Planning Your Trip
Have an idea of sites you want to visit and things you want to do during your trip. Do some research on travel blogs and communities. You should ask friends and family who have traveled before about places they enjoyed the most. Read through site-specific guide books like Lonely Planet, Let's Go, Rough Guide, Rick Steves, or Frommers.
Book all travel far in advance. However, do not book anything until after the first week of classes. You may find there are NYU-sponsored trips already in place.
Do not make plans to travel for the first 3-4 weeks of the program while your residency permit is being processed — you will not have your passport.
Before You Go
- Inform someone (your parents, the school, a friend) of your travel plans in case of emergency.
- Make sure you have more than one source of money (e.g. cash and a credit card, or two credit cards)
- Make a copy of your passport and credit card(s) and pack these to bring along with you.
- Bring email confirmations of all reservations and arrangements you have made.
- Write down the address of your destination to show to a local if you need help. Also, print out directions of how to get to that location.
Let us start by changing your opinion of hostels. We all thought they were grimy dangerous places until we actually stayed in one. Then we realized that most of the time they are just like hotels without amenities and they are full of young travelers. This makes them a great place to meet people and to get travel tips. For places to stay, check out these different hostel websites. Check customer reviews and ratings for more accurate descriptions of the accommodations.
- You will most likely need towels and make sure to bring shower shoes.
- Some people even bring a sleep sheet with them.
- Lock your stuff up if you share your room with other people.
- In general, do not bring valuables with you and if you do have any, lock them up in the safe box that most hostels have behind the front desk.
- Always check the ratings, and get other people’s advice/feedback. The web sites are not always what they seem!
Traveling by Plane
Located right in the heart of Europe, you can fly to many other destinations from Berlin. Currently, the city has two airports. Airport Tegel (TXL) is served by major airlines and/or partner airlines like Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways, KLM, Air Berlin, etc. Airport Schönefeld (SFX) is mostly served by low-cost carriers such as Easyjet, Ryanair, TuiFly or Germanwings. Both airports are only about a 30-minute subway ride from your NYU Berlin housing.
With any airline (especially low-fare airlines), you should expect to pay a fee for any checked luggage you bring.
- http://www.kayak.com – This is a great site that compares all the current deals in the market.
- http://www.skyscanner.com - A flight amalgam offering information for various locations.
- http://www.airgorilla.com - A flight amalgam, similar to Kayak.
- http://www.euroflightpass.com - This discount flight pass allows you to fly from city to city within Europe for $100 each way. For odd cities, this is a great price and probably the cheapest you will find.
- http://www.studentuniverse.com - Student fares for flights, hotels, etc.
- http://www.skyeurope.com – This site has a sale sometimes for free flights and all you pay is taxes. Keep an eye out for those.
- Airline companies
- http://www.ryanair.com - Many of the NYU students flew on Ryan Air because they offer what seems to be excellent deals. Some students had great experiences and others had travel nightmares.
- http://www.easyjet.com – Similar story to Ryan Air.
- http://www.transavia.com.edn - For Amsterdam.
- http://www.aerlingus.com - For Ireland.
- http://www.smartwings.com - Cheap airline based in the Czech Repbulic.
Traveling by Train
When you are in Berlin, you should definitely take at least one train trip. Germany is known for its expansive train network, with the ICE trains being one among the fastest trains in the world. From "Hauptbahnhof" (the main train station), you can take trains to all major cities, including international destinations such as Prague, Warsaw, and Amsterdam. Check out the Deutsche Bahn's website for cheaper online deals at www.bahn.de.
Railpass lists all of your train options and information about the trains for all the different European countries.
If you are planning on traveling (especially after your semester) you may find that Eurail is the best option. It is a train pass that gives you train travel within 18 European Countries. Not only is it a cheap, convenient way to travel around Europe, but also many Euro trains are super comfy! Buy your tickets in the US as they are more expensive in Europe.
http://www.mitfahrzentrale.de — website that matches you with people driving different places so you can catch a ride if you chip in for gas.