We have compiled a list here of the most common questions that vistors have when coming to Berlin. If the information you are looking for is not here, it is bound to be in one of our Useful Information Pages.
How much do things cost in Berlin? Can I pay by credit card?
Image: Tax Credits(Flickr)
Where can I see the Berlin Wall?
Although the vast majority of the Berlin Wall (Berliner Mauer in German)has long since been removed there are still a bunch of spots around the city where you can soak up some cold war history in the shadow of the infamous Berlin Wall. Our favourites are the Berlin Wall Memorial and the East Side Gallery, but check out our Berlin Wall listings for a comprehensive list.
What language do they speak in Berlin? Can I get by speaking English?
The official language of Germany is…………………yep, you guessed it, German! You will, however, have absolutely no problem speaking English particularly in the more touristy areas. If you plan to head to some of Berlin’s more local bars and clubs you may encounter some people that don’t/won’t speak English.
When is the best time of the year to visit? What is the weather like in Berlin?
Hmmm – Great question! We think Berlin is pretty awesome all year round, with heaps of stuff to do and see no matter what the temperature. That said – If you hate the cold or have Chionophobia (a fear of snow), you should probably avoid December through to February. Check out our weather page for all the information you need about the weather in Berlin
Are there any nice places outside of Berlin to visit on a day trip?
Yes. The nearby city of Potsdam makes for a great day trip with a couple of palaces, some stunning gardens and a quaint old city. Also, for nature lovers, the state of Brandenburg which surrounds Berlin has a number of fantastic nature reserves, cycling paths, and navigable waterways only a short train ride from the city.
Should I take a tour or is it better to do my own thing?
Berlin has such a rich and complicated history. We recommend doing a walking tour on your first visit to the city to get a good overview of the important events, landmarks and historic sites, before delving further into the areas that interest you most. There is nothing quite like the insight and extra information that you get from a guided tour. We have compiled a list of the best here. In addition to the walking, bus and bicycle tours, Berlin also has a bunch of more off centre tours on offer, including: Kayak tours, food tours, segway tours and beer bike tours (See image).
Is it easy to get around? What is the public transport like? Should I hire a car?
Berlin has a great public transport system that will take you everywhere you need to go. We would advise against hiring a car, as the scarcity of parking spots will have you tearing out your hair quicker than you can say Luftpolsterverpackungsfolie! (One of our favorite German words: It means bubble wrap)
Is Berlin a safe city?
Berlin is a very safe city. That said, it is still a city and at night you should stick to well-lit areas, populated areas. This is pretty easy to do as Berlin rarely sleeps and there are usually people out and about at all hours of the evening, especially weekends).
Try to be aware of your belongings at all times, and although it may sound callous, we advise that you avoid giving money to beggars, particularly on the train or in touristy areas as this is the most common way for pickpockets to locate where you keep your money.
What are the main cultural dos and don’ts?
Please resist the temptation to make any Nazi jokes, or do the infamous salute or march. It is not only extremely offensive, but it is also against the law throughout Germany.
Berlin is otherwise a very liberal, multicultural, and open city with a strong live and let live philosophy – pretty much anything goes!
Do I need to tip in Berlin?
Tipping is not compulsory in Berlin but a tip of around 10% is a good idea if you have received good service. For small amounts this is usually done by rounding up your bill to the nearest Euro.
What child friendly activities are there in Berlin?
We think Berlin has to be one of the most family friendly cities in the world, with a tonne of great things to do for families with kids of all ages. From Mama Cafés with great play corners for babies and toddlers, to some fantastic play grounds, two Zoos, adventure playgrounds, natural history museum, science museum, and much more.
Do I need a Visa to come to Berlin?
That depends a lot on where you live. Please see our Visa information guide or contact the German embassy in your country for more information.
What should I do/see first?
Start at the Brandenburger Tor on Pariser Platz. From here it is only a short walk to some of Berlin’s most popular attractions, including the Reichstagsgebäude (Parliament Building), the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the Tiergarten. It is also only a twenty minute walk up the historic boulevard “Unter den Linden” (unfortunately much of it is a building site at the moment due to a new subway line) to the UNESCO listed Museumsinsel (Museum Island).
Do I need travel insurance?
If you are an EU resident you are covered for emergency medical care whilst in Germany. Citizens of other countries should check with their health care provider to see if you are covered. We strongly recommend getting travel health insurance. Accidents can happen and the small amount you pay for insurance could save you thousands if you need to be hospitalised or require an emergency flight home.
If you have any other questions please feel free to head to our Facebook page and ask a question. Our local experts are always happy to help.