Guide to Berlin
Berlin offers a heady mix of culture from its liberal lifestyle, urban eclecticism and artistic freedom.
By TTM on 09 August 2009 in Destination Guides
Located: North eastern Germany, 65 miles (104km) west of the country's border with Poland in the heart of the federal state of Brandenburg.
Districts: Berlin's 23 districts were restructed to form 12 and each has its own unique atmosphere and attractions.
What: Capital city of Germany and the largest city in the country
Climate: Berlin is in a continental climatic zone tempered by the closeness of the sea. This means warm summers and cold winters. The warmest months are June, July and August. Temperatures average 70F-75F (22-23C).
In the winter temperatures average 25F-35F (-3C-1C). Temperatures of 14F (-10C) to5F (-15C) are faily common and there are sometimes long periods of snow.
Getting Around: Berlin is fairly spread-out and getting round on foot can be very tiring. Thankfully Berlin has an excellent infrastructure and an efficient underground, an urban rail network as well as buses and trams that run throughout the city.
Visits can buy a single day ticket that gives access to all the city's public transport including buses, trams, trains and ferries.
Taxis: Taxis are easy to find and not too expensive. Hail one on the street or call Taxi-Ruf Wurfelfunk Tel: 800 2222 255. Or Velotaxis which are pedal cabs aided by an electric engine Tel 030 4431 940.
The BVG: The BVG runs the U-Bahn, buses, trams and ferries in Berlin. Find their Information Kiosk by Bahnhof Zoo on Hardenbergplatz. Check out their site before travelling www.bvg.de.
Buses: Pick up 100 and 200 stop at the most popular tourists destinations between Zoologischer Garten and Alexanderplatz.
Trams: These operate in eastern districts of the city.
U-Bahn: The U-Bahn network is probably the quickest way of getting around Berlin, and operates from 04.00 until 00.00 throughout the week and all night at weekends. There are 9 U-Bahn lines. Maps can be obtained at stations and at the tourist information office.
S-Bahn: The S-Bahn network is an underground railway network that covers most of the city. A lot of the track is overground so you get to see some of the city's touristic hotsport en route. There are10 S-Bahn lines.
Ringbahn: The Ringbahn circle loops around the city centre in an hour and is great for getting orientated.
Useful numbers: Police: 110, Fire and Ambulance 113
Shopping: Berlin has a fantastic range of shopping opportunities. Kurfurstendamm and Friedrishstrasse are the most popular shopping streets. Each of the city's districts also have their own shops and malls.
Open hours: As Berlin is located in the first federal state in Germany, shops are allowed to decide their own opening hours and this can be around the clock on weekdays.
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