A Beginner’s Guide to the German Capital.
dowlaod E-Book: http://www.lulu.com/content/e-book/beneath-berlin/14026745
Lorcan James, Phoebe Inglis-Holmes,
Dom Walker and Andrew Jackson.
Katie Griffiths, Alexander Richards
and Qing Wu.
Stuart Blythe, Giorgia Masiello, Alicia
Ramirez, Christina Powis, Rachel
Nolan, Rhiannon Edwards, Katie
Griffiths, Alexander Richards, Qing
Wu, Lorcan James, Phoebe Inglis-
Holmes, Dom Walker and Andrew
A Beginner’s Guide to
the German Capital
-Sights and Monuments-
-Art and Museums-
-Food and drink-
This symbol indicates that
our crack teams of eaters,
drinkers, party goers and
art critics have chosen the
crowned article as truly the
best of Berlin.
This symbol indicates
when something is best
for a budget without
compromising on quality - it
essentially appears when
good things are going cheap.
Neighbourhoods > pp. 7-11
Berlin Timeline > pp. 12-15
Survival Guide > pp. 16-23
Language Tips > pp. 24-25
Beers of Berlin > pp. 26-27
Ampelmann > pp. 28-29
Getting Around > pp. 30-33
Sights and Monuments > pp.
Art and Museums > pp. 59-83
Outdoors > pp. 84-104
Food and Drink > pp. 105-132
Nightlife > pp. 133-145
Shopping > pp. 146-155
Entertainment > pp. 156-163
Accommodation > pp. 164-171
Berlin is one mental metropolis that you
will never want to leave. Refusing to hide
from its past and always striving towards
a better future, the entirely unique history
(the Wars, the Nazis, the Wall, the influx of
immigrants and hippies, the rise of techno
and the rule of the creative industry) sets
it so far apart from other European cities.
All it takes is one short walk and it feels
like you are travelling in a time machine.
From Prussian palaces and derelict
warehouses, to fascist bunkers, communist
blocks and Post-modern skyscrapers; this
fast-paced city is full of paradox, with a
skyline that changes as fast its weather.
little money you can eat and drink like a king
and still have the cash to hit up a nightclub.
With over 170 museums, 600 galleries, three
opera houses, scores of theatres and plenty
of space to play in, it makes sense that every
young aspiring artist in the world is moving
here. This phenomenal cultural landscape
is setting trends like New York in the 80s.
It’s a rainbow mash-up of diverse
cultural elements, it’s wild and
vivacious, “poor but sexy”. Berlin is a
playground where “anything goes”.
Welcome to Berlin.
It may be 10 times the size of Paris, but
its key areas are pleasantly compact and
the excellent public transport system
space and multiple parks make it one of
the greenest cities in the world and you
can walk without fear during the night.
We have divided the city
into smaller, more digestible
areas to make your life easier.
Take a stroll through the tranquil
and elegant streets of CHARLOT-
TENBERG. Party hard in FRIED-
RICHSHAIN, or hang with the hipsters
in KREUZBERG. Sightsee in MITTE
and bar-hop in NEUKOLLN. Explore
the art scene in PRENZLAUERBERG or
shop till you drop in SCHÖNEBERG.
Each one of these neighbourhoods has
its own unique charm and atmosphere
and collectively they compose
the Berlin that we know and love.
Friedrichshain is a dynamic district of
Berlin that has been in vogue since the
fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Swarming
with hipsters and pleasure seekers
it has a contagious buzz that ensures
this corner of Berlin is never quiet.
Alluring open spaces can be found
on the periphery of Friedrichs-
hain, including the outdoor East
Side Gallery (the longest remaining
section of the Berlin Wall) as well as
the popular, BBQ-friendly Volkspark.
Well connected to Berlin’s
public transport network, take
the S-Bahn, U-Bahn or a tram to
Warschauer Straße, Ostkreuz,
Frankfurter Allee or Frankfurter Tor.
