20 Things to do for Free In Berlin

1. Museum Island 

One of the most beautiful places to visit in Berlin is by far the Museum island. The architecture and the grand buildings will catch you by surprise and will definitely impress you. If you wish, you can also visit the museums. They are usually not free of charge or during special exhibitions and events, but they are all free every Thursday from 18:00 to 22:00.

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2. Free Your Stuff Berlin

A Facebook page, which you can enter after being accepted. You have no idea what you can find in there for free. From new and modern furniture to antiques and electric devices. And Yes!!! All Free! Just nice people giving them away!!

3. Flea market bargains

All of them are open during the weekend and the good thing is you might be lucky enough and find hidden treasures. Right now, there are 8 flea markets all over Berlin, each one with different sorts of items, waiting for you.

4. Admire the view from the top of Reichstag

Touring Reichstag is completely free, but you have to wait in line to book the time and day you want to visit. You might wait for 1,5 hours in line, but you will be rewarded with the view.

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5. Visit the Charlottenburg Palace

Even though you have to pay to enter the Palace, the gardens around are free. You have access to every part of the outside area and is truly worth it.

6. Explore Tiergarten

It took me about 4 hours to only see half of Tiergarten. Yes, it is huge. Yes, it is beautiful! Yes, it is nature at its best!! While exploring the area, you will come across palaces, lakes, gardens and sights. In the middle of it all is the Column of Victory.

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7. Picnic time 

When the weather allows it, go for a picnic like a true Berliner. Choose any park you want, such as Tiergarten, Mauerpark, the Victoria Park or the Tempelholfer Park. Pack your food and beers and enjoy your time on a hot day.

8. Get the Chills in the Holocaust Memorial

This memorial for the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, and is made in a specific way so that it gives the feeling of a heavy, uncomfortable and confusing environment. Totally free to visit, but be respectful. No music or loud noises are permitted.

 

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9. Enjoy outdoor karaoke at Mauerpark on Sundays

During spring and summer, every Sunday from 14:00, you can let loose and sing your heart out. The park is always full with hundreds of people singing or simply having fun. Definitely a MUST!!

10. Take in the art galleries at the Hackescher Markt

If you love art galleries, the Hackescher Markt is the place to be. The area itself is one of the most beautiful and alive in Berlin. If you visit on Thursdays, you will find a few galleries that also serve free wine and snacks. So, visit and combine culture with food.

11. Want to experience Thailand?

In the summer time, on every weekend you can go to a tiny park called Preußenpark or Thai Park and find some amazing food stands. You can explore Thailand’s food culture, by trying Khao Tom Mud, Khao Neow Ma Muang, Sammaki Talad Thai and a lot of papayas and mangos.

12. Walk along the East Side Gallery 

You can not come in Berlin without visiting the Berlin Wall and getting lost in intense emotions. Just walk along the wall and get emotional with the paintings drawn for the joy of the wall finally falling. The wall represents freedom, peace and hope for a better future.

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13. Admire the Molecule Man

If you feel like walking more after the Berlin Wall, 27 minutes away by foot, is the Molecule Man. A sculpture standing tall in the middle of the Spree River.  The American artist Jonathan Borofsky, created this sculpture as a representation of ”the molecules of all human beings coming together to create our existence”.

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14. Learn German

Yes, learn German for free. And it is getting better. Do so while having a drink and relaxing. How? By joining the events of Deutch für Dich. Visit their facebook website to find the timetable (levels, times and places) and just go have a drink and learn some German.

15. Help The Homeless

It is a great way to help the less fortunate and meet some really good and kind people. Visit the Homeless Veggie Dinner on Facebook and join these wonderful people that gather once every month and cook for the homeless.

16. Visit the parks. Like all of them!

All Berlin parks, are simply beautiful anytime you visit them from April to October before it starts getting really cold. All of the parks are breathtaking and give you a relaxed and easy-going feeling. You will find a lot of people simply hanging out or having a picnic and kids playing all around.

One of my favourite ones is the ViktoriaPark in Kreuzberg. So many visit the park on a daily basis. Besides a breathtaking park with lots of paths to explore, it has a huge waterfall mountain that starts from up high. On all levels of the waterfall, you will find people enjoying the cold water and hanging out.

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17. Go swimming in a lake!

Berlin might not have sea, but thankfully it has a lot of pools and lakes, most of them being easily accessible by public transportation. What makes the lakes special is that they have beaches. Oh yes! They give you the much-needed feeling of being in the sea.

18. Meetup for all

Meetup is a very popular website in Berlin, which offers seminars, conferences or simply meetups on all industries. From IT to business, as well as meetings to only meet people and network or even practice your German language skills with others. Most of the events are free, with some of them requiring a small fee or a donation.

19. Free events

gratis-in-berlin is my go-to website to find out all events that happen in Berlin during this month. They are way more than you might think, but thankfully you can find all of them right there. From astronomy to dance learning events.

