In 2014, Berlin marked the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was a momentous occasion, full of symbolism and emotion for those who had lived with the gruesome concrete barrier that kept Berlin—and, symbolically, all of Germany—divided for more than 40 years. In the quarter-century-plus since the Wall came tumbling down, Berlin has re-established itself as Germany’s capital and gone through an urban and social transformation that has made it, once again, one of the most exciting cities in Europe (many would say, the most exciting). Superlative museums, grand (and grandiose) monuments, a nightlife that’s both glamorous and gritty, a performing arts scene that has no equal in Germany, fascinating neighborhoods to explore, fabulous parks and green spaces to enjoy, cafes, beer gardens, shopping, elegant restaurants and on-the-go street food—Berlin truly does have something for everyone. And although Berlin is a fast-paced, forward-looking city, it is also a city full of memorials and reminders of its haunted and harrowing Nazi and Communist past. Berlin has seen it all and lived to tell the tale—a tale that makes this city perpetually fascinating and endlessly exciting as it reinvents itself again and again.
No other city in Germany can match Berlin for the sheer number of attractions and diversions it offers. The city is particularly rich in museums (170 of them at last count) and you could build your entire trip around visiting them. But Berlin the living city is fascinating wherever you go, filled with historic monuments, gut-wrenching memorials, picturesque parks and lakes, famous avenues and riverside promenades, and lots of new architecture. In fact, Berlin has more new buildings than any other city in Europe.
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