Occupied by the Americans
after WWII, Kreuzberg is now
very much about the present and
less about the past. Sixty years
ago, this district in southeast
Berlin was derelict and largely
in ruins. The rock bottom cost
of living resulted in a huge
influx of Turks, students and
artists, and since the area has
evolved to become Berlin’s
coolest district with the best kebabs.
Popular with a young, bohemian crowd,
the area is home to Oranianstraße that is lined
bars to visit after dark. The influence held by local
artists is made clear by the abundance of street
art and graffiti that often coats entire buildings.
to the River Spree by visiting Badeschiff by day
(meaning ‘boat ship’, an outdoor swimming
pool that is moored in the river) and Club der
Visionaere by night. For those less hedonistic,
the Jewish Museum and the Freidrichs-
hain-Kreuzberg Museum are exceptionally
informative and easily accessible.
The Western district of Charlot-
tenburg has a slightly less alter-
native feel than most other areas
of Berlin, and attracts a distinctly
older crowd. Schloss Charlotten-
burg is the district’s main draw
for tourists, with its opulent décor
and pleasant gardens that teem
with visitors on warm summer
afternoons. There are also many
museums nearby, in addition
to the well-known stadium that
hosted the 1936 Berlin Olympics.
The calm, leafy streets argu-
ably retain some of Berlin’s
pre-war grandeur and are
definitely worth a visit, even
if they lack some of the edgi-
ness found elsewhere in Berlin.
Although undeniably wild, the party
central areas of Kreuzberg and Frie-
drichshain have started to become
too ‘on the map’ for those who want
to discover the hidden areas of
Berlin. Neukölln is one of those areas.
Previously a haven for the immigrants
of the city, this neighbourhood is
starting to spread its multicultural
wings and soar spectacularly to the top
of the hipster charts. Tree lined cobbled
pavements in cutesy, suburban-look-
ing streets camouflage undeniably
awesome secret places. Down hidden
lanes, Sudanese restaurants and shisha
bars are snuggled next to chic vintage
boutiques and record-stores-come-
clubs. Cool-kid paradise can be found
in a rooftop bar above the Arkaden.
Park – an abandoned airport now
transformed into the local chill-out
zone. By taking the S-Bahn to
Tempelhof or Neukölln, or
the U-Bahn to Rathaus
Neukölln or Karl Marx
Straβe, this is a place
where getting lost
is the best option
to find your way.
Neukölln district Prenzlauer Berg
Located in the southern part of
the borough Pankow - Prenzlauer
Berg, or Prenzl’berg, is a tranquil
escape from its hustling, sight-filled,
tourist heavy neighbour, Mitte.
It luckily avoided much of the
bombing of WWII, so there are
plenty of picturesque churches and
lovely old townhouses to be seen.
Boulevards, boutiques and Berlin’s
oldest beer garden; it has come
a long way from its East German
days and working class routes.
It is now one of the most desirable
places to live for trendy young families.
an abundance of other parks, and several weekly
street markets like the organic food market in
the gorgeous Kollowitzplatz, it is the perfect
place to shop, stroll, café-hop and people watch.
Mitte is the central district of
Berlin and houses most of the
important historical sites in the
city. Stretching from Alexander-
platz over Museum Island and
out to the Brandenburg Gate
while visiting Berlin it would be
more difficult not to go into Mitte
at some point. Mitte is far grander
than most of the other districts of
Berlin and the prices here reflect it.
Although it may not be the place to
stay for a low budget backpacker
its prettiness and grandeur
mean it really is an unmissable
sector of the German Capital.
1740 – The Age of Enlighten-
ment begins with the crown-
ing of Friedrich I’s grandson
‘Frederick the Great’, being
a leader of this movement
in Germany. He introduced
legal reforms, arts and a new
culture to Berlin.
1237 – The year Berlin was
founded, rising from two smaller
communities that are on op-
posite sides of the Spree River.
