Time Travel on Museum IslandMuseum Island boasts one of the richest and most diverse collections of museums in the world. It is home to the Altes Museum (Old Museum), The Neues Museum (New Museum), the Alte Nationalgalerie (Old National Gallery), the Bode Museum, and the Pergamon Museum, erected at different stages during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1999, it presents the rare opportunity to revel in Egyptian and classical antiquity, Byzantine through to Romantic art, and up to early modernism.
Experience World-Class CultureThere is a formidable array of musical and theatrical entertainment in Berlin: Attend a concert at the Philharmonie, where resident orchestra the Berlin Philharmonic is currently under the baton of principal conductor Sir Simon Rattle; marvel at the magnificent interior of Berlin’s oldest opera house, Staatsoper Unter den Linden, or visit its western counterpart, the Deutsche Oper, distinguished for its unconventional interpretations of classical works; watch a theatrical performance at the Berliner Ensemble, once the domain of Bertolt Brecht where his dramas still play a major role; or the Deutsches Theater, which became Germany’s most famous theatre under the great Max Reinhardt; or indulge in the contagious creative spirit of the Sophiensaele. Berlin also has around thirty cabarets and variety theatres, including the mirrored Art Nouveau tent of Bar Jeder Vernunft that provides a sparkling programme of stars from the chanson and comedy scene, and more than 130 cinemas.
Take a TourThere’s no need to explore Berlin on your own, or even by foot: Numerous water craft ply the Spree, the river running through Berlin, giving you the option to experience many of the city’s major landmarks from a different perspective: A round trip from Mitte to Charlottenberg (via Kreuzberg) takes three hours. If you prefer dry land, there are plenty of walking tours to choose from, which invariably include all of the important historical landmarks.
Watching a Sporting EventBerlin is a hub of professional sports teams: Hertha BSC and Union Berlin (soccer), Reinickendorfer Füchse (handball), Alba Berlin (basketball), and the Berliner Eisbären (ice hockey) all play in the national leagues, as do the volleyball and water polo teams. Going to watch a match is also a chance to soak-up the atmosphere at the infamous Olympic stadium or the emphatically modern O2 arena, on the banks of the Spree.
Experience the Former EastEast Berlin embodies the eclectic spirit of Berlin, contrasting the severe utilitarian architecture of the communist bloc with individual and experimental style, a vibrant artistic scene, and an abundance of bars and cafes.
Nowhere in the world can compete with Berlin when it comes to the sheer diversity of its nightlife. Arguably the hippest city in Europe, visitors can find everything from sophisticated clubs to pubs housed in derelict ruins. Top venues include King Kong Club in Mitte, and the club Maria and Spindler & Klatt in Friedrichshain. Berlin is also recognized as a leading light in techno, with clubs Berghain, Watergate, and Tresor having a global reputation in this field..
Shop, Shop, ShopEach district has its own retail hot spot, whether it’s the designer and mainstream fashion houses along Friedrichstrasse in Mitte, or on Kurfürstendamm and Tauentzienstrasse in Charlottenburg, or even the second-hand boutiques in Neukölln. In terms of atmosphere nowhere quite compares to Mauerpark, the largest flea market in Berlin, where a cacophony of junk, vintage fur items and antique curiosities nestle alongside fresh young designers flaunting printed t-shirts and jewelry. Take rest at one of the ramshackle cafes stuffed with retro furniture sat in by old and new age hippies.
Christmas Markets and Beach BarsGermany is famous for its Christmas markets: Whether you want to experience the magical charm or the urban excitement of Christmas, Berlin offers a choice of sixty different locations. Two of the largest take place atGendarmenmarkt and Potsdamer Platz. During the summer months, beach bars stretch along ‘Athens on the Spree’ in East Berlin, rescuing the city from its winter arrest and creating a lively, vibrant atmosphere.
And Finally…FestivalsBerlin is renown for its world-class festivals and carnivals; some of the annual highlights are the Berlinale (Berlin’s international film festival) in February, Europe’s second largest street carnival, The Carnival of Cultures, in June/July, the International Literature Festival in September/October, and Jazzfest Berlin in November. There are also regular cultural programs for the public across the city, including the “Long Night at the Museums”, and Christopher Street Day.