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The most visited city in Germany
Berlin, the German capital, is a trend setter in lifestyle, music, art and fashion. Wherever you go, you can experience the pulsating life: on boulevards, in art galleries, at flea markets or in the city's 300 clubs and 7,000 bars and restaurants. Mixed up with the unique history of Berlin shaped by changes and upheavals, the city is worth to be visited.
Whether you are business traveller, a family, a couple or a single visitor even young or elderly, Berlin offers always a special highlight on any visit. The 'Brandenburg Gate', Berlin's most famous landmark, as well as the Potsdamer Platz, the showpiece of the New Berlin, are only two examples for the innumerable symbols of the city.
Whether city adventure, nightlife or the most modern hotels in Europe – Berlin visitors can explore a variety of affordable options. Because although Berlin is one of Europe's top destinations for art, fashion and events, the city offers much more for your money than other major cities like London, Paris or Rome. In short: a stay in a metropolis with world city status will not cost you the earth, but your memories of it will be priceless.
visitBerlin – offers you “your Berlin”
visitBerlin has advertised the tourist service offered by the capital city Berlin worldwide since 1993. The object of the company is to promote tourism, business travel, events, exhibitions, conferences and congresses as well as to offer tourist information for the Berlin region. The company provides all associated services and retail operations. At the same time it is visitBerlin’s task to position the German capital as a destination to guarantee that visitors' interest in Berlin continually increases long term.
Berlin’s appeal as a popular travel destination in Europe remains unbroken. Last year the city was able to chalk up a historic record: for the first time, 22 million overnights were reported. The city is one of the top three destinations in Europe, after London and Paris. For guests from India, Berlin is likewise getting increasingly popular. The number of Indian visitors rose by 32.4 percent in 2011. During the same period the hotels in Berlin recorded a 39.6 percent growth in overnights.
For more information: www.visitberlin.com
MICE Business Travel and Incentives
Berlin is the ideal location for conferences and events. Exceptional venues, top service and an attractive programme of activities beyond the actual meeting, make this city a magnet for any type of business gathering. Moreover, the metropolis is becoming increasingly popular: in 2011 alone, more than 115,000 events with 9.7 million guests took place in the capital. That makes Berlin Germany’s number one, and the city comes fourth on the list of the world’s most popular convention destinations.
The Berlin Convention Office (BCO) from visitBerlin is responsible for the international marketing of Berlin as congress metropolis and incentive destination. It maintains close contact with all partners and service providers in the congress industry and is always happy to help.
The BCO offers support with:
The “Meeting Guide Berlin” by visitBerlin offers clear and comprehensive information and is a great help to anyone planning and organising conferences, meetings and events: www.convention.visitBerlin.com
In addition, Berlin is an attractive and multifaceted incentive destination. Your motivational and reward trips to the capital can be filled with varied programmes and exciting excursions.
“BerlinCentives” is a central and free guide to the incentives the German capital has to offer. With this online tool, organisers can mix and match events and attractions to create their individual incentive programme.
For more information: www.convention.visitBerlin.com
“No time to get bored” is the motto of the child-friendly capital, and Berlin is truly brimming with surprises for its little visitors. Here fun and adventure are guaranteed. On 365 days a year, exciting family attractions are just waiting to be explored. And thanks to the family-friendly prices, any trip will also keep the parents happy.
Two aquariums, the AquaDom and Sea Life, offer a fascinating insight into the underwater world. A special highlight is the ride in the glass lift through the AquaDom, the world’s largest freestanding aquarium. Surrounded by a million litres of water, children and their parents quite literally “dive down” into the world of exotic fish.
Hollywood stars such as Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt pose for a snapshot with the parents, while the kids play with Christiano Ronaldo or Michael Jackson. The true-to-life wax figures of these celebrities can be visited at Madame Tussauds.
Covering 3,500 m², the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre is a colourful Lego-world full of creativity, fun and games. In addition, the Lego-world offers expeditions through a wild jungle, breathtaking sea battles with dangerous pirates, a creepy horror school, an unusual 4D-cinema and an exciting ride on the dragon rollercoaster. Of course your children may also become builders and construct their own Lego models.
