Europe welcomes thousands of gap year students every year, and while the majority of your time will be spent in one place, itâ€™s a great opportunity to take advantage of Europeâ€™s cheap student travel (check out the InterRail site for example) and (relatively) short travel times between major cities. So, what should you do if youâ€™re in Berlin for 48 hours, yet you want to keep away from the main tourist attractions? Letâ€™s take a look.
First Things First â€“ Plan Your Trip
If youâ€™re only going to be in Berlin for a few days, you donâ€™t want to waste half a day sussing the area out and finding somewhere to stay – get your accommodation booked in advance, whether that is one of Berlinâ€™s many hostels, or a short-stay holiday apartment through a site like Wimdu.co.uk (Europeâ€™s answer to Airbnb). Berlinâ€™s transport system is comprehensive and runs throughout the night â€“ you can see an overview of it at the cityâ€™s BVG site, which includes a handy journey planner. Top Tip: For very popular attractions such as a tour of the Reichstag it is worth checking whether you can book a ticket in advance to save on queuing time.
Relax at theBadeschiff
Badeschiff is an attraction unique to Berlin and allows you to swim in the river Spree without actually having to swim in the river! A former river barge, Badeschiff is transformed into a swimming pool during the summer, and a saunaduring the winter. At night time, the attraction morphs into a nightclub, and itâ€™s sure to be like nothing youâ€™ve ever seen before!Itâ€™s industrial surroundings will seem a million miles away when you are floating on your back in the sun (or enjoying the heat on a chilly winterâ€™s evening).
Badeschiff is located on the side of the River Spree at Treptower Park. It costs â‚¬5 for adults and â‚¬2 for children.
Buy Gifts at The Absinth Depot
Absinth â€“ or the â€˜green fairyâ€™ â€“is still banned in many countries in the world, but you can enjoy it totally legally in Germany. If you fancy giving it a try, The Absinth Depot is the place to visit. Here, you will find a great selection, and one of the Depotâ€™s staff will happily help you find the perfect bottle. Tastings are also available if you want to try before you buy.
Located on Weinmeisterstrasse 4, the closest subway station to the Absinth Depot is Weinmeisterstrasse.
Let Your Hair Down at Weinerei
If an evening on the absinth seems a little intense, maybe wine would suit you better â€“ and the Weineri is a bar with a difference: thereâ€™s no price list, no set cost, and no servers. Instead, you buy a glass for â‚¬1, help yourself to as much booze as you want, and then pay what you think is a fair price before you leave. With its mishmash of retro furniture, antipasti snacks, and friendly locals, Weinerei is a great place to meet new people and let your hair down. Itâ€™s a good idea to keep track of how much youâ€™re drinking, though, to make sure you really do give a fair price!
There are three Weinereis in Berlin, located on Griebenowstrasse 5, Zionskirchstrasse 40 and Fehrbelliner Strasse 57.
Take a Tour of the Wild East on a Trabi Safari
Visiting Berlin without seeing some of its incredible historical monuments would be a real shame. But, if you donâ€™t fancy doing the usual tourist tours, check out the cityâ€™sTrabiSafari. Riding around the city in one of the DDRâ€™s iconic motors, youâ€™ll drive past many of the cityâ€™s finest tourist attractions and historical landmarks, and receive a running commentary of what you are passing over the radio. Youâ€™ll go along the Karl Mark Allee and alongside the East Side Gallery, before driving past the remaining part of the Berlin Wall, over the Oberbaumbridge, and through the Kreuzberg Quarter. This is one of the best ways to see the cityâ€™s attractions.
Trabi Safaris run numerous times per day with each tour taking just over an hour. Tours start at ZimmerstraÃŸe 97, and prices start from â‚¬34 euros per person.