Curso eG Travel Writing summer 2011


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BearsBeersBikes: YoungPersonGuideToBerlin

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bears beers bikes a young person s guide to berlin ctr july master final.indd 1-2 7/29/11 10:27 pm


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contents introduction and history practical information 05 09 19 27 35 75 93 115 133 143 165 first published in july 2011 by city travel review inc all words and photos that appear in this guide are property of the respective writers and photographers copyright © 2011 accomodation tours museums memorials and sights art and culture food and drink shopping outdoors nightlife meet the team cover illustration and design jenny hyndman aimee stanton jenni myung joe hawkins layout editors editors jaimielee rendall maddy andrews marie burrows rachel cohen photography editor jenni myung special thanks to lutz alex marcus matt caroline sophie nina and jeremy in edinburgh ctr july master final.indd 3-4 7/29/11 10:27 pm


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introduction the official capital of cool or should that be unofficial berlin is where global hipsters and history addicts rub shoulders whatever your taste interests or financial budget this quirky vibrant and effervescent city blends the old and the new luring you in and never letting go each of the city s distinct neighbourhoods has its own charm and character mitte is the tourist hot-spot with visitors flocking to museum island the brandenburg gate and checkpoint charlie the mecca for every cold war thriller aficionado and if you have a penchant for the finer things in life visit charlottenburg palace berlin s majestic prussian palace just within city limits the young and the restless congregate in kreuzberg friedrichshain and prenzlauer berg where effortlessly hip bars and clubs seem to be open 24 hours a day from late night to the wee hours you re sure to find parties you won t remember but will never forget berlin is a powerful magnet for fashion art and music and it is not hard to see why this is a city almost overflowing with creativity from guerilla fashion shows hosted in the u-bahn stations to the pop-up nightclubs in the famous pergamon museum or east side gallery berlin is the ultimate manifestation of culture loathe to forgetting its past but keen on looking towards the future berlin strikes a balance between self-reflection and optimism for a brighter tomorrow this is a place where the skyline changes more often than the unpredictable weather today the city has evolved into a lightning-paced metropolis where you won t ever get bored or run out of things to see do and drink the extensive public transport network makes getting around both simple and for the most part stress free with so much to see and do accidentally getting off at the wrong u-bahn stop is even a blessing in disguise as you might stumble across the city s hidden gems it is hardly a surprise then when speaking about the constantly changing nature of germany s capital former french culture minister jack lang once said paris is always paris and berlin is never berlin in our comprehensive guide of berlin ­ bears beers and bikes ­ we ve given you the low down of the city s icons museums and historical must-sees we ve shopped till we dropped so you wouldn t burn a hole through your wallet we ve gone ahead and had predrinks at all the hip bars so you would know how to party like a berliner and we ve even ventured beyond the city limits to sunbathe in the beautiful lakes and forests ­ mostly for ourselves but you will benefit from our reports too either way this is how we see berlin in the eyes of a young and curious student so we can only hope you too will see the absolute brilliance of berlin city travel review team july 2011 5bears beers and bikes a young persons guide to berlin6 ctr july master final.indd 5-6 7/29/11 10:27 pm


