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It's true, Berlin is a city that symbolizes European history, and it's often the reason we go there. But it's much more than that, and there's no shortage of good reasons to visit.
In addition to its history, Berlin's rich cultural and artistic heritage shines through emblematic sites and monuments, numerous museums, art galleries galore, festivals of all kinds... not to mention a fusion of architectural styles, mixing historic and contemporary buildings, which gives the city a certain charm.
Over the course of its metamorphosis, Berlin has become a trendy, avant-garde and bohemian capital. And it's happening in almost every district. Restored buildings, friendly markets, pleasant cafés and terraces, natural restaurants, and wine bars, green spaces...: each of the city's 12 districts has its own face, its own history, its own trend. Another Berlin, in fact.
Berlin is also worth experiencing at night. A legacy of the unbridled nightlife of the post-First World War Roaring Twenties, but also of the wild techno parties after the fall of the Wall. Berlin boasts some of the best electro clubs in the world, including some unusual locations like the Berghain, housed in a former power station. And there are plenty of other parties and places to party, especially on the banks of the Spree in summer...
Last but not least, it's also an ecological city. Don't hesitate to explore it by bike - there are plenty of cycle paths - or by public transport... like the vast majority of Berliners!
When it comes to history, there are some must-visit sights that will transport you back in time.
Let's begin with the Berlin Wall, a symbol of the Cold War, which was demolished on the night of November 9-10, 1989, after nearly three decades of dividing the city (and the country). Its construction aimed to deter a growing number of East Berlin (GDR) residents from escaping to West Berlin (FRG).
The most renowned fragment of the wall is the East Side Gallery, situated in the Friedrichshain district. Covered in street art, it features the famous "fraternal kiss" between Soviet leaders Brezhnev and Honecker, crafted by Russian artist Dimitri Vrubel. To truly grasp the historical significance of the division, a visit to the Berlin Wall Memorial is essential. Here, you'll encounter the last remaining section of the wall preserved in its original layout, complete with an inner wall, sentry walk, lighting pylons, no-man's-land, signal fence, and outer wall. This visit reveals the immense scale of the barrier and the harrowing challenges faced by those attempting to cross it.
Directly linked to the country's division is the Brandenburg Gate. Although erected in the 18th century, this former city gate played a pivotal role in the Berlin Wall's history. Today, it stands as a symbol of German unity, celebrated for its historical significance, grandeur, and neoclassical architecture.
A short walk away lies the impressive Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, also known as the Holocaust Memorial. This is one of Berlin's memorials dedicated to the six million victims of National Socialism. Open day and night, it comprises thousands of concrete slabs of varying heights arranged on a gentle slope. Abstract and unconventional, it leaves visitors speechless, provoking deep thoughts and emotions, perhaps even serving as a stark warning.
The list of attractions in Berlin is extensive, catering to diverse interests and available time. You might consider visiting Checkpoint Charlie, the renowned border crossing between West and East Berlin, exploring the Reichstag Palace, which was constructed during the formation of the first German Reich (empire) and has housed the Bundestag (Germany's parliamentary assembly) since 1999, ascending the 368-meter-high Fernsehturm (Television Tower), discovering the baroque beauty of Charlottenburg Palace, or wandering through the narrow streets of the Nikolai Quarter, a reconstructed remnant of medieval Berlin, which was founded in 1237.
For museum enthusiasts, Berlin offers the Museum Island, located in the middle of the Spree River and designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is home to Berlin Cathedral and five museums: the Bode Museum, the Alte Nationalgalerie, the Altes Museum, the Neues Museum, and the Pergamon Museum. While all of them hold significant cultural value, the last two, housing the splendid bust of Nefertiti and the majestic Ishtar Gate of Babylon (reconstructed with original turquoise glazed bricks), are particularly recommended.
Additional museums worth exploring include the Museum of the Stasi (the GDR's intelligence and espionage service), the Hamburger Bahnhof (a contemporary art museum housed in a former railway station), and the recently inaugurated Cold War Museum, among many others (the list is extensive!).
For families traveling with children, the Video Game Museum is a delightful option, featuring an extensive collection spanning 60 years of video games, allowing visitors to try out several of them. Alternatively, the GDR Museum offers an immersive experience of everyday life in East Berlin, complete with a ride in a Trabant.
Traditional Berlin dishes, influenced by the East, are known for their simplicity and heartiness. They often incorporate ingredients like cabbage, potatoes, and various meats. Delights such as the savory pork shank with sauerkraut (Kassler mit Sauerkraut), the unique Berlin fricassee (a stew featuring mushrooms, veal, capers, and crab), and delectable meatballs are staples. For dessert, indulge in Pfannkuchen, a doughnut-like treat filled with jam, or savor the frothy cream of Berliner Luft surrounded by a raspberry sauce.
Beyond the classics, a new culinary trend has been reshaping Berlin's gastronomy in recent years. This movement focuses on sourcing products from local, artisanal, and eco-responsible small-scale producers in the Berlin area. These innovative menus are worth exploring.
What truly distinguishes Berlin is its abundant street food options, allowing you to eat whenever and wherever you please. Berlin's specialties include the renowned Currywurst, a fried sausage seasoned with curry powder and served with tomato sauce, as well as the equally beloved Döner Kebab, invented in the 1970s as a quick lunchtime snack. Berlin's covered markets, such as Markthalle Neun, offer an array of global specialties, and vegans can explore the Green Market Berlin.
Berlin is a vast city, covering almost 900 km², making it ideal for exploration. Space abounds, and the city never feels cramped or congested. Many streets are long and broad, with spacious sidewalks, ensuring smooth traffic flow. In many places, remnants of the no-man's-land from before the fall of the Wall can still be observed, contributing to the city's sense of spaciousness. Berlin is also replete with green spaces, including woods, parks, lakes, and gardens nestled within the urban landscape. Take, for instance, Tiergarten Park, a sprawling 200-hectare oasis that has retained its natural allure. It's perfect for a nap, leisurely stroll, bike ride, barbecue, or even sunbathing.
Another captivating aspect of Berlin is its perpetual evolution. After the Wall's demise, the city was a colossal open-air construction site for an extended period. Even today, there's an ongoing transformation that residents and visitors alike embrace with ease. This unique atmosphere, along with the city's vibrant energy, imparts an incredible and unexpected sense of freedom.
As you can see, Berlin is eclectic, culturally rich, and open-minded. This state of mind and the endless discoveries it promises will undoubtedly entice you to return.
Discover all the natural wines in Berlin
We currently have 26 wine shops listed in 1 cities in Berlin. Natural wine is a key indicator of where to find local, seasonal, organic, quality, and responsible products for all consumers, who want good wine and food without chemicals.