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May trip to Berlin

My daughter and I are traveling to Berlin in May. What are the best/safest sections to stay in?
What are the fun things to do there?
And, finally, what is a good day trip out of Berlin?

Thank you so much.

Posted by
839 posts

I didn't find any parts of Berlin to feel "unsafe" last time we were there. We stayed in the Mitte, near Alexanderplatz, last time (and staying at the same place again next month). Fun things to do depends on your interests. I'd recommend a guided walking tour if it's your first time in the city - I found it was super helpful for getting your bearings. Go up to the glass dome at the Reichstag as well.

Posted by
14016 posts

I was in Berlin alone and felt quite safe. I stayed near Checkpoint Charlie, cheaper than Mitte, yet central enough to walk, and good Ubahn, Sbahn lines.

The Pergamon Museum is a wow. I thought the DDR museum was very interesting. It's very hands-on. The palace (Charlottenburg) is lovely. Potsdam is a good day trip. I guess Dresden would be, but it's much farther.

The only things I didn't like: the HOHO bus and the Checkpoint Charlie Museum.

Posted by
11175 posts

I agree that your questions are too general to answer easily. You should start with a guidebook. If you then have more specific questions, we can give better answers. For instance, how old is your daughter? How long are you staying? What are your interests (and what does not interest you?) What do you consider "fun?" Etc., etc. Help us help you!

That said, here's one set of opinions on various Berlin neighborhoods: http://www.eurocheapo.com/berlin/hoods/

And here's my trip report from 2012, in which I (briefly) mention some attractions my mother and I liked more and liked less: https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/berlin-and-dresden-trip-september-2012

Posted by
5467 posts

A good day trip is to Potsdam. Others will have more suggestions eventually. :) But on my last trip to Berlin, I too the Sbahn to Potsdam and the bus to the Sanssouci Park. I toured Sanssouci itself, wandered the gardens and toured some of the other buildings. It was a great day out of Berlin. The gardens are wonderful so go when the weather is good.

In Berlin itself, you will want to go to Museum Island. There is disruption there though due to some restoration work. We did a walking tour of the old East Berlin. Look for the "stumbling blocks." I did think that the Checkpoint Charlie Museum was looking a bit tired. However, if you are interested in that period of time--the cold war--it's full of interesting stories.

Near Brandenburg Gate is the amazing Holocaust Memorial. It's behind the US Embassy.

I went to the Jewish Museum and learned a lot. The story is told in an interesting manner.

I really liked the Deutches Historisches Museum. It has Hitler's desk and it's huge. It has more than just 20th century exhibits.

I thought that the Gemäldegalerie was wonderful. And it's not far from Potsdamer Platz. There are movie theaters there an they are often American movies in English if you feel the need.

In the west, there is the amazing Ka De We store. Go to the food floor at the top. I also went to the Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche on the Ku'damm. For me, this was nostalgic part of my trip as when I first visited Berlin we could not stay in the East, but were of course based in the West. And it was under 30 years since the war and so in the East they still had piles of ruins, but the in the West was the Kirche. The Ku'damm was the main drag. It's all quite different now as much of what was in the West moved back East.

Pam