Berlin Travel Guide

Berlin is the heart of Germany, with a stoic beat that echoes through grand public buildings, glorious museums and theatres, urbane restaurants, bustling pubs and raucous nightclubs.

The Wall is gone but Berlin is still divided: there's a distinct segue from the glitz of the west to shabby East Berlin.

Today the city, restored as the nation's capital, is the focus of a mammoth project of reunification and the barometer of Germany's moods. Of strategic importance since it first straddled the Spree River in the 13th century, Berlin went on to hog centre stage in the turbulent twentieth.

This area was quickly colonised by the trendy cafe-bar set in the early 1990s and swift rebuilding has erased nearly all trace of the Wall.

It's the suburbs of East Berlin with their grey and decaying apartment blocks, cardboard cars and paucity of telephones that make it apparent that the Wall was up to protect a utilitarian East from a decadent West.

From the civic turmoil of the Thirty Years War, to the devastating impact of the fire-bombing during WWII, Berlin has constantly been under siege or in a post-siege rebuilding phase.

Until it came down, the Wall was the most enduring icon of a nation's disharmony. But it's not as if the city hadn't seen it all before.

Facts in a glance

Area: 889 sq km
Population: 3.39 million
Country: Germany
Time Zone: GMT/UTC +1 (Central European Time)
Telephone Area Code: 030

See Also

Events in Berlin

Hotels in Berlin

Restaurants in Berlin

Nightlife in Berlin

Attractions in Berlin

Maps of Berlin

Weather in Berlin

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