Time keeps rushing and it’s already September: Helix is just around the corner, less than 4 weeks to go! We now bring you the second edition of the Helix Weekly update. Today we focus on Berlin as a city, how to get around, what kind of tickets you can get as well as a little special surprise. While we are at it, don’t forget to register on smash.gg/helix if you haven’t done so yet. This goes specially to all of those who already have booked their flights but haven’t registered on smash.gg yet.
This week’s content:
Getting around in Berlin
What to do in Berlin
Getting around in Berlin
Getting around in Berlin is really easy. The city has got a very good public transportation system. Even big distances can be travelled fairly quickly if the right choices are made. There are a few things that can make you save money and time if you consider them though.
As in most places in Germany, Berlin has different of public transportation. The most common and used ones are arguably the “U-Bahn” (underground) and “S-Bahn” (fast train). You will be most probably using these two trains to move around and get to the venue. It may be that you need to use the tram as well. Commuter trains (RegionalBahn, short “Regio” or RB) stop at several stations in Berlin(like the Friedrichstraße station, where the venue is), but you won’t be using them often.
Berlin has 3 different zones, conveniently named “A”, “B, and “C”. How much a ticket costs depends of course on which areas you want to be moving around in. There are 3 zone combinations: “AB”, “BC” and “ABC”. You will be using either “AB” or “ABC” most of the time during your stay in Berlin. Please note that the Schönefeld airport is just besides the B zone border, so you need to get an ABC zone ticket to get there.
Here is a picture of Berlin’s zones:
As you can see, the inner ring, “A” zone is conveniently delimited by the “S-Bahn” which drives around in circles in both directions (this S-bahn is called the “Ringbahn”).
You can also see both airports in the picture above. In order to get to the city centre you need to take buses or trains (S-Bahn, Regio). If you arrive at Tegel (TXL) take any bus that takes you to „Zoologischer Garten“ (like the X9 or 109. X9 is quicker, about 15 minutes). These are pretty easy to find and go every 10 minutes. The TXL bus takes you to Alexanderplatz.
If you arrive at Schönefeld (SXL), you’re just outside the AB zone: You need to get a ticket valid in the ABC zone. You have three options to get to the city from Berlin Schönefeld Airport. Fastest one (about 30 minutes) is to take a „Regional Bahn“ to Berlin’s central Station (Berlin Hbf)/Friedrichstr (if you are staying near the venue). There are four trains that commute hourly: RB7, RB14, RB 19, RB22. You can take the S-bahn (S9, S45) to go again to either Berlin Hbf or Friedrichstr. The S-bahn goes every 10 minutes and takes about 45 minutes to the centre. You can also take a bus that will drive you to a nearby U-bahn station (usually U7). You can then continue your trip to Berlin’s city centre via underground.
When it comes to prices, you also have different possibilities. There are different kind of tickets We looked up the best options for your stay depending on how many people are with you and how long you stay. These options are shown in the table below:
What to do in Berlin
Berlin is a city that never sleeps. There is plenty to do in the german capital city. Because of this, it is hard to name just a few things, we will list a couple of things we think you should not miss while around:
– Brandenburg gate
– Holocaust memorial
– Reichstag (you can get to the top if you arrange a visit in advance)
– Potsdamer Platz
– Checkpoint Charlie
– Unter den Linden
Since you’d be busy with the tournament on the weekend, you can only do as much, except if you are coming earlier. The things listed above are all quite close to the venue, with the Brandenburg gate being about 10 minutes away by foot. If you have time, you can start off at the Brandenburg gate by foot and walk all the way to Alexanderplatz. If you fancy a chill walk and enjoy the surroundings, it’ll take you about an hour and you’ll get to see a lot of things in the way like the “Museumsinseln”, the Berlin dome. If you’d rather have good cheap food and walk through streets with lots of graffitis and an alternative vibe, go for a walk in Kreuzberg (Metro stations “Mehringdamm” on line U-6 or “Kottbusser Tor“, “Görlitzer Park”, “Schlesiches” Tor on line U-12) or Friedrichshain (“Ostkreuz” on the S-bahn, both Ringbahn and several others).
Another thing you should do in Berlin is try its street food. Lots of different cheap stands that go from the typical “Döner Kebab” to Falafel, burritos, grilled chicken and more. What you get depends on the districts you are in. Everything is cheap. You may want to get yourself a cheap beer from a convenient store (called “Spätkauf”, “Späti“ for short) that are open until late hours and on sundays. Click here for list of different places where you can get good cheap food, according to the guardian travel.
If you have the time and feel like it, try to hit Berlin’s clubs. There are a lot of very different clubs in the city and you can find one for every kind of person. You have probably heard about the infamous “Berghain”, which is said to be one of the world’s best clubs. If you decide to go clubbing, grab a beer from one of the spätis while you wait in line. But don’t go out too early, as the nightlife usually starts after midnight and lasts until the very morning of the next day. If you decide to go clubbing, just be sure you’re in time for your pool/bracket matches as you’d be DQ’ed if not on time. Berlin’s nightlife is crazy and one of Europe’s best, though sometimes pricey. Lots of people come to Berlin just to party and dance all night long. Most of Berlin’s nightlife takes place in either Kreuzberg, Friedrichshain or Neukölln. Click here for a list of Berlin’s top 10 clubs, according to the guardian travel.
If clubbing is too much for you, you can just decide to go out to eat (there are a lot of good but rather pricey places around Friedrichstraße and Unter den Linden) or chill at a bar. Oranienburgerstraße (about 20 minutes by foot from the venue) has a lot of nice cozy bars where you can chill with your homies and enjoy some good german beer. Click here for a list of top 10 bars in Berlin, according to the guardian travel.
Since we are not meant to be a travel guide, but just give a small insight of what you could do during your stay, we decided to leave you some useful links from the guardian travel so you can take a look at more stuff more into detail by yourself. If you want to know what else to do or want to get more insider tips, just let us know or join the Super Smash Bros Melee Berlin group on Facebook and ask real berliners.
We are very proud to announce that the upcoming bracket at Helix just got a whole lot more spice.
Hailing from South California, we’ve got a new challenger coming our way. Tempo Storm’s own Weston „Westballz“ Dennis announced that he will join the fray on the 26th of september when it is time for Helix 2015.
The trademark red Falco combined with his incredible technical proficiency has been a crowd favorite for a while now. We are very excited to see what Westballz can do with the slightly changed PAL version of his character against european players. In case you haven’t heard of this guy and are curious about his play, check out this compilation of some of his best plays from GRSmash: