Dialogues with Brazil.

August 28 to September 1 2023, Berlin, Germany

Information and support

Everything you need to know about Berlin!

You might need a visa to visit Germany. It depends on your citizenship:

Useful link: Visa requirements by country – Federal Foreign Office

There are 3 ways to get from the BER airport to the city:

  • Use public transport
    You can take a train from BER airport to Berlin, even at night. There are trains every few minutes. Use Google Maps to find directions. The train ride takes 30 to 45 minutes. Buy an ABC ticket at the ticket machines on the train platform. It costs 3.80€.3 Validate your ticket before you get on the train. For more information, read the Berlin public transit guide.
  • Take a taxi
    There are taxis waiting outside the BER airport. A taxi from the airport to the city centre costs around 50€.4 It’s a bit faster than public transport, but it’s very expensive. Uber and FreeNow also give rides from the airport to the city. German taxis must accept cash and credit cards.5
  • Rent a car
    You can rent a car at the airport. There are kiosks for different car rental companies. You can also use car sharing services like Miles, and drive to Berlin for only 25€.

How to find your way around Berlin

Google Maps works really well in Berlin. It also works offline. The BVG app and the Jelbi app let you see train schedules and buy train tickets, but it does not work offline. Maps.me and OsmAnd have offline maps and directions.

How to use public transit in Berlin

Berlin has very good public transit. It’s the best way to get around, even when you have a car. Just make sure you buy the right ticket and validate it. If you are caught with the wrong ticket, you will get a 60€ fine.

You can buy a 24 hour, 7 day or 1 month ticket. It’s cheaper than buying a ticket every time. There’s also the WelcomeCard, a ticket that gives you rebates on museums and attractions.

How to use public transit ➞

How to rent a bicycle or a scooter

This is the best way to see Berlin. Berlin is very flat and has a lot of bike paths, so it’s easy to ride a bicycle or a scooter. You can rent them for around 10€ per day.

When I have visitors, this is my favourite way to show Berlin. I take my visitors along the river Spree and the Landwehrkanal.

Where to rent a bicycle ➞

Where to rent an electric scooter ➞

How to rent a car

You don’t need to rent a car in Berlin. It’s easier to use public transit. If you have an International Driving Permit or a EU driver’s licence, you can drive in Germany.

Where to rent a car ➞


Main attractions

  • Berlin Wall (Berliner Mauer)
    Some parts of the Berlin wall were preserved. There is preserved part of the wall and a free museum on Bernauer Straße. The East Side Gallery is another part of the wall that was turned into a gallery.
  • Berlin Cathedral (Berliner Dom)
    The most famous church in Berlin. You can visit it, or relax on the grass in front of it. It’s on the museum island, close to many old museums.
  • Berliner Unterwelten
    Bunker, tunnel and air raid shelter tours. The tours are in German, English, French, Spanish and more. I have done 3 of their tours. They are very interesting.
  • Brandenburg Gate (Brandenburger Tor)
    The iconic gate on Berlin’s East-West axis.
  • Christmas markets
    In November and December, you can visit Berlin’s Christmas markets. There are dozens of them. Many are in scenic locations. There are dozens of kiosks that sell hot drinks, food, sweets and home-made goods. The Christmas markets are open from the middle of November to the end of December.
  • East Side Gallery
    A long mural painted directly on the Berlin wall.
  • Mauerpark
    Every Sunday, this park hosts a big flea market and an open air karaoke. Many musicians also play music there.
  • Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
    Next to the Brandenburg gate is a large holocaust memorial and museum. You can walk through the memorial.
  • Museum island (Museuminsel)
    Museum island is home to the Berliner Dom, and many of the biggest, oldest museums. If you like beautiful old buildings, it’s worth a visit.
  • Oberbaum Bridge (Oberbaumbrücke)
    A beautiful bridge that goes across the river Spree. It’s right next to the East Side Gallery. You can also kayak on the Spree to get a really good view on the bridge.
  • Palace of tears (Tränenpalast)
    A small, free museum about the border control between East and West Germany. It’s in the old border crossing point, right next to the Friedrichstraße train station.
  • Reichstag building (Reichstagsgebäude)
    An iconic building. You can visit the cupola and the rooftop, and learn about the history of Berlin. It’s free, but you must make an appointment.
  • Soviet war memorials
    There are many memorials to the Red Army, who liberated Berlin in 1945. There are big memorials in TiergartenTreptower Park, and in Schönholzer Heide. The biggest one is in Treptower Park.
  • Tempelhof airfield (Tempelhofer Feld)
    This giant former airfield is where many Berliners go to relax, drink beer, skate, kite surf and cycle. It’s a great place to visit on a sunny day.
  • Teufelsberg**
    Teufelsberg is an artificial hill. There is a cold war listening station at the top. It’s now an open air gallery with a really good view of Berlin. If you don’t want to pay to visit Teufelsberg, you can visit Drachenberg, the other hill next to it.
  • TV tower (Fernsehturm)
    The TV tower in Alexanderplatz is visible from almost anywhere in Berlin. You can take an elevator to the top of the tower, and get a panoramic view of Berlin.
  • Victory Column (Siegessäule)
    The Victory Column in Tiergarten sits on Berlin’s East-West axis. You can go up the tower and see Tiergarten, the Brandenburg Gate and the Reichstag building from above.

