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At Gasthaus "Zur Rippe" you can eat genuine Berlin food in a comfortable atmosphere. The restaurant is located at Poststrasse 17, subway Alexanderplatz. Open daily from 11 a.m. onwards. To make a reservation, call: + (030) 242 42 48, to get more info visit www.berlinshop.de/Rippe.
The German Museum of Technology is located on Trebbiner Str. 9 in 10963 Berlin, near the Landwehrkanal. The closest subway stops are Gleisdreieck (U1/U15) or Moeckernbruecke (U7). It is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. during the week and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends. The museum is closed on Mondays. For more information on current exhibits, call: + 030 - 902 54 0.
This grocery store comes close to a deli: you can browse through a variety of cheeses from 6 countries, or buy specialties from the Black Forest region (Schwarzwaelder Schinken) and other German regions. This is a good store. Oranienstrasse 20 (subway Kottbusser Tor), open Monday - Friday 10 a.m. - 7 p.m., Saturday 9:30 a.m. - 2 p.m., phone: (030) 614 56 44.
"Do as you please" was the motto of the Prussian emperor Frederick the Great (1712 - 1786). Tolerance is still one of the city's best qualities. There are no licensing hours, lots of foreigners, a large lesbian and homosexual community, and a multitude of shops, restaurants and magazines catering to all kinds of tastes. It is easy to be 'a little strange'. Chances are you will not get hassled.
Get information on cultural events on the phone. Call the Museumspaedagogischer Dienst Berlin. They will provide you with details on all permanent and current exhibits in all of Berlin's museums (of which there are over 140!). They can give you information on performances, happenings, lectures and films. They will help you getting on guided tours, either in German, or in foreign languages. Call + (49) (0) (30) 282 61 83, or fax + (49) (0) (30) 282 49 83.
Although the new after-hours shopping laws have been in effect for quite some time, it can be very difficult to find a store open past 10 p.m. - Try the main railway stations and airports: Kurfuerstendamm, Alexanderplatz, Lichtenberg station (East station), Tegel airport, Schoenefeld airport, Tempelhof airport, Zoo train station.
The German Bundestag in Berlin is located at the dome of the Reichstag Building. Visitors can access the roof terrace and the dome of the Reichstag Building through the west entrance (look for an outdoor staircase).
Opening hours: Daily from 8 a.m. to midnight (admission until 10 p.m.).
The roof restaurant is open from 8 a.m. to midnight. For reservations call: + 49 (0) 30 22 62 99 33.
The Gemeinschaftshaus is a cultural community center (sozio-kulturelles Zentrum), which arranges all kinds of events. For details call: (030) 680 91 410. They are open Tueday - Saturday from 9 a.m. - 10 p.m.. The House is located at subway stop Lipschitzallee (U7). Big sign, impossible to miss.
Get your hands on a copy of the Berlin phone book, and you will find various services on the first pages (e.g. weather, time, movie theaters, operator ..). The best number to call would be tourist information in English. These services are are run by the Deutsche Telekom company. They are not free, but local calls are inexpensive.
Wannsee is a district with access to Berlin's bigger lakes and the river Havel. Most beaches are easily accessible, swimming is free. There is also a public swimming bath with a nude beach, "Wannsee Beach" (Wannseebad Zehlendorf). It can be reached by using a special BVG public transport service. Take the S-Bahn (stop Nikolassee) and bus 513. Note: Inquire for details beforehand, as the bath is not always open (generally April - September, depending on the weather). Busses run only when the bath is open.
Plan about a half-day trip for this historical building. Zitadelle Spanday - Spandau Fortress - a former water castle, is situated in a picturesque park and contains a museum on the history of the castle. After walking through the exhibition, dine in medieval style at the castle restaurant or attend one of the free concerts, which are held in the park in summer.
Am Julisturm 1
(subway stop Zitadelle, bus 133)
open: Tuesday - Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., Saturday & Sunday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., admission ca. DM 2-3.
Some traces of former 'East Germany' can still be found in the city:
- the former Stalinallee (now Karl-Marx-Allee) from Strausberger Platz to Frankfurter Tor
- the Haus des Lehrers (House of Education) at Alexanderplatz
- the Council of State building and the Palace of the Republic at Schlossplatz
- the former Soviet Embassy (now the Russian Embassy) at Unter den Linden.
