Potsdam city tour

Potsdam City Tours

Posted by & filed under Berlin.

This post reviews and compares the various Potsdam tour options available to you, including walking, bike, bus and boat tours (and one self-guided option). 

 

 

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Berlin Bus Tour Featured Image

Which Berlin Bus Tours Are Best?

Posted by & filed under Berlin.

This post compares the various Berlin bus tours available and will help you decide which bus tour, if any, is best for you or your family. We point out the pros and cons of bus tours and have included an “almost-free” self-guided bus tour of Berlin.  (en español)

 

 


Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tours of Berlin

These are the double-decker, open-top bus tours offered by different companies that have its own buses circling the city along a particular route all day long. There have designated stops and riders can use their ticket to jump off the bus at any stop and get back on at the same or a different bus stop.

Some people opt to stay on the bus from the first stop to the last. In that case, the duration of most tours will be about 2-3 hours.

If you do choose to hop off at whichever locations interest you the most, your day will certainly be longer than 2 hours. You can make your day as long as you want by hopping on and off buses throughout the city.

However, your ticket is only valid for the number of days included in your ticket price (generally 1 or 2 days) and only during the operating hours of the bus tour you’ve chosen. Most companies offer a few different routes and you can buy a ticket for one route, two routes or however many they sell as a combined ticket. 


Before buying a Ho/Ho tour ticket, you should note that many of these companies’ yours are included in the various tourist passes. Our post  Which is the Best Berlin Tourist Pass? can help you decide if getting a pass is the right thing for you. 


BERLIN CITY SIGHTSEEING TOUR City Sightseeing Bus

This very popular double-decker hop-on-hop-off bus tour company offers several tour routes you can build into a package. Several extra features make these tours an excellent choice.

They have 4 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor and Get Your Guide (read some of the reviews) with over 700 reviews. Many of the reviews mention that these tours are a good value for your money, given the amount of territory you cover, especially if you buy a 2-day ticket with several routes.

The biggest complaints are the inconsistency of the live guides. Some live guides are described in reviews as “excellent” and “informative.”  One guide was described as “personal, knowledgeable, kind, considerate and super smart!” Other reviewers describe some live guides as “rude” “moody” “grouchy” “unengaging” and even “reading a script from an iPad.”  

It’s clearly luck of the draw when you take a tour with a live guide. As for the pre-recorded commentary, most people found it informative but average. On the plus side, this company offers the pre-recorded commentary in 9 languages.

Tour features: CitySightseeing Green Bus

Live guides speaking English and German on most tours   

This company provides a live guide who delivers commentary in English and German. For a live guide, look for the green/beige buses.

CitySightseeing Red busPre-recorded commentary in several languages on most tours   

You’ll get a set of headphones at the start of the tour so you can listen in English, German, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Polish, and Chinese. For these tours, be sure to get on the red buses.

Two free walking tours offered on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays (from April to October)  

If you take tours on the above days, you have the choice to get off the bus and take free, one-hour walking tours. One tour is about the Third Reich and the other is about the Berlin Wall.  (Check out our self-guided tour of Nazi Berlin and also our posts about where to visit the Berlin Wall.)


Tours offered:

Classic Tour – Route A

As its name suggests, this tour covers Berlin’s iconic attractions such as the Brandenburg Gate,
Checkpoint Charlie, the Berliner Dom and passes through several neighborhoods including Mitte, the center of Berlin.

Click on the map to enlarge.

City-Sightseeing Berlin Route Map

 

The route takes 13 stops. Here’s a google map of the bus route with the stops and the many attractions located around the bus stops.  

Duration: If you do not hop off, the tour is 2 hours long. 

Hours of operation: The first tour departs at 9:10 am and runs every 10 minutes until – 4:30 pm.


Wall and Lifestyle Tour – Route B

This route makes 11 stops including the Berlin Wall Memorial, the East Side Gallery section of the Berlin Wall and a stop in the trendy and pretty Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood with lots of charming cafes and galleries. (And one of the most famous currywurst stands in Berlin!).  

 

City-Sightseeing Berlin Route Map Route B

 

Here’s a google map of the bus route with the stops and the many attractions located around the bus stops.

Duration: If you do not hop off the tour is 2 hours long. 

Hours of operation: The first tour departs at 10:00 am and runs every 30 minutes until 4:000 pm.

