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Last updated : Nov 2009
 
Berlin Travel Guide
Berlin Travel Guide and Berlin Travel Information - TravelPuppy.com
After a fifty-year lull, Berlin is back – back as the capital of a reunified Germany and back as one of Europe’s greatest cities.

After World War II, Berlin was a crippled pawn, sandwiched between East and West, with a literal and metaphoric wall deeply dividing the two halves. The northeastern German city even suffered the ignominy of losing its capital status, as the West German government fled to Bonn. Today, the Cold War and the iconic events of November 1989, which saw the Berlin Wall torn to pieces by those whom it had oppressed for so long, are starting to seem like a distant memory and all the talk in Berlin is of the future.

In the biggest construction project in Europe since World War II, a new Berlin has emerged from the forest of cranes dotting the no-man’s land that was the divided city’s dead heart. Potsdamer Platz is the most voluminous project but the most symbolic recent construction is at the Reichstag. British architect Lord Foster has rejuvenated the German parliament with an impressive glass dome that symbolises the new transparency in German politics, that of a nation with nothing to hide, which is attempting to distance itself from the ghosts of its past.

Coupled with this wave of new construction is a city laden with historical charm, from the old streets of East Berlin, which are slowly being restored after remaining unchanged for fifty years, through to the grand architecture of Museumsinsel and Unter den Linden, and the green lung of the Tiergarten Park. Tourism is on the rise, as visitors come to savour the intoxicating mix of old and new. Big business, too, is booming, as government bodies flock back from Bonn and relocate in the capital, along with investment from many other parts of the country and from all over Europe. Key industries such as electronics, manufacturing and information technology reflect the hopes for a brighter future for Berlin.

Contrary to the usual clichés about Germany, Berlin is a city with a laid-back attitude and some of the liveliest nightlife in Europe. In Berlin today, there is everything from authentic beer halls and old Soviet era haunts right through to buzzing style bars and Latino nightclubs. Berlin’s climate is equally eclectic, with hot summer days giving way to occasionally freezing temperatures during the long grey winter.

Today’s quintessential Berlin experience is to laze through a summer day in the Tiergarten with the rabble of construction just out of earshot, sipping on a chilled Pilsner beer, while witnessing a city reinventing itself as one of Europe’s finest capitals.