A City Information Guide to Berlin.
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Berlin Tourist Information: www.germany-tourism.de
Berlin is the largest city in Germany. A vibrant city of distinctive contrasts and one of Europe's truly great capital cities. West Berlin is lively and modern, the former East offers historical monuments to its glorious past with exquisitely restored buildings and glimpses of pre-war that cannot fail to impress.
What to see in Berlin: Berlin is a vibrant centre for the arts with superb museums, theatres and art galleries. Visit the Kulturforum for many fascinating and impressive museums and concert venues including the Berliner Philharmonie concert hall and the complex's Picture Gallery. The gallery houses a vast collection of European paintings from the 13th to 18th centuries.
Attractions in Berlin: The 'Story of Berlin' exhibition is one of Berlin's most popular attractions. The exhibition recounts the history of the German capital city from its foundation until the fall of the Wall in 1990. One of its main attractions is the nuclear bunker that was built during the Cold War in the 1970's. Guided tours are available every hour.
Places of interest: Visit the house of Checkpoint Charlie museum, once a threatening monitoring tower erected to ensure no one crossed over from East to West Berlin. Include the East Side gallery to see a surviving chunk of the real Wall now decorated by local artists.
The National Gallery and the Pergamon museum with numerous works of ancient art can be found at Museum Island in Eastern Berlin.
The Brandenburg Gate: This grand monument (built between 1788 and 1791) is very impressive and extremely symbolic, it used to lie abandoned in no man's land behind the Berlin Wall but now stands proud as Berlin's only remaining sandstone City Gate. The gate has been renovated along with the newly reconstructed Pariser Platz that links the gate to the beautiful Unter den Linden Boulevard.
Shopping in Berlin: Berlin has excellent shopping with the renowned Kufurstendamm or Ku'damm well known for it's glitzy chic shops and restaurants. A must do is the famous department store KaDeWe
Nightlife in Berlin: Berlin has a fantastic legendary nightlife with world-class opera, jazz and classical concerts year round, the city can boast to having more pubs than any other European city. A great way to relax is to take a break in one of Berlin's many traditional cafes and sample their legendary pastries or gateaux.
Events in Berlin:
Berliner Gauklerfest (Juggler's Festival) a haven of family entertainment, held in August.
The Berlin Jazz Festival, one of the world's premier jazz festivals, held in November.
The Open Air Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. A wonderful
traditional and very popular open-air concert
to mark the end of the Berlin Philharmonic's season.
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Airport Transport: The most convenient way to travel from the airport to Berlin central is by airport bus. Taxis are readily available outside the main airport terminal and take around 20 minutes to the city centre.
General Transport in Berlin: The Berlin public transport system is efficient with an extensive combination of services including: buses, trams, ferries, the U-Bahn (underground) and S-Bahn (commuter rail) with the U & S Bahns being the easiest forms of transport. East Berlin has a network of modernised and authentic pre-war trams serving the city's most interesting sites and locations.
Travel passes are available, including daily, weekly or monthly tickets. The Berlin Welcome Card is valid for 48 or 72 hours and gives unlimited travel for an adult and three children over three zones, plus discounts at many of Berlin's popular tourist attractions.
Car Hire: All major car rental companies are represented,
Alamo, Avis, Budget, Europcar, Hertz and Sixt.