20. Let loose at Tempelhofer Feld

It used to be an airport. You can imagine how big it is. It closed in 2008. Now, is a national park. It is a great area to go cycling or skateboarding. Even better, you can hang out with friends and have a barbeque or a picnic. What is great for your kids, is that you can let them go crazy and run around for as long as you want.

5 Best Christmas Markets in Berlin

During the holiday season, Berlin lights up everywhere and takes your breath away. There are Christmas markets all over town, some bigger than others. Being a first timer in Berlin at Christmas, of course, I had to visit all of them and see for myself if they are worth it.

 

5. Christmas Market in Alexanderplatz

Location: U Alexanderplatz

When:  21 November 2016 – 26 December 2016

Opening Times: 10:00 – 22:00  (Alexanderplatz)

Entrance: Free

What to do: Buy carved figures, drink Glühwein,buy glass or wooden ornaments and toys

There is nothing better than going to the heart of the city and spend some time in this Christmas Market. Definitely one of the busiest markets in Berlin. What makes it special is that it is in the centre of Berlin, giving you many choices regarding sights, food, shopping. Get on the second or third floor of Saturn for a view of the whole market. On the 24th of December, the market will be open from 10:00 – 14:00.

4. The Big Berlin Christmas Market at Alexa

Location: U Alexanderplatz

When:  21 November 2016 – 23 December 2016

Opening Times: Mon-Fri 13:00 – 22:00 / Sat-Sun 11:00 – 22:00

Entrance: Free

What to do: Get on the rides, buy lottery tickets, drink Glühwein, eat a lot

The Alexa market has a fun fair, filled with a lot of attractions to enjoy. It is for sure a great place to spend your day, especially for a family day out.  You get in the holiday spirit and have fun at the same time.

3. Winterworld at Postdamer Platz

Location: S Postdamer Platz Bahnhof

When: 04 November 2016 – 01 January 2017

Opening Times: 10:00 – 22:00

Entrance: Free

What to do: Go skating, buy textile products, buy all kinds of crafts and sweets

Truly a beautiful market on a very busy street of Berlin. Even though the market might seem small at first, it is not. If you start walking, you will find out that is way bigger, going all the way to Arkaden mall and Sony Center. Everything is decorated, even the trees on the street. The malls are beautifully decorated. On Christmas Eve, the market closes at 14:00. 

 

2. Weihnachtszauber at Gendarmenmarkt

Location:  Am Gendarmenmarkt 2, 10117 Berlin Mitte

When: 21 November 2016 – 31 December 2016

Opening Times: 11:00 – 22:00

Entrance:  1€  / free for children under 12

What to do: Try high-class dishes, see performances from renowned artists, find all the unique merchandisers, find the origami master

By far the most popular Christmas market in Berlin. It is surrounded by grand and amazing landmarks and it gives its visitors a feeling of warmth and elegance. There are so many unique merchandisers around the market, that specialise in a variety of crafts, such as an ivory carver, an embroiderer and a milliner among others, who provide high-quality goods. There is also an origami master, who you must definitely visit since his work is amazing.

Looking for something to eat? What better than a Michelin-star chef? What about more than one Michelin-star chefs? They prepare gourmet dishes for everyone and I recommend you try at least a dish from them.

 

1. 33rd Christmas Market at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

Location: Breitscheidplatz, 10789 Berlin Charlottenburg

When: 21 November 2016 – 01 January 2017

Opening Times: Sun-Thu 11:00 – 21:00

Fri-Sat 11:00 – 22:00

Entrance:  Free

What to do: Buy Christmas ornaments, buy winter clothes, eat caramelised nuts and homemade eggnog

Located between Kurfürstendamm and the Zoologischer Garten, this market is simply beautiful and so inviting. There are carousels for all children to have fun and all sorts of sausages for grownups. Walking outside the market, you will see some amazing decorations all around.

Special Opening Hours: 

24th December (Christmas eve): 11a.m. – 2p.m.
25th & 26th December (Christmas): 1p.m. – 9p.m.
31st December (New Year’s eve): 11a.m. – 2a.m.
1st January (New Year): 1p.m. – 9p.m.

 

 

The Best German Christmas Market

I had been living in Nuremberg for almost 2 years. To be honest, Nuremberg is a cute small city with not many things to do, but it is beautiful. Especially for winter holidays, including Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

The whole city is beautifully decorated from mid-November, with lights and Christmas trees all over. But Nuremberg is probably the most famous city in Germany for its extraordinary Christmas Market, called Christkindlesmarkt.

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Christkindlesmarkt begins on November 25th until December 24th, and it is open from 10 in the morning until 9 at night. People visit it from all cities of Germany. But what makes it so special and what can you do if you visit it?

 

1. Try the Nuremberg sausages

Yes!! Nuremberg sausages, called Bratwurst are the tastiest and most famous sausages in Germany. It is served with a small bun and 3 sausages inside. Be sure to put curry sauce inside and dried onions.

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2. Glühwein to keep you warm

The favourite hot wine for the cold nights of winter. Its special taste comes by adding cinnamon, cloves and lemon peel among others. Every time you buy one, you are charged 2 euros extra for the cup, which each year has a different design and colour (arranged by all the sellers together). If you wish to keep the cup, you get no refund. Only if you take it back, you will get your 2 euros back.

