Long weekend in Berlin

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Long weekend in Berlin

Post by zcacogp @ Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:52 am

Chaps,

Mrs zcacogp and I have decided it's time to book a weekend away and Berlin is looking like a good place to head to. A couple of hours on the 'plane, they take Euros, speak German, meant to be a reasonable amount to see and do.

Has anyone been? What's good to see and do, and what's not? Any recommendations of hotels to stay in? They don't seem expensive so the budget is probably around £120/night, although flexible. We'll be there for four days in May, so I'm expecting the weather to be OK.


Ramon.
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Re: Long weekend in Berlin

Post by WalMitty @ Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:58 am

I like Berlin, but I like Munich even more if that is an option?
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Re: Long weekend in Berlin

Post by Strawman @ Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:07 pm

I went there 20 years ago, I want to go back, has a claim to being the art capital of Europe (contemporary art) I definitely would visit the new parliament building

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Re: Long weekend in Berlin

Post by Disastrous @ Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:09 pm

That looks like it should house the new Eurocop Cyber Agency or something.
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Re: Long weekend in Berlin

Post by Tokyo Sexwale @ Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:10 pm

zcacogp wrote:

Ramon.

:confused:
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Re: Long weekend in Berlin

Post by WalMitty @ Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:12 pm

Best thing to do in Berlin is hire a bike for the day.
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Re: Long weekend in Berlin

Post by moleamol @ Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:14 pm

Tokyo Sexwale wrote:
zcacogp wrote:

Ramon.

:confused:

I think someone got sick of him signing off with his name and added it to the filter. I have no idea where Ramon came from but it was something to do with Boo.
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Re: Long weekend in Berlin

Post by zcacogp @ Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:14 pm

WalMitty, Funny - we ended up in Munich by accident (long story, don't ask) for a long weekend about 18 months ago. Expected to hate the place and utterly loved it. That's partially behind the enthusiasm we have for trying out Berlin. Thanks for the suggestion though!

Strawman - thanks. We'll see whether it looks anything like that photo.

ToxyoSexwale - don't ask. I don't know why either.


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Re: Long weekend in Berlin

Post by Barbarianna @ Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:16 pm

Berlin is top banana. Much better than many other European cities.
It is cheap, friendly and very easy to get around.

The stuff around the parliament builsing is great, and in amongts all that there are plenty of monument-type things to climb up or take pics of to keep you amused for weeks.

The night scene is also very good. Jazz cafes are excellent, and almost every pub has great cheap beer. The Jewish war cemetery memorial thing is an alarmingly emotional yet peaceful place. Studenty places have a welcoming air about them- you dont seem to need to be a nobby hipster to enjoy them.

All good. German food is a bit sull though, and I cant understand why they like Curry-wurst so much. Its rubbish.
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Re: Long weekend in Berlin

Post by minimoog @ Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:20 pm

zcacogp wrote:Chaps,

Mrs zcacogp and I have decided it's time to book a weekend away and Berlin is looking like a good place to head to. A couple of hours on the 'plane, they take Euros, speak German, meant to be a reasonable amount to see and do.

Has anyone been? What's good to see and do, and what's not? Any recommendations of hotels to stay in? They don't seem expensive so the budget is probably around £120/night, although flexible. We'll be there for four days in May, so I'm expecting the weather to be OK.


Ramon.


My abiding memory of a long weekend in Berlin was sitting in a small bar chatting to the (English) bar man.

Me: 'When do you close?'

Him: 'Tuesday morning between 6-8am'

I went back (much) later that night and discovered there was a large faded-grandeur room upstairs. It was going full tilt. Around 4am a party of genteel theatre goers arrived in black tie and sat down. 10 minutes later they were being served steaming plates of supper from the kitchen. 'Mazing.

As for the rest it depends what you're interested in. It's very big on music gigs and clubs of every stripe, big underground/counter-culture scene, loads of great restaurants and cafe's, all the Berlin Wall and WWII stuff to check out - Holocaust memorial, site of Fuhrerbunker, Holocaust museum on the site of the old Gestapo HQ, flak towers and other remnants - the Reichstag to visit (book before you leave home, they require several day's notice), Bauhaus museum, TV tower at Alexanderplatz. Shopping in KaDeWe (amazing food hall). Etc etc...

It's a very dispersed city with numerous distinct districts but the buses and trams run 24H so it's piss easy to get around. Don't expect beautiful architecture - it got absolutely mullered in the war. Many buildings still bear the scars, there are lots of vacant bombed out plots even now (though decreasingly so), and it's not a wealthy city. This does however mean it's very vibrant and easy going, and it's not expensive at all.