Ticket prices: 

For either of the above tours, you can buy tickets on the bus but if you purchase your tickets online you will save money. 

  • 1 Day Ticket – €22 – Adults | €20 – Seniors/Students/Military | €11 – Child
  • 2 Day Ticket – €26 – for all age groups from 6 and up.
  • Children under 6 years of age are free of charge
  • Click here to purchase tickets.  

WelcomeCard and CityTourCard holders and guests of special partners (proof required)  14 €  (13 € online)

 


TEMPLEHOFER BUS TOURS Templehofer Bus Tours

You’ll see this company’s all-white double-decker buses circling Berlin all day long, with live guides providing entertaining commentary to the riders. They cover one route that can be taken as a hop-on-hop-off tour with a ticket that lasts for one day or as a stay-on tour, in which case the whole route takes around 2 hours.

NOTE: A 24-hour ticket with this bus is included for free with a purchase of the Berlin Pass.  

What makes this tour stand out among so many is that they have a live tour guide on board that gives commentary in German and English throughout the ride. Often, live guides can make a tour much better than one with a recorded commentary, though it depends on your guide.

On TripAdvisor, this tour is rated at 3 out of 5 stars but with only 91 reviews. One TripAdvisor recent reviewer wrote: “The tour guide… was not only informative but added so much to the tours that we were glad we got the “live” tour than one with just headphones.”  

Whereas another guest wrote “No headphones, you have to listen to a guide trying to rush information out in two languages…Pick a hop on hop off bus with a computer guide.”

A great added bonus is that Templehofer partners with some of Berlin’s most popular attractions including Madame Tussauds Berlin or the AquaDom & SEA LIFE Berlin, Berlin Dungeon and LEGOLAND® Discovery Centre.

Hours of operation:  

Tours start every day at 09:30 from all stops. End time is based on season-  From 01 November to 31 March, buses run until 17:00, every 20-30 minutes (every 15-20 minutes on Saturdays). Start your tour no later than 14:30 to make sure you have time to enjoy the full length of the tour. On 24 December, buses stop traveling at 15:00 so you must begin the tour by 12:30 in order to be able to see everything.

Ticket Prices: 

(Payment can be made in Euros, Dollars, and Pounds).  Bookings are handled through Get Your Guide. These are the prices when you book online, as of June 2016:

 


CITY CIRCLE SIGHTSEEING

BBS City Circle Sightseeing Bus

These yellow double-decker buses are operated by several different companies including BBS Berlin, BVB (Bus Verkehr Berlin), Grayline, BEX Sightseeing, Berolina).  

Given the poor ratings on TripAdvisor (over 320 reviews and only 2 ½ stars), it seems wise to steer clear of these yellow buses.

Over 33% of guests who left reviews on TripAdvisor said the tour was “Average” “Poor” or “Terrible”. With reviews like “Not That Bad” and “Worst bus tour we’ve experienced” check out your other options first.

Tour Features: 

Their Berlin Basics route covers the standard tourist sites with 18 stops. They advertise that buses leave every 10-15 minutes, which is a fairly short interval between buses.

None of their tours have live guides, however, their pre-recorded audio comes in 19 languages.  This is a big plus if one of those 19 languages is your native tongue. Be warned that some of the biggest complaints in reviews are over the poor quality of the audio system.

This company’s tours might be worth it if you are a family with young children since you can purchase a 2-day family ticket for € 56 total and covers two adults and three children (14 years and under). In this case, you would be paying about €11 per person for two days of hopping on and off. The little ones might also appreciate that the buses offer a children’s audio channel in German and English. However, 50% of families who reviewed the tour on TripAdvisor rated this company as “terrible”.

Ticket Prices (as of June 2016):

  • Adult (15 years and up) 1 Day ticket € 20 / 2-day ticket € 24
  • Children 7–14 years 1-day ticket € 10 / 2-day ticket € 14
  • Children 0–6 years free
  • Family ticket 1-day ticket € 48 / 2-day ticket € 56

Special seasonal tours

Every October, you can take their Berlin Lights Night Bus Tour to see the city’s monuments and sights lit up spectacularly during the annual Festival of Lights. Tickets cost 14 € Adults, 7 € Children 7-14 years.

From late November until late December they offer a Christmas Holiday Lights Night Bus tour that takes you to see the Christmas lights on the famous Kurfürstendamm boulevard. There are stops at Christmas markets to shop for handmade crafts, including the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church Christmas Market where you will enjoy a complimentary glass of mulled wine. Tickets cost 14 € Adults,  7 € Children 7-14 years.

 


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Pros and cons of taking a hop-on, hop-off bus tour

Pros: 

Save travel time in between sights    

Berlin is a huge city and its many attractions are spread out in different neighborhoods. While it is easy to use public transportation in Berlin (see our post Tips on public transportation in Berlin), traveling to multiple locations in one day to see the most popular sights will cut into your time.

This is probably the biggest advantage of taking a bus tour. Rather than getting on and off public transportation all day long and having to pay attention to make sure you are in the right train or bus and getting off at the correct station, a Ho/Ho simplifies this process.

You buy one ticket, let the driver do his or her job and take you directly to the main attractions where you can hop off and explore more, or sit back and continue the ride.

Create your own itinerary 

The various Berlin bus tour companies offer basically the same Ho/Ho routes covering the historic city center, the Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie, Potsdamer Platz, the Reichstag and its dome, and more.

Taking a Ho/Ho tour is like giving yourself an unlimited bus pass to the attractions in Berlin. You have the freedom to create your own itinerary in advance or be spontaneous. Hop off the bus and stay as long as you like at one sight and breeze past the sights that don’t interest you by staying on the bus.

Orient yourself to Berlin  

Another advantage of taking a Ho/Ho is that you get a great overview of the city and can orient yourself.  If you are visiting for several days, taking a Ho/Ho on your first day of travel gives you a feel for what’s out there. Then you can decide where you would like to go back to and explore in depth.

Discounts to other attractions 

Some bus companies have partner affiliations that will get you discounts at major attractions, like Madame Tussauds Berlin or Legoland. All you need to do is show your bus ticket at the attraction to receive the discount.

Connecting with free walking tours 

A few Ho/Ho companies offer walking tours that work in tandem with their bus route. At certain stops at specific times, you can meet up with one of their walking tours. You just need to show your valid bus ticket to join.  You can also coordinate your bus tour hop-off choices to correspond with one of our free walking tour starting points.

Our walking tours are twice as long as those included in your Ho/Ho ticket and are also free so why not check out all our offerings? Click here for our full list of pay-what-you-wish Berlin Walking Tours.

Cons:

Mediocre live guides or no live guide at all 

Not all Ho/Hos have a live guide on the bus with you to narrate your trip. Unless you speak English or German, you will be likely receiving commentary about the sights via headphones listening to pre-recorded commentary in your language.

The commentary is fine, but it’s not the same as a live, spontaneous and, hopefully, enthusiastic guide on your bus. And live guides can be a hit or miss – some may be amazing and others can spoil an otherwise nice bus ride!

Traffic

Street conditions are not controllable, and it’s possible that rather than saving time, your day might be slowed down depending on traffic.

Sights are touristy

This is perfect for a traveler who wants an overview of the most well-known Berlin attractions. But if you prefer seeing sights that are off the beaten track and don’t plan on taking advantage of the discounts to other tourist attractions, a hop-on-hop-off tour may not be for you.

 


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‘Almost’ Free, Self-Guided Hop-On-Hop-Off Bus Tour of Berlin

Berlin Bus 100

For those travelers on a tight budget, Berlin’s public bus Routes 100 and 200 are a dream come true.  Both bus routes stop in front of (or within easy walking distance to) many popular sights in central Berlin

If you don’t mind forgoing live or recorded tourist commentary, you can save big and see lots with this resourceful self-made hop-on-hop-off bus tour.  All you need is a regularly priced bus ticket.

A single ticket for zones A&B costs €2.70 and is good for 2 hours from the time you purchased it. However, these single tickets allow you to travel only one-way.

This means that, even if your trip lasts less than 2 hours, you will need to buy another single ticket to go back in the other direction, if you need to (unless you have a daily/weekly travel pass).

Since you are probably spending all day sightseeing, it might be worth getting a day-ticket for €9.00 (AB). See our post Tips on Public Transportation in Berlin to find out about fare options available.

Click here for an interactive map.

Berlin Free Bus Tour 100 and 200

 

Both the 100 and 200 bus depart from the Zoologischer Garten station approximately every 10 minutes (though you could also start this tour from Alexander Platz and do the tour in reverse order).

