Berlin is the capital of Germany and a popular destination for ex-pats from all over the world. The city is well-known for its, welcoming nature, history, culture, and nightlife. Berlin also has many museums with free admission as well as other attractions that are affordable. If you have just moved to Berlin, keep one thing in mind the more you can become part of your new city, the easier it is to adjust.
Becoming a local means getting to know your new city and doing the things that locals do. You’ll get a better sense of where everything is (and where it’s not), which will make exploring easier. The more you know about a place, the more comfortable you’ll feel there. And once you’re comfortable enough in your surroundings, it becomes much easier to get around town and actually enjoy yourself!
In this article, we will tell you about how to live in Berlin as a local and enjoy the city’s unique atmosphere!
Do as the locals do: cycle
The bike is the most popular mode of transport in Berlin and a good way to get around the city. Make sure to rent one, because it’s fast, cheap and easy. A huge network of cycle paths makes it easy for cyclists to navigate around the city.
Bike rental is available from many locations in Berlin, including rental shops located throughout the city centre and at stations serving regional trains (S-Bahn). Rental cost ranges from €10 for 24 hours up to €70 per week. You must be 18 years or older to rent a bicycle; children under 6 can ride on adult bikes without paying extra fees if accompanied by an adult rider who has bought a ticket for them. Bikes are very affordable and well-maintained; helmet usage is not compulsory so don’t worry if you forgot yours!
Get an Abo card
The Abo card is a discount card for Berlin that you can use on public transport and in museums, galleries and recreational facilities. It is available at the tourist information office, where you can get it for €55 for three days, €65 for five days or €75 for seven days (the last two options include unlimited access to the S-Bahn). You can also buy the card online before your trip — but keep in mind that it only works with an active mobile phone number.
The Abo card comes with an electronic chip that must be activated upon purchase by entering a PIN code into a terminal at the tourist information office. When using this card to take public transport, remember that it only covers fares up to zone A and B of Berlin’s rapid transit network (which includes most of central Berlin).
Explore beyond Alexanderplatz and Ku’Damm
Once you have been living in Berlin for quite some time now and have seen obvious tourist spots, it is time to explore some of Berlin’s non-touristy neighbourhoods as locals on weekend.
You may want to start at Alexanderplatz, which is also known as Alex. This area has everything you could possibly want in a city: shopping, culture and entertainment. The Sky Mall on the third floor of Forum Arkaden offers a variety of stores including Zara and H&M while the Bikini Berlin store offers an amazing selection of swimwear.
You can grab lunch or dinner at one of many restaurants located along the mall’s walkway including Thai Box and Burger King. If you are looking for something new try Saigon City Restaurant where they serve Vietnamese food with a modern twist or if you are feeling adventurous go for Chinese cuisine at Kaiseki Ramen Bar (not far from Alexanderplatz).
The other main shopping district in Berlin is Ku’damm (pronounced “Koo dum”) which means “street paved with logs” in English when it was first built in 1873. There were still many trees on this part of town so planks were laid down over them so people could cross more easily during rainy weather conditions!
There are plenty of places along here such as Galeries Lafayette Haussmann department store where people line up outside early hours each morning just waiting patiently until doors open each day around 10 am then rush inside once allowed access through security barriers set up around building entrances.
Learn to love the past
Berlin is a city of history and culture. So much so that it’s impossible to know everything about it in one lifetime—or even two or three. The city has deep roots dating back to the 12th century, but Berlin has also reinvented itself many times throughout its existence. The result? A richly layered identity that makes this city unlike any other in Europe (or indeed the world).
Berlin is best explored by walking along its streets: you’ll find countless buildings with stories to tell, and every corner seems to have another hidden gem waiting just around the bend. We recommend starting your explorations at Alexanderplatz before moving on through Mitte to Kreuzberg and Neukölln; these neighbourhoods are where locals live and work during their everyday lives—and they’re also home to some of Berlin’s most unique attractions such as Checkpoint Charlie (which marks part of what was once known as “The Wall”).
Check out a museum for free on certain days of the week
Berlin has a lot of world-class museums, and most of them offer free admission on certain days of the week. Here are some of the best free museums in Berlin:
- Museum Island
- Pergamon Museum
- Bode Museum
You can find out which days each museum is open for free by visiting their website or calling ahead to make sure they aren’t closed for renovations. The average walking distance between these three museums is just under two miles (3km), so you can do all three in one day if you want!
No matter how long you’re going to be in Berlin, there’s always something new to try and experience. The city is filled with history, culture, and traditions that should not be missed. The best way to truly get an understanding of this city is by getting out there and living it up!