Why Berlin and if Berlin, where?

Mar 11th, 2010, 07:24 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Why Berlin and if Berlin, where?

Hi all! We are planning a family trip to Italy and Germany this summer. There will be 4 adults, my husband and I and my 18 year old son and his friend. My son pretty much decided this itinerary and he would really like to see Berlin. In searching these boards there isn't much about Berlin (but maybe I'm searching wrong....) Is Berlin the wrong choice of German cities? And if Berlin is the right choice is there a particular part of Berlin we should look at for accomodation? Thank you so much for your help, I really appreciate it!
deniseredeker is offline  
Mar 11th, 2010, 07:35 PM
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Will this be the ONLY place you go in Germany...the other might be Munich but I would vote for Berlin...lots to see and do.

Can you afford the Hyatt at the Potsdamer Platz?
Dukey is offline  
Mar 11th, 2010, 07:46 PM
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I just entered Berlin in the search function at the top of the page and came up with these recent topics:

Results for "Berlin" in topic title
1. Berlin's New Airport - "Shining Beacon or Waste of Money" by Palenque
Most recent on Mar 11, 10 at 7:06am; 24 responses
Tagged: Germany
2. Frankfurt to Berlin. Which station? by irenen
Most recent on Mar 11, 10 at 6:25am; 4 responses
Tagged: Germany
3. Going to Berlin during Easter by gard
Most recent on Mar 10, 10 at 3:43pm; 1 responses
Tagged: Germany
4. Berlin, Prague and Budapest in a week! by samejia
Most recent on Mar 5, 10 at 7:57pm; 8 responses
Tagged: Denmark , Germany , Hungary
5. Trip Report Trip Report: A long Labor Day weekend in Berlin, 2007 by Michael
Most recent on Feb 25, 10 at 12:16pm; 7 responses
Tagged: Germany
6. Berlin Hilton? by danon
Most recent on Feb 25, 10 at 11:29am; 2 responses
7. Berlin - Dresden - Leizig - Berlin by ba739
Most recent on Feb 23, 10 at 9:48am; 14 responses
Tagged: Germany
8. Berlin's Carnival of Cultures - Pentecost weekend by kerouac
Most recent on Feb 22, 10 at 5:12pm; 1 responses
Tagged: Germany
9. Dachgarten Restaurant at the Reichstag Building, Berlin - questions by JulieAgain
Most recent on Feb 18, 10 at 8:33am; 13 responses
Tagged: Germany
10. Berlin's Tacheles to Bite the Dust? Say It Ain't So! by Palenque
Be the first to reply; posted on Feb 17, 10 at 1:10pm;
Tagged: Germany
11. Berlin Hotel - Radisson Blu versus Melia - Thoughts? by Suzy_Q
Most recent on Feb 13, 10 at 9:44am; 11 responses
Tagged: Germany
12. Munich to Berlin - Train or Plane? by Suzy_Q
Most recent on Feb 10, 10 at 10:42am; 31 responses
Tagged: Germany
13. Amsterdam, Berlin or Brussels? by samejia
Most recent on Feb 9, 10 at 8:16am; 4 responses
Tagged: Belgium , Germany , Netherlands
14. Trip Report Trip Report: Berlin & Dresden, March 17-24 by Michael
Most recent on Feb 5, 10 at 3:39pm; 12 responses
Tagged: Germany
15. Accommodation in Berlin by vanessagillian
Most recent on Feb 3, 10 at 11:49am; 6 responses
Tagged: Germany
16. Berlin zoo or tiergarten? by vayio
Most recent on Jan 25, 10 at 1:54pm; 5 responses
Tagged: Germany
17. Berlin WelcomeCard vs City tourCard by vayio
Most recent on Jan 21, 10 at 3:17pm; 2 responses
Tagged: Germany
18. Berlin, Krakow and Prague. by helpmeplease
Most recent on Jan 15, 10 at 11:17pm; 10 responses
Tagged: Czech Republic , Germany , Poland
19. Berlin on rugby weekend by GrahamC
Most recent on Jan 13, 10 at 10:03am; 2 responses
20. Berlin and Prague, 6 days? by justshootme
Most recent on Jan 11, 10 at 3:05pm; 4 responses
Tagged: Germany

Berlin is a wonderful, interesting and vibrant city filled with art, history and a thriving tourist business. You will find lots to see and do there. On my last visit I stayed in the former East Berlin just because it was not an option before the wall came down.

Fodors has lots of good information about Berlin as do the posts here if you search what is already posted.

