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Tassia
Netherlands

Berlin

What are the best things to do on Berlin in May (3-4 days trip)?

I moved to Netherlands recently and now I want to explore Europe a bit. I have almost no experience on travelling around here.

I'm planning to see some indie concerts on Berlin on the first weeks of May and I would like to know some interesting things to do, doesn't matter if it's mainstream-tourist-alike or more underground.

  • I never visited Germany before, so any information about how to get around will be appreciated :)
  • Would like to know good LGBT parties/venues
  • Is better to use cash or debit/credit cards?
  • Any tips about commuting inside Berlin? 
  • Because it's a 3-4 days trip, do you recommend visiting other cities too? If yes, which cities?
  • I'm travelling alone

5 Answers

top answer by
David from Hawthorne (California)

Make a reservation for the Bundestag online weeks in advance.  We recently visited Berlin and were not able go inside because it was completely booked.  I would recommend avoiding Checkpoint Charlie as it is a tourist trap.  Instead, Topography of Terror is very instructive regarding the history of Berlin in World War II.  You can spend days visiting the museums on Museum Island.  We enjoyed the Old National Gallery, but ran out of time for the others.  Consider staying at Melia Berlin as it is right on the Spree river in Mitte and very close to a convenient subway station.  You can purchase a day pass to use the subway to travel all over town.  I also recommend Restaurant Dressler if you end up staying in Mitte.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Bundestag (attraction)
  2. Checkpoint Charlie (attraction)
  3. Topography of Terror (attraction)
  4. Museum Island (attraction)
  5. Old National Gallery (attraction)
  6. Melia Berlin (hotel)
  7. Restaurant Dressler (restaurant)
6 thanks


answered by
Anna from Los Angeles

Berlin will keep you busy for 3 or 4 days. In fact the city's various neighborhoods used to be unique villages. So you can stay in Berlin and see different parts of town and feel like you've traveled somewhere else. Which you sort of have! Plus there have been so many different international influences on this town which makes it like no other. No wonder it's now such a creative capital. Lot's of energy here!

The UBahn and SBahn (underground / street rail) are the best way to get around town. http://www.berlin.de/en/public-transportation/1772016-2913840-tickets-fares-and-route-maps.en.html

Bring both cash and your debit card. You can easily get cash from bank atms. But like Elaina said, it's best to pay for things using cash.

Neighborhoods I recommend:

Mitte - Alexanderplatz is worth a visit. Go up to the top of the TV tower for a view. Feels touristy, but so worth it! Make sure you migrate back (1 SBahn stop) to Hackescher Markt and walk north to it. Go into Hackescher Markt and check out the court yards to Sophienstraße. Also check out Neue Schönhauser Straße. -more shops and restaurants. Also worth seeing, but a  bit of a walk, is the Volksbühne. Fun bars on either side of it - Grüner Salon or Roter Salon.

In and around Savignyplatz (Berlin) (West Central Berlin). Nice shops and cafes here. Lot's of inspiring design shops around here. This is in Charlottenburg. Cabaret (w/ Liza Minelli) was filmed around here and on Kurfürstendamm.

Prenzlauer Berg - In and around Knaackstraße and beyond. I forget street names. Nice cafes and restaurants.

Schöneberg - Winterfeldtmarkt - UBahn Nollendorfplatz --if you're in Berlin on a Sunday morning, this outdoor market is a must for brunch. Lot's of cafes around the market for breakfast.

Kreuzberg- Paul-Lincke-Ufer (near Kottbusser Damm) is off the beaten path and has some lovely cafes along a canal. More central is Marheineke Markthalle, an old covered market stall place -UBahn Gneisenaustraße - Lot's of more or less world-market-like shops and cafes in and around the market.

Tiergarten - Touristy, but the major hub of "West" Berlin before the city was unified. The park is great to ride a bike in and around. If the weather is warm don't be surprised to see naked people sunbathing!