Back then, Berlin was separate
from another neighbouring mer-
chant town called Cölln, which
formed together as the city we
Start of Berlin.
1389 – The towns of Branden-
burg and Berlin form a union
which increases the towns’
trading status and led to them
joining the Hanseatic League
(a trade group of market
towns that dominated the
northern European coast).
1411 – Friedrich II established
a court in the town. The locals
were opposed to this as they
thought it would finish the
town’s independence, creating
the first major royal presence
there. The Stadtschloss (Berlin
Palace) was also built soon
after which became the main
royal residence until the 1950s
when it was demolished.
1517 – The beginning of the
Protestant Reformation hits
Europe, starting in Germany
by Martin Luther. This changes
the religious landscape of Eu-
rope, making the first steps to
break away from Catholicism.
1648 – The end of the Thirty
Years War rocks Berlin, leav-
ing it in ruins with murders,
disease and starvation.
1701 – The Kingdom of Prus-
sia is formed by the self-pro-
claimed ‘King in Prussia’
Friedrich I (III). At its height,
it comprised of Germany,
Belgium, Denmark, Lithua-
nia, Poland and parts Russia.
Berlin is the royal centre of this
1806 – Prussia is defeated
by Napoleon. He marched
through the Brandenburg
Gate and took ‘the Quadri-
ga’ that adorns the top of the
Victory Column to mark the
beginning of his three year
occupancy of Berlin. French
troops take control of the city.
1809 – Napoleon is defeated
and the statue is returned to
its rightful place in 1814.
1838 – The industrial revolu-
tion is in full effect with the
creation of the first rail track
from Berlin to Potsdam.
1871 – The German Empire
was born as King Wilhelm is
crowned Kaiser in Versailles
along with Otto von Bismark,
who was named Iron Chancel-
lor. Berlin is made the imperial
1875 – The Social
Democratic Party of
Germany is created.
1914 – World War I begins after
the assassination of Archduke
Franz Ferdinand who was the
heir to the Austrian throne. The
German Empire was one of the
key players , beginning the first
major invasion of France. Ber-
liners believed victory would be
1918 – Germany is defeated in
World War I in which over 1.5
million soldiers lost their lives.
The Kingdom of Prussia is
dissolved and Kaiser Wilhelm II
abdicates the throne. Berlin is at
threat of civil war.
1933 – Adolf Hitler becomes
Chancellor of Germany, leading
him to create a dictatorship with
his Nazi government. Jewish
people were targeted by a law
stating that all Jewish businesses
should be boycotted in Berlin.
Timeline of Berlin’s History
1942 – The Nazis decide to rid
Europe of Jews, homosexuals
and gypsies, which will come
to be known as the Holocaust.
Six million people died in
concentration camps, including
ones such as Sachsenhausen
1939 – Germany invades Po-
land setting in motion World
1945 – Germany is defeated in
the war; the UK, USA, France
and the Soviet Union occupy
Germany, including Berlin,
which is split into different
sections for each allied coun-
try. The city itself is left in
ruin after damage from the
war. Neighbourhoods are
reduced to rubble and half of
its buildings are destroyed.
1949 – Germany, including
Berlin, is split in half, turning
into the city into two separate
states. The two different po-
litical parties are The Federal
Republic of Germany in West
Berlin and the Soviet controlled
German Democratic Republic
(GDR) in East Berlin.
1961 – The Berlin Wall is con-
structed by the GDR, as rela-
tions are tense between the two
states. The space in between
the wall is labelled ‘the death
strip’, as guard towers, land
mines and soldiers are on site
at all times. 200 people died
when trying to escape. The
USA and the Soviet Union face
off at Checkpoint Charlie.
1990 – Allied countries leave
their occupation zones in Ber-
lin, and East Germany is dis-
solved. Berlin is made capital
of the country once again.