I hope that you have a wonderful trip.
saige is offline  
Mar 11th, 2010, 09:01 PM
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Check out the "Destinations" link at the top of the page and look for Berlin.

bettyk is offline  
Mar 11th, 2010, 09:05 PM
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You didn't say what your budget is and that would help in deciding a hotel.
We loved Berlin, it's a vibrant city and I think an 18 year old would have a great time there. We went in the Fall of 2008 and "thriving" is an excellent word to describe Berlin, saige. It gave me hope.

How long will you be staying? You may want to include Dresden.
What are your interests?
LSky is offline  
Mar 11th, 2010, 09:10 PM
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stay in Mitte,
Melia is a good hotel in a great location.
danon is offline  
Mar 11th, 2010, 10:48 PM
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Depending on your budget and length of stay you can also think about an apartment. You will find tons of apartments of any style and price in the city.
The district of Mitte is probably the most popular for tourists due to the proximity of many sights and also restaurants, shopping, etc. But since the merger of districts, Mitte became the name of a much larger piece of central Berlin, including some not really good areas to stay in. You will have to check on a map where the actual location is.
But Berlin is quite spread out, so you will always use public transport to see other sights that are not in walking distance, regardless where you decide to stay.
Any hotel or apartment with a zip code starting with 10... is in one of the inner districts. But you will have to check each location for its actual proximity to public transport, sights, etc.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Mar 12th, 2010, 03:38 AM
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Berlin is a fantastic, vibrant city for all ages. Your son and his friend will enjoy the nightlife. This is not the place to list all attractions of Berlin, but I will name just a few options:

- "Unter den Linden" from Brandenburg Gate till Alexanderplatz including several squares and the Gendarmenmarkt is one of those grand boulevards with impressive historical architecture, museums, churches, operas, cafés etc. (an inexpensive and convenient way of sightseeing is just taking the public bus line 100)

- Berlin has more than a dozen world-class museums. And if I say "world-class", I mean they play in the same league as the Louvre or the British Museum. The Pergamon Museum has the most impressive masterpieces of classic architecture (including the Ishtar Gate to the city of Babylon) which are to be seen in a museum. The Museum of Natural History has the largest dinosaur skeleton on earth (twice as big as the diplodocus in New York's Museum of Natural History). There is the Egyptian Museum with the bust of Nefertiti and excellent pictures of Akhenaton, there is the Jewish Museum, the Helmut Newton Museum, the Berggruen Collection with some of the best Picassos and and and.

- There is a vibrant art scene in town, usually in neighborhoods which have an interesting nightlife too. Stroll along Oranienburger Straße, Hackesche Höfe, Prenzlauer Berg.

- There are several castles in Berlin, the most impressive ones are in Potsdam, a charming suburb of Berlin.

- And, of course, there is food and shopping etc.

Berlin has an excellent subway system. For tourists, staying in Mitte would be most convenient, but practically everything close to a subway station is okay. "Best location in town" would be the Gendarmenmarkt. For hotel search, use www.hrs.de

It is funny. Berlin has 481 hotels, but here on Fodors, it seems that only one is recommended, just because one Fodorite has stayed there once and others have followed his recommendation. Since I am regularly in Berlin, I can recommend many more (however, most of them in the 4/5* class).
Echnaton is offline  
Mar 12th, 2010, 04:15 AM
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I spent 4 days in Berlin with my teenagers. There is so much to do and see you really need a week. But, it is one of my favorite cities in terms of being a tourist. The Pergamon as mentioned above, all the WWII and Cold War history, the Wall!!, the Reichstag, the various Jewish and resistance memorials, and on and on...

If your son at all likes history he will be in heaven.

We stayed in Potsdamerplatz and the location was perfect.


ps. I did a trip report as part of a longer trip report - if you search Holocaust and me, you'll find it.
gruezi is offline  
Mar 12th, 2010, 06:40 AM
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"It is funny. Berlin has 481 hotels, but here on Fodors, it seems that only one is recommended, just because one Fodorite has stayed there once and others have followed his recommendation. "

For our next trip, I have looked at Radisson Blue you have recommended to someone ( and a beautiful hotel near Gendarmenmarkt) - loved the look and the location, but unfortunately both are much more expensive than the ONE (4*) some of us have used in the past .
danon is offline  
Mar 12th, 2010, 06:44 AM
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That's exactly why I recommend www.hrs.de - you can sort the hotels by price.
Echnaton is offline  
Mar 12th, 2010, 06:55 AM
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We were in Berlin over New Years and fell in love. Excellent destination choice. Agreed that as long as son is into history/ arts/ learning, there will be plenty to do! I recommend taking a Fat Tire bike tour while there. Great way to get your bearings in the city and have an overview of sites/ ones to further explore. We did one in Paris and loved it (we are also veterans of several Mike's Bikes tours). We're in our 20s, so I think he'll enjoy too. We stayed at Hotel Moevenpick and enjoyed it- good location in that we were able to walk to a lot of the sites- Brandenburger Tor, Reichstag, Museum Island, Checkpoint Charlie, Terror exhibit, Tiergarten, Jewish Museum then use metro for Charlottenberg, former West, etc. There were several other hotels in the area(around Anhalter Bahnhof)- but would agree with others that with 4 people and 2 teens, renting an apartment might be a good alternative to traditional hotel!

