Whether you're a hipster or a history lover, Berlin is a city break destination that ticks every conceivable box. Its music scene is legendary – the clubs and bars setting trends that the rest of Europe follows – and artists and photographers flock here to soak up the city's bohemian vibe. Then there's the architecture, the wide squares, bustling boulevards, and ornate monuments, many lovingly reconstructed since the dark days of the war and the Berlin Wall. There are also tourist attractions aplenty – animal lovers in particular have to see Berlin Zoo, arguably the greatest of its kind in the world.
Things to see
A sprawling public square, Alexanderplatz is one of the busiest hubs within the central Mitte district – it's where you'll find the unique World Time Clock, a curious cylinder topped with an intricate sculpture of an atom. Nearby is the Fernsehturm, or TV tower, which reaches almost 400 meters into the sky and affords visitors jaw-dropping views across Germany's capital. As well as gazing out from the observation deck, you can also relax in the bar and restaurant. For world-class shopping, take a stroll down the Kurfuerstendamm, or Ku'damm as locals call it. This long and handsome boulevard is lined with independent boutiques, bars, and cafes, and is a must-see for any visitor. The Brandenburg Gate, meanwhile, is to Berlin what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris. A symbol of the city since the 18th Century, its vast columns and proud chariot sculpture have been a focal point for rallies and historic speeches for generations. Want to enjoy some drinks after a day's sightseeing? Stroll over to
Hackescher Markt, one of the city's bohemian districts famed for its relaxed and colorful nightlife.
Hotels in Berlin
As one of Europe's major capital cities, Berlin has hotels for every kind of traveler. There are plenty of high-end establishments offering indoor swimming pools, luxuriant spas, and massage treatments, and rooms fitted with sumptuous Egyptian sheets and antique furnishings. Equally, you can find quirky boutique hotels in Berlin done up in a more minimalist, Bauhaus-inspired style, as well as good, reliable cheap chains that will do the job if your priority is to work or sightsee, rather than spend time in the hotel itself.
Where to stay
For tourists and business travelers alike, the Mitte district is an ideal place to stay. It's the very heart of the city, offering swift access to office complexes and top attractions like the city's many museums clustered on the aptly-named Museum Island. Alternatively you can choose to book your Berlin hotel in the Charlottenburg district. This is best known for the handsome Baroque and Rococo sprawl of Charlottenburg Palace, which is well worth a visit if you're in the area (or even if you're not). Another enjoyable district is Prenzlauer Berg, which is a real social hotspot with enough pubs, restaurants, and galleries to keep you occupied for days.
How to get to
Flying into Berlin? You may land at Tegel Airport, which is the largest hub for international travel in the area and is well located for the city – a taxi or bus ride will get you into the thick of things in no time. Budget airlines fly into Schoenefeld Airport, which is situated a bit further away from the city, while trains from every corner of Europe come into Berlin Central Station. A futuristic marvel of glass and steel, it's an attraction in itself.