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Scholvien/Visit Berlin

 Welcome to Berlin — the capital of Germany, which has changed drastically since the Wall came down, becoming a major destination for culture, parties and niche hipster delights. 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. Shiny modern business centres compete for attention with nostalgic 90s grunge, and young families have brunch while club kids bike home in the late morning. Discover its diversity — enjoy Berlin! Be a Berliner. Eat a Berliner.

currency

Euro, €1 = 100 cents

phone

Emergency / Police: 110
Fire brigade / Rescue Coordination Centre: 112
On-call medical service: +49 30 31 00 31

newspaper

Berliner Zeitung – www.berliner-zeitung.de/en
The Tagesspiegel – www.tagesspiegel.de
The Berliner Morgenpost – www.morgenpost.de
Die Welt – www.welt.de

hours

Most businesses are closed on Sundays. Shops and department stores are usually open from 8 am to 10 pm from Monday to Saturday, though your best chance to get what you need is before 8 pm. Fortunately, some grocery stores and pharmacies in Berlin are open on Sundays, but you'll have to spend some time looking for them.

For small things, head to a Spätkauf (or Späti). It's a type of convenience shop particular to Berlin, known for staying open late. The term literally translates to 'late purchase'.

population

3.5 million (2021)

info

Full list of tourist information offices by city district:
www.visitberlin.de/en/tourist-informations-districts

You can also call +49 30 25 00 25 or send an email to hallo@visitBerlin.de

website

www.visitberlin.de/en

Panorama Berlin Scholvien/Visit Berlin

The City

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 an attractive travel destination, luring in visitors regardless of the season.

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 will make you want to return again and again. The city’s vibrant and flourishing creative scene combines with the fire-hot music and club culture to put a unique stamp on the unmistakable character of this 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 makes Berlin feel special for you personally. Berlin has 12 districts and each of them possesses its own particular charm. In Berlin-Mitte fashion rules the roost. Neukölln has been transformed from a problem area into the hipster paradise. Prenzlauer Berg is famous for its family-friendly reputation. Kreuzberg has its multicultural scene and Friedrichshain is the centre of the alternate lifestyle.

Reichstag Scholvien/Visit Berlin

Do & See

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!

Visit Berlin

DDR Museum

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Berlin Christmas Markets

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Brandenburg Gate

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East Side Gallery

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Alternative Berlin Bike Tour

Stern und Kreis

Boat Cruise on the River Spree

Geoprofi Lars/Wikimedia Commons

Berlin Palace Humboldt Forum

Alexanderplatz © Scholvien

Alexanderplatz and Television Tower

Friedrichstadt-Palast Berlin/Flickr

Friedrichstadt-Palast Berlin

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Panoramapunkt

Miguel Ángel Díaz Magister/unsplash.com

Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg Memorial

Felipe Tofani/Flickr (image cropped)

Get Closer to David Bowie

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Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe

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Gendarmenmarkt

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Teufelsberg — Field Station Berlin

Berlin City Tour

Berlin City Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Ana Paula Hirama/Flickr

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

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Jewish Museum Berlin

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Wall Museum — Checkpoint Charlie

Jorge CG/Flickr

Nikolai Quarter

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Berlin Wall Memorial

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Charlottenburg Palace

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Kulturforum

Foto: Jörg Metzner Copyright: Computerspielemuseum

Computerspiele Museum

two people clinking beer glasses at La Soupe Populaire, Berlin, Germany Philip Koschel/Visit Berlin

Dining

From a 3-course menu in a star-rated restaurant to boulettes or a doner kebab in the local snack bar — in Berlin there’s something to suit every taste and every budget. There are just no limits to the culinary diversities: Australian and French cuisine, exotic Asian dishes and the Berliner currywurst.

Berlin’s regional cuisine is solid and tasty, served in cosy traditional pubs. A particular speciality is breakfast, which many cafes offer all day long — ideal for night owls who like to stay in bed 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!

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Brauhaus Südstern

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Explore Berlin's Culinary Trends

Sophieneck/Visit Berlin

Sophieneck

Die Berliner Republik/Visit Berlin

Berliner Republik

Hilton Berlin Hotel/Visit Berlin

Listo Lounge

Felipe Tofani/Flickr

Rüyam Gemüse Kebab

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Mustafa's Gemüse Kebap

Interart Etudes Paris/Visit Berlin

ROCA

Pubic Domain

Curry 36 — Bahnhof Zoo

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unsicht-Bar — Dark Restaurant Berlin

Visit Berlin

Katz Orange

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Mogg Deli (Former Jewish School for Girls)

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Die Henne

Young people at a cafe in the summer Dirk Mathesius/Visit Berlin

Cafes

The streets of Berlin are choc-a-bloc full with cafes. They've got everything that you need for a good start to the day, from lactose-free latte macchiato to a hearty buffet.

