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Berlin

4.8 / 5 33 votes

Country rank: 1 out of 6 Places To Visit In Germany

Sub-Region: North East Germany


Weather:

Ideal duration: 3-4 days

Best time: May - September (Read More)

Nearest Airport: Berlin (Check Flights)

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"Germany's pride - Berlin"

Berlin Tourism

Berlin is all things exuberant and vibrant. It is extravagant, yet affordable; cosmopolitan and forward, yet steeped in rich history. The morbid days of Cold War and a city divided by the Wall are long forgotten and the reunified capital beats fast as the heart of Germany.

Berlin was the stage to some events that not only shaped world history but were revolutionary in itself - headquartered by the Nazis, bombed by the Allied forces, partitioned and reunited, only recently. Far from being anguished by its turbulent 20th century history, the capital has resurrected itself as one of Europe's most stirring cities. A covetable creative hub, characterized by the city's multicultural population, with a hedonistic nightlife, which is clearly the most liberal, Berlin is a trendsetter. Although the city has moved on, the scars of the past remain in the remnants of the Berlin Wall, Checkpoint Charlie, the Prussian Palace and the very room where Hitler planned the Holocaust. Berlin's music scene has also been nurtured over the years, with the likes of Lou Reed and David Bowie hailing from this city. And if you thought this was it, Einstein and Marx, also call Berlin home. What is wonderful about the city is, even with its throbbing nightlife, chic boutiques, rapid economic growth, the German capital is unpretentious, unassuming and for the most of it, laid back!

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Expect to be spending around Eur — 85 - 125 on an average for daily expenses. Public transport, meals at cafes, availing discounts on attraction visits by using the city card, etc will ensure your expenses are not exhorbitant.

Majorly Aethist with small segments of Catholics, Protestants and Muslims.

Berlin is quite informal but there are certain aspects you must keep in mind for a pleasant interaction with the locals. Make sure you extend pleasantries, Guten Morgen, Guten Tag or Guten Abend, based on the time of the day. Address strangers with Sie. Use Entschuldigung (excuse me) to attract anybody's attention and be polite always. Bitte and Danke are always appreciated. Tips are usually included in the prices, however if you are really satisfied with any service, an extra tip is encouraged. Smoking is prohibited in all administrative buildings, public transport and stations. It is advisable to ask before lighting up even in pubs and restaurants.

German Hi - Hello Danke - Thank You Bitte - Please Ich spreche kein Deutsch - I don't speak German

Berlin is Europe's primary center of politics, media, science and culture. It was established as a union of two settlementts - Berlin on the northern banks of the river Spree and Colln, on present day Museum Island. The city was victim to wars, plagues and fire till it saw the light of dawn under the reign of Friedrich Wilhelm. Berlin gained both economic and political stability. After the crowning of prince Friedrich III of Prussia in 1701, Berlin received royal residential status and declared the capital of Prussia. In 1871, when the German Empire was founded, Berlin became its capital. Although Germany was defeated in the First World War, Berlin grew in population and prospered. After Adolf Hitler became the German Chancellor, Berlin was shrouded in darkness with the persecution of communists, political opponents and the extermination of the Jews. Hitler's attack on Poland, triggered the Second World War and Berlin was devastated by bombings by the Allied Forces. The Allied Forces emerged victorious and Berlin suffered with more than half of its population wiped out and the city was left in ruins. The aftermath of the war, was the division of Germany and Berlin. To reinforce the demarcations, the Berlin Wall was established in 1961, which further fuelled the Cold War, Due to civil unrest and massive agitations, draining of population, decisions were made to bring down the wall in 1989. In the subsequent years, the east German state was dissolved and Germans celebrated reunification. Berlin once again became the capital of Germany and there has been no looking back since then.

