Spring: Although the sun can be traditionally slow to arrive and temperatures are still quite mild, it’s a beautiful time to visit.
Summer: Expect clear days and warm temperatures that can reach around 25°C - it’s still comfortable enough to walk about though.
Autumn: Be prepared for all kinds of weather from bright sunshine to heavy downpours - don’t forget the umbrella!
Winter: As winds blow in from Russia it can get pretty chilly between December and February with snow quite likely.
Image: Clouds over Berlin by Till Westermayer on Flickr
Offering illustrious museums, glorious architecture and some of the most famous historical sites in the world, Berlin has a variety of things to do for every type of visitor. From lively clubs to an evening at the theatre, the nightlife in Berlin is equally diverse; and for anyone wanting to escape the city for a day, there are a range of excellent options.
The Brandenburg Gate: The most iconic and famous landmark in Berlin, which has come to symbolise peace and a unified Germany.
Checkpoint Charlie: Find replicas of the point where East and West Berlin meet. Checkpoint Charlie is the symbol of divided Germany.
The Berlin Wall: Discover the remains of one of the world’s most famous structures, much of which has been knocked down over the years.
The DDR Museum: An interactive museum that is one of the most-visited in the city, focusing on life during the German Democratic Republic.
Museum Island: The north part of an island located in the middle of the River Spree that is home to many of Berlin’s finest museums.
Holocaust Memorial: A series of stone slabs that acts as a memorial to the Jewish victims of the Holocaust.
The Reichstag: A building built to house the parliament of the German Empire with a modern glass dome offering panoramic views of the city.
Potsdamer Platz: The modern heart of Berlin with various metal and glass buildings and an important public square in the centre of the city.
Olympic Stadium: A Colosseum-like structure that underwent a modern transformation for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Now the home of football team Hertha BSC.
With a varied night scene like no other, there really is something for everyone in Berlin. With a reputation as one of the coolest cities in the world, you’ll find everything from funky beach bars to traditional German pubs. Anyone looking to hit the clubs will be able to choose from rock, techno and alternative establishments that stay open long into the night, or for something a little more civilised, the theatre industry in Berlin is one of the city’s most famous attractions.
Mitte District: The place to be in the city with top venues such as the King Kong Club
Kreuzberg: An edgy area of the city that is fast becoming a happening district
Prenzlauer Berg: A hip and lively area, home to the famous hip-hop venue H2O
Friedrichshain: Find a wide range of super-cool clubs and chilled-out venues
Schoneberg: Boasts a selection of trendy bars and cafes
Watergate: The most spectacular club in the city with top DJ’s and excellent light displays
Day Trips from Berlin:
Berlin is a city jam-packed with things to see and do, but anyone wanting to leave the city behind for a day is able to choose from a range of day
Peacock Island: Away from the hustle and bustle of the city, Peacock Island is an idyllic nature reserve that lies on the Havel River with bags of character. Look out for the magnificent peacocks that roam the island.
Travel Time: 30 minutes
Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp: This former German Concentration Camp is now a national memorial and provides an insight into what life was like for thousands of political prisoners during the Third Reich.
Travel Time: 30 minutes
Wandlitz: Just a short train ride away from Berlin, this quaint little town is quintessentially German, with various churches, glorious lakes and fascinating museums including the Steam Railway Museum.
Travel Time: 20 minutes
Potsdam: Situated on the River Havel, this charming city is made up of a series of interconnected lakes and cultural landmarks. Check out the Sanssouci Palace and the pretty cobbled streets of the Dutch Quarter in the Old Town.
Travel Time: 45 minutes
Images: Brandenburg Gate by Ross Huggett on Flickr / Holocaust Memorial by Heather Cowper on Flickr / Peacock Island by Steffen Zahn on Flickr / Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp by Flickr user Pablasso / Wandlitz by Onnola on Flickr / Potsdam, by Flickr user Mitch Altman.
With all your favourite designer labels, huge shopping malls and a range of flea and antique markets, Berlin has everything you need for a spot of retail therapy. Take a break from sightseeing for a day and update your wardrobe or get some excellent presents for loved ones back home - just leave some space in your suitcase!
- Friedrichstrasse: Boasts first class shopping facilities and high-end designer wear in an art deco environment.
- Kurfürstendamm: Popular with the younger generation with famous international labels such as Zara and H&M.
- Savignyplatz: Find unusual jewellery and accessories in this quiet side-street shopping experience.
- KaDeWe: Find fashion, cosmetics, jewellery and much more at this famous shopping centre.
- Europacenter: Features over 100 shops, a cinema complex and numerous restaurants.
- ALEXA: Choose from over 180 shops on five levels of fashion, electronics and beauty.
- Kunstmarkt: Find a large selection of antiques, modern handicrafts and art.
