Berlin, Germany: how to get there, where to live, what to eat, what to see on your own

Travel Tips

As I already wrote, we planned to go to Berlin for 4 days – from Tuesday to Thursday we were going work from morning to evening, and only after lunch on Friday freed up time to explore the city. The boss was already in Berlin and spoke extremely negatively about him. However, I convinced him that at least once we should get out to the historical center and do some sightseeing. But first things first.

If you want to order a comprehensive planning of your trip to Germany or, conversely, learn how to organize your own trips, then you are here

Visa to visit Berlin

I want to separately focus on the visa. I applied through the visa center, since the appointment with the consulate was on such a date that if I had been slapped with a refusal, then I would have no time to do anything. So I went to single visa center, overpaying 1400 rubles. This was my third experience with this organization. I have no complaints about their work, the guys serve very well. The first time I applied for an Estonian visa, the second time for a Swedish one. The procedure for receiving and checking documents in both cases took at most 15 minutes.

When I brought the documents for a German visa, I spent about an hour in the center. And this despite the fact that all the documents were in order. I attached an entrance ticket to the exhibition, and the certificate from the place of work stated why I was going to Germany. Therefore, in fact, I indicated business in the visa category, and the girl who accepted the documents advised me to request a multivisa for six months. They say, just in case, suddenly give. I did so.

I submitted the documents on the 10th, and on the 13th I already received an SMS that my passport was ready for issuance. Seeing my visa, I had fun for a long time – multivisa for 7 days and strictly according to the dates of the trip🙂 Well, you never know, suddenly I flew to Berlin and remembered that I forgot to turn off the iron at home 🙂

About, how to get a schengen visaI’m talking about on this page.

How to get to Berlin

There are 2 airports in Berlin – Tegel (main) and Schoenefeld (not main). The flight from St. Petersburg takes a little over an hour. Both airports are located relatively close to the city.

From St. Petersburg to Berlin, we flew ostensibly by Aeroflot, but in fact – a / c Russia. This is the only joke of Aeroflot that I really dislike. It seems that you take a ticket for a worthy company, but you find yourself on a flight of a company one level lower. Of course, you pay less, but I would not call Russia a low-cost airline. So they take you to the plane by bus (instead of running a sleeve from the airport directly to the plane), and you fly on a battered plane. Although, in fairness, I must say that Aeroflot has the newest fleet among all Russian airlines.

We flew to Schoenefeld and decided to take a taxi to the hotel. problems with Taxi there is no airport – we just approached the road and immediately took the car. Our hotel was located on Kudam (the name of a street in Berlin). The road took no more than 20 minutes, and we paid about 30 euros.

Accommodation in Berlin

I had a difficult task – I had to find a hotel in the center, with convenient transport links to the venue Exhibitions, decent, 3*, with breakfast, wi-fi, for 100 euros per room per day. Everything would be fine, but during major events, hotels always significantly increase prices, and ITB is the largest tourism exhibition, which attracts tens of thousands of people from all over the world.

Moreover, I started looking for a hotel 3 weeks before the exhibition. In such a short period of time, many hotels were already full bukt. And try not to have ever been in Berlin to assess how easy or difficult it is to get from point A to point B by public transport. Just open the map of the Berlin underground and you will understand what I mean. But, nevertheless, I did a great job with the task 🙂

With the help of my favorite hostelworld.com, I stumbled upon the Castell 3 * hotel located on Kudam – one of the most famous and expensive streets in Berlin. Leaving the hotel, we immediately found ourselves at the shops of Gucci, Armani, Hermes, etc. In general, there was nowhere to shop 🙂

The hotel occupied 2 floors of an old building with high ceilings. In my 2-bed room there was not only a 2-bed, but also a sofa. The boss room has a double bed, a regular bed and a sofa. Double room price – exactly 100 euros per day with breakfast. The entire staff of the hotel consisted of our compatriots. In general, there are a huge number of them in Berlin. To get a Wi-Fi password, you had to write a special receipt that you were not going to download prohibited content.

Nothing special was covered for breakfast, although I didn’t go hungry either. Vegetables, cheeses, sausages, eggs, bread, buns, sausages, cookies, muesli – in general, a standard set of European “threes”.

Also, just a 5-minute walk from our hotel there was a stop of a free shuttle that takes people to the exhibition, which made us very happy. In general, 100% compliance with requests.

For more information on how I search for travel accommodation, I talk on this page.

