Safety Tips in Berlin

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Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in Berlin

  • antistar's Profile Photo

    Dog Dirt

    by antistar Written Oct 16, 2004

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    "It has to be said that the streets of Berlin, at least East Berlin where I spent most of my time, were plagued by dog ***. This resulted in some particular behaviours on the part of experienced Berliners, like Hanno, such as always walking down the center of the pavement, and never walking in the house without taking off your shoes first. This was such an ingrained habit that just quickly nipping back into the apartment, fully shod, resulted in Hanno blowing a gasket. Having to constantly take your shoes on and off, in Hanno's tiny entrance, filled as it was with tables and boxes, also resulted in a constant traffic jam, with all five of us falling over each other in a space not big enough for two, sometimes with people removing their shoes to come in, while others were putting them on in order to leave. By the time we headed out for the evening's party, we'd become practiced enough to make use of the stairs outside." - from my travelogue

    I was amazed by how much dog muck was on the streets of Berlin, more so than anywhere else I've been to in Germany. It definitely pays to follow the example of Berliners, and walk down the centre of the pavement, as dog owners do seem to make the effort to keep their dogs from messing the central path, even if they will let them crap everywhere else. I also noticed the occasional evil smell wafting up from underground, and they seemed particularly common near the subway stations.

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  • croisbeauty's Profile Photo

    Cheap flights could be very expensive sometimes

    by croisbeauty Updated Dec 1, 2006

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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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  • EasyMalc's Profile Photo

    Unofficial Memorial to victims of the Berlin Wall

    by EasyMalc Updated Aug 1, 2014

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Anyone who walks between the Brandenburg Gate and The Reichstag can’t fail to notice 14 white crosses spread along a fence next to the Tiergarten. These crosses are obviously a memorial to those who died trying to get across the Berlin Wall but they’re not supposed to be here. Why not?
    It’s not because the authorities don’t want the events publicised because there’s an official memorial on the banks of the River Spree behind the Reichstag.
    The reason that they’re not wanted is down to the man who has chosen to erect his own personal memorial here - a man by the name of Gustav Rust. It’s more than possible you’ll bump into Herr Rust if you walk along here because he seems to be here most of the time. Over the years he seems to have adopted some very strong right-wing tendencies which earned him a spell in one of the Stasi’s prisons - a period he’s never forgotten. He’s definitely on a mission and he’ll thrust literature into your hands as you walk past, which has got him into even more trouble because he’s found himself falling out with people on a regular basis including the police, foreign diplomats and even members of the German Parliament. He’s even been convicted in court of assault and battery so I suggest you think twice before getting involved in an argument with him. So why don’t the authorities move him on?
    Well, firstly nobody seems to want to take the responsibility for it and it falls on the local Mitte office of public order to be able to move people on if they think that someone’s making too much of a nuisance of themselves. In fact they’ve dismantled his personal memorial twice - and he’s re-built it twice.
    It seems that these days the powers to be just give him a wide berth - and you may just want to do the same.

    The Official Memorial

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  • freddie18's Profile Photo

    Validate Your Underground (Train) Ticket

    by freddie18 Updated Sep 9, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Related to:
    • Trains

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  • JourneyOf1's Profile Photo

    For Global Refund Cheques

    by JourneyOf1 Written Jul 29, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    For tourists and visitors, if you have purchased items and the store provides these, see the attendant at the "tax-free" office or ask a sales associate for a tax refund cheque . If you have your passport or a picture ID like a driver's license they will print out and sign a Global Refund Cheque for to refund the tax on your purchases. No cash refunds in the store but you must have your cheque stamped before you check your baggage at the airport.

    From the brochure they give you: "On leaving the EU show your purchases to Customs officials and have your Global refund cheque stamped within 3 months of purchase. By air, before baggage check-in, by rail ask for information about stamp formailities."

    You have to have the customs stamp to get a refund. You can also mail your stamped cheque to Global Refund and get a bank draft sent to you or direct deposit to your card or bank account.

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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    Loong line to famous exposition(s)

    by matcrazy1 Written Apr 2, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Although I didn't have much time in Berlin I had to stay in a looong line to get inside the Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery) where there was exposition of over 200 masterpieces from Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City.

    Finally we waited approx. 50 min. on Sunday midday but it was NOT tourist trap for me - simply the exposition was worth of even more waiting time! And while Urszula was waiting in the line I was walking around, watching people, taking pictures, tasting Berlin's snacks etc.

    If you have no time and more €€€€ to spend (27 instead of 10 or 12) buy VIP ticket in advance (not available at place). Follow the link below for more info, please.

    IN  A  LINE  TO  NEUE  NATIONALGALERIE
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Museum Visits
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo

    Avoid snail mail

    by matcrazy1 Updated Apr 23, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    When I asked for postage stamps for postcards I was going to send at the post office they added me air mail labels for postcards sent over-seas although I didn't ask about them.
    Avoid snail sea mail. Whenever you send postcards/letters at least outside Europe ask for Luftpost (Par Avion, Prioritaire) labels and appropriate (more expensive) postage stamps.


    From my friend Ingo (german_eagle) from Dresden, Germany:
    Stamps for airmail are not more expensive than sea mail. Few people know that, but I asked at the post office when I sent some snail mail to the US recently.

    AIR  MAIL  LABELS
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Business Travel
    • Backpacking

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  • Turtleshell's Profile Photo

    Don't Play 'Find the Lady'

    by Turtleshell Updated Jun 5, 2007

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Casino and Gambling

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  • Greggor58's Profile Photo

    Need a Washroom at the Zoo Station...?

    by Greggor58 Updated Mar 23, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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...

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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  • johngayton's Profile Photo

    Don't Misread The Apostrophe!

    by johngayton Updated Oct 27, 2010

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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:

    The Sign I Misread!
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Beer Tasting

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  • DennyP's Profile Photo

    ALWAYS CARRY THE NECCESARY TRAVEL INSURANCE

    by DennyP Written Jan 31, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    BERLIN
    . 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

    always protect what you have...
    Related to:
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    • Trains
    • Hiking and Walking

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  • johngayton's Profile Photo

    Bring Your Swimming Costume!

    by johngayton Written Feb 1, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    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!

    Glug, Glug!
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking
    • Photography
    • Beer Tasting

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  • Raimix's Profile Photo

    Gipsies

    by Raimix Written Sep 17, 2013

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    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.

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  • TempNomad's Profile Photo

    Bike Lanes are Sacred!

    by TempNomad Written Jul 28, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Don't walk in the Bike Lane! While most people are very friendly (much more so than they would have been in NYC), they do ride very fast in the bike lane. We steered clear, but some people tended to weave in and out and there were a few close calls. Berlin has a lot of great biking areas and a lot of great walking areas. Stay in your area! :)

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  • german police men

    by miromi Written Jan 4, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    the police are required to accompany every demonstration and keep the peace, and while they are sometimes obnoxious, they are generally harmless. they do go out of their way to chase you down dark roads and even into public parks if you forgot to turn on your bicycle light.

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