the underground.

Berlin Travel Guide

Berlin Travel Guide

MUSEUM ISLAND

This area that is surrounded by the Spree River in Mitte district is where 5 of most important museums in Berlin are located. It’s considered UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Berlin Travel Guide

BERLINER DOM

Located in Museum Island, this cathedral is one of the most beautiful places for me in Berlin. It’s not free to visit but honestly just the views from the cathedral are very inspiring with the Gothic architecture.  There are some restaurants and cafes around to enjoy the views and a really nice garden where you can have a picnic and enjoy the sunshine.

Berlin Travel Guide

Berlin Travel Guide

DDR MUSEUM

This museum shows how life was during the Soviet occupation in East Berlin.

Berlin Travel Guide

Berlin Travel Guide

EAST SIDE GALLERY

When the World War II finished, the allied split Germany into four areas. The eastern part went to the Soviet Union, the Western to the United States, then Great Britain and France. Unfortunately in 1961 the Communist government of the East Germany started to build a concrete wall (more than 140 Kilometres) with the purpose of stopping the “western fascists” from coming to East Germany.

It lasted until 1989 and many people were murdered trying to cross the border. As the Wall was being demolished, a one mile stretch was restored by more than 100 artists that turned into an open air gallery with beautiful messages and paintings celebrating peace. This is now known as the East side gallery and I loved the walk seeing each one of the painting as all of them have messages that still applies nowadays.

Berlin Travel Guide

Berlin Travel Guide

Berlin Travel Guide

Berlin Travel Guide

CHECKPOINT CHARLIE

Checkpoint Charlie was the crossing point between East and West Germany when the Berlin Wall was up. Nowadays, a replica can be seen there and it’s one of the most tourist places I have ever seen, maybe because some action movies have been filmed there like the ‘Octopussy’ from the James Bond movies. If you do want to see the original building it’s possible in the Allied Museum.

Berlin Travel Guide

Berlin Travel Guide

Berlin Travel Guide
Charlie’s Beach

TOPOGRAPHY OF TERROR

It’s probably one of the places I have spent most time and it’s completely free. This sort of open museum located where the Gestapo headquarters (Nazi police) were in the pass, shows people documents and photos of the main perpetrators. It shows the crimes and the ways the Nazis used to cause terror all over Europe. Outside there are large panels that show how life was when Berlin was taken over by the Nazis.

Berlin Travel Guide

Berlin Travel Guide

BERLIN TV TOWER

The tallest structure in Germany with 368 meters has a 360° view of the city. Buy your ticket in advance and it will tell you exactly the time for you to go there so there are no waiting times. The views were good but there were so many people that in some areas people could barely move which made the experience less good and not worth it in my opinion.

AMPELMÄNNCHEN

It’s not so much a place to see or something to do but it’s definitely something to look for.  The little traffic men, that you will see everywhere, was created as a strategy to reduce road accidents and has become a symbol in Berlin with souvenirs of it in most stores.

WHAT TO EAT AND DRINK

One of the first foods I wanted to try in Berlin was the Schnitzel because I just wanted to see how different it is from what I have tried in other countries. It’s excellent! Well recommended.

Berlin Travel Guide

Then I was excited to have a Pretzel something I never actually tried before. There are so much variety, you can have simple ones or with all kinds of fillings. I had a nice picnic by the park while enjoying this and a hot dog (sausages are just everywhere).

Berlin Travel Guide

Everyone told me to try the Currywurst, a hot sausage cut in slices with ketchup and curry powder which is normally something I would not go for because of the curry! I must say it’s delicious and I get it why people are eating this all the time. Try Curry 36 an outdoor snack bar that is very popular in Berlin.

Berlin Travel Guide

Then other recommendations is to try the Eisbein (Pork Knuckle), a Döner Kebab and obviously the German Beer! Even that I’m not a fan of it I do recognise it that it looks good and there are a lot of types for you to try!

My favourite places for meals were the House of Small Wonder because of the delicious food and incredible decoration and the food market Markthalle Neun with affordable and tasty variety of food.

Berlin Travel Guide
House of Small Wonder
Berlin Travel Guide
House of Small Wonder

Berlin is so much more than the main attractions and the awful events that took place in the pass. It’s a vibrant city where people enjoy life and accept the other (at least that’s how I felt). There is so much more to see from this Berlin Travel Guide even after my week there and I hope to come back!

