B E R L I N
CITY OF CULTURE AND VIBRANT
- Did You Know -
Move over New York-Berlin is rapidly becoming the city that never sleeps, calling out to a rising population of 4.5 million, 3.5 million who come to The Grey City from over 190 countries in search of unchecked hedonism 24 hours of the day. But despite what these numbers might suggest, Berlin is still a treasure waiting to be found. Packed full of secrets and small mysteries, there’s no better way to uncover her truths than out on her streets.
1. Berlin is 9 times the size of Paris
Made up of 12 districts, the city-state of Berlin is a giant. To put it into perspective, Germany’s largest city is nine times bigger than Paris! For anyone who’s been to Thailand’s metropolis, that also means that, geographically, Berlin is the same size as Bangkok!
2. Has more canals than Venice
When you think of the river bound, beautifully bridged cities of Europe, images of Amsterdam or Venice are sure to spring to mind first. However, with its over 180 kilometres of serpentine waterways connected by a staggering 1,700 bridges, Berlin easily outsizes both of these famous canal networks. In fact, Berlin has more canals than any other city in the world! It’s no surprise then, that cruising the River Spree, dotted with its abundant beaches, bars and swimming spots, is one of the city’s most beloved places to pass the time.
3. Berlin consumes 70 million curried sausages a year
If you’re reading this before lunchtime, I apologize, because it talks of the kebab had your stomach grumbling, then thoughts of the beloved Currywurst will defeat you. Berlin’s sweetheart street food: the curried sausage has been called the city’s “culinary emblem” thanks to its ridiculous popularity. In fact, about 70 million servings are consumed every year in Berlin!
4. Berlin is home to the best technology
The Galeries Lafayette in Berlin’s shopping district off of Friedrichstrasse houses ATMs that allows users to receive gold. Yes, you read that correctly: gold. Available in quantities weighing up to 250 grams, the precious metal is readily available. And if that’s not enough, if you’re ever on your way to a night out but find yourself without shoes, don’t worry. Head over to Fritzclub where you’ll find yourself a vending machine that will reward you with ballet flat shoes for €9 each. Yup, come to Berlin and you’ve tripped out with Alice down the rabbit hole.
5.People partying in the clubs could fill a small town
And given that we’re on the topic of partying, it’s no secret that the city is an absolute haven for night owls. In fact, around 50,000 people dance every weekend in Berlin‘s clubs. That’s almost the same size as the population in cities like Durham in the UK or Grasse in France!
BERLIN: CITY OF CULTURE AND VIBRANT
Are you on a whistle-stop tour of the capital? Well, look no further, because we've picked the top things to see and do in Berlin so you don't have to. The choice was by no means easy - this city has so much to offer!
When the decision was made to move the Federal Government to Berlin, it was time to reopen the Reichstag building from its long years of slumber on the military zone between the two sides of the Wall. The building has since been completely modernized, and today's visitors to the Reichstag can look out from the building's glass dome to view of the hustle and bustle in the city.
The Berlin Television Tower
The Berlin Television Tower is instantly recognizable from the distance, standouts of the skyline at 368m, making it the tallest building in Berlin. Built in the 1960s, visitors to the tower can enjoy a unique 360° panorama of the city.
The Gendarmenmarkt is one of the most stunning squares in the city, located close to Berlin's Friedrichstraße, a shopping street in the central Mitte district. Two of the most impressive examples of architecture in the capital city are to be found here. Specifically, the Concert House designed by Schinkel and the German-French Cathedrals.
The Berlin Cathedral with its magnificent dome is a remarkable example of the late 19th-century architecture. Near the Cathedral are also the German Historial Museum and the Museum’s Island. On the side of Berlin’s boulevard “Unter den Linden” stands the Catholic St.Hedwig's-Cathedral.
The Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall Memorial is located between the districts of Wedding and Mitte on Bernauer Straße, consisting of the Memorial to the Victims of the Wall, a Documentation Centre and the Chapel of Reconciliation. The surviving section of the wall and watchtower enable visitors to get a real feel for the reality of the border facilities.
Once the bustling heart of the city before the Second World War, this area became a no man's land from 1945 until the fall of the wall. It changed completely after the fall of the wall in 1989 and is now dominated by the presence of the Sony Center, skyscrapers and endless shops. Potsdamer Platz is the main place to be for stars and celebrities, and not only during film festivals.
Without a doubt, the Brandenburg Gate is Berlin's signature attraction. Built in 1791, it was just one of many old city gates around the city of Berlin which, at that time, was still a manageable size. The decorative Pariser Platz was laid at the foot of the gate and is now home to many of the city's important buildings, for example, the Hotel Adlon with its wealth of history and the Akademie der Künste (Academy of the Arts).
I always keep a suitcase in Berlin - Marlene Dietrich
German cuisine awakens taste buds to filling dishes featuring spices and other ingredients from around the world. A typical meal may include hearty meat portions drenched in rich, creamy sauces along with buttery rolls, baked squash and a full glass of beer. Some German foods have ample amounts of garlic and onions baked or fried into the dish. The menu includes a wide range of fatty food options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with classic desserts. These cuisines also feature meals originating from other countries such as France, but throughout history, the Germans have always customized dishes with their own cultural influence.
