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Berlin, Germany

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Berlin Overview

Today, Berlin’s reputation is on par with major cosmopolitan cities like London or Paris. Berlin is the heart of Europe’s cultural center, boasting an immense number of theaters, museums and galleries. Ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall, this city has been reconnected and has been thriving with new life and culture.

Berlin is located in Northeastern Germany. It’s the largest city in the country as well as its capital. Most people remember the Berlin of post-World War II when it was divided into two sections. During this period, West Berlin was surrounded by the infamous Berlin Wall. This landmark separated the city from the Democratic Republic of Germany. It was known as the dreaded “check-point Charlie.” Visitors are encouraged to visit the soldier’s post and museum.

Though mostly destroyed by bombings in World War II, Berlin has recaptured its splendor. The entire city has been rebuilt in interesting and original architectural styles.

Berlin is best visited in spring, summer or fall. However, if you enjoy cold weather, festivals and thick stew-like soups will keep you warm in the cold winters.

Berlin is home to lavish boutiques, department stores and shopping centers. Berlin’s glitzy and chic avenues resemble those of Paris and Milan. Names of fashion designers like Armani and Gucci line major streets like Friedrichstrasse. In Berlin, you can find everything from the most expensive to the cheapest and in between. The west side of the city is popular for the new trend of anti-fashion ware. Young and talented minds create unusual clothing at inexpensive prices.

Berlin is a fun place to explore. Begin with Brandenburg Gate, once the entrance to the city. It’s an important landmark of both Berlin and Germany. Another important landmark is the Gendarmenmarkt. Its neoclassical style architecture will impress any visitor. This site dates back to Napoleonic times. The two cathedrals that sit at each border boast impressive views from their observation platforms.

Take time to stroll down Unter den Linden, an avenue lined with linden trees and classical buildings. Gaze into the decorated windows of specialty boutiques. Buy a beautifully hand-crafted stein or a bottle of your favorite schnapps.

See the important icons that grace the city. These include the Funkturm, a radio tower built in the 1920s. Its construction was done in the same manner as the Eiffel Tower - with the use of a metal frame. The restaurant that sits 55 meters above offers great views.

The proliferation of important museums gave rise to Spree Island also known as Museum Island. UNESCO has declared it World Heritage. The most renowned of all is the Painting Gallery. It displays paintings from the 13th through the 18th centuries.

Berlin is also home to great cuisine. The attraction for Indian, Thai and Turkish gastronomy can be seen in new creative German dishes. A prime example is the traditional Bockwurst, (pork sausage); its new counterpart is the Currywurst, a variation with flavors of spicy curry and tomato.

Berlin is a city that has turned a new page in history.

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