MT Business Travel: Frequent flyer Rahmyn Kress' guide to Berlin

HOW TO GET THERE: I fly with British Airways to Tegel, Berlin's main airport. It takes about one and a half hours. Air Berlin flies from Stansted. Flying from Luton with easyJet is too inconvenient, as it only goes to Schoenefeld, which is further from the city than Tegel.

by Rahmyn Kress, MD of Universal Music's Virtual Factory
Last Updated: 31 Aug 2010

AIRPORT TO TOWN: There are plenty of cabs at Tegel and it takes no more than 20 minutes to get to the Kurfurstendamm - one of Berlin's major boulevards. It costs around EUR20. You can also take the express train direct to the central station, Bahnhof Zoo, for EUR3. From there, you can use the very reliable and well-connected underground services.

BEST HOTELS: My favourite is the Grand Hyatt 1 (Marlene-Dietrich-Platz 2, +49 30 2553 1234, www.berlin.grand.hyatt.com). It has a fantastically elegant and fresh feel. The best feature is the rooftop spa, which offers breathtaking views over the Philharmonic building and the Tiergarten - the park that stretches through the city centre. The Hyatt has a great restaurant, the Vox, and its piano bar has one of the largest whisky selections I have come across. I've also used the Hotel Adlon Kempinski 2 (Unter den Linden 77, 30 2261-0, www.hotel-adlon.de), a historic luxury hotel that's a bit more stuffy than the Hyatt.

BEST BUSINESS RESTAURANTS: There's a hell of a lot to do, food-wise. Berlin is very multicultural and prices are reasonable for what you get. My favourite restaurant is Borchardt 3 (Franzosische Strabeta e 47, 30 20 38 71 10), an airy French place close to the Gendarmen Markt. You're likely to rub shoulders with celebrities there. The Einstein 4 (Unter den Linden 42, 30 204 36 32, www.cafeeinstein.com) is more mid-range. It has the most phenomenal Wiener schnitzel, and its garden is particularly nice during the summer.

BEST CAFES AND BARS: Sale e Tabacci 5 (Kochstrabeta e 18, 252 11 55), close to the old Checkpoint Charlie, serves very good Italian food. My Italian wife says it's authentic, and you always see other Italians there, which is a good sign. You have to try currywurst, a spiced sausage that comes with hot ketchup and curry; it's the German equivalent of fish and chips. You can get it everywhere, but the best are on the Kurfurstendamm. Berlin's clubbing scene is phenomenal. Clubs such as 90 Grad 6 (Dennewitzstrabeta e 37) and 40 Seconds 7 (Potsdamer Strabeta e 58) have terrific reputations.

A FEW HOURS TO KILL? I love the city's beautifully maintained zoo 8. Watching the hippos swim is very relaxing after work. Berlin also has a lot of history - the Brandenburg Gate 9, the Berlin Wall, the Reichstag 10, and the museum at Checkpoint Charlie 11, with its incredible stories of people's escapes. The New National Gallery 12, built by Mies van der Rohe, is worth a look, as is the Friedrichstrabeta e, with its big-brand shopping areas.

BUSINESS ETIQUETTE: Meetings are much more formal. Expect punctuality. It's very true that turning up five minutes early is better than five minutes late. You need to address German businessmen in a formal way, and while they may not always wear suits - they often go for a blazer and jeans - they will dress smartly.

SECRETS OF THE JET SET: Berlin has beautiful summers. It stays light until 10 or 11pm, making it a great place for a wander. People are fantastically outgoing, so don't be afraid to get lost. Berlin's architects have done a good job of renovating buildings in a very respectful but contemporary way, and you can still feel the influence of the French and British from its years under occupation. If you have time, visit Lake Wannsee - particularly nice during the summer - or Pottsdam Castle, 45 minutes from the city.

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