Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Berlin activities -need help with organisation, please

Berlin activities -need help with organisation, please

Old Oct 7th, 2016, 11:11 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,392
Berlin activities -need help with organisation, please

Okay... dear Fodorites! Flights are in the bag as of this afternoon. Flying with Qatar ( any comments?) from Sydney to Berlin and will be arriving (with my two earlytwenties kids..daughter and son) at 12:15 Tegel airport 10 june 2017
I'm thinking it will be around 3 or 4pm Saturday before we are actually checked in to our hotel and ready for a short 'something'
(any suggestions regarding transport..happy to catch a cab...don't want to wrestle with all of our luggage using public transport)
we will be tired by 6 or 7pm probably (knowing my usual pattern of not sleeping much on the plane)

We are staying at the Adina Apartment Hotel Hackescher Markt An der Spandauer Bruechke 11 for five nights
I'm going to plan it a bit more thoroughly this time ...usually we have a loose plan of what we want to see but wed like to visit Potsdam (keen to have a walk in the forest- has anyone done this?) and maybe even go further afield if we can ( say Nuremburg?)

so for that first afternoon..what is the most sensible plan? Go to see the tv tower in alexander platz?
Go up to the Park Inn hotel viewing deck to get the view?

We enjoy walking and taking photos...just seeing the sights

I'm not sure that we will go to Museum Island...we just visited New York this year and saw the museums there...
(unless anyone here recommends anything in particular)
We will go to the Mauer Park Sunday markets the next day...anything else in that area that is worth a look?
The Jewish memorial is on our list, too as well as the Sandermans walking tour (meet Starbucks at Brandenburg Gate) at 11am or 2pm,,,(thanks for the tips toomuchloveliness!)
Bebelplatz and Gendarmenmarkt sound interesting,
just need suggestions as to how to plan the days out so we aren't backtracking too much

We are not beer drinkers but we will visit a beer hall just for a meal and atmosphere...anyone been to a particularly fabulous 'over -the- top -with -the -German -antics' one?
no nightclubbing this time either
Id appreciate any suggestions..any good eats?.no fine dining this time
lanejohann is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2016, 02:22 AM
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 22,769
Re: Qatar Airways – I was not happy. See my thread on that topic.

What to do in Berlin -- or anywhere else -- really depends on your interests.

IMO, there is never a reason so skip a museum simply because you’ve been to another museum. I would strongly encourage you to learn something about the collections you have a chance to see. As just one example, the opportunity to see the bust of Nefertiti is, alone, sufficient reason to go to Berlin, IMO. YMMV.

I think you would do well to consult some good guidebooks. Or, for that matter, even a bad one!
kja is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2016, 02:49 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,392
kja thanks
I have been checking out guidebooks and websites
I know what we basically want to see
I just need help in grouping the activities into days

with trepidation ill read your comments about Qatar....gulp
lanejohann is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2016, 06:16 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 8,179
Just a few general remarks:

Taxi from TXL airport to your hotel will be around €25, so quite affordable.

If your flight arrives on time at 12:15 you can expect to be at your hotel by 1:30 (including passport control and baggage claim and taxi ride). Since most hotels start check-in at 2pm, you could notify them (next June) that you could arrive early.

Potsdam side trip: What forest? Grunewald?

First afternoon at Alexanderplatz.. well, the TV tower offers nice views obviously, but the square itself is not so exciting. Check if you can buy tickets in advance for the tower.. there can be lines. Otherwise it can be more exciting to explore the immediate neighborhood of Hackescher Markt before you head to Alexanderplatz.

Mauerpark is (still) fun on sundays. Especially in the afternoon when the infamous Karaoke / stand-up performances run. Many food trucks - so plan to eat there.

Nearby (subway stop Eberswalder Str.) is a small GDR museum - for free. It deals with everyday life of normal people in the GDR and does not take long to visit. Signs etc. is bi-lingual.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2016, 06:29 AM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 36,024
TAKE the taxi from Tegel: no brainer in my experience (how MUCH did you pay for that airline ticket and now you want to get cheapo??? Forget that)

I agree that not going to ANY museum in Berlin because you went to one in New York is foolish.
Dukey1 is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2016, 07:22 AM
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 621
Have spent several weeks in Berlin over 2 visits and like the area you're staying in, very convenient to getting around, lots of places to dine. Our first visit we stayed in an apartment across the street from this Adina and found many areas walkable.
If you're in Berlin on a Thursday you may want to go to the street food market, see link below


Thoroughly enjoyed the variety of food and drink and will return next trip. Suggest planning to go early as it gets very crowded and half the fun is people watching along with trying different foods.
wunderbar2 is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2016, 11:10 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 100
Sorry I can't help with planning the days but we enjoyed the view, Cafe and historical photos and narrative at this site. Really worth it imo.


