Berlin Travel Guide

By Admin | Last Updated August 30, 2019

Berlin, the capital of Germany and the country’s largest city, is a major centre of politics, culture, media and science.  Berlin is also one of the most popular cities in the world for tourists. 12.96 million people visited the city in 2017, including more than 5 million international tourists, an increase of 2.7% over 2016. This makes Berlin the third most popular city with tourists in Europe after London and Paris.

Did you know there are more bridges in Berlin than Venice?  The city has 960 bridges and 59.8 square kilometers of water consisting of lakes and around 180 kilometers of navigable waterways. Berlin is 112 miles (180 km) south of the Baltic Sea, 118 miles (190 km) north of the Czech-German border, 110 miles (177 km) east of the former inner-German border, and 55 miles (89 km) west of Poland. It lies in the wide glacial valley of the Spree River, which runs through the centre of the city.

Bismarck and Marx, Einstein and Hitler, JFK and Bowie, they’ve all shaped – and been shaped by – Berlin, whose rich history is reflected throughout Berlin. Creativity is at its peak in Berlin. Berliners have a spirit that nurtures and encourages new ideas. Although Berlin is a big multicultural metropolis, it maintains the charm of an international village with a beautiful laid back lifestyle. They give immense importance to personal freedom and live on the principle of "live and let live".

With vivid architecture, contemporary art forms, fabulous food, festivals, sporting events, night life and tangible history, Berlin is a perfect blend of glamour and grit. Whether you are going for a weekend, a week or even months, you'll be running short of time to catch all the places in this vibrant city.

Berlin – 10 Quick Facts

  1. Berlin is the capital of Germany.
  2. Official Language – German
  3. Population – 82.29 million
  4. Area – 891.8 square kilometers 
  5. Berlin has more museums than rainy days per year. 
  6. Berlin is nine times bigger than Paris.
  7. Berlin has the largest train station in Europe.
  8. The city has the world's largest Turkish population outside of Turkey.
  9. Michael Jackson performed a “terrible mistake” in Berlin.
  10. Berlin consumes 70 million curried sausages a year.

Top 10 Reasons To Visit Berlin

  1. History – All major historical event of 20th century Europe, including the World War, its aftermath, the rise of dictatorship and the horrors of Nazi Germany, World War II and the Cold War and the Fall of the Berlin Wall played out in Berlin. History was written and can be read on every street corner.
  2. Many Attractions – Brandenburg Gate, The glass dome of Reichstag, the glorious Berlin Cathedral, The Berlin Zoo, The Berlin Wall East side art gallery, the magnificent Charlottenburg Palace and the Museum Islands are some of the major attractions you cannot miss.
  3. Green City – Berlin is one of the greenest cities in Europe. 18% of Berlin is covered with forest.
  4. A Liberal City – Berlin is the epitome of personal freedom. It is often described as the most liberal city in the world. People celebrate uniqueness in this city and live with a non-judgmental outlook on life. You are bound to be attracted by this welcoming atmosphere that the city offers.
  5. Party Capital – Berlin is the unofficial party capital of Europe. To enjoy the best party scene, visit Berghain, one of the top night clubs in the world, where you can party until day break and watch the sunrise over the city from the Panaroma Bar.
  6. Food – Berlin offers incredible local food, Currywurst being the most obvious dish. Street food is super popular in Berlin. Currywurst was invented in Berlin – you will find a currywurst stalls in every corner of the city. One of the most popular Currywurst stands is in front of the Zoologischer Garten Train Station - Currywurst 36.
  7. Festivals – Berlin is a hub of festivals and events. No matter what the season, is there is always something going on here.
  8. Affordable – It is one of the cheapest cities of Western Europe and a perfect place for those on a budget to enjoy without breaking the bank.
  9. Street Art – The city is plastered in epic graffiti scenes.  The “Berlin Mural Festival 2018” has just wrapped its first ever street art festival where local and international artists took over twenty-two walls in Berlin’s industrial landscape. The city was turned into an open-air contemporary art museum.
  10. Beer – It is the beer capital of the world. The city has everything to offer – a good beer garden, a cool pub, craft beer spot and beer sports.

Berlin Weather

The weather of Berlin is moderately continental. It is characterized by cold winters, with average temperatures around freezing (0 °C or 32 °F), and moderately warm summers, with daytime temperatures hovering around 24 °C (75 °F).

The city is exposed to both cold and warm air, so both the weather and the temperature are highly variable. During the warm season, from May to August, thunderstorms can erupt in the afternoon. Winter, from December to February, is cold, with average temperatures hovering around freezing.
Spring, from March to May, is a season characterized by an unstable weather, with the first warm days alternating with the return of cold weather. March is often a cold month, with frequent snowfalls. There can be late snowfalls in April, especially in the first half of the month. But you will also have the first mild days, when the temperature can reach 20 °C (68 °F), especially in the second half of the month.
Summer, from June to August, is pleasantly warm. The daytime temperature hover around 22 °C (72 °F) in June and 24 °C (75 °F) in July and August. However, nights are cool, and sometimes even a bit cold. Atlantic depressions can arrive even in this season, bringing some cool and rainy days, while in periods of good weather the temperature can get close to 30 °C (86 °F).

