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Berlin and Prague - just starting my research!

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Apr 20th, 2005, 08:17 AM
  #21
 
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hsv: we are going to Berlin next week and we are beer drinkers ! (As well as martini & wine drinkers ) Any suggestions for good beer bars ?

Also, good places to eat late, after the opera ? We're going to 3, one at each house, & 2 of them (the ones at the Deutsche Oper & Staatsoper) don't finish until 10.30. We are staying at the Maritim Pro Arte so I guess we need places not too far from there for late dining. Do you recommend Gugelhof ? Good places for German food & wine ?
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Apr 20th, 2005, 11:53 AM
  #22
hsv
 
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caroline,

(and I do apologize to esp. JohnNewOrleans for this short hi-jacking, but hope some info is relevant for you, too)

the good thing is that basically every bar in Germany will be having some beer on tap.
Thus, I can stand by my recommendation from the other thread of Newton Bar on Gendarmenmarkt for drinks as it's not too far from the Maritim Hotel (it's a place for the young and hip well-heeled crowd, though). It's not far from the Staatsoper on Unter den Linden either.

I do admit that there are differences on how good the beer is depending on a multitude of parameters, e.g. brand, temperature, amount of gas added, time taken to pour it etc. and I have yet to find a bar in Berlin that completely satisfies me in that respect. Most importantly I have not yet encountered one where they serve my favourite of Jever Pilsener in a perfect way - but then although I have spent some time in Berlin (and am doing so increasingly as my girl-friend just moved there) I unfortunately do not consider myself the perfect Berlin expert.

I do think that Gugelhof is a great feel-good restaurant which is really worthwhile. They feature Alsatian and German cuisine, which are closely related anyway.

Closer to Deutsche Oper on Bismarckstr. is Ottenthal (two subway stops), which I also recommended on the other thread. Austrian influences here, but still (or rather therefore) good German cuisine.

I usually don't like to eat after 10 p.m. (at least starting that late) so I cannot really comment on which places would be good for that purpose.

I can try to report back with some news after this weekend.
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Apr 20th, 2005, 03:32 PM
  #23
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Hijack all you want as long as the info is about Berlin or Prague! I'm taking notes along the way.

I haven't even looked at restaurants yet. Since we'll be staying at the Marriotts in each city and both seem to be centrally located, we should have plenty to choose from, right?
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Apr 20th, 2005, 09:53 PM
  #24
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John,

exactly - and thanks for your approval.
I have stayed at the Berlin Marriott and do like its location a lot. It's on Potsdamer Platz, a very modern area dominated by offices, but there is a lot of vibe as there are also cinemas and a mall. The modern architectutre of the ensemble seems to draw people (mainly tourists). The Square is right in the middle between the to centers (East and West) of the formerly divided town and is in an area that used to be part of the former "death strip" separating the two parts of the city.
It is only steps from Brandenburg Gate and Unter den Linden Blvd. and there is easy train access to take you West to Kurfuerstendamm.

The Marriott offers good value for the money. Its atrium lobby is very inviting just to lounge and the buffet breakfast was good, I thought.
In the basement, there is a (very) small pool, which might help relax tired muscles after strolling through the city.

Should you be interested in restaurants, I just posted a few recommendations on another thread here, the link to which is:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessa...creen_name=hsv

Dining on Potsdamer Platz itself is a bit hit and miss IMO, but there are still a few good places. Diekmann's im Weinhaus Huth e.g. serves decent food. The Vox restaurant of the Grand Hyatt serves expertly prepared but pricey Asian style food.
I do recommend Gugelhof in Prenzlauer Berg area once more. By car (cab?) that would be a 10 min. drive. I don't know about the time a train would take.
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Apr 22nd, 2005, 02:45 AM
  #25
 
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Hi hsv: thanks very much for the useful info ! We are leaving on Monday morning & very much lookimg forward to it : just thinking now that 5 days is far too short to fit everything in !

Given that, do you think it is worthwhile for us to give up a day to Potsdam ? (Trip is included in our package.) Our main interest is in contemporary art and architecture.

Thanks very much.
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Apr 22nd, 2005, 06:53 AM
  #26
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caroline,

well, Potsdam certainly does not draw the crowds for its contemporary architecture !

Personally, I think 5 days are plenty for the city. Thus, a trip to Potsdam would likely make for an attractive contrast to your big- city- strolls.
The park around the Sanscoucis palace is quite spectacular. The palace itself IMHO is just another example of accumulated old furniture, but it isn't too bad at that either.

What it comes down to is that I think you should venture out on that excursion if the weather is warm and pleasant. You are then likely to enjoy Potsdam, which BTW has an appealing small-city- charme center of town and is situated in beautiful surroundings (lakes, parks etc.).

If not, you might be better off staying in Berlin and enjoying some museums or other such activity.

