Ich gehe nach Berlin
I'm spending a couple of weeks in Berlin on business next month. My hotel is downtown near the zoo. I'll have a couple of days to myself and I need your help planning them. I enjoy:
* Tours of historical buildings and places
* Riding bicycles
Renting a bike... good idea? Best practices? Preferred routes?
I'm pretty sure you're not walking so you'd want to say 'fliege' or if by train/car 'fahre'. pwned.
No seriously, though if you like beer check out this place in Mitte called Aufsturz. It's not your typical Bayerische Bier Halle but they have around 200 different types of beer from all over Europe. Food menu is a little sparse but is reasonably priced. Just near the exist of S-Bahnhof (train station) Oranienburger Straße. I'd join you for a beer at Aufsturz too.
There are of course other places like like Hofbräuhaus (Typical Bravarian-esque touristy place) at Potsdamer Platz. There's also a Augustiner (Typical Bravarian-esque touristy place) in Mitte/Gendarmenmarkt.
There's plenty of tours, walking tours, bike tours, tour busses, ferry tours (up and down the Spree). Having only ever done a bus tour - because we had the grand parents visiting - I'd say stick to walking/bike tours. There's often some specific ones if you're interested in the old wall or WWII etc. IMO all the old cool stuff is in the East part of the city, but it's not far from Zoo (about 5-10km). If you're interested in 'urban tourism (experiencing what it's like to be a 'resident') the hot areas are Kreuzberg where it boarders with Neu-Köln and Prenzlauer Berg (where I live). Lots of cool street art too in those areas as well as Mitte. Lots of cafes, bars & cool little shops.
One cool thing though that my wife did (only because she was filming there and the guy offered her a free tour) is the 'Berlin Underworld' tour. Basically they take you to the old WWII bunkers and what's really cool is that some are just behind everyday U-bahn stations.
Going to the top of the Bundestag/Reichstag is free with a free audio tour. Plus it's a nice view from up there. Alternatively pay €12 and go up the TV Tower at Alexanderplatz for views to the edge of the city.
In terms of renting a bike, do you want just a town bike for getting around or do you want to go for a road ride?
There's a million and one places to rent town bikes (basically your standard issue European bike with upright riding position, rack, dynamo, lights and fenders etc). Don't pay more that €12 per day - if you hunt around you can easily find bikes to hire for €8 per day (but they tend to not be located near Zoo where your hotel is). DeutschBahn have a bike sharing program called "call-a-bike" - IMO don't bother, It costs more and is a pain to use/set up.
Best be to call them rather than email. If you want a route, just PM me and if it works out time-wise I can take you out for a ride somewhere/join our group of expats.
In terms of riding round the city, it's pretty easy, there's signs (small white with green text) around. Bike paths (shown by round blue sign with white bicycle on it) are a plenty in the East - a bit of a rarity out west. They are off-road (i.e. on the foot path, but marked by a change in the pavers) and some are on road... also cyclists are allowed to use bus lanes. Also this time of year be wary of bike salmon (people riding the wrong way in a bike lane) and tourists wandering into the bike lane.
HTH, rep me.
Last edited by majura; 05-28-2011 at 01:37 AM.
Oh, with town bikes:
A ride around Tiergarten is really pretty this time of year - some great floral displays and if you're lucky, free pron in the form of FKK people (mostly old men). Also riding along the Spree is nice too.
If you have time a trip to Potsdam is also worth it, but it really requires a full day.
There's some great markets on Tuesday & Friday called the Wochen Markt am Maybachufer and a little hipster but still nice flea market on Sundays at Mauerpark.
When I first visited the Berlin Gate I was a shocked to a Starbucks like, right there.
Kinda' funny/sad too.
FWIW, Bring coins for pay toilets on the street, see Check Point Charlie, Reichstag, I did
a bus tour the first day to get the "run" of the city. I walked almost everywhere to off-set
my beer intake.
I was/am still amazed at just being there with so much history surrounding me. Enjoy.
Live vicariously through yourself.
Originally Posted by JetSpeed
Don't me started on Starkbucks Coffee flavoured water here, so so very very overpriced - especially considering the number of good cafes, then again they're normally tucked away on the side streets or in courtyards. What's even funnier is that there's now a Dunkin' Donuts right next door there too!
If it's not raining/cold I'd say hire a bike and just ride around to all the sights (the largest hill you'll encounter are the bridges). Otherwise you can get daily or 2 day tickets for the U (underground) & S-Bahn (city trains)... there's the bog standard normal day tickets and something called the Berlin Welcome Card. The latter is only useful if you intend to go into museums and other places. Speaking of which, around Museum Island there's the Berliner Dom (Cathedral) Well worth the €5 entry fee to go in and have a look. Lots of Kaisers' coffins and you can walk up to the top of the dome too.
In all seriousness though, don't even think about doing anything Nazi related (i.e. the Hitler gruß) no matter what the circumstance. You will be taken directly to prison, you will not pass go, you will not collect diplomatic help.
Originally Posted by rockstar2083
Last edited by majura; 05-28-2011 at 03:32 AM.
Take a pedi cab and yell hogans hero German at the driver
E Plurbus Elvis
I got married in the Dom. Definitely worth a visit. And, while on Museum Island, check out the Pergamon. Probably my favorite museum in the world.
Originally Posted by majura
"How can I, along with thousands of recreational sportsmen, know that Crack contains Methylhexanamine?"
-- Rudy Taelman
Great stuff, vielen danke!
Although I still remember most of the words to the Hofbrauhaus Song (thank you 10th grade German class) I think I will skip that place until I can visit the original in Munich. Ein zwei g'suffa!!
I actually plan to buy weekly S-bahn passes because that's my plan for commuting from my hotel to my workplace.
I also plan to find some of the places my Dad photographed in 1964 and get updates. I guess this place has changed a bit: