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Hop on Hop Off bus Berlin?

Hi -

We are arriving on April 20th at 10 AM at Berlin Airport via AMS via NYC and are trying to figure out something that will keep us awake for the better part of the day/early evening. I have had luck with Hop On/Hop Off busses in the past because the wind in your face keeps you awake (and relatively alert). Also, my understanding is that Berlin is spread out so seems sort of efficient? Traveling with husband and a 15 and 12 year old. None of us have ever been Berlin.

We only have two to three days in Berlin before going Paris. We are hoping to take the new OBB Nightjet which doesn't have schedule yet but it suppose to run 3 times a week starting December 2023!

Thanks for any insight!-


Posted by
343 posts

We did that exact same thing our first time in Berlin some years ago. Our 12 year old was with us and he loved it. I also remember our first day being a Sunday, so not much was open, and combined with Berlin being so spread out, the HOHO was a great choice.

Rick Steves' Europe App also has a nice audioguided walk that starts near the Reichstag and ends up at, I think, Potsdamer Platz, if you wanted to hop off and do some or all of it.

Posted by
14152 posts

I took the Hoho bus In 2016. Turns out our live guide was an American who had lived in Berlin since the 1960s.

Depending on the weather, the top deck might not be open top. They may put the cover on.

Posted by
1839 posts

For newbies to Berlin HoHos but also walking tours are a good choice, also for basic orientation.

You can do the same thing by using publich buses 100, 200 and 300 with a day ticket but the comments are missing. For line 200 there is also a station description you could use (sorry, the English page was down). AB tickets would be enough - and never forget to time stamp paper vesions of public transport tickets for validation before the journey.

Using often rewarded Berlin History app provides authentic and high quality insights to earlier times by geo location.

Another interesting alternative are river Spree cruises which will take you through the city on the water.
At sunny days TV tower sisiz is a good option; also a Reichstag tour (prior reservation recommended).

If you have selfie enjoying kids the WOW Gallery at East Side Gallery is an optional visit. Az rainy days the older kid - called husband - may more enjoy a short stop at computer game museum.

Posted by
14210 posts

Are you referring to the OBB night train Berlin to Paris....very convenient since it is straight shot. I would do the same, if I didn't want to break up the Berlin to Paris route.

Night trains do sell out, The EN night train in June on the day I wanted a seat going from Stuttgart to Vienna (10 hrs) , originating in Zurich, was fully booked. I had to take another night train departure going to Vienna. Lucked out there.

Posted by
25613 posts

Berths on night trains usually sell out long before regular seats. I assume you don't want to sit up all night. You'll need to buy early for berths. The back-up plan would be a flight, I assume, which--depending on how much luggage you have--might be price-competitive.

Posted by
511 posts

Used the HOHO service in Berlin about seven years ago. It was excellent for getting my bearings. After a once around and on subsequent visits I used the very efficient public transportation system - U-Bahn, S-Bahn and tram and bus. Back then there was a type of Berlin card tied to unlimited transportation within several zones.

Posted by
16 posts

Thank you everyone. This is very helpful. We will look at the HOHO buses but also may the river cruise.

AndI will be booking the OBB Nightjet as soon as they go on sale. We took a Nightjet from Vienna to Milan in 2018 and it was magical. I think the entire train is sleeper cars. It definitley isn't the best nights sleep but for one night totally worth it for the experience and not haveing to get on a plane!

Posted by
123 posts

You have chosen a great destination! Just got back from Berlin in March of this year with 4 kids. We spent a week there and could have easily stayed longer.

Berlin is spread out but very easy to navigate and fairly cheap to do so, due to its outstanding public transportation which includes buses, subways, and above ground trains.

I can’t remember if Rick has two walks or just one. However, if it’s just one, we broke the walk into two different days and both days were very fun and amazing. My youngest is 6 and he did both legs without a single complaint.

As other posters said, you can also use the 100, 200, 300 as surrogates for Hop On/Hop Off. You won’t get comments but Ricky Steves has his walk audio for download for his walk.

In any event, enjoy your trip. Been to Paris, Rome, London and many others and Berlin competes with them for enjoyment!

Have fun!

Posted by
123 posts

I also recommend a river cruise.

We did that as well and it is a great and unique way to see parts of the city from a different perspective. I like to plan my itineraries well in advance, but if you are travelers that like to explore without a firm itinerary, the river cruise may help you identify areas you may want to explore further in subsequent days. You would see different parts than the Ricky Steves walk, though I highly recommend Ricky Steves walk, too.

Posted by
14210 posts

"I think the entire train is sleeper cars"

I have been taking OBB night trains ever since it took City Night Line in Jan. 2016. On every trip I take one or two OBB night trains but never did thwe route the Vienna - MIlan. The route I take usually is the Vienna - Hamburg or . Vienna - Berlin.

The OBB night train is made of compartment coaches with six seats in the compartment, which is what I always choose, never the Sleeper, basically don't need it. Usually. 3 others are in there with you. I don't really like it when all 6 seats are take. Your fellow passengers are exclusively German, 99.9% . I never saw a OBB night train consisting of only sleepers.