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The vibrant capital of Germany, Berlin is a heady mix of history, culture, and turmoil. Once the third largest city in the world in the 1920s, Berlin is steeped in a rich past marked by the scars of war and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Eclectic and a bit wild, this is a capital in constant transformation, still working out what it’s final form will be.

Here's what we think should form the core of your experience:

20th Century History

Some of the most important events of the 20th Century occurred here, or on the outskirts of Berlin, in Potsdam, shaping the world we live in today.

The visitor to Berlin is well-served spending at least a bit of time visiting some of the key historical sites related to the Second World War, the Berlin Wall, and the Cold War, and reflecting on how precious freedom from tyranny, and peace actually are.

Even before the havoc of the 20th Century though, it’s worth considering Berlin’s role from both a European sense, and also from the perspective of it being the centre of the Haskalah (Jewish enlightenment) and by extension one of, if not the most important Jewish cities in Europe.

Fine Art Collections & High Culture

Woefully ignored when compared to other big European cities, Berlin’s museums boast exceptional collections of works by the German Romantics, Impressionists, 1920s Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) artists, and the second largest collection of Sandro Botticelli paintings in the world, next to Florence’s Uffizi.

There are also nine orchestras, three operas, and incredible archeological collections to discover, even with the current closure of the Pergamon museum.

Hip Neighbourhoods, Cuisine, Nightlife

This is a city with incredibly strong neighbourhood identities. Each has a different flavour, and your experience can be completely different depending on what you enjoy. There are also many wonderful local markets and flea markets to explore.

Berlin nightlife is legendary at this point. While it’s certainly not as wild and unhinged as it was in the 1990s and early 2000s, in some ways that’s perhaps a good thing, with the addition of upscale cocktail bars to the milieu of bars, all-night nightclubs, and full-on techno palaces.

From a culinary perspective in 2024, Berlin has developed in leaps and bounds in the past few years, and now boasts a wide variety of international offerings, from Neapolitan pizzas, to fantastic northern Chinese noodles from Xi’an, to the nearly infinite spread of Turkish cooking. There are now also more than a few very impressive produce-centric restaurants that have opened, featuring a contemporary look at more local German cooking, many of which are well worth exploring.

It is important to note that you do really need to know what to look for to have a spectacular dining experience at any part of the price or style spectrum, as the average still leaves something to be desired.

Any of our guides will be able to point you in the right direction though and make sure you have a sublime experience.

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