Germany’s largest city and its old and new capital, Berlin is located in the former East Germany and is the third most popular city to visit in Europe. Bursting with historic and cultural treasures, visitors also come for the lively nightlife and arts scene. Two rivers and numerous lakes offer relaxation opportunities away from the concrete jungle.

Even before the wall came down in 1989, Berlin attracted a large number of immigrants and young male Germans who wanted to avoid the draft. Today, there are still distinctly Turkish neighborhoods and the city’s university is a hotbed of student activity. The former eastern districts are gradually being assimilated into the city.

Plenty of recent historical sights from the communist era can still be seen and provide a fascinating insight into the Cold War reality of everyday life in Berlin during this time. Checkpoint Charlie is a chilling reminder of those who lost their lives trying to escape the communist east, while remnants of the wall can be touched and walked along.

Highlights

Reichstag: is the imposing seat of the German Parliament, formerly located right next to the wall (before reunification).

Brandenburger Gate: is perhaps the most poignant symbol of reunification and the tall gate was part of a wall surrounding the city and the main entrance to Berlin.

Alexanderplatz: was the former center of East Berlin, dominated by the soaring TV-tower with its round globe on top.

Charlottenburg Palace: took over 100 years to complete and was used as a summer palace for the Electress Sophie Charlotte and named in her honour.

Potsdamer Platz: has developed into new Berlin’s central square since the fall of the wall in 1989.

Pergamon Museum: is one of the world’s most significant museums of ancient history in the world, boasting the spectacular Pergamon Altar of Zeus.

KaDeWe: is Berlin’s showcase department store rivalling London’s Harrods and served as a guarantee for maintaining West Berlin’s standard of living during the separation of the city.