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Thank You, Lovely Forum Members!

Dublin, Ireland
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Thank You, Lovely Forum Members!

I'm back from Berlin and just wanted to thank all the forum members who responded to my questions prior to my visit - you were a great help!

A few thoughts/experiences:

Safety: I travelled alone, and while I did spend some of my time getting a little lost on the U-Bahn/S-Bahn, at no point did I feel unsafe or nervous. Kreuzberg was probably the only area where I may have felt slightly uneasy at times, but it still felt safer than Dublin.

Food: if you like ice cream, visit Vanille & Merille, in Kreuzberg. Some of the nicest ice cream I've ever tasted (try the cherry - lordy, it's good!). If frozen yoghurt is more your thing, Yoli on Invalidenstrasse is excellent (the yoghurt isn't at all sour…unfortunately the staff were). I ate at Mao Thai on Woerther Strasse, in Prenzlauer Berg - delicious food and good service. I also sampled the Currywurst at Curry 36 in Kreuzberg (a minute from Mehringdam U-Bahn) - be prepared to queue with lots of hungry Berliners! It was very tasty, though I thought that the sausage perhaps wasn't as amazing as I've had elsewhere. I recommend buying bread rolls and your morning bretzel from small bakeries - they're so fresh and delicious (the sunflower seed broetchen was my favorite). For a treat, buy a cake or bun from Lindner Feinbaeckerei - there are several branches around the city. I didn't visit many bars while I was in Berlin due to being alone, but I did pop into Prater Garten on Kastanienalle (Prenzlauer Berg), and enjoyed a beer and some people-watching under the chestnut trees.

Museums: I only made it to two in the end. Neues Museum was very impressive, and beautifully curated. The building itself is striking too. Nefertiti, understandably, has a room to herself. I pre-booked my ticket online for 10am, and sailed straight in with no hassle at all. I also visited the Broehan Museum, in Charlottenberg. This museum is dedicated to Art Deco/Art Nouveau. It's laid out very nicely and while I wasn't so impressed with the paintings on show, the pottery and glassware, furniture and other pieces were beautiful. There are some lovely items by Hector Guimard, the chap who designed the famous Paris Metro signs, and a fascinating video of German glassblowers at work.

One of the highlights for me was a visit to the flea market in Mauerpark on Sunday afternoon. I wasn't prepared for how big it was! People were selling pretty much everything you could think of, and there was a great buzz about the place. Buy yourself a beer and some corn-on-the-cob, and take a stroll around the stalls. There was karaoke going on as well, which drew a massive crowd.

I also recommend taking a stroll through Tiergarten - I found myself a bench in a shady area and fed the birds. I was only a few minutes' walk from Potsdamer Platz but it felt like I could have been in the middle of a forest, it was so peaceful.

Travelling: I bought day passes (Tageskarte) while I was there and relied on the U-Bahn and S-Bahn to get me about. Very efficient and reasonably-priced transport. If flying home from Schoenefeld Airport, I'd recommend catching the Airport Express train from Alexanderplatz (if practical) rather than from Hauptbahnhof - I found the latter confusing and a little stressful due to its size. If you're a little nervous about crowds, Alexanderplatz is more manageable.

Ich liebe Berlin! :)

Washington DC
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1. Re: Thank You, Lovely Forum Members!

Thanks Keeley, we're headed to Berlin in September. It was fun and informational to read what you wrote. -katie

Oslo, Norway
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2. Re: Thank You, Lovely Forum Members!

Great to read your post, Keeley. I love Berlin too!

Just came back from my second trip there, and had a GREAT time - with lots of help from this forum. These are the highlights of my trip:

- a pubcrawl with Insider Tour: visited lots of great bars, met new people (no not just teenagers, many in their 30s just like myself, all ages really)

- a sightseeing daytrip with Fat Tire Bike Tours. One of the highlights was when we cycled through Tiergarten, and stopped for a beer and lunsj in a biergarten.

- Hackescher markt! great vintage shops, lovely cafes and a nice atmosphere. We lived in the area Rosenthaler Platz, highly recommended!

- Like you, I loved the flea market Mauerpark. really big and i found many gems :)

- Cheap and GREAT beer (Erdinger Weissbier is my favorite). Berlin has a great atmosphere, and it seems to be pubs and cafes literally everywhere!