Have fun!
mdwahoo is offline  
Mar 12th, 2010, 07:02 AM
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I would also recommend Berlin as a city of the future and an amazing past, filled with fascinations of every sort. And it need not be expensive at all. In fact, in can be a bargain in comparison to other cities in Europe.
zeppole is offline  
Mar 12th, 2010, 08:04 AM
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Berlin is a fascinating city, not so much as it was when I first visited in 1977, but there's plenty of modern history to be seen if you are into the Cold War and WW2. As noted above, world class museums, particularly the Pergamon.

You didn't state your hotel budget. My small family stayed an an ETAP near Anhalter Bahnhof in 2005. If you book 2 separate rooms (for about 50E each, most likely), that may work for you. There were also 2 other upscale Accor properties next door and it looked out onto the former Gestapo headquarters. There should be a lot to pick from in the Potsdamer Platz area as that area is booming due to new real estate availability (no-man's land)
rs899 is offline  
Mar 12th, 2010, 08:13 AM
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Echnaton on Mar 12, 10 at 9:44am

That's exactly why I recommend www.hrs.de - you can sort the hotels by price. "

good idea, but for a first time visitor to such a big city (with over 400 hotels) the "right" choice is not easy.
Perhaps, for that reason many have followed that one recommendation. I did too and was not sorry. The summer rate I got from Expedia was very low ( $ 100 dollars a night!); the room was big and comfortable; the location near U and S-Bahn stations, a stroll from Oranienburger Straße, Hackesche Höfe, the Pergamon Museum , "Unter den Linden" Brandenburg Gate , Alexanderplatz , the Gendarmenmarkt, - unbeatable.
It is a Spanish chain hotel not the Ritz, but I did not find a thing wrong with it.
So, why not recommend it.
danon is offline  
Mar 12th, 2010, 08:17 AM
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>It is funny. Berlin has 481 hotels, but here on Fodors, it seems that only one is recommended, just because one Fodorite has stayed there once and others have followed his recommendation. Since I am regularly in Berlin, I can recommend many more (however, most of them in the 4/5* class).<

Yes, but I am not just any Fodorite, sweetie.

I have recommend the Melia on Friedrichstrasse because it is a brand new hotel with spacious rooms in an enviable location. Across the street from the hotel is the Friedrichstrasse Bahnhof (full of shops, cafes to get a take-away coffee, and a grocery store), and around the corner is Museum Island.

From the hotel's location you can easily walk to the Brandenburg Gate, Reichstag, and Checkpoint Charlie.

When I stayed at this hotel in December, 2007, I paid $45 a night for my room. Yes, that's right--$45 a night!

So, why wouldn't I recommend it??

You'd have to be daft not to jump at a deal like that.

I have been posting on this site for 10 years and have been quoted in multiple Fodor's travel guides. (I am quoted four times in the Prague edition.) There is a reason people follow my advice on this board.

Don't be hatin', Miss Thing.

ThinGorjus is offline  
Mar 12th, 2010, 09:01 AM
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I have stayed at Pension Peters in the Charlottenburg area near Savignyplatz twice and had a great time. I like this area better than the Mitte to stay in. Berlin offers great museums, some really great walking tours, and don't miss doing a day in Potsdam -with the castles, gardens, etc. The S-Bahn and U-Bahn are really easy to use. I also liked the food floor at Ka-Da-We, everything you want to eat is there.
mes2525 is offline  
Mar 12th, 2010, 09:52 AM
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I stayed in the Sol Melia right when it opened and I loved it. Great location Sleek rooms. Some pretty views of the river and the Reichstag dome. Had my best meals nearby.
zeppole is offline  
Mar 12th, 2010, 09:56 AM
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Just for the record, I stayed there before I ever knew there was a Fodor's message board or a Thin anything about Berlin. The hotel had no reviews anywhere because it was so new. I just knew I liked the Melia chain and I liked the location when I looked at it on a map.

I don't know about the other 480 hotels, but I'd go back to the Melia.
zeppole is offline  
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