What is really interesting, is that Glühwein is also available for children in the form of hot and sweetened fruit juice.

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3. Meet the Nuremberg Christmas child

She is like Santa, but a girl. And blonde. And with wings. She represents the Christmas angel that brings the presents.

When it comes to Santa, parents tell their kids he will not bring them presents if they have been naughty. In the case of the Christkind, parents tell them that if they are curious and try to spot the angel, then they will get no presents. She does not come down the chimney. She rings a small bell, the moment she has left (well, the parents do).

Every Tuesday to Friday at exactly 3 pm, the Christkind visits Christkindlesmarkt to take pictures with children and listen to their wishes for presents. christkind-kinder-48

 

4. Shopping… A lof of shopping

Come on. Who doesn’t like shopping? Well, in Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt, you might overspend. You can buy all sorts of toys for kids, such as wooden dolls and puzzles and all sorts of miniatures.  The best souvenir you can buy is a wooden nutcracker. They are very popular and made with great detail and love. One might cost about 100 euros, but it makes for a great souvenir or

The best souvenir you can buy is a wooden nutcracker. They are very popular and made with great detail and love. One might cost about 100 euros, but it makes for a great souvenir or Xmas present.

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Visiting the market is the best opportunity to buy ornaments for your Christmas tree. The choices are so many. Colours, shapes, designs, sayings. There are made out of glass, wood and any other material you want.

 

5. Interested in other cultures?

If you want to try something new, then all you have to do is go to the Market of Sister Cities, located on a square North of the Christmas market. Artists, merchants and craftsmen from Nuremberg’s sister cities, have a booth selling a variety of products. The earnings go to charities of each country. The countries included are USA, Turkey, China, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Romania, Sri-Lanka, Nicaragua, Poland, France, Czech Republic and Scotland.  

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Why visit? Because it’s beautiful, full of lights and life, good food, with crazy and interesting items to purchase and it is fun. So much fun. Plus you get to go sightseeing in Nuremberg.

 

Fairytale Wedding In Magical Ulm, Germany

2 months ago, I went to Ulm for one of my best friend’s weddings. I had never heard of this German city before, but soon I found out it is quite small. However, its beauty cannot go by unnoticed.

Our first stop was at Schloss Neuburg, one hour outside Ulm. That would be the wedding’s venue and we decided to go earlier, in order to reunite with friends we had not seen in a while. The moment we got off the train, I instantly got a warm and very familiar feeling. The nature around me was breathtaking. Lakes, with huge trees and all kinds of flowers. 20160814_122029.jpg

And then we arrived at this beautiful castle. For hours, we hang out with friends, drinking champagne and eating pizza (we are probably the only ones who can pull off this combination), laughing and getting ready for the wedding.

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Schloss Neuburg

Everything was perfectly organised. The smallest detail was carefully thought. From the decorations to the thank-you gift bags waiting for each guest back to their hotel.

The ceremony was romantic, beautiful and intimate. Close family members and good friends, partying until the morning. When you have an amazing time, usually the time passes by quite fast. But we would meet again the next day, for a lunch and a tour of Ulm.

During the tour, our guide mentioned some very interesting facts about the sights. They all had such a great history since Ulm is one of the oldest towns in Germany. Even though the city is quite small, it is perfect for nature lovers. You will see people sitting by the river with their friends, bicycles everywhere and simply happy people.

What I found the most fascinating, is that when you are from one side of the river you are in Bavaria (New Ulm), but if you are on the other side, then you are in Baden-Württemberg (Old Ulm).

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Honestly, it was an amazing experience and I had so much fun. I would not recommend visiting the castle unless you have to attend an event there. As for Ulm, if you ever happen to pass by, stop for a quick coffee and admire your surroundings.

 

 

 

 

Transportation in Germany

While in Germany, you will not be disappointed by the transportation. Is easy, fast and always on time whether you want to travel from one city to the other or inside a specific city.

Bus: Definitely the cheapest choice to travel through Germany, especially if the cities are close to each other. Costs vary from 5 euros up to 19 euros (most of the times). Right now, Flixbus is the only coach company for travel within Germany. The advantages of choosing the bus is that is cheap, fast and has wifi connection.

Train: The faster choice, but not the cheapest. Try to find the cheapest tickets (usually early in the morning or late afternoon). If you wish to go around Bavaria, you can purchase the Bayern ticket, which costs 23 euros for one person and an extra charge of 5 euros for the next person (ex. 2 people will pay 28 euros, 3 will pay 33 euros and so on, with a maximum of 5 travellers). The benefit of the Bayern ticket is that travel as much as you want for that day and the ticket is also valid for the return, including free transportation of the city you visit. Also, when travelling on weekends, the ticket is valid for both days.

Click on the following cities to view each city’s official page for transportation information and ticket prices.

Munich

Nuremberg

Frankfurt

Cologne

Dusseldorf

Hannover

Bremen

Berlin

Hamburg

Dresden