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Contents Introduction Museums & Galleries Monuments & Sites Festivals & Entertainment Green Spaces Bars, Pubs & Clubs Eateries & Cafes Streets & Squares Markets & Shops Accomodations & Tours About the Authors
Introduction „Herzlich willkommen!“ Welcome to Berlin, a city with the dichotomy of fascinating history and innovative creativity! One may not quite know what to expect from this German capital; it’s not as romanticized as Paris, nor is it popularized like New York. However, it is full of developments and potential. Germany as a whole has undoubtedly become a strong European country and Berlin has been rapidly building itself as a metropolitan city, fit for such a nation. What differentiates Berlin from the others? First and foremost, history. Germany has unanimously been considered as an important part of modern European history, though rather dishonorably, and the people’s effort in maintaining historical awareness shows through the numerous memorials and monuments: to never repeat the mistakes and to promote peace, both domestically and internationally. Does this mean that they constantly live with heavy hearts? Absolutely not. Though Germans could be considered more serious in nature than other Europeans, they also know how to relish life, especially in Berlin. The copious amount of pubs, cafés, clubs, and live music venues echo the spunky spirit of Berliners. Berlin is home to countless contemporary artists and avant-garde art and as the residence for the world-renowned Berlin Philharmonic, Berlin is also a hot spot for music, both classical and modern. There are a plethora of creativity going on everywhere, from street art and performances to galleries and symphony halls; there is a multitude of diverse cultural possibilities. As we have discovered and were enchanted by Berlin, we hope this guide will help you do the same. From an abundance of attractive spots, we’ve worked to introduce the best; and also advise against the less good. Become immersed in Berlin with us, and gute Reise! Julie Kim 3
History Berlin has gone from a small trading point in the 13th century, to now the hub of Germany and Europe’s economy. Originally under the rule of the Ascanian Margrave of Brandenburg, Berlin would then remain under the Hohenzollem family until 1918. The 20th century then saw Berlin be a part of Two World wars and become centre stage of the Cold War (1949-1989). Following the fall of the wall, Berlin once again became the capital of the newly formed of the German Federal Republic. Berlin: from medieval trading point to Prussian power (1157- 1890) Part of the Margaviate of Brandenburg- founded by Albert the Bear in 1157-Berlin would be within Margaviate of Brandenburg, but later subsequent members of the Hohenzollern house would rule as electors and then lately Kings of Prussia. Throughout the Lutheran reformation of Germany (1517-15250, Berlin prospered up until the Thirty Years (1618-1648). Although the then the elector George Wilhelm tried to keep neutrality, Berlin was left plundered by both sides. The reign of Friederich Wilhelm-directly after his father- saw Berlin start to take shape as a major European city. Known as “the Great Elector”, he established Berlin as a garrison city, but also encouraged refugees to settle in the city, such as the Hugenots from France Berlin then entered into a more culturally and advanced age, the age of Prussia. Friedrich the III made himself Friedrich I, the first king of Prussia (1701-1713) and laid down the foundation of a military and cultural hub, for which his grandson Frederick the Great (1740-1786) later benefited from. Under the Frederick the Great, Berlin was turned into a very liberal and intellectual capital. This all came to an end, however, with Napoleon’s victory and the eventual occupation of Berlin in 1806. Following the end of three year French occupation, Berlin went through a period of revolutions, the political revolution failed, but the industrial revolution the citywas turned into a centre of technology and industry. Using Prussia and Berlin specifically, Otto Von Bismarck led Germany into a unified and strong Germany, creating The German Empire (“Deutsches Reich”) entering into the 20th century. 4
From a World War to a City Segregated (1900-1992) Although Berlin continued to prosper, political conflict in Europe led to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and subsequently causing the outbreak of World War One (1914-1918). Following Kaiser Wilhelm II abdication, the Weimar Republic (1920-1933) under Friedrich Ebert was created. The Weimar Republic never truly settled Germany and was constantly fighting against The Communist left and the Fatherland Party right. Culturally the twenties had been a booming period, but under a lack of political solidarity the National Socialist Movement was founded. With Hitler’s appointment as Chancellor in 1933, the burning of the Reichstag, Hitler moved to gsin full emergency powers and took Berlin and Germany down a route of persecution of anything “un-German”. Towards the end of World War Two, Berlin had been severely battered by six years of bombing. Moreover, the “Battle of Berlin” saw Berlin crippled, suffering huge losses, but more crucially; initially under Soviet control. Between mid-April and May 1945 more than 1.5 million Soviet soldiers surrounded the city. Following street battles, Russian soldiers stormed the Reichstag and began the next crucial period in Berlin’s history. Following the 1945 Yalta conference Berlin was carved up between Britain, America, Russia and Germany. The West would subsequently be called The Federal Republic of Germany and the East, the German Democratic Republic. Although supply lines were shut off to West Berlin, the Berlin Airlift (1948-49) was created and started a period whereby the West prospered over the East. In 1961 the split was even more emphasized with the construction of the Berlin Wall. East Berliners were no longer allowed to travel to the West, whilst West Berliners were free to travel. Moreover the East German police (The Stasi) was formed to stop, track and monitor the inhabitants, creating files on 6 million people. This lasted until 1989 when the Wall was brought down. After years of separation the wall was destroyed and East once again met West. Two years later was once again made the capital of Germany and evolve into one of the culture capitals of Europe. Bill McLoughlin 5
Survival Guide Berlin is ten times bigger than Paris, and such a big city can feel a little intimidating to the first time visitor. Luckily for you, we’ve put together this survival guide to help you find your feet when you get here. From understanding the little quirks that make Berliners who they are, through to some German phrases that’ll get you through some sticky situations, we’ve got you covered. The Berliners The Berliners are, on the whole, a laid back bunch who enjoy the cosmopolitan vibe of their city. They’re quite relaxed when compared to other Germans, but if you’re expecting a friendly smile when boarding a tram or someone to hold open a door for you, you can pretty much forget about it. They’re not being deliberately rude, these are just small things that a Berliner wouldn’t worry about. The Berliners can also be incredibly blunt when talking to strangers. This is known as the “Berliner Schnauze”, and can be loosely compared to New York sassiness. Just try not to take it to heart. Crossing the Road Berliners always pay attention to the green or red man when at a pedestrian crossing. Even if there are no cars for miles and the way looks clear, Berliners will wait for the green man to show before crossing the road. This charming trait always has first time visitors to Germany amused, but make sure to do the same if you don’t want to be marked out as a foreigner. Watch out for cyclists! Berlin is full of cyclists and there are a huge number of cycle paths throughout the city. If you want to avoid a sticky end, make sure you keep off them. Pack your stamina Berlin is renowned for it’s fantastic nightlife, and the city is jam-packed with wfabulous bars, clubs, theatres and restaurants. At times, it’ll start to feel like there just aren’t enough hours in the day to pack everything in. Pace yourself, and don’t feel too bad if you want to start heading home at 5am. There’ll always be another party tomorrow night. 6
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Useful Phrases “Guten Tag/ Guten Abend” “Bitte” “Danke schön“ “Entschuldigung” “Wo ist die nächste Bahnhof, bitte?” “Ich möchte zwei biers, bitte” “Wie viel kostet das?” “Meinen Papagei ist verloren!” “Die Rechnung, bitte” Hello/Good Evening Please / You’re welcome Thank you Excuse me/ Sorry Where is the nearest train station, please? I’d like two beers, please. How much does this cost? I’ve lost my parrot! Could I have the check please? “Sind Sie öfter hier?” Do you come here often? “Sie haben wundershöne Augen” You have beautiful eyes. “Könnten Sie ein Foto von uns machen?” Can you take a picture of us? Important Numbers Emergency Services No: 112 Embassy Information UK Embassy: Wilhelmstrasse 70-71 10117 Berlin +49 30 204570 US Embassy: Pariser Platz 2, 10117 Berlin +49 30 83050 Canadian Embassy: Leipziger Platz 17, 10117 Berlin +49 30 203120 Australian Embassy: Wallstrasse 76-79, 10179 Berlin +49 30 8800880 Ryan McKenzie 7
Public Transportation Berlin is a huge city, but luckily for tourists it has an extensive public transport network which covers just about everywhere in the city, as well as some of the outer city limits. You have the option of the U-Bahn (underground rail), S-Bahn (overground rail), tram or bus services for a speedy, safe and reliable journey. The transport network is split into three zones – zone A covers the inner city as far as the urban rail ring. Zone B goes as far as the city limits and zone C covers the Greater Berlin area, including the nearby city of Potsdam as well as Schonefeld Airport. You can either get a single zone ticket or one which allows inter zone travel – AB, BC or ABC. Prices vary depending on the zone you’re travelling to but the public transport authority website has a journey planner to assist you (also available in English): http://www.BVG.de. For those who have Android or iOS smart phones, it is worth downloading the free app, FahrInfoPlus. It allows you to check your route, save favourite journeys and use your phone as a ticket. 8
Tickets For those travelling on a budget, tickets are actually fairly cheap in comparison to other cities. The best type of ticket for you depends on how long you’ll be staying in Berlin, but weekly and monthly tickets are available. Tickets can be bought from machines in stations, or in over 250 hotels. However, please do make sure to buy your ticket from a licenced machine. If you have a ticket for zone AB but wish to travel to zone C (or vice versa) you can buy an extension ticket. Don’t forget to validate your ticket before use! You can do this on station platforms, or on trams and buses – just insert your ticket into the box to stamp it with the time and date. Random ticket checks are carried out by inconspicuous officers and getting caught travelling without a ticket, or travelling with an invalid one, means you are liable for an on the spot fine of €40. Ticket Types Single Tickets –good for a two hour one way journey Daily Tickets (Tageskarte) – valid until 03:00 the next morning Short Trip (Kurztrecke) – vaild for three stops on S-Bahn and U-Bahn and six stops on tram and bus Small Group Tickets (Kleingruppenticket) – ideal for group trips, up to five people are allowed to use it until 03:00 the next morning Weekly, Monthly and Yearly Tickets (7-Tages-Karte, Monatskarte und Jahreskarte) – allows access to the entire transport network for the specified period Bicycle Tickets (Fahrradskarte) – you can take bikes onto trams, buses and trains but you need to have a supplementary bike ticket to do so Airport Travel Both of Berlin’s airports – Tegel in the north west and Schonefeld in the south east – are easily accessible by public transport. For those flying in and out of Tegel, you can get there using one of four bus routes – JetExpressBus TXL runs every 15-20 minutes, while Express X9 and lines 128 and 109 run every 15 minutes. Schonefeld travellers can take the airport express train from the larger stations, which runs every 30 minutes, or the S9 or S45 which run every 40 minutes. Night Travel If you want to go out and dance the night away, chances are you won’t have to worry about getting home – 54 buses and trams provide a night route running every 30 minutes between 00:30 and 04:30 (regular timetables apply with these times) Caitlin Carney 9
Museums & Galleries Berlin oﬀers a wide variety of exhibitions. Of course, there is the Museum Island, but there are also lesser-known museums with fascinating contents to be discovered in the city. The options cater to many kinds of interests, along with educational and historical information. Fitting for an early founding city of Dadaism, Berlin houses an impressive array of galleries as well. Avant-garde to classical masters, art in Berlin is ubiquitous. Step into the Anti-War Museum to learn about the forgotten victims of war or to the Bauhaus Archiv to see the developments of the artistic movement. Whatever your interests are, Berlin will have what you’re looking for.