One more hint: The weather here in the Northern half of Germany has been unusually cold until to-date. Therfore trees are just beginning to show some green leaves. I don't know about the progress in Potsdam, but the park would likely not leave much of an impression if there isn't any green.
You might want to take a look at the trees in Berlin and then make your decision accordingly.

Have a great trip - and do enjoy your opera performances!
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Apr 22nd, 2005, 08:31 AM
  #27
 
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Thanks very much indeed, hsv : that's extremely useful. Yes, I've been diappointed to see that the temperature in Berlin the last couple of days has been the same as in Aberdeen !! Oh, well, I've got my Scottish winter coat & furry boots

Best wishes, Caroline
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Apr 24th, 2005, 11:07 PM
  #28
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caroline,

as you're supposedly leaving today, I am not sure, whether this reaches you still in time, but perhaps JohnNewOrleans can use this piece of info anyway:

Within walking distance to the Maritim Hotel on Friedrichstr., Bocca di Bacco, Lutter und Wegner Gendarmenmarkt and Borchardt among others have operating hours past 11.00 h p.m. for their kitchen and will therefore serve a post- opera or theatre dinner.
While Lutter und Wegner have already been recommended for their German/Austrian/French continental cuisines, Bocca di Bacco on Friedrichstr. (but on the section past Unter den Linden from the Maritim) is a fashionable Italian place. Not bad (and not so special either IMO), but should be capable of a pleasing performance.

Hefner's Bar on Kantstr. No. 146, right on Savignyplatz is a kind of hip but relaxed place with a stylish 70ies ambiance where you can comfortably lounge in deep sofas and sip a drink. They have a Holsten Pilsener on tap, which is a very good brew indeed IMHO (and to me comes close after a Jever Pilsener).

Have a great trip!
hsv
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May 3rd, 2005, 03:15 AM
  #29
 
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Hi hsv. Now back from Berlin : we did go to Lutter und Wegner one night after the opera, and liked it very much.

While the Maritim ProArte was a standard-type hotel which could have been anywhere, we did like its location and found it very convenient for walking most places we wanted to go. Our favourite areas for eating & drinking at night were around the Gendarmenarkt and especially the Nikolaiviertel.

Thanks for everyone's help - proper trip report to follow.
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May 4th, 2005, 04:32 AM
  #30
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You might wish to view my comments posted on "Prague Brewery Tour" thread on this same "talk" group on Fodor's.

Don
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May 4th, 2005, 08:14 AM
  #31
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Caroline, can't wait to read your trip report. I'm starting to plot an itinerary now. Thinking of leaving Berlin early AM (after 4 days), spending the day in Dresden and then continuing on to Prague in the evening. Our hotels are already "locked" at 4 nights each so I hate to mess with that! Dresden, however, sounds like a great stopover.
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May 4th, 2005, 11:17 AM
  #32
 
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yes, eager to hear about it too.if its not a problem please include any details such as prices and anything else which you thought was unexpected or non intuitive. i find details from people coming back from a trip of great interest.
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May 4th, 2005, 06:28 PM
  #33
 
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I also planned on stopping over on my way from Berlin to Prague in July. So please post a trip report - whether it was hectic for you to get off the train at Dresden, store your luggage and go for a stroll in downtown Dresden... It sounds wonderful though Any recommendations for a great place for lunch?
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May 5th, 2005, 05:05 AM
  #34
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h2Babe, we won't be there (Dresden) until the first week of August so you will actually beat me to it!
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May 5th, 2005, 05:37 AM
  #35
 
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this is a great thread, I'm just posting a reply b/c I want to save this thread for future reference. thanks!
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May 5th, 2005, 07:59 AM
  #36
 
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Btw, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin will be opening to the public on May 12th, around the corner from the Brandenburg gate, and across the street from the new US Embassy site.
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May 5th, 2005, 08:39 AM
  #37
 
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I've started...
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Jul 25th, 2005, 09:09 PM
  #38
 
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Please let me know once you've been to the Marriott how it is. My husband and I and 10 year old son are doing a combined trip the beginning of October first to Prague for 4 nights, staying at the Marriott there on points, then on to Amsterdam, and staying at the Marriott there on points. I had the choice of the Renaissance or Marriott in Prague... chose the Marriott... does anyone have an opinion one way or the other? We'll hopefully be upgraded to club level at each! Also, would LOVE to do a 'day trip' somewhere outside of Prague just to see the 'countryside', etc. away from city. Any suggestions? thanks!
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Nov 29th, 2005, 07:44 PM
  #39
 
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Great thread!!!

There is a lot of good info here.
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Nov 29th, 2005, 08:53 PM
  #40
 
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Also posting so I can find it again later!! Going to Berlin and Prague so this is great info!
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