You might want to check for date and times of free English language tour at the Jewish Memorial. The topography of terror also has a free tour in English.

If you want to go to the Reischtag make sure to reserve a spot. We did it on line.

We bought the three day museum pass that includes transportation. If you get this, seeing Nefertiti is unforgettable.

We splurged and hired a private tour guide - Finn Ballard. He can do a custom tour. Really great guide, expensive but also worth it.

Do not miss the Doner kabob from Mustafas. I'm not kidding. Go out of your way for this but consider going earlier or later than peak times to avoid a very long line.

I loved Berlin. I loved zipping around that city on the buses and rails.

Have fun.
nubbyrose is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2016, 11:36 AM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,226
Rather than the "free" tour, why not a higher quality walking tour with one of the companies that actually pay their guides. If you are going to tip 10-15 euro, why not go ahead a pay for your tour upfront? You will get a much better tour with more accurate information.
Not sure? Go check the reviews on Trip Advisor. Make sure you read the bad ones too. The New Europe tours can be very hit or miss, with incorrect information, huge groups, and the guides have to pay the company for each person that begins their tour.

Try Insider Tours or Original Berlin Walks or a Fat Tire bike tour.
Mainhattengirl is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2016, 06:49 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,392
Thanks Cowboy...great tips!
Dukes..no no cheapo..not in reality..I start out that way but I'm worn down easily lol

Esp when it comes to convenience or safety
As far as museums go... Probably change our mind but hmmm.. Don't know...we have had museum trips in New York...two...then we had a big crawl through London the year or so before and Paris too...

Being summer I'd really love the kids to experience the outdoors in Europe...so I don't know what forests there are but we will keep asking!
Thanks nubby rose...we are so looking forward !

Wunderbar..that's all very inspiring!

Mainhatten girl..I'll certainly look into other tours..always do and end up with some sort of walking/ bus tour.,,Good or otherwise lol
lanejohann is offline  
Old Oct 8th, 2016, 11:55 PM
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,791
RE: flying with Qatar.
We used them for our flights Adelaide to Milan, then Munich to Adelaide, in July. Great experience, better seating than Emirates (1 less seat per row), food is good, IFE is excellent, pleasant staff, Doha airport has spotlessly clean toilets, no issues with anything. Flight was overbooked, but fortunately we arrived early and were only 'offered' the option of leaving 24 hours later (I've been 'involuntarily denied boarding' once before on Malaysian Airlines so have always been sure to be extra early ever since).
It's a LONG flight to Doha, 14 hours, so that slightly wider seat makes a difference.
Adelaidean is offline  
Old Oct 9th, 2016, 12:00 AM
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 8,179

There are many choices for walking, bicycling and swimming.
You can rent bikes for little money (€8-12 per day, hundreds of hotels, convenience stores and other outlets rent bikes, one should be near your hotel) and hop on the S-Bahn at your hotel (Hackescher Markt station) and take the Potsdam bound line 7 to get off at Grunewald station.

Bike through Grunewald forest to Wannsee (lake) and climb up Grunewaldturm (tower).

If it's already warm enough, not unusual in June, you can cool off swimming in Wannsee (public beach w/ facilities), or rent a boat.

Actually, you can use the bike to get around in Potsdam if you plan to visit more than just Sanssouci palace and gardens.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Old Oct 9th, 2016, 03:19 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
Okay, you are not museum people.

However, what about a museum where the original gate to the city of Babylon, built 2600 years ago, is displayed? Including a procession street, everything decorated with blue tiles and yellow lions?

This is incredibly impressive. I do not tell you to study tiny objects in vitrines. Just walk through the Pergamon Museum for 30 minutes or so and see the big things: the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, a three-story Roman facade from Asia Minor, a historic oriental palace.

Believe me, these pieces are better than anything in New York's Metropolitan Museum, in London's British Museum and in Paris' Louvre. And you can just walk through, leisurely. Do it!

traveller1959 is offline  
Old Oct 9th, 2016, 03:33 AM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 6,047
Next topic. Arrival day. Arrival day is always precious. The first impressions of a new city are most valuable.

