This spectacular new main railway station did not come out of the blue. In former times it was Lehrter Bahnhof, located in the East-German suburb of Mitte. It is sitting on the northern bank of the river Spree. Humboldthafen is to the east. You have great views from nearly eveywhere because the huge building is nearly entirely a glass construction.
With opening this three-storey railway station, designed by the architect Meinhard von Gerkan, the whole traffic concept in Berlin had to be altered. Service started on 28 May 2006.
The station is Europe’s biggest and most modern crosspoint station. It is the centre of crossing lines of all means of railway system: the (inter-)national railway grid as well as the regional and municipal S-Bahn system. The north- and south-bound long distance trains of German Railways (Deutsche Bahn) travel at the lowest level in the basement, the east- and west-bound trains on level 1. More than 220 long-distance trains stop at the station every day, more than 300 regional trains and more than 600 S-Bahn trains. The east-west-hall is 321 metres long.
If you want to get to Hauptbahnhof from the northern or southern suburbs by U-Bahn you have to change to the S-Bahn at Zoologischer Garten, Friedrichstraße or Alexanderplatz.
Like most modern railway stations Hauptbahnhof is much more than a huge architectural achievement and a hub of transportation. It is a commercial centre, with about 80 retail stores, and office spaces. The shops are open daily from 8am to 10pm, the pharmacy is open around the clock.
Security is paramount in such a striking prestige structure. As Germany’s first railway station Berlin’s Hauptbahnhof has no lockers but only luggage storage with x-ray controls.
Fondest memory: -
(Of course, no fond memory... ;-)
The prestigious construction showed some weak points already in its first year. In a big storm named Kyrill a huge external grid-like metal board that should be kept in place by its own weight (more than one tonne) flew through the air in January 2007, so the station had to be closed for safety reasons. Some amendments had to be made, so such things would not happen again. The whole project cost about 10 billion Euro. Not only this has been critisised – but the point critics make are far too specific for the purpose of VT.
Self-guided tours with MP3 player
For individuals every Tuesday and Sunday 11am, cost 8 Euro
Meeting point: Service Point Invalidenstraße/Europaplatz, bookings required.
For groups (25 persons max) 150 Euro, tours in English and French on request
Phone (030) 297-42010
It's been mentioned before I'm sure, but its always a really good idea to go ahead and by a ticket for the public transportation system. Very conveniently located in most stations you'll find the auto-ticket machines where you can purchase one: single ticket (for 2 hours), day ticket (all that day and night until 3am), and multiple tickets, etc. You can get the reduced rate for under a certain age, if you can pull it off even if you are older.
I did it once when I was short on Euro, but thank God I didn't get caught! Also purchase one because you can get a very heavy fine for riding without, 200 Euros I believe. I noticed that during the weekdays especially the plain-clothes officer are out and checking. During the nighttime hours, honestly I didn't see anyone checking then, but better safe that sorry. I rode a few days without purchasing, but would have been crying like a crazywoman if I had got caught and had to pay before I could leave the country.
Fondest memory: Meeting some interesting characters on the U-Bahn.
The Law of the Masses! When you exit a U or S-Bahn, a bus or tram its the law you need to walk as fast and hard as the mass of people behind you are walking. You are less likely to get run over, passed and tripped, and otherwise shoved or bumped if you live by this law. When I first got to Berlin I wasn't used to doing so much walking (and whoever that was who mentioned on the forum that I shouldn't wear my stylish boots: I did it anyway :-P and survived) but by the day I left, I was well used to keeping up and passing any Berliner on the move. By the last day I was even taking the stairs instead of the escalators!
My friend Robin gave me this tip btw, he'd been to Berlin twice more than I. Very cool guy!
There are sixteen former ghost stations located in the Berlin U-Bahn and S-Bahn systems, named so because they were not accessible during the Cold War. Some of these ghost stations still have the original lettering from the 1930's in gothic, a trademark of the Nazis.
