Gipsies are not only a problem in other countries I have been, but also in Germany, Berlin. They pretend to be an immigrants from former Yugoslav republics (Bosnia), asking for help and money. Once I told „no“, they told me something in their own language. Also they „gather“ money for different organisations, pretending it is like a donation. Sometimes they are so aggressive and try to stop you not only asking to stop, but also physically.
Do not look at friends, architecture or something else while you are walking!
I think more than a million of dogs live in Berlin.
You are save Unter den Linden for example, ways are cleaned twice an hour......
But in the streets, where the dog owners live look down omn the ground!
I do not load a picture, anyone is able to imagine...
The banks in Germany do not operate with cash money except you have an account there. I tried to send money in cash from several German banks to Bulgaria (outside the euro-zone) and they told me it is impossible. The officers recommended to go to "Western Union" for sending money abroad. Also, if you are going to stay less than 6 months in Germany it is highly probable that they will not open a bank account for you. Strange, but fact.
In Berlin, as in all other cities in Germany it is no possible to use absolutely free wi-fi in public places. You must go to some bar or restaurant to use it (and not every bar has such connection). I saw somewhere a schocking price for using internet in public places- 5 euro per hour. There also many hotels that offer wi-fi for 10-15 euro for 24 hours, so be careful while choosing a hotel!
OK this is just a frivolous excuse to use this pic but normally, where I come from anyway, the beer gardens are lush (and I use that word in every sense) pastures devoted to the hedonistic pleasures of life.
Here in Treptower Park it looked a little damp. Maybe I'll have to return in the summer ;-HIC!
. I really looked forward to my arrival in berlin and as I was meeting someone it added to my enthusiasm of visiting this famous City. Berlin , a major city in the world with its known sights and pleasures is not without its dangers. I arrived by train and was immediately taken by the absolutely wonderful new Hauptbahnhof ( Central Railway Station).. Mostly made of glass so impressive..When planning my round the world by train journey one of the first things that I implemented was the Travel insurance that I would need in case of mishap... Trouble and accidents are something that we don't like to think of when organising our travel plans ..but, accidents can happen anywhere at anytime. Even mother nature now having a big hand in it.. I always take Travel Insurance for accident, medical, Hospital,loss of baggage and theft but the main one I always have in case of the worst scenario is repatriation ..after the bombs in Bali for me now , this is a must. Hospital and medical costs can be horrendous and can really change your travel plans..Always take the Travel Insurance that you feel is the best for you and your journey. It all depends on where you are going and what you will do..as they say..
DONT LEAVE HOME WITHOUT IT
When I noticed this sign on Friedrichtstrasse on my last evening in Berlin I seriously considered stopping for another day just to take the tour. It was only reading the small print that I realised it wasn't a Brewery Tour but rather a Berlin walking tour run by a guy called Terry Brewer.
It looks like fun though and for those who like that sort of thing seems well reccommended.
Website has alll the info:
Dont take a chance riding subway without a valid ticket. You may think the chances are low to get caught, but one came on the bus and was checking tickets. So not worth risk, immediate 40 euro fine for non compliance.
This isn't really a warning, but I hope it will be useful.
German doctors seem to have a bad reputation, atleast among North Americans, because they're not as "costumer-service" oriented. I had a very good experience in Berlin. I think the easiest way to find a doctor is simply to use the Yellow Pages (http://www.gelbeseiten.de/yp/quick.yp). You can call in advance to make sure that the doctor speaks English, but it's more than likely that she will. Mine did, and her two assistants also. I only needed my German to fill in forms before I saw the doctor, but those were pretty simple, much shorter than the US equivalent.
To see a specialist it seems like you have to make an appointment well in advance, but it's possible to see a doctor without one. You just have to be very patient. It seems like you will probably end up waiting even with an appointment, though.
Better have some cash in your pocket....too much information maybe...but I had indulged in more coffee than I needed one morning and while waiting to connect with the Berlin Walks tour...I needed to find a washroom.....
I found it at the Zoo Train Station....and needed to pay for the use of the facility...so BEWARE...have some change available!
I actually snapped a couple of snaps but they are taken in "RAW" format and the files are too large to load here...
Received a Christmas present from Australia about a week before Xmas. Had a note from Berlin Customs sent to my hostel informing me to come to the nearby customs depot to pick up my package....no problem so far.
