When it comes to European capitals, Berlin is a real scene-stealer, mixing glamor with grit, top museums with underground clubs and ethnic eats with gourmet temples. Berlin is a city for everyone, whether posh or punk. The German capital is a city to watch in terms of art, design, fashion, and music. It’s a veritable cauldron of cultural cool, stemming from Berlin’s atmosphere of experimentation and tolerance. Long in history’s cross-hairs, modern Berlin is an utter triumph.
Throw yourself into the history of the city at the DDR Museum, where daily life under the Iron Curtain comes alive through engaging exhibits and detailed displays. It is one of the most interactive museums in the world, allowing visitors to touch and hold artifacts while they learn everything there is to know about East Germany, from how kids were potty trained to how much engineers earned.
Next door to the DDR Museum lies Berlin’s best brain candy. A UNESCO-recognized complex of museums, the Museumsinsel holds treasures from over 6,000 of world history. Spend your time wrapping your head around the Greek Pergamon Altar and standing in the radiance of the azure Babylonian Ishtar Gate, then visit Nefertiti, the Egyptian queen whose bust is the star of the museum.
Spend an afternoon exploring the Gendarmenmarkt, one of the most elegant squares on the continent. The impeccably reconstructed Konzerthaus, or concert house, anchors the square along with two cathedrals, one Catholic and one Protestant. Also on the square is the Hugenottenmuseum, dedicated to the history and art of Protestants who fled France to find religious freedom in Berlin. Nearby is the Deutscher Dom, a free museum showcasing the emergence of Germany’s democratic parliamentary system since the late 19th century.
Just a short walk away is the Brandenburg Gate, Berlin’s most iconic landmark. Built in tribute to King Frederick Wilhelm II in 1788, today the arc is a symbol of German reunification. The city’s Holocaust Memorial is close by, offering a poignant reminder of the Nazi-planned genocide of the Jewish population. Designed by American Peter Eisenman, the 4.7-acre memorial is made in a grid pattern marked by nearly 3,000 concrete slabs on an undulating field. The slabs create a confusing, uneasy atmosphere that represents the Nazi system’s break with humanity. Open on all sides, there is no prescribed path through the memorial, so let your feet and heart be your guide.
Catapult back in to the present and get a glimpse at the future of fashion on Tauenzienstrabe and Friedrichstrabe, two of the city’s best shopping districts. Both have an old-world charm that mixes high-end designers with more alternative and affordable styles. There, you can indulge in the latest trends before they hit stores elsewhere or find vintage threads for about the same cost as a loaf of bread.
The city’s nightlife is defined by it’s vibrant club scene. Don’t plan on going out until midnight because the clubs don’t come alive until 2 or 3am, but once they do, it will be worth the wait. There are no fixed closing hours in the city, so feel free to dance until the sun comes up to some of the continent’s best DJs spinning progressive, avant-garde and techno music. Make friends with the locals throughout your visit, because some of the best clubs are underground, popping up in old warehouses, basements or even residential backyards. Discovering these hidden wonders is all part of the adventure of exploring this lively and hip city.
Berlin Geographical Location
Berlin is located on the northeastern side of Germany close to the border of Poland and is the largest city in Germany.
The population of Berlin is approximately 4,500,000.