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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 (national holiday)

March/April: Good Friday (national holiday)

March/April: Easter Monday (national holiday)

May 1: Labour Day (national holiday)

Mid-August–early September: 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 (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 (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
    • Terminal B
    • Terminal C
    • Terminal D (Air France)
    • 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 offered at the airport:
      • For shorter stays, PK on the upper level of Terminal A (EUR 3.00 per 15 minutes)
      • For longer stays, P1 on the lower level of Terminal A, P2 next to Terminals D and E, and P5 near Terminal C (EUR 5.00 per hour, EUR 39.00 for 24 hours Monday–Thursday, EUR 35.00 for 24 hours Friday–Sunday, EUR 139.00 per week)
      • There is an additional overflow parking lot (P10) opposite the Mercure Hotel (a 15-minute walk from the terminals) but it is only opened as required (EUR 3.00 per hour, EUR 19.00 per day and EUR 59.00 per week).
      • 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 JetExpressBus 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.
      • The X9 JetExpressBus 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, 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 2.70 for fare zones A and B (where most visitor destinations are situated) and EUR 3.30 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 the Berlin Zoo to Alexanderplatz and passing by many important landmarks.

By tram

Berlin's trams run almost exclusively in the eastern portion of the capital. Trams may be boarded in the centre of the city, at the Hackeschermarkt and Alexanderplatz stations.

By taxi

Berlin has nearly 7,000 taxis. The initial charge is EUR 3.90, plus EUR 2.00 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 5.00 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.).

  • Adress: Hauptbahnhof (Europaplatz entrance), 10557 Berlin
  • Telephone: + 49 (0)30 25 00 23 33
  • Website: http://www.visitberlin.de

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: www.germany.travel

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Currency and Exchange Rates

The currency used in Germany is the euro (€).

SGD 1 = € 0,63

€ 1 = SGD 1,59

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

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Medical information

Vaccinations

There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to Germany.

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

Water

Tap water is safe to drink in Berlin.

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Administrative procedures

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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Essential phrases

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

Hello / How do you do?: Guten Tag

Good morning: Guten Morgen

Good evening: Guten Abend (there is no equivalent of “Good afternoon” in German)

Good-bye: Auf Wiedersehen

Yes: Ja

No: Nein

No, thank you: Nein, Danke

Thank you very much: Vielen Dank

I don't understand: Ich verstehe nicht.

Could you repeat that: Können Sie bitte wiederholen?

Please: Bitte

What time is it: Wie spät ist es?

Excuse me: Entschuldigung

Airport: Der Flughafen

Train station: Der Bahnhof

Taxi: Das Taxi

Hotel: Das Hotel

Hôpital: Das Krankenhaus

Bank: Die Bank

Telephone: Das Telefon

I'm (…): Ich bin (…)

I'm looking for (…): Ich suche (…)

How much is this: 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

00 49
+ phone number without the 0 (calls to Berlin)
-6 : 00
of time difference with
Singapore
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

And what about tipping?
In Germany, as is also the case in France and Italy, when the service is especially friendly and attentive, leaving a tip is recommended and always appreciated. The appropriate amount is anywhere between 5 and 10 percent 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.