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Berlin

We plan a trip to Berlin April 27 - 29, 2013. Does anyone have any suggestions on where to stay that is centrally located near train station & reasonably priced? We want to tour the historic sites, Brandenburg Gate, Check Point Charlie, what is left of the wall, Pergamon Museum, etc. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Judy

Posted by
565 posts

Judy, there are many hotels located near the Friedrichstrasse Bahnhof that are reasonable. I personally stayed at the Arcotel Velvet on Oranienburger Strasse and would recommend it. It is a 10 minute walk to Museuminsel and next to the Oranienburger Tor U-Bahn and Oranienburger Strasse S-Bahn stops. Some people here like the Circus Hotel, located on Rosenthaler Platz and on top of another U-Bahn station.
I would not stay in the West part of the city, especially with your time constraints. In fact, I'd probably skip seeing any part of the former Western sector and stick to Mitte/Prenzlauer Berg.

Posted by
33 posts

Thanks, Emily. Good info. We wanted to stay at Pension Peters, but it was booked.

Posted by
7903 posts

The best way to see all of those sites on your list (and more) would be to go on either a walking tour or a bike tour. They don't cost very much and you will have a greater appreciation for what you are looking at, plus get a good orientation to the city. Read the reviews for the various companies in the Rick Steves guidebooks, or check current reviews on Trip Advisor. With only 2 days in Berlin, use this most efficient way to see the most sites. We have gone on 3 tours with Insider Tours and can highly recommend them. We did a general overview tour, went to Sachsenhausen and also Potsdam. The next time I am there, will go on their Cold War and 3rd Reich tours.

Posted by
33 posts

Thanks, Jo, we are planning a tour, hop on/off bus, maybe.

Posted by
7903 posts

Do read some reviews for the ho-ho buses. Berlin is perfect for a walking or bike tour rather than a bus tour. A bus whizzes past with maybe one sentence about what you just saw, and that is it. No guide to ask further questions, no in-depth explanation and the bus tours cost more than the other tours do.

Posted by
4886 posts

Berlin has one or even two city bus routes that are considered exceptionally scenic. If you have a day/multi-day transit pass, they are effectively free and effectively hop-on/hop-off. I'm sorry I don't remember the bus numbers, but Rick certainly mentions them in his book. I don't know about the new airport, but there was an excellent city bus at regular fare (i.e. included in passes) to/from the old airport.

Posted by
4666 posts

That would be the 100 and 200, which both run from Zoo station to Alexanderplatz by slightly different routes, passing many of the biggest tourist sites.

Posted by
2353 posts

Any recommendations on which bike tour for a first time visitor to Berlin? Thanks!

Posted by
11262 posts

For a short visit, I agree that a walking tour or bike tour would be good. But my mother wanted to take a HOHO bus tour, and we found one for 10 euros for the day. Even though I had been before, we both felt it was money well spent. Your choice.

Posted by
5559 posts

The public transit is easy to use in Berlin and I would encourage you to use it. We did a couple of walking tours during our Berlin/Prague/Vienna trip with ETBD. Look into going to the Reichstag Dome. It was very impressive. Check what Rick has to say about visiting it. It can attract crowds, but is very cool. Also, near the Brandenburg Gate is a very impressive Holocaust Memorial. Pam

Posted by
122 posts

There's a Starbuck's right at Brandenburg gate. Daily walking tours start from there. You\pay your guide what you can afford. The walking tour lasts about 3 hours. Our guide was a history student and spoke excellent English.

Posted by
122 posts

If you want to get into the Reichstag building, you need to reserve several days in advance on-line. We only had 1.5 days last October - and tours were booked for days in advance. Missed out on that one.
Say 'hi' to Frau Merkel if you see her (Lol)

Posted by
33 posts

Again, thanks to All! If anyone has a centrally located, family run hotel, close to main train station (forget name, we are traveling multi country tickets)and reasonably priced, something similar to Rick Steves Pention Peters (which is booked), would be appreciated. We are not familiar with Berlin... (Jo, thanks for your recommendations, we are checking with them.) Judy

Posted by
12183 posts

You don't want to be too close to the main station ( Hauptbahnhof). It is not a particularly charming area. You might consider Arte Hotel Luise, which is a five to ten minute walk away, in the direction of the Museum Insel. MIT is not right on the river but just a couple of blocks frommthe bridge to the Reichstag, so very convenient for that and Brandenburg Gate. Read the reviews on Tripadvisor and see if it might suit your needs. Very well-priced, but a little quirky.

