A good way to see the sights in Berlin is to ride the double-decker buses on the bus lines 100 and 200.
These are relatively new bus lines which were instituted after the Berlin Wall came down, to connect the centers of West and East Berlin. As a result, a lot of the major sights are along these lines.
The number 200 bus in the photo is standing at the Philharmonie concert hall.
These 3 wheeled Taxi Cycles can be found in certain areas of the city, usually where there is a higher density of tourists. Examples would be the Brandenburg gate and on and near the Berlin Cathedral and Museum Island. I do not know the cost, as I did not take one. But my guess is not too much and also, you may be able to haggle. Nonetheless, seem to be an interesting way to do some sightseeing.
The prime way to get around Berlin is their Metro. There are 2 main systems, U Bahn and S Bahn. The former serves the heart of the city while the latter goes further afield to Potsdam and Brandenburg. Tickets can be purchased from machines, ticket offices and specially registered kiosks. Alternatively, you get unlimited free usage when buying one of several tourist cards like the Welcome Berlin Card.
What happened to horses?
This is typical Berliner carriage, serving for so-called romantic and nostalgic city tours, only it misses horses. Hope they didn't run away in the nearby forrest. I am only joking about, the guys told me they do not make city tours because its too cold.
Anyway, those who like romantic city sighting, which last 30 minutes only, must pay 85 euros which I find outrageously expensive. No matter fact that tour includes up to six persons. Fact is, carriage ride through Berlin is completely different way of exploring the city's historic center but the very high price might reduce your romantic wishes to do it.
The usual 30 minutes tour starts from Brandenburg Gate - Unter den Linden - Friedrichstrasse - Gendar menmarkt - The French Cathedral - Neu Kirche - Shauspielhaus - Museum Island - Madame Tussauds and back.
Boat tour on the River Spree
I am sure that we all bring home some small disappointments about travellings we make, always questioning ourselves, did we missed something? When I was checking my pics snaped in Berlin I knew immediatelly what did I missed, boat tour on the River Spree.
There are various compamies offering Berlin city Spree river trips from one up to three hours but most of this tours starts in April and ends in October. Some cuisers offer trips in the winter season aswell but passengers aren't allowed to stay at the deck. Discovering Berlin from the water must be in pasticularly attractive and I plan my next visiting in May or June.
I came by plain and had to go back the same way but, unfortunatelly, was betrayed by the Germanwings. It wasn't easy tusk to find available train connection to my hometown of Zagreb, especially doing it at the airport. However, there was nice lady from one agency who help me alot.
The ticket cost me additional 170 euros to get to Zagreb. The train ride was very pleasant, up to Muenchen, where I had to take another train which wasn't that good. I spent more than 18 hours in the train, ariving to Zagreb only the next day early in the morning.
Thank you "Germanwings", you'll see me never ever again.
Taxi or Limo
If you plan to get around by car (taxi or limo), for example for an airport transfer or within the city, you might want to check Talixo. This tool allows you to compare prices between taxis and other car services. They even have a economy class where you get trip fares below the taxi fare. You can book your trips directly online. Furthermore they also offer mini-buses which makes travelling in groups easier and cheaper.
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
U and S Bahn
Getting around Berlin is easy by bus or U Bahn or S Bahn . U is supposed to mean underground and S surface , but they seem to do both. I bought a day travel ticket for 6 euro 50 which was used on bus, U, S, and DB train in Berlin.
Beware of changes on S Bahn
If you have not used the public transport system in Berlin for a couple of years you need to be aware of some changes to the S Bahn. At weekends you may be a on train which has a display on the front of the train showing it is going to say Wannsee but on route there is an announcement which may mean you have to change trains to continue your journey. You may board a train which indicates it ends the journey at say Pankow but you then discover on reaching Pankow that it changes route numbers and continues to Bernau. Another surprise is a route is divided. You travel about halfway when that trains ends its journey and reverses its route, you have to way for a train doing the same coming the other way which will stop at the station for several minutes before it reverses its route. This appears to be a money saving exercise to cut down on the amount of trains at weekends. There is engineering works on the U6 subway route between Friedrichstr and Französische Str until November 2013. The best advice I can give is to use the journey planners on the BVG or VBB websites.
