BERLIN – General impression
Watch out! Berlin is addictive. Once you’ve tasted the optimistic, relaxed and bohemian atmosphere flowing through the city you will always want to come back for more. No wonder that Berlin, Germany’s capital, is many people’s favourite European city.
However, this was not always the case. Berlin has a tormentous history and experienced pitch-black years during the Second World War and the Cold War, when the city was literally cut into two by the Berlin Wall. Even if history is not your thing, you will be impressed by the historical landmarks scattered around the city, such as the remainders of the Berlin Wall, which tell an important part of European history.
Nowadays, Berlin attracts visitors from all over the world, who not seldom decide to stay longer than expected. The city works as a magnet for young people, who turned the city into a platform for creativity and new, innovative forms of art. To experience this, make sure you visit the Kunsthaus Tacheles, housing many German and international artists.
Berlin is a city where the ‘places to be’ change quickly, so don’t get stuck into your travel guide, just ask the locals where to go. Apart from visiting the ‘must-sees’, explore neighbourhoods such as multi-culti Kreuzberg (don’t skip the Bergmannstraße) and bohemian Friedrichshain by foot and be bedazzled by the great number of cute bars, second hand shops, galleries, friendly people, ‘kaffee und kuchen’ and green parks. Even better; rent a bicycle and explore Berlin by bike. You will find bike stores on every street corner where you can rent a cheap bike. If you are tired of walking and cycling around, the public transport system is excellent and will bring you wherever you wish to go.