- Badeschiff on a warm day: a great feeling to swim in the pool IN the river, water from Spree surrounding you everywhere.

- A shopping daytrip to Charlottenburg: first the TK Maxx Outlet (got the advice on this forum), then Kurfurstendamm and KaDeWe. Not the most original thing, I know, but a great day for a gril who loves to shop.

- A daytrip strolling through kreuzberg, and visiting the Turkish Market.

Edited: 20 July 2011, 20:10
Barcelona, Spain
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for Barcelona, Berlin
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3. Re: Thank You, Lovely Forum Members!

Glad you girls both had a greaty time, keeley and sarafina (how could you not?!)

Good advice on Airport Express train re Hauptbahnhof. Friedrichstrasse is another easy option as same platform organisation as Alexanderplatz (i.e. you do have to make sure you are on DB train platform not S-Bahn but otherwise it's simple.

Comox, Canada
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4. Re: Thank You, Lovely Forum Members!

I will be there in 2 weeks for 3rd time. I like Kruezberg. Got myself an LP Berlin book and will try to do some things by area. I did read about Mauerpark. I am wondering as I don't walm too far how to get there by transit.

Hope to get to the Judaische Museum and DDr museum this time

Tel Aviv, Israel
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5. Re: Thank You, Lovely Forum Members!

Hi Cactus, I was underwhelmed by the Judaische Museum. The exhibits are dumbed down, some of the information is misleading and some of the exhibits have nothing to do with Judaism (like the bits about the Muslim hajj and the Christian rosary). The DDR museum was jam-packed (late morning, early July, rainy day) in spite of which it was engrossing. Much information, well-presented, some hands-on stuff.

PS - if you get to Frankfurt, the Judengasse Museum is very good.

Barcelona, Spain
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6. Re: Thank You, Lovely Forum Members!

I've visited the Judäisches Museum several times (sometimes just for special exhibitions) and I don't think it "dumbs down" although obviously a a visitor from Tel Aviv has different cultural references from what I have (although admittedly I personally probably didn't learn all that much new about the Third Reich period either).

I would add that I did once spend most of a day there with a Jewish friend from the States (who has also visited Israel) and she was very impressed by the museum. We also visited the Information centre below the Holocaust memorial which is very moving.

I have twice visited the Centrum Judaicum in the neue Synagogue with UK school groups and found it very good, it's smaller and particularly interesting in that it concentrates on the history of Jews in Berlin.

A rainy day is obviously not the time to go to the DDR-Museum (esp. not a rainy Monday!: we gave up on just such a day, queues to get in and you cd see it was packed inside.

Edited: 24 July 2011, 13:35
Berlin, Germany
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7. Re: Thank You, Lovely Forum Members!

Glad you enjoyed Berlin Keeley - glad to help

Cactus - Mauerpark is about a five minute walk from Eberswalder Straße U-Bahn on the U2 line.

However to cut down on walking you could catch the M10 tram which stops outside Mauerpark.

The M10 tram runs from Nordbahnhof S-Bahn to Warschauer Straße U/S-Bahn.

From Eberswalder Straße U-Bahn I thinks it's one stop (maybe two) to Mauerpark.

From Nordbahnhof S-Bahn it's about five or six stops on the tram. Nordbahnhof is two stops north of Friedrichstraße U/S Bahn on the S1, S2, S25 lines which are underground at Friedrichstraße

Comox, Canada
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8. Re: Thank You, Lovely Forum Members!

thanks for the advice. I hope it is not rainy as this part of N America did not get a summer! Thanks Wibble, Eberswalder seems to be a popular stop I think a certain currywurst place is nearby:-)

I am not a big museum person but my first trip to Berlin was when the wall was up certainly a different place after. I will have a transit pass so will make use all the transport.

Ich liebe Berlin!

Barcelona, Spain
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9. Re: Thank You, Lovely Forum Members!

You can also get the U8 to Bernauer Strasse and walk along to Mauerpark.

If you are keen on fleamarkets you cd then do a slight detour and include the one on Arkonaplatz too

Comox, Canada
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10. Re: Thank You, Lovely Forum Members!

ok thanks