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Travel rookie - way underprepared?

Portland, OR
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Travel rookie - way underprepared?

I am a 31 year old male flying to Berlin in 3 months by myself, staying for 10 nights. I've flown to Canada and other U.S. states but never out of the continent. I have my passport and plan on finding a hostel or apartment to rent while over there, then taking the train to Prague for the last half of the trip. Am I way underthinking this? Are there things I need to know or do really before I go or will I be fine just asking people once I am there and trying to plan out the public transportation/train system? I have a rough list of things I want to do/see there so that's not my concern, I am just wondering if I need to be worried about navigating the country/train alone without a lot of prior knowledge. Can someone put my mind at ease? Thanks!

Worthington...
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1. Re: Travel rookie - way underprepared?

My experience: My family and I went to Berlin/Nuremberg/Munich a year and a half ago, and were pretty much in the same boat (none of us speak or understand very much German at all). I too was worried about what we might encounter, but after getting there I thought to myself that it was all for nothing! The public transportation is very easy to navigate if you're at all good at understanding a diagram/map.

I would suggest booking longer (IC/ICE) train trips if you're taking them in advance. You can book them 92 days in advance of the actual trip at much lower prices! Otherwise normal train travel is very easy to handle I thought.

In our case, I did alot of research on the internet, and asked alot of questions here as well. This place is GREAT for information and getting some answers to things you may want to know, or don't understand! Have fun and safe travels!

Chula Vista...
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2. Re: Travel rookie - way underprepared?

Hi,

Here are two resources to read on how to use the European rail system:

www.gettingaroundgermany.info/bahn.shtml

http://www.seat61.com/

London, United...
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3. Re: Travel rookie - way underprepared?

If I've understood you correctly, the Berlin-Prague journey is your only long journey. The link above will help you with that.

And here is a link to the BVG website, which will give you information about Berlin's excellent public transport network.

Don't worry. You'll be fine - in Berlin, in Prague, and on the way from Berlin to Prague.

sydney
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for Cambodia
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4. Re: Travel rookie - way underprepared?

Berlin's train & tram system are excellent and you will not have to deal with the "other side of the road/platform" (opposite direction etc) that we had to untangle (we did end up going in the wrong direction a couple of times so it pays to know not only the station at the end of the line - how the trains are indicated on the front of the train and the platform indicator board but also the next stop in your correct direction so you don't end up going too far if you get the wrong train). Grab a map of the Berlin rail system and go .. we found everyone extremely helpful and had no problems with our totally missing German language skills - everyone (almost) speaks English.

Another vote for buying train tickets on the 92 days ahead special prices - just remember to take the credit card you use to purchase your ticket with you - they will bar-code the ticket and scan your cc on the train - couldn't be easier.

have fun

helen

Barcelona, Spain
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5. Re: Travel rookie - way underprepared?

I suggest you look for your accommodation before you go (I'm not sure from what you wrote whether you were intending to look once you got there). For 10 days you might prefer an apartment, there are many to choose from in Berlin. When looking for apartments I usually search on wwwhomeaway.co.uk (formerly holiday-rentals). Although it is a UK website prices are in euros as that's what you would be paying in.

Alternatively there are lots of hostels (and hotels) too. Circus Hostel and Hotel are located by Rosenthaler Platz, a good location, central but with a bit of a sense of neighbourhood (iunlike the area near Brandenburg Gate/Unter den Linden. Circus also has some very swish apartments near the Hotel (in a new building on Choriner strasse .

I also know of (because I walk past it regularly) a hostel on the Mitte/ Prenzlauer Berg border near Senefelder Platz U-Bahn (two stops to Alexanderplatz) http://www.eastseven.de/

sydney
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6. Re: Travel rookie - way underprepared?

We rented an apartment through airbnb just a short walk from Rosenthaler Platz - great location, fantastic transport links and some neat little eateries nearby

Stuttgart, Germany
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7. Re: Travel rookie - way underprepared?

If you do not book a hostel/appartment in advance you may well find the nicer/ better located ones are sold out esp at weekends. If I read correctly you are going in May,there are several European bank that month so things will be very busy

Scottsdale, Arizona
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8. Re: Travel rookie - way underprepared?

Here dude, I was in the same boat at one time, go to the travel blog and check out travel tips I was just in Berlin as well you can see my video there.

www.6ofthe7continents.blogspot.com

I recommend the 180 hostel. I would try to plan a little in case you want to leave the city on some days better to know train info ahead of times, just staying in Berlin will be easy, their metro system is better than any of our cities here in USA. Feel free to message me with any questions.

Barcelona, Spain
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9. Re: Travel rookie - way underprepared?

Dresden is on the rail route from Berlin to Prague. You might consider stopping off there, part of a day or overnight. There are lots of posts on forum about this, plus on Dresden forum obviously.

Tickets from Berlin to Dresden and Dresden to Prague start at 19€ each if prebooked on www.bahn.de as explained above.

Edited: 15 February 2013, 09:13
10. Re: Travel rookie - way underprepared?

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