Posted by
190 posts

Hi Judy, In 2010 my husband and I stayed at the Circus Hotel. We loved it was easy to get to by bus which is right outside the main train station. Check out the reviews on Trip Advisor. We plan on staying again in 2014... PS if you like WWII history check out the Under World Tours http://berliner-unterwelten.de/guided-tours.3.1.html We went on the flack tower tour and thought it was fantastic! Easy to get to by subway from the Circus Hotel. Enjoy Berlin it's a great city. We can't wait to go back. Wendy

Posted by
12315 posts

Hi, "near train station and reasonably priced?" There is exactly such a place, 2 mins from the station Berlin Hbf. and reasonably priced...Meininger Hotel, turn to the right as you exit the station on Invalidenstrasse. Numerous historical sites in Berlin, some of which I recommend are listed above, depending on how esoteric your interests are. Berlin-Treptow I suggest going to if you have the time as well as Berlin-Karlshorst and Köpenick. The tours broshures I've do not include them.

Posted by
33 posts

Again, thanks for all the info. We booked rooms at Hote Residenz, Berlin, on Meinekestrasse 9, off Kurfurstendamm..... hopefully, it's a nice neighborhood. If anyone out there is familiar, please respond, it would be appreciated.

Posted by
12315 posts

Hi, The corner of Meinekestrasse and Kurfürstendamm is in Berlin-Charlottenburg where the bus tours take off. One can show up just before departure, pay, and be part of the tour. You are only a few minutes walk from Bahnhof Zoo where you can catch the S-Bahn to sights in the eastern area, eg., the Brandenburg Gate, Unter den Linden, Pariser Platz (get off at Bahnhof Friedrichstrasse). One word to describe that immediate area/corner: touristy. Lots of touristy restaurants and dept. stores...nice area, lots of people strolling. One the other side of Kurfürstendamm is the famous Cafe Krantzler, a Berlin hang-out, a bit on the pricey side, which is to be expected. That one and Cafe am Opernpalais am Unter den Linden are two of the traditional famous cafes in Berlin.

Posted by
12315 posts

Judy, Yes, the entire Ku'damm area along with its intersecting streets, such as, Meineckestrasse at Kurfüstendamm is a very bourgeois area. It's the direct opposite of grafitti laced, tagged up buidings and walls (Wandbeschmierung) which you find in Kreuzberg. If you're interested in women's history, there is a poignant museum a few blocks parallel to Meineckestrasse on Fasanenstrasse, the Käthie Kollwitz Museum, corner of Ku'damm.

Posted by
33 posts

Thanks, Fred. You know a lot about Berlin! Did you live there?

Posted by
527 posts

Fred, a question for you, re Meininger Hotel area: Any recommendations for place for solo traveler to have a fairly early evening dinner near the hotel? Thx!

Posted by
12315 posts

@ Hille...Nothing is around the Meininger Hotel next to Berlin Hauptbahnhof. Is that the one you're referring to? If you don't feel like doing anymore walking, as suggested above, and want to stick around in the immediate area, there's a good restaurant (a real restaurant not a fast food outlet) in the Hauptbahnhof among the many eateries, can't recall the name but it's located on one of the upper floors and has a Bavarian theme showing its traditional blue/white colors. I've eaten there, good enough.

Posted by
5 posts

There are a lot of place you can visit in Berlin. You can see the Brandenburg gate, museum and other sites. You can have a hotel accommodation on the travel agency you choose. They can pick you the best hotel.

Posted by
7903 posts

I stayed at the Motel One near the Hauptbahnhof and found it handy for sightseeing. Had looked at Hotel Meininger, but the reviews of the place on Trip Advisor really put me off. A couple of years ago, I stayed at the Motel One in Bellevue which was located in a nice residential area, one stop between the Hauptbahnhof and the Zoo, which I thought was an excellent location.

There are a ton of places to eat in the train station and I think I ate at that restaurant Fred was talking about last year. Nice atmosphere, but totally overpriced food for what you get, especially since Berlin is known for having fairly cheap food. I could have gotten a schnitzel cheaper that that almost anywhere in Frankfurt. Decent places are only a short train ride away, or just have something ethnic at the train station.