Berlin travel tips

Antti Pirskanen has an excellent blog and has just published some Berlin travel tips. Since they are licensed under a Creative Commons License and furthermore are absolutly true, i quote them here in full lenght. Make sure you visit api’s blog nevertheless.

  1. The public transport system is among the best in the world. It is the veins of the city. Get a weekly ticket, get a route map and use it. Considering it is an old network, it really works like a dream. There are also night buses by the way.
  2. You can wear any kind of rags or a business suit on the street. People may appear to pay very little attention to your appearence, but they are very style-conscious and dress stylishly in their own unique personal way.
  3. If you don’t know german well, it’s a good idea to practice it with friends instead of starting conversations in german at shops and switching to english later.
  4. People are rude on the surface as far as manners are concerned, but they have an empathic and good-hearted spirit under the big city survival skin.
  5. Haggling is not easy and not always a good idea. The locals are very good with saving their money at every possible opportunity.
  6. Restaurants are affordable and good. Thai and sushi places seem to be the latest trend. There is also a very big variety of turkish night kitchens for clubbers’ needs.
  7. Clubbing scene starts very late. It’s not uncommon to go to a club at 3 or 4 am.
  8. People like traditional things in everyday life. Analog cameras, record players, gas stoves etc are commonplace
  9. Cafes with Wlan and Internet parlors are not hard to find
  10. A lot of places are closed on Sundays
  11. The best way to get on the current programme is to buy either a Tipp or Zitty magazine. They feature the concerts and other attractions for the current two week period. The period they cover overlap with each other.
  12. The music scene is predominantly electronic. You hear it everywhere.. in shops, restaurants, clubs. If that floats your boat, you’ve come to the right place.
  13. Bring some rain gear just in case it rains.
  14. If you go to Kadewe, the luxury department store, be sure to visit the food department in the upper floors. It is amazing.
  15. The only people you see taking photographs are tourists and professional photographers. The locals don’t like getting photographed at all.
  16. People use bicycles a lot. There is a rental bike called Call-A-Bike and you might find a used bike for 40 euros or so. Locks are almost as big as in New York.
  17. Beach bars complete with beach chairs, sands, water smoking pipes are a new and popular trend.
  18. People smoke cigarettes all over the place. The only smoke-free places are U-bahn stations, the trains and the shops.
  19. The new Jewish Holocaust monument is really worth seeing.
  20. There are a lot of art shows in galleries and creativity in shop displays, graffitis etc. It’s a big city visual culture.
  21. Sunday brunches are a good way to start a day. Breakfasts are avaible from 7 or so at most places every day.
  22. Gyms are difficult to find and expensive. Cycling and swimming are a good way to stay fit.

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