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FESTIVALS, HOLIDAYS AND OTHER ANNUAL EVENTS IN Berlin

There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Berlin each year. The main ones are listed below.

January 1: New Year's Day (Neujahrstag - national holiday)

March/April: Good Friday (Karfreitag - local event)

March/April: Easter Monday Easter Monday (Ostermontag - national holiday)

May 1: Labour Day (Tag der Arbeit - national holiday)

August: Tanz Im August (local event)

This three-week festival is a celebration of modern dance, showcasing the latest trends in choreography, in a series of performances at various venues across the city featuring companies and artists from all over the world. The programme also includes workshops and lectures by both dancers and critics.

October 3: German Unity Day (Tag der Deutschen Einheit - national holiday)

Commemorates the anniversary of Germany's reunification in 1990. Celebrations in Berlin include a huge street party at the Brandenburg Gate, plus concerts and other stage performances.

Early November: JazzFest Berlin (local event)

Held every year since 1964, this four-day jazz festival attracts many big names for a programme of performances at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele and several other venues in the city.

November 11: Saint Martin's Day (local event)

In Berlin, Saint Martin's feast day is celebrated with a parade through the city's streets by children carrying lanterns they have usually made themselves and singing songs known as Lanternlieder.

December 25: Christmas (Weihnachtstag - national holiday)

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CLIMATE AND WEATHER IN Berlin

Berlin has a semi-continental climate. The German capital experiences fairly cold and relatively dry winters. Summers are usually warm, with occasional thunderstorms.

Month Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°) Average Rains (MM) Best Time to Travel
January -2/28 3/37 42/1.7 Not the best period to go
February -2/28 4/39 33/1.3 Not the best period to go
March 1/34 8/46 40/1.6 Not the best period to go
April 4/39 13/55 37/1.5 Not the best period to go
May 9/48 19/66 54/2.1 Not the best period to go
June 12/54 22/72 69/2.7 Good period to go Good period to go
July 14/57 24/75 55/2.2 Good period to go Good period to go
August 14/57 24/75 58/2.3 Good period to go Good period to go
September 10/50 19/66 45/1.8 Good period to go Good period to go
October 6/43 13/55 37/1.5 Not the best period to go
November 2/36 7/45 44/1.7 Not the best period to go
December 0/32 4/39 55/2.2 Not the best period to go
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Berlin Tegel International Airport

Berlin's Tegel International Airport is located about 8 kilometres (5 miles) north-west of the city centre.

  • Five terminals
    • Terminal A (Air France)
    • Terminal B
    • Terminal C
    • Terminal D
    • Terminal E

Getting from the airport to Berlin and back
  • By car
    • Accessible via the A111 (Saatwinkler Damm exit), with a travel time of about 20 minutes.
    • Four main parking facilities are available at the airport: P1, P2, P5 (EUR 6 for 1 hour, EUR 44 for 24 hours) and PK (EUR 3 for 15 minutes, EUR 140 for 24 hours).
    • Several car rental companies have counters at the airport's car rental centre, located on the lower level near Terminal E and the P2 parking garage.
  • By bus
    • Four buses operated by Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) have stops outside Terminals A and B:
      • The TXL Express bus connects the airport with Berlin's main train station (Hauptbahnhof), the Brandenburg Gate and Alexanderplatz every 6–7 minutes. The trip to Alexanderplatz takes about 40 minutes and the fare is EUR 2.70 each way.
      • Bus line X9 connects the airport with Jungfernheide and the Zoologischer Garten every 9–10 minutes. The trip to Zoologischer Garten takes about 25 minutes and the fare is EUR 2.70 each way.
      • Bus 128 connects the airport with Osloer Straße every 10 minutes. The trip takes about 25 minutes and the fare is EUR 2.70 each way.
      • Bus 109 connects the airport with Jakob-Kaiser-Platz, Jungfernheide and Zoologischer Garten every 9–10 minutes. The trip to Zoologischer Garten takes about 30 minutes and the fare is EUR 2.70 each way.
  • By taxi
    • Taxis are available at the ranks in the inner ring of Terminal A at exits 6–9 and outside Terminals C and E on the lower level. The trip to central Berlin takes about 20 minutes and costs around EUR 20.
  • Services: shops, bars and restaurants, free Internet Internet access (Wi-Fi) available in the airport.
  • Telephone: +49 (0)30 60 91 11 50
  • Website: http://www.berlin-airport.de

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GETTING AROUND Berlin

Berlin is a very easy city to get around. Its public transport options provide nearly complete coverage of the city, by night as well as by day. The S-Bahn, U-Bahn and trams run through the night on Friday and Saturday and the eves of public holidays. In addition, the system uses integrated tickets and passes, valid for all modes of transport.

By rail

Berlin's S-Bahn (commuter rail) and U-Bahn (underground) operate every day from 4 a.m. to 1 a.m. A single ticket costs EUR 2.80 for fare zones A and B (where most visitor destinations are situated) and EUR 3.40 for fare zones A, B and C. Tickets are valid for 2 hours. A short-distance (Kurzstrecke) ticket is also available for EUR 1.60 if you need to travel between no more than three S-Bahn or U-Bahn stops.

