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1. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru, 3535 posts) 27 Mar '11 03:29

We have booked a break to Berlin in May - cannot remember the last time we had a break - so very very very excited!!

Anyway - can anyone recommend a good central budget hotel/hostel - close to transport links and also we are there for 3 nights but 4 full days to see the city so what should we be seeing and doing? Where to eat and drink? And going at start of May - what can l expect from the weather? Apparently l am travelling with only a day sack so l need to pack intelligently!!!

THANK YOU

Heather

2. Posted by Neeke89 (Budding Member, 52 posts) 27 Mar '11 04:03

Want to be central to former West or East? ;)
Last year I stayed in Pegasus hostel, a ~10 minute walk from Ostbahnhof, near subway Weberwiese (few minutes walk), close to the Alexanderplatz. It's relatively cheap and I really liked the atmosphere of the hostel.

There's lots and lots to see... enough museums, varying from Berlins history (most related to the Cold War era, very interesting to see) to 'general' art and antiquities. Some things not to miss are Unter den Linden, the Brandenburger Tor, Checkpoint Charlie, the Ku'damm and so on ;) The KaDeWe is also nice to visit ;), it's sort of the Berlin equivalent of Harrods.

Concerning the weather... it can be either quite warm or relatively cool, somewhere between 10 and 22 degrees C, but I guess generally the temperature will be around 18 degr. or so.

Have fun in Berlin! You'll probably have a good time there ;)

3. Posted by kichikacha (Respected Member, 328 posts) 27 Mar '11 08:26

Hello!

I recommend renting a bicycle - it is a great way to explore the city! There are bicycle lanes almost everywhere, traffic is not a problem, a lot of people cycle, and most of all you will have a lot of fund discovering berlin on a bike!

Enjoy Berlin, it might not be the most beautiful city in the world, but it is definitely cool... :)

4. Posted by Purdy (Travel Guru, 3535 posts) 27 Mar '11 14:41

Thank you for the tips - especially like the suggestion of hiring a bike - lve heard lots of great things about Berlin so really looking forward to visiting!

5. Posted by pdxgirl89 (Budding Member, 9 posts) 27 Mar '11 15:10

Hey!
I was in Berlin in October and I stayed at the Ibis hotel. It is a tourist style hotel, not too spendy at all, but is clean, simple, nice, and close to everything. it is directly across from the train station....perfect location!

Hope this helps!

[ Edit: Edited on 27-Mar-2011, at 15:10 by pdxgirl89 ]

6. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin, 5572 posts) 28 Mar '11 07:47

Hey Heather! I've stayed at both Hotel Pension Charlottenburg and Berlin Cityroom (my review for that one can be found here as they changed property id after my review was posted it seems...) and quite liked them, especially when you consider the price. I'm not sure if they would fit your bill of being central though (I was attending a conference that was within walking distance), and both times my room was not ensuite, which is fine when travelling alone, but might not be desirable when traveling as a couple I think the first one does have ensuite rooms though I'm pretty sure Cityroom doesn't. Then again, my room at Cityroom was huge, and even had a small balcony.

Sadly I haven't had much time to actually check out Berlin better in my trips there. Will have to do so soon! Hope that helps!!

7. Posted by steff (Travel Guru, 1158 posts) 4 Apr '11 14:45

Heather, you're coming to Berlin!! Get in touch if you like and I can hopefully give you some locals insight into pub culture over here ;)!

No, seriously going on a guided bike tour is the way to get to know the city and not get lost at the same time. Fat Tire or Berlin on Bike are two operators I know of. At the start of May weather is usually nice and sunny (around 15-20 degrees) but you never know nowadays...we had 25 ° degrees on the weekend and it hailed today!

As for accomodation I recommend Kreuzberg and Mitte areas to stay because they are very central and lively districts and you can walk from one sight to another. Since I'm living in Berlin I can't really recommend you any hostels in particular, sorry!

I work in Charlottenburg, it's a pretty district but also a bit pricier and further away from the fun .

There's also lots of great place to eat out. What kind of food are you into? Would make it easier to point out specific restaurants, so just let me know.

Steff

8. Posted by quirrelman (Budding Member, 4 posts) 5 Apr '11 06:33

I am currently living in Berlin, so I cannot help as much with the hotel/hostel, BUT I do know the cheaper neighborhoods (not to say they are poor, that isn't really the layout of Berlin, it is just a cheap capital.) This is a website that may help. You just plug in the U-Bahn (Subway) station and it shows all the surrounding hotels/hostels http://www.subwayhotels.com/Berlin/Alexanderplatz-hotels-365.html

Besides that, I would suggest staying in Mitte, Friedrichshain, or Kreuzberg. Those are all names of neighborhoods and the latter two are really great for night-life and the real younger flavor of Berlin. Naturally you should go site-seeing, but do as the Berliners do and hit up the parks! Mauerpark is really amazing. If you go there on the weekend you will see around 10,000 people, an open-air karaoke, and a gigantic flea market. Or go to Treptower park or Görlitzer, buy a cheap grill (generally 10€), some meat, beers and a frisbee and socialize. For the night life check out the fun bars, clubs and in between scattered all over Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg. Don't be afraid to just ask any young face you see on the street. Germans are helpful and there are TONS of internationals all over. I know this was half-general and half-specific, but hopefully it helped somewhat.

Good luck!

9. Posted by josorio17 (Budding Member, 2 posts) 6 Apr '11 13:10

Purdy,

How's it going? Berlin is such an easygoing and laid-back city. You're going to have so much fun. Anyway I got some ideas on nightlife and great food. You have to check out Kreuzberg for the best nightlife in Berlin. One of the bars in this district is Badeschiff, this venue contains a outdoor bar, concert venue, and a swimming pool. If you have great weather when you're there, this would be an awesome place to soak up the sun while sipping on a cocktail. The Madonna bar, which is also in the same district, offers live rock and blues as well as over 250 whiskey (yum!). Lastly for more live bands, Junction Bar has live music and DJ every single night.

Another place in Kreuzberg I thought was amazing for good eats is Barcomi's. This cafe has some of the best pastries and sandwiches for a quick bite or some down time while you surf the net.

Hope this helps! Cheers!

-snip-

[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]

10. Posted by t_maia (Moderator, 3291 posts) 9 Apr '11 00:17

Oh, Heather in Berlin! Give me a holler when you are there, I'd like to meet you. :)

I'm frequently in Berlin and I like the Meininger hostel at Hallesches Ufer/Tempelhofer Ufer. Cheap, clean and very professional staff. Feeling is more like budget hotel than a hostel. If you are staying at this place check out the Ethopian restaurant at Tempelhofer Ufer 6, same street. IIRC the name wa "Blue Nile", very spicy but tasty food. I also like the Döner place under U-Bahn stop Hallesches Tor, just around the corner. (Tip: there is more than one Meininger hostel in Berlin, I only ever stayed at the one I mentioned, but the others should be ok too. The standards of this chain are really high as far as service is concerned.)

Another place I like is the Ostel, www.ostel.eu. Very funky and artsy, unfortunately a tiny bit away from the thick of things. It is a good place to be though if you are flying in and out of Schoenefeld Airport at an ungodly hour in the night. Very quiet neighborhood and good transport connections.

I also heard good things about the Pegasus Neeke recommended and I agree that the location is really good.

Other food things: Check out the bakery chain "Steinecke" and pick up a "Steinecke" bread bun. They are triangular with a large variety of seeds and very tasty, especially if you add some bacon, fresh cheese, salad, etc. I'm also a fan of the German fast food chain Nordsee, which mainly serves fish dishes on real porcelain plates with metal silverware.

Shopping: if by any chance you sew your own clothes check out the Turkish Market at Maybachufer (U Schönleinstr.) You might also be able to pick up some bargain souvenier there, shop for food (delikatessen, fruit, Turkish bread, spices,..) or just soak up the atmosphere. It is held Tuesdays and Fridays between 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.