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Berlin Travel Information

Berlin is one of the most captivating cities in Europe, Germany's exciting capital is a joy to discover for all ages. The fusion of excellent modern architecture with poignant reminders of Berlin's turbulent history has created a wonderful metropolis that continues to change.


You can enjoy superb museums, brilliant shopping, spacious parks and unsurpassed nightlife. Not to be missed is the famous department store KaDeWe, the renowned Ku'damm shopping district and exquisite glimpses of pre-war Berlin along the beautifully restored Unter Den Linden avenue.

This diverse and vibrant city will delight you time and time again!

Get a quote on a City break or flight to Berlin.

Berlin Travel and Flight Information

An extremely cosmopolitan and vibrant capital city covering an area of 11km by 9.5km, the story of Berlin is a true "tale of two cities". It was originally two small market towns (Berlin and Colln) which then merged in the 1300s when it became home to the Prussian ruling family. It split again after World War 2 when it was divided by the Wall into west and the eastern Communist sectors. The Wall eventually came down in 1989 and it is very hard to find any evidence of it. Now through extensive regeneration and commercial building projects have transformed the city landscape.

Areas such as Potsdamer Platz, Alexanderplatz and Friedrichstrasse have shed any reminders of the city's grim past while old warehouses, factories and residential buildings in formerly downtrodden parts have been converted into stylish hotel and entertainment complexes, drawing in the cafe-life and shopping crowds.

Berlin is made from 12 districts. Those of most interest to visitors include the old, historic district of Mitte (formerly in east Berlin) where you'll find Unter den Linden boulevard, the Brandenburg Gate and Museumsinsel, an island in the Spree with five museums; Tiergarten, a park area with waterways and a zoo, lined on the north side by ministry buildings, foreign embassies and the Reichstag; and Charlottenburg, Berlin's main commercial centre and home to the famous shopping thoroughfare, Kurfurstendamm.

The former east districts of Prenzlauer Berg and Friedrichshain offer lively nightlife opportunities, while Kreuzberg to the south has become the centre for the more alternative, multicultural side of city life.

In the north east of Germany, 80km west of the Polish border. 29km east of Potsdam. 273km south east of Hamburg. 8km south east is Berlins Tegel international airport, 11km north west of Tempelhof international airport and 19km north west of Schonefeld international airport.

The City is located in a wide valley, sprawling along both banks of the Spree River. Surrounded by largely flat, extensive countryside dotted with forest-rimmed lakes.

Places to Stay
Hotels cover the full range, although most of the new properties are at the upper end of the market. Many low-cost and budget properties are around the Zoologischer Garten area; choice of deluxe 5-star options in the Stadtmitte area. There are not many properties offering air conditioning which may be a necessity in the peak summer months.

What to Do
Daytime: exploring the city; numerous museums including Egyptian, Jewish, history of the Wall (on the site of Checkpoint Charlie) and those on Museumsinsel; castles and churches including Charlottenburg palace and Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial church; Spandau with its 16th-century citadel and medieval old town; Olympia Stadium (a good example of Nazi architecture); Karl-Marx-Allee in Friedrichshain for examples of Stalinist architecture; many parks; aquarium; lake bathing on Wannsee (south west Berlin) and Muggelsee (east Berlin); swimming pools; sailing; ice-skating. Many festivals including a cultural festival in Sept, a carnival in May and jazz in November.

Nightlife: busy and varied with bars, clubs, live-music venues, beer gardens, cafes, theatres, cabaret shows, cinemas (many showing films in their original language), opera and concerts (rock, pop and classical). Comprehensive coverage in the central districts, with upmarket clubs and bars among the chic courtyards of Hackescher Markt and along Oranienburger Strasse in Mitte; alternative clubs and bars popular with students in Friedrichshain; more traditional taverns in the riverside Nikolai quarter. There are no official closing times, so many places stay open around the clock.

