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If you're planning a campervan tour of Germany or Europe, chance are the you'll be including the wonderful city of Berlin in your itinerary. Whether you're starting or ending your motorhome travels in Berlin, or just passing through, you'll find plenty of useful information here about Berlin for campervan travellers. Enjoy!
Berlin Better be on Your Bucket List
It just isn’t possible to plan an epic road trip through this awesome country without carving out some time in its biggest superstar — Berlin. In so many places in Germany you will revel in the feeling that time has stood still — but not in Berlin. This edgy tech-savvy city embraces its modernity with fervour.
The city’s arts scene is always pushing boundaries with frequently controversial works and even the city’s graffiti is worth a walking tour.
At night, Berlin is playground to some of Europe’s best electronic DJs and a pulsing club music scene that attracts fans from the world over. For a more laid back night out, visit one of the many jazz or blues clubs in the city. Restaurants offer international cuisine at prices that won’t break your travel budget, even for an incredible meal.
Although Berlin is constantly looking forward, it has also carefully preserved its past. If you are a lover of WWII history, you’ll want to take one of the many available guided tours to find out about Berlin’s hidden secrets. While the city’s museums are also not to be missed, those interested in more recent history will want to view the remains of the Berlin Wall.
Bypass Berlin on your campervan adventure and you will cheat yourself out of an incredible time. Whether you are there for the culture or the non-stop nightlife, this thoroughly modern city has something for everyone. What’s more, you will have no trouble camping here and should easily find a campervan site in which to park and take in the best of Berlin.
How far are campervan depots from Berlin airport?
There are several campervan hire companies to choose from so you should be able to get the vehicle you want at a competitive price.
While Pure Motorhomes and McRent Motorhomes are located just across the road from the Schonefeld Airport, the depots for Compass Campers and DRM Motorhomes are approximately 36 kilometres away (about 45 minutes via taxi). On the other hand, Big Sky Motorhomes doesn’t have a depot in the city but you can arrange pickup and drop-off via a phone call with the company before you depart your home country.
When are the best times to visit Berlin?
As is true for other major German cities, there are masses of tourists during the summer months (June to August). The best time to visit is in September when the weather is cooling and crowds have dissipated.
Winter (December to February) is freezing cold. But if you’re prepared for temperatures ranging between 2°C and -3°C, you’ll get big price breaks on the city’s attractions. During autumn (September to November), temperatures are usually lovely but can get cold, ranging from 19°C to 2°C. Spring temperatures range from a pleasant 18°C down to 0°C so you will still want to pack warmer gear, while summer is hot (23°C-12°C).
Dec - Feb: Low -3°C, High 2°C
Mar - May: Low 0°C, High 18°C
Jun - Aug: Low 12°C, High 23°C
Sep - Nov: Low 2°C, High 19°C
Places to Visit in and around Berlin
Berlin’s Big Museum Scene
You may think you don’t need to see any more museums if you have been in Europe for a while, but you really must visit at least a few in Berlin. We can think of 10 in Berlin that we think too good to miss, but we’re giving your our top three.
There’s the Neues Museum, bombed out in 1945 and later refashioned into a world-class exhibition space. Here you will find a Neanderthal skull, the bust of Egyptian queen Nefertiti and Heinrich Schliemann’s Trojan antiquities.
Both museum and place of remembrance, The Topography of Terror is sad and shocking and helps us understand how and why an event like the holocaust could have taken place in a civilised society.
For an incredible and diverse collection of works by artists such as Picasso, Braque, Matisse, Klee and Giacometti, you won’t want to miss the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. The history behind its collection is almost as interesting as the works themselves.
If you’re tired of visiting museums, take a break to check out the city’s totally cool street graffiti.
You’d better take a power nap in the afternoon if you plan to take on Berlin’s nightlife after the sun sets. This is one of the coolest cities in Europe to stay out, cut loose and let your inhibitions slide. Every night there are packed nightclubs, comedy clubs, live music venues, special events, dance parties, and so much more.
