Berlin or Prague?

Feb 10th, 2000, 05:24 AM
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Berlin or Prague?

We plan to visit Germany end of the year. We will be visiting Rhein area, follow by Bavaria Alps and Munich. After that we can't decide whether to visit Prague or Berlin. As we have only around three days available, doing both is impossible. So, please advice!

Thank you.

Feb 10th, 2000, 09:21 AM
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This is a tough choice. Both are fantastic cities! Praha is around 6 hours distance and Berlin is around 7.5. These times are for travel by train.
If you are looking for old world charm, Praha is the best bet. If you are looking for a city that is remaking itself and is full of vitality, Berlin is the choice. As you will have seen a bit of Germany already, you may want to consider Praha.
Good luck with your choice!

Feb 10th, 2000, 06:55 PM
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That is a tough one as both cities are quality. I would say Berlin only because you can complete Germany & it is not complete without Berlin. Prague can be combined with Vienna, Budapest and/or Cracow on a later trip.
Berlin has the history of the 20th century (Checkpoint Charlie Museum, Olympic Stadium, Potsdam, Templehof Air Field, Reichstag, remaining small area of the Wall, InfoBox, Ka De We Department Store)& a museum that has an entire ancient ruin (starts with "p"), culture, friendly people where English seems like 2nd language. There is just so much.
Prague is also incredible because it was not bombed in WWII and the architecture is tremendous. The Charles Bridge at night is most romantic with the huge statues on either side of the bridge every 50 feet or so lit up. It is very inexpensive. Two years ago we went to the Symphony with balcony box seats for $16/each. We ate nice dinners with drinks or wine for less that $30/2. The bakery products were great & cheap. The garnets, crystal, flea market are nice. If you go to Prague, try AVE Accommodations at They found the perfect place for us.
Feb 10th, 2000, 10:15 PM
Pam Stewart
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One of the highlights of my life was the opportunity to visit Eastern Europe in 1993--just after it emerged from the shadows of communist rule. My first stop was Berlin, at that time a sea of enormous cranes bent on rebuilding this wonderful city.
Berlin is great, but Prague is amazing, the most beautiful city I have ever seen. Not to be missed: The Old Jewish Cemetery. I attended an opera (Cossi Fan Tutti) at the only theater known to have hosted Mozart (in Prague). The city, when I was there, was clean, friendly, and loaded with history. If I had to choose between Berlin and Prague, I'd choose Prague. In a perfect world, I'd find time for both!
Feb 11th, 2000, 05:16 AM
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Thanks for all the advices, but I am still can't make up my mind. After comments from you guys, both cities seem like a must to visit.
I live in a modern city, and I always try to avoid crowdy area when I travel. Given this consideration, should I then choose Prague instead? Also, I will be travelling end of the year, which of these two cities is still 'active'?

Thanks again.

Feb 11th, 2000, 09:16 AM
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I agree that it's a hard choice, but I'd go to Berlin. My wife and I spent 2 weeks in Berlin, Prague and Vienna in 1997. We enjoyed all 3, but it's Berlin that lives in our imaginations. Going there now is like visiting London after the Great Fire or Paris during the 2nd Empire: world class cities that are in the process of reshaping themselves. Prague is going to look about the same now and 10 years from now, but Berlin is going to be a different place when all the new building and restoration is done. I found the whole city, and especially the former east Berlin, fascinating. Magnficent musuems (be sure to go to the Picture Gallery which was still in Dahlen when we were there but has since moved to new quarters as well as Museum Island), a great 18th and 19th century ceremonial core, plus interesting new buildings, are just the beginning. We stayed in the former east Berlin on the Gendarmenmarkt(sp)- - great location.
Feb 12th, 2000, 08:42 AM
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I am now trying to re-plan my schedule so as to include both cities: Berlin-Deidesheim (as a base)-Garmisch(again as a base)-Munich-Prague. As there will be children travelling along, so we try to avoid long distance train travel. Hopefully this new plan will work.
Is it true that in Berlin there is a bus 100 that stop at every tourist points and if we buy the ticket (pass?), we are allow to drop in and drop off as many times as we like? is this bus operating in December?

Thanks and regards,

Feb 12th, 2000, 12:10 PM
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Hi! Yes, the bus route 100 in Berlin leaves from Zoo station and goes along the major sights, down "Str. des 17 Juni", past the Reichstag, Brandenburg gate, along "Unter den Linden" (walking distance to Checkpoint Charlie, Gendarmenmarkt, etc.), Museum-Island (Pergamon-Musuem), Cathedral (well worth the 10 DM (?) entrance fee, nice view from the dome), Alexander square and into the Prenzlauer Berg district. It's a regular bus line in the transit system, runs every 10 minutes or so, also runs at night I believe (hey, public transport at night in Berlin is probably the best and most comprehensive I have ever encountered), and with a regular daily pass you can hop on and off as many times as pleases you. The bus tends to be crowded though, especially on the upper deck (it is always a double-decker).
Hope this helps, and enjoy!
Feb 12th, 2000, 12:18 PM
Rob McPhail
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I was in Berlin last weekend (for 3 days only, with the Saturday spent at a conference) and I can confirm that the 100 bus is a great way to see around the city. I used it to return from former East Berlin back to Zoo Station and it's true that it passes most of the best sites. Be careful with the type of ticket you purchase though. If you buy the normal ticket (3.60DM) you can get on and off the bus as many times as you like but the ticket expires after two hours. If you intend spending the whole day using the 100 bus then go for the Tageskarte (Day Pass) which gives you unlimited travel until 3am the following day and costs only 7.50dm for zones AB or CD (AB is mainly inner city and where most of the famous sites are)

I found the city fascinating and I want to go back. My biggest regret is not having more time to explore. If itís any help my route for the day was:-

Walked from Zoo to Tiergarten, along a very long tree lined avenue passed Siegessaule monument and then, taking a short left detour arrived at the front of the Reichstag (a lot of heavy building works going on in this area). From here I retraced my steps to the Tiergarten Avenue and continued walking towards the Brandenburg Gate passed the Soviet War Memorial. From the Memorial to the Gate is a short 5 minute walk and then, once through it, I found myself on Unter der Linden. A walk along this beautiful avenue was, for me, the highlight of the day. Many places I recognized instantly. Of those, I recommend you check out: Pergamon Museum, Neue Wache and each and every building on the way to the TV tower on Alexanderplatz (take the elevator to the top of the tower for a spectacular view of the city). All in, the entire walk took me around 5 hours at a steady pace.

Sunday I spent at Sachenhausen Concentration Camp located around 35 kilometers east of Berlin. I had promised an old friend of our family, now deceased, that if I were ever in Berlin I'd visit it and take there some flowers and some small personal things of his. His brother had died in the camp and Sachenhausen became such a huge part of his life right up until his death a few years ago. The whole Sunday experience left me slightly bewildered and emotional. Maybe some day I'll get round to writing more about my thoughts. I hope you have the opportunity to visit the camp.

Iíve blethered enough. If you need any further information Mast email me and I'll happily give you whatever I have here.

Feb 13th, 2000, 05:38 AM
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Pleased to hear that you have decided to be in Berlin. I have been there for a week and really love it, and will definitely return. The tagekarte can be used on all forms of public transport.
Feb 14th, 2000, 07:15 AM
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Very hard choice! I'm not a city person myself. I much prefer smaller towns to the larger city. But you've managed to pose a choice between two of my favorite places in the world. I think, with your limited time, Prague. It's a wonderful walking city and has less of the normal Big-city traffic and activity. It's an easy place to explore on foot, and the Metro is an excellent one. Have a great time.

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