Must See
Descover the famous Museum Island in eastern Berlin which includes the National Gallery and the Pergamon museum, home of numerous words of ancient art. The new cupola of Reichstag, the seat of Parliament, is open to visitors until late evening and is well worth seeing.

The restored Unter den Linden avenue, sweeping eastwards from the impressive Brandenburg Gate, has regained its former glory as the historic heart of the capital. Visit Charlottenburg Palace, restored and furnished with 18th century Prussian furniture.

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

The House at Checkpoint Charlie museum and the East Side Gallery, the name given to one of the last remaining segments of the Berlin Wall, provide moving reminders of the post-war division of this compelling city.

Must Do
The Kufurstendamm or 'Ku'Damm' provides 2 miles of superb shopping. Friedrichstrasse in the east of the city, with its exclusive Quartier 206 designer fashion mall and Galaries Lafayette department store, makes an attractive alternative or try the new Potsdamer Platz Arkaden.

The largest department store on the Continent, KaDeWe, at Wittenbergplatz is a must.

KaDeWe, Shopping Mall

A variety of flea and antique markets take place throughout the year, whilst traditional Christmas markets are held daily from late November through to the end of December.

A huge choice from German (mainly nouvelle cuisine rather than traditional fare), Italian and French to Turkish, Thai, Japanese, Jewish and Russian. Something to suit all pockets, from upmarket dining at Gendarmenmarkt to the usual fast-food chains. Smart coffee houses in Stadtmitte. Boat and barge restaurants, even a couple of "dine in the dark" options which is said to heighten your sense of taste!

Most shops are found in former west Berlin, particularly around the Kurfurstendamm area, which is home to high-quality department stores and fashion shops like KaWeDe. However, other areas are offering competition, Friedrichstrasse and Hackescher Markt in Mitte and an increasing number of shopping malls have sprung up, including the Arkaden centre on Potsdamer Platz.

Smart boutiques along Unter den Linden and in the Stadtmitte area. Good selection of markets including weekend flea markets, particularly on Strasse des 17 Juni; a Turkish market on Maybachufer in Neukolln; and a large Christmas market in Spandau.

Half day tours: lake, canal and river boat trips.
Full day tours: historic Potsdam with its palaces, particularly Schloss Sanssouci; Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island) wildlife sanctuary; Sachsenhausen in Oranienburg, a memorial and museum on the site of a former Nazi concentration camp; tours of surrounding countryside; Baltic coast at Rostock.

Getting Around
An extensive and efficient public transport system operates throughout the city of Berlin with busses, trams, underground and suburban rail. Taxis are plentiful and run on meters.

An efficient, frequent underground (U-Bahn) and commuter train service (S-Bahn), a good bus network and plentiful taxis; trams in east Berlin. Bus numbers 100 and 200 pass many tourist sights between the zoological gardens and Alexanderplatz (30 mins ride). Car travel is difficult and parking a problem. Cycle hire. Day tickets may be purchased at the machines on each station.

Who is it for?
Berlin has something for everyone, especially young people and couples. A popular  all year-round short-break destination.

Getting There
Various direct flights from the UK to Berlin airport are available at discount rates.

Discount hotel rates and city breaks in Berlin are also available to book at Hessle Travel, give us a call for a quote.

To Relax
Berlin boasts many parks and lakes for daytime relaxing, whilst its unrivalled nightlife offers something for everyone from classical concerts, opera and jazz to cost pubs, fashionable bars and cutting-edge clubs.

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Berlin by Hessle Travel

Berlin Highlights

> The largest city in Germany with 24% of its surface area made up of forests and lakes

> See a unique view of the city from the roof of the Reichstag and Dome designed by Sir Norman Foster

> The Juedisches Museum became an attraction to the public because of its distinctive architecture even before its opening in October 2000

Juedisches Museum, Berlin

> Visit Gendarmenmarkt which is arguable the most beautiful square in Berlin

> Go shopping on Friedrichsstrasse, the Bond Street of Berlin

Book yourself a flight or city break to Berlin with Hessle Travel.

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