Pickpockets on the rise on Berlin Public Transport

The problem isn’t really new – pickpockets have always been targeting commuters in Berlin, as in probably every other city. But an increase of 50% in 2015 compared to 2014 is an alarming figure. In 2015 over 12.000 cases were reported to the police – on Berlin Public Transport (BVG) alone.

That makes it almost every third of all cases of pocket-picking reported in Berlin. The year before *only* some 8.000 case of pocket-picking on Berlin Public Transport were reported. In 2012 the number was as low as 4.000 cases.

The rising numbers seem to be a sign of Berlin’s rising popularity. More and more people are either moving to Berlin or spending a holiday. And more and more people are using the Berlin public transport. Over 3 Million passengers are currently using the BVG on a daily basis.

Pickpockets seems to target mostly tourists – but of course also the regular Berliner can become a victim rather easily. Basically everybody knows at least someone who has been robbed while using Berlin’s public transport. So in case you are planning to use Berlin’s public transport in the near future: please be aware, that although Berlin seems to be such a nice and relaxed place to be, sometimes it’s not.

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Berlin Tourism: 30 new Hotels in the next four years

As you might know Berlin is a very popular destination for travelers from around the world. And basically since the Berlin Wall came down the numbers are only going up.

In 2015 more than 30 million nights were booked in one of the many Berlin Hotels – a new record – again. And of course everybody has to sleep somewhere – and since the numbers are expected to also go up in the future, new Hotels are being built.

According to the Berlin Hotel and Restaurant association (Dehoga) there will be some 30 new Hotels built and/or opened in Berlin in the next three to four years. In other words: every six weeks a new Hotel will open in Berlin. Or in other numbers: more than 7000 hotel rooms – or 15000 beds.

But there is also another interesting: number to this story: currently there are some 780 hotels in Berlin. One year ago there were over 800 hotels. Smaller hotels are closing down, larger hotels are opened. For example the hotel chain Motel One is planning to open their largest house with over 700 rooms right at Alexanderplatz – the high rise building Upper West near Breitscheidplatz will host some 600 rooms.

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Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church / Gedächtniskirche

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church / Gedächtniskirche - Photo: T.Bortels/nuBerlin.com

Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church / Gedächtniskirche - Photo: T.Bortels/nuBerlin.com

The famous Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church / Gedächtniskirche on Kurfürstendamm in the centre of the Breitscheidplatz in Berlin Charlottenburg. The church was damaged in a bombing raid during the Second Word War. After beeing renovated, it was made into a memorial hall – one of West Berlin’s most famous landmarks.

Lookong down Hardenbergstrasse – right next to Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church the rather new Waldorf Astoria (‘Zoofenster’) and the even newer ‘Upper West’ high rises can be seen in the picture.

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Admiralsbrücke / Landwehrkanal in Kreuzberg

Berlin Kreuzberg Bridge Admiralsbruecke Landwehrkanal

Berlin Kreuzberg: Admiralsbruecke / Landwehrkanal - photo: T.Bortels/nuBerlin.com

The famous / infamous bridge Admiralsbrücke crossing the Landwehrkanal in Kreuzberg. During the Berlin Summer this bridge can be quite crowded with people chatting, playing instruments, singing, drinking, enjoying themselves.

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Berlin Weather in July: a bit like April in Autumn

Berlin Summer Sunset July 2016

Some sunset in July - Photo: T.Bortels/nuBerlin.com

So far Berlin Summer has been a bit like the stock market: up and down. Yes, we had a couple of nice, sunny, warm days – but we definitely also had some cold, windy and quite rainy days. Even if it’s warm and sunny during the day, that doesn’t mean too much for the evening to come. Chances are that the next thunder storm is just around the corner.

But one nice side effect of this moody weather should be mentioned right in the second paragraph of this weather update: every now and then we have some stunning sunsets, all with dark  orange clouds and everything. And sometimes there are also some nice rainbows to spot. Nice!

So I don’t want to complain too much about this up and down, since that’s what weather is all about, isn’t it? And at least we did not have any severe floods like they sometimes can happen during the summer months. And this year there were actually already some serious flooding in the south / south west of Germany – but nothing the like in Berlin.

And – let’s face it – the rain, that keeps returning every couple of days, is actually good for the environment. So all the parks and and also the trees along the streets and alleys are all nicely green. So – I would say so far this summer has been a bit like April, concerning the rapid change of weather conditions – and Autumn, concerning the wind and the rain.

Update: the second half of July seems to be much more agreeable. Almost every day the temperatures are between 25°C (77°F) and 32°C (90°F) and the thunderstorms are only hitting Berlin maybe once a week – if any. People are enjoying themselves in Biergardens and on terraces, having dinner outside – summer has finally arrived. Yay!

Zionskirche Sunset – Berlin Mitte

Berlin Zionskirche church sunset

Sunset over Zionskirche in Berlin Mitte - photo: T.Bortels/nuBerlin.com

A beautiful sunset over Zionskirche in Berlin Mitte. On sundays you can actually climb the bell tower of the church – Zionskirche has a nice little observation platform with a view to Prenzlauer Berg and Mitte.

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Additional Free WiFi Hotspots at Berlin U-Bahn Stations

For almost a year Berlin’s public transport provider BVG has been testing a single Free WiFi Hotspot at U-bahn station Osloer Strasse. Finally the company has come to the conclusion, that it seems to be a good idea to provide free wireless internet access at more subway stations across Berlin.

The public transport provider has just announced, that a couple of rather busy subway stations have been equipped with the necessary gear – and we can expect to find the hotspot “BVG Wi-Fi” in the next couple of days. The first batch of subway stations that will be equipped with Free WiFi Hotspos are Mehringdamm, Möckernbrücke, Gleisdreieck (at U2), Alt-Tempelhof, Hausvogteiplatz, Bülowstraße, Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz and Nollendorfplatz (also at U2).

And this is basically just the beginning. In the next couple of weeks and months more subway stations will be connected. As a second batch of stations that will be connected to the internet wirelessly BVG lists the following stations:Zoologischer Garten, Rathaus Spandau, Hermannplatz, Leopoldplatz, Wittenbergplatz, Kurfürstendamm and Stadtmitte. So first the most frequented stations will be connected – other ‘smaller’ stations following later.

Getting connected should be rather easy. Users will not need to login – neither username nor password are needed to use any of the free wifi hotspots. Choosing the hotspot “BVG WIFi” you would then just have to open a browser and accept the terms of use. After this “registration process” your device should be online.

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