If your flight is on time, you will be at your hotel by 1:30, maybe 2:00, as said. You will love the Adina and its location.

What I would recommend:

Walk from the hotel in southwestern direction (Anna-Louisa-Karsch-Straße) across the Museum Island. Admire the magnificent museum building there. Then you have three options:

1) Board a boat for a river tour. Very relaxing.

2) Walk along Unter den Linden Boulevard, see the historic buildings on both sides of the Boulevard, including the Cathedral, the newly erect castle, the opera and many more. Make a little detour to Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin's most beautiful square. Walk to Brandenburg Gate and get a visual impression of the city. Maybe, after a long flight, you will enjoy walking. For the way back, take the U-Bahn or S-Bahn or the bus.

3) If your legs are tired, do just the short walk to Unter den Linden and there board the bus no. 100. Sit down on the upper deck. This public bus is like a sightseeing bus - it goes along the most important points of the city right into the center of West-Berlin and back. It is hop-on and hop-off, runs every few minutes and costs € 2.80 per person (better buy tickets for several days, you need them anyway).
traveller1959 is offline  
Old Oct 9th, 2016, 07:17 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 4,412
A visit to the dome of the Reichstag Building is a must. The tickets are timed so you must buy them in advance, but that is easy to do either on line or in person.

As others have said, don't pass up the museums on Museuminsel just because you have visited museums elsewhere. The combined transport and Museuminsel pass is a good deal even if you don't visit all the museums.
laverendrye is offline  
Old Oct 10th, 2016, 05:27 AM
Join Date: Oct 2016
Posts: 3
Highly recommend visiting the Island of museums
krikir is offline  
Old Oct 10th, 2016, 08:10 AM
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 38
Potsdam is worth a visit but it requires a day to see everything. Berlin Walks in English are excellent. I have done the 5 hours overview tour. KaDaWe department store is fabulous - the food floor is awesome. The Reichstag has great view of the city. Museum Isle has a variety of museums but the Pergamon is closed at this time.
I like walking around Charlottenburg and seeing all the designer shops. I also stay there because I don't like the Mitte except for sightseeing.
The transport passes for the UBahn and SBahn are really good and not expensive.
cherie2125 is offline  
Old Oct 10th, 2016, 09:00 AM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 4,412
The Pergamon Museum is under renovation but is not closed. The room with the Pergamon Altar is closed, but you can still visit the magnificent Ishtar Gate and the Miletus Gate and many other treasures. Not to be missed.
laverendrye is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2016, 04:49 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,392
Oh I'm overwhelmed !
thank you so much!
Adelaidean...ill be sure to get to the airport early!
its gonna be a tight one because I'm going straight from home...get cleaned up and then to the airport ...our flight is around 930 pm so ill try to get there by 6-630 no later
I cant believe they overbook...thatd be awful to be bumped off
and we are travelling in peak..not school holidays thank goodness
good to hear that you liked Qatar...I read mixed reviews so nice to hear your opinion ... I love Qantas even though its not a top rated airline...just feels nice lol

good tips Cowboy...we wont get bikes or hire a boat but we will be sure to walk

traveller...you are most convincing! lol...love your passion

we are museum people...in winter...lol
I'm looking forward to the outdoors but our luck, berlin will be serving up the rain...so museums might be the go

'tiny objects in vitrines'...you made me laugh so hard!
(still chuckling as I type )
actually I like the smaller objects..you know bits like jewellery cos I think of the possibility of touch dna being present..dont know if it can be but its awesome to think that someone wore something and that it still exists long after the person is gone

I will certainly think of all of you as I inevitably end up in some museum or another ...you know whats good for me and I get the hint! lol

( goodness...what will you all think if I ever told you that in amongst the beauty and wilderness of Alaska I was aching for a walgreens so I could buy a particular brand of lipstick...youd hate me so I best not tell you that story)

great suggestions for our first afternoon in Berlin...so appreciate the experience and willingness to share!
lanejohann is offline  
Old Oct 12th, 2016, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 13,972
Unter den Linden was a MESS...because of metro construction
100 bus was so jammed , I got off at the first stop.

It was in July ...it might have changed.
danon is offline  
Old Nov 6th, 2016, 12:28 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 1,392
ok thanks danon...will check if its accessible
lanejohann is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Do Not Sell My Personal Information