Most bars never close in Berlin so you’ll need some stamina if you want to see all that this energetic non-stop city has to offer. If you want a more leisurely stay, there are less frenetic ways to spend an evening — take your choice of classy wine bars, dreamy jazz joints and world-class restaurants.
The Grunewald forest is just a train ride away and a magical respite from the hectic urban pace of Berlin. Pack a picnic lunch and waste the afternoon away hiking, biking or riding on horseback. The forest is lush and picturesque with fresh waters for you to swim in if the weather is right. Rising above the woodland, the Teufelsberg, a man-made hill constructed by the Allies after World War II from the city’s rubble, is worth visiting but you’ll need to book ahead for access.
Bargain Hunters Rejoice
On Sundays head to the massive flea market in Mauerpark for bargains galore! Berlin also has heaps of vintage and secondhand shops for unique clothing and design finds that will have your friends back home asking “Where in the world did you find that?” There are also many international chain stores such as Zara and H&M where you can pick-up some runway-ready fashions for next to nothing.
Get a Little Weird
There are so many wonderful things to do in Berlin that are off the radar. Do a little research ahead of your visit if you are looking for something out of the ordinary to do while you are here.
You can float in the spa waters of the Liquidrom while listening to techno music. Explore the Stasi Museum, former headquarters of East Germany’s terrifying secret police, and learn some of their secrets.
Scare yourself silly at the Gruselkabinett, a former WWII bunker now part history museum and part haunted house.
You may be a tourist but don’t forget to explore what you may not find on a map!
8 Tips for Visitors to Berlin
- While most people speak English, it is considered rude to assume everyone does. Learn at least a few pleasantries in German to make a great impression.
- Pickpockets frequent transport hubs looking for people who are obviously tourists so take care. Otherwise, it is a very safe city.
- Don’t light up without asking if it is permitted first! Berlin has led the world-trend in banning smoking in public places.
- Littering is not tolerated as Berliners are very environmentally-friendly. For instance, if you bring your bottle back to the bar, you may receive a discount on your drink!
- Check the restaurant menu for instructions on tipping, as it is becoming less likely that the tip is included in the bill.
- Food trucks are a cool new trend in Berlin so don’t be afraid to eat out on the street.
- A trip up the Norman Foster-designed Reichstag dome gives a spectacular panorama view of the city and is free!
- Get yourself pampered at the new Balinese spa Vabali. It is a bit of a splurge, but a pass (€31) entitles guests to a full day of luxury in 10 different saunas and complimentary use of the five-acre gardens.
MAJOR EVENTS IN BERLIN
- Berlin International Beer Festival – August
- Long Night of Museums – August
- Berlin Oktoberfest – September
- Festival of Lights – October
- Berlin Carnival of Culture - For four days around Pentecost
- Christopher Street Day – June
- Berlin Jazz Festival – November
- Berlin Christmas Markets – November – January
- Europe’s Biggest New Year Celebration – 31 December
- Berlin Film Festival - January
What are the best ways to get around Berlin?
Public transport doesn’t get much better than Berlin. In fact, the city is rather famous for it.
You’ll find there’s no need to drive into the city, and if you save yourself the trouble you’ll also save on pricey parking.
The excellent bus, tram, train and underground services will get you wherever you want to go, with small-group day tickets, multi-trip tickets and seven-day tickets that will save you some Euros. Call BVG Customer Service (+49 30 19449) if you need help and don’t know how to get to where you’re going.
Berlin uses a zone ticketing system, but you are unlikely to need to go beyond zones A and B unless you are taking a long trip.
Taxis are cheaper than in most European cities. Berlin is bicycle-friendly and bicycle rental. The city is safe for walking but big so you will likely need to take public transport to see all of the sites. There are also heaps of tour buses, a reasonably priced way to get to tourist sites if you want to make it easy on yourself.
Where Can You Camp in Berlin?
Don’t think you can park overnight anywhere you please in the city. Your campervan will be towed or ticketed. There are proper campervan sites right inside the city though! These require early reservations but you will be right in the heart of things. We recommend these places in particular:
What Campervan Brands are Available in Berlin?
The Definitive Guide to Campervan Rental in Germany
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