Berlin has recently become one of the most visited European cities by Spaniards. Moreover, it is a very ideal destination for a trip taking advantage of a bridge, because in the German capital will find many and varied attractions. If you are preparing your first trip to Berlin , these basic tips for your tourist visit will be useful, which will allow you to have a first glimpse of what you will find.
Brandenburg Gate in Berlin
Tips for traveling to Berlin
These tips I give you as a conclusion of my last trip to Berlin , where I spent four days .
Alexanderplatz in Berlin
1.- Berlin is a huge city . It is the largest city in Europe, surpassing cities such as London and Paris , although with its 3.4 million inhabitants has much lower density. Therefore, when visiting Berlin it will be essential to use public transport , specifically, the not very new subway lines, buses, or trams that you find only in the area of the former communist area of influence of what was the Democratic Republic of the GDR .
How to fly to Berlin
2.- When you fly to Berlin, you still have two possible airports to get to . The one of Tegel , of the old western zone of the city, is very near the center of the city, to only 6 kilometers (about 15 euros if you prefer to go by taxi).
The airport of Shonefeld is further away, outside the city center, about 18 kilometers away, and after several years of delays, it seems that the inauguration of a new large terminal is finally planned throughout 2016. From then on, the Berlin airport will be renamed Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt and will become the only option to fly to the German capital as the Tegel airport will be closed.
Transports in Berlin
3.- In spite of the great extension of Berlin , you can consider doing at least part of your visit by bicycle . Tourist bus in Berlin
In Berlin there are 3.5 million bicycles and only 1.2 million cars. When you arrive you will see that it is a city totally designed and taken by bicycles. The price of renting a bicycle in Berlin for a day ranges from 10 to 12 euros, and many visitors choose this means of transport to travel through the most tourist areas of the city. If not, it is very advisable that you buy a transport card to move around Berlin.
Pergamum Temple in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin
4.- Your Berlin visit should focus on four thematic axes . On the one hand, Berlin as the capital of the German empire of the Hohenzollern dynasty during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Then, the later Berlin as the capital of Nazi Germany, with memorials dedicated to the Jewish people.
Wall East Side Gallery in Berlin
The Wall that separated the east and the west of the city from 1961 to November 9, 1989 should be another of the protagonists of your visit, with highlights such as Checkpoint Charlie or the East Side Gallery . And, finally, Berlin as a museum capital , and specifically, with the Museum Island , an area of the city declared a World Heritage Site .
French Garden of the Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin
They say that Berlin has 170 museums. But if you’re not very fond of museums, you should aim for an essential visit, the Pergamon Museum .
What to visit in Berlin
5.- As for the areas to visit in Berlin , the great axis will be the one that joins the Victory Column in the large Tiergarten park, next to the headquarters of the German Parliament, the Reichstag , passing through the Brandenburg Gate . Then continue along the Unter Der Linten avenue , until you reach the huge space of Alexanderplatz , the nerve center of the old East Berlin, not forgetting the monument that commemorates the Burning of Books in 1933, in Bebelplazt .
Memorial of the Jews killed in Europe in Berlin
6.- But this main tourist axis must be complemented by visits to other areas of the city; in particular, the modern square of Postdamer Platz ; the one known as Jewish Quarter or District of the Farms , near Alexanderplatz ; and if you want to know a very popular area in today’s Berlin, the Kreuzberg Turkish Quarter . Of course, in the aforementioned Jewish Quarter you will not be able to visit Tacheles , an alternative art squat house that was so popular among tourists visiting Berlin. It was closed in September 2012. On the other hand, you can enjoy the great commercial and leisure atmosphere of this neighborhood, specifically in the Hackesche Hofe courtyards .
Patios Hackesche Hofe of the Jewish Quarter of Berlin
7.- Keep in mind that the absolute majority of the buildings in Berlin were destroyed during the Second World War , so all the buildings and monuments that you will see have had to be completely rebuilt. A good example in this regard is the Charlottenburg Palace , without whose visit your vision of monumental Berlin will be incomplete, and where you can also stroll through beautiful Baroque gardens . 8.- Consider the possibility of starting the first day with a guided tour of Berlin .
Dome, protestant cathedral of Berlin
So I had the occasion to have done it in recent trips to various cities, such as Heidelberg , Toledo , Malaga or Berlin itself, with the advantage that in a visit of two to three hours you have a general vision of the city that allows you to Then plan the visits that seem most interesting to you. In addition, in the case of Berlin you have guided tours in Spanish , and also with other options such as cycling . 9.- Regarding what to eat in Berlin , you will find the typical German cuisine . And, in particular, you will find that Currywurst sausages and Berliner beer are very typical.
Cruise on the channel of the Turkish district of Kreuzberg in Berlin
But you can also taste delicious chocolates in one of the most prestigious stores, Fassbender & Rausch , which you find in the central Gendarmenmarkt square . 10.- Finally, I will tell you that Berlin is not an expensive city . Moreover, it is somewhat cheaper than Madrid or Barcelona when it comes to finding hotels, and the prices are very similar to eating in restaurants or drinking beers or soft drinks in bars. Enjoy your trip.