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Your Weekend Guide To Berlin

Berlin is the capital of one of the most powerful European countries. At the same time, it is a place with the easiest explanation of the word ‘variety.’ And I love this city with all my heart. Even though, it wasn’t love at the first sight. Even though, long months had to pass before I understood how emotionally connected Berlin and I were.  Now I can say with absolute certainty that Berlin is a unique place you need to visit and I am here to help you get the best out of your weekend in the German capital.

weekend guide Berlin Rakbo parliament

TYPICAL COSTS

Hostel prices:

Looking for a stay, I would recommend you choose Mitte or Kreuzberg as your hotel location, because these are districts full of cafes, shops and clubs. Generally, hostels there cost from €10 to €30 per night depending on the facilities provided. The Cat’s Pyjamas Hostel, Generator Berlin Mitte, The Circus Hostel and Wombat’s City Hostel are some of the best places to stay at. Although, there also are some which are of the higher price. All and more can be found online at Booking.com.

Food prices:

Eating out in Berlin is always a pleasure. You can literally find whatever you want, starting with typical German food and ending up with all sorts of Asian food. Average meal (1 dish + drink) at a restaurant costs around €20. Moreover, you should also try Berlin street food: sausages with potato fries or döner that you can find almost everywhere. It’s a staple within the Berlin scene with prices averaging at up to €5.

Transportation costs:

Berlin is divided into 3 tariff zones that are AB, BC and ABC. You can check them here and as you may guess, the ticket price varies depending on the zone. AB includes the urban area to the city boundary and is the most frequently used and visited area. Zone ABC additionally includes Berlin’s surrounding area and Potsdam Hauptbahnhof. A single ride ticket costs €2.80 for Berlin zone AB. However, it is usuallymuch more profitable to buy a Daily ticket which costs €7 and can be used for all means of transport. If you are staying in Berlin for a week, make sure to buy a 7-day ticket which is only €30. All the prices can be checked at VBB Tickets fares.

MONEY SAVING TIPS

What is your attitude to garbage sorting and recycling? Well, this is something Germans pay a lot of attention to. That is why every time you buy water or any other drink, the price includes a deposit for the bottle which is called Pfand and is usually €0.25 per bottle. If afterwards, you return this bottle to an automatic machine which you can find in every supermarket, it will print you out a check that you can use within a shop. The more bottles you return, the bigger the amount of money you can get back will be. That is what Germans do every day, so don’t be shy and recycle with them!

BEST DESTINATIONS

Traditional must-sees:

Brandenburger Tor is one of the most famous symbols of Berlin, built in 18th century after the successful restoration of order during the early Batavian Revolution.

Reichstag which is a historic edifice of Berlin. Visitors can enter the Reichstag Building for excursions and views of the city. This was one of the best things I did in Berlin. Make sure to register for a visit in advance, however. You can do it here.

Fernsehturm is the one of the best places to enjoy a fantastic view of Berlin. You can get 203m high, just make sure it is sunny enough so that you will not waste your money on climbing up to find yourself somewhere in clouds. Generally, tickets costs €13, but they provide 20% discount for students. Other fares can be checked here.

East-Side Gallery Berlin is the longest open-air gallery in the world with 1,316 meters wall painted with 101 various images that used to be a part of the Berlin Wall border between East and West Berlin.

LOOK OUT FOR…

Mitte is one of the most well-known Berlin districts and at the same time one of my favourite places. Walking around its streets is clearly remembered as one of the best moments of my life. There you can find number of cafes, small shops and design galleries. Don’t miss Mitte’s do you read me?! that offers amazing range of magazines, books and other readings from around the world. Two of my must-visit places in Mitte also are The BARN Coffee Roasters and Eismanufaktur that offer best coffee and ice cream, respectively.

weekend guide Berlin city

Kreuzberg is another amazing district of Berlin believed to be the heart of its street and night life. There you can find a lot of street art, try all sorts of street food and enjoy freedom in the very common sense. Streets of Kreuzberg are full of all kinds of people, cafes offer all kind of beer and night clubs conduct the best Berlin parties.

weekend guide Berlin Rakbo signpost

Streets of West Berlin are something completely different from Mitte and Kreuzberg but nevertheless amazing, so this part of Berlin shouldn’t be left without visiting. For landmark lovers, I would also recommend visiting Charlottenburg Palais.

weekend guide Berlin Rakbo

Another amazing attraction to visit in Berlin during the summer is Mauerpark, which is believed to be the best place for youths to hang out. Every weekend there are plenty of events, such as open-air festivals and carnivals held at this park. Moreover, hundreds of Berliners go there to spend their time having a picnic or just laying around (or even sunbathing) on the grass. I would recommend you to go there on Sunday as all the shops and other places in Berlin are closed, but not here at Mauerpark! You will definitely have fun!

Potsdam is one of the most sated German cities located close to Berlin (zone C) and it is the capital of and largest city of the German federal state of Brandenburg. As it used to be the Residence of Prussian kings, lots of beautiful parks and castles are located there, such as Sansoucci Park and Palace, New Garden and Marble Palace, Cecilienhof Palace, Babelsberg Park and Palace. Another famous landmark in Potsdam is The Dutch Quarter which is believed to be a piece of Holland in Germany. The list of must-sees in Potsdam can be prolonged, so don’t miss out!

MUST TRY…

There is a couple of things you should definitely try while you are in Berlin. They are:

World’s Best Burgers at Burgermeister that cost around €5 and are located in the heart of Kreuzberg. Every day people queue for half an hour or even more to try these heavenly delicious burgers for low prices.

weekend guide Berlin Rakbo photos

Berlin’s Best Döner at Mustafa’s Kebab. This place is full of stories that say the recipe includes a secret ingredient which makes Mustafa’s the tastiest döners in Berlin. This makes dozens of people stay on the queue for hours in order to try them. Eventually, they say, it is always worth the wait! That’s how delicious this döner is.

Desserts at KaDeWe which you can find on the highest floor of the building. Every time I come there it takes me lots of time to choose what to eat, because everything looks amazingly tasty!

Those are a few of my recommendations for a weekend guide in Berlin. Have you ever been to the capital of Germany? What can a new visitor to the city not miss upon arrival? Let us know in the comments below!

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Anna

Anna is a student from Kharkiv, Ukraine who studied abroad in Germany. She's also been to over 24 countries (and counting!) and is one hell of a photographer! For stunning pics to get you into the globetrotting mood, check out Anna's Instagram at @mmm_bravo.


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