With the relics of its turbulent past transformed afresh through street art, chic neighborhoods and repurposed architecture, Germany’s capital embraces old and new.
The city is easy to navigate thanks to its excellent public transport system, indicative of Germany as a whole. The light rail system is particularly effective, transporting visitors and residents around Berlin’s twelve boroughs rapidly and efficiently.
Berlin is particularly well populated with museums, with some of the best being located in the central Mitte district, including the Pergamon Museum, Bode Museum and the inimitable Museum Island. While a short distance to the east, the DDR Museum captures life under the Communist East German Government.
The modern city of Berlin tackles elements of Germany’s dark history head-on. The Holocaust Memorial is an emotional and apposite tribute to the Jews that were murdered during the Second World War. The Berlin Wall Memorial can be found just a couple of kilometres to the north.
Berlin’s socio-political evolution over the years has resulted in a city which contains an incredibly rich and diverse vein of architectural styles. The Baroque Schloss Charlottenburg palace is a particular highlight, but there are other gems to be found elsewhere. Check out the Berliner Dom, a staggering sandstone cathedral which incorporates elements of renaissance, gothic, neoclassical and Baroque styles in its exquisite design. The Reichstag, the seat of the German parliament, contains an incredible mix of architectural styles, as well as a truly unique story to go with the building’s opulence. Visitors would also be well advised to view the neoclassical arches of the Brandenburg Gate—another Berlin site with a rich social history.
Berlin also has a collection of beautiful spacious parks, including the enormous Tiergarten, which provide a tranquil setting for an afternoon picnic. The Berlin Zoo is rated as one of the best in the world, and a destination that children love. There is also a collection of public squares which are well worth visiting, including Alexanderplatz and Potsdamer Platz.
Contemporary Berlin is a thoroughly modern city, providing all the services expected of a modern urban area. Dining and shopping are in abundance, and time spent in this principle German city can be an enlightening and engaging experience on every level.