As I left Griebnitzsee S-Bahn Station I was amazed to see that you could hire a bicycle just outside the station. Potsdam-per-pedales are located at Griebnitzsee, Potsdam and Potsdamer Platz in central Berlin, they will also deliver the bicycle to your hotel for an extra charge. They can supply touring, mountain, tandems and children's bikes and for the less strenuous electric bikes. They can also supply all the extras that you need for your trip. They have a number organised tours around Potsdam, Wannsee, Berlin and the surrounding countryside. They are open on weekdays throughout the year and weekends from the end of March to the end of October. One way hire between their locations is also possible. They also hire canoes but as I am very uncoordinated I would be taking an early bath.
Mit mir stehst du nie im Stau
Here on VirtualTourist there used to be a member from India called asurfacing (Deepti), who wrote that the first German word she ever learned was Stau, meaning traffic jam.
She explained: "It's a very important word it seems, for every radio station seems to use it on a regular basis. It's a word usually followed by a passionate Scheisse! Which was my second German word."
My own theory is that most Germans secretly love to get stuck in a Stau -- but for those few who don't, a good alternative in the cities is to rent a bike from NextBike (first photo), which advertizes: "Mit mir stehst du nie im Stau" meaning "With me you will never get stuck in a traffic jam".
I have used bikes from NextBike in Dresden and Leipzig, but not in Berlin because I had already rented one from a bike shop.
Berlin also has masses of DB CallBikes (second photo), which I have described in detail in one of my Karlsruhe tips and also in one of my Dresden tips.
The DB CallBikes are somewhat more expensive than the NextBikes, but the systems are similar. I have always been satisfied with both except for the necessity of using a cell phone to access them.
Another option in Berlin is "Take a Bike" (third photo), which I haven't tried yet, but in 2009 I saw a group of young people using them.
2. DB Call a Bike
3. Take a Bike
Airport and onwards
Train from the Schonenfeld airport takes around 30mins, and costs 3.20 euros and that covers all transport within the city , as a one way. The train we took went to Oudkruntz and from there had to Alexanderplatz, all about 30mins-45mins.
To go to Prague by train, by booking on Bahn.de, we got a single for £36 each, by booking early.
It takes 4.5 hours from the main bahnhof.
Booking online is cheaper than buying on the day even if its the same day travel so book online, save about 30%.
Berlin's Underground Subway system (U-Bahn) is an efficient and reliable way of moving around the city. I tended to buy day tickets (Tageskarte) which allowed travel on the whole underground network as well as the tram network (S-Bahn) until 3am the following morning. These were about 6 or 7 Euro for the AB zone where most of the sights of interest are situated. I never had to wait more than 5 minutes for a train to arrive, however, at peak times the trains did get very busy so watch your wallet and hang on tight!
There are 10 lines in Berlin's underground network. I mainly used the U2 as my hotel was very close to one of the stops. The U2 line is very convenient for sightseeing as it runs between Potsdamer Platz to the West and Alexanderplatz to the East. I also used the U8 line to explore the North of the city.
- Budget Travel
Hauptbahnhof (Main station)
Opening in May 2006, the central station is now the main station in Berlin and is Europe's largest two level rail station. The upper level of the station has six tracks (two of which used for the Berlin S-Bahn) and eight on the lower level (two more are reserved for the U55). There is no rail connection between the upper and lower level track in the station area (or anywhere else nearby). 1,800 trains call at the station per day and the daily number of passengers is estimated to be at 350,000.
There are a few hotels just one minute from the doors and this makes it a great place to stay especially if your travelling onward.
Berlin has a very reliable metro station with many stations that are conviniently located near the many tourist attractions around the city. The underground stations have shops and small cafe's and fast food outlets where you can grab something quick and the underground seems to be well maintained and easy to navigate around.
Berlin offer the "Berlin Welcome Card" where you can get unlimited travel by for 48, 72 hours or 5 days. It also will give you some discounts at certain attractions and museums. Prices range from 17.90 Euros to 35.90 Euros.
See website below for more information.
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