I miss Berlin, even though winter are very difficult over there, each time I go there I feel happy again. I have lovely friends still living there, the city is always huge and beautiful and I just love the spirit there. Even if it has changed with the city being less and less accessible over time, rents became way too expensive , the city and its people are still playing a big role.
BER is now the only airport to Berlin
I kind of miss then 60’s style of Tegel airport and the hangar style of Schönefeld airport in the south of Berlin, they both recently closed, replaced by the airport BER, which is in fact facing the old Schönefeld.
When you see it’s design, you have a hard time understanding how come it took so long to built this brand new airport. ( I have read about the reasons and it’s just as shameful as France’s new nuclear reactor EPR which is still not ready after like 12 years).
You will wonder why they make you go up stairs to then make you follow some service corridor to in the end make you go down again. You will also find yourself in trouble to find where to go from the hall, in fact the best exit way is to go to the Terminal 1 and from there take the train or the S-Bahn to the center.
I would highly recommend you to use CityMapper and BVG (Berlin transportation company) apps. They are both very reliable when it comes to Berlin.
BVG app will let you buy tickets on your phone and you can even use Apple Pay on it which make it the perfect companion for your city trip. I took a 24h ticket and added an extension to zone C since I was coming from the airport.
I would STRONGLY advise not to take any risk to not have a valid ticket, they are not fun about this kind of issue in Germany.
From there you can take S9 und S45 which will get you to the ring Bahn and from there you can go anywhere in Berlin. Make sure to buy FFP2 masks before flying to Berlin, it is still mandatory to wear it nowadays in the subway.
Where to stay on a short trip there?
I would recommend somewhere in the center, my place of choice is around Potsdamer Platz, it offers a lot of places to visit in the surroundings, as well as relatively affordable prices.
I was able to book a night in this Ibis budget on Booking.com for just under €60!
Its location is in my opinion the best, situated near the S1 station Anhalter Bahnhof, not far from Potsdamer Platz and from checkpoint Charlie and the subway lines U6 and U2. The hotel itself is very simple and secure, clean and simple. You will also be able to access a bunch of museums and parts of the Wall at walking distance.
Enjoying your stay, without rushing
Not far from the hotel you will find a place called the Liquidrom. It’s the perfect place to spend time in a beautiful sauna, and enjoy time floating in the salty 36-degree water pool while listening to underwater music. I think it’s the ultimate go-to place for taking a few hours to relax and charge batteries.
Monuments and places you should see
My best advice would be to take either the bus, the U-Bahn + S-Bahn up to the main station, Berlin Hauptbahnhof, and from there walking back to your hotel, visiting some of the best spots on the way.
You can take-away a cup of coffee in the station, then walk to the river side, you will have a nice view of the famous Berliner Fernsehturm in the back. From there you will see a few German government buildings on your way to the Bundestag.
Continuing your way, you will end up at the well known Brandenburger Tor.
Crossing the Tor you will find yourself on Pariser platz, on the right side you will find the famous Adlon Hotel, one of the most expensive in Berlin. You are now making your way on Unter den Linden and all it has to offer.
I could talk about all the places around this district for hours but it was not the purpose of this post. Please let me know if you wish to know more details about Berlin in the comments below.
Eating and drinking
I personally went to a nice Italian place called Capvin near Rosenthaler Platz. It’s one of the few places only in Berlin where you can pay by card. You will see for yourself but German love cash, and many places won’t have card payment ( I know it hurts in 2022).
If you want to know the cheapest place to eat pizza in Berlin is near Eberswalder Strasse, it’s called Pane E vino.
Art and parties
Berlin is one of the place to be for artists. I went that day with a friend to an event called TreuhandTechno Berlin in ://about blank near Ostkreuz. It’s also one of the few nice clubs to go spend the whole night to in Berlin. The place is all what you would expect from Berlin techno.
Please remember to not take pictures in Berlin clubs, you will have huge problems, after all it’s a free city and people wants to enjoy themselves secretly. I did take a pic that day but it was an art event :).
If you want to know more about the upcoming parties, I would highly recommend to go on Resident Advisor.
Leaving by bus?
In fact it’s sometimes way cheaper to fly to Berlin and then take a Flixbus to Poland. You will often end up in quite confortable busses where you can just recline your seat and straighten your legs and sleep which is quite a good experience.
From your hotel, you can easily reach with the S-Bahn 25 the station of Südkreuz. From there you can take a Flixbus or a Flixtrain to the destination of your choice. If for any reason you have a long waiting time before your bus, I would highly advice you to try this cute caffe at a walking distance from the station called PapalaCup . It has amazing breakfast and coffees.
One last thing that always remind me of Berlin, is the soundtrack of the movie Berlin Calling about the life of Paul Kalkbrenner 🖤 :