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The once-divided city is now a multicultural melting pot of vibrant art, international cuisine and progressive attitudes. Both fascinating and sobering reminders of Nazi rule and East and West Berlin remain. The city centre also holds a vast collection of art and antiquities from across the world. At night, Berlin welcomes visitors with a wide variety of live music, bars and dance clubs.
Berlin experiences four distinct seasons, with weeks of snow in winter and warm summers.
1 hour 45 minutes
Tegel International Airport (TXL), 8 km northwest of the city centre. Schönefeld (SXF) is situated 20 km southeast of Berlin. The new Berlin Brandenburg Airport is scheduled to open in 2016.
A city break in Berlin caters to one and all: the art lover, the foodie and the party animal. Explore the past on a guided tour of its historical architecture and diverse neighbourhoods. Fill up on German beer and sausages, or a wide variety of international food. Dance the night away in a techno nightclub.
Walking or cycling tours are an excellent way to see the best places in Berlin. Learn about the capital’s history as you cycle from East to West, passing the Brandenburg Gate, Alexanderplatz TV tower and remnants of the Berlin Wall. Or take a street art and graffiti tour through an edgy neighbourhood.
On Museum Island, five world-famous museums are stunning both outside and inside. Bode Museum holds a world-class collection of antique and Byzantine sculpture. The Pergamon, one of the most popular places to visit in Berlin, displays majestic alters and gates from the Middle East, including the Babylonian Ishtar Gate.
The capital’s progressive, anything-goes attitude is most apparent after sundown, when there are countless nightlife activities in Berlin. Go high-class at a cocktail bar or for something grittier, visit a GDR-style bar in an old Soviet tower block. After that, choose between many live music venues and techno nightclubs.
Couples: Take an evening dinner boat cruise on the River Spree.
History buffs: Experience daily life under communist rule in East Germany at the DDR Museum.
Festive shoppers: Explore Berlin’s winter wonderland at the Christmas markets starting in November.
Language: The language spoken in Berlin is German.
Currency: The currency used in Berlin is the Euro (€).
Local time: Berlin is one hour ahead of GMT/UK time.
Fly to: Tegel International Airport (TXL), 8 km northwest of the city centre. Schönefeld (SXF) is situated 20 km southeast of Berlin. The new Berlin Brandenburg Airport is scheduled to open in 2016.
Flight time from UK: Approximately 1 hour 45 minutes.
Tourist information: Further Berlin tourist information can be found at http://www.visitberlin.de/en.
Visa & health: Before your holiday to Berlin, visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/germany for recommendations and advice on visas and health.
Temperature: 3-24 (°C)
Berlin awakes from the winter at the start of spring, with cool and crisp days providing the perfect conditions for people-watching in the cafes. Take a sweater for the more overcast days, or come in the summer when temperatures climb to up to 25 (°C). Temperatures start to drop in autumn, but it is the best time to experience some of city’s most vibrant events and cultural festivals. Or book your holiday during the winter to enjoy Berlin’s famous Christmas markets.
By public transport: Berlin has an extensive network of underground metro, rail, buses and trams that is very affordable.
By bicycle: The city is flat and has many bicycle paths, making cycling a popular option.
By taxi: Taxis are cheap and easy to find. Rounding up to the nearest Euro is customary.
Cinema spectacular: The film industry’s elite gather every February for the Berlinale International Film Festival, the world’s largest, which shows more than 400 films and sells 300,000 tickets.
World-class music: For three weeks in September, Musikfest Berlin and the capital’s famous philharmonic host the international music scene, with performances by the world’s best orchestras, soloists and instrumental and vocal ensembles.
Christmas markets: There are over 60 Christmas markets across Berlin, offering everything from local crafts to international food. Several markets entertain with light installations, live music, an ice rink and even a mobile toboggan run.
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