5 hours in Berlin, what to do or see?

Old Jun 1st, 2013, 10:55 AM
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5 hours in Berlin, what to do or see?

My husband, 7 year-old twins and I are taking a night train from Paris to Berlin, on our way to Poland, and we will have about 5 or 6 hours before taking the train to Poland. None of us have ever been in Berlin, and I am wondering what we can see or do in that time? Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!
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Old Jun 1st, 2013, 11:18 AM
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You might go to the Brandenburg Gate, walk around the Bundestag ,go up to see the famous Cupola
( this has to be arranged ahead of time) Spend some time with kids in the beautiful park. Tiergarten.
Another option is the boat tour on the river .
If the weather is not good, a bus tour of the city ????
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Old Jun 2nd, 2013, 02:05 AM
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danon gave you already good tips.

Why not check out the official tourist info site www.visitberlin.de to see if anything there catches your eye..

If you look for museums, the Pergamon should also be not boring for kids.
Also the Berlin Wall memorial park could be of interest.
Places that deal with the even darker part of Berlin's history, like Topography of Terror or the underground exhibition hall of the Holocaust memorial, may require your parental discretion if you think your kids are already ready for this.

Otherwise a boat tour thru central Berlin or the HoHo bus could be a solution to maximize your visual impressions during the short time you have there.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2013, 10:41 AM
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Thank you, danon and Cowboy 1968.

I like the idea of a river tour if the weather permits, or a walking tour as you suggest, danon, provided my kids aren't too tired.

Definitely, my kids are NOT ready to learn about the darker part of history. My daughter in particular is very sensitive and anxious, so we will keep that for a future visit!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2013, 11:02 AM
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A climb up the Bundestag is a must. Make sure to make a reservation at:

http://www.bundestag.de/htdocs_e/visits/kupp.html

You can then walk through the Brandenburg Gate, down the Unter Din Linden to the Pergamon museum. It would be jaw dropping for the kids. That would be a full 5 hours.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2013, 12:48 PM
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I like agedude's idea. If you're the CNL 455 from Paris, you'll be in Berlin around 8:30 AM. If you can get to the top of the Bundestag, that would be great, as long as you don't spend too much of your short time waiting in line. Then under the Brandenburg Gate and down Under Den Linden and, time permitting, the Pergamon. This could be done in reverse order (with or without the Pergamon Museum, depending on what time your reservation is.

Obviously, you might have to sneak breakfast in there, or a lunch before the train to Poland.
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Old Jun 3rd, 2013, 12:53 PM
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I do think a river tour might be a tad sedentary after spending 12 hours on a train (and another train ride looming).

If the weather is pleasant, you could also opt for Tiergarten and Berlin Zoo (great for 7-year olds). There are outdoor cafes in the park in the vicinity. I enjoyed the Cafe am Neuen See, in the Park between the Victory Tower (another possible destination) and the Zoo.

If you're looking for a vantage point like the Bundestag, there is also the aforementioned Victory Tower, as well as the TV tower at Alexanderplatz.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 08:16 AM
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I would definitely recommend a walk around Tiergarten. Here is a guidebook you can download: http://www.miniloft.com/en/berlin-guide.html

The walks on pages 24 and 28 include Hauptbahnhof (where your train will come in).

Hopefully the weather will be nice and you will get a chance to stretch your legs after all that time on the train.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 08:36 AM
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If it were me, I'd do the Bundestag and the Brandenburg Gate and have a curry wurst; if you have some extra time, walk up Under den Linden a bit and then go back to the train station. I think those are the highlights, but you do require a reservation for the Bundestag.

If you like museums, you could pick a museum on Museum Insel (about 2 or 3 U-Bahn stops from the train station). But some of these can be extremely crowded and time-consuming just to buy tickets and get in (the most popular are the Pergamon Museum and the Neueus Museum. But if you do this, you are unlikely to have time to do anything else, though you might have time to zip into the Berliner Dom.

If you want to take a trip on the Spree, the boats leave from the dock beside Museuminsel (across from the Radisson Blu). You can probably check the schedules online. But you will probably not have time to do anything else than the cruise.

There's also a TV tower you can go to the top of at Alexanderplatz. It's expensive and tourist but very popular. There are restaurants and cafes at AlexanderPlatz, or you could walk back down to the Berliner Dom for a quick look-see before heading back to the train.

For me, I think the Tiergarten is too spread out unless you just want to walk, and the zoo is great but takes too much time. With five hours you have to focus, and you've probably already seen zoos before. It's a great zoo in Berlin, though, if you do like zoos.

If the weather is nice, Berlin has a huge range of outdoor cafes and restaurants as well as great street food.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 09:02 AM
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I just noticed my mistake - it's called the Reichstag building, of course. Bundestag makes sense since that's the name of the parliament, but the building is the Reichstag. My bad.

Doug makes great points on all these locations. The area around the Museum Insel is a great place to hang out anyway, with several museums and the Dom (which is worth a peek), and is a nice walk from the Reichstag area. In this area you will find plenty to do and see indoors and out, depending on the weather.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 09:38 AM
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I seem to have quite readily fallen into the same trap. Yes, it's the Reichstag (the building) as opposed to the Budestag (the parliament). It's the difference between the Capitol and the Congress here. Though the web site where you book the reservation is called www.budestag.de.
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Old Jun 4th, 2013, 09:41 AM
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www.bundestag.de
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