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Trip Reports Collection - Please post here

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Houston, Texas
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Trip Reports Collection - Please post here

I saw this on the London forum and thought this was a good idea for all of us that go to Berlin and thus we can come back and write up a report on how our trip went.

"""For everyone's convenience and reading pleasure, please post links to all your trip reports (past, present, and future) here on this thread. If you also have pictures posted somewhere on the Net, include those links as well.

Without further adieu, on with the show!"""

If possible can we get this stickied as well?

Edited: 15 October 2013, 22:18
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Houston, Texas
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1. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here

tripadvisor.com/…53224219

Amsterdam, The...
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2. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here

cile.home.xs4all.nl/travel/berlintips.htm

Shrewsbury
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3. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here

New Year 2012/13 ...

…travelpod.com/travel-blog/…tpod.html

New Year 2011/12 ...

…travelpod.com/travel-blog/…tpod.html

There's some similarity between the two. Lots of pic and perhaps some videos too.

Barcelona, Spain
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4. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here

Good idea Jordan! Not that I've ever written a trip report on Berlin (nor anywhere else either)!

So.....not mine, but as Kayleigh may not be following Berlin forums any more, I have to add this

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187323-i135-k5862…

Edited: 17 October 2013, 07:43
Houston, Texas
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5. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here

Keep em coming.

Ottawa
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6. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here

Berlin Trip Report

today, 7:47

First time in Berlin. Arrived by train from Amsterdam, the train staff were not very polite, is this normal or just a bad day? First view of Berlin is from the cab to the hotel in Olivaer Platz, very impressive city. Very nice area around the hotel, the Ku'damm, lots of stores etc. First night did laundry and had few snacks in our room. First full day, threatening rain, but nothing serious. Walked up to the Europa Centre and on to the zoo (TR review), wow. A spot of lunch at the Europa and then walked to Schloss Charlottenburg, very impessive, loved the park and pond behind. Reminds me of Versailles. Walked south back to the hotel, very eclectic neighbourhoods.

Later on went to Route 66 to watch the Germany/Sweden match, lots of fun.Having a kitchenette, doing our own breakfasts worked out great. Today we tackle the heart of Berlin, strolled up to the Tiergarten and up to Grosser Stern and the monument, wow. Up to Schloss Bellevue, very impressive. On our way to the Reichstag We came across the Soviet Mememorial, massive monument, with the T-34 tanks and everything. On to the Reichstag. It's always interesting when you come across iconic structure and this is one of those. And so is the Brandenburg Tor nearby, something you see in books, movies. The Holocaust memorial stops you dead in your tracks.Checkpoint Charlie is way over the top, but had to see it. This was also the part of the day that we came across sections of the wall, really makes you think about how this city used to be. Then to Potsdamer Platz and the Sony Centre. Very uber modern. Light lunch and a stroll back to Olivaer Platz. Some might wonder why we don't use the very good public transit, we love to walk and get a real feel for a city. Good shoes and socks are must :)

Did a little shopping and beer tasting on the Ku'damm. Very busy place.

Last day in Berlin, time to see the East. Retraced our steps back to Potsdamer Platz and walked east to Alexander Platz. On the way we stumbled across the area around the St. Nikolai-Kirche. Nice little oasis. Alexander Platz is a wide open square and looks different from the squares in the west. Walked back across Museum Island. I have never seen so much construction in my life. Have to come back in five years to see how it all turned out. On our way we stopped to admire the Gendarmenmarkt and stumbled across a movie set. They were filming a movie called "the Business Trip" with Vince Vaughn, about a man who gets involved in a G8 protest. One last stroll through the Tor and the Tiergarten. Time to end our Berlin adventure, flight leaves at 6 a.m.

Even though it was only three days, I think we saw lots of Berlin and really truly enjoyed ourselves. We probably missed a lot and I have probably missed a few things in my TR, but it was well worth the trip.

Berkeley, California
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7. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here

So here is my first trip report of the first three days of our Berlin trip Been too tired to write anything up prior. Our first week was in Italy where we had fun. Then we ran into transit strike. It took 12 hours, three cabs, two trains, and a plane to get out of Italy. We lost our first day of Berlin. But we have caught up.