For free information on the city, contact the following offices:
1) Press and Information Office of Berlin
Berliner Rathaus, D - 10137 Berlin
phone: +49 (0)30 90 26-0
fax: +49 (0)30 90 26 25 26
2) Press and Information Office of the Federal Government, Berlin Office
Neustaedtische Kirchstr. 15, D - 10117 Berlin
phone: : +49 (0)30 22 440
fax: +49 (0)30 22 44 1365
The Victory Column is an ideal starting point for an excursion around Berlin's Tiergarten and new government district. Go up top for a great view of the city - including the nearby Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate. You might also consider taking a walk to the art market (open weekends, walk takes about 30 minutes) located on Strasse des 17. Juni.
Contact (write, fax or e-mail) the Presse- und Informationsamt des Landes Berlin for free information:
Presse- und Informationsamt des Landes Berlin
D - 10173 Berlin
phone: + 030 - 90 26 - 0
fax: + 030 - 90 26 25 26
The Bruno Winkler shipping company is located near Schloss Charlottenburg, so you might consider combining these two. You can go on boats at the Schlossbruecke at Charlottenburger Ufer and will see a lot of the inner city. Info: Mierendorffplatz 16 (Wilmersdorf), subway stop Mierendorffplatz (U7).
Blue Moon is a fashion store that's been around since the early eighties. Clothes & shoes for punks, teds, nightclubbers and other trendy people. Almost as good as going shopping in London. Wilmersdorfer Strasse 80, subway: Adenauer Platz, open Monday - Friday noon - 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m..
Are you looking for new reading material but do not want to spend a lot? Visit Buecherhalle, a secondhand bookshop with a good selection of titles. Hauptstrasse 154 (Schoeneberg), subway Kleistpark, open Monday - Friday 10:30 a.m. - 7 p.m., Saturday 10:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m..
Unter den Linden is Belin's most important street. Start at Potsdamer Platz and walk down to Alexanderplatz. You will see a lot of old buildings, some dating back to the Prussian-German monarchy. Among those worth taking a closer look at are: the Arsenal, the Crown Prince's Palace, the Opernpalais, the Palace of William I, Humboldt University, St. Hedwig's Cathedral, the State Opera, the Royal Library and the New Royal Guard House. Expect between one and two hours for this tour. If you get tired get on bus 100 or 200.
I found this ad in a mag: "We will arrange cheap accommodation in a room of your own - with nice people - from DM 35 per night including breakfast!"
Sounds to good to be true. Was puzzled that "we" does not provide a company name. To contact, call
(+) 4930 - 21 75 22 17, daily from 5:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.
If you are looking for a particular and hard-to-get book, chances are you'll find it at Hugendubel's. The store has a wide selection of books and paperbacks on 4 floors. Lots of bargains. Bonus: a wide space where you can read or rest.
open: Monay - Friday 9:30 a.m. - 8 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m
There's also a branch at Friedrichstrasse in Mitte.
The New National Gallery has something for everybody: artworks from the era of classical modernism to the present day and exciting exhibitions of famous artists. These can get very crowded. The museum also has an impressive sculpture garden, in which free concerts are sometimes held in summer. The souvenir shop is full of posters, books and postcards, with lots of bargains. Highly recommended.
subway: Potsdamer Platz, bus 129, 148, 348
open Tuesday - Friday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m., Thursday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m., Saturday & Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
admission ca DM 10
The Kurfuerstendamm used to be the center of West Berlin. After the reunification, it lost its dominance to Unter den Linden. It is still worth taking a walk down the "Kudamm" - lots of designer stores, movie theatres, restaurants and department stores are located in this area. Don't miss the KaDeWe (Kaufhaus des Westens)department store on the Wittenbergplatz. It is similar to Harrods in London, but less expensive.
The Berliner Museumsinsel is centrally located and can be reached by bus, underground and city train (either go to Friedrichstrasse and take a walk on Unter den Linden, take bus 100, or the S-Bahn to Hakescher Markt). It consists of various museums, which offer current and special exhibits from all over the world. Check a local paper for current events. Do not miss the best of all, the Pergamon Museum with the famous Pergamon Altar. Other museums located on the island are: Altes Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie, & Bodemuseum. Plan about 1 hour for each museum. The nearby Museum fuer Deutsche Geschichte on Unter den Linden is currently closed.
Zweite Hand is a publication that lists both private and business ads and covers cultural events in Berlin. It is available twice a week at any newsagent, also online. It is a good source for cheap stuff and gives you an insight into Berlin life in general. There is an individual mag for car ads. Your German needs to be more than average to understand the ads.
