Berlin is a remarkable capital, made more remarkable still by the events of the 20th century. It’s seen war, division and, ultimately, unification – and emerged on the other side one of the most fun, relaxed cities in Europe.
It’s not Germany’s richest city – nor its prettiest. Instead, Berlin satisfies a different itch: it’s for fun seekers, culture cravers and, of course, ravers. There are museums (the city has 170 in total), there’s Soviet architecture and 21st century street art. Some nightlife venues stay open from Saturday evening through ’til Sunday brunch – and speaking of brunch, you can indulge in a great food scene that encompasses everything from currywurst to Baklava. Get straight there with British Airways flights. Book your holiday with us to really bring out the best in your Berlin break.
Visit Berlin in 2019
2019 is a special year for Berlin. It’s the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which came down on 9 November 1989. The Berlin Wall Memorial and the East Side Gallery are both totally free to visit, plus there will be events throughout the year all over the city. Why not enrich your trip with a taste of 20th century history?
A pleasant stroll along the Unter den Linden boulevard in Berlin’s central Mitte district takes you to the scenic Spree river or the world-famous Brandenburg Gate. Climb to the top of the 368m TV Tower in buzzing Alexanderplatz for stunning panoramic vistas. Soak up the lively atmosphere in Hackescher Markt, with its array of trendy boutiques, bars and cafés. The luxurious Hotel Adlon Kempinski enjoys a superb Mitte location, with views of the Brandenburg Gate.
Spend an evening at the opera or visit the imposing Second World War-era Olympic Stadium in the affluent west district and Charlottenburg. For designer label shopping, make your way to the bustling boulevard of Kurfürstendamm. Visit Berlin’s landmark Kaiser Wilhem Memorial Church at Christmas time to shop for festive goodies at its excellent market. Head to Savignyplatz for a host of lively bars, cafés and restaurants. The stylish H10 Berlin Ku’damm hotel is a perfect base for exploring this thriving area.
The red-bricked Oberbaum Bridge links Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain, two districts once separated respectively into West and East Berlin. Happily reunited into one borough, it’s countercultural and exciting; and Friedrichshain has the city’s highest concentration of clubs. Be sure to stop by East Side Gallery, the Jewish museum, or Volkspark, a green oasis of parkland in an area dominated by Soviet-style blocks. Hotel Indigo Berlin East Side Gallery comes with a rooftop terrace – for enjoying a German Weissbier.
Even in the communist era, the area north of Mitte was a magnet for bohemian artists and hip young things. Since then, Prenzlauer Berg has undergone a dramatic transformation but retains its trendy edge. Watch the world go by from a laidback café, or cool off in summer with a refreshing lager at PraterGarten, Berlin’s oldest beer garden. Vienna House Andel’s Berlin fits the Prenzlaueur aesthetic well – it’s a little bit retro, a little bit modern – plus it has a lot of spa facilities.
The idyllic parklands of Tiergarten border the totally modern Potsdamer Platz. Tiergarten is famous for its zoo – one of the best in the world – whilst Potsdamer Platz has been subject to modern development on a grand scale: like the towering Sony Centre – whose ‘cyberpunk’ architecture conceals Sony HQ. There are a good selection of hotels in the area, including Berlin Marriott and the deluxe Ritz-Carlton Berlin.