We arrived at midnight to our hotel the Aldon. The festival of lights was displayed right outside and on the gates next door. Amazing!! -the Brandenburg Gate is cool just on its own.

So here's the blow by blow day by day. We bought a welcome card for five days and a museum pass for three days ( might get another). We mostly use the public transportation which we found surprisingly confusing. Hard for us to figure out which directions the trains were going and there was a break in the line we needed a lot (u6) causing us to get off and change trains a lot!

Saturday - 19th - we did half day tour overview to get oriented with our very nice guide Yonatan Weizman (weiz2707@gmail.com) of the historic sites starting with Parizer Platz, which included the Brandenburg gates and The Reichstag (the house of parliment) and the Chancellors office, as well as the memorial for the murdered Roma and Sinti.The outside of memorial for the murdered Jews of Europe and the LGBT memorial.We went by the site of Hitlers bunker, where he finally ended his life. We walked through the Potsdamerplatz and the Kulturforum and The Topography of terror museum, and the Berlin wall. Check point Charlie was amusing. Friedrichstr and the place where the books were burned. Learned a lot of history and made plans to return to see the insides of several places we passed. We ended up at the Museum Island where we went on to see the museums ourselves- Got to the AlteNationalgalerie where we enjoyed the Impressionists. and the Pergamon Museum for the Great Altar of Pergamon the Great Market Gate of Miletus, the Ishtar Gate(my favorite) and the collection of ancient Persian carpets and tapestry. We tried to finish it off with the Berliner Dom but it was closed! We returned to our hotel to check out the spa (crowded ) and then headed out to a great dinner at Katz Orange Bergstrasse22; (49-30) 983-208-430http://katzorange.com/. Foolishly we tried to see some more of the festival of light shows and ended up wandering all over town. We were rewarded with some amazing shows but ended up crawling home and into bed at midnight. Fit bit recorded us at 12.5 miles. My poor feet.

2-Sunday- 20th – first we went to a private (Boris) collection of modern art in a real bunker. It was the best tour I've ever taken in my life. Fantastic combination of history and art. Highly recommended. Next we took a walk through the park to the NeueNationalgalerie” (New National Gallery). The museum building and its sculpture gardens were designed by the Bauhaus architect LudwigMies van der Rohe. The museum was supposed to features modern 20th century painting, in particular cubism, expressionism, Bauhaus, and surrealism, and paintings of the artist group “Die Brücke” (“The Bridge”) but it's regular collection was closed. Big bummer for us! Instead there was a special modern collection that was ok. Caught the special Picasso exhibit in the exhibition hall next door which was great and went over to the inside of the museum of terror and the memorial to the murdered Europeans. Left in tears. Excellent museum. One of the most moving treatments of real people and their families. The attitude in Berlin seems to be let us face everything we did and figure out how it happened so it won't happen again. Everywhere it's discussed. Headed home for a massage and drink. Then a great dinner at Noto 55 Behrenstraße 10117 Tel: +(0)30 2749-2940

3-Monday the 21st - first we went to the Berliner Dom which had been closed the day before and climbed up to the top (247 stairs) and were rewarded with a great view. The weather has been very good. We did a half day tour with Yonatan of the Jewish sites end up at the Jewish Museum. Learned a lot about the history of the Jews in Berlin. Saw the remains of the first and second synagogs. Visited a wonderful brush factory where the owner saved many Jews set up by one he saved. Had a yummy falafel lunch at dada. Then took the u to The Jewish Museum ( open till 10pm on Monday 8pm other days ) with exhibits and architecture, by Daniel Liebeskind. We had heard that the especially moving architectural spaces evoked an emotional response: The Garden of Exile and small angled dark area depicting Holocaust, narrow angled corriders zigs and zags. We learned that shape represents a broken star of David and also saw the special exhibit, Memory Void( creepy). Well I'm sorry to say this museum was not our favorite. It was too remote and impersonal. I couldn't get it! I preferred the murdered Europeans museum. Just my experience. Maybe it was something wed needed to start with.