- Winterfeldtmarkt: Try tasty food and browse arts and crafts on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Image: ALEXA Shopping Centre by Daniel Neugebauer on Flickr
With a mix of delicious flavours from the traditional to more modern cuisine, Germany is a country that boasts a range of culinary delights. No visit to the country is complete without sampling the famous currywurst - curried sausage with a spicy ketchup sauce; or the dumpling - filled with various tasty fillings. Tuck into some of the 300 varieties of bread the country has to offer before washing it all down with a pint or two of the world-renowned German beer.
Popular Berlin Hotspots:
Oranienburger Strasse - A trendy area with rows of restaurants serving top food at reasonable prices
Mitte - Berlin’s lively touristy area with an array of restaurants, bars, cafes and shopping facilities
Friedrichshain - A young and hip area of the city that offers a real ‘Berlin experience’
Prenzlauer Berg - Find both traditional German food and more modern alternatives
Image: Currywurst by Jerry Michalski on Flickr
Although their tone may not always suggest it, Berliners are incredibly warm and hospitable. The culture in Germany is quite similar to that in Great Britain, but getting to know some of the local words and phrases before visiting is sure to be appreciated.
Guten Tag - Hello
BVG - The public transport system in the city
Autobahn - The motorway system with no official speed limit
Dos and Don’ts
DO say Prost! (cheers!) before having a drink - and look your drinking partner in the eye when saying it.
DO carry enough cash around with you as many restaurants in Germany don’t take credit cards.
DON’T walk in the red-marked bike lane if you want to avoid been shouted at by angry cyclists.
DON’T jaywalk as you may get a nasty fine.
DON’T drink too much. German beer can be strong, but being drunk in public is frowned upon.
Tipping etiquette in Berlin is very similar to Great Britain. A service charge may be included in the bill but if not then around 10% is normal. Taxi drivers don't expect tips; however it’s always welcome to tip them for good service.
Image: Beer in Berlin by Jon Gos on Flickr
Although it’s perfectly comfortable to walk around the city, the public transport system in Berlin is extremely popular and efficient. Whether you want to hop aboard a bus, experience the underground or travel by tram, getting around the city couldn’t be easier. Or for a safe and easy way of exploring Berlin, cycling is highly recommended.
- The public transport system in Berlin is known as the BVG and only requires one ticket to use the bus, tram and underground system.
- Tickets and travel cards are available for two zones (AB) or three zones (ABC). Although there are no ticket barriers, make sure you buy a ticket before boarding as spot-checking is frequent.
- Taxis: Numerous taxis are available from main stations and airports or you can hail one from the street. Most drivers speak English and fares will usually start at €3 if using a meter.
Image: Berlin U-Bahn by Michael Day on Flickr
Berlin Bloggers: Top Tips
Lizzy McGrath - Bang Bang Berlin
"If you want a taste of local Nightlife then of course you have all the major clubs that are famous for their Tech-House music programs and long opening hours, such as Watergate, Weekend or Panorama Bar. But if you fancy something more cosy and intimate, and want to really get up close with some Berlin locals, then head to Kingsize Bar. The name of this bar is an in-joke; it's actually really tiny and far from Kingsize. However what it lacks in square meters it makes up for in personality - Kingsize is cool, no question about it. Run by Conny Opper (who also runs Berlin Festival and Flamingo) and Boris from Grill Royal, it is a serious hipster hotspot. DJs such as Paul Mogg, Turntablerocker, Hugo Capablanca and occasionally BANG BANG BERLIN's own Lizzy McGrath play here to a crowd who party hard on the dancefloor all night long - often until gone 7am. Well worth a visit, just don't moan if someone in the throng spills their drink on you, it's part of the experience. For more on Berlin's Bar+ Club scene click here:
Paul Sullivan - Slow Travel Berlin
"What else would the founder of a slow travel website say, except: "don't rush". Seriously though - don't. Just like the Slow Food movement encourages people to slow the experience of eating down to enjoy it more, Slow Travel does the same for tourism. Berlin is a city full of historical and off-the-beaten-path riches, most of which are discovered by patient and open-minded exploration, rather than steaming through a pre-ordained itinerary. The city is big, but public transport is cheap and good, and if you enjoy cycling, don't hesitate to rent a bike and make use of the excellent cycle path network around the city. While the majority of tourism in Berlin centres around Mitte (Unter den Linden, the Museum Island and the Reichstag - all worthy sights), local life is played out in other thriving neighbourhoods like Kreuzberg, Prenlauerberg, Neukoelln, Friedrichshain and, increasingly, Wedding. There are all kinds of lesser known but highly memorable sights scattered throughout these areas, from the amazing Tempelhof Park (a former Nazi airport) where you can cycle or kits-surf along the former runway; WW2 bunkers like the one at Gesdunbrunnen (open for tours daily); quirky museums like the Museum der Dinge; the medieval village of Rixdorf, slap-bang in the middle of Neukoelln's buzzy art and bar scene."
“We'd fully recommend visiting the Kunsthaus for a thought-provoking slice of Berlin's awesome artistic side"
If you're looking to take a weekend break in the German capital, take a look at our latest deals on Berlin hotels.