The Wonders of Public Transport in Berlin; or, what you can see in one day because the trains are so good

Berlin is arguably the most exciting city to visit in Europe right now and there are a few places everybody should go when they visit. On my recent 8-day sojourn, I saw those things and then some. On my first couple days in the city, when I could get away from my many meetings, I made a point to see all the major sites that I could. And in Berlin, that’s astoundingly easy. The U-bahn and S-bahn, that’s the underground and overground metro/train system, function so smoothly and wonderously that it makes me almost want to decamp from Rome with its lousy public transport and set up shop in Berlin. And what can you see when you emerge from your clean and efficient U-bahn or S-bahn train? Well the Brandenburg Gate for one:

triumphal!
triumphal!

And the nearby Reichstag:

The German People
The German People

Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to go up in the fancy mirror and glass dome. Due to my meetings I never had a good chance/schedule to stand in the reservation line, so something to look forward to for next time.

pretty dome
pretty dome

The Monument to the Murdered Jews of Europe:

eery
eery

Which is a lot, A LOT bigger than it even looks in these photos: an entire city block. Interestingly and perhaps not-subtly, the American Embassy is right across the street, between this monument and the Reichstag.

that's the American Embassy on the right and you can see the Dome of the Reichstag in the background
that’s the American Embassy on the right and you can see the Dome of the Reichstag in the background

The Cathedral:

Dramatically lit at night!
Dramatically lit at night!
still dramatic in the daytime
still dramatic in the daytime

The TV Tower:

Tall at night
Tall at night
Still tall during the day
Still tall during the day

The TV tower also ends up photo-bombing practically anywhere you are in the city. It’s so, so, so tall you can practically see it from anywhere. Clearly the GDR had adequacy concerns.

And various fragments of the Wall, including the East Side Gallery:

My first sighting of a bit of the Wall, in Potsdamer Platz
My first sighting of a bit of the Wall, in Potsdamer Platz
gum covered fragments (ewww) in Potsdamer Platz
gum covered fragments (ewww) in Potsdamer Platz

The East Side Gallery is RIGHT NOW under threat of destruction: developers have torn down stretches of it to build apartments. The day I was there David Hasselhoff was leading a rally to save it. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see the Hoff, but I’m glad I got to see the Gallery while it was still standing:

East Side Gallery
East Side Gallery
most famous painting?
most famous painting?
pretty
pretty
also pretty
also pretty
the wall was SO TALL. and there's the TV Tower photobombing in the background
the wall was SO TALL. and there’s the TV Tower photobombing in the background

And no joke, I saw all of that in just my first 24-hours! God bless the U- and S-Bahn! Next up: more Berlin!!

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “The Wonders of Public Transport in Berlin; or, what you can see in one day because the trains are so good

    1. I was there for 8 days, so I bought a 7-day U-bahn/S-bahn card. It turned out to be an excellent deal. There are a LOT of different types of passes and cards for different lengths/different parts of the city and also some that give you discounts. Th BVG website is really comprehensive (and in English!), so it would be easy to find a pass that works for you. Thanks for reading!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s