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1. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru, 4567 posts) 8 Oct '06 02:16

I am going to Berlin, next weekend, for a couple of days.
I have booked accomodation and have a list of heavy metal bars, to haunt nightly.

But i would welcome any opinions and thoughts, from people who have visited or lived in Berlin.
Also, any suggestions about what to see, during the day would be great.

Mel

2. Posted by t_maia (Moderator, 3291 posts) 8 Oct '06 07:15

Well, first go and check www.berlin.de - the city's official website.

I higly recommend a cruise on the Spree river or a guided tour. This will help you get your bearings. Sandeman's New Berlin tours are supposed to be good. They also organise the Berlin Pub Crawl, though for you the Red Berlin Tour might be particularly interesting.

http://www.newberlintours.com/nbt/

The government quarter with Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate is a must.

For an exeptional snack, go up to the Restaurant-Cafe in the TV-Tower. At 207 m high, it rotates around the axis of the tower twice in an hour. You can see the whole city while you dine.
(Going up to the Reichstag Dome, you can have a similar view for free, but usually you have to wait up to 2 hours in line to get into the Reichstag. And then there is not much to see inside!)

www.berlinerfernsehturm.de

Berlin has also many spectacular museums. I highly recommend the Pergamon-Museum.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pergamon_Museum

If you have a day extra, go to Potsdam too. The Babelsberg film studio tour is really interesting.

3. Posted by steff (Travel Guru, 1158 posts) 8 Oct '06 07:28

Quoting Mel.

I am going to Berlin, next weekend, for a couple of days.
I have booked accomodation and have a list of heavy metal bars, to haunt nightly.

I like your priorities ;), but here's some more suggestions:

Maybe art and culture first. Check out "Nationalgalerie" for contemporary art and "Tacheles" on Oranienburger Str. It used to be a squat house and they now have some good alternative exhibitions.
Apart from that, going up on the "Reichstag" is great at night
(t_maia is right queues are ridiculous during the day) as the views are stunning, given there are no clouds. Another tip for great views for little money is "Panorama Blick" at Potsdamer Platz. It not only features the fastest elevator in Europe but you can see pretty much everything in the city from above.

At "Oststrand" (Metro Warschauer Str.) you can not only see bits of the wall left over but also chill at the bar right by the river. One of my favourite places in (late) summer! The Jewish Museum is outstanding for its architecture and definitely go and see "Topography of Terror" exhibition near Potsdamer Platz.

(Secondhand) Shopping is excellent on Bergmann St. and Oranienstr. in Kreuzberg, also lots of arty cafés around this area. If your looking for more fancy boutique stuff, check out Rosenthaler Platz and make sure you wander through "Hackesche Höfe" at Hackescher Markt.

Also get a Zitty or Tip Magazine at a newsagent as soon as you arrive, it tells you what's on and where to go.

You might also want to give Berlin walks a go. Apparently they are pretty good.

If you have any more questions let me know, I'm happy to help.

Have a great time in Berlin!

Steff

[ Edit: Edited at Oct 8, 2006 7:33 AM by steff ]

4. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru, 4567 posts) 9 Oct '06 00:15

Thanks very much, for the info

I am not a complete culture vulture, but i like to pick and choose, and mix and match bits i am particularly interested in.

Would i be able to have just a coffee, in the TV tower? It would be nice, to just veg out and wake up slowly, while looking down at the city. I would go to the Reicstag, but standing in a Q would take all the fun out of it.

And i am certainly going to go see the bits of the wall, that are left. I was in Eastern Europe in Summer 1989, so i am particularly interested in what went on, in the East and how it is changing.

And that secondhand shopping and arty cafes is exactly what i like.

I think it will be a great weekend.

Mel

5. Posted by waggz7 (Budding Member, 6 posts) 12 Oct '06 02:22

if you're interested in history don't miss the remaining 200m of the wall around the corner from check point charlie.

6. Posted by pfeiffer (Full Member, 211 posts) 12 Oct '06 03:23

Quoting Mel.

Would i be able to have just a coffee, in the TV tower? It would be nice, to just veg out and wake up slowly, while looking down at the city.

Yes (though I am not sure what time they open). You do have to pay the entrance fee (EUR 7,00?) for the Fernsehturm, but I think it is worth the price as the lookout area has lots of good documentation of what can be seen and the restaurant is fun, and -- good news -- until 18.00 each day the restaurant is now entirely smoke-free! Those of us who live in Berlin know what a rare thing it is to be able to enjoy dining out without someone else's cigarette smoke in your face and lungs.

So, grab a quick smoke before going up - - and enjoy the clean air above (and hopefully nice view).

-Kevin
--
Kevin Pfeiffer

[ Edit: Edited at Oct 12, 2006 3:23 AM by pfeiffer ]

7. Posted by pfeiffer (Full Member, 211 posts) 12 Oct '06 03:26

Quoting t_maia

I higly recommend a cruise on the Spree river or a guided tour.

I concur. Maia, do you know if some of the tour boat companies also offer excursions in the English language?

-Kevin
--
Kevin Pfeiffer

8. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru, 4567 posts) 12 Oct '06 08:18

Cool

I will see that 200M of wall, for sure. It is a pity, that it is not one of the parts, of Eastern Europe i visited, in 1989.
I wont mind not smoking, in the TV tower. The only time i find anti smoking laws troublesome, is in countries, where smoking in bars, and late night clubs is not allowed.

Mel

9. Posted by t_maia (Moderator, 3291 posts) 12 Oct '06 11:26

and -- good news -- until 18.00 each day the restaurant is now entirely smoke-free!

I'll relate the thanks to my father. The reason for the smoking ban is partly his "fault". During the day, the climate controls cannot handle all the people on the viewing platform, the cooking in the kitchen and smoking in the restaurant as well as maintaining fire security. When they designed the air vent system, they simply forgot about smoke in case of a fire.

My father was the one who designed the fire protection system, so he decreed that for safety reasons there should be no smoking in the tower.

I was up there with him in the tower restaurant during the reconstruction in 1995. Some idiot constuction workers were smoking, though they had been told not to. Needless to say, the automatic release for the firequelching foam went off and made a huge mess in what is the now the restaurant kitchen. Looked like Christmas had come early!

When you sit at the bar in the TV tower, look at the blank wall behind the barkeeper directly opposite the entrance from the elevator. The whole shebang of the fire protection system is behind this wall in a suitcase sized box, halfway between the restaurant and the platform.

Entrance fee to the tower is 8 EUR for adults, open from 9 am to midnight. Everything is on the site, btw.

http://www.berlinerfernsehturm.de/home_en.asp

Even the bill of fare.

As for cruises, there is one big cruise all around Berlin that is very nice, but I don't know whether they have English language too. Just shop around for a bit near Hackescher Markt, maybe you find something. If you don't, just walk in the direction of the new main train station along the Spree river, you'll see almost all the main sites in the new city centre.

BTW, near Pergamon Museum the Bode Museum has re-opened today after over 6 years of reconstruction. For the first time they will be displaying artefacts that have been in storage for decades or ensembles that belong together but had been torn apart after WW II.

[ Edit: Edited at Oct 12, 2006 11:50 AM by t_maia ]

10. Posted by Gerrit_BE (Full Member, 83 posts) 15 Oct '06 11:35

Not sure if you also like gothic (I'm a goth) but I greatly enjoyed the Dunkelclub in the Dunkelstrasse, brilliant gothic and newwave bar!