Berlin is a metropolis of over 3,400,000 inhabitants, whose metropolitan area has over 5,000,000 inhabitants. This city is the German capital and the largest city in Germany. Founded in the thirteenth century, in a strategic position on the banks of the Spree, in the place where it flows into the Havel. Berlin became an important city in the 15th century. It was in fact first capital of Brandenburg and then, starting from the 18th century, it became the capital of Prussia and then, from 1871, of the German Empire.
After the German defeat of the Second World War the city was divided between Soviets and Allies. The eastern part was the capital of the German Democratic Republic. While the western part was administered by the Allies. The two Berlins were divided by the sadly famous wall between 1961 and 1989. In 1990 the city again became the capital of united Germany.
WHAT TO SEE: THE MAIN ATTRACTIONS OF BERLIN
The city of Berlin is full of historical and modern beauties. There are monuments from the Prussian era and surprising developments in modern architecture in recent years. The city does not have a well-defined central area and attractions are scattered in every corner of the city. The most dense area to visit is however east of the Brandenburg Gate, on both sides of the Unter den Linden. West Berlin has less to offer. Here of interest are the remains of the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche, which give an idea of the destruction made to the city since the Second World War.
Among the main attractions we can mention: Alexanderplatz, the Cathedral, the Bode Museum, the Brandenburg Gate, the Charlottenburg Palace, the Dorotheenstadt Cemetery, the Federal Chancellery, the New Synagogue, the Gendarmenmarkt, the Hackesche Höfe, the Shopping Center KaDeWe, the Olympic Stadium, the Radio and Television Towers.
In 1990 UNESCO included the complex of gardens and parks in Potsdam in the list of World Heritage Sites. This place with 500 hectares of parks and 150 buildings built between 1730 and 1916, represents a unique artistic ensemble. The complex extends in the district of Berlin-Zehlendorf, along the Havel river and the Glienicke lake.
WHAT TO SEE: THE BERLIN MUSEUMS
Berlin is a city rich in museums, there are more than 170 of them. The Museumsinsel, a unique concentration of museums that illustrate the evolution of modern museums in a span of over a century, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
The museums of the city allow you to see numerous works of art. In fact, the famous bust of Nefertiti, which you can admire at the Egyptian Museum (Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung), and the Greek altar of Pergamum, visible together with the Ishtar Gate in the Pergamonmuseum, are preserved in the city museums. In the Berlin museums there are also the works of the painters of the “Brücke” and the “Bauhaus” and the works of Baselitz and Beuys.
The most famous museum in the city is the Pergamonmuseum, with its collections of Antiquities, the Near East and Islamic Art.
Other museums include: the Haus am Checkpoint Charlie, the German Historical Museum, the Old National Gallery (Alte Nationalgalerie), the Charlottenburg Palace, the Technic-Museum, the Altes Museum, the Stiftung Topographie des Terrors, the Egyptian Museum (Ägyptisches Museum und Papyrussammlung), the Gemäldegalerie (European art from the 13th to the 18th century), the Natural History Museum, one of the most important museums of its kind in the world.
HOW TO MOVE: URBAN TRANSPORT IN BERLIN
The public transport network is very vast and is made up of S-Bahn lines (mostly on the surface); U-Bahn (underground subway); Straßenbahn (Tram network mainly serves the east area); and from bus lines. All public transport, – U- and S- Bahn, trams and buses – are accessible with the same ticket.
U-Bahn: The U-Bahn is the real underground of Berlin, managed by the BVG, its network is made up of 9 lines which mainly cover the central and western part of the city.
S-Bahn: The S-Bahn is a surface underground, managed by the S-Bahn Berlin GmbH, with a network of 15 lines (of which one is the circular, the Ringbahn), whose network serves the cities as well as the city of Berlin of Potsdam, Bernau, Strausberg, Oranienburg and Königs Wusterhausen.
Tram: The Berlin Tramway network (Straßenbahn) extends into the eastern part of the city and is made up of a network of 22 urban and 2 extra-urban lines.
Bus: The bus network is very extensive and is made up of ordinary (Bus), MetroBus (M), express (X) and night (N) lines.
FLIGHTS TO BERLIN AND BERLIN AIRPORTS
Berlin has a single international airport: Schönefeld International Airport (SXF). Schönefeld International Airport (SXF) is located about 25 km from the city of Berlin.
Connections to the city center are guaranteed by the train that leaves from Berlin-Schönefeld Flughafen station inside the airport, the station is served by S9 and S45 S-Bahn lines, which run every 10 minutes, and from fast regional trains that run every 30 minutes.
Lufthansa has excellent connections between the main Italian airports and practically all German airports including Berlin.
The climate of Berlin.
ACCOMMODATIONS, APARTMENTS, B&B AND HOTELS
This post is also available in: German