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Has anyone been to Berlin recently?

(25 Posts)
mumofmadboys Mon 18-Jul-16 23:58:40

We are thinking of going to Berlin in September for a few days. Has anyone been recently and can you recommend a good area to look for a hotel please near the attractions?

mumofmadboys Mon 18-Jul-16 23:59:16

I meant to add please!

suzied Tue 19-Jul-16 07:16:06

We went in September a couple of years ago and got a good deal with flights and hotel from an online travel company I found via Travelzoo. We stayed in a lovely hotel on the Kurfurstendamm- lots of train lines nearby. We had a lovely day out at Potsdam, which was well worth a visit, lots to see, beautiful buildings / parks and historical sites. You can buy a travel card from the tourist office which means you can go on all the trains, busses etc. We enjoyed some of the smaller , less touristy places, the Bauhaus museum The Jewish museum. You have to book in advance to visit the Reichstag, again well worth it. I'd love to return, it's such an interesting city and we didn't visit everything we wanted to.

absent Tue 19-Jul-16 07:21:26

Not since the wall came down so I bet you'll have a better time that I did, although I did have fun in both sides of that lovely city.

Iam64 Tue 19-Jul-16 07:48:01

We went last autumn, my first visit to the city. I enjoyed every minute, we were central and either walked or used public transport which is excellent. Lots to see, cosmopolitan, lively, varied places to eat and prices very similar to cities here in the UK. The way the history of the city has been commemorated is interesting. You can walk various areas where remnants of the wall remain, then sections where the wall used to be with huge metal poles representing it. The Jewish Museum is fascinating, as is the building, can't recall the name of the architect but it's well worth a visit.
Have a good time.

annsixty Tue 19-Jul-16 08:05:37

My D went last weekend and she stayed with a friend so can't recommend a hotel. She absolutely loved it and you are so lucky to be going. The buildings are fantastic and so was the food if that is an attraction.!!!

Kateykrunch Tue 19-Jul-16 08:57:17

We went a couple of years ago for hubbys 60th, whilst looking for flights on Jet2 a message popped up and suggested a City Break, they were all for 2 and 3 nights, but on the Jet2 web site you can then amend your choices, so for the same price as a 3 night break, we got a 5 night stay with really good flight times (early arrival and late departure). We got the train from the airport into Berlin, it was so easy (with a little before travel prep) and used the subway for travel around the city and the tour buses and a couple of taxi rides. We did all the major touristy things during our visit. We did pre-book the goverment building (you know, the one with the glass round and round walk ways). You book onlime for that and is well worth it. pm me if you want any more info - hubby will remember the names of places, I can't seem to lately!!

granjura Tue 19-Jul-16 09:10:52

Always find it hard to give advice- as what is wonderful for me, may not be your cup of tea. My favourite area is Prenzlauerberg- the old Bourgeois areas of East Berlin- which were very run down by the time the wall came down and have now been restored. It has a bit of a hippy feel- craft markets, families playing their instruments in the park, old cinémas with bars, etc.

mumofmadboys Tue 19-Jul-16 09:43:07

Thank you so much for all your helpful comments. Keep them coming!

Maggiemaybe Tue 19-Jul-16 09:47:48

We had a few days there in 2014. We stayed at the Adina hotel at Hackescher Markt and would highly recommend it. Apartments rather than rooms, so probably even better for families or longer stays, but we chose it because we got a really good deal via Tripadvisor. It has sauna and spa facilities in the basement and is within striking distance of all the sights, as well as just round the corner from a lively area full of outdoor eating/drinking places and people-watching in the parks by the river.

One word of caution. Unless you are really into museums of antiquity, be selective if you go to Museum Island, very close by. The Pergamon is fabulous, but the Neues and Altes museums are more of the same. It was way too much for us. The DDR Museum on the island, the one I most wanted to go to, was closed for renovation when we were there, but I've heard it's fascinating.

suzied Tue 19-Jul-16 09:57:28

Yes, I'd avoid Museum Island as v. expensive and a lot of the stuff is similar to the British Museum etc, go for the smaller specialist museums. We did the tourist bus tour on the first day, as it gave you some ideas about where we would like to go and the layout of the city. We walked down Unter den Linden to the Brandenburg gate - lovely. We went to a concert and meal at Charlottenburg Castle - beautiful, the singers and waiters dressed up in 17th century costumes, found out about it at the tourist office. But do consider a day in Potsdam - its about 30 mins by train from Berlin, it was the seat of the Prussian kings so lots of gorgeous baroque palaces and gardens, plus all the cold war memorial things, pretty quarters- a Dutch quarter, Russian quarter etc. lots of lovely cafes and restaurants.