Useful link: visitBerlin.de – Official website with really good information


You can find events on visitBerlin.deFacebook and Resident Advisor. You can find live music on Resident AdvisorBandsintownSongkick and Echtzeitmusik.

  • Berlinale film festival – February
    This is the third largest film festival in the world, after Cannes and Venice. You can meet movie stars, and see all kinds of films.
  • Fête de la Musique – June
    A music festival in the entire city. There are musicians and concerts in every part of the city.
  • Zug der Liebe – End of August
    The Zug der Liebe is a big parade with techno, dance and a lot of happy people.
  • Christopher Street Day – August 29
    A big LGBTQ+ demonstration and parade. It’s similar to Gay Pride in other countries.
  • Christmas markets – Middle of November until end of December
    Germany is famous for its Christmas markets. Berlin has dozens of different markets, including alternative markets like the Japanese Christmas market and the Naughty Xmas Market.

Public holidays in Berlin ➞

Walking tours

Guided tours are a great way to discover Berlin. Use GetYourGuide to find walking tours, or look at this list. I highly recommend the Berliner Unterwelten tours.

Outside of Berlin

If you have a bit more time, Potsdam and Wannsee are worth a visit. You can get there by train. Potsdam is in zone C, so you need an ABC ticket.

Clubs in Berlin

Berlin is famous for its techno clubs. It can be hard to get into certain clubs. Clubs don’t let everyone in. For example, they often reject tourists, big groups, drunk people, and people under 21 years old.8 In Berlin, people don’t wear fancy clothes to go clubbing. If you dress too nice, you won’t get in.9 Most clubs have a cover charge. You must pay 5€ to 15€ to get in. Clubs in Berlin stay open until the morning. The party starts late, and the busiest time is around 2AM.

You can buy presale tickets for club events on Resident Advisor. When you have tickets, it’s easier to get in.10

Find club events on Resident Advisor, or follow clubs on Facebook and Instagram.


In Germany, shops and supermarkets close on Sundays. Most restaurants, tourist attractions, Spätis and gas stations stay open on Sundays.

Always have cash with you. Some restaurants and businesses only accept cash and Girocards. Most street food kiosks and Spätis only accept cash. Cards are rarely accepted for small transactions.

Berlin cash only sign

VAT refund

If you live outside the European Union, you can get a refund for the VAT you paid in Germany. For example, if you buy a laptop in Germany and bring it home in the United States, you can get the 19% VAT back. It’s not easy to do.

VAT refund process – Federal Foreign Office

If you visit from another EU country, your SIM card will also work in Germany. You make calls, send SMS and use mobile data without any extra costs.

German power outlets

Germany has Type F power outlets. They have a voltage of 230V, and a frequency of 50Hz. Before you visit Germany, check if your devices will work there. You might need a travel adapter to charge your devices.

