Berlin tours almost always include the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag, and at least one section of the Berlin Wall. Those interested in recent history should visit museums and sites that explain the city's communist past, like Checkpoint Charlie and the Stasi prison. But there are also baroque palaces, ancient parks and imposing statues to remind you of Berlin's older and more grandiose past.
If you're feeling bohemian, then some districts have outstanding modern art, and remarkable architectural sights. A large immigrant population gives Berlin a cosmopolitan flare, and as well as digging into sausages and mustard, you should also try a donner kebab - Berliners claim that they were invented here! You also shouldn't forget that one of the main Berlin attractions is the nightlife - at least master enough German to be able to order a beer.
Whether you're travelling with a family, as a stag party, as a gay or straight couple or are a senior traveller, there will be plenty of things to fall in love with in this remarkable city. Berlin is easily accessible, welcoming, and endlessly fascinating.
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is the largest city with a population of around three and a half million. Berlin is located in northeast Germany and has been the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia, the German Empire, the Weimar Republic, and the Third Reich before regaining status as the capital of a reunified Germany in 1990. Berlin is known for nightlife, cafes, clubs, bars, museums, and palaces.
The main Berlin attractions are in the centre of Berlin and the nightlife in the eastern part of Berlin. Berlin has a colourful and sometimes painful history, but it has emerged as a modern city that attracts millions of visitors each year from all over the world.
Most visitors to Berlin seek out three of its main landmarks: the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, and the Brandenburg Gate. Erected in 1961 as a barrier between East and West Germany, the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, but parts of it still stand today as a grim reminder of Berlin's past.
Checkpoint Charlie was a nickname the Western Allies used for the crossing point between East and West Berlin during the Cold War. A replica booth and sign stand at the original site today; the original is in the Allied Museum in Zehlendorf. The Brandenburg Gate once marked the official entrance to Berlin. This imposing structure, with its unique Grecian design, dominates the surrounding streets and is now one of Europe's most recognizable icons.
Berlin boasts dozens of museums and art galleries dedicated to preserving and honouring its history, both good and bad. These include the Deutsches Historisches Museum (German Historical Museum), the Jüdisches Museum (Jewish Museum), and the Museum of European Cultures, among others. The city does not shy away from its role during World War II and has erected several monuments and museums to honour the victims of the Nazi regime.
The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, for example, is an emotional site occupying an entire block near the Brandenburg Gate. The Topography of Terror is an open-air museum that documents the Nazis' control during World War II. Other major sites in Berlin include the Berliner Dom, Berlin's largest cathedral; the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church; and the Reichstag, or German Parliament, which has an observation deck inside where visitors can take in the stunning views of the city.
The present climate in Berlin is one of optimism and excitement. The city hosts a variety of cultural events, including the world-famous Love Parade held in the Tiergarten each July, and has an active nightlife. The Mitte district is the historical centre of Berlin and its trendiest neighbourhood with a variety of cafés, restaurants, bars, clubs, shop, museums, and galleries.
Berlin is linked by a system of public buses, trains, trams, taxis, and an underground system called the U-Bahn. Bicycling is another great way to get around Berlin, and bikes can be rented from various locations throughout the city.
Accommodation is spread around Berlin and you will find everything from budget accommodation to luxury Berlin hotels. Undecided about the right accommodation for you during your stay in Germany? Then take a look at a great selection on offer from Oh-Berlin