The Best Time To Visit Berlin

The best time to visit Berlin is between May and September when the weather is nice and there are many activities to enjoy. Relax in a park or cafe, take a leisurely city strolling. There will however be a slight price increase in the peak summer. But you can still save money if you visit the city at the start of summer, in early May.

June is also a good time to visit Berlin. The weather is lovely, the locals are cheerful, there’s life on the street, and the prices aren’t quite as high as they will be later in the summer.

Winter is literally freezing. January and February are usually the coldest months. Temperatures tend to range in the 20- to 30-degree F. You may be able to find some great deals if you are on a budget trip but don't forget to take a warm coat. The second half of Berlin Fashion Week takes place in early July, so watch out for hotel price hikes, particularly in Mitte.

Top 10 Cultural Events and Festivals in Berlin

  1. Berlin International Film Festival
  2. Lange Nacht Der Museen- The Long Night Of Museums
  3. Tanz Im August
  4. Museumsinsel Festival
  5. Berlin International Beer Festival 
  6. Muzikfest Berlin
  7. German American Folk Festival 
  8. Young Euro Classic
  9. Fete De La Musique
  10. Karnrval Der Kulturen

Berlin Nightlife

Berlin is the city that truly never sleeps. The city's vast party scene satisfies every taste, budget and age. From tiny basement clubs to industrial techno temples, chestnut-canopied beer gardens to fancy cocktail caverns, saucy cabarets to ear pleasing symphonies – Berlin has almost everything to offer. Berlin’s clubs turn the night into day. Go partying till the sun comes up – and goes down again! Unlike other German cities, Berlin has no official closing time. If you are a party animal don't miss Bergson, the best night club of Berlin and the Panorama bar on its top.

Top Neighborhoods In Berlin For Tourists

Berlin has a place for everybody to feel at home. It is divided into 12 different neighborhoods, with each of it having its own vibe and feel.

The Mitte district is the most interesting in Europe when it comes to recent history, shopping, markets, start-up scenes and interesting restaurants. Charlottenburg offers a glimpse of Berlin’s royal past. There are old homes, palaces, parks, and plenty of shopping. This classy and quiet neighborhood in the west of the city is close to the main shopping street, Kurfurstendamm, Teufelsberg, and Thai park.
Kreuzberg is the right place for lovers of street art. A small neighborhood, Wedding is very popular with the young artsy set. Wedding is welcoming and laidback.
Just over the bridge from Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain in the former east of the city. Most of the night clubs are located here. There is street art too. Many young tourists like to stay here. Other good neighborhoods in Berlin for tourists include Pankow and Neukolln.

Airports in Berlin

There are 2 main airports in the city – Tegel and Schoenefeld.

Schoenefeld is the best choice for low cost airlines. Tegel is slightly closer to the city, but both have good and cheap 24 hour transport available. Schonefeld Airport is connected by train with the city center, while from Tegel Airport you have only buses. However, the Tegel Airport is scheduled to close down in the future.

Berlin Brandenburg is a new airport currently under construction, close to the Schonefeld Airport. Once ready, this will be the single airport serving the city.

  • From Tegel, the X9 and 109 bus runs every 10-15 minutes to the Bahnhof Zoologischer Garten.
  • The Jetexpressbus TXL goes to Friedrichstrasse and Unter den Linden and Alexanderplatz.
  • The S-Bahn and U-Bahn both go to the city center.
  • Taxis cost €20-€25/£17-£21 for a ride to central Berlin, depending on where exactly you’re going.

Dining options in the Tegel Airport are a bit more varied, both before and after security. Pre-security, your best options are the Restaurant Red Baron, burgers at Cindy’s Diner, or currywurst at EsSBahn (located outside in a converted S-Bahn car). There is coffee available at – Coffee Fellows, Illy Bar, Kamps, Berlin Coffee and Starbucks.

Tax For Tourists

Since 2014, tourists staying overnight in Berlin have to pay an accommodation tax. This is called the ‘City Tax’. It is 5% of the room rate (net price), excluding VAT and the fees for amenities and services such as mini-bar, sauna or spa area. Only private overnight stays are subject to the tax.

How To Save Money In Berlin

  1. Save with a tourist card or transit pass.
  2. Use your student identity card to get discounts. 
  3. Avoid pricey bus tours. Use public transport to save money.
  4. Sleep cheap. There are many budget hotels.
  5. Snack on local treats. You will get plenty of options in Berlin.
  6. Know your classic cheap eats.
  7. Shop at local markets.
  8. Visit flea markets for cheap souvenirs.