Grannynise Tue 19-Jul-16 11:53:42

I thought Museum Island .. yes all the museums .. were the highlight of our stay. I know the British Museum very well and didn't think that the exhibits in the Berlin museums duplicated much. Do go, and make sure you see Nefertiti. Horses for courses I guess.

If you google free walking tours of Berlin you'll find plenty. You generally give a donation, according to your enjoyment, at the end of the tour. Ours, with Berlintours, was an excellent introduction to the city.

Portions are generally very large so don't be worried about doing what we saw many Berliners doing and asking for one portion and two plates. (And we're big eaters!)

mumofmadboys Tue 19-Jul-16 17:22:05

Thanks everyone very much. Your comments are very helpful.x

Kateykrunch Tue 19-Jul-16 19:29:27

I've remembered the name of the glass way around buildingy thing!...It was the German Parliament Building the Reichstag Building. I agree about Museum Island, although it was nice to walk in the grounds rather than go in the museum. We stayed at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel on Axel-Springer-Strasse. We got lost trying to find the Stasi Museum and arrived there with only an hour to spare and ended up on a prohibited floor in darkness which was quite scarey.

Maggiemaybe Tue 19-Jul-16 19:44:53

You're sure it wasn't an interactive experience, Kateykrunch? grin

Kateykrunch Tue 19-Jul-16 19:57:06

Maggiemaybe - just like your may have been lol.

Kateykrunch Tue 19-Jul-16 20:02:04

When we paid to get in the Stasi museum, he guy said "you have only 1 hour, it is not enough time to see everything". Hubby said "you've not met my wife, she'll be back in a flash". I don't daudle - I look, see, move on and heaven help me if there is a guide, I've looked, seen, read the exhibit, heard the talk, had a sit down on a pew, pillar, stone step or similar and chomping at the bit to get to next part......I am soooo impatient and realise I am getting even less patient with age.

mumofmadboys Wed 20-Jul-16 10:53:48

Thanks all.Just have to book now!

lena80 Sat 08-Oct-16 14:56:43

I don't remember what hotel we stayed in. But if you like museums, I would recommend that you visit Island of Museums, situated in the centre of the city.

silverlining48 Sat 08-Oct-16 15:17:33

Just returned from latest visit. Daughter been there for 10 years so go once or twice a year. I am sure you will enjoy it, it may not be as attractive as many other capital cities as it was raised to the ground in 1945 but they have renovated mAny of the buikdings.

It is interesting with a lot of history. Try the museum under the Jewish memorial by the Brandenburg gate, it's free and worth a visit. Night life very good, try curry wurst and chips on any street, transport cheap, reliable and punctual and 24 hrs. . Never forget to validate your ticket or you could get a hefty fine. If you go up to 4 stations get a short ticket for a Euro. Info in English on the ticket machine and on the trains. A ticket for the whole of Berlin apart from sconefeld airport costs 2.30e and only one required whether you use busses, trams, tubes, Sbahn to get to your destination. Enjoy.

silverlining48 Sat 08-Oct-16 15:25:42

Try a cheap canteen lunch in one of the government buildings, highly subsidised and open to all ...imagine that in the U.K. The red Rathaus (town hall) near the cathedral (Dom) has a canteen on the lower floor, old and interesting. We first found it in 1970 when it was east Berlin and full of young men in military uniform, apart from us that is. We went again last year for old times sake. The military uniforms have all gone.

lena80 Sun 01-Jan-17 15:24:19

we have been a couple of months ago. Berlin isn't a big city, we booked a nice hotel room via booking com, and the major attractions are concentrated near the Old Town

lena80 Sun 01-Jan-17 15:24:20

we have been a couple of months ago. Berlin isn't a big city, we booked a nice hotel room via booking com, and the major attractions are concentrated near the Old Town

Cherrytree59 Wed 04-Jan-17 19:15:30

Rick Stein. BBC 2 tonight (wed 4th Jan 17)
Long weekend programme

willsmadnan Wed 04-Jan-17 19:38:44

Just watching RS in Berlin and am enthused enough to start thinking about a long weekend there ... so all your recommendations are very timely!! Thanks GN-ers !