Children are always thrilled to visit Berlin Zoo, home to more species than any other zoo in the world. You can learn a lot during the daily feeding sessions, and the petting zoo is always a favourite with children, as is the giant adventure playground.
Countless family-friendly hotels and hostels are always looking forward to welcoming their youngest guests. In addition, there are a great number of restaurants that offer family menus as well as special family meal-deals.
For more information on family holidays in Berlin: www.visitberlin.de/en/category/1518
Explore Berlin on your own – at a great price
Visitors to Berlin especially enjoy the city’s incredibly relaxed atmosphere and its people’s positive attitude towards life. However, you mustn’t forget to visit the great highlights and sights of the city.
The capital’s top ten sights
It is, without a doubt, the city’s emblem: Brandenburg Gate. From here it is easy enough to get to the most important sights on foot. The Reichstag for example – it is not only Germany’s political centre, but with its glass dome, it is also a magnet for tourists from all over the world, and it offers a spectacular view across the city.
Walking along the grand boulevard Unter den Linden, you will get to Museumsinsel (Museum Island), a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you can find five exceptional museums exhibiting world-class cultural treasures.
Berlin’s highest building, the Fernsehturm (television tower), is a mere stone’s throw away from here. On a clear day, it offers a fantastic view across the entire city.
Close by lie the narrow alleyways and hidden courtyards around Hackescher Markt. Great fashion brands and independent shops invite you to go for a stroll. Friedrichstrasse is also ideal for a leisurely walk and a spot of shopping. However, the ultimate shopping street is Ku’damm in the district City West. The luxury department store Kaufhaus des Westens (KaDeWe) and many famous brand shops welcome their customers here.
Berlin Zoo is just round the corner and a highlight for every young visitor.
Potsdamer Platz is a place of international celebrities – not just during the Film Festival – and its modern architecture is certainly breathtaking. From here, a path leads to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, which commemorates the victims of National Socialism.
The sights of Berlin can easily be explored on foot, by bus, by bike and even by boat. Of course all tours are also available in English.
For more information: www.visitberlin.de/en/see/city-tours
Berlin WelcomeCard - your city ticket for Berlin!
It gives you free ride in Berlin or Berlin and Potsdam - valid for 48 hours, 72 hours or 5 days - reductions on more than 200 attractions and highlights with many new events and specials and a handy guidebook.
Berlin WelcomeCard Museumsinsel (Museum Island) + free admission to the museums Museum Island (excl. special exhibition)
For more information: www.visitberlin.de/en/welcomecard
From Berlin to the palaces and gardens of Potsdam
There is also a lot to explore on the outskirts of the capital, away from the hectic city life. Merely thirty minutes away from the centre of Berlin lie grand palaces, green islands and a vast and picturesque lake district.
An ideal starting point for a tour of Berlin’s environs is the Olympiastadion (Olympic Stadium) in the west of the city. Built during the Nazi-era, the stadium’s architecture mimics the clear lines of the sports arenas of classical antiquity. The Maifeld, which offers a great view onto the imposing stadium, is also the training ground for the Berlin cricket teams. From here, visitors can take the nostalgic bus line 218* to the Grunewald Tower. The tower’s 204 steps take you up to an observation platform, giving you a spectacular view across the River Havel and the surrounding Grunewald Forest. The bus then takes its passengers through the dense green of Berlin’s largest forest to the much sung about Wannsee. On hot summer days this bathing lake is a popular day-trip destination for the people of Berlin, and in the evenings it sometimes turns into a venue for special events.
Going south along its shore, you will reach Pfaueninsel (Peacock Island). There is a ferry service to this tranquil little island, and romantic paths invite you to take a walk through the nature reserve and past the white Island Palace from 1794. While you’re there, you’ll be sure to see a few free-roaming peacocks.