1989 – 500,000 people protest
in Alexanderplatz for political
reform as many East Berliners
defect to the West. As soon as
the decision to lift travel re-
strictions between the borders
is made, thousands of people
descend on the border, leading
to the destruction of the wall
and a unified Berlin.
2013 – Berlin is currently a city
of high culture with praise for
its art, fashion, media and po-
litical movements. It is current-
ly the second most populated
city in the EU with a popula-
tion of over three million.
Timeline of Berlin’s History
Berlin Survivor’s Guide. Berlin Survivor’s Guide.
3: Free Walking Tours
If you are on a tight budget
and want an informative and
comprehensive tour of the city,
then one of the many walking
tours that take place throughout
the day will be suitable. Usually
you book your place online then
gather at an agreed meeting point.
Recommended tours include
Sandmans, New Europe Berlin
and the Brewers Berlin Tour.
2: Merlin Combi-Tickets
For some of Berlin’s top attractions
such as The Berlin Dungeon, Sea
Life Berlin, Legoland Discovery
Centre and Madame Tussads,
combination tickets can be bought
If you prefer less walking, then
the number 100 and 200 buses
are perfect for you. These buses
stop and go through all the major
tourist attractions, from Alex-
anderplatz to Bahnof Zoo, the
Victory Column and Postdamer
Platz. Day tickets are priced from
6.50€ and can also be used on
U-Bahns, S-Bahns and Trams.
A great purchase for someone
arriving into Berlin and wanting to
see as many museums as possible,
the three day Museum pass will
be right up your street. For three
consecutive days you can go to
50 of Berlin’s museums for just
24€, which is a massive saving
compared to the individual cost
price of each museum. You can buy
the pass on the visit Berlin website:
1: Multi-Museum Passes
4: The 100 and 200 Buses
Drawn to Berlin for its history, Andrew Jack-
son soon found himself surrounded by Ber-
lin’s street food. His writing prowess and
researching ability ensured no food establish-
ment was left without a review.
Extremely hard working as a writer, deter-
mined to be a German speaker and ideal for
a good chat or a great laugh on a night out,
Journalism Graduate Stuart Blythe is the gay
best friend you’ve always wanted.
Don’t underestimate low key Lorcan James;
while he may question every rule of the Ger-
man language, he is now a fully converted
Berlin night owl with regular appearances at
Appearing reserved and quiet, this Italian
girl is secretly intelligent. So secret she
might belong in the FBI. Beware of Giorgia
when you write anything in Italian, French
or German she will correct your every error.
With her cheerful and sunny personality and
her extreme good German, you could not ask
for a better travel companion to discover Ber-
lin. Directly from Oxford, here you are Chris-
Whether it’s with her early morning runs, her
flair for journalism or her relentless party-
ing, Phoebe Inglis-Holmes is an inexhaustible
Scottish machine who you definitely want on
With a contagious lust for life, natural creative
flair and a remarkable passion for travel, ver-
satile Rhiannon Edwards is perfectly suited to
travel journalism. Her worldly experience has
given her an astute sense of judgement. She’s
a friend and an inspiration to us all.
Dom Walker is a dancing machine. Hitting ev-
ery club in the city, every day of the week, no-
one can rival his determination to disco.
Effortlessly cool, Rachel Nolan is someone
who Katie Griffiths would like to party with,
and if that’s not a compliment I don’t know
Whether Alicia Ramirez is dancing in her na-
tive desert, or doing Swing and Salsa by the
River Spree, this free spirited adventurer,
sure knows how to shake it. Dang it!
A vital layout member, Xander Richards and
his goldie-locks can maintain a consistent
tranquil balance between work and play. The
amusing English major is a stickler for perfec-
tion and expects nothing less than that from
With a natural creative flair and determina-
tion, there’s no doubt this talented young girl
is going places. Charming and assertive with
an edgy alternative style, Katie Griffiths suits
Berlin to a T.
Happy-go-lucky and hailing from Hong Kong
Qing Wu has a spring in her step and the right
attitude. The world is her oyster and she is a