Berlin…After the Wall

BerlinBerlin is the capital and largest city in Germany. Rainfall is possible all year long but on average the driest months are October and February, and the wettest are June and August. Winter in Berlin is bitterly cold with lots of snow and temperatures right around freezing most days. With pleasant and sunny weather and temperatures that often exceed 85°F summer is by far the best time to visit Berlin.  The days are also quite long during this season meaning more time to enjoy the many sights of the city.

The city had had an exciting history through several wars and the actual division of the city after World War II. The reunification of the city in 1990 made it again the capital of all Germany.  Berlin is now a major scientific, cultural, and political centre of Europe and is quickly scaling the ranks of most visited cities in the European Union.  The city is home to several festivals, a unique contemporary arts community, and a very high quality of living.  Since the fall of Communism Berlin has undergone quite a transformation especially in its architecture with many buildings demolished, the salvageable being lovingly restored, and the new architecture jockeying for position.

An architectural site with historical significance is the Brandenburg Gate, the only existing gate of the 18 city gates that helped to separate the city during the Cold War. The Dz Bank features the very creative touches of famed architect Frank Gehry, including a conference room shaped like sculpted fish; you have to check it out for yourself to really understand it. Humboldt University is Berlin’s oldest university; students like Marx and Engels walked its halls and the Brothers Grimm and Einstein served tenures as professors there.  The New Synagogue represents the resurgence of the Jewish community in Berlin. Partially reconstructed after it was damaged it now contains displays on its architecture, history, and former congregation.

For a panoramic view of the city the TV Tower is by far your best option. The tallest structure in Germany the TV Tower has a lift that will take you to an observation deck and a small cafe that makes a 360 degree revolution every 30 minutes. Don’t forget to bring you camera as you pinpoint landmarks and learn more about the city’s layout. For another excellent view visit the Weltzeituhr clock tower.  Long a popular meeting spot, from the top of the tower you get an excellent view of the socialist buildings around Alexanderplantz.

Berlin’s burgeoning restaurant scene features everything from German classic to an abundance of locales that specialize in Asian cuisine.  For example, Maoa (Modern Art of Asia) carries the Mongolian grill concept to another level with offerings as diverse as kangaroo or crocodile meat to add to you favourite vegetables, noodle and spices.  If you’re looking for something healthier check out Susuru.  Japanese for slurping this noodle bar/restaurant will have you doing just that.

Since the fall of the wall, Berlin has something to offer to all.

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