Take a ride on the S-Bahn to the nearby town of Potsdam. The history of Berlin is closely entwined with the mansions and palaces of this town, and they are indeed impressive monuments to the art and architecture of eras gone by. With its lively streets, the picturesque Dutch Quarter in the heart of Potsdam is perfect for a stroll.
From there it is a mere stone’s throw to the palace Sanssouci: once the summer residence of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia, its stunning chambers offer an insight into the opulent lifestyle of that time. Along Große Allee, through the palace’s vast park, visitors get to Neues Palais (New Palace), the largest baroque building in Sanssouci. On warm summer evenings, concerts are held in front of this grand palace backdrop.
*Tip: the traditional bus line 218 operates a daily service leaving every two hours (11.15 am - 7.15 pm) from Theodor-Heuss-Platz to Pfaueninsel and back.
For more information on palaces and gardens in Berlin: www.visitberlin.de/en/keyword/palaces-gardens
Shop till you drop – from luxury department stores to niche boutiques
Berlin offers an exceptionally diverse range of shops: huge shopping centres, department stores, small shops and elegant boutiques. Designer fashion enthusiasts, bargain hunters and trend setters on the lookout for the latest fashion will definitely get their money’s worth.
Shopping in City West
Kurfürstendamm, also called “Ku’damm”, and Tauentzienstrasse are Berlin’s most famous shopping promenades. Here you can also find the KaDeWe, the largest department store in Europe. With its huge choice of products, from fashion to delicacies, the KaDeWe is a place to look, marvel and shop. The west end of Ku’damm is home to exclusive designer shops and luxury brands such as Lagerfeld, Bulgari, Chanel, Luis Vuitton and Gucci. Walking down the quieter side streets, you will find fancy cafés and restaurants as well as luxury boutiques offering an exclusive range of fashion and design.
The grand boulevard Friedrichstrasse
Car manufacturers’ showrooms, boutiques for exclusive clothes brands and huge temples of luxury welcome their customers on Friedrichstrasse. The Friedrichstadtpassagen are home to the famous Galeries Lafayette, Quartier 205 and 206, offering international fashion for an elite set of clients. On almost 3,000 m² you can revel in pure luxury: exclusive designer fashion, accessories, jewellery and photographic art.
In the immediate vicinity, on elegant Gendarmenmarkt, lies The Corner Berlin (www.thecornerberlin.de), one of the trendiest concept stores in the world. It is a mix of boutique, gallery and café. Apart from vintage fashion by Yves Saint Laurent or Chloé, international luxury brands and newcomer fashion, The Corner Berlin also sells cosmetics, accessories, furniture, technical equipment and selected books on fashion and art.
Beyond the mainstream – shopping in Berlin
The cool Berlin-style and the latest trends can for example be explored along Schönhauser Allee and Kastanienallee in the fashionable district Prenzlauer Berg. Around Boxhagener Platz in Friedrichshain, small labels and galleries have established themselves. Every Sunday, people come to the flea market here to haggle over junk and genuine antiques. Bergmannstrasse in Kreuzberg offers second hand fashion, trendy home accessories and sounds from the capital.
For more tips on Berlin’s shopping hot-spots: www.visitberlin.de/en/experience/shopping
Snacks or gourmet cuisine - Berlin has it all
Berlin is an international metropolis. Nowhere does this become more obvious than in its gastronomy: Italian pasta, Greek gyros, Thai curry and Sudanese broad beans - nothing is impossible here. In addition, many top chefs have their restaurants here and offer international fine dining at a comparatively low price. But visitors to Berlin should also give the cosy pubs a try and taste the regional delicacies.
Indian and vegetarian restaurants in Berlin
The capital is home to almost 60 Indian restaurants, offering a grand choice with many regional differences. A number of these restaurants are also suitable for larger groups. Lively Oranienburger Strasse in Mitte has two Indian restaurants on the same street: Mirchi and Amrit II both offer excellent food at a moderate price. Embark on a culinary journey of India in Charlottenburg: delicious meals, a relaxed atmosphere and amiable hosts are waiting for you at Amrit I, Masala or Guru. The Maharani in Schöneberg serves traditional soups and curries.