Go.
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Re: Long weekend in Berlin

Post by minimoog @ Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:20 pm

.
Last edited by minimoog on Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Long weekend in Berlin

Post by WalMitty @ Tue Apr 21, 2015 12:28 pm

minimoog wrote:
zcacogp wrote:Chaps,

Mrs zcacogp and I have decided it's time to book a weekend away and Berlin is looking like a good place to head to. A couple of hours on the 'plane, they take Euros, speak German, meant to be a reasonable amount to see and do.

Has anyone been? What's good to see and do, and what's not? Any recommendations of hotels to stay in? They don't seem expensive so the budget is probably around £120/night, although flexible. We'll be there for four days in May, so I'm expecting the weather to be OK.


Ramon.


My abiding memory of a long weekend in Berlin was sitting in a small bar chatting to the (English) bar man.

Me: 'When do you close?'

Him: 'Tuesday morning between 6-8am'

I went back (much) later that night and discovered there was a large faded-grandeur room upstairs. It was going full tilt. Around 4am a party of genteel theatre goers arrived in black tie and sat down. 10 minutes later they were being served steaming plates of supper from the kitchen. 'Mazing.

As for the rest it depends what you're interested in. It's very big on music gigs and clubs of every stripe, big underground/counter-culture scene, loads of great restaurants and cafe's, all the Berlin Wall and WWII stuff to check out - Holocaust memorial, site of Fuhrerbunker, Holocaust museum on the site of the old Gestapo HQ, flak towers and other remnants - the Reichstag to visit (book before you leave home, they require several day's notice), Bauhaus museum, TV tower at Alexanderplatz. Shopping in KaDeWe (amazing food hall). Etc etc...

It's a very dispersed city with numerous distinct districts but the buses and trams run 24H so it's piss easy to get around. Don't expect beautiful architecture - it got absolutely mullered in the war. Many buildings still bear the scars, there are lots of vacant bombed out plots even now (though decreasingly so), and it's not a wealthy city. This does however mean it's very vibrant and easy going, and it's not expensive at all.

Go.


Agree with all of that.
I like the architecture and scars though. The markets can have interesting East German stuff for sale.
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Re: Long weekend in Berlin

Post by Ralph2000 @ Mon May 11, 2015 12:17 am

@ minimoog:
Brilliant summing up! I've been there over the weekend. The urban public transport is fantastic and among the best developed that I know, which means you can see a good deal of all those sites in even 1 and a half days.
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Re: Long weekend in Berlin

Post by zcacogp @ Wed May 20, 2015 6:07 pm

Thanks for your comments chaps. We went last weekend and it was indeed a splendid city. Lots to see and do, cheap, very good transport, we had a great time.

A summary for anyone else who is thinking of going;

- Mitte is the central district, and while the transport is cheap and efficient I reckon it's worth spending the extra to get a hotel here. We were glad we did.
- The central area is clean, tidy, efficient and all the rest of it. It was also crammed with tourists and I don't think it was very 'real', if you see what I mean. If you get out of town a bit then you can see how real German people live.
- Cycling is certainly the best means of transport but Mrs zcacogp didn't fancy it so we walked a bit and caught the tube a bit.
- The place was busy. It's a popular tourist destination and the crowds in some places (Ku'damm, Brandenberg Gate, by the river) were pretty hefty by mid-morning at the weekend. If you want to go somewhere popular then go early, or choose a weekday.
- You need to book tours of the Reichstag (mentioned above, and free) and TV Tower (EUR12 or so each) in advance. We didn't manage to get a slot for the Reichstag, which was a shame, but the TV tower was very good. Do get an early slot as it gets very busy very quickly.
- The Holocaust memorial is excellent and moving. The Deutsches Museum is well worth the EUR8 to get in. The Bauhaus museum was rubbish and quite a long walk. The various museums on 'Museum Island' looked great but we didn't want to spend all weekend in museums so gave them a swerve.
- Classic Remise (http://remise.de/Classic-Remise-Berlin-english-summary.php) is well, well worth the time taken to get there (about 40 minutes) if you are into old cars, particularly German stuff. Free to get in, and I could have spent a whole day there.
- Food seems to be universally very good - something we found in Munich as well. It's perhaps not the most inspired but quality-wise you won't complain. German portions are good too. Booking ahead is a good idea as things get busy, particularly later on in the evening. Beer and wine are both cheap. 'Pantry' (http://pantry-berlin.com/) is very highly recommended if you can get a table.
- In the centre, everyone speaks English. My German is good enough for a reasonable conversation but I reckon you could do just fine even if you don't speak any of the lingo at all.


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Re: Long weekend in Berlin

Post by deev @ Wed May 20, 2015 9:08 pm

we went last year and absolutely loved it. I ate a lot of curry wurst.
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