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Berlin Tourism Overview


Overview : Berlin is the capital city of Germany and one of the 16 constituent states (Lnder) of the Federal Republic of Germany. Berlin is the largest city in Germany and has a population of approximately 4.2 million within its metropolitan area (3.4 million people within the city limits). It is best known for its historical associations as the German capital, for its lively nightlife, for its many cafes, clubs, and bars, and for its numerous museums, palaces, and other sites of historic interest. Contrary to popular belief, Berlin is also home to many modern, upscale shopping areas filled with department stores and small boutiques that offer the latest in European trends and fashion. Berlin's architecture is quite varied. Although badly damaged in the final years of World War II and broken apart during the Cold War, Berlin has reconstructed itself greatly, especially with the reunification push after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. It is now possible to see representatives of many different historic periods in a short time within the city center, from a few surviving medieval buildings near Alexanderplatz, to the ultramodern glass and steel structures in Potsdamer Platz. Because of its tumultuous history, Berlin remains a city with many distinctive neighborhoods. It is now possible to see representatives of many different historic periods in a short time within the compact city center, from a few surviving medieval buildings near Alexanderplatz, to the ultramodern glass and steel structures at Potsdamer Platz. In addition, there is no city in Europe that parties harder than Berlin; the nightlife of most cities is tame in comparison. There are lots of great clubs and dance parlors. You only need to ask around to find the most popular hotspots in town. Most of the usual good places to go are in the center of Berlin (Mitte, Prenzlauer Berg, Kreuzberg), but the eastern part of the city has all the nightlife. Berlin has also played host to the "Love Parade," an outdoor rave that attracts millions of people from around the world who dance to rhythmic techno and electronic music and crowd the streets at night. Berlin is also perhaps one of the greenest cities in Europe: over 60% of its surface area is either a park or a river... it has even more bridges than Venice! Berlin has an amazing number of sights, although it is not as centralized or small as other European cities. Sometimes the best things about it have nothing to do with landmarks: simply strolling along one of hundreds of charming streets complete with caf's or sipping a "Berliner Weisse mit Schuss (shot of either raspberry juice or other)" at a beach bar along one of the city's many rivers can be pleasurable enough. The Berliners you'll meet will often be friendly and extremely helpful, although you may also encounter the famous "Berliner Schnauze," a certain brusqueness that can seem rude.
Temperature : Temperatures in Berlin range from -1.45 to 24.6 (Celcius).
Getting Around : By Public Transport - Berlin's public transport is integrated and one ticket allows travel on all trains, trams, busses and ferries which are manage by the public transport authority (BVG). Berlin is divided into transportation zones: Zone A: Is the city center within the S-Bahn's ring line. Zone B: Is the rest of Berlin surrounding the ring line Zone C: Is the area immediately outside Berlin (including Potsdam) These zones are covered by the U-Bahn (underground trains), S-Bahn (above-ground trains) lines. Trams and ferries are convenient for trips across Berlin's lakes and busses are usually taken for all those areas unreachable buy trains. The principal train stations are connected by feeder buses. An important thing that you will not forget is that you have to validate your ticket using the validation machine before you board your transport By Taxi You can find a taxi at all train stations and airports or maybe phoning one of the companies; so you will not have trouble finding a taxi in Berlin. Taxis are painted beige and have a sign of "Taxi" on the roof, they are easy to recognize. By Car Driving in Berlin is a little bit hard; in the city there are frequent reconstruction works which block the roads. On the other hand, the city has a civilized traffic through long avenues. You have to keep in mind that cycling routes are common in Berlin, so you should be cautious and careful with cyclists on the road. By Bicycle Berliners love to bike because is easy and safe, in Berlin there are a lot of cycle lanes especially around the Tiergarten park area and you are also allowed to take your bike on the U-Bahn and S-Bahn. If you don't have your own bike, you can rent it at the many bike rental shops.
Eating out : In Berlin there are over 12,000 restaurants making the city a cultural and culinary mixture, so is easy to find good and wonderful places to eat out with an extensive variety of dishes, an excellent ambience and good service, you probably will have some problems trying to decide which place is the best. You can find also a selection of great food in many caf's at reasonable prices. Traditional dishes tend to be rustic and energetic, specially the breakfasts. Many places serve meats and cheeses, smoked salmon and horseradish, but there are also continental-style breakfasts with croissants and yoghurt among others. Snacks are popular in Berlin, especially the Doner Kebab and currywurst. Other traditional dishes are Boulette, Matjes and Eisbein
Nightlife : Berlin is a city with much entertainment to offer, you can choice between a cultural night with a drink and a fun night dancing all night. If you get around the city, is a fact that you will find pubs, bars, theaters, cinemas and discos in your road. Many people spend their time in these places to have a good time and make friends. In the Mitte district there are many bars with a cool Euro-style, so if you prefer conservative places you should go there. For jazz fans, the western districts have many jazz clubs which have a fancy ambience; the most attractive districts in this area are Tiergarten and Charlottenburg. Berlin is also a city with a wide gay and lesbian ambience, especially in the southern districts of Schneberg and Kreutzeberg where many clubs offer fun and good dance music.