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Berlin in June
Old 04-01-2017   #1
02Pilot
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Berlin in June

Hot on the heels of my Colorado thread, I have more questions, this time about Berlin. I'll be there in late June for about five days, staying near the city center (actually quite close to Checkpoint Charlie). I'm aware enough of the city's history to have already formed a short list of such things I want to see (and photograph).

As this will be my first visit, what I'm looking for is suggestions on neighborhoods to check out, lesser-known places of interest (photographic or otherwise), etc. I likely won't have the chance to leave the city, so stuff within the city limits (or at least within range of the U-bahn) is of primary concern. Thanks.
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Old 04-03-2017   #2
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Definitely stay away from the touristy areas for the more interesting stuff. If you want inspiration have a look at the Berlin Photography communities on Google +. You'll find photos from all over the city to give you ideas.
If you're staying in the city I'm assuming you're not traveling further than zone 2 on the public transport so take a sbahn to Postam, Tierpark and consider just staying put near the river and observe for opportunities. The temperature will be good in June, indeed I may pop by myself at the same time. ��
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Old 04-04-2017   #3
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first off:
congrats on the choice of month. Berlin is definitely much nicer between may and september.

secondly:
neighborhoods in the "Ring" (which is the train ring around the downtown areas) are almost all interesting. Some are borderline touristy with one or the other trap (not too bad really). Nice for a coffee or beer in the sun are some places in Schöneberg, Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain, Prenzlauer Berg and Mitte.
The area between Checkpoint Charlie, Potsdamer Platz and Friedrichstraße is not really that cool but you will probably find a place for breakfast there too (probably more expensive).

I can't really tell you were to go to for shooting since I don't know what you are into.
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Old 04-04-2017   #4
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Thanks, folks. I'll be trying to shoot some of the Cold War-era locations and bits of history that remain, combined with some street photography. I'm thinking of doing a brief study of Tempelhof, depending on access to the main building and apron area (I understand the airfield itself has become a park). Almost certainly I'll be shooting B&W through a screwmount Leica.
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Old 04-04-2017   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 02Pilot View Post
Thanks, folks. I'll be trying to shoot some of the Cold War-era locations and bits of history that remain, combined with some street photography. I'm thinking of doing a brief study of Tempelhof, depending on access to the main building and apron area (I understand the airfield itself has become a park). Almost certainly I'll be shooting B&W through a screwmount Leica.
Yeah you can walk on the runway.
People? Go to Prenzlauer Berg or Kreuzberg, a lot of people out on sunny days.
Cold war .. hmm Teufelsberg and the big surveillance station there.
The Checkpoint and Berlin Wall off course
Stasi Museum maybe. http://www.stasimuseum.de/en/enindex.htm
You might like the pseudo Russian Stalin-Era architecture of Karl-Marx-Allee and Frankfurter Allee
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Old 04-04-2017   #6
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Check out the Warschauer Strasse S-Bahn stop late afternoon, early evening.

Places to buy a beer and watch some bands and musicians play on the street outside the station. Don't buy food there, it's too expensive. Just continue on Warschauer Strasse away from the water to eat, or walk back across the Spree and turn left towards Schlesischer Strasse.

The Görlitzer Park is very nice in the evening too! Musicians, people frisbee-ing or playing soccer or having a beer with friends. Be friendly but decided against the folks trying to sell you weed and they will respect you for not ignoring them

TIP: go out real early (before 7 a.m.) and the streets will be much emptier, the architecture and isolated passer-by people will be much easier to shoot.

With my son, I did a tour of the city on an open-top bus, provides you with lots of good way-points for shooting nice buildings in the embassy quarter etc. Look for the vintage green with beige busses, make sure you get a top seat.


I love Berlin, it's the one city I would want to live if I would leave the Netherlands. Well, maybe Cologne, or Munich, or Vienna or Prague...
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Old 05-02-2017   #7
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So how is the trip coming along? All set?

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Old 05-03-2017   #8
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Truth be told I'm so busy with work for the next week or so that I haven't thought much about it. Once this phase of work winds up next week, I'm off to Colorado for a week. When I get back from that I can start to think about Berlin, I hope.

On the plus side, all the logistics are taken care of, so I know I'll get there and have a place to sleep.
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Old 05-14-2017   #9
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Well, I may well be there myself at this time too. Needing a few days off work to relax.