Both buses follow the same route at first, passing by Breitscheidsplatz where what’s left of the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche (Memorial Church), which serves as a reminder of the destruction caused by World War II.

Shortly thereafter, the buses part ways and continue along different routes. Bus 100 goes through Tiergarten park, while Bus 200 travels along the southern edge of the park and then past the Kulturforum and Potsdamer Platz.

Berlin Bus 200

At the intersection of Unter den Linden and Glinkastraße, Bus 200 converges with Bus 100 and travels along the same route. They both travel past many of the places you are sure to want to see such as Museum Island and the Berliner Dom (Cathedral).  

The 100 bus terminates at Alexanderplatz. The entire journey takes approximately 30 minutes if you don’t get off.

Bus 200 has a stop at Alexanderplatz but does not terminate there. The 200 continues another 15 minutes into the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood and what used to be communist East Berlin and then terminates at Michael Angelostraße. 

There’s plenty to do see in East Berlin and exploring by foot is the best way to do it. Join one of our pay-what-you-wish walking tours or use our Self-guided tour of East Berlin.

 

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Written by Courtney Shapiro

Berlin bunker tours

Berliner Unterwelten – Berlin Bunker Tours

Posted by & filed under Berlin.

This post is about Berlin’s underground bunkers, air raid shelters built by the Nazi government during World War Two, and how you can tour them. Be sure to check out our list of Berlin walking tours.

 

 


OVERVIEW

Like every city, Berlin has a hidden life under the surface. The sewage system, gas, water electricity, the subway, pneumatic tubes – and in the case of Berlin the air raid shelters and bunkers from World War II. Visitors to Berlin can take a bunker tour to discover this hidden network of tunnels and shelters underground.  

Tours are offered by the organization “Berliner Unterwelten e.V.” about 350 members of diverse professional background who do research, explore the underworld and make them accessible to the public by giving tours in various languages, offering an exhibit and publications. Their focus is on World War II and the Berlin Wall. Even though the Berlin Wall is far from being subterranean architecture, escape tunnels  – more than 70 – played an important role in people’s way into freedom.

Not all bunkers are accessible anymore, for example, Hitler’s bunker has been excavated and filled in and is located underneath what is today a parking lot. If you decide to go there, a bilingual information board helps to understand when, why, and how the bunker was built. The board was installed by “Berliner Unterwelten  – Berlin Underworlds”.

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Berlin Audio Tours (GPS-enabled)

Posted by & filed under Berlin.

We are proud to be planning to offer our newest, affordable sightseeing option – AUDIO TOURS.  Can’t make one of our guided tours? No problem, we have recorded some of our best tour guides giving their tours and put them on a GPS enabled app.  Launch date is for Mid-June.

In the meantime, we recommend this high-quality and free Berlin overview audio tour from Rick Steves, which you could download to a podcast player, such as iTunes or you could download his free app. 

 

 

 

Berlin panorama bershutterstock_113558032

Tickets and Tips for the Berlin TV Tower

Posted by & filed under Berlin.

This post covers the Berlin TV Tower (Fehrnsehturm), the city’s 203 meters (667′) observation deck, including tips on tickets, discounts, and planning your visit. Or you can just order skip-the-queue tickets here.  

 

 


PLAN YOUR TRIP

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Where to Store Luggage in Berlin

Posted by & filed under Berlin.

In this post, we offer several different options for storing luggage during your visit to Berlin, including lockers, left luggage facilities at train stations and airports, and the recent trend, which is Airbnb-style storage locations that allow you to safely leave your bags at certified shops, restaurants, and hotels.

 


LUGGAGE STORAGE (THE AIRBNB METHOD)

Rather than store your luggage at a storage center or left luggage facility, you can now drop off your bags at a wide range of shops and restaurants around the city! Nannybag, BagBnB, and Stasher below employ a system similar to Airbnb in which you pay a fee to leave your bags at certified locations throughout the city.

All the companies listed below operate in basically the same way. You search for a location via the company’s app or website and then make a reservation. Here is a video of just one of these companies explaining how this method works: 

 

 

The rates are generally by the day, not by the hour. So whether you leave your bags for 2 hours or 15 hours, it is the same rate. (The rates, fortunately, are inexpensive!) Payment is made via their app or website. Cash is not accepted.

Insurance is included in the price, though amounts will vary. When you drop off your bags, they will be secured by some method, either a zip tie with a unique number, a security seal, or some other method.

Where these companies vary are their rates, how much insurance is included, and how many locations they have. For example, the first company below, Nannybag, charges €6 per bag for the first 24 hours. The insurance coverage is very generous and they have dozens of convenient locations.

Stasher also charges €6, though insurance is lower than Nannybag and they have fewer locations. One nice feature is that their website makes finding a location easy. You can even use a “filter” option to find locations that meet certain criteria.

BagBnB charges the lowest amount at €5 per bag, but insurance is very low and they currently have the fewest locations in Berlin, but it appears that they are growing rapidly.

 


Nannybag 

Nannybag can be found all over Europe and has dozens of convenient locations throughout Berlin. They have arranged with local hotels and shops to store your luggage. Your luggage will be held in a secure location and each bag is covered by a generous insurance of  €1500 per bag.

Their prices are quite good – €6 per bag for the first 24 hours; €4 per bag for each additional day.  

Use our promo code FREETOURSBYFOOT for a 10% discount.

Reservations and payments are made through their website and there is no fee for canceling as long as your reservation time has not started. If you have any issues, you can reach their customer service from 9 am to 7 pm (9:00-19:00).

Nannybag has some great features:

  • No size/shape or weight limitation of your baggage
  • Some locations offer free wifi and use of restrooms
  • Book at the last minute, even 5 minutes before you need storage
  • Locations are reviewed by users to help you decide which location you feel comfortable to use

Two things to note: While it is easy to find their locations on their map, you won’t receive the exact name, address and contact of the shop/hotel until you have booked. Also, not all locations are accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Be sure to check the times you can drop off and pick up your bags.

Click here to learn more and make a reservation. Use our promo code FREETOURSBYFOOT for a 10% discount.

 


Stasher  (formerly CityStasher) 

Stasher is a very reputable storage service that is easy to use and is priced quite reasonably. They charge a flat rate of €6 per bag for the first 24 hours. Note that you pay €6 whether you store your bags for a few hours or a full 24 hours. Additional days are €5 per bag. Insurance up to €845 per bag is included in the price. Also, Stasher guarantees that the cost per bag is always less than baggage left at a station.

To use their service, go to their website where you can search by a specific location, such as ‘Alexanderplatz’ or a more general area like ‘central Berlin’. Your search will show both a map of the locations along with the name and hours of the Stashpoints in that area. This is very useful because you can see which Stashpoint is in the most convenient location and open when you need it to be. You can also use the “filter” to find Stashpoints that are open 24/7 or that meet other criteria.

Once you have chosen a Stashpoint, make your reservation. When you go to drop off your luggage, just show the host at the Stashpoint your reservation email and photo ID. You will then get a unique-numbered security tag that seals the zippers of your bag. When you return to get your luggage, just show your security tag, collect your bags and go!

Click here for more information and to make a reservation.

 


BagBnB 

This company is unique in that storage locations a more varied than just shops. Their storage locations (they call them ‘Angels’) may be a restaurant/bar/cafe, a hotel, a bike rental shop, a laundromat, and more. Why not have a coffee when you drop off your bags? Or do the wash when you come to collect them? While this is a useful feature of BagBnB, it does mean that the open hours of their locations will vary. If it is a hotel, then you will have 24 access to drop off/pick up your bags. If it is a shop, the hours may be more limited.

The cost is €5 per bag for 24 hours, even if you only need to store your bags for a few hours. Rates are calculated from 00.00 to 23.59. Pick-ups after midnight will be charged an extra day, so keep track of time! Reservations are non-refundable or cancellable. The price includes insurance with coverage up to €200 for each bag, which is not as high as other companies. But, hey, it’s more insurance than a storage locker.

Its website is quite easy to use. Go to the site, see the locations of ‘Angels’ around the city and choose one. Be aware that you won’t receive the exact name, address, and contact at the Angel location until you have booked. However, you won’t be totally in the dark when choosing your Angel. Each Angel listed has a description of what kind of business it is (i.e. a laundromat, a bar, a shop) and also includes a picture of the interior. Also, customers can leave reviews which can help you decide which ‘Angel’ is right for you. 

Click here to make your reservations.

