Thursday, March 31, 2011

Berlin (Oct. 4-6)

In light of the previous post, in which I discovered I'd have to totally revamp my trip order to accommodate Oktoberfest in Munich, I'm going to continue evaluating cities on my original itinerary until such time as I decide to change it.

Going from Malmo, Sweden to Berlin will be the second time passing through Germany on this trip, the first was when going from Amsterdam to Copenhagen. Taking the overnight train into Berlin, I'd arrive around 6am. Those who know me, know I'm not a morning person. This train ride gets me into Berlin the morning of Oct 4th.

Here's what Frommer's suggests for a 5-day stay in Berlin:
  • IF YOU HAVE 1 DAY: Get up early and visit the Brandenburg Gate, symbol of Berlin, then walk down Unter den Linden and have coffee and pastry at one of the cafes along the edges off this boulevard. Visit the Gemäldegalerie to see some of the world’s greatest masterpieces. Afterward, go explore Schloss Charlottenburg, one of the finest examples of baroque architecture in Germany. In the evening, walk along the Kurfürstendamm, visit the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, and dine in a local restaurant.
  • IF YOU HAVE 2 DAYS: On Day 2, visit the Pergamon Museum on Museum Island; be sure to see the Pergamon Altar. Explore the National Gallery and the Jewish Museum, and then head for Alexanderplatz. Take the elevator up for a view from its TV Tower.
  • IF YOU HAVE 3 DAYS: On Day 3, go to Potsdam
  • IF YOU HAVE 4 OR 5 DAYS: On Day 4, take a walk through the restored Nikolai Quarter. In the afternoon return to Charlottenburg Palace and explore the Historical Apartments and in the evening visit the Europa Center for drinks and dinner. On Day 5, see some of the sights you might have missed. Take some walks through Berlin and stop at the Cold War’s Checkpoint Charlie, with its museum. If time remains, visit the Berlin Zoo, stroll through the Tiergarten, and attend a cabaret in the evening.
I don't need to see Potsdam, and those aren't necessarily the museums I'd like to visit. I would also like to see the Bode Museum and its Egyptian Collection (in a restored building that still shows damage from WWII), the Jewish Memorial, the Deutsches Historisches Museum, the Neue Synagoge Berlin–Centrum Judaicum (The New Synagogue), and the Reichstag (Parliament).

Looks like there's easily enough to fill up 3 days, which would be days 18-20.

Trains from Berlin to Prague run about every 2 hours and take 4-1/2 to 5 hours (depending on traffic). I can take the 8:48am-1:28pm train. It looks like the route goes through or near Dresden.


  1. Another suggestion, try Lonely Planet as your guidebook rather than Fromers. I think LP has much better recommendations on managing independent travel and getting around via public transit. Just my opinion. Other random piece of advice from assorted life on the road: 1. consider putting your guidebooks on a kindle (I did that in Cambodia and Thailand, though we had a girl traveling with us with paper books and th epaper was still nice) 2. Tear out pages of guide books that don't apply to your trip to avoid carrying to much with you.

  2. Okay, looking ahead at your map, I see you're going to Austria and Switzerland - yay! In Vienna you have to eat at (I'm salivating just thinking about their pretzels and Wiener Schnitzel) and have Apfel Strudel at Cafe Central. A nice place to stay is

    In Switzerland don't miss spectacular mountain scenery in the Jungfrau region (Grindelwald, Kleine Schiedegg, etc.) — I loved the train that goes through the Eiger to the Top of Europe. It sounds corny but the view is spectacular. The only other way you get to see things like that is if you have expert mountaineering skills.