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Old 05-15-2017   #10
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I love Berlin.

All the recommendations have been great so far I think, especially on Kreuz & P Berg. For specifics, in Kreuzberg, after walking around and working up an appetite, there's a 24Hr Doener place that I remember being fantastic right on the corner at the Schelsiches Tor U-Bahn. Also at this same station, right under the tracks, in an old converted bathroom!, is the location of the best burger I've probably ever had in my life at Burgermeister. Destination worthy imo. Still near here is the Molecule Man statue in the Spree, a pretty cool (heated!) swimming pool right in the river (Badeschiff), and a fun "flea market", as our hosts described it, called White Trash Food.

There's also a fantastic Cuban restaurant in Prenzlauerberg. I feel I'm somewhat qualified to say that growing up in a Cuban family in South Florida.

Beyond that, I really enjoyed going out to Treptower park and taking the Berlin Unterwelt tour of one of the old Flak towers. You cannot take photos down there, but it was such an amazing place to tour I wouldnt let that deterr you if you have any interest.

Also, if you have any interest in the DDR, Thomas Hoepker has a great book DDR Ansichten that is worth looking through before your trip. I always find it interesting to see the before/after, and in some case, before and still today. Since I picked up the book after going to Berlin, it also makes me wish I had gone into the DDR museum. And the Spree cruises are touristy yet affordable, but offer a nice way to get a different perspective on some buildings, take a few photos, and rest your feet if you do lots of walking.
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Old 05-29-2017   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pechelman View Post
All the recommendations have been great so far I think, especially on Kreuz & P Berg. For specifics, in Kreuzberg, after walking around and working up an appetite, there's a 24Hr Doener place that I remember being fantastic right on the corner at the Schelsiches Tor U-Bahn.
Schlesisches Tor (Tor = bigger gate / city gate). There is tons of stuff near that place.
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Also at this same station, right under the tracks, in an old converted bathroom!, is the location of the best burger I've probably ever had in my life at Burgermeister.
And quite overrun by tourists usually. There are a good few more nice burger places for example in Friedrichshain, and while well visited, not totally hogged down by visitors.
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White Trash Food.
Went bankrupt; they used to be located at Mitte in an quite awesome location before they moved to Kreuzberg. Now it is called "Festsaal Kreuzberg" since (more or less) begin of this year; which itself used to be located close to Kottbusser Tor, but burned down a few years ago.
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Treptower park
There is a nice war memorial there for everyone interested in this kinda stuff. That aside, Treptower Park as such is a nice area to take a breath or relax in the evening.
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and taking the Berlin Unterwelt tour of one of the old Flak towers.
Keyword and S-Bahn/U-Bahn station name is "Gesundbrunnen", for reference. The Berlin Unterwelten guys have a couple other locations to visit, but photography is generally not permitted, unfortunately.
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The area between Checkpoint Charlie, Potsdamer Platz and Friedrichstraße is not really that cool but you will probably find a place for breakfast there too (probably more expensive).
Well, might be worth strolling through and getting an idea of what it is all about. This includes Brandenburger Tor and a few other places in central Berlin, too.
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Cold war .. hmm Teufelsberg and the big surveillance station there.
Avoid stomping around deeper into some of the buildings (certain building materials are unhealthy ...), but going up the main tower and visiting some of the artsy stuff is certainly worth a recommendation. Even if you skip on that, visiting the nearby "Drachenberg" will give you a nice view over the city. Best done during sunrise (sun coming up somewhere left of the main part of the city) or closer to the evening hours (sun shining from behind on the city).
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I'm thinking of doing a brief study of Tempelhof, depending on access to the main building and apron area
I've never been into the main building, but there are some tours afaik. The airfield itself is a wide open area, parts of it closed off to give certain birds some room, and the runways are used for all kinds of activities. Also, some parts are open for BBQing.

Berlin is actually best during the summer time, because it has a lot of green in it. Many streets are lined with trees, you have many parks of various sizes, including the larger Tiergarten in the very center of the city. Although the name "Tiergarten" might hint on it (Tier = animal, garten = garden), actual zoos are called "Zoo" and "Tierpark", former also having a dedicated "Aquarium", latter having much more room and feels like an actual park.

