Berlin is the largest city in Germany and one of the largest in Europe, currently having 3.5 million inhabitants. As a great European capital, it witnessed in the century. XX turbulent events that changed the course of world history .
It was here, in the early 1930s, that Hitler’s so-called III Reich and Nazi propaganda began, which would later lead to World War II and the ensuing destruction of the city. At the end of the war and the defeat of Nazism, Berlin was divided into two zones of influence : the western and the eastern. For 50 years, the climate of the Cold War lived which ended with the fall of the Wall in 1989.
Today, Berlin is a cosmopolitan and fascinating city with a lot of cultural life and a lot of young people, and through its mixed line of traditional and modernist, it is able to provide the traveler with what I call “ breathing history ”, and that will feel in Berlin , I am sure.
If you are thinking of visiting Berlin, I wrote this article so that it can serve as a guide for planning your trip . Good trip!
When to visit Berlin?
The ideal period to travel will be between May and September , as the most pleasant temperatures allow the traveler to enjoy more of the urban environment (terraces, green parks, among others). However, accommodation at this time is more expensive, so it must be booked in time. Some events are noteworthy at this time: Carnival of Cultures , Beer Festival or the Berlin Marathon .
Traveling in winter has its disadvantages, as Berlin is a very cold city ! I got to know the city in December and I advise you to bring warm and comfortable clothes (jacket, sweater, hat and gloves), believe me, it is very accurate. However, at this time the price of accommodation is more affordable and the Christmas Markets are an event not to be missed.
Entries – Visas
You do not need a visa to enter Germany and a citizen card is sufficient. As a member of the Schengen Area, you will not have to go through border control. The Brazilian citizens need to present passport valid but do not need a tourist visa for stays less than 90 days.
How to get to Berlin?
The city is served by two airports: the Tegel International Airport (principal) and the Airport Schönefeld (secondary) which is located southeast of the city. Ryanair recently opened several weekly flights from Porto to Schönefeld and the price of the flight (round trip) stayed for about 80 euros. Easyjet also has lowcost flights to Schönefeld from Lisbon . If you land in Schonefeld, you can travel to central Berlin on the train. The Bahnhof Flughafen Berlin-Schönefeld station is just a few meters from the arrivals terminal.
You can also reach the German capital via the railway. The Berlin Central Station ( Berlin Hauptbahnhof ), one of the largest in Europe, receives several calls from other German cities such as Cologne , Frankfurt , Munich , Hamburg or Dresden and European as Vienna, Budapest , Prague, Amsterdam, Warsaw, Zurich , Paris or Moscow .
How long does it take to visit Berlin?
It depends on the reason for the trip. In my experience, it takes at least 3 full days, but 4 or even 5 days is ideal. If you decide to visit the Museum Island , which is a kind of Berlin’s Louvre, book a full day . About 40 km from Berlin are the Sanssouci Parks and Palaces , a magnificent architectural complex with more than 500 hectares designed by Frederick II of Prussia . If you have availability, also book a day for this place that is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site .Remember that Berlin is a key space for both World War II and the Cold War. These are two themes that I like a lot, so I explored these chronologies in some detail.
Before the trip, make a tour of the places to visit, but leave some free space to improvise and do something that is not in your plans, especially because during the trip there are places that do not appear in the tourist itineraries and can be very pleasant surprises where we will spend extra time.
Security in Berlin?
Berlin is a safe , quiet city and an excellent destination for those who want to travel with children . Crime levels are very low and even at night the environment is safe. Nevertheless, always use common sense when faced with certain situations (eye on luggage, pickpockets, etc.)
Transport in Berlin?
Purchasing tickets : Purchasing tickets for public transport is a very easy process, as ticket machines are available at all stations . The city is divided into three zones A, B and C . The public transport system (U-Bahn, S-Bahn, bus and metro) uses a common ticket. There are several types of tickets:
- – Short trip (1.5 euros)
- – Berlin AB single ticket (2.7 euros)
- – Berlin ABC single ticket (3.2 euros
Do not forget to validate the ticket at the machine before entering transport. From Schönefeld Airport to the center of Berlin : there are several ways to get from the airport to the center. The most used is to take the train (S9 or S45) at the station (about 200m in front of terminal A of the airport) and buy the ticket at the machine (ABC zones) for 3.20 euros. The journey time to the center ( Hauptbahnhof station ) will be close to 40 minutes. Another option is the regional (RE7 or Rb14) which has fewer stops, so it is faster.
Alternatively, you can rent a bicycle. There are many who use this vehicle as a transport, because the orography of the city allows travel without great physical effort. There are several spots for bicycle rental, the price / day is around 10 euros.
Berlin hotel / accommodation?
There is a huge offer of accommodation in the city (more than 1000 accommodations) with prices ranging from 25 to 200 euros per night.
I stayed at the Hotel-Pension Insel Rügen , with address at Pariser Str. 39-40, Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf, Berlin, 10707 . This hostel, despite not being in the very center, has a good location, being close to the Zoo. You can walk to the center and get to know the city better, or take the train at the nearest station ( Savignyplatz ). The facilities are pleasant and the price per night (twin room) was 33 euros with breakfast included. I recommend.
Food – Restaurants in Berlin?
Contrary to popular belief, food is not expensive in the German capital . But what I advise is to have a good breakfast , and have lunch with a sandwich, kebab or dog (between 1.5 to 3 euros), so you get more out of the day and save some money on that meal. So, at dinner you can spend a little more , and preferably a Berlin meal. I give the example of a restaurant I visited… .I paid 15 euros for a Berlin specialty (pork shank – which was delicious) with a drink included (0.5l mug of Berliner beer).
What places / attractions to visit in Berlin?
- – Reichstag (German parliament) – it is necessary to book the visit
- – Brandenburg Gate
- – Berlin Wall
- – Topography of Terror
- – Checkpoint Charlie
- – Tiergarten
- – Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche
- – New Berlin Walking Tours
- – Museum Island (Museumsinsel)
- – Berlin Cathedral
- – Mauermuseum at Checkpoint Charlie
- – Casa da Musica (Konzerthaus)
- – French Cathedral
- – Siegessäule (Victory Column)
- – Berliner Fernsehturm (TV Tower – the tallest building in Germany)
Other places to visit
- – Jüdisches Museum
- – Holocaust Memorial
- – Flea markets
- – Zoo
- – Deutsches Historisches Museum
- – Sanssouci Palaces in Potsdam
Berlin tours and activities
- Third Reich and Cold War Walking Tour
- Visit to Reischtag
- TV Tower
- Boat trip
- Museum Island: Ticket for All Exhibitions
- Hop-On Hop-Off Circuit
- Urban Art Tour
- Natural History Museum
- Former Stasi Prison
- Excursion to Potsdam
Other useful information
Germany’s official currency is the euro . For travelers who do not use this currency, they can exchange money at the countless houses in the historic center. Credit cards like VISA and Mastercard are accepted and ATM machines are also easy to find
The official language in Berlin is German , but most places that have contact with tourists speak English.
The public health system in Germany is assessed at the level of European standards. Those traveling to Berlin must have at least the CESD (European Health Insurance Card) but it is more advisable to have travel / health insurance.
There are several public WC’s in the city of Berlin. You will have to enter 0.50 euros to access this service and you will be entitled to 15 minutes. At the mall, its use is not always free and you can pay the same amount. Public toilets are generally clean and well maintained.
Official Berlin Tourism website: https://www.visitberlin.de/