 


TIP:  The above companies have storage locations very near to the starting point of some of our most popular tours. We’ve had many guests take one of our two-hour pay-what-you-like tours during a stopover in Berlin, just a few hours before their flight. Rather than drag a suitcase around the city, we suggest that you opt for one of these conveniently located storage facilities listed above. You can easily find a short-term storage location within a couple minutes’ walk from these tours of ours:

 


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STORAGE AT AIRPORTS

Tegel Airport

  • Where: Terminal A (ground floor) service center
  • Hours: Every day from 5 am-10:30 pm (22:30)
  • Price: €7.20 per item, per calendar day for bags no larger than 90x60x30 cm. Larger bags cost €9.90
  • The length of time items can be kept in storage is unlimited

Schönefeld Airport: As of 2018, there is no luggage storage due to construction. Check their website periodically to see when this changes.

TIP: Check out our post Cheap and easy ways of getting to and from the Berlin airports.

 


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BUS AND TRAIN STATIONS

Central Bus Station ZOB

Open daily from 12:00 am until 12:00 pm. There are 20 small lockers, 54 large lockers, and 6 oversized lockers. Depending on the size of the locker, the cost is between €2 to €5 per day.The area is under video surveillance.

Central Train Station – Hauptbahnhof

Open 24 hours a day, every day. Located in the car park outside the main building in area C on the1st, 2nd and 3rd floor. Depending on the size, the lockers cost between €4 and €6 a day. The maximum storage period is 72 hours.If you prefer a Left Luggage Office, there is one open daily, 6:00 am -10 pm (22:00). The cost is €5 per item.

Other Stations with locker storage: Alexanderplatz, Ostbahnhof, Friedrichstraße, Potsdamer Platz, Zoologischer Garten.

 TIP:  You may find our post How to navigate Berlin with Public Transport helpful.

 


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Berlin Walking Tours

Berlin Pass vs Welcome Card vs City Tour Card?

Posted by & filed under Berlin.

This post compares the various tourist discount attraction passes available to you in Berlin, updated for 2018.  Berlin visitors have a choice of several city passes to help them navigate the city by public transport and offer discounts for museums, sights, attractions and bars, restaurants or clubs.  (auf Deutsch) (en Español)

 

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Altervative christmas berlin

Things to do in December in Berlin

Posted by & filed under Berlin.

December is a great time to visit Berlin. Even though the days are getting shorter and you need to bundle up, there are still plenty of things to do and many sights to see. Early December can offer great deals on hotels or show/theatre tickets. December is also the month when you can indulge in the Holiday spirit of mulled wine, Christmas markets, lit-up trees and many more things this city has to offer. We compiled our things to do during the month of December; with a focus on Christmas events as well as inside activities to keep your toes warm.

 

Christmas Activities
Indoor things to do
December Events and exhibits

 


CHRISTMAS ACTIVITIES
 

Christmas markets in Berlin

A visit to the Christmas market is a family-friendly and technically free thing to do in December. Berlin probably has more than a 100 big and small Christmas or winter markets of different types all over the city offering mulled wine, winter food like creamed mushrooms or kale and sausage stews. Depending on where you are staying, you’ll have the choice of which Christmas market in Berlin you might want to visit. If you are into exquisite sweets and craftsmanship, the beautiful market at Gendarmenmarkt might be your cup of tea. If you like action and enjoy roller coaster rides, the Christmas market near the Alexa shopping center near Alexanderplatz would be a great choice, just to name a few. You might even like to take a Christmas Markets walking tour (GetYourGuide).


Christmas Circus (December 16-February)

If you’ve ever been to a circus as a child, you can imagine the amazed eyes of the little and big guests, when the circus has a Christmas focus. Horses, artistic stunts and entertainment for the whole family during the holiday season. At Tempodrom near Anhalter Bahnhof. Tickets start at 28 euros.


Christmas Garden at the Botanical Garden

For a magical walk through a holiday lights-lit garden, check out the Christmas Garden at the Botanical Garden. Located at Königin Louise Str 6-8, near S-train stop Botanischer Garten (S1) or U-train station Breitenbachplatz (U2,U3). Open 4pm-10pm. Tickets start at 17 euros and are available online.


Christmas brunch and boat tour

Celebrate the advents season with a lovely brunch on a boat while exploring the waterways of Berlin. Tickets are still available for December 3 and 17. Boats depart at the Treptow Harbor, Pushkinstrasse 15.


Go ice-skating

There are several ice skating rinks all over the city, with the most popular ones at the Neptunbrunnen (near Alexanderplatz) and Potsdamer Platz. Ice skates can be rented for 2.50 euros.


Rent a slide

Go sliding in the snow. Once the snows sticks around, find the nearest park with a nice hill. Volkspark Friedrichshain, Victoria Park and Teufelsberg are popular locations to take a slide ride. You can even rent a slide at several locations in Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, and Kreuzberg.

 


INDOOR ACTIVITIES
 

Enjoy some oriental tea

Make yourself comfortable on your pillow with some spiced tea and listen to the stories and fairy tales at the Tajik Teehouse (Oranienburger Str. 27, 10117 Berlin – Mitte) weekdays 4-11pm, weekends 12-11pm, fairy tales (in German) on Mondays 7:30 pm, 9 euros during story time, otherwise free entry.


Turkish Bath

Pamper yourself at the Turkish Bath and Spa at Sultan Haman. There is nothing better than to enjoy a warm bath, sauna, a massage or peeling during the colder months. Located at Bülowstraße 56-57, 10783 Berlin. Opening hours mostly addressed to women; men’s day on Monday afternoons.


Movies at Cinestar Potsdamer Platz

This movie theatre in Berlin offers movies in English, so for the native-English speakers among you, this is your best chance of finding a movie in your mother tongue. Just look for the movies that are marked with OV (original version).


Take a local brewery tour

Why not take a Brewery tour of Berlin’s local brew. English language brewery tour reservations can be made via email only please: f.schroeder@radeberger-gruppe.de. The fee is 7 euros, Mon-Thu, 2 pm and 5:30 pm, Indira-Gandhi-Str. 66-69, 13053 Berlin.


Visit the Dussmann bookstore

If you are looking for a good read or just want to browse and warm up, the Dussmann bookstore offers a wide range of literature, books, CDs, and more over 3 levels. Bookworms will have a blast, and the best of all is, this store is open late (until midnight on weekdays, and 23:30 pm on Saturdays). A cozy coffee shop/ restaurant is attached. The store is located near S-train station Friedrichstrasse.


Take a Dance lesson

Dance classes and music concerts at Clärchen’s Ballroom. Location is at Auguststrasse 24, near Oranienburger Strasse.

 


DECEMBER EVENTS AND EXHIBITS
 

Art of Banksy Exhibit (until Dec.30th)

If you are into street art, the name Banksy is no mystery to you. This anonymous British street artist who is known for his satire work that’s critical of politics and social norms has spread his work all over the city and the world. His work is not for sale, but you can visit the exhibition until the end of the year at the Felix/Adlon, Behrenstrasse 72, near Brandenburg Gate. 13 Euros. You can purchase your tickets, here. You might also be interested in our self-guided Berlin Graffiti and Street Art tour.


Harlem Gospel Choir

What better and more spiritual way than to welcome the Christmas season by rhythmically snapping your fingers, hum along with a song, clap your hands and enjoying a wonderful Gospel performance of the Harlem Gospel Choir. Performances take place Fridays and Saturdays at the Apostel Paulus Church near U-train station Eisenacher Str. (U7 train). Tickets are available for purchase here.


“Swing in den Advent” mit Brass Band Berlin

Another catchy music performance during Advent season is the Swing into the Advent Brassband concert at the Philharmonie concert hall, near Potsdamer Platz. They only perform one day, on December 2nd. Some tickets are still available.


Baroch Christmas Gala

For more classical music fans of Vivaldi and Bach, the beautiful French Dome on Gendarmenmarkt host the Baroch Christmas Gala concert. December 2 and 16. Tickets are 40 euros and up.

Visiting the DDR Museum in Berlin

Posted by & filed under Berlin.

This guide will help you make the most of your visit, including how to get to the DDR Museum, ticket prices and how long to spend at the museum. The DDR Museum in Berlin is one of the most recommended museums to explore. If you’re from the States, you might be confused. No, it’s not about Dance Dance Revolution! The Deutsche Demokratische Republik (DDR) is the German version of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) or rather, East Germany.  Purchase skip the line tickets here.

TIP: The DDR Museum is included either for free or at a discount with both the Berlin Welcome Card and the City Tour Card.

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