Berlin Holidays in 2014

The Brandenburg Gate Island museum City lights at night
The Brandenburg Gate

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The Best of Breaks in Berlin

After the falling of the dividing wall separating east from west, Berlin has reclaimed its position as Germany's premier city. Berlin holidays make an ideal choice for a break in Europe. With a rich cultural background, three opera houses, eight symphony orchestras, more than 150 sites for drama, shops, bars, restaurants and a thriving nightlife scene, visitors on a Berlin holidays will never be short of something to see or do.

If you love to explore, then holidays in Berlin are perfect for you. Take a good pair of walking shoes and explore Berlin to your heart’s content. Podcasts and mp3 tours may be downloaded from the internet so you can take a guided tour of the city at your leisure. Or if you’d prefer company, there are many walking tours or bus tours or tours along the river in Berlin.

Exploring the City

As soon as you’ve landed at Berlin airports, travelling around the city is a breeze, either by foot, tube or bicycle. The latter is very popular as it enables you to see the many sites that the capital of Germany has to offer. Even during the winter time, Berlin exudes a certain warmth and majesty unlike any other city in the world.

The famous Potsdamer Platz is part of Berlin’s thriving centre – in the 1930s, it was the busiest square in Europe and is now once again full of shops, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues. Visit the Panorama-Point at the top of the Kollhof building and the renovated Reichstag for the best views of Berlin on your weekend away where you can gaze at the city in all its glory.

Once you’ve planned your trajectory, pay a visit to the iconic Berlin Wall where you can absorb the city’s eventful history and view preserved parts of the wall at the Eastside Gallery. Other sites to see on a Berlin city break include the instantly recognizable Brandenburg Gate, the old Berlin Wall border crossing, Checkpoint Charlie and its associated museum and finally, Museum Island.

Art and the Evenings

Museums and galleries and abundant in Berlin, as the art scene is thriving and exists as a vital part of the city’s right to freedom of expression. The art doesn’t just exist indoors however, as the city streets are lined with commissioned graffiti and creative street art. Alternative tours will present you with the best street art in the city and reveal the rich history of one of Berlin’s more esoteric creative practices. Taking a trip to Hamburg will reveal more - be sure to visit the Vera Munro and Sfeir-Semler.

If you prefer the indoors in the winter rather than traversing the streets, then there are plenty of places to head for art enthusiasts. Take a trip to the former post office C/O where you can admire work from up-and-coming photographers and well-known names. The Berlinische Galerie is a former glass warehouse that is incredibly popular with local and international artists. The gallery exhibits various forms of art, including historical retrospectives and contemporary works.

While during the day there won’t be a single second when you can’t find a beautiful palace to visit, a museum or other fantastic sight, during the evenings Berlin really does come alive. The club scene in Berlin is notorious worldwide, with night bars open until the early hours, the thud of music pounding from the nightclubs and many trendy restaurants offering fantastic German and international dishes. So if you’re looking for a city with electric nightlife, then holidays to Berlin are the place to be.

Important Information

Travel Information
Language: German
Currency: Euro
Local time: GMT/BST +1 hour
Local airport: Berlin
Flight time: 1 hour 40 minutes

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Music

The richness and diversity of Berlin’s music scene means you are bound to discover something you have never heard before. There are numerous festivals covering everything from dance to classical music, and it is host to one of Europe’s largest jazz festivals. Avant garde, experimental music and ‘noise’ music are perhaps more popular here than elsewhere, with two clubs Ausland and Stralau 68 featuring it regularly, as well as more hardcore industrial music. A policy of spending on the arts means culture and the arts in Berlin are its main selling point, and have attracted artists and musicians as both residents and visitors.

Museums

The ‘Lange Nacht der Museen’ is when 100 of the museums, collections and exhibitions stay open into the early hours on one night in January and one in August, with concerts, readings and other events especially put on.

Shopping

The enormous Alexa mega-mall near Alexanderplatz, combines mainstream chains with the less well known and houses Loxx, the world’s largest model railway. For the traditionalists, try KaDeWe, a century-old department store offering a diverse array of goods. Colours stocks second hand clothes from the 60s, right up to the present day, priced by the kilo, are located on the rear of Bergmannstrasse.

History

Although considered to be a young city by European standards, Berlin has had a very eventful history and is especially significant in relation to the two world wars. Many of Berlin’s historical events are characterised by radical change, and there is an ever-present sense of this throughout contemporary Berlin. From becoming the centre of the Enlightenment in 1740 to the fall of the Berlin Wall, Berlin has often encouraged change and led the way culturally.