Useful tip: The Tageskarte (1-day pass) and 7-Tage-Karte (7-day pass) offer unlimited access to all public transport in Berlin. The 1-day pass costs EUR 6.90 for fare zones A and B or EUR 7.40 for fare zones A, B and C. The 7-day pass costs EUR 29.50 for fare zones A and B or EUR 36.50 for fare zones A, B and C.

By bus

Berlin has the largest network of bus routes of any city in Germany. Two of these are particularly of interest for visitors: bus 100 and bus 200, linking Tiergarten to Alexanderplatz and passing by many important landmarks.

By tram

Berlin counts 22 tram lines (called Straßenbahn or MetroTram), 9 of which operated 24/7. Far and few in the southwest of the city, they run predominantly in the centre, the north and the east of Berlin. Bus and metro tickets are also valid for the tram.

By taxi

Berlin has nearly 7,000 taxis. The initial charge is EUR 3.90, plus EUR 2 per kilometre for the first 7 kilometres (4 miles), then EUR 1.50 per kilometre after that. A short-distance fare (Kurzstrecke) is also available at all times of the day or night for taxis hailed in the street: EUR 5 for a trip of no more than 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) without intermediate stops and with a maximum of four passengers.

By bicycle

Bicycles are an excellent way to discover Berlin, which has a large and well-developed network of cycling paths. There are many bike rental shops dotted around the city.

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Visitor information

Upon your arrival in Berlin, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.

Berlin Tourismus & Kongress

Offers practical information and many useful recommendations (accommodation, restaurants, public transport, festivals, cultural events, etc.).

Berlin Tourist Info centres

Apart from the main tourist information centre at Berlin Hauptbahnhof, the city's tourism authority also operates additional Berlin Tourist Info centres at the following locations:

  • Tegel Airport: Terminal A, near Gate 1 (open daily 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.)
  • Brandenburg Gate: Pariser Platx, südliches Torhaus (open daily 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. April–October and 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. November–March)
  • Europa Center: Tauentzienstraße 9 (Erdgeschoss, open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday)
  • TV Tower: Panoramastraße 1a (open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April–October and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. November–March)
  • Rankestraße: Kurfürstendamm 1 (open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. April–October and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. November–March)

Further information available online for visitors to Germany

The official website maintained by Deutsche Zentrale für Tourismus (DZT), the German national tourist board, provides a wealth of information on Berlin.

Website: https://www.germany.travel/en/index.html

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in Germany is the Euro (EUR).

JPY1 = €0.01

€1 = JPY100

The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.

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Medical information

See your doctor before you travel. It is also recommended to take out insurance covering medical expenses and repatriation before your trip. Berlin counts several hospitals and medical institutions, as well as quality medical practitioners and health specialists.

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Germany.

For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:

Food safety

There are no food safety risks in Berlin.

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Berlin.

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Administrative formalities

Entry requirements for Germany

For stays of less than three months, travellers from the Schengen area, as well as those from the countries of the European Union not included in the area, need only be in possession of a national identity card or a passport valid for the duration of their stay.

As a general rule, travellers from all other countries are subject to visa requirements, although foreign nationals from certain countries may enter Germany for up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes.

For further information, visit the website of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees:
http://www.bamf.de/EN/Migration/Einreisebestimmungen/einreisebestimmungen-node.html

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Useful addresses

To enjoy peace of mind during your stay in Berlin, visit the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your country.

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Essential phrases

Here are a few basic German phrases that will make your stay in Berlin a little easier:

Hello / Good morning / Good afternoon: Guten Morgen (morning) / Guten Tag (during the day)

Good evening: Guten Abend

Goodbye: Auf Wiedersehen

Yes: Ja

No: Nein

No, thank you: Nein, Danke

Thank you very much: Vielen Dank

Please: Bitte

I don't understand: Ich verstehe nicht

Could you repeat ?: Können Sie bitte wiederholen?

What time is it ?: Wie spät ist es?

Sorry: Entschuldigung
Excuse me:

Airport: der Flughafen

Train station: der Bahnhof

Taxi: das Taxi

Hotel: das Hotel

Hospital: das Krankenhaus

Bank: die Bank

Telephone: das Telefon

I'm (…): Ich bin (…)

I'm looking for (…): Ich suche (…)

How much is (…)?: Wie viel kostet es?

Do you have (…)?: Haben Sie (…)?

Where can I find (…)?: Wo kann ich (…) finden?

Where can I buy (…)?: Wo kann ich (…) kaufen?

I'd like (…): Ich hätte gerne (…)

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Good to know

+49
+ phone number (without 0)
-7 : 00
of time difference with
Tokyo
Start of daylight saving time: last Sunday in March
End of daylight saving time: last Sunday in October

BANKS

Usually open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
GOVERNMENT OFFICES

Usually open Monday to Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
230 V / 50 Hz

Tipping
In Germany, leaving a tip is recommended and always appreciated. The appropriate amount is anywhere between 5 and 10% of the bill at restaurants or bars. Do not leave the tip on the table. It is better to hand it to the server when paying the bill.

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