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A break in Berlin will whisk you away to a fantastic city with a pulsating nightlife, a forever-changing culture, hugely important history and more besides! There is a reason that cheap flights to Berlin are always snapped up so fast - if you go once you'll want to head back time and again!
Berlin has been going through an exciting period since the reunification of the city in 1989, and today's modern capital is worlds apart from the once-divided city of 25 years ago. It's a young city with more than its fair share of youthful exuberance, artists and musicians, which has led to a fantastic arts scene that you should definitely explore after your cheap flight to Berlin arrives.
Recent years have really seen a ramp-up in competition between low-cost airlines, so with the help of our flight search tool and a little flexibility on travel dates you should be able to find a really great deal. Berlin breaks are on the increase in popularity, so get there in 2013 or 2014 before everyone joins in!
There is far too much to fit into just one trip! Culture vultures will want to spend some time on Museum Island, home to a range of museums including the famous Pergamon Museum. Other top sights include the Brandenburg Gate, the remains of the Berlin Wall, the Holocaust Memorial, the Reichstag, Charlottenburg Palace and the Kaiser Wilhelm Gadachtniskirche, which offers a look at the two sides of Berlin - that ravaged by World War II and the modern side.
You shouldn't try to fit in all the sights though, instead spare time for wandering around. Try Auguststrasse if you want to explore some independent art galleries, relax in the Tiergarten if the weather is nice and make time in the evenings for a cocktail or two - the quintessential pre-clubbing activity. Then head on out for a night of partying if you like. After all, Berlin is one of the top clubbing destinations in Europe! Expect lots of electro and techno music, but there are plenty of alternatives too if you look a bit harder. Try Zitte for recommendations.
And don't forget to check out our Berlin guide for more!
You can get direct flights to Berlin from airports across the country so there really should be no need to waste your holiday time or cash on an indirect Berlin flight. Expect your flight into either Berlin to take just under the two hour mark, whether you're arriving into Tegel International Airport or Schonefeld Airport. Both airports are due to close in 2014, to be replaced with a neighbouring airport called Berlin Brandenburg Airport. Once you touch down you will have a range of options when it comes to travelling onwards to your hotel.
Schonefeld Airport is served by the S-Bahn and regional trains. The S-bahn trains will take you to the centre of Berlin. There are also less regular but faster regional trains that cost the same and stop at these major train stations too. You can take the S-Bahn and regional trains between the airport and the city, the public transport ticket can be used for this. Make sure that you stamp your ticket in the yellow machine to validate it before boarding. To get from Tegel Airport you can get a bus to Alexanderplatz, Hauptbahnhof and Zoologischer Garten.
The transport system in Berlin is excellent and operates with typical German efficiency. Berlin is a huge city and there are various different ways to get around with buses, trams, trains and underground services. Check the Berlin route planner to get excellent maps and schedules for the U-Bahn, buses, S-Bahn and trams, or to print a journey planner. The route planer can also work out the quickest connection for your chosen destination for any time.
Taxi services are also easy to use and like many other things, not as expensive as in the UK. You can hail a cab (the yellow light on the top shows the cab is free), or find a taxi rank (Taxistand). Taxi drivers generally speak English well. If you're taking a short trip of under 2km, ask the taxi driver for a Kurzstrecke before the taxi driver starts the meter - the trip normally works out cheaper, at around ?4. A Kurzstrecke can only be used if you flag the taxi down on the street - not from a taxi rank.
Getting from Berlin to other cities is probably done best by train; Germany's railway system, including the high-speed InterCityExpress (ICE) trains, is quick, well organised and you'll find easy transport links. Travelling to Hanover by InterCityExpress can take 1.5 hours and Frankfurt is only just over three hours away. You can book tickets here.
Berlin is often described as having 'proper seasons', which would be considered by most Berliners as a fairly accurate description. The climate is continental; extremely cold winters and hot, sunny summers. Winters can reach as low as -15°C, and a white Christmas is almost a given in Berlin. Summers can be scorching and the rural fringes of the city with its lakes and green areas can be a wonderful escape from the heat. Make sure you take your thermals if you're visiting in the winter months as the temperature can really take your breath away at times!
The best time to visit Berlin is from late spring to early autumn such as May or June, September or October. During these months the weather is relatively warm and the tourist crowds are lower than in the summer season. You can find cheap flights to Berlin almost all year, providing you can be flexible with your travel dates. Accommodation prices don't vary a great deal, but they are at their most expensive in the summer, and you're more likely to find a cheap hotel deal for the winter months. There's also the added benefit that the main attractions and tourist spots won't be so busy during the winter.
The currency in Berlin is the Euro, and currency exchanges can be found easily around the city. There is an American Express on Friedrichstrasse, a Reisebank in Hardenbergplatz, and a Thomas Cook/Travelex at the Ostbahnhof. With regard to using credit or debit cards, you will find that Berlin, indeed most of Germany, is largely cash based - you can use cards, but you will find it a rarity rather than an expected method of payment. Berlin is generally a cheap place to both live and visit - rent prices are cheap, living costs aren't extortionate and it has the distinct feel of a place that is developing by the day - leading to the mayor defining the city as 'Poor, but sexy'!
The language spoken in Berlin is German. Generally English is spoken widely and if you can't speak German you should be able to get by. There is a large Turkish contingent in Berlin; in fact, the city is quite the melting pot of cultures, languages and even religions.
Dial +49 for Germany. The area code for Berlin is 30
You need a valid passport to enter Germany. British Citizens and EU passport holders do not require a visa. To stay in the country longer than three months you will need to register with the authorities; this is called a Einwohnermeldeamt.