After the museum we went to the BerlinischeGalerie (open 10-6 wed- Monday) this is a converted glass warehouse filled modern art. They were setting up a great special exhibit on Vienna art that looked great. There were several pieces we liked but not many. Caught a cab back to the hotel just to have an hour to rest before going over our 6:30 apt for a tour of the Reichstag dome (www.bundestag.de/htdocs_e/visits/kupp.html). It was lots of fun and very cool. Great funny guide. Very interesting place. Everything was open. Big on transparently. Kept the Russian graffiti. Once we climbed all over the dome we returned home to the hotel to meet a friend for a light dinner at a nearby cafe. Then crashing walked 9 miles today!!

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Day 4-Tuesday- 22nd the sun was spectacular today and we started at the Frank Geary building (the dz bank). It has a huge amazing sculpture inside. We went to see the Charlottenburg palace, and it’s baroque garden by taking bus to the zoo and then catching the u to Sophie-Charlotte-Platz. We are getting the hang of the transportation system. We lucked out with just a lovely warm day. We loved walking by the river and the gardens were beautiful. The palace had several fantastic rooms including one of porcelain. We then went to the two very interesting museums (Open 10-6 Tuesday-Sunday) that are located side by side nearby at the corner where Spandauer Damm meets Schlossstrasse: the Bröhan-Museum (Broehan Museum) and the Sammlung Berggruen (Berggruen Collection). The Bröhan Museum specializes in Nouveau, Art Déco and the Berlin Secession. We saw interior decorations and painting of these stylistic periods. My favorite (maybe ever!!!! ) was The Berggruen Collection which presents classical modern art, e.g. paintings from Picasso, Klee, Giacometti etc. there were two floors of some if the best Picasso's I've ever seen and I've seen a lot!!! Do not miss this one. We ate a snack cause we were just too hungry. Our next stop was the KDW department store cause everyone says you have to see the beautiful floor of food products from all over the world. Ok it's cool but not all that exciting. At least not to me compared to Dora Mar with green nail polish! Took the 100 bus back home and got a bath. Good on the toes. Dinner tonight was at : nearby Cookies and Cream

55 Behrenstraße

10117 Berlin, Germany

Tue. - Sat. 7pm

Tel: +(0)30 2749-2940

( it's vegetarian ). It was edgy , very good, unusual and reasonable priced. Walked home to pack up as we leave for Potsdam tomorrow! 7.5 mile day but I'm not at all as tired as we has a good long break. Tomorrow we go to the “Hamburger Bahnhof” Museum of contemporary art (open 10-6 Tuesday –Sunday located at Invalidenstrasse 50-51, a bit north to the Scheunenviertel )(heard there is an excellent café there, called Sarah Weiner) and the Kathe Kollwitz Museum. And the our last stop is the East Side gallery and a walk through Kroeuzberg. Then we catch a ride to Potsdam. Berlin has been very impressive. Alive, vibrant and filled with art. It's a difficult place for a Jew. At least this one. So much history, so many lost and clearly the people here are trying to face their past openly. You got to give them credit for that.

Barcelona, Spain
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9. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here

Great idea to group the trip reports but may I make a request? When you post a report please use paragraphs which would help us see how you divided up the day (and make for a better reading experience).

Hillsborough, North...
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10. Re: Trip Reports Collection - Please post here

My first time in Berlin!

Arrived morning 21 October - Easyjet flight from Amsterdam, depart very early morning 25 October BA to Heathrow.

A couple notes about arriving and departing: neither airport is huge nor state of the art, but serviceable. I arrived at Schonefeld - everything seemed on a small scale - from the baggage area to the concourse. (I do find it funny that one walks out on the tarmac with Easyjet - just like the old days!). Easy egress and a bit of a walk to the train station, but simple and straightforward. No problem if you travel light as I do, but I can see that it might be a pain if you had a lot of luggage. I left from Tegel - a 20 minute/20 euro taxi ride from my Kurfurstendamm-area hotel, and was amazed that I was essentially dropped off at the gate. Checked in and and through security/border check in less than 20 minutes - at 0530 not much going on and not very many peeps - nice! Again - small scale, not fancy, a little long in the tooth, but it worked for me. I can see with large crowds, though, both airports would become untenable and uncomfortable.

Bought Museuminsel 72 hour Welcome Card and 1 single ABC ticket for the RE7 train into town so I would not have to validate the Welcome Card too early. Easy to locate the right train and it was there within 10 minutes (I lucked out on this one, I know they run only every 1/2 hour or so). Quick, simple ride to Zoologischer Garten and from there I walked to Fasanenstrasse and my hotel.

I stayed at Hotel-Pension Funk - a turn-of-the-last-century house once the home of Asta Nielsen, a silent movie star. Photographs and posters of her decorate the hallways. Wonderful place - lovely breakfast room, antique furniture and accessories, high ceilinged room with a chandelier and wooden armoire, lovely parquet-topped table with two velvet chairs - you get the drift. Bath small but clean and functional. Enjoyed it and it was a great value. The Kurfurstendamm area is as you know a big shopping area - chock a block full of high end shops. Not quite my style but pretty cool to walk around in - strictly window shopping for me! I did go into the Steiff store there just to relive some childhood memories (stuffed animals! - the founder invented the Teddy Bear, named after Roosevelt, whom she admired).

Right in the neighborhood up the street were two of my destinations - Cafe im Literaturhaus and the Kathe Kollwitz museum. Coffee and sacher tort at the Cafe on a bright, sunny fall afternoon next to one of the large windows overlooking the lawn - lovely. Kollwitz museum is lovingly done and I found it very moving. I know her art seems harsh and depressing for some, but I have always admired her for throwing herself so thoroughly into the plight of workers, children and the less fortunate and for being so adamantly anti-war. Her "Weavers Revolt" series is my favorite. Visitors move slowly though the floors of the exhibits and it is very hushed, naturally so.

I found my niche a little northwest of my neighborhood - in Savignyplatz. Just a short walk away, it felt very different than Kurfurstendamm - a little less fancy, not quite as pricey. A good selection of Asian restaurants along Kantstrasse, which bisects the park. I had dinner one evening at Dicke Wirtin ("fat landlady") - which was excellent roast pork with red cabbage and dumplings. Good beer - I had an Andechs Helles from southern Germany. Dicke Wirtin's claim to fame is the selection of schnapps - I truly enjoyed the Erdgeist, which is an herbal concoction. Nice to sit outside on an abnormally warm fall evening. But my favorite place in the area was Zwiebelfisch - seemed to be a real local and I found the folks there really welcoming and the vibe warm and friendly. Had what turned into my favorite Berliner brew - Schultheiss. Came back to Zwiebelfisch every night after my wanderings.

I spent one day moving from Kurfurstendamm to Kreuzberg to Friedrichshain and Scheunenviertel. U1 from Uhlandstrasse to Schlesiches Tor then walking - street art near Schlesiches Tor, across the Oberbaum Brucke to Muhlenstrasse and the East Side Gallery, which was stupendous. Just really enjoyed it. Not too crowded in the morning so I was able to peruse and photograph at whim. I was at first disappointed that so many have "defaced" the art work with scribbles and their own graffiti, but I guess that freedom is kind of the point. Some really creative stuff here, some ho-hum, some stupid, but all in all a wonderful piece of art and social commentary. Came across a young man - Faruk Masri Vilca - selling his own art from his black van parked at the curb and bought a piece of his small work as a memento. Took the tram M10 from Warschauer all the way around (counter/anti-clockwise) to the Gedenkstatte Berliner Mauer - the Berlin Wall Memorial - near Nordbahnhof. Hopped off along the way at Konnopke's Imbiss on Schonhauser Allee for curry wurst and frites under the train tracks - hmm. Certainly an experience, and shared a stand up table with apparent regulars. They don't pretend to be haute cuisine, but it was pretty good for frankfurters in catsup with curry seasoning and the frites were hot and fresh. Love the tram, love the concept of a snackbar under the SBahn tracks.

