There’s nothing quite like visiting a new city with the help of an experienced local guide. To avoid tourist traps and experience the city like a true Berliner, a few essential tips make all the difference for anyone visiting Berlin.
1. Always carry cash 🤑 💶
Unlike everywhere else in the world 😅 Berlin (and Germany in general) hasn’t embraced the culture of contactless payment yet — nor card payments. Cash is king here! Most bars, cafés, clubs, and even restaurants (!) do not accept card payments. Of course, tourist attractions, supermarkets, and stores allow you to pay by card, but it’s much safer if you always carry a cash amount.
2. Don’t just eat Currywurst 🥙
Food in Berlin extends far beyond Currywurst, sausage, and sauerkraut. Döner Kebab is the favorite snack for Berliners after a long night at the club (I promise to make a list of the best clubs). And it’s not just sausage that we eat, no! Berlin has already been voted the vegan capital of Europe (and the world). In addition, Vietnamese cuisine is very famous due to the immigration of the Vietnamese here in the 80s.
3. Explore beyond the city center (Mitte) 🤓
Although the center is home to practically all the tourist attractions in the city, you need to know others neighborhoods like Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain- all offering tourist and culinary attractions. In case you want to go a little further, I recommend visiting Neukölln, the Turkish quarter, where you can feel like you are in Istanbul 😜
4. Go during the summer (if possible) 🌞🍻
I know, I know… there are Christmas markets during winter, and spring is home for cherry blossoms. But it’s in the summer that Berlin shines (and vibrates)! People go out to bars, beer gardens, and lakes. The best places are also parks, such as Tempelhofer Feld, an old airport, or even the Tiergarten. You can also visit Klunkerkranich, a bar on the top of a mall with an incredible view of the city.
5. Visit the Reichstag, not the TV Tower 💸
Although going up to the TV Tower is on every possible list, I recommend climbing the Reichstag. Visiting the TV Tower will cost around €17. If you decide to visit the dome of the Reichstag, in addition to the tour being free (you can book it by clicking here), you get a tour in Portuguese telling the history of the city and detailing the significance of the surrounding architecture. If you want to start your day here, there is also the possibility of making a reservation at the restaurant, at the rooftop.
6. Learn to use public transport (and ride a bike) 🚊🚴♀️
People often give up on using transport because they find it confusing and end up missing out on visiting various places in the city because of it. That’s why I say tourists should understand how public transport works (we have a post in Portuguese about it) and be happy! That said, biking is the favorite type of transport for Berliners, especially during summer!
Need more essential Berlin tips? Leave a comment below and we’ll help you!