Fondest memory: I have two pictures of ghost stations. Notice the gothic lettering, a trademark of the Nazis.
Ride the 100 bus: it'll get you to all the places that are worth a visit- all the way from the Zoo train station to Alexanderplatz.
Get of at the 1st stop: the Gedachtniskirche- absolutely a 'must see'! Then go to the Reichstag and the Brandenburg Gate, walk along 'Unter den Linden', if you want go to the top of the TV tower on Alexanderplatz (it costs ab. 10DM)
On time for lunch! I hopped on Bus 100 at the Reichstag stop to bring me to Zoologischer Garten. Of cuz I did not hunt animals for food there. It's the stop opposite to Breitscheidplatz and Europa Center where clusters of eateries can be found. But hay the zoo is indeed not too far away, directly opposite. Check out the scientific clock in Europa Center powered by pressure difference in interconnected tubes causing luminous green liquid to flow and fill up the hours and minutes bulbs to give time. Pretty interesting piece of instrument. The TIC in Europa Center offers hotel reservation service either at the counters with a charge, or you can search for accommodation and reserve online free via any of the four computer terminals.
The ruined Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedachtnis-Kirche in Breitscheidplatz is a church partially destroyed during WWII. The broken structure looks weird but unique and could have overlooked the Kurfurstendamm (or Ku'damm as the locals call it). This popular street is lined with plenty of surviving old buildings, cinemas, restaurants, chic shops and offices, and is dedicated to separating you from your Deutsche Marks!
I like to take Bus 100 which routes pass some of Berlin's main attractions. You just gotta hop on, sit back and enjoy Berlin. A little guide showing where it goes and what sights to watch out for can be obtained from the TIC. And that brings me to Alexanderplatz next, a showcase of Communist architectural 'kitsch' and so was many times up for redevelopment.
If you arrive in Berlin, take a BKG-Ticket(Berliner Verkehrs Betriebe). In S- and U-Trains, Busses etc. you see the most of the City.
Begining at Zoologischer Garten Station to Alexanderplatz the Citytrain cross the backgrouns of Houses.
Fondest memory: Where you also are, one Centrum is near by you!
take tourist coach No.100 to visit whole city, you can look aroud all main sight at every stop.The ticket can be bought from the bus driver. Apart from individual journey tickets, you can also obtain the WelcomeCard and the 24-hour group ticket. Tickets that you buy on the bus are already cancelled.
Please note that for safety reasons our drivers can only exchange money up to 10.00 DM. Please have small change ready.
you can live Youth hotel,you will meet many yong people from many couties.the breakfast in this youth hotel is the best among all youth hotel which I have stayed in Europe.
Fondest memory: The buildings are great,it tell me German history.
I watched a photo exhibition in German nation gallery,
it make me know what pictures are wonderful works
Favorite thing: Berlin is one of the best cities I've been to for riding a bike, it's very flat and rental is cheap, I paid 5 euros a day. The traffic in Berlin is a lot better than many major capitals and there are so many parks and routes you can ride along.
This will save you a lot of time and effort in buying train and bus tickets during your stay, not to mention the discount vouchers to loads of attractions and musuems. You'll be doing well to use up all the vouchers...so check out the sight to make sure you want to go to at least some of them.
We bought the 72 hour tickets at 22 euro's each and certainly used up at leat six vouchers and were off and on buses and trains like they were going out of fashion.
"Free travel on all buses and trains of the Berlin-Brandenburg public transport network operating anywhere within the A, B and C fare zones in Berlin for one adult and up to three children (below the age of fourteen) for either 48 hours (16,- €) or 72 hours (22,- €)*
The WelcomeCard includes a coupon-booklet which saves you money by receiving discounts on over 120 highlights (sight-seeing, museums, venues, clubs, restaurants, fitness - and wellness facilities and of course for shopping-areas) "
See website for details
Berlin Welcome card