You can grab a quick coffee to go and take a walk through one of the many parks in Berlin. Join the hoards of digital nomads tapping away at their laptops while sipping flat whites. Meet friends and family over brunch with crunchy sourdough bread and a generous spread of cold cuts and jams.

In some cases, the distinction between cafes and bars in Berlin is not that obvious. Many places will serve you delicious meals all day, pour you a hot cup of coffee to keep you awake and will mix you a cocktail later in the night. Versatility is what Berlin is all about!

Check out our list of the best cafes in Berlin:

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Berliner Kaffeerösterei Ku'damm

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Café Restaurant Jolesch

Arthur F. Selbach/Visit Berlin

Jelänger Jelieber

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The Kaulsdorf Ice Cream Shop

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Eismanufaktur aka Spoonful

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Eispatisserie Hokey Pokey

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Café Einstein Stammhaus

Arthur F. Selbach/Visit Berlin

Cafe Berio

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Café BilderBuch

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Rote Beete Café & Bar

Cafe Sybille/Visit Berlin

Café Sibylle

Literaturhaus Berlin/Visit Berlin

Cafe in the Literaturhaus (House of Literature)

Florida Eiscafé

Kuchen-Kaiser

Open-Air Konzert in der Arena Berlin Philip Koschel/Visit Berlin

Bars & Nightlife

Round your day off with a glass of nice wine or unleash the party monster within — you’re sure to find the right sort of bar to plan your individual evening in Berlin. Your choices range from the exclusive hotel bars with modern designs to traditional drop-in corner pubs, to exotic cocktail bars and oriental shisha bars. Particularly popular are the sky bars in the high-rise buildings on Ku’damm, at Alex or Potsdamer Platz. There are spectacular view of Berlin at night to be had from high over the city’s roofs.

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 popping up 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.

© Kerstin Ehmer / Katja Hiendlmayer

Victoria Bar

Solar Berlin/Ragnar Schnuck /Visit Berlin

solar

Matrix Club & Event GmbH/Visit Berlin

Matrix Club Berlin

GraceKelly/Wikimedia Commons

Wilhelm Hoeck 1892

Michael Mayer/Flickr

Berghain & Panorama Bar

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Salon zur wilden Renate

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Anomalie Art Club

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Barbie Deinhoff’s

Sandra Nahdi/Flickr

An einem Sonntag im August

GillyBerlin/Flickr

Monkey Bar

Trine Syvertsen/Flickr

Holzmarkt 25

Neil Rickards/Flickr

Berlin Icebar

Shopping Berlin-Kreuzberg Philip Koschel/Visit Berlin

Shopping

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 in the large shopping centres, department stores, small shops and exclusive boutiques in the city. Hip, casual and trendy or classical, elegant and timeless — there’s something for every taste and budget.

One of the most popular shopping streets is Kurfürstendamm (also known as Ku'damm). 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.

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 new trends and original accessories, having a look in the small shops dotted around the Hackesche Höfe in the former Scheunenviertel (barn district) is well worth your while. 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 and eco-conscious shoppers: The numerous flea markets in Berlin are great places to be on weekends. Go on Sundays at Straße des 17. June, in the Mauerpark (Wall park) or at Boxhagener Platz.

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Schlossstraße

Fragasso/Visit Brlin

Friedrichstraße

Leon Siebert/unsplash.com

Kurfürstendamm

Schlaier/Wikimedia Commons

Hackescher Markt

Social Cut/unsplash.com

Mulackstraße und Alte Schönhauser Straße

Valerio Pillar/Flickr

Oranienstraße & Bergmannstraße in Kreuzberg

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Alexanderplatz

Ritter Sport/Visit Berlin

Ritter Sport Chocolate Store

Visit Berlin

KaDeWe — Kaufhaus des Westens

Visit Berlin

McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Berlin

Jean-Pierre Dalbéra/Wikimedia Commons

Potsdamer Platz Arkaden Berlin

Berlin Welcome Card Thomas Kierok/Visit Berlin

Tourist Information

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.

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The Airport

Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt (BER) is the only airport operating in Berlin since Tegel airport saw it's last flight depart in November 2020. The new airport is well connected to the city by S-Bahn, busses and long-distance trains. The Airport Express (FEX) and regional trains (RE7, RB14) travel between Berlin central station and “Flughafen BER - Terminal 1-2” station several times per hour. The S9 and S45 S-Bahn trains travel every 20 minutes, serving the “Terminal 1-2” and “Terminal 5” stations.

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Phone: +49 30 6091 6091 0

Website: ber.berlin-airport.de/en.html

More Information: The airport is located in the C zone when it comes to public transport. You will either need to have an ABC zone ticket or buy a C zone extension

Frequently Asked Questions About Berlin (FAQs)

– Is it safe in Berlin?

Berlin is a hospitable and cosmopolitan city, especially in the central areas frequented by visitors. There are no no-go areas in the city and it’s safe to walk alone at night. Nonetheless, it is impossible to rule out crime completely. Should anything happen — don’t hesitate to contact the police. It’s best to avoid dark parks at night if you don’t want to stay away from illegal “business transactions”.

