Travel

Scoot Off To Big Bold Beautiful Berlin

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PLANNING a Berlin getaway this summer? Scoot Airlines, Singapore’s low-cost, uber hip arm of Singapore Airlines, is making this a very affordable possibility through its promotional fares starting this June.

Its inaugural flight to Berlin, its third long-haul destination after Athens and Honolulu, takes off on June 20. Scoot will be the only low-cost carrier offering non-stop flights between Southeast Asia and Berlin.

The award-winning airline fields its fleet of 16 wide-bodied, twin-aisled aircraft to Berlin. These come equipped with the latest amenities that will make the hours to Berlin slip away unnoticed, including inflight Wi-Fi, in-seat power and inflight ScooTV streaming entertainment.

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Departing from Singapore and connecting from five Malaysian cities (Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Ipoh, Langkawi and Kuching), Scoot offers economy and business class. Economy class rates are from RM1,807 (two-way tax-inclusive).

ScootBiz offers the luxury of full-leather 38” pitch seats, 30kg checked-in baggage with meals and drinks included, from RM6,204 (two-way tax-inclusive).

Flights from Singapore to Berlin (TR734) are on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, departing at 12.25 a.m. and arriving at 7.20 a.m. Flights from Berlin to Singapore (TR735) depart at 9.40am and arrive at 3.45 a.m. (+1). Visit www.flyscoot.com for details or contact their Call Centre.

Scoot was named the Best Low Cost Airline Asia/Pacific for 2018 in the Airline Excellence Awards by AirlineRatings.com for the fourth year running.

A range of add-ins offered by Scoot means you can prioritise your comfort needs (for a small sum)–  be they meals onboard, use of an exclusive lounge with food, drinks and massage chairs, extra legroom, child-free cabin and many more.

Scoot connects travellers to 63 destinations across 17 countries and territories. Its fleet also includes 24 modern Airbus 320-family aircraft, and greater expansion is already underway.

WHAT BERLIN OFFERS

Berlin Cathedral-Berlin | Germany | © Brodie Vissers/Burst

Apart from its famous shopping hubs and the well-known historical and cultural sites like the Brandenburger Tor (Gate), the Reichstag, which is home to the German Parliament, and the Berliner Mauer (Wall), there are the recreational parks, golf courses and forests for camping and trekking. It’s not only a city of innovation in the sciences but also home to a vibrant club culture. Some highlights:

  • The fashionable hub of Friedrichstraße for shopping and dining. And top it off with catching a show at the Friedrichstadtt-Palast, which boasts the largest theatre stage in the world
  • The BMW Berlin Marathon, one of the fastest marathon events in the world with runners traversing the city centre. This year it takes place on Sept 16.
  • The Berlin Hoppegarten, on the outskirts of the city, has the oldest and second longest race track in the world.
  • Long Night of Museums on August 25 this year from 10pm. Who says imbibing culture and history has to end at sunset? For this mainstay on Berlin’s cultural calendar — an event that was invented by the city more than 20 years ago — over 80 museums, memorial sites, archives etc will remain open well past midnight, showcasing exhibitions and also as host to artistic performances and interactive activities.  Best of all, shuttle transport is provided.

BERLIN: MORE ‘TO-DO’ TIPS FROM AN ‘INSIDER’

“Berlin is a city that has something for everyone no matter age, orientation or preference, ” says P. Navin, the chief facilitator for the Dhyan Vimal Institute for Higher Learning. He runs a meditation centre in downtown Berlin and also travels the world for mentoring workshops.

Navin, from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, has called Berlin home for the last six years.
“Whether its nature, architecture, entertainment, gourmet or culture, Berlin has it all, ” he says. His visitor tips include:

  • Mauerpark, a large park by which the former Berlin Wall stood . The eclectic flea markets and live entertainment are popular, especially with the younger crowd.
  • The Blue Man Show. One of the best shows worldwide, a class act of music, fun and audience interactions
  • Berghain Club. Notoriously difficult to get in only because of its reputation as the best club in the world. Be prepared to queue for a night of techno beats and dancing in its massive halls, if the legendary bouncers give you the thumbs up to enter. A short walk from the Berlin Ostbahnhof station.
  • The Berlin Underground War Bunker Tour. A very interesting tour, an experience that you will not find in other cities.
  • Wannsee lake, a cool place to hang out at especially in the summer.
  • The remaining part of the Berlin Wall. The longest part called East Side Gallery makes for great photo shoots.
  • Alexanderplatz for a view of the TV Tower and also a feel of the east part of Berlin, which is more gentrified.
  • And for a taste of home, the Indonesian restaurant called Mabuhay at Köthener Str. where they can also cook up Malaysian dishes for you.

A Berlin Summer

The capital city’s temperature in June averages at around 16 to 17 degrees Celcius with highs of up to 23 degrees, refreshing weather for walkabouts. Summer temperatures peak July to August, averaging at 18 degrees Celcius.

Winter chills set in during December, averaging at -1 degrees Celcius. Rainfall is highest during the summer months.

Don’t confine your visit to the city. Make a date also with its famous music concerts that run for several days at a time.

MUSIC FESTIVALS 2018 NEAR BERLIN

HURRICANE : June 22 – 24 

ALTERNATIVE/INDIE MUSIC. Arrive just in time for the Hurricane music blitz. A terrific line-up over three days; take off with the Arctic Monkeys, The Prodigy, George Ezra, James Bay, Arcade Fire, Franz Ferdinand, Two Door Cinema Club … more than 50 acts promise to recharge your batteries at Scheeßel, a 3-hour 40 minute drive by car from Berlin via the A24. Three hours by train at a cost of €22 – €84 from the Berlin Hauptbahnhof or Central Station.

The festival site has its own camping grounds and revellers can rent tents and other paraphernalia. https://www.hurricane.de/

AIRBEAT ONE : July 11 – 15

Held at the airport of Neustadt-Glewe town, 2 hours by road from Berlin along the A24; 2 hours 12 minutes by train, costing between €22 – €42.

Featuring Tiesto, Armin van Buuren, Hardwell, Steve Aoki, Afrojack and other Electronica, House, Trap and Trance artistes who rev up a five-day music getaway in an area surrounded by forests. Pitch your tent, dip in the lake as you get your fill of music. https://www.airbeat-one.de/

MELT FESTIVAL : July 13 – 15

POP, ROCK AND ELECTRONIC MUSIC. Line-up for this year includes Florence and The Machine, Little Dragon, Nina Kraviz, The xx, George FitzGerald and Ben Klock.

Held at Ferropolis, a former open cast mine in the town of Gräfenhainichen, which you can reach via a two-hour drive on the A9 from Berlin. An hour and 30 minute ride by train from Berlin HBF, Euro 20-34. The festival organisers usually run shuttle buses direct from Berlin Airport. http://meltfestival.de/en/

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