Except for the city center you will run into quite a few people with beer in their hands roaming around, you have tons of pubs (including a good few microbreweries), restaurants of all sorts, and usually for ok prices, unless you hang around in the city center.

Berlin is active night and day, especially over weekends; you have tons of "Spätis" all around which offer drinks and snacks over the night hours, plus more and more shops have open up until midnight (and some 24/7). If up early, you may encounter the odd party zombies running around in the early hours, still Especially the more "hipster" parts of the city are also quite dirty in places; in return that's where you will also find lots of interesting things.

As for getting around beside your own feet: There are some rental bike stations, if you are into that, but Berlin traffic is, hmm, "fun". With public transport you can reach/cover a vast area, and this diagram doesn't even show the bus and tram stops (tram in the eastern part of the city, only). There you see the ring (lines S-Bahn S41/S42, one going clockwise, the other counter-clockwise), which also defines the limits of zone A. Normal tickets cover A+B (see the different gray backgrounds); going to Potsdam (Park Sanssouci?) requires a connecting ticket (like €1.40 or so currently, one way). Instead of taking a dedicated tourist bus I'd suggest taking bus line 100 and 200, which take you through many of the interesting parts of inner Berlin. That is probably cheaper, however, noone will tell you what is what. Note that during normal working days, most lines shut down latest towards 1am; there are however some night lines / replacements (via bus for example) available. During the weekend public transportation runs 24/7.

As for locations, which haven't been mentioned, yet: TV tower (if you want to go up there, do it in the early hours, I think they open up at 9 or so), and there are a few more places where you can have an overview of the city (see more or less badly translated article, Funkturm image is taken from Drachenberg location most probably, btw.). Near Alexanderplatz you have some old buildings from old East Germany times, the ex Stalinallee has been mentioned already (I suggest Warschauer Tor and maybe Strausberger Allee, both stations on the U5 subway line starting at Alexanderplatz). Schloß (="castle") Charlottenburg and the park.

Last but not least, if you like building cranes, Warschauer Straße S-/U-Bahn/tram/bus station is the place to go currently. It is also the connecting hub between Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg, means there are a heck lot of people moving not only between the S- and U-Bahn station, but also between these two parts of the city.
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Old 05-29-2017   #12
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And see, nearly forgot: June 21st is Fête de la Musique in Berlin, so if you are around at that day, there will be tons of music stuff happening all over the city.
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Old 05-29-2017   #13
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One of my brothers lives in Berlin.

A couple of images from my last visit (last summer):







Have a lot of fun, and be careful!
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Old 05-29-2017   #14
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Thanks to everyone for all the good information. Since my time there is going to be relatively short, I'm sure I will not be able to see even half of the things that have been suggested, but that's OK. I'm also sure that my hosts will have some plans for me, which will of course limit my explorations as well. Nonetheless, I hope to get some opportunities to discover at least a small portion of the city for myself.

In an effort to keep things simple, I'll be bringing a couple of LTM bodies, one with a 50 and one a 28, plus a bunch of HP5+.
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Old 05-30-2017   #15
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Quote:
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Since my time there is going to be relatively short
Yeah, Berlin is certainly too large and varied to ingest in a couple days. In return I wouldn't worry about missing things, take what you get and make the best out of it
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In an effort to keep things simple, I'll be bringing a couple of LTM bodies, one with a 50 and one a 28, plus a bunch of HP5+.
Note that Berlin has shops like Fotoimpex (located close to Alexanderplatz), which sell all kinds of film and other goodies for the analog crowd, should you run short. The company ADOX is also located in Berlin, btw.
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Old 05-30-2017   #16
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Good to know. I always like to poke into the local photo shops to see what's on offer. I already plan to see if DM still sells Agfa PrecisaCT cheaply (it was a lot less per roll than in the States last time I checked) so I can grab a bunch.
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Old 07-18-2017   #17
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Thanks in no small part to the suggestions received here, I was able to have a very nice and (I think) photographically successful trip to Berlin. For anyone interested, I'm posting some of the photos here: http://www.rangefinderforum.com/foru...d.php?t=161907
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Old 02-19-2018   #18
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I love Berlin! was there in 2015, thinking about going these for work. Very international and friendly environment for expats.
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