Reichstag Building, Berlin by rs-foto, on Flickr
Even on a backpacker’s budget there’s plenty to see and do in Berlin. Here’s our guide to seven great things to do in Berlin for less than €10 Euros, perfect for those travelling on a shoestring.
1. Take a Stroll Through Berlin’s Past
Branderburg Gate by Raul DS, on Flickr
It costs nothing to take in Berlin’s historic architecture, and a good place to start is on the Unter den Linden, which is lined with monuments spanning much of the city’s history. The centrepiece is the impressive Brandenburg Gate, an 18th century triumphal arch which later became associated with the fall of the Berlin Wall and the scenes of mass celebration that followed. West of the Gate is pleasant Tiergarten; north is the German Parliament’s Reichstag; east is Museum Island; and south is the main shopping thoroughfare, Friedrichstrasse.
2. Explore Modern Architecture
Potsdamer Platz by Wolfgang Staudt, on Flickr
For striking modern buildings head to Potsdamer Platz, built in 1995, which is home to the landmark Sony Center dome, inspired by Mount Fuji, which is lit up in vibrant colours at night.
Sony Center by friedrbe, on Flickr
3. Join Revellers at the Berlin Beer Festival
On the first weekend of every August, Berlin hosts the huge, three-day International Berlin Beer Festival (Berliner Bierfestival), which falls on August 5-7 in 2011. This free event showcases around 1,800 varieties of beer from hundreds of breweries across 80 different countries, with a backdrop of live music. Attracting around 750,000 festival-goers, demand is very high at this time for cheap hotels in Berlin – so it’s worth booking well in advance.
4. Admire the East Side Gallery
Berlin Friedrichshain Mühlenstrasse East Side Gallery by jack_of_hearts_398, on Flickr
The largest open-air art gallery in the world, this 1.3km-long section of the Berlin Wall has been transformed by a collection of international artists who have covered it with more than 100 paintings. Located near Berlin city centre on Mühlenstraße in Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg, the paintings depict a time of change and the wall as a whole is regarded as a memorial for international freedom. It’s not a traditional, enclosed gallery, but simply part of the urban landscape – so it’s open to all 24/7, and completely free to visit.
5. Enjoy a Tipple at Weinerei
Berlin’s Weinerei bars operate on an ‘honesty box’ basis, with no wine list, no prices, and no bar tenders. You pay one euro to borrow a glass, then you help yourself to as much fine wine as you wish to consume. You’re expected to keep track of how much you drink, then you decide how much to pay. Despite this freedom, customers rise to the occasion and tend to behave impeccably, and it’s well worth going along just for a glass or two to enjoy the atmosphere, which is lively yet civilized.
6. Brush up on History at Museum Berlin-Karlshorst
This free, well-executed museum follows the German-Soviet relationship over 70 years, through two world wars and the Cold War. When the Soviets took Berlin, they also took over this former German officers’ club which became their military headquarters. The spot has great historical significance, because it was here on May 8-9, in 1945 that German commanders signed the unconditional surrender that ended the war in Europe.
7. Enjoy Sweeping Views of East Berlin
Oberbaumbrücke by Malkav, on Flickr
It’s hard to miss the bright, red-brick Oberbaumbrucke bridge which links Friedrichshain to Kreuzberg. From this 18th century structure you’re rewarded with fantastic views over east Berlin, providing some great photo opportunities.
Before you go, pick up more Berlin tips and find out how to make the most of a short break in Germany’s capital.
Berlin Panorama by Berlin-bleibt-Berlin.de, on Flickr