Category Archives: News

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.

See also:

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.

see also:

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.

See also:

More rental Bikes on Berlin Streets soon

Berlin rental Bikes

Berlin rental Bikes - typical bike pool by Deutsche Bahn – Photo: T.Bortels/nuBerlin.com

A new player has  just entered the Berlin Rental Bike game, promising about 5000 rental bikes to hit Berlin streets in the near future.

Most of the bikes by the Leipzig company Nextbike will probably be placed inside the S-Bahn-Ring – but over time more and more bike stations should also be available outside the ring – at least along larger streets and near busy places.

Renting a bike will be relatively sheep, making it attractive for both locals and tourists. A half hour ride will most likely cost one Euro, a day pass will be available for only nine Euros – cheaper then most of the ‘regular’ bike rental services.

So far Deutsche Bahn had been the only big player in Berlin’s Rental Bike business. You might already have seen one of Deutsche Bahn’s bike pools, recognisable mostly by their almost iconic concrete blocks here and their on the sidewalks near larger street crossings.

In contrast to Deutsche Bahn’s bike pools, the new bike pools should work without any concrete blocks, making them slightly more ‘invisible’ than the current clusters of concrete blocks.

See also:

Full story in German at morgenpost.de:

First design for David Bowie Memorial Plaque revealed

Berlin’s Minister for Culture Tim Renner just presented the first design of the David Bowie Memorial Plaque which is about to be mounted on the building in Hauptstraße 155 later this year. Renner basically posted a first photo on his facebook page, asking for feedback. And – yes – feedback  there was.

Most people seem to be rather disappointed by the design and the inscription, to say the least. Some say it was looking cheap, others even call it awfully ugly. And then there is also a spelling mistake: “Triologie” instead of “Trilogy”. And also Tim Renner himself seems to have his doubts about the design, beginning his posting with a “Hmmm”.

At the moment, next to Bowie’s name and date of birth and date of death the current design of the memorial plaque would also feature somthing like an introduction – in case the reader might not know who Bowie was: “The Singer, Composer, Actor, Painter kept reinventing himself…” – why not also list that he was also a great piano player, clown, philosopher and …

Well – have a look for yourself. Luckily enough there is still some time for a revision – currently the inauguration of the David Bowie Memorial Plaque is scheduled for August 17th or 22nd.

Does Berlin actually even need a David Bowie Memorial Plaque? I don’t know…

Full story in German at morgenpost.de:

See also:

New Berlin Airport might be Forever Delayed, expert says

New Berlin Airport BER Terminal

Photo: The new Berlin airport - view on the main terminal / CC BY-SA 3.0 by Fridolin freudenfett (Peter Kuley) - own work

Today the Berliner Zeitung has some bad news for everybody who thought, that it would be soon possible to arrive at and/or take off the new Berlin Airport BER – or actually the newspaper is quoting an expert who has some bad news: according to Dieter Faulenbach da Costa, who was part of the BER planning team until 1999, too many mistakes were made – and it might have become impossible to open the the airport at all.

Dieter Faulenbach da Costa is quoted saying that things have happened, that should never happen to any large scale project. While now some parts and details of the airport are changed to meet legal regulations, other details will then have to be changed, to work together with the changes. This will then again evoke other changes – and so on…

The airport opening was first scheduled for 2011. Currently, other experts, and also the city’s major Mueller are of the opinion, that an opening of the airport is still possible at end of the year 2017. However, many major project milestones are currently delayed. So we will probably  soon find out, if there will be another delay for the grand opening…

see also:

New Order’s new Video for Singularity feat. West Berlin in the Eighties

Watching the video (vimeo.com) and reading the lyrics for New Order’s song Singularity I must admit that I don’t really know why the band decided to have Eighties West Berlin footage as a ‘back drop’ for the video. But maybe that’s just me. And on the other hand I also must admit that I do enjoy seeing Eighties footage from West-Berlin anyways and always – even if the footage shown in the video for Singularity is already well known from last year’s B-Movie – Lust and B-Movie: Lust and Sound in West Berlin 1979 – 1989.

Yes, of course – I know –  Joy Division do occur in the movie. And the film actually follows Mark Reeder (wikipedia) who moved from Manchester to Berlin in 1978 and who basically brought Joy Division to Berlin, building a musical bridge Manchester and Berlin.  And so it seems the band does somehow recall their early Berlin days and pays tribute to their Berlin audience from the Joy Division era – and their Berlin mentor Mark Reeder. Nice.

If you haven’t seen B-Movie – Lust and B-Movie: Lust and Sound in West Berlin 1979 – 1989 yet: go see it! It’s really worth watching – even if you haven’t been in Berlin in the Eighties. And it’s now actually finally available on DVD: b-movie-der-film.de7see also: