Berlin

Berlin - Germany

Berlin is the beating heart of stylish Europe. The German capital city is world renowned as a capital of art, music and fashion, making it a magnet for younger, creative types from around the world.
Once famous for being a city divided, Berlin is now among Europe’s leading tourist destinations, particularly among younger travellers attracted by the startling nightlife on offer in the city. The city is home to some of Europe’s most “full on” techno clubs and arguably rivals Amsterdam for a heavyweight night out.

Aside from late nights, there is a huge amount to see and do in Berlin by day. The city is steeped in modern history.

With a population of 3.4 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. Once the capital of the Kingdom of Prussia (1701–1918), Berlin went on to be capital of the German Empire (1871–1918), the Weimar Republic (1919–1933) and the Third Reich (1933–1945), after which the city was split between the victorious powers; the east being overseen by the Soviet Union, the west being overseen by Britain, France and the USA. The building of the Berlin wall in 1961 separated West Berlin from the rest of East Germany for over twenty five years.

 

Culture

Cheap rents and an abundance of work space have made Berlin one of Europe’s most attractive destinations for young artists in the last two decades. The city is currently home to over four hundred art galleries, so art lovers will never be short of new places to check out.

In addition to the high number of art galleries, Berlin is home to over one hundred and fifty museums.
Museum Island is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and sits on the northern part of the Spree Island. After suffering near destruction in the closing stages of the war, the museums are now in the final stages of reconstruction and are approaching their former glory. The museums to be found on the island are:

The Altes Museum (Old Museum) dominates the Lustgarten. The Berlin Cathedral, is considered a masterpiece of classical architecture. The Old Museum is home to temporary exhibitions and the Copper Engraving Museum.

The Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery) stands behind the Altes Museum. It reopened in December 2001, after a complete refurbishment. The Gallery, designed by Friedrich August Stüler to resemble an antique temple on a high pedestal, has an extensive collection of 19th century European and German sculpture and painting. Featured artists include Monet, Manet, Renoir and Karl Friedrich Schinkel.

The Neues Museum (New Museum), was all but destroyed during the second world war and is only now in the final stages of redevelopment. The New Museum will house the Egyptian museum and papyrus collection, including the famous bust of Queen Nefertiti.

The Pergamon Museum, (designed by Alfred Messel 1907–30) is home to archaeological discoveries from the Near East and ancient Europe. The main attraction is the reconstructed Pergamon .
On the northern point of Museum Island stands the Bode Museum, built by Ernst von Ihne in 1898–1904 and re-opened in 2006. The museum is home to an impressive collection of paintings and sculptures.

Away from Museum Island, Berlin is home to a wide variety of museums:

The Neue Nationalgalerie (New National Gallery, built by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe) is home to an exceptional collection of twentieth century European painting.

For historians, the Deutsches Historisches Museum (in the Zeughaus) offers an overview of German history through the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Elsewhere, the Jewish Museum is home to a permanent exhibition relating to two thousand years of German-Jewish history. The Museum für Naturkunde (near Berlin Hauptbahnhof) is home to the largest mounted dinosaur in the world (a brachiosaurus), and an array of impressive natural history exhibits.

The Hamburger Bahnhof, located in Moabit, is home to a significant collection of contemporary art, while the Beate Uhse Erotic Museum near Zoo Station claims to be the world's largest erotic museum (but everyone knows size isn’t everything!).

Performing Arts

Berlin has more than fifty theatres and three major opera houses: the Berlin State Opera, the Deutsche Oper and the Komische Oper. The Berlin State Opera on Unter den Linden dates back to 1742; the neighbouring Komische Oper has specialises in operettas. During the division of the city from 1961 to 1989, The Deutsche Oper opened in 1912 in Charlottenburg. it was the only major opera house in West Berlin.

Seven symphony orchestras are resident in Berlin, including the world famous Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, housed near Potsdamer Platz.

 

Nightlife

In the years after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, many buildings the former city centre of East Berlin (Mitte), were renovated for the first time since the Second World War. When the squatters moved in, the area became a hub for all kinds of underground gatherings and a party culture was born.

 

Recreation

Berlin’s Zoologischer Garten is Europe’s most visited zoo and has a spectacular range of species from around the world. Its most famous resident is Knut the polar bear, who became a worldwide phenomenon in 2006.

If the huge variety of activities on offer in Berlin gets too much for you, the banks of the river Spree have a huge selection of bars, restaurants and cafes where visitors mingle with locals for glorious afternoons of people watching.

 

 

 
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Climate

Summers in Berlin are relatively warm with average high temperatures of 22–25°C and lows of 12–14°C. Winters are cold with the temperature frequently dropping below freezing and an average high of just 4°C. This said, snow rarely stays on the ground for long in Berlin.

Many Germans complain about the weather in Berlin and it doesn’t enjoy the same warm climate as Munich in the south.


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Berlin Weather (BBC)

Berlin Airport

Berlin Official Site