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Overview to Berlin: Travel Guide and Tourist Information


Although Berlin is only about half the (official) size of London, it couldn’t feel any less provincial by comparison. On the contrary, it’s a thriving, cosmopolitan capital and an essential destination for culture buffs, latter-day bohemians and trendy barflies alike.

Travelers tend to immediately flock to the former site of the Berlin Wall and the Brandenburg Gate (which divided East Berlin from West). But right across its various distinct neighborhoods, Berlin is home to a range of impressive sights.

Museums and galleries, too, dot this vibrantly cultural city. In the Schlossplatz (to the east), the Museumsinsel is a collection of several fascinating museums, while surrounding the Gemaldegalerie (west of Potsdamer Platz) there is another world-class cultural complex.

But a trip to Berlin is by no means simply a great, sprawling open-air history class. In addition to its cultural attractions, it boasts an infamous nightlife, and the city’s shopping has made it the haunt of fashionistas and even A-list Hollywood celebrities.

From the elegant boutiques of Schoneberg and the Ku’damm in Charlottenburg (a little to the west of the direct center) to the more grounded, alternative edge of Kreuzberg (a little to the east), each of the city’s shopping districts has a unique feel.

And this is essentially Berlin’s appeal: its endless variety and stark contrasts. A city of high art mixed with brash urbanity; a city of alluring architecture and trashy clubs; a city where the ancient and sedate sits alongside the frantically modern.

In the end, though, it’s a city defined by its ability to shift and redefine itself. As (former resident) Berthold Brecht once said: “There is a reason to prefer Berlin to other cities, because it is constantly changing. What is bad today can be improved tomorrow.”

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