If you are looking for purely vegetarian meals from around the world, go to the district of Kreuzberg. Freshly prepared dishes and friendly service await the vegetarian gourmet at Café V, Lon Men or Seerose. If you want a trendy atmosphere to accompany your vegetarian food, visit Margaux close to Brandenburg Gate.
A detailed list of more Indian and vegetarian restaurants in Berlin can be found here: www.visitberlin.de/en/keyword/indian-restaurants
Berlin – Setting of “Don 2 – The King is back”
Shah Rukh Khan is cool, sexy and enthuses millions of people – just like Berlin. For “Don 2 – The King is back” city and celebrity have come together at last. Apart from Shah Rukh Khan as “Don”, the German metropolis played a leading role as setting for the action film. In this way Berlin will in future be present all over India and, according to Shah Rukh, make a breakthrough as an attractive travel destination: "After the film is released, I fully believe that many Indians will come and deservedly so, because Berlin is so wonderful."
“Don 2” Shooting in Berlin
The shooting for “Don 2 – The King is back” in the German capital took 50 days. Apart from leading actor Shah Rukh Khan, director Farhan Akhtar, Bollywood star Priyanka Chopra as well as Lara Dutta and Boman Irani were on site. The shooting took place at well-known Berlin sights such as the Brandenburg Gate, the Gendarmenmarkt and the Olympic Stadium.
Farhan Akhtar, director: "When I came to Berlin on holiday in 2007 I was amazed and overwhelmed by the spirit of the city and most excited to see the mix of architecture, politics, music, cinema and all the signs of a healthy cultural life. Just like my character – ‘Don’, this city is avante garde and cutting edge. Two reasons for me coming here - Berlin is the right location for my film Don 2 and Berlin has to be on the Bollywood screens."
After the completion of the shooting the leading actor Shah Rukh Khan was invited to Berlin town hall and met Klaus Wowereit, Governing Mayor of Berlin. He wrote into the Golden Book of the German capital: “Thank you for making us all feel as if we were at our own homes. Love Berlin, like a second home now!” The Bollywood blockbuster “Don 2 – The King is back” and its cast celebrated the film’s German premiere at the Berlinale 2012, the international film festival.
Fans of the superstar, who has since become popular in Germany too, can follow in his footsteps and visit the film’s original locations. visitBerlin’s Don map takes you on an adventurous hunt through the city.
Link to the map: www.visitberlin.de/en/article/film-locations
Sleepless in Berlin
If you are travelling to Berlin, you should sleep in advance. Unchecked by closing hours, the parties run all through the night, and even on Sundays the city remains active. Be it techno or tango, hip hop or house, rock or reggae – there is a fun place to suit every taste.
Berlin night-life – where new trends and music genres are born
Berlin’s night-life is legendary. Here new trends are set and music genres are made famous. This is the perfect place for nighthawks. Whether you are looking for a cool club playing the latest tunes or a stylish cocktail lounge – Berlin is every party animal’s dream. Many clubs and concert halls play live music: laid-back jazz or experimental underground, happy pop or cool electro sounds.
Currently the sky-bars and clubs in the city’s high-rise buildings are the place to be, offering a spectacular view across night-time Berlin. Places with restaurants and clubs under one roof are also very popular – fortify yourself with a good meal before jumping onto the dance floor. That is why Solar, 40 Seconds in Mitte or Week-end are much visited.
Notorious dance clubs are for example Berghain or Tresor. They have put Berlin on the map in terms of techno and electro music. In summer, you can also party open-air along the River Spree. Here, a number of beach bars open their dance floors from dusk till dawn.
Tip: Nightseeing – Berlin City Lights
If you need a break from the booming speakers in the clubs, why not go for a walk or on a guided city bus tour. See Berlin’s sights bathed in sparkling and colourful lights.
For more information: www.visitberlin.de/en/experience/going-out