Welcome to Berlin
Ask Berliners what they love about the German capital and some will talk about the joys of post-Communist freedom, others about Kreuzberg's throbbing nightlife, others about Friedrichshain's exciting young designers. Berlin can fill you with wonder, contemplating the future in the crystalline Reichstag and high-rise Potsdamer Platz, and with horror, revisiting the past at the Jewish Museum and remnants of the Berlin Wall. The nostalgic, the party lover, the trendsetter, today's Berlin is one city, many characters, different every time you look but never looked at indifferently.
Down-to-earth and sociable, Berliners love lazy brunches in Prenzlauer Berg's bohemian cafes and fun street food. Join the queue in muticultural Kreuzberg for mustard-slathered Currywurst (curried sausage), pan-fresh falafel and shawarma.more
Berlin is a monster-size capital, eight times the size of Paris. Plan wisely. First, head up to Norman Foster's panoramic glass-domed Reichstag (German Parliament), and join photographers for the obligatory twilight snapshot of the glowing Brandenburg Gate. You can spend days roaming Tiergarten park's lake-dotted woodlands and UNESCO-listed Museum Island's galleries, where Egypt's Queen Nefertiti hides. Trace Berlin's turbulent past at the Libeskind-designed Jewish Museum and walk the artiest stretch of Wall at the East Side Gallery.more
Individuality defines free-spirited Berlin. Go beyond the big-name designers on stately Kurfürstendamm to its quieter specialty stores, like L. & M. Lee with its German-made porcelain and glass. Poke around hip Prenzlauer Berg and Kreuzberg for urban, young designers and quirky boutique shopping. The Hackesche Höfe's Art Nouveau courtyards make for a leisurely stop, with their upscale shops and people-watching cafes.more
The fall of the Wall was the party of the 20th century, and even today Berlin still hasn't run out of steam. Glitzy 1920s cabaret lives on along Friedrichstrasse, while classical music rings out of Mitte's lavish concert halls like the neoclassical Staatsoper. Canal-side bars with alternative attitudes and industrial-style techno clubs draw revelers to Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain. Summer evenings are best spent chatting and sipping foamy wheat beer under chestnut trees in Prenzlauer Berg's Prater Garten beer garden.more
Summer weather in Berlin is pleasant and sunny, when days are long and temperatures can sometimes exceed 86°F (30°C), particularly in July and August. However the summer months are also unpredictable, and odd days can rapidly change from sunshine to cloud. Winter weather in Berlin, by contrast, is bitterly cold and damp, with plentiful snow and frosty days when temperatures hover at or just below freezing. Rain can fall all year round, but the wettest months are June and August, and the driest on average October and February.