All those eager to explore Berlin’s dynamic culture, cutting-edge architecture, delicious food, intense parties, and tangible history are sure to be mesmerised by its combination of glitz and grit.
Berlin’s immensely layered past confronts you at every step. Bismarck and Marx, Einstein and Hitler, JFK and Bowie, they have all shaped – and been shaped by – Berlin. In the 20th century alone, this city underwent a revolution, served as the Nazis’ headquarters, was bombed to pieces, split in two, and then was ultimately united. You can still walk along parts of the Berlin Wall, admire the magnificence of a Prussian mansion, go to Checkpoint Charlie, or even stand in the room where the Holocaust was plotted. Berlin is like a never-endingly intriguing 3D textbook where the past is everywhere.
Berlin is the city that actually never sleeps; forget about New York. There are moments when it looks as though Berliners are the lotus-eating people of Germany who only care about having a good time. Every taste, price range, and age group are catered for by the city’s diverse party scene. Berlin provides hot-stepping odysseys, and not just after dark and on weekends but pretty much whenever. Venues range from tiny basement clubs to industrial techno temples, chestnut-canopied beer gardens to sophisticated cocktail caverns, raunchy cabarets to ear-pleasing symphonies. Bring your endurance!
One of Europe’s major start-up hubs, Berlin, has no bounds to its residents’ creative potential. Thanks to a mindset that fosters and supports new ideas as well as to once-abundant space and affordable rent, the city has transformed into a massive laboratory of artistic experimentation during the past 20 years. Although the final two of these are unquestionably obsolete. Top worldwide artists continue to grace Berlin’s theatre, concert, and opera stages; prominent figures from the world of art, such as Jonathan Meese and Olafur Eliasson, call Berlin home; and Clooney and Hanks film blockbusters there. There is enough capacity for the complete spectrum of cultural expression, from highbrow to lowbrow and everything in between.
Berlin is a large multinational metropolis, but it still retains the down-to-earth appeal of a global community. Both locals and foreigners adhere to the motto “live and let live” and place more value on one’s own independence and way of life than they do on material possessions and status symbols. Cafés are always crowded, drinking is considered a religious practise, and clubs stay open through the weekend and into the following Monday. Even though Berlin is a large city, its major neighbourhoods are incredibly small and convenient to get around on foot, by bike, or by public transportation.