Go to Potsdamer Platz and take a tour around the new government quarter. Start with the renovated Reichstag, which is home of the Federal Parliament. Walk to Schloss Bellevue, the residence of the Federal President. His office, the Praesidialamt, is next door. Walk down John-Foster-Dulles-Allee, pass the House of Cultures and see the new Federal Chancellor's Office (Bundespraesidialamt) behind it. Further down, you can get to the new offices of the parliamentary administrations. All located in the district of Tiergarten. - Board bus 100 or 200 from there (either back to Zoo Station or onwards to Alexanderplatz).
A good way to see the inner city is to take a walking tour. There are not that many great distances to cover, and traffic is usually so slow that you're better off on foot. In any case, you will see more. Most German cities have only one center - Berlin has two. Go to either subway stop Kurfuerstendamm (former West Berlin center) or Alexanderplatz (former East Berlin center) to start your tour.
This museum deals with the organisation, background and implementation of the "Final Solution" ( i.e. the decision to deport and murder the European Jews under the Nazi Regime). A meeting of the same name was held in this villa on January 20th, 1942. Today, the site is a museum with a permanent exhibition, guided tours in German and English, special exhibits, and a media center with a reference library, videotapes and an audiovisual collection. - It is a gruesome subject, but the museum is excellent. So are the guided tours. Highly recommended.
Gedenk und Bildungsstaette Haus der Wannseekonferenz
Am Grossen Wannsee 56 - 58, D - 14 109 Berlin
phone: + 49 (030) 80 50 10 - 0
fax: + 49 (030) 80 50 01 27
Exhibition: The Wannsee Conference and the Genocide of the European Jews
Monday - Friday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday: 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.
Monday - Friday: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Admission is free. Guided tours by appointment only. Workshops and seminars at the Media Center by appointment.
Contact those commercial tourist offices for free information:
1) Partner fuer Berlin - Gesellschaft fuer Hauptstadt Marketing mbH
Charlottenstr. 65, D - 10117 Berlin
phone: : +49 (0)30 202 40-0
fax: +49 (0)30 202 40-166
2) Berlin Tourismus Marketing GmbH
Am Karlsbad 11, D - 10785 Berlin
phone: +49 (0)30 26 47 48 0
fax : +49 (0)30 26 47 48 99
Eis Henning is a cafe specializing in ice cream in every variation. This is the good stuff, don't miss it!
Bundesalllee 186 - 187
Eis Henning at "Neue Welt"
subway: Hermannplatz, bus 119, nightbus 19
Kurfuerstendamm 129 b
S-Bahn: Halensee, bus 119, 129, nightbus 19, 29
open daily 8:30 a.m. - midnight
The Castle of Charlottenburg is one of Berlin's most impressive baroque buildings, with the equestrian statue of the Great Elector in front of it. Today, it hosts a museum with masterpieces of 19th century painting. It is located near Mierendorfplatz (subway 7) in a large park. In summer, free open-air concerts are held. It is also a good starting point for a boat trip.
'Shopping with the Berlin BVG subway trains' (Einkaufen mit der Berliner U-Bahn) is the title of a 200 page booklet issued by the BVG. It is full of tips for shopping, eating out and sightseeing. It is grouped according to the various subway stops and subway lines and the class of services offered. It costs ca. DM 3. very neatly organized. Get it and start shopping!
"Berlin von hinten" is a guided tour on the river Spree, which allows you to see Berlin from an entirely different perspective. Take the subway up to Moabit, walk up Stromstrasse until you reach the bridge (the river). Several different tours are offered. Try not to go on a Sunday, as it may get too crowded.
This fleamarket is full of bargains of the superior kind. Lots of books, records, Cds, clothes, postcards, cutlery, furniture, jewellry, pottery, household appliances ... I shopped at this market for years and can safely recommend it. Located right next to the subway station.
subway: Fehrbelliner Platz
open: Sunday 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.
World of Music stores (WOM) are your best bet if you want to get hard-to-find vinyl, an obscure CD, videos in English, books, tapes and other media. You can also buy concert tickets here and pick up free stuff (mags). Try WOM at Augsburger Strasse 36 - 42, subway Kurfuerstendamm, phone: + (0) 30 - 885 7240.
This museum is open-air and focusses on ecology and agrarian history. Check out the ecological market, festivals, readings and special exhibitions.
Clauertstrasse 11, Zehlendorf
phone: (030) 802 66 71
open: Thursday 3 p.m. - 7 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Get a glimpse of Berlin everyday life by going to its Markthallen (market stalls under one roof). The oldest is Arminiushalle in Bremer Strasse, Moabit (subway 9, stop Turmstrasse). The second oldest is located in Eisenbahnstrasse, Kreuzberg. Both sell food, beer and wine, clothes, books, cosmetics, household products, and sometimes real bargains. They open at 7 a.m..