Berlin's nightlife is pulsing pretty much all through the night. In fact for all non-Berliners some of the clubs and pubs here are known to operate beyond boundaries of deceny or law!! Many bars in Berlin work as cafes in the afternoon, eventually as evening falls, the atmosphere becomes smokier and the coffee and tea become beer and wine. Kneipen are the simple, laid back neighbourhood pubs to grab a beer or two. The more upscale bars and lounges are in Mitte district's Scheunenviertel, Gendarmenmarkt, Unter den Linden and Charlottenburg. Clubs and dancing, only begin around midnight and most popular places are not worth visiting before 2 or 3 AM. While electronica is the theme everywhere, clubs do change their genre from time to time. What is nice is the unpretentious nature of most of these establishments, with casually dressed club goers and lax entrance policies. Berghain is a popular haunt of the locals, so if you want to put on those dancing shoes, you know where to head. Techno not your thing? You rather groove to more soothing jazz? Worry not, apart from the jazz nights in the bigger places, there are several small, cozy and quiet jazz clubs. Berlin is also host to the Jazz Festival in November.

Berlin has something for all tastes and purses - for the hip, casual and trendy to classic and elegant, for designer fashion lovers to trendy dressers, from bargain hunters to spend thrifts! Kurfurstendamm is one of the most popular shopping streets, so much so that even the by lanes are worth exploring. The Kaufhaus de Westerns (KaDeWe) in Tauentzienstrasse is the largest department store in Europe, with a colossal range of goods, which even if you are not buying, are worth marvelling at! The Friedrichstrasse in the Mitte district has a chic air with such stores. Check out the small shops in Hackesche Hof, and you will be in for some nice surprises. Lot of local designers have their boutiques lined up in Munzstrasse, as well as Alte and Neu Schonhauser Strasse. The flea markets are ofcourse the bargainer's delight with assorted trinkets and wares to rummage through. One such flea is the Sunday market in MauerPark. Please note most stores in Berlin are closed on Sundays.

Berliners prefer cash payments most often. Debit cards and major credit cards (American Express, Visa, Mastercard) are accepted, but smaller shops and cafes accept only cash payment. Therefore it is advisable to carry Euro bills and coins in hand.

Bureaux de Change and Reisebank outlets are located in all the rail stations and airports. Here you can exchange at the competitive daily rates.There are numerous other currency exchanges and banks which provide exchange facilities. Alternatively you can use ATM machines to withdraw Euros.

Berlin's eclectic cuisine has strong influences from Bohemia and East Prussia.Berliners prefer their food to be filling rather than detailed, which makes the cuisine rustic, yet hearty. German cuisine essentially is meat based, pork being the popular favourite. Fish is also consumed as a delicacy, while potatoes and peas tend to be the primary vegetable constituents. To experience true Berlin, you ought to try these three. Currywurst,usually served as take-out food is a grilled pork sausage cut into slices and seasoned with tomato paste and curry powder. Eisbein mit Sauerkraut, pork knuckle with sauerkrat cabbage served with a thick layer of crispy fat around the meat. This goes well with the Berliner Weisse, a light fruity beer. The Berliner, is a dougnhut filled with marmalade or jam filling and topped with icing sugar. This name is primarily used outside Berlin, the locals call it Pfannkuchen,while the Spritzkuchen are cream puffs. These are practically available at every corner bakery. A large part of the city's residents are of Turkish origin, making Berlin the largest Turkish community outside Turkey, result of which Turkish Doners,traditional Turkish Restaurants as well as fast food carts serve marinated lamb kebabs in flatbreads, salads with yoghurt dressing and other Turkish delicatessan, are served almost in every street. If its Germany, there has got to be beer! The Brauh_users, are the traditional German pubs which have no official closing times. So even all night long these pubs serve their guests Molle, which is usually a pilsner beer made by the traditional Berlin Breweries Engelhardt, Schultheiss und Kindl. The Berliner Weisse, is a refreshing summer speciality, commonly drunk as Weisse mit Schuss, with a shot of raspberry or lemon syrup. The Buletten, cold hamburgers without a bun, dipped in hot mustard and Rollmops, rolled fillet of herring, make for popular finger food. Traditional cuisine aside, restaurants in Berlin serve all conceivable cuisines from budget friendly options to gastronomic experiences.


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