The Generator is a funky place with industrial style fittings and brash blue neon lighting, and is aimed at the young and young at heart. Pay-as-you-go internet access via PCs and wi fi is available. There's a bar that stays open till late and unlike in UK establishments, the barman asks your permission to close. More info at www.generatorhotels.com
Getting between the Generator and the city is quick and easy. You can use the adjoining Landsberger Allee S-Bahn station (change at Ostkreuz) or better still take the tram, which runs via Alexanderplatz to Hackescher Markt and all those bars and restaurants. Trams run 24 hours a day.
Berlin is full of bars, restaurants and night clubs of every description. Many visitors head for one of the Irish pubs. Any one of them is a good place to start and if you've just arrived, and the familiar surroundings can be reassuring. But soon you'll want to move on and sample the 'in' places. Here are some recommendations:
For dancing and eating, Dante (Am Zwirngraben 8-10; S-Bahn & tram Hackescher Markt; phone +49 30 247 274 01) offers international dishes and different music every night. For traditional German food Lemke Brewery (Dircksenstr; S- Bahn & Tram Hackescher Markt; phone +49 30 247 28 727) has a large variety of German dishes and their own speciality beer brewed on site. It's located close to a large number of other bars and clubs which you can try when you get there.The Prater beer garden (Kastanienallee 7-9; U-Bahn Eberswalder Str; phone +49 30 448 56 88) has local beers, sausages and pretzels. In the summer months, you can sit out under chestnut trees and it's very close to other bars, clubs and restaurants including Soda Kulturbrauerei ('Culture Brewery' Knaackstr. corner of Sredkistr.; U-Bahn Eberswalder Str. phone +49 (0)30 440 58 707) which has German and International Dishes.
The Oscar Wilde (Friedrichstr. 112a; phone +49 30 282 81 66 U6 Oranienburger Tor) attracts many English speaking expats who enjoy watching football on the big screen. Dishes include Irish Stew, Irish breakfasts and traditional English meals. There's plenty of Caffreys on tap
RIver Spree at Nikolaiviertel
Brokers Bier Börse (Schiffbauerdamm 8, 10117 Berlin-Mitte; phone +49 30 87 2293; S+U Friedrichstr. tram 1, 50, N84) applies the principle of supply and demand to the serious business of beer drinking, with prices which rise and fall according to demand. So for instance if many people are ordering Paulaner, the price will go up, and the prices of the other drinks will fall. Every so often there is a price 'crash' though the lowest prices are not much less than other bars. Prices are indicated on electronic displays just like in a real stock exchange.
If you're staying at the Generator Hotel, you can go on the New Berlin Pub Crawl, which leaves every Tuesday to Sunday at 8.30pm from the Generator Bar. It costs 10 euros per person, which includes club entry and five free shots.
For all these reasons, and with cheap airfares here to stay - oil price permitting - Berlin has to be one of Europe's top city break destinations, so get online straight away and make those bookings early. If you have any questions about your Berlin trip, I'd be pleased to answer them personally. Please contact.
Conversion rate: 1.45
Language: German but English widely spoken
Plug type: Continental European
Police tel: (030) 4664 - 0
Emergency number for ambulance police and fire: 112
Tourist offices: Europa Center, TV Tower near Alexanderplatz and at the Brandenburg Gate.
Go to www.berlin-tourist-information.de or phone the Berlin hotline +49 30 25 00 25
A version of this article was published in the UK magazine Stag & Groom during 2005
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