Berlin, for a week-end or longer if you like
Historically prominent, Berlin is also a city where it is pleasant to live. The German capital is largely turned to the arts and culture, and it is sure to satisfy those who love museums and expositions of all types. While discovering the city, you will notice many signs of its tumultuous past: the memorial to the Berlin Wall, the Reichstag, Checkpoint Charlie and the Holocaust Memorial. A divided city during the Cold War, it is now difficult for visitors to distinguish between the former BRD in the west and the DDR in the east. Berlin has over 3.5 million inhabitants, 5 million in the greater Berlin area.
Whether your trip to Berlin lasts several days or only a weekend, you will be filled with the German capital's Zen yet trendy atmosphere. Berlin has two airports and is serviced by many airline companies. Air France offers reasonably priced flights to Berlin.
- The Reichstag and its dome: Berlin's parliament is located in a remarkable historical building along the Spree River. The building has a sumptuous glass dome, the Bundestag, the symbol of transparent power. The visit is free and is ideal for a panoramic view of Berlin. Remember to reserve the visit on the Reichstag website.
- The Brandenburg Gate: as symbolic as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Brandenburg Gate has represented both the division of Germany and then its unification. This triumphant arch takes inspiration from Athens' acropolis and measures 65 feet in height. It is topped with a quadriga that represents Victory. The Gate dominates Pariser Platz, a large esplanade surrounded by embassies. Visit the gate in the morning or evening to appreciate the lighting.
- The Holocaust Memorial: 2,711concrete slabs stand to remind us of the horrible genocide.
- The Berlin Wall Memorial: there are still some remnants of the wall that marked one of the most painful periods in German history. The memorial conveys what it was like in Berlin from 1961 to 1989.
Many sites and monuments have historical markers. Take your time to discover them as you walk through the city.
You may also listen to music to your heart's content. Berlin has one of the most prestigious concert halls in the world: the Berlin Philharmonie. There are free concerts on Tuesday afternoons. Jazz, rock, electro music: new sounds have taken residence in Berlin.
Enjoy the city and its atmosphere until the wee hours in one of Berlin's numerous night clubs animated by well-known DJs.