It may not have the romance of a place like Paris or Venice, but Berlin is a thrilling European capital in its own right. Heavily bombed during World War II and split in half during the Cold War, Berlin in the 21st century is a thriving, complex vibrant city. It’s like no other place in the world, and the tips below can help you prepare for a trip there.
Paying for Your Trip
The good news about Berlin is that it’s one of the most inexpensive capital cities in Western Europe. Of course, you’ll still need to pay for your airfare and other expenses, and you want to be able to indulge yourself a little while you are on vacation, but it will cost you less than places like London or even other German cities, such as Munich. One way to pay for your travel is by taking out a personal loan. In just 60 seconds, you can view your finance options and find the right personal loan for you. This can supplement your savings so you can travel without worrying too much about the price of everything.
Most Berliners speak a little English, particularly those under the age of 40 and almost certainly those you are most likely to come into contact with as a tourist. It’s always a good idea to learn a few polite words in German. Berlin has excellent public transportation, and you can use the same ticket to travel on buses, trams and the S-Bahn and U-Bahn trains. However, the system for dealing with them can be a little confusing. There are no barriers in stations, meaning that you travel on the honour system, but make no mistake, plain clothes fare inspectors are common, and you will be fined if you don’t have a current ticket. Most tickets must be validated after purchase, and single tickets are only good in one direction. As a tourist, you might want to pick up a multi-day pass to save money.
What to See & Do
For 20th century history to craft beer, nightclubs to wild swimming and more, Berlin has something for everyone. There are a few must-see sights. These include the Brandenburg Gate, built in the 18th century, and the East Side Gallery, a nearly one-mile stretch of the Berlin Wall painted by artists. Berlin is probably the nightclub capital of Europe, and the party goes on for days at famous spots like Berghain – if you can get in – but if dancing all night and all day and all night again isn’t your thing, you’ll still find plenty to keep you busy. The sprawling Tiergarten is a beautiful, enormous urban park. If you visit in any time of the year besides summer, you can enjoy free weekly midday concerts at the Berlin Philharmonic by world-class musicians. Every February, the Berlinale, one of the top film festivals in the world, is open to the public. Finally, in the summer, you can take a boat down the River Spree or join the locals for a swim in one of the dozens of lakes that dot the city.