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Berlin State Hostels


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I suggest also going to the DDR Museum -- it's very different than all the other museums, with the exhibits being largely hands on and showing what life was like growing up in the DDR. It's by the river on the Alexanderplatz side of the Berliner Dom.
We found Berlin a very safe place, much more than Paris or London. For those like us wh like history there's plenty of things to see and do. Even think to plan a week to spend there. We recommend Deustches Historiches Museum (one full day from opening until closure). Topographie des Terrors. German Resistance Memorial (Stauffenbergstrasse). Deutsch-Russische Museum in Beriln Karlshorst. Sowjetisches Ehrenmal in Treptower Park. Sowjetisches Ehrenmal in Strasse 17 Juni. Reichstag. Checkpoint Charlie. Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Berlin boasts many other interesting places not so directly connected with recent history, a very interesting place.
The Alternative Berlin tour is excellent (if a little slow at time). It is free, you just tip at the end. It takes you to some crazy but great sites you wouldn't know about yourself -- these places don't appear in guidebooks. They meet at Starbucks in Alexanderplatz at 11 a.m. each morning.
If you go to East Berlin, you have to consider that the East (and West also) had been isolated for fifty years and old people still have the cold war inside their brains. Go to district of Kreuzberg and Neukölln -- Germans are the minority there, or go to Vienna.
If you do nothing else in Berlin, make sure you book onto a walking tour. They cost about $12 and in just four hours you have a guide take you to all the main sites around the city. Well worth the money!
The Schöens Wochenende (Happy Weekend) train ticket is an amazing deal if you have more time than money. For only €28 up to five people can travel all weekend on local trains (that's €28 total for up to 5 people!). If you wanted to, you can travel all the way from Berlin to Switzerland on nothing but local trains (but it takes about 10 train transfers and 10 hours to do it). Buy a pass at any German train station.


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