These days, Berlin is by far one among Europe’s hottest cities. Tourists and expats alike flock to the metropolis for its vibrant nightlife, flourishing arts scene and hip vibe.
Compared to different main European cities, Berlin can also be very inexpensive (at the very least for now). Like many guests that got here earlier than, chances are you’ll end up smitten and find yourself staying right here far longer than you deliberate.
But when you arrive in Germany’s capital, be sure that and keep away from the next rookie mistakes. Both your pockets and status as a cool, Berlin-worthy traveler will thanks for it.
1. Only specializing in sights, not neighborhoods
Don’t get us fallacious. Brandenburg Gate is gorgeous, Museum Island is picturesque and remnants of the Berlin Wall are each fascinating and traditionally vital. See our guide about saving at Berlin’s top 10 attractions for extra data.
Still, what makes Berlin “Berlin” are its extremely various neighborhoods.
Hip but gritty Neukölln, liberal and multicultural Kreuzberg, old-school West Berlin glamour in Charlottenburg, slick, design-minded Mitte and Prenzlauerberg — that is what makes Berlin really distinctive. A stroll down these neighborhood streets is a should for any customer.
Berlin can also be extremely unfold out geographically. If you’re feeling adventurous, why not go even additional off the overwhelmed path and take a look at Soviet-style structure in Lichtenberg or Marzahn or the luxury villas in Zehlendorf or Wannsee. The potentialities are really limitless.
2. Not having sufficient money available
Most eating places and cafes nonetheless don’t settle for bank cards. The identical goes for a lot of smaller outlets and all road markets. Because of this, it’s vital to at all times be sure to have sufficient money available or ask in the event that they settle for playing cards earlier than you order.
And talking of money… you should definitely additionally regulate your pockets in touristy areas or when using the U-Bahn. Like any main metropolis, it’s best to at all times be careful for pickpockets.
3. Tipping American type
In Berlin, tipping is seen as an extra “danke”( “thank you”) for attentive, pleasant service. If the service was awful (sadly, this will usually be the case in Berlin) it’s completely acceptable to not tip. Otherwise, it’s best to at all times tip a most of 10%.
Most folks simply spherical up the invoice. For instance, if the invoice was €4.30, you’ll give the waiter a 5 and inform them “stimmt so,” which interprets loosely as “keep the change.” To show you’re not an absolute greenhorn, ensure you at all times personally hand the tip to the waiter when paying the invoice; it’s not customary to only depart it on the desk.
4. Not trying out the inexperienced or the blue
Berlin is one among Europe’s greenest cities. The many parks are one of the best place to see locals at play. You’ll discover parks in each neighborhood in many various styles and sizes. Some examples of massive parks are Tiergarten and Volkspark Friedrichshain and a few that are “klein aber fein” (small however good) are Körnerpark and Viktoria-Luise Platz.
Berlin additionally has quite a lot of water: with two main rivers and a system of canals, it truly has extra bridges than Venice. Be certain and take a stroll alongside one of many many shores or a dip in a lake in the course of the summer time, each in style pastimes for a lot of Berliners. Schlachtensee, Krumme Lanke and Strandbad Wannsee are all straightforward to achieve by public transportation.
5. Only consuming conventional German meals
But Berlin additionally has a thriving scene stuffed with inexpensive delicacies from world wide. To get a style of what locals eat in trendy Berlin, it’s worthwhile to develop your palate and dive into the native restaurant scene. From hip vegetarian eateries to Asian restaurants, Berlin has rather a lot to supply.
6. Taking the gruffness and staring too personally
Berliners delight themselves on being direct and by no means beating across the bush. Unfortunately, this “directness” can typically appear extra like aggressive rudeness: It’s not unusual to see a grandma yelling at somebody for using a bicycle on the sidewalk or two strangers cussing one another out so strongly it could get them significantly beat up in lots of different elements of the world.
But true Berliners are an outspoken, thick-skinned bunch. They don’t imply such issues personally and in addition don’t take them personally. If you run into such a Berliner Schnauze in your journey, it’s finest to maintain your cool and perhaps give them a bit of little bit of angle again. A sarcastic remark goes a good distance, they usually’ll respect you extra for it.
Eye contact can also be extra socially acceptable than it’s within the US, so don’t be unnerved in the event you discover folks watching you. Maybe they’re admiring your shirt, questioning the place you bought that ham sandwich or are merely bored and also you simply occur to be sitting throughout from them. Either manner, it’s unlikely they’re judging you or assume you’re the most well liked factor round. It’s simply regular to stare, so be at liberty to stare again.
7. Wearing your dirndl and lederhosen
Although many guests assume all of Germany is yodeling like loopy at Oktoberfest and consistently donning dirndl and lederhosen, these are literally traditions from the area of Bavaria (within the south of the nation). Wearing a dirndl in Berlin can be the identical as decking out in full cowboy regalia in Chicago.
Keep that beautiful floral dirndl in your suitcase for a visit to Munich. If you put on it in Berlin, you’ll out your self as a clueless tourist and other people will certainly snort at you.
What was your first journey to Berlin like?
Share your experiences (each good and unhealthy!) within the feedback under.