Berlin is located in the north-west of Germany and is the capital of the country.
The German capital, which today is one of the most artistically and culturally lively cities in Europe, during the last century has been greatly affected by the World Wars. In particular, during the Second World War, Berlin was severely damaged by the bombing of the allied troops. After the war, the city has become the symbol of the division of the country into two zones, the west part and east one. The latter was under the control of the Soviet government, and in 1961 was erected the infamous Berlin Wall, which, until its demolition in 1989, was the emblem of the Cold War.
Sleeping in Berlin: Our Best Hotels in Town
Amongst our top hotels in Berlin we recommend:
- Hotel Adlon Kempisky - 5 stars
- All In Hotel and Hostel
- Hotel Adrema - 4 stars
- Hotel Days Inn Berlin City South - 3 stars
- Hotel Angleterre - 4 stars
What To See And Do in Berlin
Well aware of its past, today’s Berlin is one of the most interesting European capitals and it is surely worth a visit. Full of tourist attractions of any kind, from museums to art galleries, theatre and trendy class, it is surely a must.
The famous Brandeburg Gate is one of the most famous city’s symbols. A living witness of the past division into two Germanies, now the Brandeburg Gate epitomizes the reunification of the country. A few steps from attraction lies the Holocaust Memorial, a monument dedicated to the victims of the shoah.
The Reichstag, home of the German federal Parliament, deserves to be among the things you absolutely must see in Berlin, mostly for its glass dome, which can be visited for free and which offers a breathtaking view of the city.
Tiergarten Park is the ideal place to relax. This former game reserve is the city’s green lung, an oasis of paradise made of woods, meadows, streams and ponds.
In Berlin there are over 170 museums; here is the famous Museum Island, located in the northern part of the Spree island (the main river of the city). This cultural and architectural collection of museums is part of the Unesco World Heritage, and consists of 5 different structures: The Pergamon Museum, which houses some collections of ancient Greek and Middle Eastern art, the Bode-Museum, inside which you can find many Byzantine artworks, the Old Museum and the New Museum, where you can admire the famous bust of Nefertiti, and the Old National Gallery, with its collection of German artworks.
At the entrance of the Museum Island is the Pleasure Garden, an ancient square now covered with grass, in which lie both the Old Museum and the Berlin Cathedral, built here between the nineteenth and the twentieth century. In the city there are a lot of art galleries; the most famous of them is the Gemaldegalerie (the picture gallery), which contains many masterpieces of the European art between the thirteenth and the nineteenth centuries. It is located within the complex of the Kulturforum, which also houses the New National Gallery and the National Library.
Art and history merge at the East Side Gallery, an outdoor gallery. Murals from artists all over the world can be seen along Mühlenstraße, on what remains of the Berlin Wall.
Besides the East Side Gallery, lovers of art should not miss a visit to the Hamburger Bahnhof, a museum of contemporary art hosted in a former railway station from the nineteenth century, with words of artists the like Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol.
The city is really creative: in fact in 2006 it was appointed Unesco City of Design, and it has more than 1,300 companies including agencies, studios for product and furnityre design. In Berlin you can also find a lot of fashion designers and shops.
Berlin is a cosmopolitan and extremely vivid city: its artistic and nightlife centre is Prenzlauer Berg,a trendy district full of restaurants and pubs, very popular in summer for young Berliners and tourists.
The capital is also closely linked to the world of music: in the city there are three big opera houses andBerlin musical trends affect the entire European musical scene today.
Traditional Hangout Spots: the Best Kneipen and Biergarten in Berlin
Both a witness of the recent and past history, today’s Berlin is a constantly developing city, full of places to have fun. Some of the places you shouldn’t absolutely miss are the kneipen, the typical, traditional breweries.
Once small taverns where Berliners used to have a beer and something to eat at lunchbreak or after work, today many kneipen offer good meals, almost like a restaurant, being the ideal destinations for those willing to experience both some great beer and German traditional dishes.
A few examples? Stew, schnitzels, sausages, Eisbein (pork knuckles with sauerkraut) and, of course, wurstel. Another dish worth a taste in Berlin is curry wurst, a sliced sausage served with curry sauce.
Those visiting in the nice season cannot miss a visit to one of the best biergarten in Berlin, outdoor breweries where wurstel and steak match a good beer.
Among the historical biergarten, a special mention goes to Pratergarten, established in 1837, with a wide range of homemade beers. Schleusenkrug is another popular biergarten in town, since 1954 and located close to the Charlottenburg underground station. Here you can find the famous flammkuchen, salty tarts, and lamb wurst. Brauhas biergarten in Rixdorf, located inside a nineteenth century villa, offers many home made beers, served with great local dishes.
How To Reach the German Capital
Berlin is a very well connected town. A very efficient network of public transportation makes it easy to be reached from all over Germany.
Those willing to reach by plane can land in one of the two city airports - Tegel, linked to town via a shuttle bus service, and Schoenefeld, close to the railway station and where many low cost companies land.
The town can also easily be reached by train: Berlin main stations also serve high speed trains from Italy and all over Europe.
For those willing to use their car, is it important to know German highways are free and for long traits have no speed limit. The centre of Berlin can be reached only by vehicles meeting serious pollution standards: it is necessary to exhibit a special badge listing the exhausted substances of your car.
The Best Time To Visit Berlin
Berlin has a mild continental climate, with cold winters with an average temperature around zero degrees, and not so warm summers, with daily temperatures around 24 °C / 75.2 °F. The best time to visit this town, avoiding the weather to play a bad trick, is from May to July.
For those who do not fear winter, our advice is to visit Berlin in December, to watch the Christmas lights and the traditional Christmas markets, celebrate New Year’s Day outside while watching many live shows.