Transport in Berlin

In Berlin, there is not only underground (indicated by the letter S), but also ground (U) Metro. Cost of the cheapest trip 1.8 euro. You can also buy cards for 4 trips, for 1 day or 4 days. Tickets are sold at vending machines at metro stations. There is no Russian menu. After standing at the machine for a couple of minutes, we stopped on a travel card valid for 4 trips no further than 3 stations (there were just 3 stations from us to the exhibition) and no longer than 15 minutes, costing about 5.5 euros. This was enough for us for 4 days. Only on the last day I had to buy another trip. Despite the fact that at first the Berlin metro scheme seemed terribly confusing to me, in fact everything turned out to be quite simple.

Sometimes we took a taxi. For landing in a taxi you need to pay about 3 euros.

Where to eat in Berlin

We went, so somehow to the supermarket and were stunned – the price of some products turned out to be lower than St. Petersburg. That’s what the crisis has done to us – even in Germany prices are lower.

Berlin has a lot of fast food. We didn’t eat them. Of the alternatives, there is Vapiano. I ordered pasta, cheesecake and coffee. The boss took soup, pasta and tea. We ended up paying approx. 20 euros for two.

Once for dinner, the boss invited me to a terribly expensive restaurant on our pretentious street. When we entered, we were very impressed with the restaurant and its interior. When we were brought the menu, we, in principle, were not surprised by the cost of the dishes. When we tasted the ordered food, we did not find anything special in it. When no one cleaned our empty plates for about 15 minutes, we began to wonder. And after they brought us a bill for 10,000 rubles (123 euro for 2 steaks, fresh vegetables, fried avocado, 2 desserts and a bottle of wine), I told my boss that next time we will go to the brewery and eat sausages.

The next dinner we did just that – we went to a tavern where they brew their own beer. The boss ordered a pork leg, and I ordered a traditional German salad with ham. While the food was brought to us, we tasted beer (in that tavern you could order a set of 4 different types of foamy drink). After tasting, we ordered a mug of the variety we liked the most.

When the boss brought his order, I laughed for a very long time – the pig’s leg was the size of my head. The most amazing thing is that he was able to eat it all. My salad, as well as the pork leg, seemed pretty salty to me. For dessert, we took a typical German pretzel – a pretzel – and another mug of beer. For all this pleasure we paid about 40 euro. This despite the fact that the restaurant is not cheap.

On our last evening in Berlin, we had dinner at a restaurant that was located right next to our hotel, literally in the next building. We liked it there most of all – polite (by Berlin standards) staff, reasonable prices and delicious food.

What to see on your own in Berlin

As I wrote above, we had literally half a day for sightseeing. But this time was enough to understand that we do not like Berlin. It seemed to me gray, faceless and somehow depressing.

We took the subway to Alexanderplatz, looked at the TV tower, reached the museum island, walked along Unter den linden, went to Checkpoint Charlie, walked along berlin wall before Holocaust Museum (by the way, we went there; admission is free; pretty decent, but inspired even more melancholy), after which we got to postdamerplatz (modern business district), reached brandenburg gate, from there to Reichstag (by the way, you can climb into the glass dome by ordering an invitation in advance), where they boarded the subway and terribly gloomy went to the hotel.

Conclusion: if you don’t like to go to museums, then there’s nothing to do in Berlin for more than two days, but there’s no special atmosphere, charm, so that it’s just nice to take a walk. But this, of course, is my subjective opinion. Maybe it happened this way also because we were at the beginning of March, the weather was gray and dank, which made us even more sad.

And by the way, if you need bars and clubs, then you Kreuzberg district.

German railway

I want to dwell separately on the German railways. Train tickets in Germany must be viewed on the official website of the German railways www.dbahn.de. I bought myself tickets from Berlin to Hamburg. It takes about 2 hours (depending on the train), it costs 29 euros in the second class and either 39 or 49 euros in the first class.

The difference between the classes is as follows: cars of different comfort (the second class is very decent, just not pretentious), when buying a ticket to the second class they don’t give you a seat, that is, you just sit on any free seat (although, if I’m not mistaken, you can make a prebook for an additional fee). I went to Hamburg in the second class, the boss to Munich in the first.

All the way I was going to work. For this I needed the Internet. I connected to wifi. From his train, the boss wrote to me that they have information that free Wi-Fi is provided in second-class carriages only for half an hour. Either it’s different on different trains, or the boss misunderstood something, but I worked all the way, and no one cut my Wi-Fi.

Another important point. An inspector walks around the cars, who must not only present a ticket, but also a bank card with which this ticket was purchased. I bought a ticket using the boss’s card, but when paying, it is possible to enter data from another card. Accordingly, I entered my card into the database, so they didn’t drop me off the train and didn’t write out a fine.

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