Power sockets in Germany ➞

Free Wi-Fi in Berlin

If you don’t have mobile data, you can find free Wi-Fi everywhere:

  • All U-Bahn stations have free Wi-Fi. Look for the “BVG Free WiFi” network.
  • Some S-Bahn stations also have free Wi-Fi. Look for the “WIFI@DB” network.
  • REWE and Lidl supermarkets have free Wi-Fi.11 Some Edeka supermarkets also have free Wi-Fi.
  • Hotels and hostels have free Wi-Fi for their guests.

Map of public Wi-Fi hotspots – publicwifi.eu

Prepaid SIM cards for tourists

You can buy a prepaid SIM card at the airport, and at Vodafone, Telekom and O2 stores. Saturn and MediaMarkt also sell and activate SIM cards. You must show your passport and a registration certificate to activate the SIM card, but store employees will just use your passport and the address of your hotel.12

Information about SIM cards in Germany ➞


Google Maps works really well in Berlin. If you need offline maps, use OsmAnd or Maps.me. Google Maps also works offline, but you can’t get directions.

You should also download the BVG app or the Jelbi app to buy train tickets. It’s easier than the ticket machines, and it’s in English. The Jelbi app also lets you book cars, scooters, bicycles and taxis.


You don’t need to speak German. People in the tourism industry often speak English. If you are not sure, ask first. Museum exhibitions are in German and English. Signs in tourist areas are also in English. If you want to live in Berlin, you should learn German. If you are just visiting, English is fine.

Do I need to speak German in Berlin? ➞


In Germany, tipping is optional. In general, people tip up to 10% for good service, or round the amount on the invoice.

How to tip in Germany ➞

Things you should not do

  • Do not walk on the bike paths
    Look down, and make sure you’re not blocking a bicycle path. If you walk on the bike path, cyclists will ring their bell, scream at you or even bump into you.
  • Do not put your glass bottles in the trash
    People collect empty bottles and return them for money. Don’t make people search for bottles in the trash. Put your empty bottles next to the bin. In some parks, bottle collectors (Flaschensammler) will walk around and ask for your empty bottles.
  • Do not joke about Nazis and the war
    You probably shouldn’t joke about this. It’s not funny, and it’s not original.


Berlin is a safe city even at night, but crimes still happen. Pickpockets steal phones and bags in trains and restaurants.


Cannabis is illegal in Germany.


Emergency numbers in Berlin ➞

Lost things

Where to find lost things in Berlin ➞

The UrbanCare Dialogues venue.

ANCB The Aedes Metropolitan Laboratory 

ANCB The Aedes Metropolitan Laboratory in Berlin is a unique interdisciplinary platform for urban discourse, exploring the interplay between the built environment, social life, technology, education and research … click here to know more.

Accomodation near us

1. Pfefferbett Hostel
Am Pfefferberg, Hof 4, Haus 6
Christinenstraße 18/19
10119 Berlin
Tel: 0049 30 93 93 58 58
E-mail: [email protected]

2. Meininger Hotel and Hostel
Schönhauser Allee 19
10435 Berlin
Tel: 0049 30 98 32 10 74
E-mail: [email protected]

3. EastSeven Berlin Hostel
Schwedter Str. 7
10119 Berlin
Tel. 0049 30 936 222 40
E-mail: [email protected]

4. The Circus Hotel Berlin Mitte
Weinbergsweg 1a
10119 Berlin
Tel: 0049 30 2000 39 39
E-mail: [email protected]

5. Wombat’s City Hostel Berlin
Alte Schönhausterstr. 2
10119 Berlin
Tel: 0049 30 84 71 0820
E-mail: [email protected]

6. Hotel Pension Intervarko
Greifswalder Straße 225
10405 Berlin
Tel: 0049 30 41 725 729
E-mail: [email protected]

1. Meininger Hotel and Hostel
Schönhauser Allee 19
10435 Berlin
Tel: 0049 30 98 32 10 74
E-mail: [email protected]

2. Hotel Jurine Berlin Mitte
Schwedterstraße 15
10119 Berlin
Tel: 0049 30 44 32 99 0
E-mail: [email protected]

3. Kastanienhof
Kastanienallee 65
10119 Berlin
Tel: 0049 30 44 30 50
E-mail: [email protected]

4. Precise Hotel Myer’s Berlin

Metzerstraße 26
10405 Berlin
Tel: 0049 30 44 01 40
E-mail: [email protected]