1. Go up to front desk and give them my notice. They check it and then direct me to another waiting room!
2. In the waiting room is approximately 25 people. I wait for 30 minutes.
3. Finally my name is called and im all excited about getting my gift. To my shock they hand me a Stanley knife and ask me to open it up in front of them - a Xmas present! I open it and they take out the contents and note what they are - great i know what im getting a week before Xmas - some surprise!
4. Without any warning, they took the box away and left me standing there with no explanation. Two young German guys who spoke English speak to them for me so i can get some explanation.
5. They tell me that i am required to pay a customs import tax! on a Xmas present! 20%. Unbelievable.........
6. Told i need to sit down again why i wait for them to calculate value of tax. Wait another 30 minutes. Total cost 19 euros.....someone takes the invoice around to a separate cash office where i have to pay. Obviously not expecting to have to pay for a present in the mail, i have no cash.
7. Try to get some explanation from customs as to why i have to pay an import tax on a gift i did not ask for. They informed me that at their central office in Frankfurt, SOME packages are sent to regional customs office for taxes and some are not!!!! GREAT, a random tax.......i ask as to why it is a random tax......THEY CAN NOT TELL ME. I had previously received hundreds of dollars in packages from Australia earlier in the year, but did not have to pay customs tax - why was that the case? "We do not know" was the deadpan reply.
8. Come back next day to pay and try to get further explanation....none. Lost my cool and told them to go F§§$ themselves....
Yes. Never, Never, Never forget to validate your train ticket. As it was our first time visit Bertlin, we were so excited that after purchasing our ticket (from a goodies store, not even a ticket booth), we headed to the train and jumped. We were not aware that it has to be validated as we did not even look at our tickets. We were only around 5 minutes on the train when an inspector (or are they Underground employes or Police Patrol???) started inspecting tickets. When these two inspectors turned to us, it seems to me that they already know that we did not validate it. One of them just grabbed our tickets and said, "okay, get off the train and come with us". Then on the platform, one of them asked the three of us "Do you know that not validating your train tickets is a criminal act?" And I said a Big NO. People around saw us being interrogated as if...what they said "criminals". They said we have to pay a fine of Euro 40 each. I told them that even if I have the money, I am not going to give them.... Not a single penny! Then I asked "Is this how you treat your tourist?" He said, do you have a proof that you are tourist? Then, I showed them our Canadian passports. Suddenly, they changed their tone and tried to "educate" us where to validate the tickets. I can't believe it! Do they have to harass and scare people to discipline them? Yes, it is our fault. And that's about it. We did not let this incident spoil our trip. Our city tour went on smoothly and enjoyed it.
When it's getting warmer you might see a group of people, mostly from Ex-Yugoslavia, playing 'Find the Lady' on small carpets at Alexanderplatz or someplace else.
It may be tempting to win some easy money, but you won't have a chance, as the fraudsters let the ball disappear.
The fraud goes like this: first the fraudsters lay out a bait by letting one of the gang play. Of course he wins the seemingly simple game and "earns" some easy money. But if you take the bait, the warm-up ends and the ball disappears into the fraudsters hand. No ball - no money. And if you complain or put your foot on one of the boxes, forcing the fraudster to lay open the remaining two boxes, you run into risk of being physically beaten by some bullies of the gang.
Don't not push your luck too much, it's pickpocketing by other means and not worth it. That said, Berlin will be an even better place without those gangs.
When you buy a train ticket to Berlin's brand new multi-million central station (Hauptbahnhof), it might also be a good idea to read the weather forecast! As was revealed by the recent storm "Kyril", parts of the outer steel structure of the facade cannot sustain high winds -- they will fall down, each one weighing about 2 tons. As a consequence, until this incredible building blunder will be fixed, Berlin's central station will be evacuated and shut down whenever the winds reach Beaufort 8 (about 65 kph).
Maybe you should not sneeze loudly or yell hello to your friends in there either... who knows... also very handy for terrorists.... why use explosives to blow up the building if you simply can take out your handkerchief and go "HAAAAAAAAAAA-TCHUUUUUU!" -- this will do the trick!
Three months ago I both a return tickets for Berlin by GERMANWINGS, which cost me something less then 100 Euros, all taxes inclusive. On my way back home to Zagreb I took a taxi to the airport, arriving there half an hour before flight started. Actually, the taxi was very slow and when I asked him to drive faster he respond something about police, which I didn't understood well. Anyhow, when we tried to check in, the lady told us we are too late. That was quuite a schock to us because we saw a number of people who still haven't passed the first controll. The lady was, however. mercyless telling us that the next flight for Zagreb goes in three days......
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