– Is Berlin cheap or expensive?

Berlin is probably the cheapest Western European capital city. To stay within a low budget, consider getting a bike-sharing subscription and take advantage of lunch offers — there are lots of great deals!

– Is English spoken in Berlin?

Yes! Berlin is a very cosmopolitan city and English is its lingua franca. All restaurants, bars, cafes and hotels will have English speaking staff. Even places not catering to tourists will accommodate English speakers.

– Where is the heart of Berlin?

Berlin doesn’t have one clearly defined centre. Each neighbourhood has its own vibe and feel and you’ll have to find your favourite.
The closest thing Berlin gets to a “city centre” is Mitte. Museum Island, the city hall Rotes Rathaus and the Altes Stadthaus, the famous TV tower, Brandenburg Gate at the end of the Unter den Linden boulevard are all located here.

– What is Checkpoint Charlie?

Checkpoint Charlie was the most famous border crossing during the years when Berlin was divided by the Wall. The iconic sign "You are now leaving the American Sector" is world famous.

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Best Time to Visit

In terms of weather, the best time to visit Berlin is May through September, when the weather is ideal for outdoor activities: sitting around in outdoor cafes and restaurants, wandering through the city and parks, biking around and staying out all night. June offers the Carnival of Cultures, July has the Pride Parade and September brings you the Berlin Art Week.

Winter, on the other hand, is cold: the temperature is close to freezing during the day. Of course, winter holidays are a great time to check out the local markets and relax with a cup of hot cocoa or mulled wine. The Berlinale film festival also takes place in the winter.

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Website: www.berlin.de/en/events

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Berlin WelcomeCard

If you are planing to move around by public transport (which is the best way to get to know Berlin) and want to visit at least a couple of museums — Berlin WelcomeCard could be a good idea for you. It's marginally more expensive than the public transit card itself and offers you discounts for museums and some restaurants.

The cards start at €23 for 48 hours and go up to €52 for 6 days.

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COVID restrictions

Germans are known for being good at following rules, including ones that save lives. The vaccination rate is pretty high, too.

Most businesses follow either the 3G or 2G set of rules.

3G = vaccinated, recovered or tested
2G = vaccinated or recovered

Check the ever changing rules and regulations before your trip:

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Website: www.berlin.de/corona/en/measures

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Public transport

The local public transport system allows you to get anywhere in Berlin — comfortably, safely and cheaply. The expanded transport network of S-Bahn, U-Bahn, buses and trams provides you with unrestricted mobility, even at night: on Fridays and Saturdays as well as the nights before public holidays, nearly all the S-Bahn and U-Bahn service operate all through the night at 15 minute intervals.

The most convenient way to buy tickets is through the official ticket purchasing app for public transport in Berlin — BVG Tickets.

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Phone: +49 30 25 00 25

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Taxi

When hiring a taxi in Berlin, you pay a basic charge of €3.90 plus €1.65–2.30 for each kilometre travelled. The “Kurzstrecke” (short distance) tariff gives you a journey of up to two kilometres for €6.00 — 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.

If you think that ordering a taxi by phone is a little too retro, order one through the taxi.eu app.

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Phone: +49 30 20 20 21 22 0

Website: www.taxi-berlin.de

More Information: www.visitberlin.de/en/taxis-berlin

Post

You can buy stamps in post offices and at tobacconist shops. Post office opening times vary — they are normally open between 8 am and 6 pm weekdays and between 9 am and 1 pm on Saturdays.

The Eckert press store with post office on Georgenstraße, Berlin-Mitte is open every day of the week.

Address: Georgenstraße 14-18, Bahnhof Friedrichstraße, Berlin-Mitte

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Website: www.deutschepost.de/en/home.html

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Dentists

Beware of the German Vollkornbrot — it's delicious and healthy, but the seeds can do a number on your teeth. Follow the link below to see a list of English speaking dentists in Berlin

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Website: allaboutberlin.com/guides/list-of-english-speaking-dentists-in-berlin

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Pharmacy

You can fill your prescription and buy over the counter medication in Berlin by finding one of the many pharmacies signed with the large red letter “A”. They are often confused with drugstores (Drogerie), where you can get toiletries, but not medication.

Pharmacies in Berlin are usually open just like any other store: closed in the evening, on Sundays and holidays. If you need medication outside of normal working hours, you can also visit your local emergency pharmacy. Check the website below to find the closest one to you.

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Website: www.aponet.de/service/notdienstapotheke-finden.html

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Telephone

Country code: +49, Area code: (0)30

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Electricity

Germany uses the Types C and F (with two earth clips on the side) electrical plug with two round pins, same as in many countries in Continental Europe. The standard voltage is 230 volts, but some hotels have special plugs for 110 or 120-volt shavers.

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