And of course there's Berlin Wall Memorial. A visit to the Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie will give you a history lesson. Very worth a visit. Definitely make time to visit the Bundestag and walk around the dome. http://www.bundestag.de/htdocs_e/visits/kuppel/kupp/245686

OK hope this helps. Have fun! I guess I went on about shops and restaurants. There are some great museums, but I figured these are easy to find and city promoted.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Berlin (city)
  2. Mitte (neighborhood)
  3. Alexanderplatz (attraction)
  4. Hackescher Markt (attraction)
  5. Sophienstraße (attraction)
  6. Neue Schönhauser Straße (attraction)
  7. Volksbühne (attraction)
  8. Grüner Salon (attraction)
  9. Roter Salon (attraction)
  10. Savignyplatz (Berlin) (attraction)
  11. Kurfürstendamm (attraction)
  12. Prenzlauer Berg (attraction)
  13. Knaackstraße (attraction)
  14. Schöneberg (neighborhood)
  15. Winterfeldtmarkt (restaurant)
  16. Nollendorfplatz (attraction)
  17. Kreuzberg (region)
  18. Paul-Lincke-Ufer (attraction)
  19. Kottbusser Damm (attraction)
  20. Marheineke Markthalle (attraction)
  21. Gneisenaustraße (attraction)
  22. Tiergarten (attraction)
  23. Berlin Wall Memorial (attraction)
  24. Museum Haus am Checkpoint Charlie (attraction)
  25. Bundestag (attraction)
6 thankscomments (1)


answered first by
Elaina

With 3-4 days, it might be hard to visit another city, but no worries! Berlin is a great city with lots to do :) but if you do want to get outside of the city, Hamburg is a must! Definitely make a days trip out of it! I believe it's an 1+ hour outside of Berlin. 

Your best (and most affordable) way of getting around is public transportation. Taxis are really expensive. Look into taking the BVG, bus, U-Bahn, or underground trams. I know the BVG is only open until 10pm or so (learned that the hard way) and the U-Bahn runs much later, till 1am. Saturday and Sunday it's open all night! I took the bus a lot, they go everywhere! 

Avoid driving! Berlin is also a great city to walk in. Aside from buses, this is what my sister and I did a majority of our time. The street art in Berlin is amazing.

I loved the East Side Gallery and Filmmuseum Berlin Deutsche Kinemathek

For LGBT, Kreuzberg is a great area! Lots of fun bars there. SchwuZ and Bar Zum schmutzigen Hobby are a must! 

Definitely have cash (euros). Berlin was not credit/debit card friendly! It was very rare if I found a place that accepts them. 

Have fun!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Berlin (city)
  2. Hamburg (attraction)
  3. East Side Gallery (attraction)
  4. Filmmuseum Berlin Deutsche Kinemathek (attraction)
  5. Kreuzberg (region)
  6. SchwuZ (attraction)
  7. Bar Zum schmutzigen Hobby (restaurant)
4 thankscomments (2)


answered by
Laura from Berlin, Germany

Hi Tassia,

Berlin is great place in May and you will find that some of the cool outdoor spaces around the rivers will have opened. My favourites are Kiki Blofeld and Kater Holzig

Public Transportation is easy and the S and U-Bahn will take you everywhere.

Have fun!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Berlin (city)
  2. Kiki Blofeld (attraction)
  3. Kater Holzig (attraction)
3 thanks


answered by
Lorraine

Getting around is fine-trains are good, and you can walk to a lot of places. We stayed at the Melia Berlin near Spree river-just across the road from the hotel is stopping place for river boat trip-gives you a different perspective of the city from the water and an understanding of the division of the city pre-unification. From there can walk to Museum Island-definitely worth a visit. If it's your thing, do a walking tour of Berlin's graffiti-loved it. Brandenburg Gate and Checkpoint Charlie are tourist traps but can't go to Berlin without seeing them. Near Brandenburg gate is the Holocaust Memorial- worth visiting. At Friedrichstraße station, look out for the Trains to Life, Trains to Death sculpture outside station-by Frank Meisler and commemorates the kindertransport- also sculptures  in Liverpool Street Station London, Gdansk Poland, Rotterdam Netherlands and Vienna Austria Can get train to Potsdam easily for a day trip. We started from the station on Friedrichstraße- lots to see in Potsdam. Lots of tour buses around the station- easiest way to get to some places, but you can walk. The Hackescher Hof courtyards  are interesting- try to see the Blindenwerkstatt Otto Weidt in one of the courtyards. Definitely the Berlin Wall and the Tiergarten. We had no trouble with ATM's or credit cards.

Shopping is fantastic,and lots of funky little cafes, coffee shops, etc, but you get those everywhere-try to get a feel for the history of the place, the art and music scenes rather than shopping.


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Melia Berlin (hotel)
  2. Museum Island (attraction)
  3. Brandenburg Gate (attraction)
  4. Checkpoint Charlie (attraction)
  5. Holocaust Memorial (attraction)
  6. Friedrichstraße (attraction)
  7. Potsdam (city)
  8. Hackescher Hof (restaurant)
  9. Blindenwerkstatt Otto Weidt (attraction)
  10. Berlin Wall (attraction)
  11. Tiergarten (attraction)




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