Gedenkstatte Berliner Mauer - the museum was closed, which was disappointing, but the observation tower open so I climbed up for a gander. The view surprised me in that I could see not only the Fernsehturm but the top of the Sony Center, Berliner Dom, Reichstag, etc. Really gave me a sense of how the city is laid out and how things are really closer than they appear even though it's quite spread out. At first I was unimpressed by the wall itself, but closer inspection, reflection and a wander through the memorial itself on the other side of the street soon taught me otherwise. I was struck in particular by three things - the physicality of the wall and death strip itself, imagining it imposed on other cities I know, the wall of pictures of (mostly young) men and women who were killed trying to get free, and the very subtle round brass markers in the lawn where "incidents" occurred. Also interesting were the exposes, pictures and maps of how the surrounding buildings were slowly dismantled to give a clear field of fire. Very powerful. Managed to navigate back to Savignyplatz for dinner along Kantstrasse at Saigon Green - mediocre Banh Bao dumplings, good Pho, and a killer apple-mint lassi.

Another day entailed a trip to the Hauptbahnhof - I love train stations, don't you? - and a walk down to the Reichstag, Brandenburger Tor, Unter den Linden, Gendarmenmarkt, et al. Loved the Reichstag and was disappointed my tour was canceled and couldn't get an ad hoc ticket, but maybe next time. Funny about such iconic places, completely different feel being there. Actually like the Bundeskanzleramt building as well - how different, but fitting somehow. Brandenburger Tor was full of tourists but still monumental and I thought rather inspiring. Embarassed to say that I walked right by the US embassy clueless to the fact I and everyone else was being monitored - awfully grateful I didn't say anything untoward. I visited the Holocaust Memorialas well, and although I found it interesting and powerful in some ways, cannot seem to make the connection others do from the memorial to the event itself. I wandered through for quite some time, never became disoriented or lost so that experience sometimes shared by others did not move me. However, the fact that it is even there, its solemness, and other-worldliness is very captivating.

Unter den Linden would have been more pleasant without all of the construction (extending the U55 I believe), but nevertheless is an impressive street. Walked through the Galleries Lafayette just to see the designs - amazing glass funnel, beautiful art deco - and had lunch at Augustiner am Gendarmenmarkt - a beer, good bread and interesting sausage salad - just because. Bought chocolate and marzipan at Fassbender & Rausch, where there's a model of both the Titanic and the Reichstag in chocolate! Enjoyed the Gendarmenmarkt a lot - the Konzerthaus, Deutscher Dom, Franzosische Friedrichstadtkirche - all incredible neo-classical pieces - really beautiful - columns, statues, pediments, majestic staircases, etc. Not sure about the source of the stone used, but rather than being white or beige, they are tan/brown, which is a whole different feel and look. Walked through Bebelplatz and headed toward Museuminsel - lots of construction again! - but decided to beat the crowds and go on Thursday evening instead. Wandered about Alexanderplatz for a bit, back to Savignyplatz and Zwiebelfisch, then headed to Gasthaus Krombach on Meinekestrasse near the hotel for schnitzel, potatoes, cabbage and beer - ah!

A trip to Rosenthaler Platz, lunch at Grill and Schlemmerbuffet and again a lot of construction , this time on the tram line. Walked down Rosenthalerstrasse to Hackesche Hofe - interesting courtyards and decorative trim on the buildings, but after all just a collection of shops. I wouldn't go out of my way for it. Museuminsel on Thursday evening was a treat - Bode, Pergamon, Neues was about all I could handle. The Pergamon Temple, Ishtar Gate and collection of Islamic art really is fantastic at the Pergamon, and Nefertiti at the Neues is as beautiful as is said. Loved the interior architecture and decorative design at the Neues as well. Found my way over to Potsdamer Platz and the Sony Center afterwards, had a beer in one of the cafes and marveled at the architecture while people watching - fun! Found my way back to Zwiebelfisch for beer and people watching for my last evening. Lovely.

Overall impressions: fantastic city, too much to do and see in just a few days so I will have to return; didn't get to Gemaldegalerie, KW Institute, Deutsches Historisches. Bauhaus Archiv, etc; I found the public transport efficient and easy to navigate - don't forget the buses! - and loved riding the tram in the east. As others have said, it's interesting because there is not really a single city center, but different areas each with a unique feel. Quite a lively city, but one can find places that are relaxed and more slowly paced as well. Really enjoyed it and I will have to plan another trip!

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