The race track in Mariendorf is a popular meeting place for horsepeople, kids and those, who like to place bets. Take the subway to Alt Mariendorf, or go on bus 176, 178, 179. The main entrance is located at Mariendorfer Damm 122. Races start on Wednesday evenings at 6 p.m., and on Sundays at 1:30 p.m.. Free admission on Wednesdays, about DM 5 on Sundays?
If you cannot find an open after-hours-shopping store, go to the Automate Supermarket located at Kantstrasse/Leibnitzstrasse (a short walk from Zoo trainstation). Your purchases will be delivered on a conveyor belt. Note that this kind of store is more expensive, but it is better than nothing ...
At Restaurant Kohldampf you can eat traditional German home cooking. They have day specials, too. Leipziger Strasse 40, subway Franzoesische Strasse. Open Monday - Saturday from 8 a.m., Sunday from 10 a.m. onwards(open end). To make a reservation, call + (030) 204 41 47.
Buy great food and souvenirs at the Turkish Market in the district of Kreuzberg. It is located near the Paul-Lincke-Ufer. Or go by subway train to Hermannstrasse and walk. Don't forget to check the local newspaper for opening hours. Don't forget to take your map, in case you do not find the market and have to ask.
Stadtmagazin 030 is a free publication for the young and the young at heart. If you are into music, fashion, sports, trends, shopping and cultural events this mag is for you. Don't know where a particular club is located? Check out the extensive collection of addresses in 030. You can pick it up in bars, at subway stops or at colleges. Check out their online version at www.berlin030.de, too.
Banks are open Mon-Fri, some also on Saturday morning. Opening hours vary. Usually, you will find an open bank from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and between 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, depending on the individual bank. The Kurfuerstendamm is a good destination for banks.
The BVG Tipinfo computer provides you with the best public transport connections to your destination(s). Your info can be printed. Located at the following subway stops: Wittenbergplatz, Alexanderplatz & Zoologischer Garten, also at Tegel airport and the Zentral Bus Station (ZOB).
The Nikolai Quarter is one of Berlin's oldest city quarters and was restored in the mid 80's. It is located around Berlin's oldest church, the Nikolaikirche. Note: you will find plenty of gift stores and restaurants in the area, but they are not inexpensive. Subway & S-Bahn Alexanderplatz, subway Klosterstrasse, or bus 100 & 200.
The Museum of Ethnology holds over 500,000 objects from all parts of the world. It also has a large collection of photographs & films, an ethnomusical archive and special exhibitions. Highly recommended, also for kids. Great museum store.
address: Berlin-Dahlem, Lansstrasse
(subway 1, Dahlem-Dorf, Bus x11, x83, 110, 183)
opening hours: Tuesday - Friday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
booking for groups: +49 (0)30 20 90 55 66
info: +49 (0)30 8301 438
Zitty magazine is similiar to Tip magazine (which has its own 'tip' on this page), it is just not as glossy. It provides the same kind of information (ie.e news, culture, events, addresses, ads, tv guide, radio program, phone numbers), but caters to a more 'alternative' clientele. Mostly read by students. Not expensive. Recommended.
This is a great library for both kids and adults. They provide internet access, books, Cds and tapes, magazines and newspapers and cartoons. Staff is friendly and helpful. Open Monday & Friday 1 p.m. - 7 p.m., Tueday, Wednesday and Thursday 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.. It is only a short walk from subway stop Turmstrasse (U9). For details call: (030) 3905 2361.
On weekends, go sightseeing in the new glass-roofed panoramic S-Bahn. Armchairs, air conditioning and a bar! Trains leave at Ostbahnhof, platform 10, Saturdays and Sundays at 10:58 a.m., 12:28 p.m. and 2:08 p.m.. The trip lasts an hour and costs DM 29 (kids 4 - 13: DM 16). Buy your tickets at the S-Bahn shop at Ostbahnhof, Alexanderplatz, Friedrichstrasse or Zoo stations.
If you want to see Berlin from the water, go an a tour on the Berlin lakes and rivers. Wannsee and Tegel are good starting points. Note: "Moby Dick" is a boat which looks like the white whale, a nice photo opportunity.
Contact Address: Reedereiverband Berlin
(Berlin Shipping Association)
Ticket Office Wannsee
Almost every district in Berlin has at least one Turkish foodstore and/or stall that sells Turkish snacks, bread, "Doener Kebab", cookies and beer. These places are popular with Berliners, as they provide cheap and healthy food. Some are open on Sundays. Try the Turkish salad or the Turkish pizza, too.
