Ich bin ein Berliner... sorta.
June 6, 2008 11:55 AM   Subscribe

What should I do to have some fun/see some sights around my hotel in Berlin, Germany?

I'm off to Berlin and arrive at my hotel at about 9am on Sunday. No car, just foot/public/taxi transport, so what's great in the vicinity? We're doing a sightseeing trip on Monday but nothing at all is planned on Sunday so if there are any neat/off-the-beaten-path type places or MUST-SEE attractions nearby, let me have 'em!

I like art, museums, pubs, parks, people-watching, great food, etc. I'm pretty easy-going, really.
posted by disillusioned to Travel & Transportation around Berlin, Germany (9 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Berlin's public transit is quite good. (That's right, the Germans really do know how to keep the trains running on time.) So you shouldn't feel limited to what's in your neighborhood -- you should be able to get just about anywhere pretty easily without a car.
posted by jjg at 12:10 PM on June 6, 2008

Best answer: Head to the Mauerpark flea market in Prenzlauer Berg!

I went about a month ago and it was fantastic - great indie designers, people selling both piles of junk and amazingly cool stuff, fruit vendors, very un-touristy...it's awesome. Their website is in German, but the map isn't too hard to figure out, and most vendors spoke enough English for me to transact business, especially after I politely asked "bitte, sprechen sie Englisch?" I went around noon and it was heaving, though - perhaps go a little earlier, like 10ish?

From your hotel, walk north a few blocks on Joachimstaler Strasse to Zoo Station, and head east on a train heading toward Pankow on the U2 line. Get off at Eberswalder Strasse, and walk west for about five minutes along Eberswalder Strasse - the entrance to the flea market is on the north side of the street, near the intersection of Eberswalder Strasse and Wolliner Strasse.
posted by mdonley at 12:31 PM on June 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: For what it's worth, I think it was Mussolini who made the trains run on time... ;-)
posted by disillusioned at 12:31 PM on June 6, 2008

Best answer: I still have the funky shoes I bought in Hackescher Markt square. Train stops right at the market and runs frequently. Even someone as directionally challenged as I am had no troubles navigating the rails in Berlin.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 1:03 PM on June 6, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I like walking through the Tiergarten and along the Spree, but museums sort of bore me. However, the Holocaust Memorial is a fascinating landscape to be in, and the Stasi Museum is creepy cool. You can also take boat trips on the Spree, though I've never done that, since I've only been in winter.
posted by oneirodynia at 1:11 PM on June 6, 2008

(That's right, the Germans really do know how to keep the trains running on time.)

I really don't think we've experienced the same Germany. But Berlin public transit is generally quite good, for sure (when ver.di isn't on strike, of course).

disillusioned: The Berlin Medical Historical Museum is fun in a hey-thats-a-weird-fetus-in-a-jar kind of way. It's open on Sundays. The Stasi Museum is worth a visit, for sure.
posted by cmonkey at 1:17 PM on June 6, 2008

Get to the Pergamon Museum to view the amazing antiquities. Here's a pretty good description of Berlin neighborhoods. I found the city quite walkable (walked from Brandenburg gate to the Hackesherhof easily over the course of a day, with that stop at the Pergamon in there.) Unfortunately I can't find any web references to the area in old East Berlin where we stayed-- a very artsy, unrehabbed area, near Humboldt U; the Hackesherhof rehab was near the edge of it. Just can't remember what the area was called, or the name of our hotel (which would help me find it). At any rate, it was a really interesting area, full of students, boutiques, interesting cafes. If your hotel is near the Kaiser Wilhelm church, you're close. Anyone?
posted by nax at 4:34 AM on June 7, 2008

I recommend a walking tour from these people. It's a great way to see Mitte with a historical context. There is an incredible amount of history, from the Nazis, to the wall, to reunifcation that's packed into a small area.

The holocaust museum is worth a visit as well.

I'll also second the Mauerpark fleamarket, but it's only on Sundays I think. While you're in the neighborhood I would suggest taking a walk down Kastienenallee. There's a famous Biergarten there called Prater at the start of it, and lots of interesting shops and cafes there.
posted by cotterpin at 5:19 AM on June 7, 2008

Oh. Also, on the 6th or 14th, there are Handball matches at Max-Schmeling-Halle.
If you've interest in sports, check out a video of german handball on youtube. Fast paced, interesting game.

posted by Seeba at 8:50 PM on November 15, 2008

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