Berlin's combination of glamour and grit is bound to mesmerise anyone keen to explore its vibrant culture, cutting-edge architecture, fabulous food, intense parties and tangible history.
Berlin is a big multicultural metropolis, but deep down it maintains the unpretentious charm of an international village.
Locals follow the credo 'live and let live' and put greater emphasis on personal freedom and a creative lifestyle than on material wealth and status symbols. Cafés are jammed at all hours and clubs keep going into the small hours and beyond. Berlin may be pretty big in size, but its key areas are wonderfully compact and easily navigated on foot, by bike or with public transport. Bismarck and Marx, Einstein and Hitler, JFK and Bowie: they’ve all shaped – and been shaped by – Berlin, whose richly textured history confronts visitors at every turn. This is a city that staged a revolution, was headquartered by the Nazis, destroyed by bombing, divided in two, and finally reunited – and that was just in the 20th century! But it’s not only rich history the city has to offer, it’s also Europe's newest start-up capital. When it comes to creativity, the sky’s the limit in Berlin. In the last 20 years, the city has become a giant lab of cultural experimentation thanks to an abundance of space, cheap rent and a freewheeling spirit that nurtures and encourages new ideas. Top international performers grace its theatres, concert halls and opera stages; international art-world stars like Olafur Eliasson and Jonathan Meese call Berlin home here; and Clooney and Hanks shoot blockbusters here in the German capital.