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Overwhelming!

Boston...
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80 posts
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Overwhelming!

After a few drinks I decided it was time to do something different for a change for New Years so booked Berlin ! We are 3 guys (28) that usually only hang out drinking - we have no clue where to begin - Dec.28~Jan4 - guess here are a few questions

what neighborhood should we stay?

what is the best way to get around? we will not have a car

we are under a tight budget so r hostels the way to go?

what should we see ?

where can we get free maps? (AAA wanted $12.00)

any suggestions would be helpful

Tel Aviv, Israel
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for Israel
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1. Re: Overwhelming!

Go to hostelworld.com and see what hostels there are and what the rates are. Also read the reviews while you are sober, and you'll be able to choose. Hostels in Europe are generally a good deal, basic, clean, and less money than a hotel - especially for a triple-room, not many of those in Europe.

All the hotels have free maps of the city center, probably all you'll need. In the meantime, use the online resources to help with planning - google has street views, michelin is especially good for walking directions for European destinations. Use the public library for guide books for planning. And try a couple of the many used book stores - you might get a bargain guide book for very little. Even the ones that are a couple years old are fine for sightseeing. I like the DK Eyewitness Travel Guide, it lists sights by neighborhood, making it easy to plan days. And almost every sight has a website with up-to-date info.

In Berlin, the subway system (U-bahn and S-bahn) is very good, as are the buses and trams (trams are only in the part that used to be East Berlin). Trains are good for day trips. Potsdam is probably the most popular. You won't miss a car in Berlin.

Things that you won't see in Boston: Schloss Charlottenburg (an 18th palace), the Pergamon Museum - it's like walking into the ancient world, Checkpoint Charlie, Galeries Lafayette department store. I thought the DDR Museum, describing life in East Germany, was very interesting.

Frommers website is good to get an overview of the major sights.

For food on a budget, you can buy sandwich fixings (and beer) and supermarkets (most are not open later than 7 or on Sundays - one exception is at the Friedrichstrasse train station. Va Piano is a chain of Italian restaurants, kind of an upscale cafeteria. The food is cooked whle you wait (salads, pizzas, pastas) with whatever you choose. The best pasta I've ever eaten!

Boston...
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2. Re: Overwhelming!

very helpful - thank you!

Tel Aviv, Israel
Destination Expert
for Israel
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24 reviews
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3. Re: Overwhelming!

I was there last month, first time. I think you'll find you made a very good decision!

I have no idea what goes on at New Year's, but I read something about champagne corks at Brandenburg Gate . . .

4. Re: Overwhelming!

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