With tradition and contemporary culture perfectly balanced, it is easy to see why the German capital is a top tourist destination. Find out why you should go...
Berlin has a number of notable museums and art galleries. The city's Museum Island, in Berlin's Mitte district, boasts five of Berlin's most internationally acclaimed museums. The Altes Museum (Old Museum), the Neues Museum (New Museum), the Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery), the Bode Museum and the Pergamon Museum are all in residence here. Also located on the island is the Berlin Cathedral, an elaborate domed structure with fascinating decor both inside and out.
Meanwhile, Berlin's Jewish Museum is one of the largest in Europe, displaying monuments and relics of Jewish history stretching back two thousand years. To the north of the city is a much starker reminder of the Jewish experience at Sachsenhausen, a former WWII concentration camp and now a memorial and museum.
No trip to Berlin would be complete without taking a moment to appreciate the city's more recent past. For thirty years the capital was split in two, divided between East and West Germany by the now infamous Berlin Wall. The Wall's eventual destruction helped to pave the way for Germany's reunification in 1990. While little is left of the original Wall, there are remnants and reminders remaining all over the city, permanently imprinted on Berlin's memory. 'Checkpoint Charlie', one of the best known wall crossing points, is one of Berlin's most popular tourist attractions, as is the interactive experience of the DDR Museum to help visitors really understand what life was like for residents during the Communist era.
Running through the centre of Berlin and passing many of the city's most famous landmarks, the Spree River is a popular sightseeing choice for tourists and there are a number of river tours that navigate the network of waterways on a regular basis. An alternate way to see the city without overexertion is from the Fernsehturm, the television tower found in the very centre of Berlin. At 368 metres it is the tallest structure in Germany and its rotating restaurant and viewing platform offer views that cannot be rivalled.
Other sights worth seeing in Berlin are the Olympic Stadium (Olympiastadion), built for the Summer Games of 1936 and Berlin Zoological Garden. Set within the 520 acres of Germany's second largest urban park, Tiergarten, it is Germany's oldest and best known zoo. Nearby, the largest palace in Berlin, Charlottenburg Palace, draws visitors from far and wide. With its baroque and rococo style architecture and landscaped grounds, it is the jewel of the Charlottenburg district along with the Charlottenburg Gate which leads travellers on through towards the Brandenburg Gate.
Brandenburg Gate is one of the most widely recognised landmarks of Berlin. A former city gate, it was rebuilt in the 18th century as a triumphal arch, towering over the junction of Unter den Linden in the west of the city centre. Just one block away is the Reichstag building, home to German parliament between 1894 until 1933 and home to the current German parliament since reconstruction in 1999.
However, these attractions are not the only lure of Berlin. The city is a shrine for artists from all over the globe due to its vivacious and youthful arts and culture scene. The city was even titled 'City of Design' by UNESCO in 2005. At night the city comes alive with bars and nightclubs that offer some of the most diverse choice of entertainment in Europe and whose doors stay open beyond daybreak.
With all that is on offer, the German capital does not disappoint. Visitors can peruse museums or party all night long; the options in Berlin are endless. Any visitor to the city will be able to find something to suit them, explaining why Berlin is a top European destination for travellers the world over.
Flights to Berlin are quick and easy, meaning you can be off the plane and enjoying your holiday in no time!
Berlin flights currently land at one of two airports, Tegel (TXL) or Schonefeld (SXP). However, from early 2014 these two will be replaced by the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER) that will serve all international and domestic air traffic into the city. Flying time from the UK is around 90 minutes.
Airlines operating non-stop flights from the UK include Lufthansa, which flies from London Heathrow and Birmingham, and British Airways which also flies several times daily from London Heathrow.
Easyjet offers flights from Bristol, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool, as well as the London departure points of Luton, Gatwick and Stansted. Ryanair operates from East Midlands and Stansted and Jet2 has operations from Leeds Bradford.
In addition to the non-stop flights you can easily reach Berlin on connecting flights via Amsterdam, Paris and Frankfurt.
Travelling onwards, passengers are presented with a range of options. Find out the best for you...
Those looking to travel beyond the capital have access to the high speed Autobahn and to rail services that connect travellers to destinations all over Germany and beyond like Frankfurt, Cologne, Stuttgart and even Prague. Meanwhile, the city itself is served by a number of urban transport systems, including a Metro network, bus lines and ferry services.
Vibrant Berlin is bursting at the seams with history and culture - but where is the best place for you to stay?
Visitors to Berlin generally go to see the many sights such as the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag building and Checkpoint Charlie. Therefore, basing yourself in the city centre makes sense.
Lively Mitte, formerly part of East Berlin, for example, is teaming with galleries and museums and is a great place for culture vultures to stay. Alternatively, Friedrichshain offers a number of budget hotels and is close to the city's nightlife.
If you want to be slightly away from the action, green Pankow is on the border of Mitte and offers easy access to all of the main areas.
Charlottenburg is in the western district of Berlin and is another option if you want to immerse yourself in the city. Shopaholics will love this part of the city and should head to streets such as Leibnitzstrasse and Bleibtreustrasse. A number of high-end boutique hotels can be found here.
If big brands are what you're looking for, however, you will find a good selection, such as Radisson Blu, Holiday Inn, Hilton and Mercure, as well as independent smaller hotels.