You find these machines at most subway stations. Information is available in English. You can put in both coins and bills. Be careful with the bills. Some machines repeatedly spit them out again. The machines do refund your money. It is best to buy either a twenty-four-hour ticket, which lets you use any BVG (Berlin public transport company) vehicle as often as you want. There are also tickets for 5 rides, family tickets, tourist tickets and monthly tickets. The latter are expensive (ca. DM 100).
Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedaechtniskirche (Memorial Church) was built at the end of the 19th century and destroyed in World War II. The ruined tower remains. The new church building beside the old church is open daily 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. - Breitscheidtplatz, subway Zoologischer Garten, bus 19, 29.
Berlin's best address for souvenirs are its fleamarkets. The Kunstmarkt (art market) on Strasse des 17. Juni is open on Saturdays and Sundays. Try to go early, as it gets very crowded around noon. Expect to find lots of original art, designer clothes, books, records, CDs, old postcards & stamps, tableware, furniture and the like. Watch your purse. Bring plenty of small change. Take the city train to S-Bahnhof Tiergarten.
For information on current exhibits, call the Haus am Checkpoint Charlie Museum. The Haus has four permanent exhibitions, of which ‘The Wall – from August 13, 1961, until today' attracts the most visitors. Call + (49) (0) (30) 251 1031 for details. The phone line is open daily between 9 a.m. and 10 p.m..
Visit this market on Saturday mornings and check out global delicacies, bargains and 'scene' streetlife. After your visit you may want to have coffee or breakfast in one of the surrounding pubs or cafes.
Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m. - 2 p.m.
The Bruecke Museum is an insider's tip, as it is located far away from Berlin's other museums and never too cowded. It specializes in expressionist paintings by artists such as Emil Nolde and members of the 'Bruecke-group'. Located near Grunewald (green forest), it is a good starting point for a trip around the Grunewald lake and forest. Expect to spend 1 hour in the exhibition.
Address: Bussardsteig 9, 14195 Berlin-Dahlem
(open daily 11 a.m. through 5 p.m., closed on Tuesdays)
Domaene Dahlem used to be a fully functioning farm up to the 1950's. Now it is one of Berlin's favorite recreation areas. It features an open-air museum with farm exhibits, animals, lakes, public footpaths, endangered species (birds, frogs, rodents) and rare vegetation. Once you are done, have lunch at the Dahlemer Krug, which is located opposite the street. They specialize in German dishes. On weekends, you will have to make a reservation.
Address: Koenigin-Louise-Strasse / Pacelliallee
(subway 1, stop Dahlem-Dorf)
Leydicke used to be a spirit factory around the turn of the century. Nowadays it is a distillery and "Kneipe" (bar) selling excellent fruit wines and liqueurs. Note: this stuff is dangerous, but the atmosphere in the place is great. You also will get an idea of what Berlin bars looked like in 1900. Highly recommended.
Mannsteinstrasse 4, subway Yorkstrasse
open daily from 6 p.m., open end
Most Berliners dislike going shopping by car, as parking is limited. Two big shopping districts can be reached using the public transport system: Wilmersdorfer Strasse (subway 7) and Walter-Schreiber-Platz (subway 9). You'll find major department stores, boutiques, bookstores, gift stores, restaurants and various discount stores. Note: Avoid shopping on Saturdays, it is always very crowded.
The Berliner Verkehrsgesellschaft (BVG) publishes a free subway map, which is available at any subway station (ask the guy in the booth). You may also get the BVG's monthly newsletter for free. The newsletter can be obtained on most busses. You can also get free information at the BVG Pavillion at Hardenbergplatz, opposite Zoo train station.
The city has four memorial sites commemorating different aspects of the Third reich:
- the Memorial Center of German Resistance
- 'Topography of Terror'
- the Ploetzensee Memorial Site
- Museum House of the Wannsee Conference
Check a local paper for current exhibits, addresses and contact info. Guided tours are offered, material can be obtained, and much can be learned. Expect to spend 1-2 hours at each location.
Berlin's botanical garden is located in the district of Steglitz near Rathaus Steglitz subway stop. Go on bus 148 (takes about 5 minutes). The tour around the botanical garden takes about 1-2 hours. Don't miss the greenhouses with tropical plants, goldfish and a waterfall. Note: on summer evenings, there are often free concerts worth attending. There is a restaurant located near the entrance.
"Currywurstbuden", i.e. stalls that sell curried sausage, French fries, potato salad, meatballs ("Bouletten" - a Berlin speciality) and more comfort food are scattered all over the city. They are great for a snack and not expensive. You will also get an insight into Berlin's everyday life. A lot of people eat their lunch there.