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As the European Union looks increasingly to the east, Berlin more and more is becoming the bustling metropolis and capital of not only a unified Germany but the geographic heart of an expanding Europe. No city on the continent is racing toward the future with the hysteria of a re-created Berlin, symbolized by the glass and steel Potsdamer Platz. Of course, its turbulent past and almost complete destruction in the closing years of World War II will always linger, along with the painful memories of a divided city in the Cold War era. But most Berliners are too busy living their lives today to dwell on yesterday.

"Berlin, not New ...

As the European Union looks increasingly to the east, Berlin more and more is becoming the bustling metropolis and capital of not only a unified Germany but the geographic heart of an expanding Europe. No city on the continent is racing toward the future with the hysteria of a re-created Berlin, symbolized by the glass and steel Potsdamer Platz. Of course, its turbulent past and almost complete destruction in the closing years of World War II will always linger, along with the painful memories of a divided city in the Cold War era. But most Berliners are too busy living their lives today to dwell on yesterday.

"Berlin, not New York, is the city that never sleeps," a local told us. "Don't come to Berlin for quaint charm. We are brash, witty, and we don't tolerate fools. All others we show a good time."

From its cutting-edge architecture such as the sleek spiraling glass dome atop the Reichstag to its almost obscene amounts of modern art, Berlin is vibrant. It is so vast that it makes Paris look like a small town. Kind to your wallet, Berlin is one of the most affordable capitals of northern Europe, especially to visitors just flying in from Copenhagen, London, Stockholm, or Brussels.

Danforth Prince
About the Expert

Darwin Porter and Danforth Prince have written many guidebooks for Frommer's, including Frommer's France and Frommer's Germany.

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Now Happening in Berlin

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Located in northeastern Germany. Divided into two during the Cold War, many major parts of Berlin's infrastructure (such as airports) were built on both the east and west side. After the demolition of the Wall, the challenge has been to merge both sides.
  • Language: German
  • Currency: Euro
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Weather: Rainfall

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Late spring, summer, early fall