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berlin a brief history founded in the 13th century berlin is rich in history not without its problems this city has experienced many historical movements that have not only formed berlin but the rest of the world berlin grew from the nearby cities of berlin and cölln which expanded rapidly throughout the middle ages in 1709 king friedrich i declared the unification of the five towns of berlin cölln friedrichswerder dorotheenstadt and friedrichstadt to form the capital and royal residence of berlin from 1740 berlin developed into a centre of the enlightenment establishing itself at the forefront of european culture a reputation it still enjoys today under the rule of friedrich the great some of berlin s most well-known monuments were constructed these include st hedwig s cathedral prinz-heinrich-palais now humboldt university and the opera palace in 1861 the city expanded further with the incorporation of the suburbs wedding gesundbrunnen moabit chalottenburg schöneberg and rixdorf in 1871 berlin was named as capital of the german reich becoming the empire s political economic and scientific hub the 20th century saw the outbreak of the first world war and germany s defeat meant the city found it increasingly difficult to feed its people leading to massive strikes kaiser wilhelm ii was eventually ousted leading to the founding of the weimar republic in 1918 this period promised to bring new freedoms and liberties but was plagued by political and economic instability unfortunately this era of uncertainty paved the way for hitler and the nazi party the german people had had enough of poverty and squalor and craved stability hitler rose through the ranks of politics at an incredible pace appointed chancellor in 1933 he fused the offices of president and chancellor gaining absolute power and becoming führer of the third reich home to the headquarters of the nazi party berlin was the focal point of allied attacks on germany which resulted in much of the city being destroyed the wide-spread reconstruction shaped the landscape of the city we recognise today after the war berlin along with the rest of germany was divided into four occupation zones these were controlled by the ussr britain the usa and france tensions quickly emerged between the western allies and the soviets regarding the management of the german economy these disagreements came to a head in june 1948 when the allies introduced a new currency ­ the deutschmark viewing this as a breach of the potsdam agreement which stipulated that germany be treated as one economic zone the soviets responded by adopting the ostmark separation between the two states became official in 1949 the western zones formed the federal republic of germany frg with bonn as its capital and the east became the german democratic republic gdr whose capital was east berlin the west flourished under the leadership of chancellor konrad adenauer with the progressive economic policies of ludwig erhard paving the way for the wirtschaftswunder economic miracle of the 1950s and 60s meanwhile the east was crippled by oppressive communist rule the economy was stagnant and the people lived under constant surveillance by the ministry for state security staatsicherheitspolizei or stasi the low quality of life drove many east berliners to seek refuge in the west to halt the exodus the east erected the infamous berlin wall a period of left-wing rebellion and protest erupted in 1968 led mainly by university students and the rote armee faktion red army faction although things had settled down by 1970 some lasting changes were achieved universities were modernised the student body was politicised and the green party was founded by the 1980s change was in the air but what came next surprised the world the wende the fall of communism was gradual eventually climaxing in the collapse of the berlin wall on 9th november 1989 berlin became a separate city-state however economic reform took place in the mid-1990s which led to the signing of the unification treaty in 1991 it was decided that berlin would once again become the capital and home to the german government a stroll in berlin feels like a walk through history its tumultuous past and varied cultural tapestry has made berlin the buzzing capital you are visiting today s.gleeson and j.rendall a young persons guide to berlin8 ctr july master final.indd 7-8 7/29/11 10:27 pm


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practical information ctr july master final.indd 9-10 7/29/11 10:27 pm


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practical information getting around in berlin berlin is a very big city but luckily for tourists there is an excellent and extensive public transport network under the bvg company this extends throughout the whole city and also out to many prime spots outside city limits berlin s transport is divided into three sections a b and c and ticket prices can vary depending on which section you are travelling to on the bvg website you will find a journey planner which can be used in english the public transport system offers four means of travelling u-bahn s-bahn tram and bus tram the tram system only operates in east berlin as the trams in the west were privatised and turned into the metro bus that you see today its lines cover most of the areas in the east which the s and u-bahn don t reach it also links destinations where the closest train or underground station is not within comfortable walking distance u-bahn this underground train system much like the london underground the paris métro and the new york subway operates mostly underground with a few routes which run over ground too the service runs frequently and you re sure to reach your destination quickly as the trains are fast and efficient on friday and saturday nights there is a service running along all lines except the u4 and u55 this service runs from 12:30am 5:30am fri/sat and sat/sun and until 7am prior to public holidays bus the bus network runs everywhere including places the trams s and u-bahn don t reach it is the most extensive network in the city the bus service runs to the airports including the x9 to tegel departing from stations including kurt-schumacher-platz u6 jakob-kaiser-platz and jungfernheide u7 and the x7 to shönefeld which departs from rudow u7 plane in the unlikely event that you ever want to leave berlin there are two airports which are close-by tegel which is in north-west berlin and shönefeld which is southeast both are easily accessible by s and u-bahn and then a connecting bus service ­ which are well signposted there is also a train service which runs from ostkreuz train station the s9 to flughafen berlin-shönefeld s-bahn similar to the u-bahn however this system operates mostly over ground with a few lines around potsdamer platz going underground this is like a regular short distance rail way system the s-bahn travels quickly between stations so even if on the map your destination looks far away you ll arrive reasonably fast on friday and saturday nights there is a service running along all lines except the s45 and s85 this service runs from 12:30am 5:30am fri/sat and sat/sun and until 7am prior to public holidays tegel is within zone b so if you ve bought a season ticket for zones ab then it ll be included however shönefeld is within zone c so you will need to buy an additional ticket in 2012 there will be a new airport opening the berlin brandenburg airport this will mean that tegel will most likely close with all air traffic being directed to the new merger of shönefeld once open there will be more airport connections made from the airport making it easier for travellers to get to the centre 11bears beers and bikes a young person s guide to berlin12 ctr july master final.indd 11-12 7/29/11 10:27 pm


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