5. The Circus Hotel Berlin Mitte
Rosenthalerstraße 1
10119 Berlin
Tel: 0049 30 2000 39 39
E-mail: [email protected]

6. Hotel: Ibis Style Berlin Mitte
Brunnenstraße 1-2
10119 Berlin
0049 30 4849110
E-mail: [email protected]

7. Hotel Amano
Auguststraße 43
10119 Berlin
Tel: 0049 30 80 94 15 0
E-mail:  [email protected]

8. Hotel Transit Loft
Immanuelkirchstraße 14a
10405 Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg
Tel: 0049 30 48493773
E-mail: [email protected]

9.  Alex Hotel
Greifswalder Str. 3
10405 Berlin-Prenzlauer Berg
Tel: 0049 30 4172 4172
E-mail: [email protected]

10. The Weinmeister
Weinmeisterstraße 2
10178 Berlin-Mitte
Tel: 0049 30 75 56 67 0
E-mail: [email protected]

11. Lux 11
Rosa-Luxemburg-Straße 9-13
10178 Berlin
Tel: 0049 30 93 62 80 0
E-mail: [email protected]

12. Hotel: MotelOne
Dircksenstraße 36
10179 Berlin
Phone: 0049 30 2 00 54 08-0
E-mail: [email protected]


1. Soho House Berlin
Torstraße 1
10119 Berlin
Tel: 0049 30 40 50 44-0
E-mail: [email protected]

2. Camper Hotel
Weinmeisterstraße 1
10178 Berlin
Tel: 0049 30 20 00 34 10
E-Mail:[email protected]

3. Hotel de Rome
Behrenstraße 37
10117 Berlin
Tel: 0049 30 460 60 90

E-Mail: [email protected]

4. Hotel Adlon Kempinski Berlin
Unter den Linden 77
10117 Berlin
Tel:  0049 30 2261 0  
E-mail: [email protected]

5. The Ritz Carlton Berlin

Potsdamer Platz 3
10785 Berlin
Tel: 0049 30 33 77 77
E-mail: [email protected]

6. Grand Hyatt Berlin
Marlene-Dietrich-Platz 2
10785 Berlin
Tel:  0049 30 2553 1234
E-Mail:[email protected]

7. Berlin Marriott Hotel
Inge-Beisheim-Platz 1
10785 Berlin
Tel: 0049 030 220000
[email protected]

1. Schoenhouse Apartments
-Schönhauser Allee 185, 10119 Berlin
-Prenzlauer Allee 241, 10405 Berlin
Tel: 0049 30 47 37 39 70
E-mail: [email protected]

2. ABP-Apartment Prenzlauer Berg
Kollwitzstr. 2
10405 Berlin
Tel: 0049 30 26 55 69 510
E-mail: [email protected]

3. The Circus Apartments
Choriner Straße 84
10119 Berlin
Tel: 0049 30 2000 39 39
E-mail: [email protected]

4. Soho House Berlin
Torstraße 1
10119 Berlin
Tel: 0049 30 40 50 44-0
E-mail: [email protected]

5. Yellow Studio
Oderbergerstraße 56
10437 Berlin
Tel: 0049 30 44 35 17 85
E-mail: [email protected]

6. 1A Apartment | Berlin
Pension & Gästehaus
Milastrasse 6
10437 Berlin
Tel: 0049 30 44044069
E-mail: [email protected]

7. Apartments in different locations:
-Schönfließer Strasse
-Paul-Robeson-Str. 38
10439 Berlin
Tel: 0049 30 4288108
Mobile phone: 0049 177 2347247 (Andreas)
E-mail: [email protected]

8. Wimdu Berlin
Apartments throughout Berlin, including over 450 in Prenzlauer Berg
Book online at: www.wimdu.co.uk/berlin

UrbanCare Dialogues cooperation partners