Enticing enthusiasts of arts, culture and history, this enigmatic city exudes a profound atmosphere of creativity and its storied past is evident around every corner
Set on either side of the Spree River, this multifaceted destination, the compelling capital of Germany, underwent years of division and turmoil during the Cold War, culminating in the destruction of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
Today, a reunified and welcoming metropolis is what awaits those who enter this laid-back city – a particularly alluring magnet for visitors seeking outlets of inspiration or opportunities for cultural immersion. Regarded as one of Europe’s top start-up capitals and home to a profusion of festivals, museums, art galleries and theatres, Berlin is bound to appease with its easy-going Bohemian outlook and assortment of enthralling sights.
- Seek out the towering 18th-century neoclassical Brandenburg Gate.
- Visit one of the home of the German Government in Berlin, the Reichstag Building.
- Walk along the outdoor memorial of the Berlin Wall.
- Explore Museum Island UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Stop by Checkpoint Charlie – the Cold War crossing point of East and West Berlin.
- Wander by the open-air East Side Gallery and its graffiti murals.
- Hear heartbreaking stories at the Holocaust Memorial.
- Inspect the city’s eye-catching street art.
As a result of the bombings and battles of World War II, and the demolitions during the post-war period, Berlin’s cityscape is an amalgamation of architectural designs and a fusion of several styles. Exploring its streets by foot is the best method of taking in the highlights and getting a real feel for its exceptionally unique ambience while understanding more about the journey of this city and its people through history.
To see the brilliance of Berlin from above, venture to the top of the Fernsehturm, Germany’s tallest structure at 368m, dominating the skyline. Here, you can look out from the observation deck and bar – a wonderfully ideal spot to conclude your day or to kick-start your evening experiencing the city’s renowned nightlife.
A tale of two cities, Berlin is fascinating to explore and a couple of days is needed to delve into the historical sites alone. Guides will bring to life the horrors of the wars, life under the Nazis, as a city divided and the jubilance at the fall of the wall. Despite a relatively bleak past, Berlin is thriving with independent shops, markets and designers, innovative restaurants and bars, and a renowned club scene, which makes this a fun city to spend time. No visit to Berlin is complete with visiting a traditional biergarten for fresh beer and lively conversation.
Our top Berlin example trips
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Our favourite places to stay in Berlin
Hotel Adlon Kempinski$$$$$Ease back into another era with a stay at this elegantly refined and impeccably preserved Berlin highlight. Positioned steps away from the Brandenburg Gate and the Berlin Wall, Hotel Adlon Kempinski truly is a charmingly distinguished cut above the rest. The exquisitely decorated lobby of velvet sofas set around a trickling elephant fountain, under an illuminating domed ceiling, offers just a hint of what your sojourn in this metropolis will entail. Serving as the outcome of several renowned international and local designers, the rooms and suites embrace limestone floors, merged with cherrywood and mahogany floors, and slick black granite bathrooms feature deep soaking tubs. Each suite also includes a kitchen and a living area, as well as a fireplace and supreme views of the city. Dining at Hotel Adlon Kempinski delivers on every level, and guests can choose from three outstanding restaurants. Lorenz Adlon Esszimmer is a two-Michelin-starred marvel, serving up polished European dishes in an equally distinguished setting. Sra Bua promises Pan-Asian delights with European influences, and the more casual Restaurant Quarré is all about German and French favourites. Afternoon tea can be enjoyed in the formal lounge, and the Adlon To Go is ideal for grabbing a light snack or coffee. Stronger refreshments can be sought at the Sra Bua Bar, or in the glamorous lobby, post or pre-exploring. In-between soaking up the history and culture of their surroundings, guests can take a dip in the grand indoor marble pool. Situated across three floors, the Adlon Spa specialises in pampering, and the 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness centre will suit those who want to pick up the pace.
Hotel de Rome$$$$$With a fantastic address on the square of Bebelplatz, Hotel de Rome is housed within a former Dresdner Bank building, dating back to 1889. Notable architectural features have been carefully retained throughout, with more contemporary touches thrown into the mix. Upon arrival, the ground-floor reception serves as a striking entrance, with pink neon birdcages hanging from the ceiling and roomy black velvet sofas set alongside cherry-red furnishings. The refined interiors of the rooms and suites are somewhat more neutral, apart from pops of colour and vivid art paintings. High stucco ceilings and marble bathrooms add to the sophisticated atmosphere, and the polished suites encompass balconies, looking out over the square. Back on the ground floor, guests can dabble in classic Italian and Mediterranean dishes at the on-site restaurant, La Banca – a favoured summertime spot due to its enclosed terrace garden. Next door, the La Banca Bar is ideal for a tipple, as is the rooftop terrace, with a sublime view to match. Hidden in the former jewellery vault of the building is the impressive De Rome Spa, a particularly appealing drawcard for those who seek serenity within the city. Here, you can soak in the pool, enclosed by mosaic columns, and take advantage of the steam room, sauna and fitness centre.