Have you visited Berlin? What are your highlights?

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STAYING AT THE HILTON BERLIN

Featured Little Foot Adventures

Last month I visited Berlin for one week while accompanying my husband on a business trip. The visit to this city was for a long time on my bucket list and I was really excited that I would spend a decent amount of time in the city to visit all the places I wanted. During this week staying at Hilton Berlin made everything easy! The location is right in the middle of the city center and there are numerous accesses to public transportation. There are also a lot of restaurants and bars around the hotel which was a treat every day!

HILTON BERLIN

As soon as I arrived I was utterly impressed with the entrance and reception. Marble and gold are the main elements of decoration making us feel special immediately.

The Staff was excellent and ready to answer all my questions about sightseeing, where to eat in the area and public transports.

Hilton Berlin

LOCATION

If you’re arriving in Berlin by plane like me, it’s super easy to get to the hotel either by taxi or public transportation.

By taxi from Berlin Tegel Airport took me about 30 minutes at a cost of EUR 20. But if you opt for public transportation you can take the X9 bus in direction: Zoologischer Garten to Ernst-Reuter-Platz and change to metro U2 in direction: Pankow to Stadtmitte which will take about the same time at a price of EUR 2, 80 per person.

The hotel is located just two minutes walking distance from Gendarmenmarkt, one of the most famous squares in Berlin.

Little Foot Adventures Hilton Berlin
Gendarmenmarkt square

Also, the fact that the hotel is located on Berlin Mitte district, which is very central, made it easy to explore some of the major attractions in the city by foot.

MY ROOM WITH A VIEW

I stayed in the Guest Room Domeview with a view directly to the Deutscher Dom located in the beautiful Gendarmenmarkt square.

Hilton Berlin

Waking up to the views of the city was really inspiring! Because this is mainly a business hotel the rooms are very much designed to work in the most comfortable way.

Hilton Berlin

Hilton Berlin

A table and a big chair in the room made my blogging easy! Also coffee, tea and treats from the mini bar were indispensable to relax from my adventures in the city while lying in the most comfortable bed ever!

Hilton Berlin _ Little Foot Adventures

Hilton Berlin _ Little Foot Adventures

There was also a large chair that I used most time to enjoy my breakfast while looking at the views and catching up on the world news on TV.

They also have other rooms such as suites and executive rooms that you can check here.

THE HEALTH CLUB AT THE HILTON BERLIN

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you already noticed that I am a big fan of pools, Jacuzzi and Spa. So normally I look forward to have something to relax at the end of a busy day exploring cities like Berlin.

Most days after my day out I came back for a few swims in the pool before dinner and it was rejuvenating. They also have a steam room, sauna and a sun bed.

Hilton Berlin

In the same floor there is a gym with the essential to keep up with your usual workout, which I used on one of the days there.

The Spa offers several treatments: massages are available and even manicure and pedicure!

BREAKFAST IN BED

The food at the Hilton Berlin is delicious and a mix of international cuisines with German traditions that very much appealed to my taste.

Breakfast time it’s a treat with lots of choice: fresh fruit, juices, a delicious bakery selection and exquisite scrambled eggs.

On two separate occasions I had breakfast in bed which was delicious and so relaxing making me feel like a princess!

Hilton Berlin _ Little Foot Adventures

Dinner time is also full of options. If you don’t want to leave the Hotel the room service menu looked delicious and you have the hotel restaurant where you can enjoy some traditional Currywurst with a view.

AROUND THE HOTEL

On a walking distance you can get easily to Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, Berlin Cathedral, Checkpoint Charlie and as I mentioned above the Gendarmenmarkt square.

Brandenburg Gate_ Little Foot Adventures
Brandenburg Gate
Charlie's Beach _ Little Foot Adventures
Charlie’s Beach
Berlin Cathedral _ Little Foot Adventures
Berlin Cathedral

When planning your visit to different attractions ask the Concierge in the hotel. They are really helpful with explaining where to go and how to get to most places and even book tickets for you.

IN MY OPINION

This hotel it’s not what I would normally book but I must say that it has everything you need to have an amazing stay while exploring Berlin.

The location is excellent and the amenities are more than enough even for someone that is not in Berlin just for business. The rooms are comfortable with a beautiful decoration that will make you feel totally recharged after a day and I will definitely be back!

I was not sponsored by Hotel Berlin for this review. As always, thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
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