Pork is one of the main ingredients found in traditional German recipes. Both Rostbratwurst and Bratwurst sausages are made with a combination of chopped beef and pork. The sausages are grilled and then served with horseradish sauce or mustard. The Germans also like to feast on meat dishes with plentiful amounts of lamb, duck, fish, beef, venison, and chicken. Some common German meat recipes are Goulasch, Eisbein mit Sauerkraut, and Leipziger Allerlei.
Starchy foods such as thick noodles, dumplings, and rolls are served as side dishes. Hollandaise dipping sauce along with grilled, baked or fried carrots, potatoes, spinach, turnips, broccoli and cabbage complement meat dishes. The breakfast side dish menu includes filling choices such as potato pancakes, spiced sausages, and rolls. Many breakfast foods like eggs are also served as sides for lunch or dinner.
Germans consume sugar-laden cookies, cakes, and other desserts after a robust meal. Krapfen is a small, round jelly donut, sprinkled with sugar. Other versions of this donut have generous portions of cream or chocolate inside. Stollen is another starchy dessert made with yeast bread and dried fruit. The exterior of the cake is sprinkled with powdered sugar.
Germany has more than 1,200 breweries within the country, making beer and wine a common beverage to go along with meals. Germans take pride in their beer and it shows because they prepare beer with high-quality hops and other ingredients such as spices and Belgian fruit. Choose from a wide range of light, medium and dark beers such as Pilsner, Rauchbier, and Bock. Pilsner has a mellow taste and light color because it’s made using lightly toasted malts. Rauchbier has a smoky flavor that sets it apart from other beers. Bock is a dark, heavy beer with a strong taste and a hint of malty sweetness.
Both red and white wine are favored beverages in Germany and there are many wineries prevalent throughout the country. Germans also enjoy drinking plain coffee or coffee made with cherry brandy and whipping cream with breakfast or dessert.
Regions throughout Germany specialize in certain meals. Northern Germany takes pride in recipes such as Schwenkerbraten and Labskaus. Common dishes found in Southern Germany include Flaedlesuppe and Maultaschen. Various casserole dishes are found throughout Eastern Germany such as Wurzfleisch.
Charlottenburg Palace is one of Berlin's few sites that still reflect the one-time grandeur of the Hohenzollern clan, which ruled the region from 1415 to 1918. Originally a small summer retreat, it eventually grew into an exquisite baroque building with opulent private apartments, collections of precious porcelain, and paintings by French 18th-century masters.
The palace's oldest section, the Altes Schloss, is an extravaganza in stucco, brocade and overall opulence. When visiting, one must take in the Oak Gallery, a wood-paneled festival hall draped in family portraits. The equally beautiful Oval Hall, with views of the gardens and the fabulous Porcelain Chamber, smothered top to bottom in Chinese and Japanese blue ware are also a must see.
A stroll around the sprawling palace park, with its shady walkways, flower beds, and manicured lawns cannot be missed. Across the carp pond awaits the 1810 neoclassical Mausoleum, where various royals, including Kaiser Wilhelm I and his wife, are entombed in ornate marble sarcophagi.
excursions & tours
Berlin Private Walking Tour
Duration: 11 hours
While docked at the Warnemünde cruise port, get an insider’s look at Berlin on this private, guided, full-day walking tour. Enjoy personalized attention while visiting some of Berlin’s most popular attractions — like the Berlin Wall Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie, Brandenburg Gate and the TV Tower, to name a few. Customize the tour and learn about the history of Berlin, from its beginnings to its role as capital of the Nazi Third Reich, to the divided city of the Cold War, to the modern-day capital of a unified Germany. Port pickup/drop-off included.
Dresden Day Trip from Berlin
Duration: 10 hours
Absorb the wealth of culture and elegant architecture found in Dresden, longstanding hub of German arts, during this 10-hour day trip from Berlin. Begin with a guided tour of the city center on foot, learning about its history as you explore the Zwinger Palace, Semperoper (Semper Opera) and Frauenkirche (Church of our Lady). Then spend the afternoon independently, wandering through the city’s lush parks, baroque architecture or lovely riverbanks along the Elbe, offering skyline views. This Berlin to Dresden visit also includes transport by air-conditioned coach.
Private Walking Tour: Berlin Highlights
and Hidden Sights
Duration: 4 hours
Get an insider’s look at Berlin on this private, guided, 3- or 4-hour walking tour. Enjoy personalized attention while visiting some of Berlin’s most popular attractions — like the Berlin Wall Memorial, Checkpoint Charlie and Brandenburg Gate — as well as a few lesser-known locations. Customize the tour and learn about the history of Berlin, from the time of the Teutonic Knights to its role as capital of the Nazi Third Reich, to the divided city of the Cold War, to the modern-day capital of a unified Germany. Hotel pickup and drop-off included.