LivingTravel10 things not to do in Berlin, Germany

10 things not to do in Berlin, Germany

The guides are full of what to do. The best museums, favorite restaurants and
Desirable shopping streets complete the traveler’s itinerary to Berlin. But there are things that are not worth doing and things that you should never do when you are in Berlin.

This cosmopolitan city is full of incredible things to see and do, and customs to follow when visiting so here are our words of caution and the things you don’t want to be doing when visiting Berlin.

Jump Climbing the Fernsehturm

The television tower at Alexanderplatz is impossible to miss. Even if you don’t cross this important square, the tallest structure in Germany can be seen in the alleys throughout the city.

But many feel that the best part of the tower is the view, not from it. While admiring the tower from afar is easy, climbing the tower is less so.

To begin with, you have the problem of admission. It is not uncommon to have a line of more than an hour. If you’re determined to go up, you’d better reserve a spot online.

Once you’ve passed the metal detectors and are ascending the tower by elevator, you’ll find yourself immersed in 1960s GDR decor and crowds of tourists. The observation decks are behind insulated glass that allows semi-panoramic views of the city, but far from the best conditions for a perfect picture.

The last downside to climbing the Berlin TV Tower is the price. At more than ten euros, it is quite expensive for a Berlin attraction.

Alternative Tip: Better views of the city (including the beloved disco ball) can be found from various rooftop bars, a hot air balloon, and even the glass-domed Reichstag (government building).

Don’t order street food in a restaurant sitting down

Sure, currywurst is the cheapest thing on the menu, but a sit-down restaurant isn’t the place to order it. Not only is street food convenient with an Imbiss (snack shop) on every corner, but people take it better every day.

In a restaurant, order something ridiculously meaty that requires a knife and fork, sit back and enjoy.

Alternative suggestion: Order Berlin street food from the street. The guide to the best currywurst in Berlin will give you some ideas. Immerse yourself in the tasty world of German sausages and try the wide range of Döner Kebob , a roast beef from the city.

And no matter how cheap the wurst is in a restaurant, you can’t make it cheaper than on the street. A Bratwurst from a street vendor costs less than two euros.

Bypass Checkpoint Charlie

The best-known crossing of the Berlin Wall between East and West still exists today… in a way. Once the point where everyone from diplomats to tourists had to pass to enter the Soviet sector of Berlin, the area is now constantly full of tourists.

After fighting through the crowd, visitors find that the scene is re-enacted, but little is authentic. The original guardhouse has been moved to a museum, actors playing soldiers are available to take pictures with peace signatures, and the Checkpoint Charlie Museum is more about eye-catching exhibits than history.

Alternative suggestion : visit the Allied Museum. This museum, located in the southwest of the city (near the US embassy), is detailed, free, and contains the original checkpoint Charlie guardhouse.

Avoid city bus tours

For such a big city, you need to invest in transportation. Some people choose to do that with a bus tour. But the mechanical, recorded voice accompanied by groups of blind clicking tourists is not the way to go.

Alternative Tip: The city’s public transportation system can help you get around the city easily. There are UBahns (subway), S-Bahn and regional trains, trams, boats and a bus system. More than just a way to get around, buses 100 and 200 take you to some of the best sights in the city, all for the low and low cost of a bus ticket.

Hop on a double-decker bus at Alexanderplatz and cruise past the dramatic Berliner Dom in Musueminsel. Tour the Siegessäule on your way to the West Berlin Zoo. And enjoy riding with the locals.

Stay away from KaDeWe

Many visitors go to the Westins’ Kaufhaus (KaDeWe), a symbol of West Berlin’s opulence that attracts the curious and state-conscious. T-shirts for € 300? They have them. You will also find a floor full of international food typical of gourmet shops at home. And you can have a bite to eat in a café that offers delicacies that would not look out of place in a fine dining restaurant.

But this mall is no longer the most exciting place to shop in Berlin. The youthful, eclectic and youthful vibe of the city has allowed many new stores to open in the east and west.

Alternative Tip: The city’s variety of new shops and its many markets are fascinating places to shop. Pick up brass door handles and chandeliers at Berliner Trödelmarkt, fight the crowds for cheap jewelry at Mauerpark, or find fresh produce and fabrics at the Turkish market at Maybachufer. If you explore these stores, your experience will be richer and more typical of Berlin.

Ignore the pieces of the Berlin wall

Just a muddy lot during the time of the Berlin Wall, Potsdamer Platz has become a half-failed business hub in Times Square. Neon lights, a megaplex movie, wild architecture and, yes, pieces of the wall. They were dragged there for tourists, so you will always see groups making peace signs and taking photos in front of these concrete slabs of history.

However, this is not the place to partake of the true history of the Berlin Wall. Right after the wall fell, there was a push to remove this symbol of division. The wall was torn down by individuals before realizing that the wall samples should be preserved for posterity. Some large sections are preserved, with small pieces appearing around the city. You can’t really appreciate the scale and history of the wall with these freestanding pieces.

Alternative Suggestions : Two sites offer a much better idea of the reality of the wall than these scattered pieces.

The Bernauer Strasse Wall Memorial is a spacious open-air museum displaying a large-scale replica of the watchtowers, two segments of the wall, and the various defenses employed with the wall, as well as an excellent museum and walking tour.

The East Side Gallery has the longest remaining section of the wall that was reinvented shortly after reunification to be a gallery for peace.

And another “don’ts” here. While you may see people scribbling your name on the East Side Gallery or even cutting out pieces, this behavior is not acceptable.

Forget about the Führer

People roam the streets around Gertrud-Kolmar-Strasse, guide in hand, looking for signs of the infamous Führer . His death in a bunker below the city is only marked by an information panel in an attempt to prevent it from becoming a pilgrimage point for neo-Nazis. It’s almost always a disappointment, perhaps rightly so.

Alternative Suggestions: Spend less time thinking about Hitler and more time considering his 6 million victims. The nearby Monument to the Murdered Jews of Europe is the best place to start, with the Monument to Homosexuals Persecuted Under Nazism and the Monument to the Sinti and Roma of Europe within easy reach.

Limit your time in Mitte

After getting to know the city, I was dismayed to read guides that focused entirely on Mitte (central neighborhood) with some forays into the old west. Berlin is a huge city and each Kiez (neighborhood) has its own personality.

Alternative Suggestions: Try neighborhoods like Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg, and Prenzlauer Berg for a totally different feel.

Continue to 9 of 10 below.

Don’t waste just a few days

Berlin is huge and amazing. It’s amazing how many people you talk to who came for a weekend and had to extend their trip. There is simply too much to explore, too many experiences to have.

While there is no wrong amount of time you can visit the city, know that the longer you stay, the deeper you can immerse yourself in all that Berlin has to offer.

Do not go against traffic regulations

Berliners are very aware of the rules. Learn the traffic rules and follow them. For example, crossing the street when the when the little man is red is verboten. Cyclists are advised to also pay attention to red lights.

Pedestrians are cautioned to avoid walking in bike lanes. Cyclists will not slow down for you and are quite aggressive. Stay on the sidewalks and don’t walk. You’ll know it from the rule-conscious locals.

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